Landing an interview with Amazon might feel like one of the most exciting — and intimidating — things to happen to you. Amazon, like most organizations, puts a lot of effort into hiring the right fit for their open positions. As CEO Jeff Bezos once shared, “Id rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.”
It says a lot if your resume got past the gatekeepers and into the hands of an Amazon hiring manager. Now, take a deep breath and get prepped for your interview.
Tell me about a time you were 75 percent through a project and had to pivot quickly. How did you handle it?
Life happens when we are in the middle of projects, and Amazon leadership will want to know how you handle these types of situations when they occur. You could encounter this question for many different types of roles, including technical and management positions. Your answer should speak to your agility, leadership, and problem-solving skills:
At my last job, I was leading a project that was near completion. Everything was moving smoothly and on-target for timely completion. Then, one of our partners providing one of the software upgrades that were to occur at the 90 percent mark encountered a breach of their systems and was estimated to delay the project by two to four weeks.
I had to review our plans and come up with options to keep the project on target as much as possible. Going with another software provider wasnt a viable option, as the groundwork had been laid to go live with the current provider, and starting over would have delayed the project even more. Instead, we were able to allocate two resources to support the provider in recovering from the breach in less than half of the time that was projected.
As a result, we were able to complete the project only two days after the originally scheduled completion date. Fortunately, since we had built in a cushion for contingencies, we were able to go live on schedule.
Loss Prevention in Amazon Fulfillment protects people, products, and information at each site and in the supply chain. That means driving the loss prevention strategy and creating a culture where security is front of mind and risk is eliminated. Specialists build data-driven investigations, conduct interviews, and monitor security risks. Our managers implement programs to prevent loss, manage Amazon assets, and lead teams of strong people. We plan for every eventuality and inspire our people to perform better. On top of that, we keep the actual buildings secure and analyze losses.
What would you do if you found out your closest friend at work was stealing?
You are likely to be asked this question regardless of the position youre interviewing for, especially with cost reduction and shrinkage being top priorities for a company like Amazon. There is really only one way to answer this question that speaks to honesty, integrity, trust, and leadership:
While it would be a difficult situation to find myself in, integrity is essential to me. Plus, stealing is against policy and costs the companys bottom line, no matter how insignificant the theft might seem. I would go to my department manager and report the theft or use the companys recommended reporting policy for such behavior.
Describe your most difficult customer and how you handled it.
Amazon is known for their customer service. If the position youre interviewing for is a customer-facing position, then you can count on a question similar to this. When answering this question, apply the STAR method:
Once, I encountered a repeat customer who was upset that an item he ordered was delayed. It was scheduled to arrive within five days of him ordering it, but due to backlog issues with the supplier, the delivery time was adjusted to be 30 days out. The item was an anniversary gift for his wife, and the anniversary was less than two weeks away.
Obviously, the 30 days would not work for him, and he was close to irate about the situation. I needed to figure out a way to help him receive the anniversary gift on time. I first contacted the supplier to see if there was any way to expedite the order, but the best they could do was get the item to him a couple of days earlier than the revised scheduled arrival date.
So, I then worked with the customer to identify a different supplier that sold an almost identical item. I offered him expedited shipping at no charge, so he would receive the item within three days, and that timing worked for his anniversary date. I also offered him a 20 percent coupon towards his next purchase. He was pleased with the outcome, and he remained a loyal customer.