Amazon Recruiter Interview Questions & Answers
Table of Contents
- 1. Behavioral Questions
- 2. Communication Questions
- 3. Compatibility Questions
- 4. Competency Questions
- 5. Creative Thinking Questions
- 6. Diligence Questions
- 7. Discovery Questions
- 8. Diversity & Inclusion Questions
- 9. Education Questions
- 10. Experience Questions
- 11. Leadership Questions
- 12. Performance Based Questions
- 13. Situational Questions
- 14. Teamwork Questions
1. Amazon is looking for a Recruiter with experience mapping target companies, leveraging open source communities, and using creative sourcing techniques. Tell us about a time when you utilized your industry network to source exceptional talent.
The interviewer wants to know more about your creative sourcing techniques. The goal of your response is to take the interviewer through your methods for sourcing and engaging top-tier talent.
Amazon looks for Recruiters with experience building and utilizing a variety of proactive sourcing plans and tools. To succeed as an Amazon Recruiter, you must be creative and competitive in your sourcing techniques. Two specific methods for uncovering candidates in a competitive industry include talent mapping and leveraging open source communities.
- Talent Mapping: This term describes the practice of building an organizational chart to determine where viable candidates within your competing companies might be hiding. Talent mapping ensures that you don't miss a potentially excellent candidate because you spend time looking through the cracks. For instance, talent mapping might uncover that you should entertain one of your candidates' leaders who is more suited for your open position.
- Open Source Communities: A group of people (typically developers) who collaborate on building a product of shared interest. You can find open source communities online in places such as GitHub.
- Other Creative Sourcing Techniques: Moving your recruitment efforts beyond Boolean search and your company's ATS, consider other methods such as reaching out to potential candidates on platforms such as Medium or checking in with your competitors' newest hires and temperature test them for job satisfaction.
How to Answer
Talk to the interviewer about your unique candidate sourcing skills in an industry that requires highly competitive talent attraction strategies. Show that you understand the efforts you will need to exude to be an impactful recruitment partner to Amazon.
Include a brief story describing when a specific creative sourcing technique helped you find and hire a terrific candidate. You can use the STAR answer method for delivering your story-based response. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
"One of my strongest skills as a recruitment professional is my ability to develop and execute fully comprehensive sourcing plans. I understand that Amazon is highly competitive in its candidate sourcing and talent attraction strategies. I come prepared to be an active and impactful leader in these efforts. (Situation & Task) As a Recruiter for Company XYZ, I operate in the highly competitive tech recruitment space. I often need to source candidates who seem nearly impossible to find; however, it's a wonderful feeling when I uncover the right fit. (Action) Last week, I was sourcing for a Technical Program Manager with experience in AI and ML hardware. The individual needed to have leadership experience in technical program management in a matrix organization and bring knowledge of infrastructure engineering. Rather than begin looking at my company's ATS, I decided to start with competitors with the same need. I went on LinkedIn and filtered my search to individuals who had just started working for a competitor in a similar role. I found three individuals who matched our ideal candidate profile. Although I was aware that these individuals were passive candidates and may not be looking for a new position, I was equally aware that they might be dissatisfied in their new role. (Result) One of the three people that I sourced was, in fact, open to learning about new roles. We are currently interviewing them and will likely be putting out a job offer next week. This story is just one example of how I have positively impacted my current employer as a creative and diligent Recruiter. I look forward to doing the same for Amazon."
2. Amazon seeks a Recruiter who can 'Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit.' How do you react when you and a key business partner disagree on the quality of a candidate?
The interviewers want to know that you handle disappointment professionally rather than becoming visibly upset or demotivated. The goal of your response is to show the interviewers that you can maintain Amazon's core values even in the face of disappointment.
One of Amazon's Leadership Principles is 'Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit.' Amazon outlines this Leadership Principle by stating, "Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly."
Take your time to learn more about this principle and consider how you can apply this language in your interview response.
How to Answer
Each time you shortlist and present a candidate to stakeholders and decision-makers, there is a risk that they will say 'no' to your candidate. There will be times when you think you've hit the jackpot and found the best candidate possible for the role. You will excitedly present the candidate to your leadership team, and unfortunately, the hiring managers don't feel the magic.
Discuss in detail how you react when disappointments arise. Then, focus the bulk of your response on the action steps you take to pick yourself back up and move forward.
"It is ideal for all stakeholders to agree on a candidate before the company extends a job offer; however, that isn't always reality. In my current role as Recruiter for Company XYZ, if a leader disagrees with the quality of my shortlisted candidate, I am sure to remove any emotion from the equation. I respond to them with factual data from my talent marketplace analytics and other forms of benchmarking. This approach aligns with Amazon's Leadership Principle of 'Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit.' The approach I take is to respectfully challenge decisions, even if it's uncomfortable to do so. As an Amazon Recruiter, if I encounter a situation where we cannot agree on a candidate, I will respectfully push back and stand behind my recommendation. I will share all of my information and use data over opinion when making my case."
3. An Amazon Recruiter should be confident to provide feedback to others. Considering your candidate experience with us so far, what feedback could you share with our HR team?
The interviewer is looking for constructive feedback on Amazon's existing recruitment process. The goal of your response is to provide an insightful reply that shows you know what it takes to improve and scale recruiting operations. The other purpose of your answer is to show that you have the confidence to communicate feedback to others.
As you move along in the interview and hiring process, remember to note any areas where you can provide helpful feedback. Helpful feedback is specific, proactive, and easy to understand. Your feedback should focus on quantitative measures that can be improved vs. simply giving an opinion.
How to Answer
Amazon understands the importance of employing individuals who are invested in providing recommendations for continued improvements. This feedback helps the company be competitive, agile, and remain ahead of trends. Provide an insightful response showing the interviewer that you know what it takes to ensure world-class recruiting operations and best practices.
It can feel challenging and even intimidating to provide feedback to a hiring company during the interview process. You might think that providing too much constructive feedback will make you appear overly critical, and saying too little might make it seem like you are uncomfortable with direct communication. More than offering criticism, the point of your response is to show the interviewer that you are engaged in their process and that you have been observant along the way.
"I wholeheartedly appreciate that Amazon emphasizes providing open feedback. My candidate experience has been very positive. I can feel the strong collaboration between the HR team and the hiring managers I've met. I also appreciate the feedback they provided to me as I moved through the process. In alignment with the culture and values of Amazon, I would appreciate deeper feedback at the end of each interview stage. This feedback is incredibly valuable to me as I grow in my career and improve my interview performance. As an Amazon Recruiter, I will commit to providing helpful and timely feedback to the candidates I interact with as well."
4. As part of our HR team, you will play an essential role in bringing the world's most innovative people to Amazon. What does innovation in recruitment mean to you?
The interviewer wants to know how you view innovation in your work as a Recruiter. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that your idea of innovation in recruitment is a match for their HR team and the overall workplace culture at Amazon.
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 understand what innovation means to Amazon.
Amazon's Leadership Principles include 'Invent and Simplify,' which says that true leaders should expect and require innovation and invention from their teams. This principle states, "Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by 'not invented here.' As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time."
Amazon believes that being innovative means being aware of new ideas and never allowing limitations through the 'we don't do that here' mentality. Be prepared to talk to the interviewer about how you have embodied this way of thinking in the past.
How to Answer
As an Amazon Recruiter, your job will be fast-paced and ever-changing. Your approach to recruiting top talent will change with economic ebbs and flows, workforce legislation, global happenings, and other trends related to human resources.
Show the interviewer that you remain up to date on trends and changes in the recruitment world. You could even name one innovation that has been piquing your interest recently.
If you would like the interview to have a more conversational tone, feel free to ask the interviewer, in return, what they believe to be one exciting innovation in recruitment as of late.
"I believe that innovation in recruitment means looking beyond the initial hire and diving deeper into where each person's potential could take them in the future. Amazon believes that innovation means being externally aware, looking for new ideas from everywhere, and never giving in to limiting beliefs. Innovation in recruitment includes initiatives such as upskilling our existing human resources and helping people move around in the company rather than pinning them to one department or function for years. I understand that Amazon has invested heavily in upskilling initiatives for its employees. This factor is highly innovative and exciting. I look forward to learning more and contributing to Amazon's innovative talent attraction and employee development strategies."
5. Amazon has a peculiar workplace culture guided by our Leadership Principles. How will you embrace our complex culture as it relates to recruitment?
The interviewer wants evidence that you will be a culture add to Amazon. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you have researched Amazon's unique culture and community, you understand its importance, and you have a clear understanding of what your contribution will be as a part of Amazon's HR team.
Amazon's Leadership Principles tell us a lot about the culture and workplace expectations within the company. Amazon refers to itself as 'peculiar.' The company states, "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."
Briefly discuss why your personality will align with Amazon's leadership principles and its peculiar workplace culture.
You can access more information about Amazon's culture on the company careers website. The more you read, the more you will see that Amazon has worked hard to become one of the world's most respected employers.
How to Answer
Show that you will be a match for the principles and culture that Amazon has carefully curated. When forming your response, include specific examples of how Amazon enables its team members to embrace this peculiarity. When you respond, it should be evident to the interviewer that you did your research on Amazon's stand-out culture.
"I genuinely appreciate that Amazon uses its Leadership Principles every day when discussing projects, talking about ideas, and building approaches to problem-solving. As a confident and strategic-minded Recruiter, I thrive in work environments where the term leadership is used to empower everyone equally. I did my research before today's interview and appreciate how Amazon actively advocates to 'Hire and Develop the Best.' I learned that Amazon believes that leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. As a Recruiter with Amazon, I will work hard to recognize exceptional talent, advocate for their hire, and then help them move through the organization. It will be exciting to introduce top talent to this incredible workplace culture and show future employees how Amazon puts its beliefs and culture statements into action."
6. As an Amazon Recruiter, you will juggle multiple open roles while helping to ensure we hire the best and the brightest. When application volumes are high, what do you look for to determine if someone should be shortlisted?
The interviewer wants assurance that you can successfully manage the high volume of applications that come into Amazon every day without losing momentum on open requisitions. The goal of your response is to provide evidence that you have successfully handled high volumes of recruitment work in the past and that you understand how to quickly and correctly screen an application to identify top talent.
There are various ways that you, as a recruitment professional, can quickly assess and shortlist a large volume of applicants. Typically, it's best practice to 'screen in' rather than 'screen out.' However, with significant applicant volumes, it's sometimes more resourceful to start by filtering candidates out based on non-negotiable skills and criteria.
For example, if the role requires a degree in Computer Science, it would be a productive approach to filter out applicants who do not meet the basic education requirements.
Also, be sure to utilize your applicant management system or recruitment software to its fullest. Many systems will do the initial basic filtering and screening for you. You can also optimize your job descriptions to be more specific, encouraging more targeted candidates to come through.
How to Answer
Amazon receives millions of job applications every year. Although Amazon does not expect its recruiters to carefully comb through every single resume, the applications that do justify attention will stand out for a reason.
Share with the interviewer how you approach reviewing an application and what you look for to determine if an applicant should be shortlisted and offered a pre-screen interview.
Be as specific as possible when you answer. For instance, share your thought process and outline how you assess and eliminate or move forward with high volumes of applicants. If you use any software or HR tools in your approach, be sure to mention these.
"In my current role as a Recruiter for Company XYZ, we receive around 4,000 applications from our careers site daily. We must capture the best talent quickly, ensuring our open requisitions are closed as quickly as possible with the best available talent. When assessing high volumes of applications, I first see if the applicant's resume is messy and scattered. That's a strong indicator if the person puts care into their work. Then, aside from the care and attention to their resume, I look at three primary factors. One is the inclusion of at least two stand-out career accomplishments. Two, if the applicant included measurable or tangible career results. Three, I look for evidence of customization for the role to which they've applied. When an applicant puts in the effort to customize their resume, and they capture my attention with results, I am much more interested in reaching out to them. After that, I ensure they have the best relevant experience, the appropriate education if required, and strong tenure in previous positions. If the applicant meets those benchmarks, I reach out to them. Are these similar to the determining factors that Amazon's HR team uses to assess its applicants?"
7. Amazon seeks a Recruiter with the ability to thoughtfully push back when needed - even if it means pushing back on your own approaches. What is one aspect you could improve in your recruitment approach?
The interviewer wants to know more about your areas for improvement in your recruiting practices. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you are receptive to feedback, growth, and continued improvement.
This question is another way for the interviewer to ask about your greatest weakness. Discuss an area of responsibility you could grow into; however, avoid mentioning an area for improvement that includes primary accountability as an Amazon Recruiter.
How to Answer
Discuss an area where you could improve your recruitment performance. Then provide details of a potential solution. Aside from only hearing about your potential areas for improvement, the interviewer will want to know information on the action steps you are already taking to improve in this particular area.
"Sometimes I speak too quickly on the phone. It's out of enthusiasm, but sometimes it's challenging for candidates to keep up with me and fully understand the job details. I am working on slowing down my speed in candidate conversations. I have also started sending follow-up emails to each candidate with the specifics of the position we discussed. This way, the candidate has all of the important position details. Then, they can review them at their own pace before committing to an interview. If hired by Amazon, I will be diligent in improving this area of my recruitment approach while also being mindful of tailoring my work to fit with the existing HR team."
8. Amazon seeks a Recruiter with a reputation for being exceptional at candidate generation. Discuss one of your favorite creative recruitment approaches.
The interviewer wants to know more about your approach to discovering and recruiting top talent. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you value creative and meaningful approaches to talent acquisition.
Being creative, driven, and relationship-focused are vital skills when working as a Recruiter for Amazon. The company operates in a highly competitive industry where missing out on top talent means that the company's competitors are gaining a human resource advantage. Your passion for creativity in recruitment must shine through in your response.
How to Answer
Provide evidence that you immerse yourself in recruitment and talent-acquisition-related news, trends, and best practices. As a professional engaged in the recruitment space, you likely follow publications, journals, and thought leaders who discuss innovative and collaborative recruitment methods. Talk to the interviewer about one unique recruitment technique you enjoy utilizing. Discuss why you believe this approach will fit with Amazon's HR team.
"I appreciate that Amazon's HR team works on the standard that the company needs to hire only exceptionally talented, bright, and driven people. This HR team is committed to bringing the world's top talent to Amazon and then providing this talent the opportunity to move them through the organization. If I could bring one creative recruitment approach to Amazon, it would be further experimentation with candidate attraction strategies on TikTok. I am very active on the platform and have explored ways to use this social media tool for talent attraction and even candidate engagement. One company that does this very well is Shopify. I read that Shopify, Chipotle, and other companies are testing a pilot program called TikTok Resumes. Applicants can submit video resumes to potential employers right from the social platform. This type of social recruiting aligns with Amazon's focus on taking bold direction and embodies the Leadership Principle of 'Think Big.' I appreciate that Amazon encourages its team members to think differently and look around corners. This approach is just one aspect that makes Amazon an exciting place to work."
9. Amazon Recruiters collaborate with researchers to design strategies to recruit top talent. Name one creative idea that could enhance Amazon's current recruitment strategy.
The interviewer wants to know what you would do if it were in your power to add to Amazon's recruitment plan. The goal of your response is to show enthusiasm for introducing new and unique creative recruitment strategies that will help Amazon reach its talent acquisition goals.
Although this question asks about creativity, there are more layers to consider. This question addresses a few factors, including:
1) Your creative thinking abilities.
2) Your knowledge as a recruitment professional in today's hiring landscape.
3) Your level of knowledge of Amazon's existing recruitment approaches.
How to Answer
As an Amazon Recruiter, you will help the HR team create a hiring plan, do competitive research, network with talent, and source top-tier candidates. Respond in a way that shows the interviewer you already bring a firm understanding of Amazon's recruitment efforts. Then discuss how you would enhance these efforts if hired. When responding, include language used on Amazon's job site and its online reports.
"If I were to help enhance Amazon's talent attraction strategy, I would suggest additions to the employee benefits package to draw in a more diverse group of applicants. These offerings would include a 100% flexible schedule and additional paid leave options for unique challenges faced by people of various backgrounds. I'd also like to introduce the recognition of a wider range of religious and cultural holidays and celebrations that are absent from the traditional calendar. I would also suggest creating mentorship plans. This way, Amazon team members could mentor someone with characteristics different from their own, allowing them to expand their understanding of others. Amazon is an exceptional employer, and I have seen its diversity recruitment strategy grow exponentially. I look forward to adding to the unique contributions that Amazon already offers its team members."
10. Amazon Recruiters must have strong customer orientation with the ability to communicate with candidates at all levels. How will you ensure that the candidates you reach have an exceptional experience?
Amazon is seeking a Recruiter who will help uphold the company's employer reputation throughout the entire candidate experience. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer you understand the importance of fostering successful and positive relationships with the company's valued applicants and candidates.
Talent acquisition is challenging, with many companies vying for top talent. To win the best talent, your candidates must be thrilled with your approach, trust you, and feel comfortable making a career move.
Some of the most essential points a candidate wants to know before changing companies include:
- Company reputation
- Company stability
- Salary, benefits, and flexibility
- Growth opportunities
- Management style
- Values and culture
How to Answer
Respectful candidate relationships are essential to a company's reputation. Amazon's decision-makers need to see evidence that you can create and maintain well-established candidate relationships on the company's behalf.
Provide the interviewer with specific details about your approach to earning and keeping candidate trust. Consider the information you have learned about Amazon's leadership principles. Then, incorporate your knowledge of their best hiring practices when discussing how you will ensure that candidates have an exceptional interview and hiring experience.
"As a recruitment professional, I hold personalized conversations that create, build, and maintain trust. One of my favorite interview questions is, 'What can I do today to support your passion?' I ask this question because it shows the candidate that I am ready to support their career dreams rather than only push a job opening that looks like it might be a fit. Through active listening, I do my best to deliver on each candidate's unique needs and expectations for the next steps in their career. The candidates I work with recognize my integrity and appreciate that I never waste a minute of their time. I check in with them regularly throughout the hiring process, so they never feel forgotten. During this time, I continue to earn their trust with informative check-ins. Through the interview and vetting process, I perform regular temperature checks to ensure they are comfortable and happy with the hiring process. The more value I add, the more each candidate will trust me, thus, trusting Amazon as a company. When I applied for this role, I read on Amazon's careers site, 'We are a company of pioneers.' This statement stuck with me. As an Amazon Recruiter, I will act as a pioneer by treating every candidate with the utmost respect. I will ensure that each candidate I speak with feels that the hiring process is fair and not overwhelming."
11. Before hiring a new team member, how important is it that you check their references? "‹"‹
The interviewer wants to know how diligent you are when shortlisting and recommending individuals for hire. The goal of your response is to assure the decision-makers that you will be diligent and thorough when selecting top talent to work at Amazon.
Although the practice of reference checking is not as widespread as it once was, there is a lot of value that you can gain from reaching out to a candidate's references. There are tools available to help you achieve genuine and honest feedback from a person's reference, including anonymous platforms that allow references to reply anonymously. Consider asking your interviewer about Amazon's stance on reference checking.
How to Answer
The decision-makers at Amazon are interested in your diligence around the interview process, including reference checking. Proper reference checking shows your desire to be thorough in the hiring process.
As a recruitment professional, it's essential to collect valid references, document these conversations, and share your notes with hiring managers. When you reply, express that you value the practice of reference-checking. Be prepared to walk the interviewer through your reference checking process, highlighting how diligent you are with this step of the hiring process.
"When interviewing candidates, I believe a critical step is checking their employment references. This step gives the hiring teams a deeper view of the candidate from an outside professional source. If I have uncertainty about any aspect of a candidate's qualifications, contacting their references provides beneficial insight. This information becomes highly useful when making a hiring decision, especially when two candidates seem equally equipped. A solid reference can be the difference between rejection and a job offer. For these reasons, I am sure to check employment references for every candidate after their second interview. This action ensures that I have a well-rounded view of their strengths and reputation before moving them into the final interview stage with our hiring manager."
12. As an Amazon Recruiter, you will carefully assess applicants to determine the appropriate next steps. When first screening an applicant, what do you believe is the most critical question to ask?
The interviewer wants to know more about your applicant screening process to gauge if your approach is a good match for their HR team. The goal of your response is to highlight one of your favorite screening questions and describe why you feel it's an impactful question to ask when assessing talent.
If you do not vet your candidate correctly, they could be a 'bad hire,' which costs your employer time, money, and other vital resources.
Some impactful candidate screening questions include:
- What do you know about our company?
- What excites you the most about this opportunity?
- Can you describe your ideal role to me?
- Why are you looking for a new job?
When your candidate answers these questions, you will gain a strong sense of the research and effort they put into preparing for the interview. You will also learn a lot about the alignment between their values and the company's values.
How to Answer
When screening a candidate, you could ask many essential interview questions. The most crucial first step is to ensure that the opportunity is a good match for your candidate. Share your favorite interview question and talk about why you like to use that particular question. Show the interviewer that you dig deep in your candidate interviews by carefully assessing whether or not they are a good fit for the position.
"One question that I always ask, no matter the position I am vetting the candidate for, is 'Describe your ideal opportunity in detail.' This question puts the responsibility on them to tell me, very specifically, what they seek in a job. I am looking for details on their preferred workplace environment, team size, location, type of industry, and more. If their response feels like a solid match with the open opportunity, only then will I push their resume and profile further. Another no-fail question that I ask most candidates is, 'Why would you accept this job over any others you are entertaining?' I want to see their genuine desire for the role. If they cannot show enthusiasm for the position or company, I will remove them from the competition."
13. Amazon seeks a Recruiter willing and able to adapt to an ever-evolving set of team and business needs. How do you keep your recruitment-related knowledge and skills current, and how will these efforts benefit Amazon if we hire you?
The interviewer wants to know that you actively remain in the know on contemporary talent acquisition topics. The goal of your response is to reveal the knowledge and resources you leverage while also describing how your efforts will benefit Amazon when they hire you as their next Recruiter.
Recruiters should continually educate themselves on talent-related topics. Some simple ways to keep your knowledge of talent acquisition, recruitment, and human resources up to date include:
- Attending workshops and conferences
- Finding a mentor or connecting with other esteemed recruiters
- Accessing whitepapers, reports, and journals on the state of talent
- Listening to podcasts and audiobooks or reading recently published articles and books
How to Answer
Economic recessions and global pandemics have put most industries into a tailspin of change. As a skilled Recruiter, you should be thinking ahead to what is in store for hiring companies in the years to come.
Change is continual, and your response should clearly outline the action steps you take to keep your knowledge current. Assure the interviewer that you are ready to support Amazon amid current and future changes.
"I actively keep tabs on the happenings in modern recruitment. I immerse myself in articles on best practices and subscribe to numerous podcasts focusing on topics related to the future of work. In addition to my HR degree, I recently completed coursework in compensation and benefits for today's modern hiring landscape. One of the most significant recruitment challenges companies face today is revamping traditional and antiquated employee compensation packages that no longer appeal to remote workers. Companies must comb through their compensation offerings and determine if they are attractive to the modern candidate. If hired as a Recruiter at Amazon, I will lend my knowledge of compensation frameworks to help build creative new practices for attracting modern talent. I can analyze current pay structures while also utilizing my recruitment network to identify external compensation competitiveness. My training and experience in developing unique incentive plans, and my strong knowledge of building competitive compensation strategies, will undoubtedly complement Amazon's talented HR team."
14. As an Amazon Recruiter, you will carefully ensure candidates understand our Leadership Principles and how they apply to the opportunity they're exploring. What do you know about our Leadership Principles?
The interviewer wants evidence that you have carefully researched the unique approach Amazon takes around its company culture, values, and principles. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you have diligently studied and absorbed Amazon's Leadership Principles.
Amazon's Leadership Principles are the pillars on which Amazon stands. They visit these principles when they approach problems and tackle new ideas. The more familiar you are with these principles, the more your interest in the opportunity will shine.
Summarized, these principles 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
15. Strive to be Earth's Best Employer - Leaders work every day to create a safer, more productive, higher-performing, more diverse, and more just work environment.
16. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility - Leaders create more than they consume and always leave things better than how they found them.
When doing your online research, you will find that each of these points includes detail explaining why Amazon stands behind these Leadership Principles. So, be sure to study these principles before your interview.
How to Answer
You want to answer more sincerely than simply memorizing and rehearsing the primary points of Amazon's Leadership Principles.
Take 1-3 principles that resonate with you the most. Then, be prepared to discuss how you emulate these principles in your professional life. Last, provide air-tight reasoning for how these shared values will ensure your success on the Amazon HR team.
"I carefully researched Amazon's culture and values before applying to this role. Amazon highlights its pillars of beliefs, including 'Hire and Develop the Best' and 'Insist on the Highest Standards.' I appreciate these sentiments and strive to deliver exceptional work every day while interacting with my team members, leaders, and the candidates I engage. As a talent acquisition professional, I will make timely decisions on candidates based on what is best for Amazon. This standard of excellence will guide me to help my team make hiring decisions that encourage the onboarding of the best talent in the world. I look forward to bringing my exceptional work ethic to Amazon while immersing myself wholly in the company's Leadership Principles."
15. Amazon seeks a Recruiter who is excited about our technology, products, and services. What is your favorite Amazon offering?
The interviewer wants to know that you find excitement in Amazon's products, services, and other offerings. The goal of your response is to provide evidence that you are enthusiastic about Amazon's purpose and how the company is transforming the world.
Correctly answering a question like this requires a fair amount of research on the company. Be prepared to show the interviewer that you have researched Amazon's offerings and appreciate the company's efforts.
Some of Amazon's products and services that you are likely familiar with include:
- Memberships such as Amazon Prime
- Digital content and streaming services
- Delivery services for retail goods like books, clothing, electronics, and houseware
Amazon also has other products and services that you may not be familiar with, including:
- Charity initiative called AmazonSmile
- On-demand home services like plumbing and electrical from Amazon Home Services
- Private label brands like AmazonBasics, Amazon Essentials, and Goodthreads
How to Answer
Talk about your favorite Amazon service or product and explain why you're a fan. Be as specific as possible in your response.
If you are not an avid user or buyer of Amazon's services and products, come prepared with a shortlist of its most exciting projects. Be sure to respond in a way that complements Amazon's efforts while letting your research shine.
"There are so many products and services by Amazon that excite me! If I had to choose one service that I cannot live without, it would be Amazon Prime. I use my membership for discounts and free same-day delivery on items every week. I also use the membership to stream some of my favorite shows, including Amazon original content like 'As We See It.' While preparing for this interview, I came across a few services that I did not know Amazon had. I found Amazon Home Services to be an especially unique project. I could see how on-demand home services with transparent ratings and a money-back guarantee will significantly innovate the home-services industry. Amazon has transformed the way we all work and live. It would be an honor to join the company as a Recruiter where I can help find new talent that will contribute to more innovation and transformative success."
Diversity & Inclusion
16. What training have you completed related to DE&I in recruitment, and how will you continue expanding your diversity recruitment knowledge for the benefit of Amazon?
The interviewer wants assurance that you understand how critical DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) is to Amazon's recruitment process. The goal of your response is to talk about your DE&I training and knowledge to date and express how you plan to continually expand your understanding.
Every year, Amazon releases its workforce data in the form of a report that anyone can access and review. In this report, Amazon states: "Representation matters. We track the representation of women and underrepresented communities because we know that diversity helps us build better teams that obsess over and better represent our global customer base."
Before your interview, take the time to review Amazon's most current workforce data release. Ensure that you understand the alignment between your existing DE&I knowledge and where you can expand your understanding to help Amazon reach its social impact goals.
How to Answer
As a working professional, you should be ready to take your education, life, and career experiences to help you succeed in a diverse workplace environment. Discuss your exposure to the critical topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Show that you have a solid understanding of the depth of diversity and inclusion in business environments, and assure the interviewer that you will succeed in their diverse work community.
"I aim to deepen my understanding of unconscious biases continually, how they influence my behavior, and impact others in the workplace. This year I have taken a keen interest in diversity and inclusion efforts, especially in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and other calls for equality. Over the past six months, I have immersed myself in multiple online courses, including a course called Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History. I took another course on what it means to identify as transgender and gender non-conforming since I had a lot to learn. I am pleased to say that I have learned a great deal about other groups and myself in the process. I am thankful to have worked for highly conscious companies on their diversity efforts and inclusion programs. Some of the efforts I have been part of include changing job ads to include only inclusive phrasing and information. I will continue to educate myself and broaden my knowledge as I believe this topic demands more attention from most working professionals. I am eager to use this knowledge and my inclusive mindset to support Amazon's diversity efforts."
Diversity & Inclusion
17. Our Recruiters play an essential role in advancing a more diverse, accessible, equitable, and inclusive Amazon through our hiring, promotion, retention, and inclusion practices. How will you help us continue to improve these efforts?
The interviewer wants you to discuss ideas on how a company can strengthen its focus on workplace diversity. The goal of your response is to showcase your understanding of the importance and impact of DE&I in recruitment.
A company can face significant diversity issues in their talent attraction and recruitment strategies, including bias in the application process, a lack of accommodation for physical disabilities, and a recruitment culture that encourages ageism. There are many strategies available today to improve diversity recruitment efforts, including:
- Writing new job ads and revising old ones to capture a broader audience.
- Looking for candidates from multiple places rather than sticking to one or two favorite job boards.
- Asking for candidate referrals from your existing team members with a broad network.
- Reaching out to post-secondary schools that attract a diverse student population and offer internships
If you have ever introduced new diversity recruitment strategies, provide details of these efforts in your response.
How to Answer
By embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion, Amazon knows that the company and its employees will reap many benefits. Companies like Amazon that focus on DE&I will gain new perspectives and have better methods for problem-solving and improved creativity among their teams. Employee engagement increases, resulting in less turnover. When it comes to profits, a company can see an increase in sales because its reputation improves, and its employees feel more attached to its mission.
The interviewers would like to know what you would improve if it were in your hands to influence Amazon's DE&I recruitment plan. This question is an excellent opportunity to explore your knowledge of diversity and inclusion in recruitment. If you are not familiar with diversity recruitment and Amazon's stance on DE&I in its talent attraction strategies, do this research before your interview.
"As the lead Recruiter of a mid-level organization, I have learned to be highly conscious of potential biases occurring in the workplace. This year I led our company in a new technology implementation meant to reduce bias in the talent screening, hiring, and evaluation processes. As a result, our hiring process has become fair to genders, races, religions, and other social categories. The process is not perfect; however, we have seen a significant increase in diversity hires and a boost in overall company morale. I believe that embracing, encouraging, and increasing workplace diversity starts with talent attraction. First, recruitment efforts must include diverse talent pools and advertising on various platforms, casting a wider net for attracting a range of talented individuals. When it comes to the interview process, a company can have a diverse panel of interviewers versus leaving the hiring decisions to one person or a group of similar individuals. Another way a company can embrace diversity is to offer sensitivity training to all hiring authorities and leaders. All hiring managers and decision-makers should be aware of the range of workplace issues to avoid making discriminatory hires. If hired as an Amazon Recruiter, 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 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."
18. Amazon Recruiters must have a broad understanding of human resources topics and recruitment best practices. Walk us through your related education and training, and describe how it will benefit you in this role.
The interviewer wants to know about your training in human resources and recruitment-related topics. This education might include hiring best practices, DE&I, compensation negotiations, or navigating complex HR-related situations. The goal of your response is to highlight how your education and training have prepared you to succeed as an Amazon Recruiter.
If you do not have a formal post-secondary education, that is okay! Self-learning and work or life experience are all forms of education, too. In this case, be prepared to discuss what you have learned outside of any formal education and talk about your plan to apply that knowledge to do an exceptional job as an Amazon Recruiter.
Some of the skills you may have gained outside of formal education might include:
- Time management
- Creative thinking
- Risk assessment
How to Answer
When outlining your education and training for the interviewer, mention the learning opportunities and experiences most relevant to the recruitment position you are interviewing for.
While attending post-secondary studies, you likely learned core skills transferable to many career paths. For instance, if you worked on group projects in school, you could share how your education improved your ability to collaborate in agile and fast-moving team environments.
"I earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Economics from University XYZ, intending to place myself on a Human Resource Management career path. I enjoyed the international business classes and decided to participate in the school's international business exchange program. This exchange allowed me to intern with a technology company in Singapore for 12 weeks, which was an incredible experience. During that time, I learned how to speak a little bit of Malay and Mandarin Chinese. While my primary education focused on business and strategic management, I also took coursework on critical thinking, ethics, and research methodologies. My education in critical thinking will allow me to perform well when creating innovative sourcing and engagement strategies to bring the best talent to each role. My depth of knowledge in business ethics will ensure that I am mindful of remaining engaged in Amazon's diversity and inclusion hiring strategies. Last, my training in various research methodologies will help me coordinate closely with my talented team members. Together, we will help innovate Amason's research strategy for talent pooling, market mapping, and competitor analysis."
19. Amazon is looking for a Recruiter with exceptional technical abilities. Please walk us through your experience using recruitment, talent engagement, and other human resources-related software.
The interviewer wants to know that you are ready to use the tech and tools provided to you at Amazon. The goal of your response is to give the interviewer details of the ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) and HCM (Human Capital Management) systems you have used in the past. You want to assure the interviewer that you have the technical chops required to jump into your role and make an impact quickly.
Amazon typically looks for Recruiters with experience in driving candidate sourcing initiatives using search engines, deep-web Boolean searching, social networks, and more. They look for Recruiters with ATS experience and comfort using MS Office tools, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
You may not have experience with the exact tech and tools used at Amazon, and that is okay! Recruitment tools and software vary, yet the goals remain the same - to help you discover and engage with candidates faster while streamlining processes and keeping documentation in one shared place.
Some of the most common tools used in recruitment include:
- Human Capital Management systems such as Workday or Oracle Cloud HCM
- Candidate relationship management software such as Gem or SmartRecruiters
- Headhunting tools like LinkedIn Recruiter or Fetcher
- Premium subscriptions to job boards such as Indeed or ZipRecruiter
- Applicant tracking systems such as Bullhorn or Lever
How to Answer
Speak in detail about the technology and tools you often leverage in your recruitment process. If your interviewer mentions the recruitment and human resources tools used at Amazon, discuss your familiarity with those, if applicable.
If you are unsure which resources and tools Amazon Recruiters use, you can certainly ask your interviewer for details. This information will allow you to get a head start on learning the systems. For instance, you could start by watching online tutorials or YouTube videos.
"I understand that Amazon uses Workday and Salesforce. I have spent the past four years using Salesforce and a similar HCM tool to Workday. This experience will be valuable as I onboard and learn how Amazon uses these systems in its recruiting process. I am comfortable with a range of tech and tools, and I have confidence in my ability to learn and adapt to new systems quickly. Could you share more information with me about Amazon's tech stack? I'd love to get a head start on learning more about the systems I would be using."
20. Amazon is seeking a Recruiter well versed in candidate generation, assessment, and closing approaches. Please walk us through your experience in full-cycle recruitment, including sourcing, screening, engaging, and closing candidates.
The interviewer wants you to discuss the various recruitment activities you know best. The goal of your response is to take the interviewer through your full-cycle recruitment experience, assuring them you are ready for this high-volume recruitment opportunity.
As an Amazon Recruiter, you may be managing full-cycle recruiting activities. These activities include pipeline searches, creating and executing innovative sourcing strategies, and leading engagement to bring in the best talent. Another significant aspect of working as a Recruiter at Amazon is coordinating numerous talent acquisition projects.
The hiring authority must be able to picture you succeeding and fitting in as their new Recruiter, working well with existing processes, and meeting Amazon's performance expectations.
How to Answer
When responding, highlight your experience managing the interview process, logging candidate documentation, and taking the critical action steps to successful talent attraction. Take the interviewer through your processes, and include details of any software, tips, tricks, and tools that you utilize to ensure you remain on track and organized as a recruitment professional.
"In my recruitment role with Company XYZ, I am responsible for the talent acquisition of approximately 60 new hires every year. So far this year, I have facilitated 22 job offers, managing negotiations from salary to start date and even benefits. This volume requires complete organization, and every step needs immediate documenting. I keep up to date on market trends and what our company competitors are offering. As a result, I know what our market talent earns based on location, education, and experience, and I am 100% comfortable taking full control during job offer negotiations. We use Sage People, a cloud-based HR system that allows us to track every action we take with a candidate. My follow-up is excellent; a must-have habit for staying organized and well-coordinated as busy recruitment professionals."
21. As an Amazon Recruiter, you will help us fill various roles from Technical Managers to Program Managers and Software Engineers. What roles have you filled in the last 12 months, and how will those experiences help you succeed at Amazon?
The interviewer wants evidence that you have the skills to recruit for various roles and teams. The goal of your response is to assure the decision-makers that you are ready to recruit for this level of responsibility and variety.
You may be recruiting for entry-level, mid-level, and top-tier open positions at Amazon. For instance, you may find yourself helping the HR team to fill complex roles for the Security Engineering or Software Development teams. At the same time, you might be working on a Solutions Architect opening for the AWS team. Take some time to review the range of teams at Amazon and familiarize yourself with how the company divides its business units.
How to Answer
Expectations will be high in this role, and your talent sourcing and screening techniques will need to be superior. Talk to the interviewer about the type of positions you have filled in the last 12 months. These details will assure the decision-maker that you are ready for this level of recruitment.
"As a Recruiter for Company XYZ, I recruit many similar roles as the positions listed on Amazon's jobs site. The past 12 months have included four searches for Product Managers, six searches for Risk Analysts, and three for Cloud Engineers. Last year, I also placed a variety of Software Engineers. I am confident that my ten years of experience in generalist recruitment, filling all levels of open roles in agency and in-house environments, will bring great value to Amazon's HR team. As a result of my experiences, I have learned the importance of working rapidly and eagerly. I am ready to contribute effectively outside of any specialty I have - a value that I know Amazon looks for in its employees."
22. Amazon Recruiters draw on their extensive knowledge of Talent Acquisition to forge dynamic relationships with business leaders, hiring managers, and HR business partners. How will you contribute as a TA thought leader for our team if hired?
The interviewer wants to know how you plan to contribute to the Amazon HR team, ensuring the company maintains an innovative approach to capturing top talent. The goal of your response is to spotlight how your efforts, knowledge, and contributions in the recruitment space will benefit Amazon when they hire you.
You may not consider yourself to be a thought leader. The term may even sound intimidating; however, the reality is that anyone can be a thought leader. Some of the ways you can become a thought leader include:
- Provide valuable insight to others
- Perform deep research on relevant topics that interest you
- Continue your education through certifications
- Offer a unique perspective on hot topics
- Inspire others to think differently about important topics
- Build a personal brand and strengthen your professional presence
How to Answer
The hiring landscape is continually changing, and, as an Amazon Recruiter, you must keep your recruitment knowledge fresh. This requires you to keep on top of your game as a thought leader and influential person who can advocate for recruitment best practices and exceptional candidate experiences. Highlight the efforts you currently take and will continue to make to maintain and grow your position as a thought leader and trusted advisor in the recruitment space.
"For the past year, I have been an active content creator on LinkedIn, posting personally curated articles every week. I create engagement by asking others for their thoughts on important and trending recruitment topics. I also pose questions to my network, share what I have learned from others, and contribute to the conversation around DE&I and unbiased hiring practices. I enjoy writing these articles and am always thrilled when someone comments to deepen the discussion or shares my posts with their network. In addition to these efforts, I often read and educate myself so that I can have knowledgeable conversations with the executives and department leaders I support. As an Amazon Recruiter, I will contribute as a thought leader by sharing important content, sending resources to department leaders, and providing research-backed ideas that add value."
23. Amazon's Recruiters know how to prioritize business needs and confidently push back on stakeholders. Talk about a time when you influenced hiring practices while remaining respectful to business leaders.
The interviewer wants to know that you have the confidence to join the company and begin to impact hiring practices positively. The goal of your response is to provide evidence that you have the confidence to push back and contribute while remaining respectful to others.
When asked a behavioral question like this one, be prepared to support your response with a real-life story example. You can craft your story using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
How to Answer
Possessing the skills to change or improve a hiring practice in the workplace is a valuable asset for any Recruiter. When working at Amazon, you must have the confidence to push back with stakeholders and leaders - when appropriate - to ensure the company's best interests and uphold the integrity of the recruitment process. However, your approach must be collaborative.
Talk to the interviewer about a time when you recognized a need to change or enhance a hiring practice. Touch on the steps you took to implement the change and how you measured the success of this initiative. At the end of your response, connect your influence and how it will benefit Amazon should they hire you for this recruitment position.
"(Situation & Task) When I first started as a Recruiter for Company XYZ, the standard interview practices were not consistent among department managers. Too often, when new hires arrived, we found they lacked the behaviors that would enable them to be successful within our work environment. I knew immediately that this process needed improvements if the company was going to have a successful talent acquisition plan. (Action) I took the initiative to implement more behavioral interview questions in the interview process. I also introduced online skills testing for most roles. To achieve this, I gained buy-in from our leadership team by including them in creating the interview questions and determining the set benchmarks for each role. We all worked together to create a system that would equip our leaders and department managers with the skills to effectively and consistently interview candidates. Then, we measured our success by monitoring turnover, retention, and time-to-hire metrics. (Result) We changed the process and improved our turnover rate by 15% in the first 3 months. When I join Amazon as a Recruiter, I will make decisions and take actions that prioritize business needs. I will apply my experience with candidate care and balancing processes to ensure positive candidate experiences. I will continue to exude confidence and speak openly with my team, leaders, stakeholders, and other decision-makers while remaining respectful and interacting in a kind and professional manner."
24. Amazon Recruiters are comfortable with numbers and drawing insights from analytics to make our hiring process smarter and more efficient. How do you use data to educate hiring managers and influence smart hiring decisions?
The interviewer wants assurance that you are a thoughtful recruiter who will be an expert resource for the company's hiring managers. The goal of your response is to provide specific details of how you leverage talent reports, trends, and data to guide and encourage the best talent acquisition decisions.
As a recruitment professional, you should be very comfortable using data vs. opinion to make recommendations and help drive intelligent hiring decisions. You can best influence hiring managers and help them make the best talent acquisition decisions by:
- Ensuring that you have a strong understanding of the company's market
- Developing a deep understanding of the business
- Being brave and asking tough questions to uncover core needs, pain points, and desires
- Continually educate yourself by leaning on resources such as Mercer's annual Global Talent Trends report
How to Answer
As an Amazon Recruiter, you'll be expected to bring a data-driven approach to your work. Amazon even states in one of its Leadership Principles, 'Dive deep. Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ.'
Show the interviewer that you understand how to use analytics in your talent attraction processes. If possible, give a specific example of a time when your use of data and analytics led to a competitive hire, valuable market assessment, or a successful talent acquisition campaign. You can deliver this story-based example using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
"Many recruitment professionals rely on the existing processes of their organization, which is an important factor; however, it should not be 100% of the work. I analyze data from our company's previous hires, successes, and failures of the past, employee attrition data, and more. Then, I make hiring recommendations based on what I see to be working for our organization in the future. I recently helped reduce our unnecessary workforce spend by replacing four low-performing employees with one full-time employee and one part-time staff member. My director was thankful that I took the time to analyze the issues before recommending a new-hire solution that was not as budget-friendly or effective. I appreciate that Amazon brings a data-driven approach supported by its Leadership Principle, 'Dive Deep.' This approach encourages talent acquisition professionals to be more curious and make decisions based on data vs. opinion. I look forward to becoming part of this innovative data-focused team."
25. As an Amazon Recruiter, you will focus on finding exceptionally talented, bright, and driven people to work here. How will your recruiting approach benefit Amazon?
The interviewer wants assurance that they will gain a strong ROI (Return on Investment) by hiring you. The goal of your response is to highlight precisely how engaging you will help Amazon achieve its goals and targets.
This question is another way for the interviewer to ask why Amazon should hire you. For this reason, your answer must directly address the ways that hiring you will benefit Amazon.
Avoid giving a drab recap of your resume and instead point out notable highlights from your career thus far. Offer details of accomplishments you are proud of and consider incorporating a story. Whatever your approach, ensure that your response stands out from the typical generic response many other candidates will give. After all, this question is an opportunity to sell yourself for the role.
How to Answer
First, consider the hard and soft skills you bring that match Amazon's Recruiter job description. Hard skills can include specific knowledge gained through your recruitment or HR-related training and post-secondary education. Soft skills can be your traits, such as emotional intelligence and sociability.
Think about any industry accolades or career achievements you've achieved. Perhaps you have taken the initiative to complete additional job training or learn a second language.
Next, comb through the job description very carefully. It's essential to answer this question in a way that places less focus on your needs and focuses more on the needs of Amazon. Looking at this specific Recruiter job description, you can quickly determine what Amazon is looking for in their successful candidate. Ensure you are fully prepared to connect the dots between what Amazon needs and what you can deliver.
"I understand that Amazon is seeking a Recruiter with a proven ability to drive strategies for candidate attention. The company also seeks a Recruiter capable of successfully managing, prioritizing, and closing searches against a timeline. My recruitment experience, and past results, align very well with these needs. I am an experienced Recruiter, having led full-cycle recruitment efforts for complex and high-need searches in the tech industry for nearly eight years. This year, for Company XYZ, I have helped fill over 50 complex technical roles, including Technical Project Managers and Senior Software Engineers. Over 80% of my shortlisted candidates have been hired, putting me on the leaderboard for top recruitment activities company-wide. I am a passionate professional who is very hands-on and approachable. I continually research new ways to source passive candidates strategically, ensuring my employer can choose from top-tier talent every time. It would be an honor to bring my knowledge, skills, and traits to help Amazon hire top talent. In turn, this top talent will support Amazon in its mission to 'Insist on the Highest Standards.'"
26. Amazon Recruiters are often asked to fill roles with which they are unfamiliar. How do you approach learning complex job titles and terminology for positions that are new to you?
The interviewer wants evidence that you are a resourceful individual who can recruit for a vast range of open roles across numerous departments. The goal of your response is to prove to the interviewer that you have the tenacity and resourcefulness, along with the research chops necessary to learn about job functions that may be unfamiliar to you.
Amazon has dozens of teams listed on its careers page, all with a range of open job opportunities. It can be a challenge to keep up with all industry terminology. A great Recruiter will have a genuine appreciation for gathering research and obtaining new knowledge.
Some of your best research resources will include online searches, industry-specific forums, job-specific podcasts, and researching the job descriptions posted by competing companies with similar job openings. You might even want to go online and find people with job titles that align with the one you're looking to build a talent pipeline for. You can find similar people on LinkedIn and take note of their education, career progression, and accountabilities.
How to Answer
As an Amazon Recruiter, you will learn about jobs and skillsets that you may not have even known existed! Show the interviewers that you have an attitude of receptiveness and you are ready to learn. Discuss how you approach learning industry terminology for roles that are new to you.
If you have a story of a specific time when you encountered this situation, provide a real-life example of when you filled the knowledge gap and overcame the challenge.
"In my current recruitment role with Company XYZ, we hire many professionals for our growing core engineering team. I am often asked to start building a talent pipeline for a job title that is new to me. For instance, last month, one of the department managers asked me to source a Games Ecosystems Solutions Engineer. I took the job details, conducted research, and read a few tech-related forums online. It turned out that this was a title that essentially described a Full Stack Engineer. I began by researching competing companies with large Full Stack Engineering teams. Then, I began my talent reach-outs from that starting point. If hired as an Amazon Recruiter, I will apply this same desire to learn and understand. If I am unsure of a particular job function or credential, I will analyze and explore until I fully understand the exact skills I need to uncover in my search."
27. Tell us about a mistake you made in the recruitment process. How did you fix the issue, and what did you learn from the situation?
The interviewer is interested in your ability to identify areas for improvement and learn from your mistakes in a positive, constructive way. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that you are the type of person to own mistakes, repair them, and then leverage your learnings as an opportunity to improve your work.
When answering this question, consider touching on Amazon's Leadership Principle, 'Insist on the Highest Standards.' Amazon states: "Leaders have relentlessly high standards -- many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high-quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed."
In the information above, Amazon describes the importance of realizing when a mistake is made, fixing it quickly, and ensuring it remains fixed. When forming your response, consider including some of the languages Amazon uses. This approach will ensure your answer feels familiar to the decision-makers interviewing you.
How to Answer
Talk about a time you made an error in the recruitment process. Briefly discuss the situation and how you course-corrected using data vs. opinion. Be sure to include details of what you learned in the process.
You can achieve this storytelling approach by using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Last, mention how the lesson you learned will benefit Amazon if they hire you.
"Early in my career, I relied heavily on assessing a candidate's previous employer references and education match. This heavy focus caused me to miss an opportunity to weigh their experiences or analyze how they executed their work. My team provided me with constructive feedback, and we collaborated to make changes to the interview and qualifying process. We quickly learned that asking deeper questions from the start would help us capture the attention of the best talent. As a result, we made more informed hiring decisions and our employee tenure improved by 15% in just six months. I am confident that the standards I hold in recruitment will benefit Amazon. For instance, I will look at all angles to ensure that candidates are properly vetted against the company's Leadership Principles. As a team member, I will insist on the highest standards and continually work to raise the bar for myself and my co-workers."
28. If hired as Amazon's newest Recruiter, how will you begin to build relationships with your new co-workers and leaders?
The interviewer would like to know how you plan to start building solid and meaningful relationships with others in the workplace. The goal of your response is to show the interviewer that your approach to building relationships is a match for the workplace environment and team-based culture at Amazon.
Building new relationships with new peers and leaders isn't always an easy task. It can be intimidating to some people to meet new people, especially in a brand new work environment.
Some ways to get started include:
- Show a willingness to accept feedback and help
- Offer to join a committee or volunteer assistance in some way
- Avoid an air of entitlement or acting like a know-it-all...be ready to learn
- Avoid any gossip and speculation
- Ask meaningful questions and listen intently
- Be early on your first day (and every day after that!)
How to Answer
Strong co-worker connections can take time to form. Discuss the action steps you take to ensure that you have an active communication line with your co-workers, team, and management right from the start. Be as specific as possible in your response.
Consider incorporating language from Amazon's values and culture statements when you reply. For example, you could fold in details of the Leadership Principle, 'Earn Trust.' This principle states that "Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team's body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best."
"I understand that some relationships come quickly, and others take time to nurture. When starting with a new company, I act as my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability shine. As a recruitment professional, I have learned that people like to talk about their lives. If hired as Amazon's newest Recruiter, I will strive to uphold the Leadership Principle of 'Earn Trust.' I will build relationships with my co-workers and leaders by asking them about their life, interests, and accomplishments. I will treat others respectfully and listen attentively to their ideas. I will eagerly jump into my work and show my leaders and peers that I can be relied on to get the job done on time."
29. As an Amazon Recruiter, you will be part of a tightly integrated, global HR team. You will partner with peers and leaders worldwide to contribute to international recruiting efforts. Tell us about a time when you collaborated with a worldwide team.
The interviewer wants to know more about your ability to collaborate with global teams. The goal of your response is to provide evidence that you are ready and capable of operating in a highly integrated, international team environment.
As a recruitment professional, you may need to collaborate with hiring managers and client groups across the globe. To be successful, you'll want to establish and maintain meaningful relationships with management and key stakeholders across all departments. Before your interview, take some time to learn where around the world Amazon teams operate. This knowledge will allow you to provide the most relevant response regarding your experience collaborating with a global team.
How to Answer
Promoting team collaboration is an essential skill for you to possess as an Amazon Recruiter. You will be recruiting for teams all over the globe, which requires collaboration across many time zones. Your response should assure the interviewer that you see the importance of building and maintaining collaborative relationships with your co-workers locally and globally.
Provide the interviewer with an example of your excellent collaboration skills in action. Share a story of a time when you collaborated internally on a specific hiring initiative. Try forming your story using the STAR answer method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
"I have many effective approaches for promoting team collaboration on hiring initiatives. These include openly communicating expectations and timelines and ensuring the team goals are clearly defined. (Situation & Task) My North America team was recently mandated to recruit a Software Engineer for a specifically challenging project in Korea. Company XYZ's global partners disagreed on the direction we planned to take to find competitive talent. The conflict was threatening to hurt our hiring deadline. As the Senior Recruiter, I felt entirely accountable if the project went off the rails. (Action) I jumped into action and called a meeting with my team of recruiters, the HR Manager, and the department managers in Korea to whom this position would report. First, I pulled reports from our company's Applicant Tracking System, analyzed the current search activity data, and highlighted where our teams could dig deeper. I reminded everyone that we were in this search together. If we disagreed, causing us to leave this critical position vacant, we would all fail together. I asked each recruitment team member how they used the company's existing recruitment tools. Then, I requested that we brainstorm unique sourcing methods we could utilize immediately. I wanted us to generate ideas that went further than LinkedIn Recruiter and the company's ATS. (Result) After this meeting, the team felt more encouraged. They actively began exploring some of the unique search methods we brainstormed. We generated a more collaborative work environment by encouraging these global stakeholders to share their insights with the recruitment team. One week after this meeting, we sourced three talented candidates, and the first round of interviews is underway. If chosen as Amazon's next Recruiter, I will be diligent in establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships with management and key cross-functional stakeholders. I will encourage sharing ideas and information because I wholeheartedly believe there is always room for improvement when we look at how global teams collaborate."
30. Amazon Recruiters work with their peer recruiters and business leaders to drive strategies for candidate attraction. How do you act as a partner and consultant to your colleagues?
The interviewers would like to know how you collaborate and communicate with your peers and leaders in your current company. The goal of your response is to describe how you act as a consultative recruitment partner to your team and employer.
In an Amazon Recruiter job posting, the company states that their ideal recruiter 'will foster a collaborative team environment and a strong service-oriented culture that ensures delivery of efficient, effective, quality-driven service to internal customers.'
Some of the ways you can act as a partner and consultant in a recruitment role include:
- Ensuring you are well-informed on hiring needs.
- Possessing a solid grasp of industry terms and hiring trends.
- Be an informative connection and resource for recruitment-related topics.
- Maintain high-quality work, further proving your role as a valued team member.
- Continually introduce modern, thoughtful, and impactful recruitment processes.
How to Answer
Amazon's recruiters are consultants and project partners to various client groups, hiring teams, and department leaders. You will help these leaders form talent attraction strategies and set hiring goals around specific recruitment targets. Think of how you act as a consultative partner in your current or most recent position.
When responding, highlight your interpersonal experience and emphasize how you communicate across all levels of your organization. The details you provide should show the decision-makers that you are ready to be a reliable partner and consultant to others when hired as a Recruiter with Amazon. Be sure to express how you plan to act as a partner and consultant to Amazon when hired as their next Recruiter.
"As a Recruiter, I am mindful of assuming the role of strategic partner and coach as I forge strong relationships with my peers and leaders across departments. I currently achieve this by first ensuring a full understanding of each department's hiring needs and expectations. I spend time listening to each department leader's needs while learning the culture of their existing team. Then, I create a customized search strategy based on that information. Using this approach, I build the trust required to push back if a leader's candidate expectations fail to align with the competitive market. I also act as a partner by respecting all candidates I connect with. This approach ensures that I model professionalism on behalf of every department. I remain educated on the news and concerning topics such as discrimination to remain seen as a trusted and knowledgeable consultant. When I join Amazon as a Recruiter, I will quickly become a trusted partner to my new peers and leaders. I will continue to educate myself on the hiring market, specifically within this industry, allowing me to make recommendations based on a 360 view of the market and competitive landscape. This approach will help us make well-educated and data-focused decisions that boost Amazon's recruitment practices and influence sound hiring decisions."