Interviewers are having a good laugh in an interview, talking to a young job applicant. We can see three interviewers in the room, or watching the man as he tries to make a good impression. Amazon ranks high on the list of most popular employers. The company receives dozens of applications for every job they advertise, and you need to prepare to compete with many other people in your interview.

Their typical interview process consists in three stages:

  • Screening interview done over the phone, sometimes one, and sometimes two sessions (two sessions if you apply for a technical job)
  • Behavioral interview (in the company, in one of their centers, or sometimes with one of the recruitment agencies that work for Amazon)
  • Second face to face interview (consisting mostly in technical questions, or practical tests)

While the second face to face interview differs for every position at Amazon, the questions the interviewers ask in the first two stages are pretty similar, regardless of the job you try to get with them. We will talk about these two stages in the article.

Screening interview over the phone

Everything starts with a short, screening interview. An HR employee (a generalist, or assistant, someone who does not specialize in any field of HR) will call you and ask you a few basic questions. To such belong:

  • Why are you interested to work at Amazon?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years time?
  • What motivates you in job?
  • Can you tell me something more about your experience in the field?

Girl on the telephone, illustration of a phone interview with Amazon. She makes notes with a pen.

  • What do you like the most about Amazon?

Their goal in a screening interview is to assess your communication skills, your motivation, and to understand your personality. A good HR worker can do that after a ten minute phone call with you. And what you should do to pass this stage?

Try to show good listening skills, speak to the point, show some enthusiasm and motivation. Relevant experience and understanding for the role will surely help as well.

They should get a feeling that you have clear goals and plans, and are ready to work in an international corporation.


Second phone (or online) interview

The second interview is optional, and they do it mostly with people who apply for technical positions. This time they will give you a few technical questions, related to your field of expertise. It can be JAVA, it can be NET, it can be software testing–depends on the position you apply for.

Their goal is to decide if it is worth inviting you for the face to face interview. The questions are not super difficult at this stage, but they are difficult enough to test if you can do your job.


Face to face interviews – behavioral part

Once they invite you for a in-person interview to Amazon, you still have a lot of work to do.

The first session with them is a behavioral interview. It is led by a manager (or HR specialist) who represents the department where you will work (sales, marketing, testing, development, finance, etc).

In some cases you will interview in front of a panel. Anyway, they will ask you mostly about your behavior in various work-related situations. You can expect some of the following questions:

  • Describe a situation when you had a conflict with a colleague.
  • Describe a situation when you felt overwhelmed with work. How did you handle that?
  • Explain a time when you had to deal with poor job performance.
  • Walk me through a different scenario of a process you invented or improved.
  • Give an example of a time when you found a simple solution to a seemingly difficult problem.
  • What it means for you to be successful? Tell me about a point in your life when you felt successful.
  • Tell me about a failure you experienced in your professional career or in your studies.


Second part of the face to face interview – technical questions and tests

interviewing in front of a panel, a typical final stage of Amazon interview process. We see three interviewers, two man and one woman, and one job candidateYou will have to deal with difficult technical questions related to your field of expertise in the second part of your in-person interview with Amazon.

Practical case studies and computerized exams are nothing unusual.

You will have to demonstrate your creativity, and ability to solve problems on your own. Not everyone will make it to this final stage, and to prepare for it in advance is nearly impossible.

Your entire life, all your experiences and projects you have ever worked on, are your preparation for this final stage of Amazon interviews…

For the other three stages, however, you can prepare. Check one of the following articles to continue with your preparation: