We started helping candidates prepare for behavioural interviews at Amazon shortly after leaving the business. Very quickly, we have discovered that candidates were asking us to help them answer Amazon interview questions that did not map to Leadership Principles and were unlikely to ever be used in an Amazon interview. To our horror, we discovered that "fake" Amazon interview questions were posted in all corners of the Internet - from Glassdoor to various random forums.

Unless you've hired and interviewed candidates as an Amazonian, it is not straightforward to tell a fake Amazon interview question from a real one. And yet, spending valuable time preparing to answer interview questions that will never be asked is a mistake that you cannot afford to make.

So, in this post, we will bring you a curated and vetted list of Amazon Interview Questions that you are actually likely to encounter in an Amazon interview.

But, before we get to the list of questions, we have something important to draw your attention to.

Just having a list of example Amazon Interview Questions is not enough to prepare for your behavioural interviews.

In order to prepare for your Amazon interviews properly, you need to be able to recognise the key themes from Amazon's 16 Leadership Principles, understand Amazon's peculiar culture and become a pro at framing responses to behavioural interview questions. You can achieve all this with our signature self-study Amazon Interview Preparation Courses and 1:1 Amazon Interview Coaching services (see below). Our resources helped candidates land L4-L8 jobs at Amazon.

What are Amazon Interview Questions - Vetted by Day One Careers?

It’s a short list of questions you can expect to ask in a competency-based interview at Amazon. These questions aim to evaluate candidates’ previously demonstrated behaviours against the bar set for every one of the 16 Amazon Leadership Principles.

Are these the only questions that I can be asked?

No. While Amazonians do have access to a unified question bank, they are free to improvise as they see fit. More experienced interviewers tend to improvise more than the junior ones. Therefore, studying these questions does not replace studying Amazon's 16 Leadership Principles in detail.

How can I tell a fake question from a real one?

If you know the main themes of Amazon's Leadership Principles, you can easily spot a question that interviewers would never ask in an Amazon interview. The real questions are behavioural. These questions are looking for evidence from your past behaviours as a way to make a judgment on whether you are likely to raise the bar against a particular Leadership Principle. Therefore, a real onsite Amazon interview question will ALWAYS ask you to tell a story about you taking action in a particular situation in the past and will NEVER ask you anything else (save and except follow-ups). You will never be asked hypothetical questions or brain teasers. Instead, all Amazon interview questions will start with something akin to “Tell me about a time when you {desired action}.”

Are these the official Amazon interview questions?

NO. While there is an official Amazon interview question bank, we no longer have access to it.

Where are these questions coming from?

Strictly and exclusively from public sources. The first one is Glassdoor. Glassdoor is the default destination for most candidates looking for Amazon interview questions. It is also the one that, we believe, is most polluted with junk. This is understandable. Glassdoor does not have any curation or vetting for interview questions. Therefore, we had to manually scrub through ten pages of, supposedly, Amazon interview questions to pick out the ones that sounded close to what could be reasonably asked during the interview.

Another source of Amazon interview questions for this article is the Day One Careers Community (get access to our FREE community by enrolling in our Taster Course). Some candidates kindly contributed questions after the interviews. While these questions may deviate from what actually went on during the interview, they capture the key themes of the leadership principles.

How can you tell that these questions are likely to appear in an actual Amazon interview?

Strictly speaking, nobody can guarantee if a particular question will or will not appear in an Amazon interview. Amazonians are free to improvise and are not obliged to pick questions from the internal interview bank. However, based on our experience being Hiring Managers, Bar Raisers and interviewers at Amazon, we believe that these questions reflect the key themes of the Leadership Principles and have a decent chance of being asked in an Amazon interview. If you'd like to super-charge your understanding of Amazon's Leadership Principles and be ready for all eventualities, including improvisations, then we recommend that you consider taking Amazon Interview Whizz training.

Where can I get a more exhaustive list of questions?

The list of Amazon interview questions that you see below is a short version of a more exhaustive list that we maintain and frequently update. You can get our full list of questions completely FREE with our Amazon Interview Tool Pack.

1. Customer Obsession Amazon Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time you obsessed over giving very high-quality service to a customer.
  • Can you describe a difficult interaction you’ve had with a customer?
  • Can you provide an example of when you asked a customer for feedback? How did you use that feedback to drive innovation or improvement?

2. Invent & Simplify Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you gave a simple solution to a complex problem.
  • Tell me about a time when you invented something.
  • Please walk me through a different scenario of a process you invented or improved.

3. Dive Deep Amazon Interview Questions

  • Give me an example of when you used data to make a decision/solve a problem.
  • Tell me about the most complex problem you’ve ever worked on
  • Tell me about a problem you had to solve that required in-depth thought and analysis. How did you know you were focusing on the right things?

4. Frugality Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you had to work with limited time or resources (D1C: technically, the “limited time” element fits more under Deliver Results, which is why I don’t believe that this would have been the precise question that interviewers asked)
  • Describe a time when you had to manage a budget (or manage time/money/resources/etc.). Were you able to get more out of less?
  • Tell me about a time when you thought of a new way to save money for the company.

5. Ownership Amazon Interview Questions

  • Give me two examples of when you did more than what was required in any job experience (D1C: I don’t know why the interviewer asked for two situations)
  • Tell me about a time when you took on something significant outside your area of responsibility, and why was that important?
  • Describe a time you didn’t think you were going to meet a commitment you promised?

6. Earn Trust Questions

  • Tell me about a critical piece of feedback you received
  • Tell me about a time when you saw your team member was struggling.
  • Building trust with teams can be difficult to achieve sometimes. Can you give me an example of how you effectively built trusting working relationships with others?

7. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit Interview Questions

  • Tell me about when you took an unpopular stance in a meeting with peers and your leader, and you were the outlier.
  • Tell me about a time when you decide to go along with the group decision, even if you disagree.
  • Tell me about a time when you strongly disagreed with your manager on something you deemed very important to the business. What was it about, and how did you handle it?

8. Hire & Develop The Best Amazon Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you dealt with an employee with poor performance.
  • Tell me about a time when you coached someone into outstanding performance.
  • Tell me about a time when you’ve built a team for a specific project.

9. Bias for Action Interview Questions

  • Can you give me an example of a calculated risk you have taken where speed was critical? What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
  • Describe a situation where you made an important business decision without consulting your manager
  • Tell me about when you had to analyse facts quickly, define key issues, and respond immediately to a situation. What was the outcome?

10. Deliver Results

  • Tell me about a time when you were leading a group, were assigned a goal, and did not reach it.
  • Tell me about a time when you not only met a goal but considerably exceeded expectations.
  • Tell me about a time when you were able to deliver an important project under a tight deadline.

11. Insist on the Highest Standards Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you have been unsatisfied with the status quo. What did you do to change it? Were you successful?
  • Tell me about a time when you were dissatisfied with the quality of something at work and went out of your way to improve it.
  • When you refused to compromise around quality or customer service

12. Learn and be Curious

  • What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned on your own that you’ve then been able to apply in your job and perform your job further?
  • Tell me about a time when someone openly challenged you. How did you handle this feedback? (D1C: The way this question is phrased makes it sound like Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit. In reality, this is probably a Learn & Be Curious question)
  • Give an example of a tough or critical piece of feedback you received. What was it, and what did you do about

13. Think Big Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time you were working on an initiative or goal and saw an opportunity to do something much bigger than the initial focus.
  • Tell me about a time when very senior people adopted your vision across the organisation.

14. Are Right A Lot Amazon Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you had to work with incomplete data or information (or can you think of a time when you had to make a decision but you didn’t have enough data to be sure you were making the right decision? What did you do and how did it work out?)
  • Can you think of a time you made a bad professional decision? What was the impact of the decision? What did you learn?
  • When you had to make a difficult decision with inputs from a lot of people

15. Strive to be Earth's Best Employer Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you created conditions for others to succeed.
  • Tell me about a time when you drove decisions that created a working environment that was more fun and inclusive.

16. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility

  • Tell me about when you reversed a decision when you realised that it had an adverse impact on colleagues outside your immediate working group.
  • Tell me about a time when you considered the environmental impact of your decisions.

Ways to Connect

Evgeny - Twitter, LinkedIn

GG - Twitter, LinkedIn

Day One Careers - Twitter, LinkedIn

Amazon Interview Tips and Coaching from an ex-Hiring Manager

Amazon Interview to L7 Offer

Amazon Interview Process - a Hiring Manager's Perspective

How to Answer Amazon Interview Questions About Failures

Share this post