Getting A Job At Amazon
Employing over 1.3 million people around the world, and 55,000 in the UK alone, Amazon has grown from a garage in Seattle, to the world's largest online retailer.
Amazon's mission is 'to be earth's most customer-centric company.' So it follows that everyone working at Amazon needs to demonstrate how they are also driven by the customer and providing an unforgettable service.
Amazon's Work Principles
Perhaps the most well-known company in the world, Amazon employs thousands of people worldwide. As a result, getting a foot in the door is highly competitive and involves a seven-stage recruitment process including multiple tests, interviews and an assessment centre.
Amazon is always looking for hard-working, innovative and passionate people to join their expanding team of change-makers.
Types Of Roles
Amazon is split into several core business areas, which are then further divided into smaller teams.
There really is a role for everyone at Amazon whether you're passionate about UX, interested in artificial intelligence, or skilled at data interpretation — and that's before considering the more traditional business roles such as finance, HR and marketing.
Hiring Process At Amazon
Amazon Online Application
The Amazon application process starts with the online application form.
As well as including your personal details, education and relevant work history, you'll need to ensure you bring Amazon's values, especially customer obsession, into your answers.
Amazon Online Aptitude Tests
If your online application is successful you'll move to the next stage of the process — the online aptitude tests.
You'll be asked to take at least one of these tests, but you could end up doing more if the job role requires it. The tests include:
Numerical Reasoning Test
Pitched at around GCSE to A-level standard, the numerical reasoning test is designed to assess your aptitude for numbers, but chiefly data interpretation.
You'll be presented with a series of graphs, tables and charts, and asked to analyse the information in front of you in order to answer multiple choice questions.
As well as examining your mathematical skills, it's also a test of how well you cope under pressure. With a seriously limited amount of time to answer each question, it's important to strike the right balance between speed and accuracy.
Verbal Reasoning Test
The verbal reasoning test requires you to read through passages of text before answering related questions in order to examine your comprehension and communication abilities.
For each question, you'll need to select 'true', 'false' or 'cannot say' as an answer.
Making sure you pick out important information as you read, learning to separate fact from inference and proving you can focus on what's in front of you are all really important skills if you want to successfully complete the verbal reasoning test.
Logical Reasoning Test
Logical reasoning tests examine your ability to use logical thinking to solve complex problems, often with limited information. And the Amazon logical reasoning test is no different.
You'll need to examine the diagrams you're presented with and look for clues as to the sequences and patterns that connect them so you can determine which, from a selection of multiple choice answers, should come next.
Amazon Versant Test
The Versant test is an examination of your grasp over the English language. It covers spelling and grammar.
The test is comprised of five different parts:
- Typing — you'll need to type as many words as you can in 60 seconds. At the end, you'll be assessed on both your speed and accuracy.
- Complete the sentence — you'll have to select the correct word to fix the sentence so it makes sense in context and is grammatically correct.
- Dictation — sentences will be read out, and you'll then have 25 seconds to type them out. Again, you're being measured on your speed and accuracy.
- Reconstruction — in 30 seconds, you'll need to read the paragraph in front of you. You'll then get 90 seconds to reconstruct it, ensuring all the main points are captured.
- Email writing — in just 100 words you'll have to draft an email that covers all of the key points given to you.
Amazon Work Style Assessment
This part of the test is about getting to know you — your working style, key characteristics, morals and values.
You'll be given a series of statements and asked to rate how much you agree or disagree.
There may not be right or wrong answers, but there are answers that will indicate that you're likely to be a good fit for the role and team you're applying for. It's important to be honest, for Amazon but also for yourself.
Amazon HirePro Technical Tests
The HirePro tests are for people applying for specialised roles. These can include File Systems, Oracle and C Programming, to name a few.
Amazon Assessment Centre
If you make it through the online tests, you'll be asked to take part in an assessment centre.
The assessment centre has three separate stages:
- Group exercise — you'll be observed as to how well you work as part of a team over a series of tasks relevant to the role and team you're applying for.
- Written exercise — Amazon will ask you to read through a never before seen brief, before asking you to prepare a written response. As well as ensuring the content itself is strong, spelling and grammar are important.
- Role play — you'll start by working in pairs to analyse information before preparing a joint response. The second part of this task involves a role play where you'll be acting on behalf of Amazon to solve a challenge.
Amazon Final Interview
Making it to the interview round is a real achievement.
At this final stage, you'll have a one-on-one interview with a member of staff from Amazon.
There will be a mix of competency-based and specific role-related questions.
Brushing up on your knowledge of the company and its objectives, competitors, the wider world context and any new and relevant projects will be really important to ensure you come across as passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated.
What's It Like To Work At Amazon?
Amazon is a company that looks ahead. The four principles that guide every team under the Amazon umbrella include: customer obsession, passion for invention, operational excellence and long-term thinking.
There are a huge range of roles and responsibilities at Amazon in almost every field imaginable. So it's a great place to get your foot in the door as it could open up a world of career options that you might never have even considered.
The culture of the company mirrors the ethos of the brand. There's a lot going on every day; it's busy, innovative, full of big ideas and ever-changing.
This really is an exciting and dynamic company that would be perfectly suited to people looking for a fast-paced challenge.
Top Tips To Getting Hired At Amazon
1. Practice Aptitude Tests
It's the single best way you can improve your chances of getting hired by Amazon.
Every time you take a practice test, we recommend doing so in exam conditions to familiarise yourself with the process. That means sitting somewhere quiet and free from distractions, timing yourself and not checking anything you're unsure of.
When you've finished a test, it's important to go back over the answers and note down anything you got wrong so you can work harder on your weaker areas.
2. Be Customer Obsessed
It's Amazon's key value and it's imperative you believe in it too if you want to get ahead in the business.
Ensuring you can weave real life, practical examples of where you've demonstrated your passion for delivering a great customer experience will help a prospective Amazon employer to see why you're a great fit for the company.
3. Research Amazon's Work Principles
Researching the history behind Amazon is helpful context. But the most important thing you can do is to familiarise yourself with the four core work principles: customer obsession, passion for invention, operational excellence and long-term thinking. As well as the longer list of leadership principles.
Again, it's important to weave practical examples of when you've demonstrated these principles into your interview answers and the assessment centre as employers will be looking out for them.
4. Don't Be Afraid To Fail
Don't be afraid to fail because it's always better than being afraid to try.
At a dynamic, world-leading company like Amazon, you don't get anywhere without taking risks. This means there's always a certain amount of failure involved too.
The most important thing is to show how you learn from these failures, and how they help you to become a better employee and person.
5. Frame Your Story With Data
Data helps to contextualise your points and can make a much more compelling and tangible case for employers listening to hundreds of stories from candidates with similar levels of experience.
FAQ At Amazon
How Long Is Training At Amazon?
That very much depends on the nature of the role you're applying for. It's always best to ask specific questions like these in your interview, as it can help to show you're engaged and committed to the process.
How Do I Prepare For An Amazon Interview?
The most important thing you can do is read up on Amazon and its key principles.
These are the pillars on which all Amazon's work is based, so showing you've got a good understanding of this, and can share examples of how you're already demonstrating them, will really help you to impress.
As well as this, you can practice aptitude tests and brush up on your interview technique.
Does Amazon Hire Everyone?
The aptitude testing part of the application process alone can lose up to 60% of applicants, so it's certainly not a company that hires just anyone.
Is It Hard To Get Hired At Amazon?
As you'll have realised from reading, there are several stages to the Amazon hiring process.
It's designed to be challenging to ensure Amazon only hires the best of the best.
With such a recognisable global name, a forward-thinking approach and salaries up to 50% higher than the market average, it's easy to see why people are so desperate to work for Amazon.
What Should I Wear To An Amazon Interview?
Dressing smartly and ensuring your clothes are clean and ironed will help you to make a good impression.
The Amazon offices are not especially formal, but it's still important to dress appropriately for an interview.