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How to answer the "Why Amazon" interview question?

By Zippia Team - Sep. 29, 2022

You answer the "Why Amazon" question by focusing on how you fit into their culture and reassuring them that you are in it for the long haul.

Amazon is known for using behavioral interview questions as part of its technical interview process. Their questions are primarily based on work-life balance, workplace ethics, and general workplace conduct and leadership. The "Why Amazon" interview question is probably the most common and most important question they will ask.

This question can be tricky to answer, and you should avoid giving a generic or vague response. Your answer needs to be backed up with solid reasons that genuinely show your interest and motivation in working for Amazon. With this question, Amazon is trying to determine what type of professional you are.

For this reason, it is better to answer this question emotionally. With an emotional answer, you have the chance to discuss your goals and values as they pertain to Amazon's principles. According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon is looking for people who have an investment in the company "beyond just a paycheck."

One topic that your answer should touch on is Amazon's values and mission. Review Amazon's mission and leadership principles and determine how you align with them. Addressing two or three principles and giving examples of times where these values shined in your work can help set you apart from the competition.

Here are Amazon's leadership principles:

  • Customer obsession: leaders start with the customer and work backward. A customer-centric approach to solutions is always the preferred approach

  • Ownership: Leaders are owners. Think long-term and don't sacrifice value for short-term results

  • Invent and simplify: expect and require innovation and invention. Always find ways to simplify

  • Leaders are right a lot: They have strong judgment and good instincts

  • Learn and be curious: leaders are never done learning and always seek improvement

  • Hire and develop the best: leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. Recognize exceptional talent and support their movement throughout the organization

  • Insist on the highest standards: Leaders have relentlessly high standards and are continually raising the bar.

  • Think big: thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate in a bold direction that inspires others

  • Bias for action: speed matters in business. Calculated risk-taking is valued.

  • Frugality: accomplish more with less

  • Earn trust: leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. Be self-critical and vocal even when it is embarrassing or awkward

  • Dive deep: operate at all levels and stay connected to the details. No task is beneath you.

  • Disagree and commit: leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree with coworkers

  • Deliver results: focus on the key inputs for your business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Rise to the occasion and never settle.

In addition to aligning with their values, Amazon only wants to invest in people who are looking to stay and grow with them. To that end, your answer needs to include your long-term goals and how Amazon fits into that bigger picture.

A sample answer can include:

I want to work at Amazon for two reasons. First, I admire that Amazon values customer obsession. I believe in putting the customer first and that this can lead to better products and software. I am eager to design products that meet the true needs of the customer and the communities.

Secondly, I have spent most of my career focused on creative applications and machine learning. I am interested in Amazon's use of machine learning and your unique position in the market. In my current role, the ability to innovate and implement new ideas is lacking, which is why Amazon appeals to me. I am looking to innovate and grow.

How to answer the "Why Amazon" interview question?

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