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Amazon.com – Why Work For Us?

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We have a high bar for ourselves at Amazon.

Most Amazonians will tell you they work hard and smart—100% of the time.  Amazonians will also proudly tell you they wouldn’t have it any other way.  Along with innovation and obsession over customers, hard work is inherently part of any Amazonian’s DNA.

Amazon’s promise to be Earth’s most Customer-centric company is a tall, tough order.  We are grateful to our Customers for their business, and we work hard every day to make sure that we continue to deserve their trust.  We are proud of what we’re building at Amazon because we think it’s something important, it matters to our customers, and it’s something we can tell our grandchildren about.  From our perspective, such things aren’t meant to be easy.

We hire the world’s brightest minds at Amazon, offering an opportunity to make a direct impact and drive change at internet speed. If you are a passionate leader and innovative pioneer, Amazon is looking to hand you the keys to build “what’s next” for generations to come. 

It’s still Day 1 at Amazon—are you ready to join us?

 

Yeah, we work hard here at Amazon, but we have a ton of fun doing it! Fun is a core competency at Amazon—we look for people that have fun at work and make it easy for others to have fun. So, don’t be surprised if your ability to have fun pops up in an interview…

Fun Example #1

Want to bring your best friend to work with you? Employees at Amazon’s corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington bring their dogs to work every day. Everything canine walks the halls—from Siberian Huskies to Chinese Crested Hairless.  Employees and their dogs enjoy dog biscuits at the reception desks, dog-friendly water fountains in the outside plazas, and lunchtime walks to nearby off-leash dog parks. In fact, we even named one of the buildings in our headquarters after the very first Amazonian dog—a corgi named “Rufus."

Fun Example #2

Like books and music? Dozens of well-known and up-and-coming authors and musicians read and perform for Amazon employees every year. Recent guests have included George R.R. Martin, William Gibson, Mario Batali, Tony Hawk, Erik Larson, Darius Rucker, Everlast, and Suze Orman. Every employee is welcome to join in these exclusive Amazonian-only events! 

Fun Example #3

Enjoy wrapping presents and think it would be fun to see what it takes to get the holiday gifts wrapped and delivered on time? Take the opportunity to volunteer to gift wrap at one of the fulfillment centers. If you normally work at a fulfillment center, volunteer to work with local charities and help coordinate the “Gift Wrap with a Smile” program where charities can earn money for each package they gift wrap!

These are just a few examples—we have ping-pong tournaments, Movember Mustache fundraisers, book clubs, and even tasty bake sales. Check out the slide show on this page to see more fun. 

 

In July of 1995 Amazon made its first sale on the internet: the book "Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought."  Today, Amazon has more than 209 million active customer accounts and more than 2 million active seller accounts. In 2012, Interbrand ranked Amazon.com #20 in their annual ranking of the world’s most valuable brands, and Fortune Magazine ranked Amazon the third most admired company in the world. Some interesting events in Amazon’s history:

  • 1998 Amazon launches its first international sites,  Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom) and Amazon.de (Germany)        
  • 2000 Amazon launches Amazon.fr (France) and Amazon.co.jp (Japan)
  • 2002 Amazon launches Amazon Web Services, and Amazon.ca (Canada)
  • 2004 Amazon acquires Joyo.com (China) limited, which became Joyo/Amazon in 2007
  • 2005 Amazon introduces Amazon Prime
  • 2007 Amazon launches Kindle
  • 2008 Amazon announces beginning of its Frustration-Free Packaging Initiative
  • 2009 Amazon introduces AmazonWireless
  • 2010 Amazon launches Amazon.it (Italy) and Amazon Mom
  • 2011 Amazon launches Amazon.es (Spain) and AmazonLocal, and introduces Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, and the Silk, Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G
  • 2012 Amazon launches Amazon.com.br (Brazil) and Amazon Wine, and introduces Kindle Paperwhite and Fire HD

We’ve accomplished a lot since our first sale in 1995, but there’s still so much more to do. Come to Amazon and make your own history. It’s still Day 1.

Amazon.com Reviews

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Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
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  1. 233 people found this helpful  

    Can be amazing for some people, horrible for others

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazon is doing lot's of cool stuff...but lots of boring stuff too. There are really well run teams...and very badly run teams. The experience for software managers and engineers is all over the board, from really run low operational load teams to teams where people burn out after a year.

     - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. You can generally expect that anyone who's been here for more than 2 years is competent and motivated or they wouldn't have survived. You can count on them as long as your priorities are aligned. There aren't many slackers here, and they don't survive long.
      - We work on so much stuff that there's always an opportunity to find amazing cool stuff to work on (note that it's an 'opportunity', one that you have to pursue)
      - A chance to make a huge difference
      - A place where you can learn a lot about all kinds of things, both technical and about yourself
      - Amazon encourages high mobility - even your manager can't prevent you from moving to another team within 6 weeks (normally, more than a few months under unusual conditions).
      - Your friends and family have actually heard of the place you work and have at least a vague notion of what Amazon does without you having to explain

    Cons

    - You're responsible for your own career progression and finding the places and teams that are doing the stuff you want to do. No one is going to take you by the hand and help you with that.
    - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. The strong survive and the weak perish (metaphorically speaking) and the 'bar' is constantly increasing. The level of performance that would have been acceptable five years ago will get you canned today. It's a kind of crucible that'll help you develop a harder edge, if you can survive, that can serve you well in your career and in life, but it's often not a pleasant experience.

    I wouldn't recommend it as a place to work for just anyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stack ranking is a horrible practice since it's rife with favoritism. It's also not Amazonian in that it's not data based (arbitrarily designating a certain percentage of employees that must be put on performance management isn't a data driven criterion) and it's not frugal (effectively forcing an individual out of the company in one division who would make the grade in another is either retaining someone who doesn't meet the bar or a waste of talent). The goal is to force managers to actually make the hard decisions about how their team members compare with each other (not everyone can be exceptional), but it has more defects than virtues. Replace it with a common comparison of each person against the bar for their position, based on data. The percentages that are assigned to each performance category will turn out how they turn out, but there will be an evaluation mechanism that's fair and frugal.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Amazon.com Interviews

Updated Oct 20, 2014
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

41%
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16%

Interview Difficulty

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  1. 233 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at Amazon.com in May 2013.

    Interview Details

    Called out of the blue, asked if I'd be interested in interviewing. Still not entirely sure how they got my name. Had first phone interview the next week, asked no personal questions, all technical in nature. Total of 3 phone interviews and an in-person trip out to Seattle.

    Took about 4 months start to finish. The people in the in person interview were wonderful. Very smart, laid back, and understanding. Got lunch, small tour of campus, and learned what I'd be doing. Got the offer 2 business days after the in person interview.

    Sadly, I signed a NDA and I respect the terms of that. As such, I can't give you any specific questions, but I'll gladly give you the best advice I have.

    Phone Interviews :

    Phone interviews are sucky by nature. Coordinating a call from west to east coast alone is painful, add the fact that phones just take away the benefits of body language, and just make it harder to hear, and you've got a recipe for disaster. But fear not! Here are some helpful hints, some of which are obvious, some of which are not.

    1. Get ready ahead of time. I just mean, get to the area you'll be doing the interview beforehand. I'd recommend an hour or more, just to get your nerves ready. Breathe, get used to the surroundings, and get everything laid out ahead of time. Which brings me to...

    2. I know it's a "programming" interview, but for the love of all things good, have a pen and paper ready and at your disposal. Bring a backup pen. Much like a printer, the pen will fail at the worst possible time. You may also need a laptop, as I was asked to do "on the fly" programming. But close anything and everything distracting. Speaking of...

    3. Pick a spot where there are no distractions. You'll want your undivided attention on this interview. Don't have BookTweet or FaceSpace or MyGram or that crap open if you have a laptop. And I personally wouldn't pick a public space, you never know when an annoying parent will put their screaming child right beside you.

    4. Breathe. Just breathe. Take a moment, stretch, and remember you got this. If you have trouble hearing, don't be afraid to ask again. Don't be afraid to say you don't know. Do as for clarifications, and state assumptions up front. Always re-state the problem as you understand it.

    As for the content : For the love of God, know what a time complexity is, and how to determine it for any and all code you write. Know the time complexities of all sorts. Know all data structures, how to use them, and properties of each. (Insertion time, deletion, etc) Generally know what heck you're talking about. But don't talk too much. You don't want silence at any point really, but you certainly don't want to let the interviewer not get a word in. Know graph theory, tree theory, and all the fun stuff associated with more "complex" structures. Understand what your language does behind the scenes, as far as GC and compiling go. Know how your language use internal structures to manage the code/objects you write.

    **Continued below**

    Negotiation Details
    As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

Amazon.com Awards & Accolades

Something missing? Add an award
Top 200 World's Most Reputable Companies, Forbes, 2009
America's Most Reputable Company (#1), Forbes, 2011
Top 50 Most Admired Companies, Fortune, 2012
Best Global Brands (#20), Interbrand, 2012
Top 10 Most Reputable Companies, Forbes, 2013
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Additional Info

Website www.amazon.com
Headquarters Seattle, WA
Size 5000+ Employees
Founded 1994
Type Company - Public (AMZN)
Industry Information Technology
Revenue $10+ billion (USD) per year
Competitors Google, Apple, eBay Inc.

What began as Earth's biggest bookstore has become Earth's biggest everything store. Expansion has propelled Amazon.com in innumerable directions. While the website still offers millions of books, movies, games, and music, electronics and other general merchandise categories, including apparel and accessories, auto parts, home furnishings, health and beauty aids, toys, and... More

Mission: To be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the... More

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