Amazon’s 2 New Leadership Principles and What You’ll Be Asked in the Interview

Two New Principles

Amazon recently announced their newest Leadership Principles, adding to their existing 14 Leadership Principles. These are the backbone of their culture and are rigorously tested during the interview process. 

It’s possible that the new additions have been in the making for a while, or that they come from more public scrutiny about labor rights, an inclusive work culture, and the big responsibility Amazon has as a powerful and wide-reaching company. 

The 2 new principles will also be screened for in all interviews, so it’s important to spend some time preparing. We’ve defined the principles below and also shared REAL behavioral interview questions that will be asked during the interview based on these specific principles. As with the other principles, make sure to prepare them using the STAR format, write out the details in a document to make sure it’s logical, and have a couple of rounds of mock interviews with your coach. 

I. Strive to Be Earth’s Best Employer 

Leaders work every day to create a safer, more productive, higher performing, more diverse, and more just work environment. They lead with empathy, have fun at work, and make it easy for others to have fun. Leaders ask themselves: Are my fellow employees growing? Are they empowered? Are they ready for what’s next? Leaders have a vision for and commitment to their employees’ personal success, whether that be at Amazon or elsewhere.

Real interview questions: 

  1. Tell me a time when you helped build a more inclusive working environment. What problems were you trying to address? What did you do? What were the employees’ reactions? How did the changes help the employees? 
  2. Tell me about a time when you advocated for someone who had less influence or seniority than you. How or why did you advocate for them and what was the outcome? 
  3. Describe a time when you implemented a change at work aimed at improving the work experience of yourself or coworkers. What was the goal? Why did you feel this change was necessary? What was the outcome? 
  4. Describe a time when you promoted diversity, equity, or inclusion in the workplace. What forms of diversity did you consider (e.g., gender, ethnicity, personal interests)? What approach did you use? 
  5. Tell me about a time when you showed compassion toward someone during a stressful or high-pressure situation. How did you recognize that it was important to demonstrate sensitivity? What did you do to demonstrate compassion? What were the outcomes for that person and the situation? 

II. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility

We started in a garage, but we’re not there anymore. We are big, we impact the world, and we are far from perfect. We must be humble and thoughtful about even the secondary effects of our actions. Our local communities, planet, and future generations need us to be better every day. We must begin each day with a determination to make better, do better, and be better for our customers, our employees, our partners, and the world at large. And we must end every day knowing we can do even more tomorrow. Leaders create more than they consume and always leave things better than how they found them. 

Real interview questions: 

  1. Tell me about a time you worked on a project that had impact beyond your immediate client/customer/organization. How did you approach the potential downstream impact of this work? When in the course of the project did you start thinking about this impact, and what efforts did you make to manage this impact? What were the risks? 
  2. Tell me about a time when you decided to change a decision because of unintended consequences for your customers. What was the impact on your customers? What tradeoffs did you have to make? How did your new solution better serve your customers? 
  3. Tell me about a time when you changed course because of the negative impact you were going to cause to a third-party. 
  4. Tell me a time when you thought carefully about social responsibility as a critical aspect of your decision making. Why was social responsibility important? How did it (i.e., considering social responsibility) have an impact on the decision-making process? 
  5. Tell me about a time when you considered everyone who was affected by your work, not just your direct customers or people within your organization.

Looking to practice your interview with a former Amazon employee and trained interview coach? Get Matched with a coach today!

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