It’s one of the biggest companies in the world, notorious for its dominance in the online shopping market and for its obsession with customer satisfaction. But its hiring practices are incredibly rigorous, and every role is in extremely high demand. If you’re wondering how to get a job at Amazon, you’ve come to the right place!
When it comes to getting hired to work for Amazon, the most important thing is to be prepared. You’ll need to understand the hiring process, develop all the necessary skills, and present yourself as favorably as possible. Because competition for roles at Amazon is so intense, it pays to take the extra time to get ready for your application.
That’s where we come in! In this article, we’ll cover the following points:
Amazon is constantly growing, and so it’s usually hiring. Their website lists tens of thousands of jobs located in cities all around the world – if you monitor those listings closely, you will be highly likely to find a role that you’re qualified for. In terms of raw numbers, you stand a better chance than you might expect of being hired at Amazon.
But roles at Amazon, as we’ve already explained, are subject to intense competition. This is due to a number of factors, and Amazon’s minimum wage of $15 per hour is one of the most significant – even delivery drivers and fulfilment center workers are guaranteed at least that level of pay. Full-time employees are also entitled to amazing benefits and perks, including medical, vision and dental insurance and a generous 401(k).
Amazon is also the number-one name in ecommerce. There’s a level of prestige that comes with an Amazon role on your resume; it can set you up well for future applications you might choose to make. Whether you work directly for Amazon, or for a subsidiary company like Goodreads or Twitch, employers elsewhere are likely recognize and respect the Amazon brand.
All of this means that Amazon can afford to be highly selective when hiring. The challenge of getting hired at Amazon isn’t in finding the right role; there are plenty of roles available. It’s in standing out from the crowd, and finding ways to let recruiters know that you’ll be an asset to the company.
Amazon’s application process is lengthy and strict. On the other hand, it follows a reasonably predictable structure, so you can always be ready for the next step in the process. Here’s a rough outline of what you can expect when you make an application for an Amazon job.
You will need to apply for all Amazon roles through their website. You can use your LinkedIn profile or your resume to apply – but keep in mind, whichever one you use, that Amazon uses an ATS (applicant tracking system). They can filter out resumes that don’t include the keywords their system looks for, so make sure your application addresses as many elements of the job description as possible.
Once you’ve made your application, you will be asked to complete an online test. This may vary depending on the role you are applying for – it could be a work-style assessment or an exercise specific to your chosen role. Either way, you will need to keep Amazon’s 14 leadership principles in mind as you complete the assessment. They inform the workplace culture at Amazon, and the company is specifically looking for people who believe in these important principles.
The leadership principles at Amazon are:
You won’t be contacted if your initial application is unsuccessful. You will need to monitor your application portal on Amazon’s Jobs website. If your application is listed as ‘no longer under consideration,’ that’s your sign that you have been unsuccessful.
If you make it through the first stage, you’ll be contacted to schedule a remote interview with a HR manager at Amazon. This interview will be focused on your work history, with a view to establishing whether you are a good fit for Amazon.
A second remote interview will be conducted by senior members of the relevant team – usually led by the hiring manager for your role. This interview usually focuses on behavioral questions. Luckily, these are easy to prepare for – just keep Amazon’s leadership principles in mind, and try to tie your answers back to them!
If you perform well in these interviews, you will be invited to interview in person. You may be asked to write a one-to-two-page essay on a particular topic – usually related to your past work experience – and bring it with you to your interviews. Bear in mind that, yet again, Amazon will be interested to know how their leadership principles have applied to your career so far.
Your visit to an Amazon office will last for a whole day, and will involve six or seven hour-long interviews. It’s a marathon, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep beforehand!
You will be interviewed by members of the team you’re applying to join. This will include the hiring manager, and may also include colleagues and a senior executive. Each interviewer is typically asked to concentrate on two or three of the leadership principles – as always, make sure you keep them in mind when answering questions.
If you’ve applied for a technical role, you will likely be asked to solve technical problems as part of your interview. Make sure you understand exactly what the role requires of you, and brush up on the relevant skills ahead of your interview day. If you can demonstrate the leadership principles in the process of solving a problem, it will reflect well on you as a candidate.
One of your last interviews will be with a so-called ‘Bar Raiser’ – a member of another team whose primary focus is on hiring a high-quality candidate. Bar Raisers are trained comprehensively in Amazon’s hiring standards, and are there to make sure that those standards are enforced. Though you will likely be tired by the time you meet the Bar Raiser, remember that this interview will carry a great deal of weight.
Bear in mind that, while Covid-19 remains a concern, Amazon has moved many of its in-person interviews into a virtual format. You may not need to travel for your interview at all! If you reach this stage and you aren’t sure if you’ll be expected to appear in person, ask.
Amazon has embraced remote working over the course of the pandemic, and now offers certain roles on a wholly virtual basis. That means it’s possible to work for Amazon even if you want to work exclusively from home.
However, because work from home jobs only make up a small proportion of jobs at Amazon, you will need to be extra competitive if you want to stand a chance of success. You’ll be competing for the role against everyone else who wants to build a career at Amazon while working from home, after all! Here are just a few ways you can give your application a boost.
If you didn’t pick this up in the previous section, it bears repeating: the leadership principles form the core of Amazon’s hiring process. If you want a chance of landing a work from home job, you will need to build those principles into every step of your application.
You should already be tailoring your resume to suit each company you apply to join. When tailoring your resume for Amazon, make sure you point out past occasions when you have acted in accordance with the leadership principles. Taking ownership of your work is the second principle – so own your achievements from the very beginning of the hiring process.
Employers have historically been hesitant to commit to working from home because they worry that employees will take advantage of the lack of supervision. When applying for any remote role, you need to focus on proving that you can be trusted with the responsibility.
If you’ve worked remotely in the past, and if you’ve had success in that role, make sure you point it out in your resume! That’s also behavioral experience you can draw on if you make it to interview. If you’ve never worked remotely before, think about other ways in which you’ve proven yourself to be a trustworthy, self-motivated employee in the past.
Remember, Amazon values employees who can deliver results and earn the trust of their team. If you want to work for Amazon, that has to be the way you work.
Being able to work remotely is great – but the benefits of working from home aren’t worth the stresses of trying to apply for a role that isn’t right. If you want to work remotely at Amazon, make sure you’re applying to roles that suit you, and that you know you can do. Applying for a job solely because it’s remote – never mind the skills or experience it requires – is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for rejection.
The right role is worth waiting for, and Amazon hires so frequently that it’s sure to appear sooner rather than later. Monitor Amazon’s remote job listings, look for roles that match your skills and experience, and concentrate on making the best possible applications to those roles.
Whether you’re a new or soon-to-be college graduate or an experienced worker looking to make a career move, you shouldn’t be intimidated by applying to Amazon! With the right preparation, you could stand a great chance of being hired for the role you want – even taking into account how competitive the application process can be.
Here are a few simple ways to give yourself an edge, even without any relevant work experience.
Amazon’s job descriptions are usually very clear about the skills and qualities you will need to be considered for a role. Pay close attention to the job description of the role you want, and then assess yourself honestly against those criteria. What skills do you have – and what skills do you need to develop?
Once you’ve ascertained how you can improve as a candidate, get out there and fill the gaps in your skill profile! If you’re applying for technical roles, make sure your coding skills, your technical knowledge and your understanding of what Amazon does are all as developed as possible. If you’re applying for other roles, you may need to look into your soft skills – leadership and communication are both highly valued at Amazon.
You may be able to build some skills through online courses or certifications. If you’re already employed, you may be able to talk to your manager about professional development opportunities, with a view to accessing workplace training in your current role. And if you’re still in college, your careers center may be able to help you build the skills you need.
If your work experience is lacking, don’t despair! There are other ways to gain experience of the kind of work you may be asked to do at Amazon.
For technical roles, consider working on your own coding projects. This will show any employer that you have the coding and design skills necessary to build something by yourself. You may even be able to take on freelance coding work, and earn a little extra money into the bargain.
For non-technical roles, internships and work experience programs are your friend. College students can ask their careers center staff about available internships and work experience schemes. Older employees looking into a career change will need to seek out internship programs independently – but many will still consider you, even if you have work experience in another field.
Remember, going out of your way to gain relevant experience will show that you are self-motivated and driven. That’s an asset at any company, and it’s particularly important at Amazon. If you have the resources, it’s worth getting out there and building the experience you need.
Amazon is a big enough company that knowing someone on the inside won’t guarantee you a job – it probably won’t even guarantee you an interview. However, if you know someone who works for Amazon, they may be able to share some insights from the other side of the hiring process. Those insights could be invaluable as you construct your application!
If you don’t have much relevant experience, you may not have many direct professional contacts at Amazon. You may not have much of a professional network at all! But if you take the time to reach out to friends, family, and even casual acquaintances on social media, you might be surprised by who knows an Amazonian.
If you’re lucky enough to find a connection at Amazon, don’t ask them to hire you outright. Ask any questions you have about the process and the workplace culture, and remember to be respectful. Who knows – you may be in a position to return the favor later.
The Amazon application process can be grueling. It’s long and involved, and competition is so intense that no matter how well-qualified you are, nothing is guaranteed. But the big advantage of applying to a company like Amazon is that they’re always recruiting – so you will have plenty of opportunities to try again.
If you find yourself getting boxed out of the recruitment process at the early stages, over and over again, it might be time to revisit your resume. VisualCV offers ATS-friendly resume templates, so you can be confident that the system can read your keywords. It also offers a wide range of resume samples, so you can check that you’re ticking all the boxes for the kind of role that you want.
Don’t let a few knockbacks deter you from pursuing your goals. Keep working on your relevant skills and qualifications, and do what you can to build some relevant experience before you apply again. Be persistent, be patient, and you may well be rewarded!
Dear hiring manager,
I’m proud to apply for the role of software development engineer at Amazon, which I saw advertised on LinkedIn. Since I first started working in tech, I have admired Amazon’s unusual approach to the work it does, which has propelled it to become one of the most successful businesses in the world. Your drive to become the best employer on Earth is mirrored by my own drive to become the best employee, and I believe that our shared values will enable us both to reach greater heights of success.
I have four years of experience in the industry as a software engineer, most recently at Nyoom Software. At Nyoom, I have had the opportunity to think creatively about the problems presented by my corporate clients – many of whom lack a clear understanding of how exactly their systems should function. When they have presented the challenges they face in their work, I have responded by designing and coding smart and innovative solutions, meeting their high standards and solving their problems. I have thrived on the ambiguity inherent in my work, and used it as an opportunity to think outside the box and invent simple answers to life’s complexities.
I know that Amazon values the leadership qualities I can bring to this role. As a leader, an innovator and a collaborator, I believe I am the candidate you are looking for.
My resume is attached. Thank you so much for your time, and I hope to hear from you!
Dear hiring manager,
I am writing to introduce myself as a candidate for the role of data scientist at Amazon. When I saw this role advertised on your website, I knew it was the role for me. I am really excited by Amazon’s core values and unique way of working, having found myself frustrated by work environments less open to innovation in the past. I believe that my experience in data science coupled with my willingness to think differently will enable me to thrive as an Amazonian.
I have three years of experience as a data scientist, most recently with Hammerhead Consulting. At Hammerhead, I took responsibility for creating data-driven marketing and business strategies for corporate clients with global reach. Although this work was not directly client-facing, I have always taken customer service incredibly seriously. To that end, I have actively worked to refine and partially automate my team’s modeling and analytical processes, ensuring faster turnaround times without compromising on quality. I have also worked hard throughout my career to develop strong communication skills, particularly in the field of business. I understand that my work can influence major decisions, and I take that responsibility seriously, always striving to guide my clients and colleagues to the best decisions.
It would be my privilege to bring all of these skills to Amazon – a company which I know will value them highly, and enable me to develop them even further.
My resume is attached. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing back from you soon!
Summary An innovative, solution-focused software engineer with experience in distributed systems and software development. Proven track record in writing both product and system development code. A driven and compassionate leader with a flexible approach and the ability to foster strong collaborative relationships across multiple teams. Extensive expertise in large system architecture development, network design and configuration.
Work Experience Software Engineer Nyoom Software
Junior Software Engineer Fastball Systems
Education Master of Science in Computer Science New York University
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology New York University
Summary A customer-obsessed, innovative data scientist with experience in automating large-scale data analysis. Proven track record of working with multiple teams and stakeholders to achieve the best possible results. Experience of monitoring and reporting business activity in real time, with strong communication skills and an exemplary record of leadership. Informed understanding of risk management and trend monitoring. Always seeking to learn, grow, and develop new ways of working.
Work Experience Data Scientist Hammerhead Consulting
Junior Data Analyst Santa Monica Insights
Education Bachelor of Science in Economics University of California, Los Angeles
Content Writer + Resume Expert
Waverly is a freelance writer, former HR officer and current international traveller. They believe in doing your research, showing up prepared, and bringing your passions with you to work. They've helped countless job seekers create better resumes and cover letters to improve and grow their careers.
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