Amazon.com Interview Questions & Reviews
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Very Difficult Interview
Senior Marketing Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in October 2013.
Interview Details A recruiter contacted me via LinkedIn and suggested I put in an application for a job listed on their site. I did so and in a few days received an invite to take an online pre-test. After reading about some of the other marketing interviews, I made sure to brush up on PMP ideas and Amazon's marketing principles. I signed in to Kinexa (the test taking service) and the test was all high level, multi-step business math (net yearly profit, percentage of gross, etc. - not analytics, marketing probability, etc.)! I do think the ability to deal with intricate math problems is important in any management job, but I truly cannot imagine how any of the problems presented in this test were relevant at all to the position. It was a twenty minute timed test, with twenty questions, I got through about half of them. I think I did quite well for something so unexpected, but was not put forward for a phone interview.
After being so confounded by the test and reading the reviews for the Slough office, I'm pretty happy to not have to choose between a great resume builder or what sounds like a terrible work environment.
Interview Question – Using the supplied graph, how much of X company's net profits came from the engineering department in 2004? Answer Question
Account Executive Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details The interview process goes - 1) cv & cover letter 2) quick phone interview - why the job / why us. 3) longer phone interview -competency & role play. 4) online numerical & verbal tests 5) finally is an in house assessment day - this consists of 5 interviews and 4 case studies
Each interview on the assessment day will last 45 mins with the case studies lasting 15 mins
Whole process lasts about 2-3 weeks
Interview Question – Pricing strategy for amazon prime (case study) Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation, they just tell you what you're going to get paid. Its well above the average.
Online Content and Marketing Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details I applied online through their career website.
I received an email from one of their recruiters saying I needed to complete an online copyedit test, designed to measure my attention to detail, spelling, grammar and copyedit skills. The test lasted 30 minutes: some questions were very easy for a foreigner (they were meant to spot the most common mistakes for the mothertongue) whereas for some others I just didn't have a clue and went with what sounded most right ("here are 5 sentences, choose the wrong one" or "choose the right one" or "choose the only two that aren't wrong").
I didn't hear from them for 10 days and I had forgotten about the test when I received another email from the same recruiter to set up a phone interview. The phone interview was with a site merchandiser and after the classic questions "why do you want to work here" "why are you leaving your job" we got on to two behavioural (situation-based) questions. There's no right or wrong answer here, they just want to know how you think, feel, behave, react in face of praise/mistakes/adversity/challenge and so on. But you can't invent an answer right then and there because they will ask you very detailed questions about the example you are providing - I even had to remember some figures about the situation I was telling them about. The interview lasted 45 minutes.
The day after my first interview I got another email from another recruiter, saying they wanted to move forward to a second interview - which happened with a senior vendor manager of the company. The questions here were the same type as the first interview and this one also lasted 45 minutes.
It was the end of july and I didn't hear from them until the last week of August, when an email invited me to fly out to their headquarters in Slough to have a series of 4 final interviews. We arranged the interview day for three weeks later - as they were not gonna pay for my flight I needed to get the cheapest fare possible, but they were flexible enough with times and dates.
My interview schedule for the morning was precisely outline before I flew out - I had to have three interviews and a "promotions exercise" in a row, with roughly 30 mins for lunch in their cafeteria (which they provided vouchers for).
The interviews were exactly the same as on the phone - behavioural questions all over the place. The first interviewer told me they were going to ask me maybe a lot of questions but they were all looking at my answers from a different angle so I needed not worry if I answered with the same example two or even three times.
But 3 interviews in a row is a massacre and by the end of the last interview I was very tired of answering questions in such precise detail.
The promotions exercise: they provided me a spreadsheet with 200 of their products with indication of price, cost, stock, sales, pageviews and I had to choose 2 promotions for 10 products with 2 lead products and I had to explain what my assumptions were, how I would market the promotions, where on the website, which targets and so on. All this in 45 minutes and I bet they even expected a small presentation, but I didn't get to it. The manager then asked me questions about it till the hour was up.
After 48 hours they called me and said I didn't pass the final round of interviews.
Interview Question – Tell me about a time when you put customers need before your company's
Tell me about a situation when you discovered a problem and what you did to solve it
Tell me an example of when you received a negative feedback and did not agree with it Answer Question
Amazon Merchant Services Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2013.
Interview Details CV and Cover letter application was responded to by an email about a telephone interview. The telephone interview featured a generic interview structure about why Amazon, your position in life and then a role play where you had to sell the "Selling on Amazon" to a potential client. Quite straightforward and the man on the telephone was nice and not too antagonistic in the role play.
Interview Question – Responded to different objections from the client in the role play Answer Question
Operations Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details 1st Rd - 45 min telephone interview with General Manager from one of the Warehouses. The interview process is very scripted with the interviewers seemingly unable to work beyond the guidelines in front of them. All questions based on Amazon's 14 principles of leadership.
2nd Rd - 4x 45 min interviews followed by tour of warehouse. Much the same as last time. Had to write a short essay before the interview. Then this was not referred to in the process at all other than to give examples not related to essay.
Comments: Understand that you are applying to work in a warehouse and ensure that the customer gets their delivery on time. Yet you must be enthusiastic about it! The actual process was completely random. It took them over 7 weeks to get back asking me for the 2nd round which I could not make. IT then took then a further 7 weeks to find an alternative date. Some friends had a 3rd round before being offered a job others did not. Some had a choice of location but others did not. There is no discussion about this. I have been appalled by Amazon's lack of professionalism in the recruiting process.
Interview Question – The questions focussed on the 14 principles of leadership so if you prepare examples for each of these there will not be a question that you can not answer relatively easily. But prepare more than 2 if you can as in the 2nd round you may need it to keep the interview fresh. Amazon is all about data and metrics. Show you are comfortable with these. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Realised as went through the interview process that this is not what I was seeking in a career. All my exposure to the operations pathways was around managing warehouses despite Amazon's claim it is about building the next generation of Amazon leadership this was not evident in the process. In addition, from my experience through the interview process displayed a dichotomy between what they say they do and what they actually do.
Software Development Engineer In Test Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2013.
Interview Details First phone interview on coding, problem solving and algorithms. First problem was simple coding: Find the second largest element in an array of integers.
Interview Question – Asked question: Using an already implemented method Rand5() that generates a random integer between the ranges 1-5 uniformly. Using this method, implement a a new method that returns a random integer in the range 1-7 uniformly, i.e. Rand7(). Basically this is Rejection Sampling Algorithm. See http://leetcode.com/2010/11/rejection-sampling.html View Answers (2)
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2012.
Interview Details They contacted me on LinkedIn and we planned a first phone screen where the interviewer asked me about my past experiences.
After that, I had a technical interview where he asked me to solve problems over the phone and think aloud so that he can understand the way I think.
Interview Question – He asked me to give him the algorithm for the Fibonacci number in both iterative and using recursion.
I failed to solve a problem regarding the algorithm of a rand7 function by using a rand5 function. View Answers (3)
Senior Vendor Manager - MP3 Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2013.
Interview Details I was randomly contacted about a role I had not applied for and invited to take an online test and partake in a phone interview. The phone interview was competency based with "give me an example of when" as the theme. I then did not hear back for a number of weeks so chased my HR contact. I was then told that she had "just been discussing me" and that yes, I would be invited for in person interviews. I was sent the schedule and details the night before after much chasing which was extremely inconvenient.
I showed up for the interviews at their terrible Slough office. I had 5 back to back interviews where I was asked the same type of questions again and again; "give me an example of when." I can understand there needing to be a bit of this, but I left feeling that even after 4 hours, they did not really know anything about me or my ability to actually do the job. Incidentally, the first person I met with informed me that actually he was not sure if this role was in fact available which put a real dampener on things.
I then had to chase the HR team after 3 weeks of not hearing anything. Apparently she was on "leave for a really long time." She asked me to call her for "feedback." I knew at this stage it meant I would not be getting the job and it this point I did not want to work for Amazon, so just left it at that.
All in all a terrible experience. They treat candidates like numbers and you get the feeling you are just one of a million people they are passing through their big system. They need to learn to treat candidates with more respect and realise that they are deterring people from joining Amazon with their awful recruitment approach and poor HR recruiters.
Interview Question – Give me an example of a time when you had to do something without your boss knowing Answer Question
Vendor Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2013.
Interview Details I had 2 rounds of telephone interviews. Both interviewers seemed to think I was applying foe a role reporting to them, but I was actually applying for a completely different role. It was in June. I am assuming that i didnt go through as i received no email or phone call to confirm. I didnt bother follwing up either and was quite relieved as I was hoping to get into a new area with this job. Probably not much hope anyway with them being so disorganised!
Interview Question – Mostly straight forward competence asked questions. Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Amazon.com