COMPANY INTERVIEW PROCESSES
The Amazon Interview and Leadership Principles
There are 5 stages to the Amazon hiring process:
1. You will be reached out to by a recruiter by email or on LinkedIn
Amazon recruiters are highly active on social media networks and so being ahead of the game it is essential that your profile is up-to-date and contains any new qualifications, certificates or licences. Usually, if you have been discovered they will offer a single position that they believe you are a good fit for and then ask if you would like to be considered in the hiring process. At this point, they will set up a time and date for a telephone call and ask for your official CV to begin the next steps. Suffice to say, having a current CV ready to go is something you should be considering now in doing so that you're not rushing at the last minute to pull one together.
2. Phone Screening
An Amazon recruiter or HR member will call you, usually by phone, to qualify you for the next step in the process. During this call, they will ask you some typical HR questions based on your CV and the role you are applying for - including your experience and what qualifies you for the role. The questions will be rather superficial at this stage but don't let that allow you to drop your guard, make sure you have written a list of commonly asked questions out and preplanned what your answers would be. They more often than not ask you for your salary expectations at this stage.
3. Video Calls
Once screened and now fully committed in the race, you will have several video-call interviews. In these, the questions will become harder and more technical. Depending on the role you are going for, the questions will be focused on hypothetical scenarios, behavioural and competences and finally personality. For developers and engineers, you will be interviewed by a senior member of your team who will be looking to confirm your skills and capabilities. Remember to use the S.T.A.R. model when answering these questions and supporting your claim with evidence and examples.
4. Day at Amazon (Now Online during COVID-19 Pandemic)
Amazon's final stage is a day-long interview experience at one of their locations, you will be spending the time there with several employees, one of which will be "an interview expert" sometimes from another department unassociated from the department you are applying for. Amazon does this to ensure that everyone is given a fair and objective assessment. This person will be looking for whether you would raise the bar and excel in your role. Assume everyone is the interview expert and do not drop your guard. The interview will begin as soon as you arrive - to the time you leave, even at lunch or while having coffee, you will be assessed.
The expert will be looking out for several key areas and will most likely bring up the Leadership Principles in conversation. The areas they are interested in are:
What questions you are asking.
Do you see the bigger picture in the role or product?
Do you care about how your role impacts the company?
Do you show empathy for the end-user?
5. Offer or No Offer
After the day at Amazon, a hiring committee will decide on hiring you or not, during this meeting they will evaluate your level which will give them an idea of your salary range. Thereafter, a hiring manager will call you usually in a couple of days to a week from your last interview. In this call, they will discuss your salary, work location and contractual hours. If you decide to negotiate your salary, which is recommended, any adjustments to this offer will be approved by a separate committee and all the necessary documentation will be sent to you by email for you to sign and return.
Amazon's leadership principles are the
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job".
Invent and Simplify
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.
Are right, A Lot
Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.
Learn and Be Curious
Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.
Hire and Develop the Best
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.
Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards - many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving 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.
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.
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.
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
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.
Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.
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