With a team of over 840,000 people worldwide, Amazon is an employer many individuals consider when making their next career move. If you want to apply, be aware that a rigorous hiring process lies ahead. This includes job-specific behavioral questions, difficult interviews, and more.
This article will review what Amazon’s recruitment process entails so you know what to expect.
The Amazon Recruitment Process
The Amazon recruitment process is a multi-step process that includes the following:
1. Create a Resume
The first step is to create a resume that will catch the eyes of the recruiters. In doing so, you must:
- Show that you have the qualities required for the position
- Use bullet points that demonstrate your abilities and back them up with factual data
- Use proper grammar and simplified language that gets right to the point
- Include key information such as contact details, work experience, and education
Use a professional resume template to put your best foot forward.
The application process can take place online, or at a hiring or campus recruitment event. Here’s what you can expect:
To apply online, you must register for an Amazon job account and complete your profile. You can use your LinkedIn profile to state your experience, but you will need to attach your CV.
Amazon uses an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that scans your resume for keywords. Use keywords that are relevant to the position you are applying for to increase the likelihood that you will get a response.
A hiring event introduces applicants to the positions available and assess their skills. If you attend, you may be asked to partake in:
- A written assessment
- A video assessment
- An interview
The assessments must be completed in a specific sequence, and each one is timed.
Campus recruitment is similar to a hiring event but it is available to college students and recent graduates only. Contact your school’s career center to find out how you can attend.
3. Track Your Application Status
If you are in the Amazon job database, you can track your application status through their system. There are three relevant options as follows:
- Application Submitted: Your application has been submitted but has not yet been reviewed.
- Under Consideration: Your application was reviewed and you are being considered for a position.
- No Longer Under Consideration: You may move on with your job search.
4. Get an Amazon Assessment Test
Amazon provides assessments to determine if the candidate is suited to the role. The most common of these include a workstyle assessment and a work sample assessment as follows:
Work Style Assessment
This is used to determine your professional style and how it aligns with the Amazon Leadership Principles which we will go into in more detail later in the article. You will be sent a list of statements and asked to select the one that best represents your work style.
It may be tempting to be dishonest on the workstyle assessment to present yourself as someone better suited for the role. But it is best to be truthful. If you are misleading about your workstyle and end up getting the job, you may not be happy at the position.
This part of the recruitment typically takes 10-20 minutes to complete.
Work Sample Simulations
The work sample simulation requires you to complete virtual tasks relevant to the role you are applying for. You are judged on how well you complete it in terms of interpersonal skills, problem-solving, and data processing. This part of the assessment can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Other Possible Assessments
Other possible assessments include:
- Amazon Coding Assessment: This will be necessary for those applying for a Software Design Engineer position
- Amazon Pathways Test: This test is given to those applying for senior management and assesses factors such as your ability to work in a team setting and handle metrics.
- AWS Assessment Test: This test is necessary if you are applying for roles such as Solution Architect, Cloud Support, Cloud Architect, or any other Amazon Web Services (AWS) position
- Amazon Area Manager Assessment: Area managers must undergo four assessment modules that focus on working with metrics.
- Amazon Operations Manager Assessment Test: This tests areas that are pertinent to operation manager duties.
- Amazon MBA Online Assessment: Several positions fall under the Amazon MBA category. In advanced positions, you can expect the assessment to be complex.
- Amazon Ramsay Test: This test was created by certified engineers and is considered the toughest part of the Amazon maintenance tech hiring process.
- Amazon Mechatronics & Robotics (RME) Apprenticeship Skills Battery Test: This test determines the skills of Amazon’s Reliability Maintenance & Engineering staff members.
- Amazon Control Systems Technical Test: This assessment is similar to the Maintenance Technician Test but it focuses more on electricity, electronics, and robotics.
- Amazon Financial Analyst Assessment: Financial analysts need to undergo work simulation, workstyle, and technical assessments to determine their skills in the field.
- Amazon ATA Technical Assistant: Technical assistants need to undergo three Amazon Academy Tests, a workstyle assessment, and a technical assessment.
- Amazon Warehouse Assessment Test: Warehouse workers need to undergo behavioral and personality assessments.
5. Go Through the Interview Process
If you do well on your assessments, you move forward to the interview process. There are various stages to the interview process as follows:
Coordination of HR Recruiter and Phone Interview
In most instances, the interview process will begin with a phone or video call from an HR recruiter. You will discuss your background and what makes you a good fit for the job. You will be asked questions such as:
- Tell me about yourself
- Why Amazon?
- Tell me about a time you failed
- How do you go that extra mile for the customer?
- How do you deal with demanding customers?
To ace the interview, it is recommended you use the STAR method as follows:
- Situation: Set the scene and give the details of your example
- Task: Describe your responsibility in the situation
- Action: Describe the steps you took to address the situation
- Result: Share the outcome
This provides the interviewer with a “digestive but compelling narrative” of what happened and establishes you as a succinct storyteller while showcasing your skills.
6. Get the Writing Test
If you pass the interview, you may be asked to participate in a writing test. This is a two-page essay that will answer questions such as “What is the Most Creative Project You Worked On?” or “What Have You Done to Make a Customer’s Life Easier?” Your essay will be judged on how well your example aligns with Amazon’s leadership skills.
7. Do an Onsite Interview
Next, you will be required to engage in 6-7 60-minute interviews that will require you to stay on the Amazon site for the entire day. You will be interviewed by potential colleagues, the recruiting manager, and a senior executive. Each interviewer will concentrate on 2 -3 leadership skills.
Here are the types of interviews you may be looking at:
This most common type of interview looks at your past behavior to gauge your future behavior and how it relates to the job you are applying for. It is conducted by a member of the team you may be joining. It will assess your abilities to lead and make decisions. You will be asked for specific examples of times when you showed leadership.
The technical interview will also be conducted by a member of the team you are applying for. Your technical abilities and knowledge will be assessed. You will be asked questions about the fields you are claiming to be proficient in. You may need to write code on a board or laptop.
Bar Raiser Interview
The bar raiser interview is the final interview in the process. It is not given by a member of the team you are applying for. It assesses your suitability for the position based on motivation, work ethic, and communication skills. You will be asked to give specific examples of situations where you excelled.
8. Go Through the Hiring Meeting
After your interview is complete, the people you met with will hold a meeting to decide if they want to move forward with the hiring process.
9. Get the Offer Meeting
If all goes well, a member of HR will contact you to inquire about your present and estimated salary. They will make you an offer based on this information as well as the job requirements and Amazon’s budget. This is usually done in person. You will not be able to bargain for a better offer.
Other Possible Stages of the Interview Process
Depending on the position you are applying for, Amazon may also utilize the following interview processes:
A Reference Check: A reference check is required for some senior positions. The recruiter will want to meet with at least one former boss and one former colleague for 15-20 minutes to find out if you are a good fit for the job.
Drug Check: Amazon’s policy prohibits drug use and you may be tested. The test is usually conducted after you have accepted the offer and before you start work.
Background Check: The background check is performed to ensure you are who you say you are and that there is nothing in your past that would make you potentially dangerous to Amazon customers or employees.
How Long Does the Amazon Hiring Process Take?
There is no clear answer to this question. Amazon’s hiring process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. If you are looking for a senior position, you can expect it to take a long time. The process will be quicker for lower positions.
Here’s an idea of the timeline you can expect according to the position you are applying to.
- Software Development Engineer (SDE): 2-3 weeks- this is a lengthy process as it entails 5-6 onsite interviews as well as assessments.
- Fulfillment Associate: 1-2 days, most fulfillment associates report being hired after just a group interview
- Customer Service Rep: Up to 1 week, pre-interview screening, problem-solving exercises, and an on-site interview will be required in the hiring process.
- HR Assistant: Most HR assistants get hired within two weeks, be prepared to engage in a group and on-site interview when applying for this position.
- Shipper: 1-2 days, Shippers will go through very few screenings, only half are background checked, group interviews are typically conducted instead of one-on-one interviews
Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles
Almost every step in the Amazon hiring process requires the applicant to be assessed against the company’s leadership principles. It’s important to get familiar with these principles in advance. They are as follows:
- Customer Obsession – Leaders are focused on earning customer trust and loyalty. While they keep their eye on the competition, customer satisfaction is a priority.
- Ownership – Leaders keep their eye on long-term goals. They will never sacrifice long-term values for short-term results. They act on behalf of the company rather than themselves or their team. They hold themselves accountable for everything that goes on in the company and will never pass the buck.
- Invent and Simplify – Leaders are dedicated to innovation and invention. They look for new ideas everywhere. They come up with new processes to simplify tasks. They go outside of the box, even if it means being misunderstood.
- Are Right, A Lot – Leaders are often correct due to their commitment to confirming their beliefs and researching different perspectives. This is coupled with their naturally good judgment and strong instincts.
- Learn and Be Curious – Leaders never stop learning. They are curious about new processes and they are always looking to improve themselves.
- Hire and Develop the Best – Leaders develop leaders. They focus on their best talent and make every effort to advance them forward through promotions, raises, and coaching. They look to provide new avenues for development similar to Amazon’s Career Choice program.
- Insist on the Highest Standards – Leaders are known for their high standards. They are constantly raising the bar to get the very best products, services, and processes. They fix problems as they catch them to ensure superior output.
- Think Big – Leaders think big to get results that exceed all standards. They find better ways to service customers and provide optimal satisfaction.
- Bias for Action – When it comes to business, speed is essential. While some matters call for reflection others do not need extensive study. Calculated risk-taking is an honorable skill.
- Frugality – Frugality allows you to do more with less. It breeds resourcefulness and invention. It is preferable to excess hiring or increasing budget size to reach business goals.
- Earn Trust – Leaders earn trust by listening carefully, speaking honestly, and treating others with respect. They will point out their own shortcomings even if it comes at their own expense. They do not think they are better than anyone else. They compare themselves to the best and are honest in how they measure up.
- Dive Deep – Leaders face all tasks and never say anything is beneath them. They assess details and pay careful attention when things don’t add up.
- Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit – Leaders are not afraid to respectfully disagree even when it puts them in an uncomfortable situation. They will not compromise to be more favored by their colleagues. Once they find a solution, they will be fully committed to it.
- Deliver Results – Leaders focus on business priorities and come through on them in a timely fashion. They never settle and always provide quality results, even in the face of setbacks.
- Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer – Leaders care deeply about their team. They strive to create a safe, productive, high-performing, and diverse work environment. They employ empathy and do their best to make work fun. They are dedicated to their employee’s success, growth, and empowerment. They ensure their team is ready for what’s next, whether it be at Amazon or another company.
- Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility – Amazon started in a garage and has grown to unbelievable proportions. Their leaders must have the same outlook of ‘anything is possible’. However, they must maintain their humility. They must consider how their actions impact the world, the planet, local communities, employees, customers, and future generations, and they must always strive to do better. A leader must create more than they consume and go to bed looking forward to what they can do tomorrow.
Amazon Technical Academy
Those looking for job growth may consider joining the Amazon Technical Academy (ATA). The nine-month course allows you to become an Amazon Software Development Engineer in just nine months. It is short but challenging.
To join the ATA, you must meet the following requirements:
- Worked at Amazon for one consecutive year as a full-time or part-time Blue Badge worker
- You must not have any write-ups
- You must be a U.S. citizen
- You must have permission to work full-time for Amazon in the United States
The AMCAT Test
You must fill out an application to take the course, and then take the Aspiring Minds Computer Adaptive Test (AMCAT). The test takes much more time and thought to complete as than other pre-employment tests. Students must study for hours before they will be ready to take it.
The test consists of 24 multiple-choice questions which must be completed in 35 minutes. It measures logical reasoning skills but no coding is required. The questions get more difficult as you go. Math and word problems are included.
You only get one chance to take the AMCAT. If you fail, you will not proceed to the ATA program and you will not get the chance to take the test again.
There are prep packs and study guides available to help you pass the test. You should refer to those if you want to move forward with the course.
Just like those who want to work for the Amazon company, people who wish to participate in the ATA course must undergo a workstyle assessment. This is a personality test that takes about 15 minutes to complete. It measures how well you match up to Amazon’s leadership principles.
The last part of the ATA is the Technical Assessment. There is a coding section on the assessment but it is optional. A good part of the test is on Java so you will need to brush up on your Java skills to pass that position.
Applicants are given three hours to complete the test, but most will finish within 90 minutes. It is administered on a computer and a webcam camera will be taking pictures of you throughout the test-taking process. If you have other tabs on the computer open while taking the assessment, you may be disqualified.
The test consists of sentence completions and multiple choice questions that test your Java knowledge as well as the coding question section.
ATA coursework includes the following:
- Unit one: This is a six-week coding course that reviews the basics of coding, Java, and design
- Unit two: This is a five-week course on software design including structures and data composition
- Unit three: This is a four-week course about data and logging information
- Unit four: This is a one-month course that reviews the basics of computer operations including developers, data, and queues
- Subsection: This subsection of unit four is called Learn and Be Curious. So named for one of Amazon’s 16 principles, this one-month section provides extra information on coding and helps you determine if you need assistance moving forward.
- Unit five: This one-month course includes advanced topics like caching and data
- Capstone: This is a ten-week wrap-up of all the units. It reviews designs, fundamentals, and other advanced features.
How Much Does the ATA Program Cost?
The ATA program is free for Amazon employees. Employees get paid to take it. They will receive $3692 a month which equals $21.19 per hour considering a 40-hour work week.
Amazon is a desirable place to work due to its competitive salaries, wide range of positions, and room for advancement. But the hiring process can be challenging considering the many assessments and interviews. Do you have what it takes to earn a position at the company?