You may know Amazon as the go-to place to buy everything from designer watch bands to toilet paper. But Amazon is more than an e-commerce platform—it’s also a technology titan providing artificial intelligence, digital streaming, cloud computing, and much more. It employees nearly 800,000 people across the U.S. in roles that range from operations managers to data architects.
If you’d like to land a job at Amazon, it’s no wonder: The company receives a 3.9 overall rating by Glassdoor reviewers, while its CEO, Jeff Bezos, enjoys an 86 percent approval rating. As one current employee sums up, Amazon offers a bevy of benefits, including “really smart people, a lot of opportunity for growth, [and we’re] always encouraged to be innovative, think big, and create something new. Competitive salary and benefits with other major tech companies. 100 percent self-motivating work environment. No dress code and four-legged friends are welcome.”
If that sounds like a dream job, read on to find out what you’ll need to know to work at Amazon.
You’ll find Amazon’s open jobs on its Glassdoor profile, where you can narrow the results by a preferred position, location, and the date the job was posted. Once you’ve found a job—or two—for which you’d like to apply, simply click the “Apply Now” button on the job listing page, and you’ll be taken to Amazon’s website, where you can submit your application, resume, and more.
According to Amazon’s website, the company will only contact you if it’s interested in pursuing an interview. “We’re not able to make personal contact with everyone who submits a resume,” it writes. But you can check the status of your application by logging into your application profile.
And if you don’t have a resume, the company won’t count you out: While Amazon recommends you apply with one, the company will still review your application without one. “Just be sure to fill in a brief description of your background, experience, educational achievements, and skills,” the company instructs on its website. “This information is necessary to evaluate candidates.”
If you’re interested in a job at one of Amazon’s warehouses, you definitely don’t need a resume, Amazon says. (And you can simply apply by visiting this website, specific to warehouse jobs.)
Your first interview—a phone interview—might be with an Amazon recruiter. To prepare for the call, Amazon recommends you take time to learn about Amazon, which you can do on its site or its Glassdoor profile, where you’ll find information about Amazon’s mission, values, and more.
According to its Glassdoor profile, Amazon uses “behavioral-based interviewing, which is based on discovering how you think and behave in various employment-related situations,” Amazon says, adding that the technique “helps us better understand how you solve problems, challenge conventional thinking, and keep projects moving forward.” Be prepared to talk through scenarios with a recruiter—and read up on Amazon’s leadership principles, too, to find out how Amazon expects its employees to handle customer concerns, use good judgment, think big, and more.
As you know, Amazon employs behavioral-based interviewing—and on its Glassdoor profile, it gives tips for the best way to respond in such an interview situation. Here’s how to impress Amazon, no matter the question you’re asked: “The STAR method is a structured way of responding to behavioral-based interview questions that includes discussing the situation, task, action, and result,” Amazon says. “We recommend leveraging this format in your answers.”
As for the questions you’ll be asked, Glassdoor reviewers have shared hundreds of questions that they were asked in their interviews. But here are five questions you can (almost) count on:
- Tell me about a time you had to handle a crisis.
- Describe a time you exhibited the fast deployment of a solution or project.
- Tell me about a time you failed at a project.
- Describe a time when you were innovative.
- Describe a time when you disagreed with a supervisor.
According to its website, Amazon “uses online assessments as one way to help us get to know you better, and we design them to measure key characteristics required for success in a role.” The type of assessment you’ll take may depend on the position for which you’ve applied, but Amazon uses two types of assessments: work style assessments, and work sample simulations.
Amazon describes its work style assessments as centered around the company’s culture and its leadership principles. This assessment takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to complete. “In these assessments, we ask you to choose the extent to which a statement represents your work style,” Amazon says. “We may ask you which of the two statements ‘I like for things to be clearly structured’ or ‘I look forward to the opportunity to learn new things’ best describes you.”
For its work sample simulations, Amazon will ask you to complete virtual tasks that relate to the job for which you’re applying. You’ll spend 20 minutes to one hour on the simulation, Amazon estimates. The simulations “may ask you to make decisions based on our leadership principles, complete activities critical to success at Amazon, and demonstrate your problem-solving, prioritization, and interpersonal abilities,” it says. And depending on the role for which you’ve applied, “the assessment may ask you to interpret data from a chart, answer a customer question, choose how to resolve an issue, multitask, or find the right information from multiple sources.”
To succeed at its assessments, Amazon offers a couple tips: “Try not to overthink them or spend too much time on any one question,” it says. “We want to get to know the authentic you, as there are many types of successful people at Amazon.” And before you begin, make sure you read the instructions carefully, Amazon recommends, “since things like timing, deadlines, and assessment types can vary depending on the team.”
Amazon is focused on attracting—and retaining—top talent, which means its offers are often competitive. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to negotiate once you receive your offer.
Salary negotiation coach Josh Doody tells Glassdoor that you can improve an Amazon offer from “somewhat” to “a whole lot,” and that you “have to be willing to consider non-salary options and think deeply about how long you really want to work at Amazon” to be successful.
So, in addition to negotiating your base salary, consider asking Amazon to increase your sign-on bonus, if one has been offered to you, or other benefits, such as vacation and personal time off.
According to Doody, your negotiation will begin even before you get an offer, however. “Your Amazon recruiter will often ask for your salary history, or at least your current salary if it’s legal where they are,” Doody writes, before advising that you “do not tell them your current salary.”
You also shouldn’t share your salary expectations—another piece of information you shouldn’t provide. “Do not tell them your salary expectations because you will be guessing what they might pay someone with your skillset and experience to do the job they need done,” he writes.
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