This post provides valuable tips to help you to successfully pass through the Amazon behavioral interview.
It also provides practice questions and answers to give you an idea of what the behavioral interview looks like.
Please, read on:
20 Amazon Behavioral Interview Tips
Here are tips about the Amazon behavioral interview to help you prepare effectively for it:
- Do your research
Amazon doesn’t ask questions for the sake of it. There are certain things they look out for with their questions and at the top of the list are customer obsession and their leadership principles.
You should give time to research these two things plus the scope of possible questions you might be asked before the interview.
- Use stories to answer questions
Behavioral questions are not yes or no questions. The questions are an attempt to know your experiences and how you fit into the company.
- Brainstorm possible situations
Brainstorming on different possible answers you can give to questions before the interview saves you from the pressure of thinking on the spot during interviews.
- Structure your answer well before the interview
To not stumble in front of the interviewer to remember details in your stories, structure and plan your stories before the interview and try to keep the details in memory.
- Use STAR technique to answer questions
STAR stands for situation, tasks, action, and results. It is a technique you can use to make your answers direct and concise.
- Study the role you are applying for
Most of the questions will be to test how much you will fit into the role you are applying for or not. It can give you an idea of the behavioral skills needed for the job.
- Be yourself
There are no wrong or right answers. Don’t try to impress the interviewer, just be yourself. They want to relate with you.
- Focus on core details
Interviewers can easily get bored because they listen to a lot of behavioral stories in a day. They will easily log off on you if you stay long on unnecessary details. Stay on important details.
- Loud your accomplishments and strengths
Be bold to talk about your accomplishments and individual impacts in the past and present.
10. Expect to follow up questions
You will get lots of follow-up questions. Follow the flow of questions well because the clue in the direction or answer of a new question lies in the last one.
- Don’t talk about failure in isolation
Always follow each failure story with the lessons you learnt and how you have become better through it. It shows that you have a growth mindset.
- Bring your past, present and future into perspective
Amazon wants to have a wholesome peep in your life. You can give them that by structuring your answers around your past, present and future.
- Give measurable proofs
Don’t hype your stories. It creates a lot of questionable gaps in progress. Organize and end each story to have measurable proofs.
- Different stories up your sleeves
You might be asked questions on more than one leadership principle and you will need different stories to answer them.
Plan; arrange multiple answers and stories you could use for different questions.
- Acquaint yourself with the leadership principle
Amazon takes the leadership principle very seriously. Every question they ask will be to look out for one or more leadership principles.
If you figure out the leadership principle the question is framed around, you will answer better.
- Customer obsession question
You must be asked this question one way or the other, and you must make a strong statement here.
If you don’t have experience in dealing with a difficult customer, tell a story of how you dealt with a very difficult relationship or person.
- Talk about Amazon in the “Why Amazon” question
They want to know how much you love Amazon and what you want to offer to them, not the other way round.
- Show your intra-personal skills
Amazon wants to know how well you relate with yourself if you can motivate yourself and take initiative.
- Show your interpersonal relationship skills
In answering your questions, it is crucial to show you have excellent interpersonal relationship skills. Customer obsession is number one on the list of leadership principles.
- Practice possible questions
You will be better prepared if you start getting used to possible questions before the interview.
20 Practice Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers
Here are sample questions and answers you can apply to practice taking the Amazon behavioral interview:
- Describe how you have dealt with pressure at work before
Pressure helps me stay more focused on jobs, so I believe I work better under pressure.
I was put under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines in my last role in market research. But I used the energy in the pressure to my advantage to focus more and organize myself better.
I also realized that not meeting deadlines is sometimes inevitable because of certain factors that might not be under your control.
In times like this, I make sure to communicate clearly to the appropriate quarters.
- Describe a time you met a goal and how you met the goal
I once had a goal to increase the conversion rate on a client’s website. To achieve that I had to do a lot of split testing, optimizing advertising campaigns, and changing landing pages.
I took the project up because I loved the product.
Everybody was happy with what I achieved because of how brave and adventurous I was to think of a way to improve the conversion rate regardless of the fact the client was okay with the original conversion rate.
The success brought more contracts to us.
- Have you ever faced a motivation crisis, how did you overcome it?
I had a terrible motivation crisis working in the very boring and repetitive role of a cashier.
I was very bored with the job but nobody noticed that because I was discharging my duties perfectly still.
I woke up every morning to meet the terms and conditions of the job contract and dispense my duties well regardless of how bored I was.
I was able to overcome the boredom because I had a goal to make a certain amount of money through the job.
It’s hard to lose motivation if you have a goal.
- Which Amazon leadership principle resonates with you the most?
Customer obsession resonates with me the most. My motto in all my previous jobs was “customers first.”
Customers are central to the progress of every company.
A satisfied customer will talk about the company in a good way while an unsatisfied customer will be loud about the poor service he/she received and that would be bad for the company.
- Describe a time when you took the lead on a project
In my previous job, my team hit a rock bottom. Our sales numbers started dropping radically.
My manager told us to analyze the situation and come up with a solution.
I analyzed the situation and found out that there was a major change in the market and most of our salesmen don’t have the necessary training to match the change.
I told my manager and he decided to fix a training program and appointed me to keep track of it and ensure its success.
I worked tirelessly to make it happen. Our sales skyrocketed again after we completed some series of training.
- Have you ever had to deal with negative feedback before, how did you go about it?
Yes, I have had negative feedback experiences. They can be very discouraging so I am always careful to go about it the right way.
My previous boss once thought I was slow with dispatching my duties in the team.
That didn’t sit too well with me because I knew I was fast and my teammates knew that too.
I thought about it some more and realized that my boss didn’t know that all the difficult customers or those with complex issues were directed to my desk due to my technical abilities.
My teammates knew I was doing all the hard jobs for them but my boss didn’t know.
I went to him and explained things to him with real facts and he understood that I was the fastest in dispatching duties.
- What would you do if you see a teammate stealing 1$ from the company?
If a company has a policy against theft, then the theft is “theft” regardless of the value involved.
I will report it in line with the company’s policy. Theft is an urgent matter and must be treated as such.
- Describe a time when you had limited time to perform a task
I have experienced this lot of times. In my last job, I had to make sure that products were delivered to customers on time.
I had to ensure products with guaranteed shipping dates were shipped and delivered on time.
- Tell me about a time you coached someone
In my last job, I was given the responsibility to take new sales representatives through the orientation process of the company.
I quickly established a relationship with them and then explained to them how everything worked in the company.
- Narrate a work situation where you showed initiative
I try to be as proactive as possible with my job. Immediately I was employed in the last company I worked with, I noticed that they didn’t have a database of leads or prospective customer information.
Employees left the company with their leads.
I felt it was bad for the company, so I suggested that there should be an internal database where each sales rep put in his data on leads.
The data will be their private asset as long as they remain in the company but they will be asked to hand it to their superior when they are leaving the company.
After long consideration, the idea was accepted and executed. It increased company sales over time.
Other questions you will likely see in Amazon behavioral interview include:
- Describe a time you were unable to solve a problem on your own
- Talk about a time you couldn’t meet a deadline
- Talk about the biggest failure you have experienced in your career
- Why do you want to work for Amazon?
- What is the biggest risk you have taken so far?
- Tell me how you deal with a clash between your interest and professional interest
- Describe a conflict situation you have had with your colleague
- Describe a time you were disappointed with your superior
- Tell me about a time you had to delegate duties
- Tell me about a time you had a misunderstanding with your boss.
10 Good Questions Candidates can ask Interviewers in an Amazon behavioral interview
At the close of the behavioral interview, the interviewer(s) will likely ask if you have any question for them, here are some good questions you can ask:
- Have I answered all your questions?
- Is there anything you need me to clarify?
- What’s the career path of those who have held this position?
- How would you describe the ideal person for this job?
- What does it feel like working for this great company?
- Who are your major competitors?
- What is the most attraction to you for working with Amazon?
- When should I expect a feedback from you concerning the interview?
- Is there anything lacking in the documents in the detail I have provided?
- What challenges come with working for Amazon?
With this guide, you already have an idea of what the Amazon behavioral interview will look like. You will also be better prepared for the interview by adhering to the 20 tips.