If you want to maximize your chance to get hired and land a job at Amazon, How To Get A Job At Amazon is simply the most comprehensive, accurate, and battle tested interview guide. For the first time, a former Amazon employee and hiring manager reveals the secrets to get hired at Amazon.
Below is an excerpt from the book. Enjoy!
How To Get A Job At Amazon
Over the past few years it has been a humbling experience for me to help many people to prepare for Amazon job interviews and successfully land jobs at Amazon. As a former Amazon employee and hiring manager who had first-hand experience of interviewing and making hiring decisions, I understand and appreciate the unique challenges of Amazon job interview process.
Because of the tremendous growth and success Amazon has experienced in recent years, Amazon is an attractive career option for many ambitious professionals and recent college graduates. However, Amazon is not an easy work environment. In August 2015 New York Times published a controversial article about Amazon’s culture and work environment: Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace. Although I don’t agree with everything said in this article, there is a lot of truth. Amazon could be an amazing stepping stone to jump start your career, but you need to understand what you are getting yourself into. There are landmines in many places both during the interview process and once you start working there.
My goal is to help you get a job at Amazon AND help you succeed at Amazon. I would like to start with a few reflections.
I started working at Amazon in 2004 fresh out of graduate school. At that time, most of the high-tech industry was still recovering from the dot com crash. Amazon stock was trading at $34 per share. Investors and employees were frustrated.
I still vividly remember my first Amazon employees all-hand meeting. Jeff Bezos gave a talk about the company’s strategy. He said that he placed three bold bets each year. These were ideas that might never succeed but he was willing to invest some money to test the ideas. He also talked about the stock market was like a voting machine in the short term. Jeff believed that truly successful companies focus on the long term and ignore Wall Street. He said Amazon’s performance today was a function of what the company did several years before. Amazon needed to continue to innovate, do the right things, and it would reap the benefits down the road.
It was an inspiring speech but most of my fellow Amazon colleagues were skeptical. With the struggling stock price, there was quite a bit of cynicism inside Amazon.
The three bold bets at the time were Amazon Web Service (AWS), A9 search engine and the e-reader that later became Amazon Kindle. The internal critics felt the company was stretched too thin, was doing too many things at the same time, and lacked focus.
How wrong the internal critics were! And there were a lot of internal critics.
If you talk to long time Amazon employees, they will tell you that Jeff Bezos runs the place like a tyrant. But he is an extremely smart tyrant. Two out of the three bold bets have become extremely successful (Amazon Web Service and Amazon Kindle) while the a9 search engine didn’t get much traction in the marketplace. However, the technology behind a9 is powering the search functionality on Amazon. When I was at Amazon, Amazon Web Services was generating almost no revenue. In 2016 AWS generated $12.2 billion in revenue, with $3.1 billion in operating income profit. Amazon Kindle has 73.7% of the e-reader market share and generates $5.2 billion content revenue as of end of 2015.
The reason I want to share this story is to make several important points about Amazon.
Firstly, the success of Amazon starts and ends with Jeff Bezos. Over the years, he has hired a lot of smart people to help him but he is the unique combination of visionary, technologist and tyrant. Just like it is impossible to replace Steve Job at Apple it is impossible to replace Jeff at Amazon.
Secondly, from a career opportunity stand point, Amazon presents a stressful and challenging environment. But the opportunity to at least get a taste of how one of the legendary entrepreneurs of our time runs his business could be extremely valuable and rewarding.
Thirdly, innovation is a critical component of Amazon’s corporate DNA. Amazon has been at the forefront of several key trends: e-commerce, cloud computing, online advertising, mobile computing, digital media, e-reader, machine learning, etc. The exposure you will get from Amazon will be beneficial to whatever you will do in the future.
Fourthly, Amazon’s internal environment is decentralized, in-your-face, and Darwinist. It is not an environment for the faint of heart. During my tenure at Amazon. I worked my tail off. I was running global products and projects that required me working across three time zones. To get things done I had to constantly battle other teams with very little support. It wasn’t easy.
But I truly believe the time I spent at Amazon was the most important time of my career. I learned to be an owner and a driver. I developed thick skin, mental toughness, bias for action, strong sense of urgency, analytical driven approach, and insane customer focus. These skills have become extremely valuable to me as I progress in my career to become an executive. I would not trade my Amazon experience for anything else. The Amazon way really works.
What This Book is About and How to Get Most Out of It
Amazon is notoriously known for its difficult interview questions. According to a Glassdoor.com survey, Amazon is ranked as one of the top five companies with the most difficult interviews. This is also confirmed by our own experience and in-depth research. To create this guide, we have interviewed a number of job candidates who interviewed with Amazon and other hot technology companies. We have also conducted extensive research to glean every piece of information we could possibly get about Amazon interviews. The consensus is that Amazon interview is challenging.
The good news is that there are concrete steps an applicant could take to prepare for Amazon interviews. We have identified the five keys of successful interview with Amazon, which will serve as the core framework for you to prepare for your Amazon interview.
Additionally, we’ll provide you a comprehensive guide that lead you through the entire process of getting a job with Amazon, from finding Amazon job leads, to prepare for online screen and phone interviews, to ace the on-site interview, to negotiate compensation, to deal with job title deflation, to relocate.
Finally, in addition to provide the overall framework for Amazon interview preparation, we also have specific chapters on the most popular type of Amazon job interviews:
- SDE (Software Development Engineer) interview
- TPM (Technical Program Manager) interview
- MBA interview
- Vendor Manager interview
- Distribution Center Operation Manager interview
- Finance Manager interview.
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