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Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions

Last update: 02 Aug 2022, 10 Questions

Amazon never hires people who are ordinary or who have degrees with them. It hires the candidates who “Raise the bar”. The company believes that every new employee who is getting hired should add some value and increase the productivity of their project. If you are applying for any position in Amazon, you will face Amazon leadership principles questions as these are an integral part of the hiring process. This round normally takes place during the on-site interview, but one can expect these questions to be asked in any of the interview rounds. These questions are the same as asked in any behavioral interview but why the name is slightly different from other FAANG companies is because the interview is based upon 14 leadership principles of Amazon. These leadership principles of Amazon are the set of ideals that represents Amazon’s core values as a company and are designed to know your professional background and your ability to handle different workplace situations.

Most Frequently Asked Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions

Here in this article, we will be listing frequently asked Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions and Answers with the belief that they will be helpful for you to gain higher marks. Also, to let you know that this article has been written under the guidance of industry professionals and covered all the current competencies.

1. Tell me about the time when you had to apologize.

Answer

The interviewer wants to know your ability to be self-critical which is an important leadership trait. Tell them a situation where you not only apologized but also took measures to correct the mistake.

 “I strongly believe in tried-and-tested methods when it comes to leading a project that I am experienced with. During my last project, I denied opting for a different method of leading suggested by a member of my team thinking that it would take more time and lower the quality. However, because of the last-minute rush, I had to opt for it which resulted in great success. I had apologized to that member for not trusting him earlier.”

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2. Did you ever leave a task unfinished?

Answer

This question is based upon the principle of Frugality i.e., to achieve more with less. In Amazon, it’s not only about real resources, but also the energy and workers’ time.

“I once found out that my manager was looking worried as he had been assigned to reorganize the documents for a publishing company, but he was engaged in some other important tasks. I took the initiative and asked him if I can be of any help, and he assigned that task to me. During my way, I noticed that important parts of those documents have already been preserved digitally. I have informed my manager about this and left them unfinished.”

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3. Tell us when you provided a simple solution to a complex problem.

Answer

The interviewer asked this amazon leadership principle interview question to take an idea of Invent and Simplify principle. At Amazon, managers expect invention from their teams and find ways to simplify things. Candidates should be externally aware, and innovative and should not be limited to “not invented here”.

“I faced a situation where infrastructure testing had not been completed by my team in my last project. Sponsors did not want to move ahead without testing firewall connectivity between servers. I stayed long that night and was running a set of different telnet commands, but I knew I would never finish that on time. So, I thought to automate that, but my client had not provided me access because of company policy. 

In the end, I implemented a method based on Java-based shell API Jcraft JSch. That method worked and I sent the results to the client on the same night. He was totally impressed and granted me to build my POC into a tool that can be used by the entire team.”

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4. Explain the situation when you made a mistake.

Answer

Your interviewer knows that all humans make mistakes, what they want to know is what you have done to handle it. Taking responsibility for the mistake and not playing the blame game would be the perfect answer.

“I have received an invitation for a meeting once. I thought the meeting would be a simple team meeting, but it was with one of our top clients. I quickly gathered and recovered information that is needed on the laptop, and it turned out to be very stressful. On that day, I learned a lesson to double-check the invites and always go through the details of meetings before going to attend them.”

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5. What would you do if you did wrong hiring?

Answer

Amazon strictly follows the leadership principle “Hire and Develop the best”. Experience leaders are given this task to raise the company bar with every hiring and promotion. They must recognize the talent of a candidate and circulate that talent throughout the organization.

  • I will confirm if it is really a bad hire or just a wrong impression of that candidate and won’t rush to make any decision.
  • I will check if training or any knowledge transfer is an option because sometimes employees could be bad in soft skills but good team players and thinkers.
  • Organize a meeting and have an honest conversation, tell them about their problems and ways they can opt to improve themselves.
  • If after 6 months also they are not improving, will fire them fast and use this as a learning experience.
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6. Tell me what you have learned recently in your role.

Answer

This falls into the category of “Dive Deep” leadership principle amazon question. Leaders at Amazon operate at all levels and strictly follow the details. They want to know if a candidate is willing to learn new skills like public speaking, team management, organizing skills, etc.

“My manager found out that our company’s website is not updated for two months. I was assigned to implement new changes on the website. I quickly signed up for a 6-week web designing and development course and spent my evenings completing that course. As soon as I finished it, I started to update its interface for customers’ ease and have also added general information about company history and its products.”

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7. How would you handle a variety of assignments?

Answer

One leadership principle that Amazon strictly follows is - “Deliver Results”. Employees are very focused on the inputs they are providing and deliver the results in a timely manner to their clients. The interviewer wants to know if you can be a multitasker and how you would handle different tasks at the same time.

  • Create a to-do list before starting on any of the assignments.
  • When you are working on multiple tasks it is very important to differentiate them as Urgent vs. Important.
  • Schedule time for interruptions.
  • Create a fixed time slot to complete a task and adhere to them.
  • Review various project management tools and choose that fits according to your workflow.
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8. How would you handle a project with limited information or requirements?

Answer

This is the most commonly asked question asked during amazon leadership principles interview and is based upon the principle “Ownership”. Leaders have ownership skills in them, and they shouldn't sacrifice long-term values for short-term outputs. They never say, “that’s not part of my job”.

  • Go for Agile Agile practice could mitigate risks when there are unclear requirements or limited information.
  • Try Phases Divide your project into different phases as broken pieces of projects can be handled in a much easier way.
  • Tell them the risk When there are unclear requirements, estimates are based upon assumptions. The best way is to report the risks to the leaders.
  • Communication Communication is the basic key in project management. If you won’t communicate this to sponsors, there will be confusion and misunderstanding.
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9.  Did you ever rely on yourself to complete a project? Explain.

Answer

In every business, speed is what matters the most. The leadership principle “Bias for Action” teach this thing to the candidates of Amazon. The interviewer wants to see if you can take initiative to complete a task rather than waiting for any support from others.

“I had faced a situation when there was a huge misunderstanding about the release dates of my project. It was one week before and was very stressful to manage all tasks the last time, but I knew somewhere I can do if my manager approves to handle it my way. I took work from home the next day to avoid interruptions and complete the project by using different project management tools and scripts.”

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10. How would you prioritize customer needs when dealing with many customers?

Answer

Every customer is a boss, and you can’t take the risk to lose any of them.

  • First come, first serve When you have no option it is the best way to inquire them in the order, they came to you.
  • Let them tell their urgency level They know their product more than you so let them determine the urgency level.
  • Create categories for different requests Allow them to categorize their request by marking them as “general requests”, “troubleshooting”, “returns”, “product failure”, etc. according to the products.
  • Respond Quickly Whether it is a low priority request or a high one, respond quickly that their request is under process and will be resolved in due time.
  • Manage your assigning process Take the help of support operations to automatically assign the tasks to the respective person instead of customer support first and then manually transferred them to the people.
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We have provided you with the best amazon leadership principles interview questions and answers which will help you to overcome the interview. One small tip which you can also keep in mind is- Do not cook stories and make your answers too long. Tell what your interviewer wants to hear. They are sitting there for hiring not to listen to your fake stories.

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