Amazon.com Senior Product Manager Interview Questions

Updated Sep 2, 2015
137 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (1)  

Senior Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in September 2010.

Interview

First contact was from an HR person asking for a phone interview. First phone interview led to a follow-up, which led to being brought out to Seatte for an all-day session. The focus was primarily on decisions I've made that were data-based. Also had *lots* of scenarios where they asked how you would approach the problem. Wanted to see problem solving skills, no correct answer. *Extremely* intense, and not realy anything you could prepare for with traditional interviewing methods.

Interview Questions

  • Asked what my aproach would be to a variety of product issues   1 Answer
  • Asked about speciic pricing questions   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon.com

  1.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2010.

    Interview

    Hiring manager spoke with me. Flew me to Seattle, met with 9 people. Received an offer in 3 weeks.

    Negotiation

    Limited.

  2. Helpful (8)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Cupertino, CA) in August 2012.

    Interview

    I have had two interviews separated by a couple of years for unrelated jobs. The first, about 3 years back, I think I applied online and got a call shortly thereafter. We arranged a face to face at the Cupertino location. Without really a phone screen. To me, that usually indicates some interest on their part. The person I was meeting was a bit late, and didn't say anything about it. For some reason, she took me to a nearby cafe for the interview even though I had been checked in. I'm very informal so I didn't mind so much, but I do think interviewing in a coffee shop is kind of strange. Anyway, the interviewer was one of the coldest fish I've ever spoken with. No enthusiasm whatsoever. Made me wonder if she hated working at Amazon? Not inspiring.

    Interview Questions

    • This was pre-Kindle Fire and the questions were about if Amazon should compete with the iPad. Reasonable questions, but very kept very hypothetical. Most of my responses were trying to show the questions I'd look to answer before making a decision. When I said, for example that I'd want to understand Amazon's goals in releasing a new Kindle the reply was that was up to me. Though I may be in charge of a product, clearly Amazon's entire strategy including content (movies, books, music, general merchandise) is not up to a single Senior Product Manager. As much as I love to be given a lot of room to make decisions, launching a device is a big decision that should meet business objectives beyond the scope of a single PM. In my experience, there's always a bigger context. I'm sure she felt my responses were too wishy washy because I was trying to show how I'd go about making the decision (if it were mine to make). When I interview people, I want to know how they think and how they would act. The specifics of the decisions are somewhat less important. I think I made clear how I would go about doing the research, how I'd go about trying to make a decision, etc. None of it seemed to satisfy her. She seemed to want, "this is what I'd do" . Mind you, this wasn't something I could have prepared for since this device was secret at the time. So it isn't like I could quote real numbers, etc. All I could do is talk about the process I'd use to come to a conclusion. The outcome would depend on what I learned and what the constraints were (objectives set for me, etc.) Even though I didn't have numbers to back me up, I did go down the path of, "based on what I know *now* i can see how X makes the most sense." Even that wasn't specific enough to impress. That unceremoniously ended that set of discussions. I was approached by an Amazon recruiter last week about another unannounced product. The recruiter was very nice and set up a phone call with the hiring manager. It was a slightly better tone, but still the manager was remarkably monotone. I tried to appreciate that this must be how Amazon managers are trained to interview and didn't take it personally but it is hard to have an enthusiastic demeanor when there is virtually no response on the other end from the start, no matter what you say. The manager also insisted on using a speaker phone during the call despite that initially I said it sounded like a very bad connection. Only toward the end did she pick up the phone so I could actually hear her well. Without being able to tell me what the product was, the questions were similar. For an "imaginary" product, what would I do... Again I said my first step was to understand the overall goals or suggest them if none existed and get buy in as part of the concept. Everything from there hinges on that. Without some agreement on why we are doing something and how it fits the bigger context it is hard to know where to take the device. Features, priorities, etc. are all driven from what we hope to achieve. Look at the Kindle strategy itself vs say, Apple. Apple is selling the hardware essentially pure and simple. Amazon almost gives away Kindle to make sales of movies, music, and books. I said if that was the strategy here too, then I would do X. Now people who know me know that I'm anything but wishy washy. While I can change my mind in light of new information or persuasion--I'm very decisive. But it rarely makes sense to make decisions without any information and describing the information I'd get before making a decision seemed like an unacceptable response. I had a mixed feeling about the interview, but I was able to tell from LinkedIn that the manager had checked my profile. I read hers and then followed her on twitter and I think she followed be back. I thought this may be a good sign. Sure enough they arranged another round of phone interviews. Good! The next interview went very similarly. Same monotone, same unenthusiastic responses. Same hypothetical questions. I should add that none of the of the hypotheticals were aided. For example, If I asked a question, there was nothing like, "assume X and go from there." I understand the idea they are shooting for, but the combination of asking about hypothetical products without participating in a meaningful way. Anyway, the whole thing is kind of disappointing as i think highly of Amazon as a customer and I could contribute a great deal.   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (77)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in October 2013.

    Interview

    I applied to multiple positions at Amazon throughout my time in business school through the school's career management portal. I finally received an invite for a role within a fast growing division at the company. 1st Round: Hiring Manager (Director) discussed background and experience including prior roles at Amazon. Then transitioned to detailing current team and objective. This description was highly insightful and I recommend taking very detailed notes as it will help you prepare for later rounds. The interviewer then transitioned to describing the role (new position) they were hiring for and expectations for a successful candidate. Interviewer then opened for questions. This was followed by a competency based interview using the Adler "ONE QUESTION INTERVIEW METHOD" If you are not familiar with this format do yourself a favor and look it up. It is a variation of the typical Competency Behavioral Question, but requires a much deeper story than standard STAR response as it dives deep during follow-up questions. There was no typical walk me through your resume portion. Initial Question: What do you consider your most impactful piece of work and why? Follow-up Questions: How did you come to work on this particular project? How did you go about coming up with the initial analysis and recommendation? What was the project/product lifecycle? What were some interesting facts that you learned from the data? Who else was working with you on your team, what was your role? How did you present your findings to senior leadership? What was their response? How did you overcome initial pushback? What initiative did you take during the process? What was the result of the project? Interview concluded with typical question and answer round followed by a brief description of candidacy process. 1 more phone round, plus on-site loop and possible written case. Received 2nd round telephone invite 2 days later, scheduling process was similar to 1st round. 2nd Round: Team member (Product Manager). The call had barely begun and the interviewer jumped into case interview. He had to pause and rewind to introduce himself when he realized he had just jumped in head first. The case was a very typical "interviewer-led" consulting case, where the business problem was based on actual Amazon problem. If you don't know what this is you desperately need to pick up either "Case in Point" or "Case Interview Secrets" by Victor Cheng. The case started was mixed (40/60) qualitative/quantitative where interviewer expected you to identify need to do market segmentation, sizing, and P&L estimation. There were -a lot- of numbers and towards the end of the case I tripped up several times inverting several numbers and also saying some pretty dumb sounding things. A full quant case is hard enough in person doing it while on the phone was exceptionally difficult. At the end of the case the interviewer wrapped up by asking for a recommendation. When I had made the recommendation which I knew was correct, he asked me "ok, but how are we going to do that?" After a few generic answers didn't satisfy him it was clear he was looking for a specific answer. I happened to nail it just as his patience seemed to be waning. Case took about 35-40 mins. The interview concluded with about 5 mins of Q&A. After 2nd Round I though I was toast. I had tripped up towards the end of the case, and the only thing I could hope for was that I had earned enough points early on in the case to pass, but wasn't sure where the bar had been set. On a consulting case interview scale of (1-10) this case was at or above 8. Similar to late round McK & Co. To my relief I was invited for on-site the following morning. For the details on travel etc you can read up other on-site experiences on glassdoor.com, mine was close to identical. On-site 5 Interview as follows: Hiring Manager, Non-Team Member (Senior Product Manager), Team Member (Sr. Product Manager), Team Member (Principal Product Manager), Team Member who first interviewed me (Senior Product Manager). All the interviews were competency based interviews. Most, if not all followed previously mentioned Adler method. The principle product manager gave me what I guess would be considered bar raiser interview. It started off really friendly and then he started to turn up the heat. A lot of push back after my responses. How would you market yourself as a product? Finished with brief meeting with recruiting manager to discuss feedback, go over salary expectations, relocation package, questions/concerns etc. Hiring manager gave me an exact date for when my evaluation meeting would take place and promised to contact me with a decision either that same day of the meeting or the next day. Recruiting manager called on exact date as promised.

    Interview Questions

    • Adler style "One Question Interview", Full Quant Case Interview   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No Negotiation. Same offer as entire MBA class.

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  5.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    Flew to Seattle for the in-person interview after two phone interviews. I studied for hours the behavior interviewing questions online (googled) and matched with stories of my past. I expected some normal traditional interviewing, but that didn't happen. It was one of the most draining processes I've endured in years. They ask a NDA to be signed so no specifics can be discussed. My advice to you is to make sure you understand the core principles backwards and forwards. Also, make sure you dress cool. I made a mistake by dressing up. Read all of the Glassdoor interviews. Not just for this position, but any for management or specialized positions. I thought 99% I had the position, but was turned down. Everybody was really nice. The facility is amazing. The company is top-notch. They're just very niche in how they do things.

    Interview Questions

    • Behavioral questions you can easily find on the internet pertaining to the Amazon leadership principles.   Answer Question
  6. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Irvine, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Irvine, CA) in September 2014.

    Interview

    Phone interview. The guy interviewing me was talking to me on speaker, "multi tasking" I could not hear him well and he seemed upset with me that I could not hear him. My former VP is a VP at Amazon and 3 of my former co-workers are working at Amazon, I was very excited to have the opportunity. Disappointed that Amazon lets the employee's act so arrogant and disrespectful. I was well prepared for an interview that gave me no chance. Hopefully most people will not encounter this.

    Interview Questions

  7.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in March 2014.

    Interview

    I interviewed with six people. Each had an amazon leadership principle or two to probe me on. Interviews are behavioral, include a "MIQ" (most important question) style question, so prepare examples thoroughly. Typical questions will focus around providing an example of a time when you xxx - i.e. a time when you simplified something complex, went above and beyond for a customer, etc. Prepare your examples well, and don't try to make things up: they're very easy to spot.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about the accomplishment you're most proud of, and why   Answer Question
  8.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in March 2014.

    Interview

    Process included HR Phone screen, Phone interview with hiring manager, written response to specific questions to provide writing sample, plus 7 hours of interviews in Seattle onsite for one full day with hiring manager and extended team members

    Interview Questions

    • Share examples of how you have prioritized projects to maximize resources and the results achieved   Answer Question
  9.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed at Amazon.com (London, England (UK)) in July 2011.

    Interview

    Took a lot of time to get the interview process going, after several calls with various recruiters. I even had to chase recruiters several times to get the process going. The actual interview day was good, 4 interviews in a row, it was informative, people were nice. Got the chance to ask a lot of questions. Discussed my fit with the role (and other open positions) with the hiring manager, and was able to explore other options within Amazon. Ended up taking an offer for a different role than the one they had originally called me for.

    Interview Questions

    • Example of a product you owned from conception to launch.   Answer Question
  10.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview

    two phone screens followed by onsite. All the questions were behavior focussed and were based on your prior expreiences. The interview was very well coordinated and the hiring manager takes you for a lunch interview.

    Interview Questions

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