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Amazon Interview
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30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Published September 20th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Technology     Software And Technology    

Question 1 of 30

Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?

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Answer Examples

1.

Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?

Companies will have confidentiality agreements for a variety of reasons. These could be to protect their trade secrets or to ensure that you do not bring clients over on the occasion that you leave their company. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on confidentiality agreements.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I never have, to my knowledge, broken a confidentiality agreement. Despite my reasons for leaving a position, I would never choose to hurt a previous employer in any way."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"A confidentiality agreement has never bound me; however, I would never knowingly break an agreement."

2.

This role with Amazon is highly technical. What is your understanding of this position and the responsibilities that come with it?

Assure the interviewer that you bring a full understanding of the technical requirements attached to this particular job. It is essential that you research the role and thoroughly consume the information provided in the company's job posting/job description. Keep your answer to the point.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"From our previous conversation, understanding the job description, and researching the role online I feel that the job is best described as a project leader focused on algorithms, data structures, and object-oriented design. The technical requirements that you would like to see are Java and C/C++ in a Linux environment. I am well versed in the tasks and programs you are asking for and am confident that I meet the strict requirements to perform in this role successfully."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"My understanding is that you seek a candidate with expert level skills in C/C++ and Java in a Linux environment who can train junior employees. I am an expert user in these areas. Do you have any questions about my technical expertise?"

3.

Can you talk to me about your GPA during undergraduate/graduate school?

The interviewer would like further details on your more significant successes as a post-secondary student. Are you satisfied with your GPA or would you change it if you could? Talk to the interviewer about your post-secondary experience. You can keep your answer brief and to the point.

If you were satisfied with your post-secondary experience: 'I graduated top of my class and am very proud of my accomplishments during University. The experience taught me to study hard and set goals for myself.'

If you were not satisfied with your post-secondary experience: "I feel that my GPA could have been higher; however, I was working full time while attending classes. All in all, I did learn a lot about discipline and commitment."

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I feel that my GPA could have been higher; however, I was working full time while attending classes. All in all, I did learn a lot about discipline and commitment."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I had a 3.8 GPA but did strive for a 4.0. I understand where I feel short, but I was able to achieve a spot on the football team, and earned two scholarships as well."

Anonymous Answer

"I had a 7.46 out of 10 for my bachelor's degree. Although I did strive for a higher grade, I'm satisfied overall because the cause was very demanding, and this grade is far more than the average. I also learned practical experience due to my internship. For my master, I'm also expecting a very good grade. I learned a lot of new things and push my self to put more effort into each coursework."

Rachelle's Answer

Great! You did a very good job defending your grade, and sound very confident. If you have information on what the average was, it would be great to include that information. I have provided a slight revision, below.

"I had a 7.46 out of 10 for my bachelor's degree. Although I did strive for a higher grade, I'm satisfied overall because the cause was very demanding, and this grade is far more than the 6.57 average. I also learned practical experience during my internship at Company ABC. For my Masters', I'm also expecting an excellent grade. I learned a lot of new skills and pushed myself to put more effort into each coursework."

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4.

Do you know anyone who works for Amazon?

Did you know, according to Forbes, that people with a friend at work are 7x more likely to engage in their work fully? The interviewer would like to see if a friend referred you to this position, a former co-worker, or an industry acquaintance. This question is another way of the interviewer asking where you heard about the role, and if you have any connections from within. You can keep your answer brief and to the point.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I do not personally know anyone who works for Amazon; however, I am connected with a couple of your employees on LinkedIn due to common group interests. I look forward to getting to know your team!"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"My former manager now works for Amazon, although in a different department. His name is James Smith. He's a great guy! I would be happy to fill out any referral paperwork if you wish."

5.

Amazon has 14 leadership principles. Name me 3 of them and how you embody those.

Amazon's leadership principles are the pillars on which Amazon stands. They visit these principles when they approach problems and tackle new ideas.

The principles briefly are:

1. Customer Obsession - Leaders start with the customers
2. Ownership - Leaders are owners
3. Invent & Simplify - Leaders expect innovation
4. Are Right, A Lot - Leaders are right, a lot
5. Learn & Be Curious - Leaders never stop learning
6. Hire & Develop the Best - Leaders raise the bar
7. Insist on the Highest Standards - Leaders have relentless standards
8. Think Big - Leaders create bold direction
9. Bias for Action - Leaders know that speed matters
10. Frugality - Leaders accomplish more with less
11. Earn Trust - Leaders treat others respectfully
12. Deep Dive - Leaders stay connected to the details
13. Have Backbone - Leaders respectfully challenge decisions
14. Deliver Results - Leaders deliver, despite setbacks

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have read through Amazon's leadership principles, and the ones that resonated with me most were earning trust, having a backbone, and delivering results. I wholeheartedly agree that a good leader will treat others respectfully, despite a difference of opinion. I am sure to see setbacks as challenges versus roadblocks. Lastly, I am unafraid to challenge a decision, respectfully, if I feel passionate about it."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I was pleased to see that Amazon has such solid leadership principles, and so well laid out. Three that stood out to me the most were customer obsession, ownership, and frugality. As a former business owner, I understand the importance of working with tight resources, even if they are not. This practice can encourage a lot of creativity. Customers are everything, so being obsessed with earning their trust will always work out in your favor. Lastly, I agree that a leader should act as an owner, in every single way. Long-term thinking is important, as is jumping in wherever needed rather than acting as though it's not your job. Leaders are never above a task."

6.

Tell me about a time that you have helped a co-worker accomplish an important goal.

It is imperative to be goal-oriented and determined but even more critical is to support your coworkers in their professional endeavors openly. This support is how teams succeed! What do you do, outside of your own goals, to ensure that everyone on your team is successful? Assure the interviewer that you are always willing to keep the team, or company as a whole, in mind.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I enjoy seeing my coworkers succeed and will help them whenever possible. One way that I support my coworkers is to help them keep organized by making suggestions on new tools that I have discovered. I had one coworker with a brand new smartphone, and she wasn't sure all the ways it could be utilized to make her day better. I spent my lunch hour helping her set it up. She was golden, after that!"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"When a new hire starts, I have become the de-facto go-to for shadowing. I always make sure to introduce myself to new-hires immediately. I schedule time for them to sit down with me and shadow what I do and how I do it. I want to see everyone succeed and, since there is no real training program in our company, I feel I need to be the change maker in the organization."

Anonymous Answer

"In my previous job, I had some projects on my own. When a new colleague joined our team, she took on some of my projects because I was assigned to new tasks. Even though she had more experience in years than me, I knew the projects inside and out., so I offered my help. The plan was to train her for two weeks, but we did it in only one! I eventually learned new things from her too. I'm happy that we helped each other to accomplish our goals."

Rachelle's Answer

This example shows the interviewer that you are a team player, coach-able, and also able to coach others. Good work!

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7.

What would you consider your technical specialty?

'Many of the problems we face have no textbook solution, and so we-happily-invent new ones.' - Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. Do you have any particular areas of interest or ability? Talk to the interviewer about your strengths and be sure to highlight any specific skills that you excel in. It's a great idea, if you can, to highlight particular skills that may be listed on the company's job posting/job description. If there is a related area of interest where you'd like to expand your skills, you can mention those as well.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Algorithms, data structures, object-oriented design, and databases have always been solid areas for me. I have a big interest in how innovation within software engineering improves our daily lives and our overall business efficiency. I see that you are looking for team members who are experts in these areas, which is what caught my eye when I first saw your job posting."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have been focusing my career on becoming a cloud integration specialist although I do have cross-platform app development expertise as well."

8.

What is the last thing you purchased on Amazon?

This question is one based on curiosity. It will tell the interviewer if you use Amazon at all, and how often. If it takes you a long time to recall your last Amazon purchase, then you likely do not use the shopping service very often. Using Amazon is not a requirement to get the job; however, it displays a belief in their service and genuine engagement in supporting and joining their company.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I just made an Amazon order last week, and it arrived yesterday! I ordered school supplies for my son. It was too easy to order everything on Amazon, and I loved skipping the back to school rush in stores."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"The last thing I purchased on Amazon was a book. I have been buying books from Amazon for many years now. This month, I purchased, 'American Like Me, ' by America Ferrera. It's a collection of essays, and I look forward to diving into it! Have you read it?"

Anonymous Answer

"I just made an order from Amazon yesterday, and it arrived this morning! I ordered skincare products for myself. It's an easy way to skip the long lines on multiple different stores to buy my favorite products."

Rachelle's Answer

Nice! You sound like a true Amazon fan, which the interviewer would love to see.

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9.

Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.

Talking about your most significant accomplishment will give the interviewer a firm idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments!

Rachelle's Answer #1

"The greatest accomplishment in my career was graduating University as an honors student while still working full time in a related field. I was top of my class, and working full time. This accomplishment showed me that I could dedicate myself to my career, and reach the goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and be recognized for my dedication."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have many accomplishments of which I am proud. Overall, I would say that my greatest work accomplishment is the positive reputation that I have in the software development industry. Tech is a full industry, with many professionals fighting to find their voice. I'm so proud to have carved a distinct career path for myself, despite those challenges."

10.

Tell me about the most interesting project you have worked on this year and the biggest thing you learned from it.

Discuss with the interviewer one of your recent projects that particularly piqued your interest. Did it stretch you professionally? What was the biggest takeaway for you from that particular project?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my previous role we were working on a variety of projects with fingerprint recognition software. One of the most interesting projects was a fingerprint-based ATM system. It was a test project for a large banking institution. In addition to learning a great deal about fingerprint recognition, I was also able to learn a lot about the critical relationship between software and security."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I find the majority of the projects that I have been working on this past year to be very interesting. If I had to choose one, I would choose to work on the Uber app. Since I am still in my internship, I didn't have any major contributions; however, I learned a lot about on-demand apps and building a friendly user interface."

Anonymous Answer

"One of the most interesting group projects I had was on ML, where I had to work on two large datasets, do an explanatory analysis, and perform Supervised and Unsupervised learning methods to derive interesting results. This project was exciting because we didn’t have any guidelines, only the datasets. The biggest thing I learned from it is to be curious; then, you can dive deeper into the problem/challenge and discover new things that you have never imagined. You don't have to get instructions to do a task. You have to jump into it."

Rachelle's Answer

Curiosity is a very important quality that rarely gets enough attention in an interview. I love that you brought it up. Good response, overall.

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11.

We seek to hire highly ambitious people. Where would you like your career with Amazon to take you?

Have you researched Amazon enough to know how their internal hierarchy works? Do they have a variety of departments and management levels, offering you choices when it comes to carving out your career path? Talk to the interviewer about your career ambitions specifically related to this role and their organization.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"One of the reasons I was so excited to interview with Amazon is because of the endless growth opportunities you appear to offer your high performing employees. My biggest ambition is to be awarded a management role in the next 3-5 years. I am happy to begin at the Tech U level and work my way up until your team believes that I am ready."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"What interests me most about your company is that there are so many options when it comes to career growth. Ideally, I would like to earn my way into a team lead role, then a division manager position in the software development department. Of course, I understand that this will take many years of dedication and hard work."

12.

We encourage innovation at Amazon. What does innovation mean to you?

Amazon references innovation thoroughly in workplace culture documents which you can find online. Because innovation is an often misused word, with room for interpretation, it's essential to have a full understanding of what innovation means to them. In Amazon's 14 Leadership Principles, they include 'Invent and Simplify' which touches on the fact that true leaders should expect and require innovation and invention from their teams. Amazon believes that being innovative includes an awareness of new ideas and never be limited by the 'we don't do that here' mentality.

Talk to the interviewer about how you have embodied this way of thinking, in the past.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my previous role I was fortunate enough to introduce my company to the idea of a gold level service where, in addition to our general customer service, we added on service options. Our customer base responded very positively, and we kept the program running for a few years. To me, innovation is creating new products and services that are useful to customers and also help my company stand out further in their space."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I fully agree with Amazon that innovation means being someone who thrives on change and remains nimble in their work. Innovation can mean creating anew and powerful idea, and it can also mean simplifying an existing one."

13.

Culture fit is important to us at Amazon. How would you describe your personality?

Going back to Amazon's 14 Leadership Principles, we learn a lot about the culture and workplace expectations within the company. Amazon refers to themselves as 'peculiar' quite often, saying 'we don't mind being called peculiar. We have our own way of doing things. We're obsessed with customers, we see beauty in simplifying the complex, and we're comfortable with being misunderstood. That might sound unorthodox, but our unusual approach and our culture - focused on removing obstacles so builders can build...'

Briefly discuss why your personality will work well with Amazon's principles and peculiarity.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I would describe myself as a customer-obsessed do-er. I like to give and receive feedback, which I implement immediately. I am adaptable and not stuck on particular rules. I believe in flexibility and creativity while remaining considerate to my employer and my coworkers."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I believe that my personality will fit well with the Amazon culture since I am an independent decision maker who widely accepts, and implements feedback."

Anonymous Answer

"Being curious, organized, and passionate about technology individual, I like to build ideas for the future and not for the present. I always think about what I'm doing right now and then scale it multiple times. My creativity helps me think out of the box, and to do that, I usually push my boundaries. I feel that I can bring my voice to your team and embrace its challenges."

Rachelle's Answer

The fact that you look at scaling multiple times is an excellent touch that a company like Amazon would certainly appreciate. You do a great job explaining why you are a fit for the Amazon culture!

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14.

Amazon is a company of pioneers. In which ways are you a pioneer?

Amazon uses the word 'pioneer' when talking about their dedicated employees.

They believe that a pioneer will:

- Make history
- Build the future
- Embrace innovation

You can read a multitude of employee stories on the Amazon careers website, and learn more about the ways current employees have embraced the pioneer mentality. Show the interviewer how you can do the same!

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I plan to be a pioneer with Amazon by committing to a long-term career, taking advantage of professional development opportunities that come my way, and embracing the change that comes with working for one of the worlds' most innovative organizations."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I read some of the pioneer stories on Amazon and am prepared to participate as a pioneer by developing myself and those around me, embracing the ideas of others, coming up with my great ideas of my own, and fully committing myself to a career path filled with growth and opportunity."

15.

What questions do you have for me?

It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the queries you have are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers for from merely watching a video on their company site!

Here are some sample questions:

- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
- What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I would like to ask if there is anything in my background on which you need clarification? Also, after discussing everything today, is there any particular reason why I would not be the best fit for this executive assistant role?"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I appreciate you opening the floor for questions. I am wondering what your timeline is for a decision on this opening? Also, what was the biggest struggle the last developer encountered in this role?"

Anonymous Answer

"- You've been at this company for a while. What keeps you motivated? - How do you deliver negative feedback?"

Rachelle's Answer

These are very insightful questions! Great work.

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30 Amazon Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
  2. This role with Amazon is highly technical. What is your understanding of this position and the responsibilities that come with it?
  3. Can you talk to me about your GPA during undergraduate/graduate school?
  4. Do you know anyone who works for Amazon?
  5. Amazon has 14 leadership principles. Name me 3 of them and how you embody those.
  6. Tell me about a time that you have helped a co-worker accomplish an important goal.
  7. What would you consider your technical specialty?
  8. What is the last thing you purchased on Amazon?
  9. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
  10. Tell me about the most interesting project you have worked on this year and the biggest thing you learned from it.
  11. We seek to hire highly ambitious people. Where would you like your career with Amazon to take you?
  12. We encourage innovation at Amazon. What does innovation mean to you?
  13. Culture fit is important to us at Amazon. How would you describe your personality?
  14. Amazon is a company of pioneers. In which ways are you a pioneer?
  15. What questions do you have for me?
  16. Amazon believes in a diverse perspective. When have you worked with a diverse group of people?
  17. Amazon has over 300 million active customers. How do you think we can attract an even larger customer base?
  18. Have you ever had to contact Amazon customer support? If so, describe your experience.
  19. What is Amazon's company mission, and what does it mean to you?
  20. What was one question you didn't want me to ask today?
  21. How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
  22. What qualities do you feel make a leader successful?
  23. Amazon is known for exceptional customer service. What does excellent customer service mean to you?
  24. Name 2 benefits of having an Amazon Prime account. Do you have a Prime account?
  25. We want to hire people at Amazon who have the desire to lead others. How many people did you supervise at your last position?
  26. At Amazon, we seek to hire leaders. Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to improve work related procedures.
  27. Working at Amazon, you will experience changes on a regular basis. When have you had to change a major component of your project due to new information being presented?
  28. We consider research to be the backbone of what we do at Amazon. Do you think it's important to conduct research before beginning a project or would you rather jump right in?
  29. At Amazon, we take privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Are you willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement, if hired?
  30. In your opinion, what has been the biggest advancement in video streaming technology this past year?
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