You can expect to face behavioural questions when interviewing for a position at Amazon. These questions are designed to get a sense of how you have behaved in certain situations in the past and conclude if your responses are raising the bar or not. The bar, in this case are behaviours that your interviewers can expect to see from current Amazonians doing similar jobs at the same job level.
Your Amazon interviewers want to know how you reacted in a particular situation, what behaviours you demonstrated and what you learned from the experience. The behaviours they need to see should align with Amazon's 16 Leadership Principles.
This article will discuss some of the most common questions about behavioural interviews at Amazon that we get from candidates and provide answers that will help you prepare for your interview.
Evgeny Bik and Gayle Gallagher (GG), co-founders of Day One Careers, wrote this article. GG spent five years at Amazon as a senior leader in Prime Video and Amazon Fresh in the UK. Evgeny spent over three years at Amazon as a senior leader in Amazon Launchpad and Amazon Devices in Europe. In addition, GG and Evgeny were Hiring Managers and interviewers for their teams and partner organizations.
In addition, GG was a qualified Amazon Bar Raiser - an independent decision-maker with veto power over the hiring manager in the Amazon interview process. GG and Evgeny had careers in multi-national Tech, FMCG and Retail companies before joining Amazon.
Finally, after leaving Amazon, Evgeny spent one year at Apple as an eCommerce lead in IMMEA (Apple's developing markets organization).
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What is a behavioural interview?
A behavioural interview is an opportunity for the interviewer to learn about your past behaviour to understand how you might behave in the future. This type of interview is based on the premise that your past behaviour indicates your future behaviour.
What are some common questions asked in a behavioural interview at Amazon?
Some common questions that you may be asked in a behavioural interview at Amazon include:
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a demanding customer or client
- Describe a time when you had to go above and beyond for a customer
- Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work and how you handled it
Check out our extensive list of Amazon interview questions, compiled and vetted by GG and Evgeny.
What are some tips for answering behavioural interview questions?
Some tips for answering behavioural interview questions include:
- Be prepared to discuss specific examples from your past work experience.
- Be honest about your behaviour and avoid making excuses.
- Take responsibility and ownership for your actions and describe what you learned from the experience.
- Focus on demonstrating positive behaviours such as teamwork, problem solving or resilience.
How long do I wait until I can interview with Amazon again?
Being rejected in an Amazon behavioural interview does not mean that you will never be able to get a job there again. On the contrary, at Day One Careers, we have helped many candidates who joined Amazon after a few rejections. So how quickly can you reapply after a rejection?
There is no set time limit. Sometimes your Amazon recruiter will advise you of a "cooling off period", which can be anything between six months to two years. If this is the case, we recommend honouring the cooling-off period and taking the time to improve your resume with high-impact projects. If your recruiter did not advise you of a cooling-off period, there is no harm in applying to relevant roles straight away. However, give yourself the time to improve upon any areas you may have struggled with during the last interview.
Can I have notes up during my amazon interview?
Yes, you are allowed to have notes up during your interview. But there is a caveat. You should avoid reading from a script but have built points instead. Why? While behavioural interviews at Amazon are not a test of your memory, your interviewers want to have a conversation with you. This means that you need to be flexible and be prepared to adopt a conversational interview style where you won't be able to deliver the entire story upfront. In addition, reading from a script comes across as robotic and unnatural.
What should I wear for my Amazon interview?
There is no dress code for Amazon interviews. In addition, neither GG nor Evgeny are equipped to offer fashion advice. Therefore, we recommend you wear something comfortable and err on smart casual.
When should I expect to hear back from Amazon after my interview?
The answer to this question depends on the stage of your interview process. You can typically expect to hear back within two business days for phone interviews. For on-site interviews (also known as "panel" or "loop"), the timeframe is usually within five business days as your interviewers will need to coordinate schedules to have a debrief. Generally, we advise candidates to follow up with their recruiters five business days after their panel (loop) interviews.
How long do I need to prepare for behavioural interviews at Amazon?
It would be best if you started preparing for behavioural interviews at Amazon as soon as you received the interview notification. If your next step is the phone interview, a few days is usually enough. However, if your next stage is the panel (loop), we recommend one and a half weeks of preparation. This will give you ample time to study Amazon's Leadership Principles in detail, reflect on your past work experiences and identify relevant examples to discuss during the interview.
What equipment should I have for my Amazon interviews?
These days, most on-site interviews take place over Amazon Chime (Amazon's version of Zoom). Hence, we recommend ensuring your internet connection is up to scratch. Another tip we cannot emphasize enough is getting a headset, preferably with a noise-cancelling microphone. This will ensure that your interview responses are clear and that there is no echo or outside noise. Lastly, we recommend investing in a reliable webcam. There is no need to purchase anything too expensive - an entry-level webcam from Logitech will be more than enough.
Where can I ask more questions?
We have a vibrant community of candidates who are preparing for their behavioural interviews at Amazon right now. We strongly recommend you join this community and ask any questions you may still have. Get our free Amazon interview course on Customer Obsession to join this community.