Originally a small online bookseller, Amazon was founded in Seattle, Washington back in 1994. What started as a small concept has multiplied into a multi-national company making over $10+ billion every year. Amazon currently employees over 300,000 workers in the US alone. How do those workers get hired; specifically, the prospective front end developers? Career Karma is here to give you the breakdown of Amazon’s hiring process, plus tips and tricks on landing your own job with the company.
A Short History of Amazon
Before we dive into the rigorous process of getting a job at Amazon, first we need to head back to the company’s roots. When you look at the global enterprise of Amazon today, it’s crazy to think that this all started with one idea. Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s founder) wanted to find an efficient way outside of the United States Post office to ship products. He started out with the smartest and most sustainable product that he could think of: books. Bezos didn’t stop there, as he quickly expanded the business to include other products, starting with CDs and eventually adding clothing, household items, and anything that could fit in a box.
The company continued to grow as it acquired other companies such a Twitch and Audible and also launched its own movie and music streaming service. While Amazon hasn’t always been the giant that we know and love today, it has always had one constant: it’s mission statement. Amazon’s mission statement is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.” Amazon has always been a customer-forward company, with one of its core principles being to always put customers first. So, when it comes to hiring, it’s safe to say that Amazon is also looking for candidates that embody these beliefs.
The Hiring Process
Amazon’s hiring process is highly unique and unlike any other company. Jeff Bezos himself has been quoted regarding the hiring process: “I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.” This model rings true with Amazon’s hiring team today. Amazon hires team members using what they call “bar raisers”. Bar raisers at Amazon are full-time employees who sometimes spend up to 30 hours a week interviewing potential candidates for other departments. These are employees who already have jobs at Amazon who are able to take a direct role in the hiring process. This in itself is unique. An additional factor is that several people from multiple departments are needed to sign off on a candidate before they are offered a position with Amazon. If for any reason the candidate doesn’t live up to the standards of all of the bar raisers involved, the prospective hire’s candidacy can be vetoed at any time. While this may sound rigorous to some, Bezos commends the process saying that it weeds out “cultural misfits” who may not fit with the company’s values. As one might imagine, a process like this is rather extensive and takes a lot of time. So, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t contacted within a few weeks, for some potential employees, the hiring process can last for months!
Common Interview Questions
If Amazon sounds like your dream company and you happen to love a challenge, you may be wondering how to prepare for an interview. These are the most popular interview questions for full stack developer candidates with amazon:
- Tell us about a time when you insisted on the highest standards.
- Give me a time when you had to act quickly without any data.
- Tell me about a deadline you couldn’t hit. What happened?
- When coding, what measures did you take from the security perspective?
These are just a few of the many questions and challenges that interviewers pose to Amazon hopefuls. One former interviewee who had been offered a position as a front end developer at Amazon commented, “Don’t just expect this to be a front end position. You need to have knowledge of security, networking protocols, and full-stack.” As you can see from the questions above, this statement is very true. Prospective front end developers will be quizzed on not only their knowledge but also their ethics and personality.
What’s it Like to Work for Amazon?
So, if you make it through the strenuous process of hiring at Amazon, what’s in it for you? First, Amazon is dedicated to the education of its employees. You will have a wealth of knowledge and resources available to you for your continuation of learning. Additionally, Amazon offers competitive health care plans, stock options, “bring your dog to work days”, and more!
Ready to Get Started?
Ready to begin your coding journey? The competition to become a full stack developer at Amazon is fierce. Career Karma can help you stand apart from the rest! Coding bootcamps help you to become the best developer that you can be. Through our collaboration focused programs, Career Karma can help match you to coding bootcamps that can give you the skills to succeed.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.