Whatever job position you are looking for, behavioral interviews are an essential element of the recruiting process at Amazon. You can anticipate being given behavioral questions in any of the interview stages, but the behavioral round often takes place during the on-site interview. We at founderactivity, will concentrate on their leadership principles interview questions in this article:

The behavioral interview process used by Amazon is distinct from that of the other FAANG organizations. This is due to the fact that the interview is based on Amazon’s 16 leadership principles, which are a collection of concepts that represent Amazon’s fundamental business beliefs. For management, senior, or junior roles alike, it is critical to learn how to respond to concerns about leadership concepts.

What are the amazon leadership principles?

Taking a step back, defining the company’s beliefs is one of the most important choices a founder must make as they build their business. This choice is important since it will influence the company’s emphasis areas and provide employees with a “user manual” on how to develop the product, make choices, interact with clients, etc. Amazon’s guiding principles for leadership have evolved throughout the course of the previous 20 years or more. In his first shareholder letter in 1997, Jeff Bezos stated that Amazon’s aim was “to be Earth’s most customer-centric organization.”

What Are Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles?

Everything managers and leaders at Amazon do as part of their duties is based on the 16 Amazon Leadership Principles. Therefore, it is essential that you spend some time learning them before your interview with the best firm in the world. You should also consider instances in which you have already proven each one.

Great 67 Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions
Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles

Customer obsession

Leaders are right, a lot

Invent and simplify

Be curious

Employ the highest standards

Hire the best and develop them

Build trust

Think big

Have a spine, disagree and commit

Take calculated risks

Be frugal

Dive deep into tasks

Deliver results

Strive to be Earth's Best Employer

Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility
  1. Ownership
  2. Customer obsession
  3. Leaders are right, a lot
  4. Invent and simplify
  5. Be curious
  6. Employ the highest standards
  7. Hire the best and develop them
  8. Build trust
  9. Think big
  10. Have a spine, disagree and commit
  11. Take calculated risks
  12. Be frugal
  13. Dive deep into tasks
  14. Deliver results
  15. Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer
  16. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions

We have compiled a small set of interview questions that are used in Amazon interviews to evaluate applicants on each of these 16 leadership characteristics after speaking with Amazon recruiters and candidates. Please be aware that the interview questions listed here are not all-inclusive and just serve as an example of the territory where your Amazon interview questions would just be exploring.

1. Customer Obsession

Leaders put the wants and preferences of their followers first to the point that they become fixated on them. This means that while choosing how to use a product or service, they constantly try to work downstream from what the user would believe or desire. Even more significant than a thorough knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, market trends, or technologies should be a deep awareness of what motivates consumer loyalty and trust. 

Examples of Amazon’s preoccupation with its customers include its quick delivery times (such as same-day delivery on some qualifying items) and its all-encompassing services to cater to the needs of the consumer as a whole.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

1. Tell me about a time when you were aware that you could not fulfill all the client’s demands. What results did you get from your prioritizing strategy?
2. Give me an instance when interacting with a consumer or providing a service or product went extremely wrong. What steps did you take to put things right?
3. What, in your opinion, makes certain clients particularly challenging to handle while others are simpler?
4. Tell me about a moment when you decided to accept responsibility for a mistake you made even if you were not certain it was your mistake.
5. Have you ever become fixated on providing a customer with top-notch service?

2. Ownership

Ownership is a concept that leaders establish. They consider themselves to be owners rather than just being workers. This prompts individuals to consider the long term, considering how each activity will affect outcomes now, tomorrow, and for a very long time in the future. They act in the company’s best interests, taking into account the generation of value for consumers, shareholders, workers, and stakeholders. For instance, AWS maintains teams small to provide each member the freedom to act as an owner and accept responsibility for every choice. In addition to reducing bureaucracy, increasing employee ownership and responsibility also makes other leadership tenets possible (e.g., bias for action).

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

6. Describe a situation when you had to sacrifice short-term comfort for long-term gain.
7. Tell me about a moment when you took up a duty beyond the scope of your regular duties.
8. Tell me about a moment when you decided to tackle a difficult project on your own.

3. Are Right, A Lot

Leaders should be unbiased and grounded in reality. When making judgments, they should enlist the advice of others and take into account various viewpoints. Additionally, they must to be prepared to acknowledge their errors. Having said that, leaders should have the assurance to lead in the way they believe is best and should anticipate being correct a lot of the time. Given how quickly the firm operates, it is essential for Amazon workers to have sound business judgment to ensure the company is headed in the correct path. To conclude, workers should continue to foster discussion to ensure they arrive at the optimal solution.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

9. Tell me about a situation where you had to make decisions based solely on your judgment since there was not enough information to do so.
10. Tell me about an instance when you had to make a choice based on incomplete info.
11. When is the most recent moment you decided anything wrongly?
12. Tell me about a situation where you used a variety of viewpoints to solve an issue.
13. Tell me about a moment when your values were questioned and how you handled it.

4. Invent and Simplify

Once more, Amazon is among the most prosperous businesses in history, and it is absolutely amazing how inventive it is despite its size. Amazon encourages innovation by giving its staff the freedom to swiftly come up with and refine solutions. According to Andrew Jassy, who was previously the CEO of Amazon Web Services and is currently the CEO of Amazon, “Speed matters disproportionately at every stage of your organization and in every size firm… There is no set rule for speed. One can choose their level of speed. You have the option to choose and you need to establish an urgent culture.

You must be comfortable with failing quickly and using that failure to attempt something new if you want to succeed at Amazon.

Additionally, it is important to develop a product that is straightforward and might not have all the lights and frills in order to accomplish speedy deadlines (at least in the first emphasis). Even more frequently mentioned is Albert Einstein‘s adage that “everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” The adoption of the product or solution by consumers can be aided by a simplicity-focused approach.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

14. Give me an example of a moment when you failed to optimize a process and explain what you would have changed.
15. Describe an instance when you innovated on a project that didn’t work out.
16. Tell me about a moment when you simplified or came up with a novel technique to improve a procedure at work.
17. Have you ever created a method, service, or item that is truly one of a kind?
18. Give me an example of a situation in which you had to come up with a sophisticated solution to a basic problem.

5. Learn and Be Curious

Leaders are continuous students. They are inquisitive, motivated to better themselves, and actively seek criticism to help them do so. They have a natural curiosity to investigate other viewpoints and approaches. Once more, the IT sector (and even the CPG sector) is moving quickly (e.g., for grocery, there was the proliferation of ultra-fast grocery delivery companies). It is essential for Amazon employees to keep looking farther and wanting to learn about the most recent trends and breakthroughs in order to remain ahead of the curve.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

19. Tell me about a moment when you were able to make a wise choice because of your excellent knowledge of the fundamental facts or dynamics of a situation.
20. Tell me about a moment when you were able to get to the bottom of a problem for a group or an individual by asking insightful questions.
21. Tell me about a situation you encountered that caused you to reconsider something.
22. Tell me about an instance when your inquisitiveness allowed you to make a wiser choice.
23. What was the most significant lesson you learnt last year?

6. Employ the best candidates

Leaders make excellent hires and like serving as mentors. They have no problem advancing extraordinarily brilliant subordinates through the company and giving them credit for doing so. Leaders take their time mentoring others seriously. They actively look for chances to provide and accept criticism. A major corporation can ultimately only flourish if it can attract excellent employees (and this is especially true as a company scales). Given Amazon’s scope across so many industries, it is essential to have superstars in every department; a visionary founder alone cannot create a multi-billion or trillion dollar business.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

24. Have you ever been an effective coach?
25. Tell me about your finest hiring decision. The worst, shall we say? How did each circumstance turn out?
26. What characteristics do you prioritize when employing people?
27. Who in your life has the most significance for you, and why?

7. Employ the highest standards

Great leaders are known for having high standards. All aspects of the company, including employment, production, and the creation and delivery of products and services, are subject to these standards. Once more, it is very evident that Amazon is committed to quality as they expand their workforce. The staff at Amazon is expected to do their finest work. Amazon seeks the highest performance from every level of the business by injecting high standards into the firm’s principles. The idea is along the lines of the cliché “Reach for the moon! You will still land among the stars even if you miss!

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

28. Have you ever been on a team when one of the members wasn’t performing to your standards?
29. Have you ever fallen short of your own standards? Why?
30. Describe an instance when you pushed yourself to your limits.
31. Describe an occasion when you inspired a group of people to go above and beyond.
32. Tell me about a moment when you were unhappy with the standard of anything at work and made an effort to make it better.

8. Build trust

Leaders would not demand that their peers and colleagues have their trust and loyalty. They are aware of this and anticipate having to earn it first. They listen to their teams, communicate openly, and ask for honest criticism. Additionally, new workers at Amazon (at any level) should be expected to put in a lot of effort and build a solid reputation. They should not arrive with a big ego because their reputation will grow as they provide quality work and demonstrate their worth.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

33. What would you do if you learned that your closest coworker was engaging in possibly unethical behavior?
34. What aspect of yourself do you cherish the least?
35. What actions do you do to earn your colleagues’ trust?
36. Describe an instance when you had to speak up in a challenging situation.

9. Think Big

Leaders have the opinion that you are correct, regardless of whether you believe you can or cannot. As a result, they frequently pursue ambitious goals and give their staff daring instructions. They don’t hesitate to pursue goals that others inside and outside the business might think are impossible to achieve. They think that setting ambitious goals may motivate and inspire others. It becomes especially clear how much Amazon “lives” by this value if you apply this leadership approach to the company considering how much it has changed its business model. Amazon has, for instance, diversified into the grocery, television, and even cloud computing industries!

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

37. Have you ever completed a job much beyond its original parameters and achieved success?
38. What professional or academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
39. Tell me about an instance when your failure to think broadly resulted in disappointment.
40. Describe an instance when your vision had a significant influence.
41. Describe a situation in which you had to make a risky and challenging choice.

10. Have a spine, disagree and commit

Even when it is difficult, leaders are willing to politely dispute decisions. Even while they try to avoid “dying on their sword” over minor disagreements, if they genuinely think that one course of action is the correct, they will not back down only to move on or satisfy someone. In the end, Amazon wants to find the best solution (not the simplest one), and in order to find the best solution, it is essential to have a variety of perspectives. Amazon is promoting improved decision-making through participating in fruitful discourse and fostering dissent.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

42. Tell me about a moment when you had to encourage a group to take a different course because you didn’t agree with a teammate’s strategy.
43. Have you ever objected to something your immediate management asked you to do? What happened to the situation?
44. Have you ever resisted conforming to the status quo despite opposition from others?
45. Have you ever taken a choice that was really unpopular? What were the opinions?
46. What do you think that others don’t?

11. Take calculated risks

According to studies, profitable businesses do not always make wiser selections. However, they do make more choices. Leaders are aware that even when things do not turn out as planned, making more decisions and having some of them turn out to be incorrect allows for the opportunity to grow, change, and advance. Therefore, leaders tend to be more action-oriented and at ease with taking measured risks. Because they battle with bureaucracy and the layers (and layers) of needed permissions, large organizations frequently move slowly. Amazon is attempting to emphasize a tendency for action in order to favor innovation and moving quickly.

One way Amazon makes this easier is by classifying options into 1-door and 2-door decisions.

  • A 2-door choice is one that can be easily undone in the future. These choices, which constitute the majority of our decisions, need to be made fast and with little analysis.
  • A 1-door choice will have a more lasting effect. These are the choices that need to be taken with more thought and monitoring.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

47. When was the last time you purposefully took a chance?
48. When you have required information from someone in the past to make a choice but they were not responding, what did you do?
49. When was the last time you decided to solve a problem on your own rather than waiting for someone else to do so?
50. Describe an instance in which you had to make a choice based on limited information.
51. Describe a situation when you acted impulsively and describe what you might have changed.

12. Be frugal

While leaders try to avoid being “penny wise and pound foolish,” they also appreciate resourcefulness and strive to make the most of available resources. They want to avoid having to pay excessively for inputs and do not want to spend too much money. The word “frugal” might be used to characterize several leaders. Their tendency is to attempt to get more done with less. Amazon’s initiative to move quickly coincides with the push for thriftiness. When you can create several minimal viable product test cases, innovation, testing, and learning are all made much simpler.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

52. Describe an instance when you had to depend on yourself to complete a task.
53. Tell me about a moment when you declined extra resources to finish a task.
54. Tell me about an instance when you outperformed your rivals despite having fewer resources.
55. Describe a time during which you had to practice frugal living.

13. Dive deep into tasks

High level strategy development, significant operational problems, and the specifics of day-to-day operations are all seen as falling under the jurisdiction of leaders. They appreciate knowing everything about a firm while trying to avoid micromanaging. They recognize that in order to successfully delegate and outsource a work, it is necessary to first have a thorough grasp of the task or activity. They do not consider some duties to be beneath them. Additionally, by going deep, Amazon personnel are better able to identify the underlying causes of any issues and find solutions.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

56. Tell me about the most challenging issue you’ve ever encountered.
57. Tell me about a moment when you were able to find a solution because you understood the specifics of the problem.
58. Tell me about a moment when you used in-depth research to find a solution.

14. Deliver results

Leaders understand that making an effort and constantly doing things right can provide favorable results. But they also promise to deliver on outcomes, stick to a budget, and meet objectives. When obstacles arise, they frequently rise to the challenge and figure out how to keep going. There is a proverb in business that states that excellent operators can accomplish tasks. In the end, Amazon seeks individuals who are productive and reliable. Plans, no matter how well-laid out they may be, are fundamentally useless without results.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

59. Have you ever had to alter directions or your strategy midway through a project? If so, were you successful?
60. Have you ever had to balance several challenging tasks at once? How did you establish priorities and produce results?
61. What is the most challenging circumstance you have ever encountered in your working life? What were your tactics?
62. Describe a moment when you had a lot on your plate and how you managed to get everything done.
63. Describe a moment when everyone on your team decided to give up on a task but you led the charge for a successful outcome.

15. Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer

Leaders strive to provide an environment at work where coworkers may prosper. They question, “What could I do to help others grow, enjoy, and feel encouraged at work?” and look beyond themselves. Leaders take their team members’ success personally and seriously, both while they are still working with Amazon and should they decide to leave. In the end, only by being a motivating employer will Amazon be able to attract and acquire the greatest personnel. And without its talent, Amazon’s magnetism swiftly diminishes.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

64. Tell me about a moment when you seized the chance to support a colleague or worker’s development; describe your strategy and the outcome.
65. Tell me about a moment when you took initiative to make your workplace safer or more productive. How did you act?
66. Give me an example of how you bring fun into the workplace.

16. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility

Humility and an understanding of how their actions influence others and the wider world are traits of leaders. They understand that it is their duty to improve the world and leave it in a better state than when they found it for future generations. Success is not something they take lightly; rather, they see it as the gateway to further responsibilities. Additionally, as Amazon grows, its business actions affect the entire planet. They “must be modest and sensitive about the collateral impacts of [their] activities,” as Amazon puts it here.

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples:

67. Tell me about a time when you labored to support a cause greater than yourself. What effect did that have?
68. Tell me about a moment when you left something, no matter how tiny, better than you found it.
69. Have you ever encountered a moral dilemma at work? What was your response?

The Importance of Amazon’s Leadership Principles

The essential values of Amazon are outlined in its leadership principles, which also act as a cornerstone for morality and behavior. Employees may contribute to the overall success of the organization and have a remarkable personal growth experience by following the leadership guiding principles.

The behavioral round that takes place on-site or the bar-raiser round may include questions on the leadership principles. A bar-raiser is a member of a group of professionally trained Amazon employees whose primary duty it is to uphold quality when recruiting applicants for all kinds of positions.

How to Respond to Questions About Amazon Leadership Principles

In the bar-raiser phase, conducted by Amazon, your replies to behavioral questions are assessed to determine your suitability for the position. At FAANG organizations, the STAR approach has become quite popular for handling behavioral interview questions. The method’s primary goal is to base replies on actual circumstances and happenings. Let’s examine it in a little more detail:

Situation, Task, Action, and Result is referred to as STAR. To create the best response when responding to inquiries on leadership principles, make sure you cover each of these points.

  • Situation: The situation should provide an explanation for the response’s “When,” “Why,” and “Where.” Start with the Situation when someone asks you a behavioral question before going on to the other components.
  • Task: The Task should clarify your specific involvement in the circumstance. Describe your main duties and the expectations placed on you.
  • Action: The Action section should describe the actions you did to complete the task’s criteria.
  • Result: The output of the job should be primarily addressed in the Result section. The difficulties encountered along the route should also be discussed, along with the steps taken to address them.

Tips for Answering Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions

  • When responding to Amazon Leadership interview questions, it is important to concentrate on providing specific instances from your past. Avoid the pitfall of telling the interviewer how you “would do” in a particular circumstance. Tell them what you “have done” in the past instead, and if you can, give them examples from other contexts to show them that you are an expert.
  • We advise you to structure your responses to the Amazon Leadership Principles interview questions using the STAR method.
    • Situation: Tell the interviewer about the circumstance you were in by using the readily accessible Amazon leadership concept.
    • Task: In short, describe the task you have to do.
    • Action: Continue by describing in great detail what you did to complete the assignment. Always make sure your solution focuses on the Amazon Leadership Principle being evaluated.
    • Results: Summarize your activities’ outcomes for the interviewer. This is your chance to showcase your abilities and demonstrate how competent you are at your work!
  • We understand that you have a lot of work to do, but we highly advise that you prepare responses to all of the interview questions included on this page. You will be far more ready for your Amazon interview if you do this than the vast majority of other applicants.
  • While it is advisable to concentrate the majority of your interview preparation on the 16 Amazon Leadership principles, do not ignore the more common interview questions, such as:
    • Why do you want to work for Amazon?
    • What can you bring to this job role?
    • Tell me what do you know about Amazon?
    • Why do you want this job at Amazon?
    • Why do you want to leave your current job?
    • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?


How long should an answer to an Amazon Leadership Principle interview questions should be?

Many candidates who attended our workshops under the (erroneous) belief that your first STAR answer to an Amazon interview question must only take two minutes were tutored by us. Unfortunately, the majority of them received this impression from several YouTube videos that promoted this particular STAR response duration.

So let’s be quite clear: your initial STAR response to a question asked during an Amazon interview should go no longer than 10 minutes. Anything beyond 10 minutes converts your answer into a speech and limits the interviewer’s ability to probe further and ask follow-up questions. However, anytime less than five minutes won’t provide you with enough time to get the essential details of the tale and will result in a fruitless interview.

Is a ‘cheat sheet’ allowed to an Amazon Leadership Principle interview?

What we term a “cheat sheet” should be referred to as a “interview notes” or “work notebook.” You use this Excel (or pdf) worksheet to connect professional scenarios to Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles and utilize it to bullet out important goals and outcomes.

Yes, it is the response to the question. Show up prepared for all of the Amazon interviews, both internal and external, and utilized his notes to help prepare responses to interview questions. You are not required to remember the outcomes of every project to the nearest tenth of a percent in the interview because it is not a memory test.

Feel free to put the scenarios on paper and bring them with you to the interview as long as they are authentic (i.e., you did not invent anything). Please consult your recruiter if you are unsure.

How far back should I look back into my career?

Please attempt to have scenarios that are no older than five years, unless you have a professional lapse. The one exception may be a response to the Are Right A Lot interview questions regarding a moral mistake. You might make an exception and go to 6-7 years. Although we are not aware of any formal regulations, we would use these as recommendations.

How should I express my analytical skills when answering questions?

Candidates who are being interviewed for technical positions in data science or business intelligence engineering frequently ask us this question. Although it’s true that, in our opinion, Amazon does have a list of candidates that are more left-brained, the one Leadership Principle that directly asks for analytics is Dive Deep. Perhaps invent and simplify (the Simplify part).

Therefore, it is not expected that every solution to an Amazon interview question would lead to a STAR narrative about your ability to solve a challenging problem through analysis. Additionally, you were able to put into practice and have an influence on several Leadership Principles, such as Ownership, which have nothing to do with statistics and everything to do with attitude.

Can I share different situations that happened in the same project?

You can, indeed. Long projects may be broken up into several contexts where you apply different leadership principles. Never think that simply because a project of yours takes years to reach a significant milestone, you must utilize it to provide a single solution. Instead, think of lengthy projects or programs as the root of many other problems.

At the end of the day, Amazon is among the most prosperous businesses in recent times. Amazon’s leadership principles might be partly blamed for the company’s success. This is because the values influenced how Amazon’s culture and staff members behaved. The guiding principles eventually helped Amazon’s degree of creativity and agility. It is important to think about if you would appreciate working in an environment similar to Amazon’s before submitting an application. Additionally, it is important to embody the ideals while applying to Amazon because the company prefers to select people that uphold the standards.

Santa Clause – patron saint of grammar.

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