Amazon Interview Conversation Starter: AmazonFresh Pickup

Here’s a great example of an innovation Amazon is experimenting with right now. And this will be a great conversation starter when you are having a chat with your Amazon interviewers.

Amazon is testing grocery pick-up services. Since I live in Seattle, I got a first-hand experience with it.

Here’s how it works:  you can order the grocery online. If you are a Amazon Prime member and you are willing to pay an add-on subscription fee per month on top of your Prime subscription fee, you can go to pick up your grocery within 15 minutes of ordering them. If you don’t have the Prime subscription, you will be given a two-hour pick-up window and it’ll be on a first come first served basis.

What is really cool about this experience is that Amazon will scan your license plate to recognize you. If they correctly identify you, they will hand you the grocery bag when you arrive. It is a pretty amazing experience.

Now for those of you who is interviewing for product manager position, finance manager position, operation positions, or Amazon MBA recruiting, there’s interesting business case questions for you to think about.

How did Amazon determine the monthly subscription fee that is needed to have a viable business model to support grocery pick-up?

How can Amazon scale this business across the country?

How big can this business be?

Operationally how can they optimize the order processing, picking, packaging and having the product ready to be picked up at the pickup location? What about scheduling of pick-up?

Those are all questions can be asked if you are interviewing for a position relates to the Amazon grocery pick-up service.

By the way this is a fascinating business that is getting a lot of people excited.  You can certainly ask your interviewers when you’re chit-chatting. Or if your interviewer asked you if you have any question about Amazon, you can certainly ask about Amazon grocery pickup. Your question will show that you’re keeping up with what is new and innovative at Amazon, and you ask thoughtful questions.

Here is a tip. If you’re coming to Seattle for Amazon’s onsite interview, try to order something online and pick it up when you arrive. One of the pickup location is not too far from most of the downtown hotels. You’ll have a lot to talk about the next day when you’re interviewing. 🙂

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