You'll love this unique, simple, tool-driven approach
Read below and learn how to use our Amazon interview preparation tool to improve your prep.
So, you're preparing for your Amazon Behavioral interview with the Amazon Leadership Principles (ALPs). There are 14 principles (16 with the latest update, actually, though the last two feel more like statements). In the interviews, you will get asked questions that relate to one of those principles, and you need to be succint in your answers and then go deeper based on follow-up questions.
Yes, it feels daunting. But here's some help! Read on.
The general recommendations for Amazon Behavioral interview preparations are:
Prepare your stories up-front so you're not surprised - suggestion is 2 stories per principle (so, 28 to 30!). You can, of course, have less stories mapping to more than one principle, but then you also run the risk of repeating yourself during the interview if you're not super careful
Use the STAR (Situation/Task/Action/Result) or the PAR (Problem, Action, Result/Resolution) method
Keep your initial answers to 5-8 minutes (too short and you don't provide enough context and juice, too long and its a ramble), and spoken in a clear, understandable manner
What's the STAR method? It's pretty simple--here's a quick primer, but you can find a ton on the web.
S.T.A.R stands for
Situation--the context of your story, a framing, giving the interviewer a sense of the world you were operating in and the problem you faced. ("I was a product manager for X dealing with a hostile colleague")
Task--what you had to do to deal with the situation ("had to smoothen the relations before it impacted shipping")
Action--what you did ("dragged him behind and barn and beat... no that wouldn't be a good answer--I met him and discussed...")
Result--what you achieved ("a strong collaborative relationship that led to on-time future releases")
Sometimes, the "ST" may be feel like they're together. The other, simpler framing of STAR is PAR (Problem/Action/Result) where P is the framing of the story and the challenge.
Rambling on--many interviewees ramble in their answers. The key is to practice and time your S/P -- keep it to 1.5-2 minutes, then the T/A to another two minutes, and give a minute for the results. It's critical you hit all three.
Keeping it too high level and short--the other end is being so fluffy and short that it is neither compelling nor illustrative, and requires the interviewer to ask many follow-ups to get a sense of the story
Lack of specifics--your stories must have specifics. "I delivered much value to the company" doesn't cut it, but "my changes led to a 15% increase in user engagement" does.
Forgetting to summarize/quantify results--you have to end with a clear, understandable result. What you did must have resulted in something. Otherwise, it's just activities.
First, we provide a simple, Markdown based text template in which you write your stories and its summary/synopsis - this creates a discipline and a structured method ensuring you cover all you need to
Then, magic happens when you process your text on our generator - and here's what you get:
all your stories in a neat page
an estimation of your story length and average time it takes to deliver
a TOC with stories mapped to ALPs
ability to filter stories by ALP or by labels
printable summary of your stories so you can practice remembering them
and we'll be adding more to help with practice
Easy peasy. Just a few steps.
get a super-fast 1-step account (free) here
write your stories following the example in the template and instructions in the first chapter
that's it! the navigator page is self-explanatory
for more help, read best practices below