1. Describe for me how you have demonstrated customer obsession?
Tip – As the very first Amazon Leadership Principle, Customer Obsession will surely be an on-going theme during your interview. Prepare with anecdotes that you can use to prove your customer-centric way of thinking. Sample Answer – “In any given situation, I start with the customer and work backward. My sole intention is to provide an amazing customer experience, even if that means going out of my way to exceed their expectations on the service that I give them. I understand that it is not only about earning their trust, but also keeping their trust by consistently and continually providing great customer experience.”
2. Walk us through a time when you helped a customer through a difficult process and what that looked like.
Tip – Pick a professional anecdote that shows a time you demonstrated both customer obsession and taking ownership of a situation. It should show your problem-solving skills and react quickly and successfully to a difficult situation. Sample Answer – “A customer complained about a technical issue of a product and was clearly irritated since the product was brand new. It, however, turned out to be their lack of knowledge and practice in operating that product. I listened with understanding and took them through the process step by step with patience and care. I focused on making sure that the customer clearly understands and able to operate the product safely.”
3. Tell the story of the last time you had to apologize to someone.
Tip – This question focused on your ability to be vocally self-critical, which is an important leadership trait, especially when working with teams. Pick a situation where you did not only apologize but also took measures to successfully correct the mistake that happened. Sample Answer – “I like sticking to tried and true methods when it comes to handling projects that I have previous experiences in doing. During a recent project, I rejected a different method of operation suggested by a new member thinking it would lower the quality of the final product even though it would have saved us a lot of time. However, during the last minute rush, we resorted to the new method, which ended up being a great success. I apologized to the new member on not having confidence in their method at first.”
4. When you are working with a large number of customers, it is tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritizing your customers’ needs?
Tip – Focusing on the leadership principles customer obsession, taking ownership, and innovation. Remember that you aim to be hired by the world’s largest online retail company. Think big. Sample Answer – “I believe in approaching each and every customer requirement with the same level of attention at first. Properly understanding the gap between importance and satisfaction is important when prioritizing each customer’s need. I would give priority for the important and expected features or demands first, and fulfill the requirements focusing satisfaction and delight after. It is all about recognizing the vital few from the trivial many.”
5. Give me an example of a time when you did not meet a client’s expectation. What happened, and how did you attempt to rectify the situation?
Tip – Another question that requires you to be self-critical. When answering a question like this, be careful not to focus too much on the negativity. Elaborate on the positivity that comes with identifying your mistake and taking actions to make it right. Sample Answer – “One time a client expressed that he is not fully satisfied with a web development project that my team and I delivered. We always made sure to involve the client in the design aspects from the beginning to the end. However, our User Interface designer had taken slight creative liberty when it comes to the layout to deliver a perfect outcome. I sat down with our designer and the client and explained the reasons for the few deviations of the design from what the client directly requested. In the end, the client decided not to change anything and admired the skills of the designer and thanked us for going an extra mile to make sure he gets a perfect outcome.”
6. Tell me about a time when you changed your process to better align with customer needs.
Tip – This question also tackles your ability to take ownership of a situation and strategically make critical, and most importantly, customer-centric decisions. Sample Answer – “A customer made an order related to their upcoming nuptials, and they needed it delivered on a particular date. While the delivery method that they selected did not offer close tracking to mention the exact date that they would receive the article, I put a little more effort and care during the logistics process to make sure that they receive the order on the day they specifically needed it. The client was extremely thankful.”
7. Tell me about a time you handled a difficult customer. What did you do? How did you manage the customer? What was her/his reaction? What was the outcome?
Tip – Amazon is not a company that simply uses “customer-centric” as a tagline for marketing. When they say that they are customer obsessed, they truly mean it. It is extremely important to not put the customer in too much of a bad spotlight when you answer this question. Sample Answer – “I once had a graphic design customer just seemed virtually impossible to impress. He paid great attention to detail and seemed to find problems in places that we never imagined. My solution was to get him fully on board in the process of design. We truly listened to his suggestions and made immediate changes when he requested. He ended up being great friends with our team in the end, and became a frequent repeat customer.”
8. Most of us, at one time, have felt frustrated or impatient when dealing with customers. Can you tell me about a time when you felt this way and how you dealt with it?
Tip – This question covers your ability to be self-critical and your professionalism. Be honest. Amazon is a company that appreciates those who learn from their experiences and grows. Sample Answer – “During my retail working days, I have had irritated customers with difficult expectations. During those times, I always remind myself that it is not a personal attack against me. I keep myself calm and collected, then try to be empathetic toward the customer. Being apologetic and actively sympathetic is important when handling such situations, and providing a solution as soon as possible.”
9. When do you think it is okay to push back or say no to an unreasonable customer request?
Tip – Amazon is a company that is extremely customer-centric and looks for employees who are resourceful enough to deliver results even during the most difficult times. Therefore, saying no to a customer should always be a very last resort. Sample Answer – “I, personally, believe that there is always a solution to a problem. Regardless of how difficult it is, I will truly try my best to fulfill a request by a customer or at least meet them halfway. I would say no to a customer only if their request is simply not realistic, or expected me to directly break company policies.”
10. How do you develop client relationships?
Tip – This question covers the obvious customer obsession leadership principle as well as earning trust and delivering results. Sample Answer – “I believe that when it comes to developing any kind of relationship, communication is the key. I will always be efficient with my communication in my client relationships with an attitude that shows them I truly value customer satisfaction. With my experience, I have learned that maintaining the integrity and being transparent with my objectives are also essential to developing good client relationships.
11. Tell me about a time you used customer feedback to change the way you worked.
Tip – When you answer interview questions, always show that you are confident about your expertise, and yet willing to learn and grow from your experiences. As a customer-centric company, the feedback from customers is extremely important at Amazon. Sample Answer – “I tend to be a perfectionist in my work. The style of my work changed after a customer told me the details that I have to focus on vary from one customer to another and that I have to approach every project with a clear and open mind”.
12. Tell me about a time you had to compromise in order to satisfy a customer.
Tip – Amazon explains in their leadership principles that they expect their employees to “work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust.” This includes many practical compromises. Be honest with your answer. Sample Answer – “When you work in retail, the amount of work almost triples during the holidays. As a manager, I tend to pride myself on providing a great work-life balance to my team. One time, however, I had to compromise the generous holiday vacation time for myself and the team to make sure one of my biggest customers meets their year-end goal. The large profit we made from that project made it all worth it.”
13. How do you get to an understanding of what the customer’s needs are?
Tip – As an Amazonian, you need to always listen to your customer and fully understand their needs. This includes understanding not only what they say, but most importantly what they do, not say.
Sample Answer – ” As a web developer, I work with many clients without the technical knowledge of what they require and can only provide me with the details of the aesthetic that they expect in the final product. I believe that great customer service is not only about doing what they ask us to do but about anticipating what they truly require and exceeding their expectation.
14. How do you anticipate your customer’s needs ?
Tip – This question tap into both your customer obsession levels and also your innovation, thinking beyond the limits and delivering great results.
Sample Answer – ” Knowing your customer is the key. I believe in getting to know my customer not only on a professional but also a personal level. it is important to understand their lifestyle and the way they think in order to truly anticipate their needs. I am always updated and on the lookout for the problems to solve and trends to follow in order to give exactly what the customer needs.”
15. How do you honestly pursue customer feedback, not just solicit them for compliments?
Tips – The best customer feedback is not inherently positive feedback, but also neutral and honest feedback with constructive criticism.
Sample Answer – “I always start with making sure I provide a perfect service that encourages the customer to leave feedback on their own without having solicit. When I do pursue feedback, I always do it with clear intent and a purpose, explaining to my customer that what I require is constructive feedback and not simply a positive comment.”
16. How do you wow your customers ?
Tip – This question gives you the opportunity to prove to the interviewer that you would go that extra mile in order to meet their most important leadership principle – customer obsession.
Sample Answer – ” Giving the wow factor to a customer is all about pleasantly surprising them by providing a level of service that exceeds their expectations. This should be started with perfect delivery of service along with a positive addition that they do not usually get from the competitors. It could be anything from an incentive like a discount or an offer they were not expecting to a follow-up to ensure they are fully satisfied with the service.”
17. Tell me about a time a customer wanted one thing, but you felt they needed something else.
Tip – While always giving the priority to understanding and delivering exactly what the customer asked and expected from you, make this an opportunity to show how your expertise on the task you are performing comes into play.
Sample Answer – “As a web developer, I have studied psychology and the behaviors of visit who come to a website. When clients specifically ask me to use plenty of colors and graphics on their websites, I know by my experience that they will not positively affect their user interface. It is always less is more when it comes to UIs.”
18. When was a time you had to balance the needs of the customer with the needs of the business?
Tip – This is a tricky question. At the end of the day, you are an employee of Amazon and you need to give priority to the best interests of the business. However, due to the customer-centric culture at Amazon, learn more toward benefiting the customer.
Sample Answer – “This is something that comes up mostly with product pricing and offering discounts and other incentives to the customer. My approach is always thinking about long-term benefits for the business and retention of the customer rather than making a short-term profit and losing the customer.”
19. Give me an example of when you took a risk and it failed.
Tip – Be careful when you pick a situation here. your aim should be to show that you are able to take the calculated risk even with the potential to fail and that you can self-critical and turn a failure into a learning moment.
Sample Answer – ” One time when the budget was tight I tried to lead my team to complete a task with fewer resources than it usually needs. What I believed was that if we work hard enough, we will be able to make up for the lack of resources. The project ended up being a failure. What I learned was to plan ahead for the budget and not be overconfident.”
20. Describe a project or idea (not necessarily your own that was implemented primarily because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?
Tip- Talk about a time that you took the lead and led a project into a success. Focus more on how your specific skills and efforts contributed to the success of that project or idea.
Sample Answer – “When I was in college, the students in my year started a monthly magazine to publish creative, social, and political expressions by the students. However, there was no theme or a focus for the project. I took the initiative to gather all the submissions under a theme and successfully publish the magazine, which is still active to this day.”
21. Tell me about a time when you had to leave a task unfinished.
Tip- Frugality is one of the most important leadership principles at Amazon. It is not only about tangible resources, but also the time and the energy of t he workers as well.
Sample Answer – “As an intern, I had to manually reorganize some of the written documents in a publishing company. Half way I realized the important parts of those documents have already been digital preserved, which means my time could have been used more effectively. I informed my supervisor and then left manual organization unfinished.”
22. tell me about a time when you had to work on a project with unclear responsibilities.
Tip- As a leader, there are tasks you have to undertake without any clear responsibilities which you have to take the ownership of.
Sample Answer – “In my first job, which was an entry-level position in a start-up company, I had a mix of seemingly unrelated tasks I had to complete every day. I eventually realized that they are usually done by a Public Relations professional. I took the initiative to fully perform my duties and I was soon promoted to be the Public Relations manager of the company.”
23. Give an example of when you saw a peer struggling and decided to step in and help. What was the situation and what action did you take? What was the outcome?
Tip – The tricky part of this question is making sure that you do not come off as a micro-manager, but as a helpful team worker who humbly offers help to strengthen a team.
Sample Answer- “While I can think of many situations I lend a helping hand, perhaps the most memorable would be helping one of the most experienced and senior members of my team to navigate through a new vertual management system. they were reluctant to ask for help, but was very thankful that I offered to take them through it until they fully got the hang of it.”
24. Give me an example of a decision you owned, which had a long-term focus.
Tip – This question covers the leadership principles of insisting on higher standards, diving deep, and delivering results. Decisions that have long-term focus prove your dedication and loyalty for your workplace.
Sample Answer – “I was in charge of setting up the website for one of the companies I worked for. Without simply getting a basic website online, I took my time to properly optimize the website for search engines and include great quality content. While it took me more time and the budget was higher, that website still holds the highest rank in search engines due to me thinking long-term many years ago.”
25. Provide an example of when you personally demonstrated ownership.
Tip- Ownership in the context of Amazon leadership principles is all about acting on behalf of the entire company. In a company with a scope as large as Amazon, they do not need employees that say,” that’s not my job”.
Sample Answer- “When I worked for an event management company, I made it my duty to always be proactive with networking with many individuals who attend events not because it was my job, but because the exposure was good for the company. I represented the company on many occasions and brought plenty of opportunities.