If you have an interview with Amazon coming up, it is crucial to prepare to discuss Amazon’s leadership principles. These principles define Amazon’s culture and values. Being able to speak about them knowledgeably and with relevant examples will demonstrate to the interviewer that you would be a great fit for the company.
In this blog, we will go through each leadership principle and provide tips for how to prepare for questions related to them. We will also provide examples of strong answers to give you an idea of how to articulate your thoughts on each principle. Learning from people with extensive experience is always the key to success. With preparation and Amazon interview coaching, you will ace the leadership principles portion of your Amazon interview.
Amazon’s leadership principle of customer obsession means passionately focusing on customer needs and providing them with the best experience possible. When asked about this principle, you want to convey that you are dedicated to understanding customers deeply, meeting their needs, and keeping them satisfied.
For example, you could say, “Customer obsession means making customers the top priority in everything I do. It means striving to exceed their expectations at every interaction and proactively identifying ways to improve their experience.”
• Some keywords you could use here are customer-centric, satisfaction, loyalty, retention, experience, and connectivity. The key is to demonstrate how you have applied a customer-first mindset to your work.
Take ownership of problems and their solutions. Do not blame others or make excuses. Interviewers will want to see that you are someone who takes initiative and accountability seriously.
For example, say, “Ownership to me means that I do not make excuses or pass blame. If there is a problem, I take it upon myself to dig in, understand the root cause, and develop solutions to fix it. I hold myself accountable for results, learn from my mistakes, and work to improve continuously.”
• Some additional keywords: accountable, responsible, driven, and problem-solving.
Invent and simplify
This principle emphasizes creating new and innovative solutions to complex problems and then simplifying those solutions for customers. Discuss how you have created novel solutions in the past and your process for making complex ideas simple and user-friendly.
For example, “In my previous role, my team and I developed a new onboarding process for clients that reduced paperwork by 50% and decreased client frustration. We started from scratch and questioned existing assumptions to build a simpler solution focused on an optimal client experience. After many iterations, we ended up with a process that was both innovative and simple to navigate.”
Are right a lot
Making good decisions in the face of uncertainty is key. Discuss your approach to decision-making and judgment calls, especially when data is lacking. Strong candidates will show a track record of sound judgment and admit when mistakes were made.
For example, say, “As a leader, there are many situations where you have to make tough calls without perfect data. My approach is to gather as much information as possible, listen to diverse viewpoints, determine what is in the best interest of the customer and company, and then make a confident decision. Afterward, I always evaluate the outcomes to determine if a different choice should have been made. I aim to be right more often than wrong, learn from both good and bad results, and constantly strengthen my judgment abilities.”
• Some additional keywords: judgment, critical thinking, evaluation, decision-making, intuition Discuss how you balance data and instincts.
The principle of “dive deep” means exploring all possibilities to find the root causes and real solutions. Discuss how you are curious and question assumptions to gain a deeper understanding. Provide examples of how you have dug deep into problems rather than settling for superficial solutions. Highlight how you experimented and analysed the results to find the fundamental drivers.
‘Frugality’ focuses on doing more with less. Share experiences of how you have cut out waste, spent the company’s money as if it were your own, and found creative ways to save resources. Discuss situations where you have streamlined to accomplish goals without lavish budgets. Frugality is about being lean and efficient, not cheap. Highlight how you have embodied a culture of thriftiness and careful resource allocation.
‘Earn Trust’ is all about demonstrating honesty, integrity, and authenticity. Discuss how you have built trust over time through straightforward communication, presenting the truth, and walking the talk. Provide examples of how you took responsibility, held yourself and others accountable, and made good on commitments and promises. Highlight how people could rely on and confide in you due to your proven trustworthiness.
Insist on the highest standards
‘Insist on the Highest Standards’ focuses on driving difficult work by setting an elevated bar for quality and performance. Discuss how you have high standards for yourself and others regarding work quality, professionalism, and ethics. Share experiences of when you were not satisfied with the status quo and pushed teams to achieve more. Highlight how you actively improved on projects, tasked others with excellence, and encouraged raising the standard from ‘just okay” to exceptional. To prepare yourself well for the session, it’s always a wise decision to opt for Amazon interview coaching from a reliable place like ImpeccableInterview.com.
‘Think Big’ is about creating bold visions and thinking strategically about opportunities. Discuss visions you have built through insights into customer needs and industry trends and by stretching existing ideas. Share examples of innovative strategies or products you have developed. Highlight how you have motivated others with your aspiring visions and future-focused mindset.
Bias for Action
The principle of “bias for action” means focusing on achieving results, overcoming obstacles, and accomplishing goals through calculated risks and fast decision-making. Discuss how you tend to act quickly and confidently rather than get bogged down in analysis paralysis. Provide examples of when you have moved rapidly to get things done while also applying judgment and care. Highlight how you have motivated teams through your bias for forward progress and momentum.
Learn and be curious.
Continuous improvement is key to Amazon’s success. Discuss how you stay up-to-date with advancements in your field and always work to strengthen your skills. Interviewers will want to see that you value learning, growth, and innovation.
For example, say, “I am passionate about continuous learning and improving myself. I keep up with industry trends by reading books, blogs, and newsletters in my field. I also regularly take online courses to strengthen my technical and soft skills. At work, I constantly seek feedback from colleagues and managers to better understand my weaknesses and find ways to improve. Learning and growth are lifelong processes, and I aim to expand my knowledge every single day.”
• Some additional strong keywords to use are growth mindset, lifelong learner, personal development, and skill acquisition. Discuss your learning philosophies and how you turn knowledge into action.
Have backbone; disagree and commit.
‘Have Backbone, Disagree, and Commit’ focuses on respectfully challenging assumptions and pursuing the right path rather than the easy one. Discuss how you stand up for what you believe is right for customers and the business. Provide examples of how you have voiced differing opinions, stood firm on principles, and driven understanding around contentious issues. Highlight how people know your purpose is progress, not conflict, which is why you question and commit fully once a decision is made.
Amazon seeks candidates with a track record of success and the motivation to achieve
exceptional outcomes. Discuss how you have driven impact and exceeded goals in your career. Quantifiable results and a data-driven evaluation will strengthen your answer.
For example, say, “I am results-oriented, passionate about driving business impact, and committed to exceeding goals and expectations. For example, in my last role, I led the launch of two new products that generated over $1.2 million in the first six months, exceeding targets by 120%. I attribute this success to diligent planning, data analysis, proactively addressing obstacles, and never losing sight of key goals and milestones. I promise to bring this same determination and metrics-driven approach to any role.”
In a nutshell, with the right preparation, you will ace the leadership principles portion of your Amazon interview.
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