How to Start a Career at Amazon

How to Start a Career at Amazon

Working at Amazon offers some amazing opportunities and there are a wide variety of jobs available in numerous job locations and many business areas. Specialist opportunities exist in fields like legal, finance and accounting, HR, marketing, IT, software development and customer service. You can apply online for a position by registering on Amazon jobs, creating a profile and uploading your resume.  

Assessment

You will be invited to take an online assessment, depending on the position you apply for. Your assessment will measure the key characteristics you need for the role, your work style and includes a work sample simulation. 

Prepterminal will prepare you for Amazon assessments in three hours. You will take a psychometric diagnostic test, get actionable strategies, and complete sample practice tests that resemble the real exams.

What recruiters expect

Recruiters will look at your experience, education, past projects and milestones. You need to list your accomplishments in your resume and if you worked as part of a team, they want to know exactly what you were responsible for. They want to know the scope of projects you handled and their outcomes. Any challenges you may have solved are also relevant. They want tangible proof of this as they are all about data. 

Interviews

In the interviews, usually starting off with telephone interviews and moving on to video calls, there is a focus on behavioral questions. They will ask questions like “Tell me about a time when you found a simple solution to a complex problem” or “Tell me about a time when you had to take a calculated risk at work.” Many of the questions are based on Amazon’s leadership principles.  

In answering their questions, they expect you to describe the situation and the task you were given, the actions you took and the results (STAR method – situation, task, action, result). They want metrics and data-based evidence to support your answer. 

For example, they don’t want to know that you successfully made changes to an app but that monthly app users grew by 10% as a result of the changes you made. Most technical roles will require you to do coding and system design exercises. 

Amazon’s leadership principles

Amazon has leadership principles they use on a daily basis. These guidelines help leaders make better decisions. It is crucial to spend time looking at these principles prior to an interview and think of situations that you can use to demonstrate how you applied them.    

Amazon is obsessed with customers and works vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Leaders are owners who think long-term rather than being satisfied with short-term results. They are expected to innovate and always find ways to simplify. Learning is ongoing and they keep improving themselves. 

Leaders recognize exceptional talent and will hire and develop the best. People may think their standards are too high but they keep raising the bar. They think big and keep looking for new ways to serve customers. Looking into things deeply and analyzing information prepares them for taking calculated risks. They also know how to accomplish more with less. 

Leaders listen attentively and earn trust by treating people with respect. They respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree. Despite any setbacks, they rise to the occasion, get things done in a timely manner and deliver results.

By focusing on these principles when preparing for your interview, you will be more prepared than most of the candidates you’re up against.  

Fitting in with the company culture

Amazon has a customer-centric culture, is innovation-focused and supports a diverse workforce. When looking at future employees, cultural fit is an important aspect. How you work with others and how you do things can be as important as what you can do. If you show you are adaptable and prepared to learn, this may equip you for a certain role even if you don’t have all the experience you need. 

Amazon appreciates the ability of people to learn and change throughout their careers. There may be a steep learning curve in a job that puts you outside of your comfort zone but it can unlock many future possibilities. You should expect changes in your role throughout your career so you need to be open to it while ensuring your interests are known so they remain part of your job.  

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