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Amazon.com Program Manager Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 28, 2014
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Interview Experience 

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Interview Difficulty 

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager

I applied through other source and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in October 2012.

Interview Details – I was contacted out of the blue by a recruiter, who was very nice. I don't have any background in retail, e-commerce, etc., so I was rather surprised that Amazon was interested in me. The recruiter indicated that there were several opportunities that he thought I would be a good match for, and proceeded to set me up with a phone interview with a manager whose background he thought was similar to mine. The actual phone interview, however, was oddly impersonal. It was rigidly structured -- 5 minutes for the interviewer to introduce himself, 10 minutes for him to ask me questions, 12-ish minutes for a "case" study, and then he allowed me to ask him 2-3 questions. I tried to make it the tone more "conversational" but he seemed annoyed that I was taking him off script, so I stopped because he clearly didn't care about interacting with me in any genuine way. It was a stark difference from my interaction with the recruiter.

I was never explicitly told what job I was interviewing for, and the case study turned out to be very specific to the interviewer's exact job. I know that tech companies like to see "how you think" but to me, this just felt like an exercise in making stuff up and pretending that's how I'd legitimately solve problems on the job. i.e., "Fake it 'til you make it." The interview didn't feel like it had any substance, so I'm not disappointed that it didn't ultimately go anywhere.

Interview Question – Design a buy/sell pricing algorithm for our secondary marketplace in Product Category X.   Answer Question

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3 people found this helpful

Declined Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2008.

Interview Details – Super long-winded, way too many people involved in the process, asked a lot of those stupid esoteric questions ("If I asked you to build an elevator...,") 1/2 of the 7 people who interviewed me were pretentious morons / other half cool, sort of a cult feel to the place. Really disliked it.

Interview Question – At the end of the interview: "Would you like to work here?"   View Answer

Reason for Declining – Felt that the people were lame.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2012.

Interview Details – Typical interview questions. They wanted specific answers to vague scenarios, and declined to provide context.

Interview Question – How would you expand the business?   Answer Question

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4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2011.

Interview Details – I had two phone interviews for a SharePoint program manager, then the job description changed to focus more on SharePoint dev, which I was then ineligible for. The recruiter put me in touch with the hiring manager from another group for a program manager where I met with him in person. He had the notes from the previous phone interviews. The in person with the hiring manager went well enough to move forward with an all day 1:1 interview loop with 6 people. A lot of the interview questions involved provided detailed examples of my experience in leadership, teamwork, communication, project management, problem solving and critical thinking. They want to understand how you process information and think through a problem. The bar raiser was my favorite and most challenging interview. They are someone who is at an advanced level of interviewing, is a key decision maker in the hiring process, and is not affiliated with the hiring team. They will ask you challenging questions that are scenario based and expect a lot of detail. For example, I had a question around which involved launching a 2 different product lines in a country, both were high priority to launch by the holiday season and you only have the resources to do one. How would you launch both before the holidays.

My advice is to treat these meetings like you already have the job and this is simply a working meeting. Be prepared to whiteboard.

Interview Questions

  • You have two products to launch in a new country before the holiday and you have the resources to only launch one product at a time. Walk me through how you would deal with this situation.   View Answers (2)
  • Tell me about a challenge on a project you faced, how you dealt with it, what was your role, and what was the outcome.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I received an offer I was happy with at the time. If I could go back and negotiate, I would have negotiated the option to telecommute at least 1 day out of the week.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Seattle, WA

The process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2012.

Interview Details – It was a good process, and the recruiters were supportive and communicative throughout. A recruiter reached out to me, we scheduled a phone screen. Following that I had two other phone screens. I was asked to submit a writing sample. I also was flown out to Seattle and met onsite with five different people. Lots of different questions ranging from 'tell me about your experience' to 'how would you solve this problem.' Everyone was very friendly- they are really looking for smart, creative and truly innovative people who think big, have good ideas and can back them up.

Interview Question – Under NDA- cannot share this.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Seattle, WA

The process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2011.

Interview Details – I got the interview call in one week after my application. The interview was scheduled a week after that. It was mostly behavioral and qualitative case study.

Interview Questions

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in October 2011.

Interview Details – Contacted by recruiter. Two phone interviews and then they flew me in to visit. I had contact with several people throughout the process so there were a couple of communication problems. I showed them samples of my work and

It seemed like they made up this position and started looking for a special person to fill it without having a good idea of who they were looking for. The hiring manager described a job that was different from the job description. It could have been their approach at scoping people out throughout the industry to see what's going on outside of Amazon. They said they are not "moving forward for the role" but it's still up on their careers site. Who knows.

Everybody was very nice.

Interview Question – How do you deal with ambiguity?   Answer Question

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5 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2011.

Interview Details – It took 3 days to get an interview once my resume was submitted. The staffing agency sent me an e-mail Thursday at 4pm asking if I could be at Amazon for 3 in-person interviews the next morning. I said sure (I had been out of work for almost 2.5 years-though one year of that I had been in school for my MS degree).
I did research on glassdoor and really had no idea what to expect other than NOT to wear a suit.

The first person showed up, very casually and we chatted about the new office (it was two months old in SLU area) and tried to find the conference room (which we eventually did). He asked about stuff on my resume. Then, he asked me to go to the whiteboard. He gave me a product and deadline and asked what I would do. He posed a few more challenges and asked what I would do.

The next interviewer focused more on my resume. He was the sensei black belt and asked about my Lean Six Sigma training and how I've utilized that in past projects. The whole interview process was very laid back. These people were very friendly. We laughed and it seemed very informal (other than there were key questions that they were supposed to ask).

The third interviewer was the boss. He seemed to ask the toughest questions. Again, very laid back guy. Asked how I would solve further problems with even tighter deadlines. Think outside the box when giving answers, they really value that!

At the end, I asked the manager when I would hear back. The interview was Friday and he said they had more interviews scheduled and those would wrap up Tuesday. So Tuesday or Wednesday, I would know from my staffing agency about my performance. I received an e-mail about 3 hours after the conclusion of the interview saying they wanted to HIRE ME! YAH!

I do not know if I got lucky with the interviewers but I really felt more at ease with the whole process than I have at any other company. They were professional yet laid back. The focus was more on my problem solving skills than my past performance (though that is what got me in the door). The biggest reason why I would say the interview was a success was the company is aligned with my values. I value flexibility in scheduling, non formal dress code, good management and their openness to listen to low man on the totem pole, and working w/ smart people.

Interview Question – How would you roll out this idea in 4 months time? (you are responsible for every aspect on it from conception to close-out)   View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2010.

Interview Details – Amazon's internal recruiter contacted me via email with a job description. After several calls back and forth, he setup 2 phone interviews with technical staff from two different departments that were interested in my background.

Both phone interviews were behavioral and case based. "Amazon is planning to launch a new product X. Describe how would you go about determining if Amazon should go ahead with the plan..."

After the phone interviews, recruiter contacted me back (after 1 week) to invite me to Amazon's HQ in Seattle for face-to-face interview. (I am not based in Seattle).

During my visit to HQ, I met with 6 people from different departments on the same day. Most of the questions were business-focused and case-based. One of the interviews was focused on problem-solving skills. Everyone was pleasant to meet and friendly during the interviewing process.

After returning home, I send a thank you note to the recruiter, which was returned undelivered. Apparently, the recruiter was no longer with the company. After several more attempts to reach someone familiar with the interview status, I got in touch with the original recruiter who promised to follow-up with person who would be responding to me.

After about a month, I received an email stating that at this time they will not be extending an offer to me.

Interview Question – Describe some of the ways you would scale a web-based application to handle huge traffic?   View Answer

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2008.

Interview Details – Applied online. Had two phone interviews. The first phone interview was typical introductory interview. Second one was a technical deep dive. Following the interview got call from recruiting to schedule onsite. Onsite interview was full day - 5 interviewers. Each interviewer focused on a different skill - areas covered were communication, program management, strategic thinking and collaborating/influencing.

Interview Question – How does the internet work?   Answer Question

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