Amazon

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Company
Amazon
Headquarters
Seattle, WA
Employees
10,000 +
Industry
Tech

Representation - Gender Identity

57.3%
Male
42.7%
Female

Representation - Race

26.5%
Black
15.4%
Asian
18.5%
Latinx
1.3%
Native American
34.7%
White
Other

Handling the application process

June 29, 2020

Amazon has 14 leadership principles that they like to see in every applicant. A lot of it is about cultural fit more so than experience in the field.

June 29, 2020

They strongly favor referrals, so getting a referral is a more sure way of getting your application seen than cold applying in the portal.

June 29, 2020

In the interview, a lot of the questions are around the leadership principles. So you can prepare 2-3 stories for each leadership principle, or at least come up with a pool of 8 stories so you can mix and match certain leadership principles with different stories. Make sure your stories are different enough to where you aren't telling the same example over and over. Once you know the principles, it makes it a lot easier to know what you say.

June 8, 2020

"They don’t ask for a cover letter as part of the application, but there’s a field in the online application for people to answer the question “how would you raise the bar?” Make sure to fill out that field and discuss how you can be better than 50% of the current Amazon employees. When I saw the position, I picked out what I thought were the keywords. In this position, they were looking for someone with “global experience,” so I made sure to include those words in my resume. Look for those buzzwords in the job listing and work to incorporate them into your resume."

June 8, 2020

"Amazon has 14 leadership principles. You can google the questions to find them. I wrote answers to each of the questions in a Google doc and used them to practice. They all kind of cover the same ideas, so you can use the same story for different questions. I also was able to find out who the interviewer was and what their personal experiences were, and I was able to ask them questions that peaked their interests. I’d recommend doing some research to find who the hiring manager for a role is, and then when practicing the interview, be sure to practice answering in STAR format."

Navigating the company culture

July 31, 2020

It’s really important to network with the kind of people that you want to be with or connect with.

July 31, 2020

Think big. You want to make sure that you’re driving success and delivering results with customer success in mind. The customer might be people within Amazon, or people outside of the company that use Amazon. You can’t just decide that you’re going to slow down.

Succeeding in the promotion process

August 14, 2020

Keep your manager in the loop on whatever you’re working on. If you don’t have a good relationship with your manager, find someone that’s influential within your org and make sure that person(s) knows what you are doing.If you’re not advocating for yourself, no one will.

August 14, 2020

If you’re a type A person like I am and you want to get involved and have an impact, you can get overwhelmed very easily. You have to have semi-tunnel vision, focusing on what you want and your goals. Don’t take on A B and C. Just do A and do it really well so you can show your impact.

Negotiating salary & benefits

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Shaping your career development

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August 16, 2020

Middle Manager

tenure:

1-3 years

Application and interview process

I came in through a referral (highly recommended) . The interview process is quite extensive, and it varies depending on the team. My interview process was about 3 months including two phone screens and a day of on-site interviews.

Application and interview process

I felt like it was a really well-organized interview process, and they went above and beyond to create a good interview experience for me.

Promotion discussions

It's hard to manage your promotion process. We have these guidelines, but they can be interpreted very differently.

Promotion discussions

A lot of the process is driven by the employee. There’s a lot of documentation that’s required, and you’re likely working with your manager over several months to compile and complete. At the end of it, your manager goes into a meeting with superiors to make the decision.

Company culture

I’ve spoken to many people who are looking to learn and grow at Amazon but not looking to build a career. I believe that’s largely due to the culture - people burn out really quickly as the work requires a lot of brain power and oftentimes dedication beyond normal work hours. To that point, you have to know your limits and communicate often.

August 8, 2020

Risk Manager I

Seattle, WA

tenure:

1-3 years

Promotion discussions

For the promotion process, you have to meet the role guidelines for the role that you’re trying to be promoted to. You have promo docs and you have to get recommended by other people in cross-functional teams or within your team that are above or at the level you want to get promoted to.

Promotion discussions

For the promotion process, you have to meet the role guidelines for the role that you’re trying to be promoted to. You have promo docs and you have to get recommended by other people in cross-functional teams or within your team that are above or at the level you want to get promoted to.

Company culture

I’m a huge extrovert, so I don’t limit my personality in front of anyone. That may or may not change with the role that I choose in the future. The culture at Amazon is very results-driven and people work to get promoted. It’s very transactional and there’s a lot of moving pieces happening at once, and everyone wants to take advantage of those pieces so they can get promoted.

Company culture

Being in food safety, something I wish would change is the ability to communicate with the operations team that supports us. One of my managers describes it as a ‘no-error culture’.

Company culture

I like being able to push myself to be better for the opportunity to improve my role.

July 12, 2020

Financial Analyst

Seattle, WA

tenure:

Less than 1 year

Application and interview process

I had three phone interviews, and then I had a super day that was five interviews back to back. Amazon is really good about timelines, so I had a decision 72 hours after my super day. At the beginning of my process, there was a lot of confusion about the role I was recruiting for, because I’d applied for one role and the recruiter had matched me up with another. It was frustrating because there’s so many levels of recruiters, so I had a hard time getting clarity on making sure I was interviewing for the right role.

Company culture

I do think that you can be yourself. You can bring your dog to work. There are a lot of things that allow you to be yourself, and I don’t think that I’ve ever stepped into a space where i can’t be myself. Amazon has a very particular culture, and not everyone is as warm. Some people are more iviting and some are more socially awkward, but even with that, it’s nothing that would keep me from being myself."

Company culture

The culture is super data-driven. There’s not a decision that’s made without data, so you need to be comfortable diving deep into data. You need to clarify how the assumptions that you make are data-backed and how they’re impacting the next decision.

Company culture

Amazon doesn’t believe in powerpoints or any presentations. The way you communicate your ideas is through documents. Think of an academic journal or research type paper. You need to be comfortable writing and articulating your ideas via text. The reasoning is that powerpoints allow you to not fully form a thought, whereas a document forces you to detail how things will work. Everyone’s around to make the idea better, so you have to have thick skin and be able to separate yourself from your ideas and take heavy-handed criticism along the way.

Training and career development

On a scale of 1 to 5, it’s a 3 or a 4. There’s a lot of opportunity to learn and grow within Amazon. There’s a lot of movement within teams if you want to learn something new. They’d rather you switch within your team than leave the company as a whole. Job-specific training is very difficult. Sometimes i’m looking at reports from a year ago, and things change so quickly that the way we look at the business just isn’t the same. You have to be able to deal with the ambiguity and figure it out. There’s a lack of standardized processes, and you can’t build a training program over something that isn’t standardized.

June 22, 2020

Global Program Manager, AWS

tenure:

1-3 years

Application and interview process

I submitted my application in February, and then I heard back for the first time in April. I had interviews in May and early June. They have a policy to let people know within a week, so then I got my offer in Early June. At Amazon, all the questions are based on leadership principles. There are 14 tenets that everyone at the company recognizes. For example, I got assigned “dive deep.” When doing the interview, they ask you to answer in STAR format, so it helped that I practiced those beforehand.

Company culture

There’s no such thing as Amazon company culture. The company has 500,000 employees, and there are different companies within the company. The culture depends on your team and your hiring manager, in that order. Technical roles usually have a worse work-life balance because they’re on call for different issues. AWS is very much like a startup in its culture. The teams are pretty small and have a lot of autonomy. There are few established policies, so you have a chance to build your own path. My hiring manager was flexible and upfront about how she has a son and she doesn’t expect me to work very long hours. She established the culture for the team and for our relationship.

Relationships with manager(s)

I really enjoyed my last team and working under my last manager. She was really supportive and always listened to my voice, especially if I was raising it for a data-backed reason. I feel lucky that I got to work with her because she has a great reputation. I got put into a role that was a level higher than the one I was in, and that helped me get fast-tracked to a promotion.

Promotion discussions

The promotion process has not been transparent. They ask their managers not to dive too deep into the discussions with the people they manage. I learned that you have to be in a role for two years before you can get promoted, and I wasn’t aware of this for a long time.

Promotion discussions

Every year, we have a thing called a Forte, where you can ask a team member to review your work. The Forte impacts your PCS, which determines your compensation. You have to write a promotion document, and people vote on whether or not you deserve a promotion. I had an opportunity to switch teams, but I didn’t want to because that would have reset my promotion process. I wrote my promo doc and gave it to my manager, and she shopped it around to get unanimous support from the team. She was able to take that promo doc and, together with the hiring manager, brought it to HR. Ultimately, I got promoted before the standard timeline. But for others, the process is much less transparent and you have to wait about 2 months before you find out.

August 15, 2020

Overall

Salary

$140,000

Middle Manager

tenure

1-3 years

Diversity

Representation

Recruiting and retention

Diversity programs

role transparency

Accuracy of job requirements

Accuracy of job description

opportunity

Promotion and upward mobility

Training and career development

Contribution to work

environment

Work-life balance

Work flexibility

Work inclusiveness

August 15, 2020

Overall

Salary

$140,000

Middle Manager

tenure

1-3 years

Diversity

Representation

Recruiting and retention

Diversity programs

role transparency

Accuracy of job requirements

Accuracy of job description

opportunity

Promotion and upward mobility

Training and career development

Contribution to work

environment

Work-life balance

Work flexibility

Work inclusiveness

August 10, 2020

Overall

Salary

Risk Manager I

Seattle, WA

tenure

1-3 years

Diversity

Representation

Recruiting and retention

Diversity programs

role transparency

Accuracy of job requirements

Accuracy of job description

opportunity

Promotion and upward mobility

Training and career development

Contribution to work

environment

Work-life balance

Work flexibility

Work inclusiveness

June 30, 2020

Overall

Salary

$100,000

Financial Analyst

Seattle, WA

tenure

Less than 1 year

Diversity

Representation

Recruiting and retention

Diversity programs

role transparency

Accuracy of job requirements

Accuracy of job description

opportunity

Promotion and upward mobility

Training and career development

Contribution to work

environment

Work-life balance

Work flexibility

Work inclusiveness

June 8, 2020

Overall

Salary

Global Program Manager, AWS

tenure

1-3 years

Diversity

Representation

Recruiting and retention

Diversity programs

role transparency

Accuracy of job requirements

Accuracy of job description

opportunity

Promotion and upward mobility

Training and career development

Contribution to work

environment

Work-life balance

Work flexibility

Work inclusiveness

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