Amazon Area Manager Interview Questions & Answers
Table of Contents
- 1. Accomplishment Questions
- 2. Career Goals Questions
- 3. Communication Questions
- 4. Compatibility Questions
- 5. Competency Questions
- 6. Creative Thinking Questions
- 7. Customer Service Questions
- 8. Diligence Questions
- 9. Direct Questions
- 10. Diversity & Inclusion Questions
- 11. Education Questions
- 12. Experience Questions
- 13. Job Satisfaction Questions
- 14. Leadership Questions
- 15. Management Questions
- 16. Personal Questions
- 17. Salary Questions
- 18. Scenario Based Questions
- 19. Teamwork Questions
1. We hire high-potential people who are ready to make an impact on our operations. Tell us about the most significant impact you've made in your current position.
How to Answer
Amazon is a company proud to be driven by innovation. They even say that innovation is part of their DNA! For this reason, there is a very high chance that your interviewers will ask questions to reveal whether you are an innovative thinker, ready to make an impact for Amazon.
It can be a challenge to brag about your accomplishments in a job interview. For that reason, many candidates choose to talk about a team accomplishment. However, for this question, it's best to highlight an independent accomplishment. Be proud of your individual contributions!
Talk to the interviewer about the most significant individual accomplishment you have achieved in your current or most recent position. You can deliver this answer by providing a story-based example using the STAR answer method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Be sure to outline your contribution clearly, then make a connection to how you will contribute to Amazon.
"(Situation) At Company XYZ, we have had some issues with newly hired warehouse associates quitting after just a few shifts. (Task) As the team lead responsible for helping our manager guide the group, I have a unique opportunity to coach people in-the-moment, to help them succeed. (Action) I approached my manager and asked if I could jump in with additional on-the-floor training sessions when I saw new team members struggling with their tasks. She agreed, so I spent time analyzing the primary reasons employees were quitting. I created a list of the top 10 struggles new hires were facing and brought my findings to the manager. Together, we met with the Human Resources department and requested that new hires receive further training and support in those 10 areas during their onboarding and first 30 days. (Result) HR agreed to put these efforts into place, and since that time, our employee turnover rates have decreased by nearly 25%. This experience taught me to keep an eye on patterns and how important it is to use data when problem-solving and making recommendations for change. When Amazon hires me for this Area Manager position, I will commit to caring for the success of our new and tenured employees, ensuring that everyone feels empowered to succeed in their tasks."
"The company that I'm working with currently decided to use ERP for their operations about 3 years ago. There is very little knowledge among warehouse staff in regard to ERP, and the company that was appointed to implement the system did not do a very thorough job in training. This resulted in stress and a high level of anxiety prior to going live. As group logistics manager at the time, I saw the need to build the confidence level before Go Live. Hence I voluntarily work out an on-the-floor training program - using process mapping exercises and case studies coupled with a hands-on sandbox approach to get the team to actually perform their mapped-up processes as operational tasks. It takes me a fair bit of time to create the various "scenarios" for their sandbox activities. Eventually, it was a successful program and we managed to Go Live without any major issues. During the appreciation night, some staff thanked me openly for taking that approach as it helped them to build confidence and they felt that they have developed and moved up to another level. It was apparent that I had earned their trust too."
Written by an Anonymous User
Nice! You have used the STAR method effectively here to describe the situation, your task and actions, and the end result. It sounds like you made a significant impact and helped several of your team members, which the interviewer will appreciate. You come across as proactive, motivated, and hardworking. Great job!
2. Your team of Associates focuses on meeting customer demands while ensuring accuracy and quality of work. How do you plan to encourage the performance of your Associates and ensure achievement of these targets?
How to Answer
The targets of your team and the outcome of their work will heavily rely on your ability to lead them to their goals. The interviewer wants to know that you understand the importance of encouraging strong performance as a tool to ensure success. An Amazon fulfillment center is a bustling place! It is easy for an unorganized Area Manager to get lost in everyday tasks and forget about the big-picture related to customer expectations. Express to the interviewer that you are ready to communicate goals and encourage team performance to help drive your team to success.
"I fully understand that employee goal setting is a significant responsibility for any manager, and I come prepared to develop and encourage clear goals and objectives. First, I will ensure that all targets align with Amazon's company goals, the primary ones being customer satisfaction and employee safety. Once I have communicated our goals as a team, I will invite team members to set individual achievements they would like to reach. I will emphasize attainable targets that help us to break off pieces of our larger goals, making them feel less overwhelming to reach. Also, I plan to work closely with team members who seem to struggle with meeting their targets, and I will praise the great work that I see along the way, ensuring that motivation levels are maintained."
"1) Hands-on from time to time, be on the floor and perform the task with them. Lead by example - Customer obsession
2) Have a daily pre-start 15-minute meeting to share the daily performance matrix and encourage them to always aim higher - continuous improvement to achieve the highest standard
3) Encourage feedbacks on how to do more with less - increase efficiency, lower wastage
4) Recognition and Reward"
Written by an Anonymous User
Excellent! It sounds like you have several ideas in mind to motivate your team. Do you have any experience carrying out these kinds of incentives? If so, provide an example or two to show the interviewer that you are truly capable in this area. Good job!
3. We believe that the best managers have more than the ability to manage. They also have a genuine passion for leadership. Why do you want to be our next Area Manager and lead a team of Associates?
How to Answer
Management is a role focused on bringing order to a situation (the ability), and leadership is about bringing meaning and conviction to a situation (passion). The interviewer wants assurance that you will bring a blend of ability and passion to the workplace.
First, carve out what you believe to be characteristics of a passionate leader, and be prepared to discuss the characteristics you genuinely emulate as a manager. When you have a passion for leading, you will likely:
- Bring contagious excitement and enthusiasm to your team members.
- Make decisions with integrity, always choosing to do the right thing, not the easiest thing.
- Think ahead in most situations, ready to guide your team into their next win.
- Love to explore options, scenarios, and new ways of approaching your work and the work of your team.
Discuss what you believe to be the difference between managing and possessing a passion for leadership. Then, provide evidence that you possess the passion required to be an impactful leader.
"I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. I have spent a lot of time invested in learning how to manage others; however, what sets me apart is my passion for leading people to achieve success. Passionate leadership matters because, with this passion, I can bring enthusiasm and vision to my team of Associates. My desire to lead others is driven by my pull to influence them and build an inspired workforce. Whether the goal is to speed up our performance or improve safety records, I know that the passion I bring to leadership will influence our Associates and make a difference in many ways. When I pass this energetic enthusiasm onto my team members, they have more drive, set clearer goals, and help their team members to succeed."
"I want to be the Area manager and lead a team of Amazon Associates because I believe I have the passion to influence and develop people and I naturally enjoy that a lot. Being able to pull the team together to achieve common goals and achieve new heights gives me work satisfaction."
Written by an Anonymous User
Awesome! It's great that you're excited to lead, influence, and develop others. Where does this passion for managing others come from? How do you know that you enjoy it? What kind of experience do you have leading others? What qualities do you possess that will allow you to excel as an Area Manager? Don't be bashful; speak confidently about why you want to do this and all you have to offer. Great job!
4. How would you explain fulfillment to someone who did not know about distribution warehouse environments?
How to Answer
The interviewer wants to know that you can explain complex ideas without acting condescendingly or talking over people. The workflow of a distribution warehouse or fulfillment center may seem obvious to you, but what about people new to the industry, such as a new Associate you just hired who needs to be trained properly.
When you can clearly define fulfillment to someone who has no idea what it entails, this showcases your communication skills and your ability to convey complex information in easy-to-understand terms. Give the interviewer an example of how you would break down the concept of fulfillment to make it more digestible for the average person.
"To explain the concept of fulfillment to someone unaware of distribution warehouse environments, I would first try to use visuals to explain how product moves in a warehouse or distribution center environment. In simple verbal terms, I would explain that when a customer buys a product online, the fulfillment process begins. The product is on a warehouse shelf, and when the customer places their order, a warehouse employee or a robot picks the product from the shelf, boxes it up, and then the box gets shipped. In the case of Amazon, the company handles the entire fulfillment process, including charging the customer's credit card, updating inventory levels on the website, sending automated shipping email alerts, and handling customer refunds. I believe it's essential that I can explain this concept easily since I will be responsible for the ongoing training and success of Associates who may be brand new to a distribution environment."
"First, we need to know our "audience" eg. a customer vs a potential business partner
A customer - Fulfilment is about fulfilling your needs and wants. You expressed your needs/wants through a purchase/transaction with us, and our team, by going through the supply chain activities to fulfill that need/want.
A business partner - Fulfilment is our business, we add value to your goods and services so that collectively we exceed our customers' expectations."
Written by an Anonymous User
Excellent! The interviewer will undoubtedly appreciate you breaking down the explanation according to your target audience. Consider adding more detail to the definition intended for a business partner. For example, in what ways can you add value to their goods and services?
5. As an Amazon Area Manager, you are responsible for communicating policies, expectations, and other essential information to your team. How do you ensure consistency in your communication?
How to Answer
Consistent communication within an organization should start from the top, with internal communication being consistent and clear at all times. Amazon places a lot of attention on building a communicative work environment. Now the interviewer wants to see evidence that you are a level-headed, consistent communicator who remains respectful in your communication style, no matter the discussion you are heading. Discuss what you know about great communication in the workplace and the measurable action steps you take to ensure consistency.
"I studied Communication while attending university, and I have also learned about communication in business. I follow the 3 C's of communication: correct, consistent, and constant. With correct communication, I am giving the best and most accurate, reliable information possible. I remain pragmatic when relaying information to my team members to avoid placing my own opinion or bias on the matter. To be consistent means that I deliver information the same way every day. If I start the day with a team huddle and end the day with a team huddle, I commit to doing this every day. With this approach, my team knows what to expect from me and when. This leads me to constant information, which stems from my consistency. If hired to be Amazon's next Area Manager, I will ensure that my team and I communicate all the time. It will never be a surprise when they hear from me, and I will communicate all news rather than just the high points or the low points."
"I will emphasize 2 things - communication channels and communication effectiveness, For instance, if communication is related to policy, team performance, and expectations, it needs to be formal - email, dashboard, flyers, and follow-up meetings are my communication channels of choice as these channels ensure communication effectiveness. On the other hand, if communication is needed at a personal level eg. individual performance, then my channel of choice will be informal talk, then aligned back to what was communicated through a formal communication channel."
Written by an Anonymous User
It's great that you put thought into how you will deliver your communications. How do the channels you mention guarantee that your message is effectively communicated? Can you delve into this deeper? Other ways you can ensure consistency include repeating your key messages often and communicating on a regular basis. Good job!
6. Describe your approach to coaching, managing, and developing others.
How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know how you define your approach to leading others and how this approach will benefit Amazon and your team of Associates if you are hired. When describing your approach to coaching, managing, and developing others, give a specific response to showcase your methodology in action.
A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership of their mistakes and will always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance of motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements.
When describing your leadership approach, be sure to tie your response to the characteristics and approach that Amazon is seeking in their next Area Manager. You can uncover this information by carefully reading Amazon's job posting and career page on its website.
"I describe my approach to coaching, managing, and developing others as diligent, tenacious, and highly communicative. I am diligent in the sense that I follow company policy and lead by example. When it comes to tenacity in leadership, I am a consistent source of help and information to my other team members. I communicate like a leader because I make myself available to teach and also to learn. From my research, I understand that these are core characteristics of your existing leadership team, which makes me believe that my leadership qualities will be a natural fit for the culture Amazon has worked so hard to create in its fulfillment and distribution environments."
"I will describe my approach as diligent, resourceful, dynamic, and interactive. Diligent in the sense that I uphold the company's policy. Resourceful in the sense that I research and prepare myself to give the highest standard of coaching. It will be dynamic as the team needs to see the coaching and development as pragmatic and add value to their job and personal life. Lastly interactive, I encourage feedback as I learn to be better in the process too."
Written by an Anonymous User
Awesome! You have thoroughly described your approach to coaching, managing, and developing others. Is there an example you can talk about of a time when you managed others in a diligent/resourceful/dynamic and/or interactive way? Adding an example will further strengthen your answer.
7. We are looking for an Area Manager with a collaborative leadership style. Describe what this means to you.
How to Answer
Amazon considers its Area Managers to be people leaders. In this role, you will be expected to invest in your team and work with them collaboratively. People leadership is a significant component of this role, and the interviewer wants to know that you understand what it means to bring a collaborative leadership style to the workplace.
A collaborative leadership style might include:
- Showing your team that everyone can work creatively together
- Believing that a team works best when it comes together to solve problems
- Leaders focus on their influence more than their authority
- Leaders spend time engaging their team members to perform to the best of their ability
- Creating an environment built on respect, shared goals, and trust
- Focus on collective goals that benefit everyone on the team
- Collectively creating plans that everyone can feel passionate about
- Encouraging accountability across the entire team
"I believe that collaborative leadership means leading with influence rather than authority. As a collaborative leader, I will create a culture of enthusiasm, shared goals, and mutual respect for everyone. If I am chosen for this Area Manager position, I will create and communicate goals, targets, and plans that every team member will feel passionate about, regardless of their seniority. I will encourage everyone to be accountable for their work and the success of others."
"Collaborative for me means "don't be a solo hero". We achieve the best result when we work as a team. In that context, communications with other teams become very important. Communications lead to a better understanding of each other's needs and concerns while finding the common goal(s) to achieve."
Written by an Anonymous User
Nice! It's clear from your response that you value collaboration. Can you talk in more detail about what collaboration means to you from a leadership standpoint? Collaborative leadership generally aims to bring executives, managers, and employees together to accomplish goals, and information is shared organically. Have you ever experienced this type of leadership style before? If so, be sure to discuss it here.
8. We seek an Area Manager who is energetic, organized, and a self-starter ready to succeed for themselves and motivate others in a deadline-driven environment. How will you emulate these qualities and meet these goals if hired?
How to Answer
Amazon uses strong discretion in its hiring decisions. They know precisely the type of person who is a match for the role of Area Manager, both in personality and in work ethic. Talk to the interviewer about how you emulate the qualities of energy and organization while motivating others and being self-driven. Provide measurable examples of how you plan to emulate these qualities if you are hired as Amazon's next Area Manager.
Some ways that you can demonstrate energy in the workplace:
- Take the initiative on projects
- Maintain a positive outlook
- Help your team members keep a healthy mindset
- View obstacles and challenges as exciting opportunities to problem solve
Some ways that you can demonstrate organization in the workplace:
- Have clear goals set for your day
- Set goals past one day and focus on your week, month, and quarter
- Create a routine for yourself and your team
- Ensure your workspace works for you and the flow of your day
Some ways that you can demonstrate being a self-starter in the workplace:
- React to challenges by embracing them and staying goal-focused
- Set high expectations for yourself and work hard to meet them every day
- Show accountability for your results, even when they aren't what you were hoping for
- Be confident and show that you trust your intuition
"If I am chosen for the Area Manager role, I will bring a contagious energy to my team by taking the initiative on projects and encouraging a positive mindset no matter the challenges we face. I believe that genuine energy begins from within, so I also take extra care to refresh my brain by taking my lunch break away from my desk and ensuring that I get the rest I need on my days off. I have worked hard to become an organized person and find that I maintain organization by creating and sticking to a routine while setting short-term and long-term goals. Last, as a self-starter, I will bring confidence in my decisions and accountability for my work. I will teach my team members the importance of setting high expectations for themselves and trusting their ability to do the best job for themselves, their teammates, and the company as a whole."
9. Do you have training in product loss prevention?
How to Answer
Companies face many types of product loss from employee skimming, organized theft, return fraud, and more. Amazon has a loss prevention team that works hard to protect products, information, and its people in each fulfillment site. Amazon believes they can eliminate many risks by creating a culture where security is front of mind. Talk to the interviewer about any loss-prevention training you have, whether product loss training or other. Show that you have put in the effort to research Amazon's loss prevention efforts and discuss how you plan to support these efforts enthusiastically.
"I find it impressive that Amazon has such highly-trained loss prevention teams and specialists focusing on data-driven investigations and monitoring for future security risks. It is a significant job to manage Amazon's assets, including products, buildings, and people. As an Area Manager, I can support loss prevention efforts by encouraging and emulating honesty, integrity, and good choices in the workplace. I also have formal training, including a Loss Prevention for Managers from the Loss Prevention Academy. This course provided me with a strong knowledge-based, including how to conduct successful inventory counts, signs of employee theft, and of course, how to hire the right employee to prevent product loss from the onset. I look forward to supporting Amazon in its security and asset protection efforts."
10. Amazon's distribution workflow has three parts. The First Mile, the Second Mile, and the Last Mile. Please explain to me what each stage of the workflow means and the work required through each.
How to Answer
Amazon has an operational workflow which they break down into 3 'lines' they call First Mile, Second Mile (or Middle Mile), and Last Mile. Show the interviewer that you have an understanding of Amazon's distribution workflow. Before your interview, be sure to spend time researching Amazon and its fulfillment centers (FCs). You can even join a Virtual FC Tour to learn more!
"From my research, I understand that the First Mile is the efforts put into gaining the consumer's product in the first place. The first mile describes Amazon's efforts to get products from the manufacturer to the distribution center. This first mile is critical, and I believe it sets Amazon apart from other e-commerce giants like Walmart. The Second Mile, or the Middle Mile as it's sometimes called, is the supply chain stage where products are shipped from the warehouse directly to a retail store. The Last Mile team is responsible for getting the packages from the delivery station to a customer's doorstep. I have read that Amazon is putting a lot of effort into speeding up customer delivery times which is another factor that helps set Amazon apart from any other organization in the world. The payoff from Amazon's investments in the Last Mile has been incredible, and I look forward to seeing what Amazon can continue to achieve by optimizing all stages while reducing the percentage of Amazon packages that are delivered to the customer by third-party carriers."
11. If you could create a new recognition program or add to an existing program, what initiatives would you introduce?
How to Answer
Amazon emphasizes employee recognition programs. The company understands how important encouragement is and how it ties to employee happiness and employee retention. Amazon has numerous options for rewarding employees through upskilling and continued education. Before attending your interview, spend time learning details of the current employee recognition initiatives and programs present at Amazon.
Currently, some options available to reward Amazon employees include:
- Amazon Career Choice Program: Amazon will pay up to 95% of tuition and fees for courses leading to qualifying vocational certifications or degrees.
- Amazon Technical Academy: This tuition-free training and job placement program equips non-technical Amazon employees with essential skills to transition into technical careers at Amazon.
- Amazon Machine Learning University: This initiative helps Amazon employees with a background in technology and coding to gain core skills in the growing discipline of Machine Learning.
- Amazon Technical Apprenticeship Program: Amazon provide its employees the opportunity to be trained on-the-job, in high-demand areas like cloud computing, data, and software development.
- AWS Training and Certification: Amazon offers 500+ free courses, interactive labs, and virtual day-long training sessions. The AWS training also includes free instructor-led webinars in multiple languages.
- AWS Tech U: This 48-week residency program is designed to help new AWS employees to gain the necessary skills to launch a successful cloud career.
- Amazon Robotics Training: This upskilling program provides training in mechatronics and robotics for employees interested in a lucrative career within robotics.
Think of ways that you could further support these efforts or even make suggestions for additions and improvements. Next, think of what you would do to create a new employee recognition program from scratch. The interviewer wants to see your creativity shine, so discuss what the program would look like while expressing enthusiasm for innovative recognition and reward-based efforts.
"I admire the existing and continued efforts Amazon puts in to recognize and reward its employees. While preparing for this interview, I took the time to explore the upskilling and training options made available to Amazon team members. These programs sound incredible, and I was especially intrigued by the robotics training program offered. It's an incredible way for Amazon employees to explore their interests while significantly boosting their wages once the training is complete. Knowing the foundation Amazon already has, I would heavily encourage my Associates to explore their options. If I could create any new recognition program, I would focus on the floor level and introduce an initiative that was more in the moment for my team members during their daily activities. I especially like the idea of a recognition-based system focused on various performance objectives such as quality of work, performance speed, focus on safety, and teamwork. The initiative would allow Associates to nominate their peers for kudos and allow the leadership team to give public kudos for those doing exceptional work. I desire to build a culture of appreciation which will help to retain our top performers while helping my leadership team to identify which Associates are ready for upskilling and promotion opportunities."
12. Amazon is one of the most customer-centric companies on the globe. What tools, processes, and methods will you rely on to ensure that your team provides the best possible customer service?
How to Answer
Amazon has a significant mission 'to be Earth's most customer-centric company.' The company sees its operations and customer service teams as the 'heart of that mission,' hence, the interviewer needs to know that you are ready to support this mission wholeheartedly.
Amazon team members have access to the world's top technology and a worldwide reach dedicated to supporting their customers. Take time to read through the company's customer-service-focused mission and discuss how you will work to ensure that your entire team is an active contributor to this global network.
"I have taken the time to research Amazon as a company, and I have combed through the responsibilities and expectations of an Area Manager. One factor that stood out to me is that Amazon strives to have everyone work together to create and build a customer-centric company. The tools I will rely on to ensure the best possible customer service will be the internal tools available at Amazon. The company puts an incredible amount of funding into new technology, and I am confident that I will have every tool imaginable available to me. I plan to learn each tool in full to ensure that I maximize the potential benefits for Amazon and its customers. When it comes to processes, I will carefully follow Amazon's internal processes and keep in touch with fulfillment center updates. In terms of methods, I would ensure that my team understands the importance of us working seamlessly and enthusiastically to make life easier for our millions of customers."
13. As an Amazon Area Manager, you will help us to establish and maintain quality control standards. What do you believe will be an essential first step to ensuring high-quality deliverables from your team of Associates?
How to Answer
The interviewer wants to know the one factor that you believe is the most essential for ensuring that your team delivers high-quality work. Express an interest in maintaining Amazon's firm standards for quality control and efficiency. Discuss what you think is the most critical first step to ensuring high-quality deliverables from your team, and support your response with an explanation of why you believe this factor is the most important.
"During my three years working in a warehouse environment, I have learned many helpful tips from managers to ensure high-quality work is delivered consistently. These tips include having visible front-line leadership, cross-training warehouse employees, and providing clear standard operating procedures. Above all, I believe that an essential first step is to prioritize safety in the workplace. When we make safety a priority in a fulfillment environment, team members will be more prepared to make smart choices and avoid errors that lead to accidents, profit loss, and other costly mistakes. I look forward to being a contributing member to Amazon's leadership team and guiding my team of Associates to deliver success every shift."
14. Explain your understanding of OSHA compliance. What efforts will you bring to this role to ensure a safe work environment for all Amazon Associates?
How to Answer
As an Area Manager working and leading a team in Amazon's fulfillment center environments, you must understand what OSHA is and what it means to be OSHA compliant. OSHA is an acronym for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and its a federal regulatory agency created by the Department of Labor to reduce injury and death in the workplace. Focused on safety and protecting and empowering workers. OSHA compliance will be a significant part of your role as an Amazon Area Manager. Describe what you know about OSHA and the measurable actions you will take to ensure a safe work environment for yourself and your co-workers.
"I am very familiar with OSHA compliance and how critical safety is in the workplace. The key steps to OSHA compliance are to have a Hazard Communication Plan (HCP), the provision of correct employee Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), allow employees easy access to an industrial-grade first-aid kit, visible posting of OSHA's 'its the law' posters in the workplace, immediate clean-up of any slip and fall hazards, and proper reporting and filing of any workplace injuries, fatalities, and illnesses. OSHA compliance also requires a fire plan and fire safety training for all employees, an emergency action plan, and coinciding general emergency training. As an Amazon Area Manager, I will support these efforts to the highest degree, ensuring all team members feel safe, empowered, and supported in the workplace."
15. Amazon is defining the future of online retail. How will you contribute to this mission as an Area Manager?
How to Answer
Amazon has dramatically changed the way people shop. So much so that experts often refer to 'The Amazon Effect,' which is the impact that Amazon has created in the eCommerce and digital marketplace compared to brick and mortar businesses. The company defines online retail by influencing customer expectations, changing how we shop online, and dominating the competition.
The interviewer wants to see that you have enthusiasm for how Amazon is redefining online retail and that you have identified how you can contribute to this mission when you are hired. When you respond, be as specific as possible, allowing the interviewer to visualize you as a contributing leader and active team member.
"Amazon has defined online retail in many incredible ways, and I am excited to join the organization and contribute to current and future efforts. As an Area Manager, my mission will be to contribute to Amazon's desire to delight its customers and make their lives easier. I will ensure that my team of Associates works efficiently, allowing customers to receive their items as fast as possible. The fulfillment center team is at the heart of the customers' seamless online shopping experience. The more efficiently we work in the FC, the happier customers will be, and the more they will continue to shop online. Essentially, the better our team works, the more we can impact customer shopping behaviors and continue growing Amazon's competitive position in the retail marketplace."
16. Are you able to stand and walk for shifts up to 12 hours in a facility that may be 1/4 mile in length while maintaining the stamina required to be an enthusiastic leader?
How to Answer
You must be able to meet the high physical demands of an Area Manager position. As much as you desire this opportunity, it's also equally important to be honest with yourself regarding any physical limitations that could cause potential damage if you are not equipped to handle the role from a health perspective.
The physical demands outlined in Amazon's Area Manager position include:
- Stand/walk during shifts lasting up to 12 hours
- Walk around the warehouse with great frequency; many facilities are over a quarter-mile in length
- Access all areas of the building, ascending and descending ladders, stairs, and gangways
- Regularly bend, lift, stretch and reach both below the waist and above the head
- Lift and move items up to 49 pounds
Assure the interviewer that you are aware of the physical requirements of the position and explain that you are ready to perform these duties safely. If you do have limitations or concerns, the job interview is the best opportunity to be forthright about those concerns.
"I am healthy and work out regularly to keep myself in top shape. I addressed the requirements of this role before applying and took an honest look at my ability to meet the physical demands Amazon lists in the job posting. I have full confidence that I can perform these duties safely, ensuring the protection of myself and my team."
17. New Amazon Area Managers work weekends, holidays, and overnight shifts. They also put in overtime hours during peak seasons. Do you have any limitations in your availability?
How to Answer
Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the company's expectations. Luckily, in the Area Manager job posting, Amazon is very clear about the expectation of long shifts, weekends, holidays, and overnight work.
If you haven't had a chance to clarify this location's scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask! Consider asking for more detail about the scheduling expectations. If you are expected to work 12-hour shifts, you should know that detail before responding by saying, 'Absolutely! No problem!' Be sure that you can meet Amazon's expectations before committing.
"I am accustomed to working long shifts including nights, weekends, and holidays. I am flexible for days or nights, weekdays or weekends, and the like. In my current role, we are offered overtime pay for statutory holidays, which I find a great incentive to get employees on board with working major holidays. Are there similar incentives offered for Amazon employees?"
18. What do you know about the way Amazon runs its fulfillment and delivery network?
How to Answer
This question is a straightforward way for the interviewer to discover how well you have prepared for your job interview. Take your time researching Amazon's fulfillment and delivery process. The company provides helpful information on its career website. If you aren't sure if you fully understand the most important supply chain management terms, you can find a lot of information using helpful online resources such as SupplyChainDive. Discuss what you have learned about Amazon's fulfillment and delivery network while showing enthusiasm for the process and genuine excitement to learn more.
"Amazon has introduced many incredibly advanced supply chain management practices that have led to its domination of online retail and e-commerce offerings. From my research and understanding, Amazon outsources its inventory management tasks while insourcing logistics. Third-party sellers account for more than half of Amazon's sales, and other products that are not ordered as frequently are not stored in Amazon warehouses. The company's same-day and now 2-hour shipping service is possible because Amazon cut out third-party carriers as much as possible. Amazon primarily relies on its own delivery vehicles for these same-day shipping options. Dividing warehouses by delivery options is an important point for me to note, as well. By having different warehouses for Prime, one-day delivery, and more, Amazon can streamline its operations and prevent delivery challenges that commonly cause delays for its competitors. I am excited to learn more about Amazon's unique efforts for meeting customer needs while continually changing the way we approach logistics."
Diversity & Inclusion
19. Amazon is committed to providing a diverse and inclusive workplace. How will you support these efforts if hired as an Area Manager?
How to Answer
Amazon has firm diversity and inclusion efforts in place to protect its employees. The company strongly believes that diverse identities help to define who they are. You can find details of Amazon's approach to D&I on their website. They provide many informative details, including this statement: 'Our diverse perspectives are enriched by many dimensions, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, culture, language, and education, as well as professional and life experience. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and leveraging our unique perspectives to scale our impact and grow.'
The interviewer wants to see that you will openly and actively support Amazon's statements and policies. Talk about the efforts that you plan to make, should you be hired.
"I plan to support your anti-discrimination policies in a variety of ways. I promise to quickly identify and expose any instances of harassment or discrimination in the workplace. I will genuinely embrace everyone in the organization and treat everyone with the utmost respect. I will show cultural understanding and help my co-workers to build their competency and understanding of others. I also plan to support your anti-discrimination policies by continually educating myself on emerging inclusion programs and practices."
20. Walk me through your education and how you believe it will benefit you as an Amazon Area Manager.
How to Answer
Most Amazon Area Managers possess post-secondary education. In the job description for Area Manager, the company asks that external candidates have recently completed post-secondary education, specifically a bachelor's or master's degree.
While attending post-secondary studies, you likely learned some core skills that would be transferable to any position. Think about what you learned at your highest levels of education and how that knowledge applies (or will apply) to your work. Some of these skills could include:
- Time Management
- Creative Thinking
- Proposal Writing
- Public Speaking
- Presentation Building
- Independent Learning
- Academic Research
Be sure to comb the job description for keywords so that you can match your post-secondary experiences with the skills for which they are seeking! When discussing your education, it's important to connect what you learned and how you plan to apply those things on the job as an Amazon Area Manager. Discuss some of your key takeaways from your post-secondary education while showing enthusiasm for continued growth and learning.
"My bachelor's degree is in Economics and International Studies, which taught me not only the theoretics behind business operations but also interpersonal relations across cultures and nations. I also learned a lot about delivering presentations, public speaking, and working in a collaborative environment. All of these skills have been an asset to my career to date, and I know will greatly benefit me as an Amazon Area Manager since I will lead team meetings with confidence while quickly grasping the company's unique fulfillment business model."
21. As an Area Manager, you will coach and develop a team of associates in a distribution warehouse environment. Do you have experience working and/or leading in a distribution warehouse environment?
How to Answer
Area Managers are typically entry-level managers who have many responsibilities, focusing on people, efficiencies, and safety in a distribution warehouse environment. The interviewer wants to know that you will come to the role equipped to succeed in a distribution warehouse environment. Be sure that you can clearly differentiate between a warehouse and a distribution center/distribution warehouse. The two are quite different since distribution warehouse environments can be more complex as they deal directly with the consumer and often have a higher volume of product flow.
Discuss your overall experience working in a distribution warehouse environment. If you have related work experience, take some time to walk the interviewer through your resume, showcasing the related tasks and responsibilities you have performed well. If you do not have related work experience, talk about the transferable experiences you believe have prepared you to succeed as an Area Manager.
"At the beginning of my logistics career, I was a warehouse worker for a pharmaceutical distribution center. The work was perfect for me as I was a student, and the hours were primarily evenings and weekends. Over those 4 years, I learned about accurate unit picking and how to perform proper order audits for quality assurance. After completing college, I was promoted to floor lead. I have been in this position for two years, working hard to ensure safety and compliance among a team of 50 warehouse workers. I coach on occupational health and safety and also work with team members to gain their forklift certifications. If I am hired to be an Area Manager for Amazon, I will contribute six years of experience and apply the same leadership approaches, safety principles, and stringent product loss methods that I learned working in a pharmaceutical distribution environment."
22. Amazon provides extensive training and development for our entry-level managers. How can we help you to become an exceptional people leader?
How to Answer
Amazon is a highly rated employer. In 2021, the company was ranked #2 on Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies list for the fifth consecutive year. The company strives to nurture and develop enthusiastic people into successful leaders, so the interviewer wants to know how Amazon can support you to grow into an exceptional people leader.
First, consider the resources you believe an Area Manager needs to succeed. Then, think about what you specifically need to excel in this role. Remember that a great Area Manager is focused on the logistics of efficient product movement, maintaining safety in a warehouse environment, and more while also focusing on effective leadership and mentorship.
Some resources that a manager may need to succeed include:
- Access to a mentorship program. Managers need to grow and learn from their leaders, as well!
- Autonomy on the job and trust that they will make the right decisions.
- Resources to provide their team members to encourage knowledge building.
- An innovative leadership team steering the ship.
When you express your needs, be as specific as possible. At the end of your response, if the vibe of the interview allows, think about asking a direct question regarding the tools and resources that will be made available to you.
"Thank you for asking this question. I appreciate that Amazon has expressed a desire to help me succeed as an Area Manager and in my future promotions with the company. As an ambitious person and enthusiastic leader, the tools that I value the most include active and positive support from my leadership team and training-based opportunities for my team members. When I am equipped with the right tools to boost my team's knowledge base, I can generate the strongest results. These resources might come in the form of continued education opportunities or internal training supports. My ultimate goal is to succeed on the job while empowering my team members. Could you share with me the tools and resources Amazon has available to help Area Managers and their teams to succeed?"
23. As an Amazon Area Manager, you will be responsible for leading and guiding others. How do you plan to invest in the growth and development of your new team?
How to Answer
Amazon knows that when leaders take a professional interest in employee growth, everyone wins! Amazon describes the role of an Area Manager to include the opportunity to 'truly invest in others and develop a collaborative leadership style.' As an Area Manager, you can invest in the growth and development of your team members in many ways. Some ways you can facilitate development opportunities to your team members include:
- Promoting opportunities for online learning and training.
- Offering a mentorship program.
- Facilitating participation in professional organizations.
- Providing credits or tuition toward continuing education.
- Sending employees to industry events and conferences.
- Providing up-to-date technology, resources, and tools.
Of course, you want to make sure that your leadership team at Amazon would support these efforts; however, for your interview, be sure to highlight the fact that you are enthusiastic about the idea of coaching and developing your team members.
If you have some management experience, consider discussing the latest professional development opportunity you provided your existing team. Discuss why you chose this particular avenue, and include details of how this choice positively impacted your team.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to lead and guide others to achieve success. In fulfillment alone, Amazon has numerous departments and opportunities in loss prevention, global fulfillment, human resources, procurement, sustainability, and more. I would love the chance to explore professional investment opportunities such as online learning and training opportunities that will empower my team members to desire growth within Amazon. In my current position, I am given a training and development budget every year. This year, I facilitated an all-access MasterClass Business membership for my 15 team members. The business-focused offering from MasterClass is an incredible way to help my team members learn new business skills. They can learn at their own pace, and I also created a schedule to learn together and discuss topics and ideas on our lunch breaks. This month we focused on developing skills in leadership and effective communication. The results have been incredible. My team members show more confidence, especially when communicating with each other and presenting innovative ideas."
24. A primary focus of this role is motivating, mentoring, and managing your team. Do you consider yourself a 'servant leader?'
How to Answer
Servant leadership is a philosophy of serving those you lead instead of focusing mainly on the company's profitability. Amazon mentions the importance of being a servant leader in their job postings to attract management candidates who put their people first. Show the interviewer that, as a servant leader, you focus on your team members' well-being, success, and growth by motivating and mentoring them. If you want to take your candidacy to the next level, consider enrolling in a certification program such as the ones offered by the Servant Leadership Academy.
"I wholeheartedly consider myself to be a servant leader. This year, to strengthen my leadership abilities, I enrolled in a self-directed Servant Leadership Certification course. I learned invaluable skills, including what the servant-leader philosophy, core concepts, and principles truly mean. Throughout the course, I performed helpful self-discovery and self-awareness exercises that helped me carve out my own authentic leadership style. The program changed my mindset and truly transformed how I communicate and build interpersonal relationships. I received so much value from this certification that I plan to take the next level and learn about agile people leadership, another skill that I believe will greatly benefit me, my team, and Amazon."
25. If an Amazon Associate was not maintaining compliance or consistency, what corrective action would you deem appropriate?
How to Answer
When approaching questions around corrective action, it's important to show that you understand the difference between being assertive when you catch an error and acting aggressively towards the employee who made the error. The interviewer wants to see evidence that you would not emotionally railroad a team member who made a mistake. They also want to know that you would be appropriately assertive. Assertiveness in this situation would mean effectively communicating the error while maintaining respect for the team member and using the situation as a teachable moment.
Show the interviewer that you will balance empathy and professional assertiveness to this Area Manager position. If you have some leadership experience, provide an example of when you have had to give corrective action.
"Maintaining compliance is a safety issue, especially when we are talking about an Associate in a distribution warehouse and fulfillment environment. I would take the issue seriously because a situation like this could impact the employee's safety, that of their team members and be a costly mistake for Amazon. I recently learned a 7-step process for corrective action that I feel is appropriate in all situations. First, I seek out the personnel responsible for the situation. Second, I work to understand the person's actions. Third, I investigate the issue. Fourth, I document the situation. Fifth, I create a corrective action plan according to my findings and company policy. The sixth step is to re-train the employees involved. The seventh and final step is to evaluate the results of the corrective action and training. If these steps fail, more serious action may be required, such as termination. However, at that point, the Human Resources department would lead those discussions and actions."
26. What tools do you believe your team of Associates will need to succeed in any task during a shift?
How to Answer
The way you approach this question will show the interviewer how well you understand the expectations of the role, including the function of the Associates you will be guiding every day.
To perform your due diligence, consider looking up the job requirements for the people you will be leading. For instance, Amazon has many Associate positions listed on their website. You can comb through those responsibilities and consider the tools your Associates would need to succeed in their tasks. On YouTube, you will find videos from Amazon covering a 'day in the life' of an Area Manager. These videos are another helpful resource for you!
In one video, an Amazon Area Manager describes their relationship with each Associate like a doctor/nurse relationship - except that the Associate is the doctor and the Area Manager is the nurse. The Area Manager is responsible for ensuring each associate has the tools and support they need to succeed in their role. The ultimate goal is for you as an Area Manager to remove barriers to your Associate's work.
"I believe the most important tools my Associates will need to succeed in any task during their shift is engagement and encouragement from their leaders, clear direction, timely updates, proper training for each task as well as safety training. As an Area Manager, I will work tirelessly to engage with each Associate on their shift. I will work directly with them to ensure their performance is up, they have what they need to remain productive, and that they are equipped with the knowledge needed to produce high-quality and safe work."
27. Your location will be determined by work volumes and business needs. Are you willing to relocate, if required?
How to Answer
Depending on the location of the Area Manager position you are interviewing for, relocation may be a consideration. Amazon mentions in some of their Area Manager job postings, 'Must be willing to relocate at the time of hire (position location is most heavily weighted on business need but will also take into account individual location preference).'
If this question is asked of you, keep your response simple and straightforward. Whether you are flexible or not, in regards to your location, it's essential to be honest when you reply. If you are unsure of your ability to relocate, it's okay to let the interviewer know that you are open to change in the future.
"Yes, I read in the job posting that this role might require relocation. As far as relocation goes, nothing is off the table for me. Amazon has locations worldwide, and I am open to working in various locations to benefit the company and grow professionally. This Area Manager role represents many potential opportunities for me, and I am ready to be placed where the leadership team feels my skill set will have the greatest impact."
28. We provide a base salary plus additional potential perks such as stocks and a range of medical and financial benefits. What does your ideal compensation package include?
How to Answer
Talking about compensation can feel scary and a bit like a game of poker. In most cases, neither party wants to show their hand first, after all! Developing a solid compensation ask will make salary questions much more comfortable to approach. You should always know what you are asking for, why you are asking for it, and how you will ask for it when the time comes to negotiate your pay structure.
Your overall compensation package includes far more than your salary or your hourly wage. It can also include factors such as:
- Base pay; whether it be salary or hourly wages
- Overtime pay
- Bonus' whether they be monthly, quarterly, or annually
- Recognition based bonus' or awards from contests
- Stock options
- Vacation pay
- Benefits packages
- Health benefits
- Non-cash benefits
One of the best ways to approach compensation conversations is to have a clear idea of the following points:
- What you want to make
- What you need to make
- What your minimum threshold is
- What the market is telling you about your job title and industry in your region
Amazon states in a current Colorado Area Manager job postings that the position starts at $52,00 per year. They also state the potential for a sign-on bonus or restricted stock units. Also included is a range of medical, financial, and other benefits not outlined in more detail on the company careers site. If you have some idea of the compensation range but are not entirely sure of the full offering, consider turning the question into an opportunity for a conversation.
"I am very interested in learning more about the details of this Area Manager role and the compensation offering provided. I understand that similar positions in the area pay a base salary between $53,000 and $57,000 per year. With my skills, education, experience, and achievements, I would expect an offer in that range. I am also interested in discussing the overall compensation offering, such as benefits and vacation time. Could you share more details with me, please?"
29. We seek an Area Manager who is highly analytical and able to thrive in an ambiguous environment. Talk about a time when you leveraged data to provide a workable solution to a business problem.
How to Answer
Ambiguity arises when a task or goal is unclear. There is positive ambiguity that challenges us to grow, and there is toxic ambiguity that creates environments of disarray for employees. For Amazon, referring to an ambiguous work environment is not referring to toxic ambiguity. You will face scenarios of ambiguity in the form of new and unchartered challenges. For an Area Manager, no two days are the same, and there will be an expectation for you to think on your feet and respond with confidence based on your analytical and critical-thinking skills.
Some ways to deal with problem-solving related ambiguity include:
- Clearly defining the core of a challenge
- Identify the team members most skilled in the areas you need, and begin to delegate
- Have clear expectations and processes in place
- Accept the challenge as a positive opportunity for growth
- Remain calm and collected, allowing yourself to inspect the situation from all sides
- Prepare yourself to make decisions without having all of the facts
When an interviewer asks you to 'talk about a time when...' they are looking for a specific story-based example. You can accomplish this by using the STAR answer framework. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
"I understand that Amazon Area Managers may face ambiguity often since ambiguity often occurs from the introduction of new systems and changes. When Amazon announces a huge launch or new development, ambiguity may occur. Luckily, I am a highly analytical thinker who enjoys the challenges related to this type of situation. In my current position, I am a Team Lead for the fulfillment team. Our company introduced a new warehouse inventory management software a couple of months ago, and it contained features that our former software did not. The company did not include in the budget additional system training as part of the rollout, which I viewed as a potential roadblock to productivity. As one of the more tech-savvy team members, I felt I should jump in to explore these features and guide some team members who were not as comfortable with the new system. Once I had an idea of the most complex components of the new system, I created a mini-training that I presented to my manager. She really appreciated the initiative that I took and the fact that I addressed potential issues with our limited training. She asked me to present my work to the team members and oversee any questions. This was the first time I took on a significant leadership component outside of my usual Team Lead duties. After executing the training, I monitored the activity and use of the system by all team members and tracked any other areas that were presenting challenges. Overall, it took about 30 days to have all team members up to speed on the new system, and today I believe everyone is using the new software to the best of their ability."
30. What questions do you have for me about the team of Associates you would be leading?
How to Answer
Enter your interview ready to ask questions that are compelling and unique. If you ask the same questions that other candidates ask, you will not stand out as a critical thinker and can quickly put yourself in the same box as your competition. Take your time to craft engaging questions that are custom to Amazon. Ask meaningful questions regarding how the existing team of Associates prefers to be led and what challenges their most recent Area Manager faced. Ask yourself what issues Amazon wants you to solve as their new Area Manager, and direct your questions from those starting points.
"Thank you for asking. While preparing for this interview and performing extensive research on the organization, I thought of a few questions that I look forward to discussing. First, could you share the biggest challenge the most recent Area Manager faced while leading this team of Associates? Can you describe the existing team's preferred leadership style? Last, what professional development opportunities are made available for Amazon's hard-working Associates?"