How To Ace Why Amazon Interview Questions

published on 15 September 2021

General interview/career coaches put a lot of importance on the “why do you want to work for us?” question in terms of its importance in your ability to land an offer. That is partly true with why Amazon interview questions but not the same degree as these coaches suggest.

Why Amazon’s Role In Early Rounds

Amazon’s method for hiring candidates, is to judge how they perform against their 14 Amazon Leadership Principles. To make this judgement, they gather evidence from your career history using behavioural questions and your answers. The decision to move you onto the next round and then to ultimately offer you a job, is HUGELY weighted towards how you perform in these questions.

However, in early rounds your interviewer is going to want to establish that you have the skills to do the job and that you want the role for the right reasons- they want someone who will stick around. So, it’s here, in these early rounds of the Amazon interview process  where these  why amazon interview questions have their most significance.

What They Mean When They Ask Why Amazon

​Amazon is a huge organisation. It crosses multiple industries Retail, Video, Music, Cloud Services, Satellites, Pharmacy, Grocery, Devices, Payments etc. So when you look at it in that way, the context is so vast- why Amazon interview questions are nonsensical. What they really mean is “Why This Part Of Amazon?”.

How To Answer It

There are some key areas I suggest you focus you answer on


Each Amazon business unit is very different. But there are some truisms that are universal no matter what business unit or location.

​The Amazon Leadership Principles: The DNA of Amazon. Everyone knows their definitions by heart and Amazonians live and die by them.

Ways of Working: Amazon has a very flat structure, this is to try to bring “decision makers” as close to the customer as possible. This means many roles that would be management roles in other companies are individual contributors at Amazon.

The ever-rising standards: Every new hire into the company “raises the bar”. They are hired because they have proven they are better than 50% of the current population. That means everyone who is currently working in Amazon, also needs to raise their performance standard in order to keep up.

You should develop an answer that explains why

  • these 3 truisms about Amazon appeal to you
  • how they may reflect you career to date or your future ambition
  • why it is you would add value to a company with these truism

 Business Maturity

There are key differences between business units and this often comes from their stage of maturity. There are 3 key stages of maturity.

Build businesses: businesses who are true start-ups. Teams are only just being formed along with processes, products etc.

Scaling businesses: businesses who have established teams, processes and are shipping their product but are now looking to step change growth.

Optimising businesses: businesses who are well established and their only remaining area for growth, is to find ways to squeeze efficiency out of their existing products/processes.

You should develop an answer that explains why

  • the stage of maturity of this business appeals to you
  • how this state of maturity is reflected in your career or your future ambition
  • how you add value to a team in this stage of maturity

The Team

Each team’s specific challenges and are opportunities are different. So, you’re going to need to understand these by asking your recruiter and doing some research.

You should develop an answer that explains why

  • these challenges appeal to you
  • how these challenges a reflected in your career or your future ambition
  • how you’d add value to a team with these challenges

Because the evidence of your strength against the Amazon Leadership Principles is the most import data from the interview, I recommend not spending too much time on the “Why Amazon Question”. I recommend a 1min answer only.

Why Amazon’s Role In Final Round

​By the time you reach the final round, the previous interviewers should have established you have the right technical skills and enthusiasm for the role.

Panel/Loop is primarily about the evidence from the behavioural questions. You may still be asked some introductory questions but here they serve the purpose of a warm up, getting to know you a little so you can have a relaxed interview.

The guidance is very clear to Bar Raisers (who run the meeting where the final decision is made), a candidate’s motivation for joining Amazon is not to be used as evidence.

So In order to avoid wasting time in these interviews on data that won’t be used, I recommend you synthesise up your answer from earlier rounds into just a couple of sentences; help your interviewer move onto the Leadership Principle questions as quickly as possible.

Other Amazon Interview Guides

#1 Amazon Interview Mistake

Tell Me About A Time You Failed

Tell Me Your Weakness

Amazon Leadership Principles

 Strategies To Ace The Bar Raiser round 

Critical Areas To Ace Your Amazon Interview 

STAR Is Best For Amazon Interview Questions 

The Amazon Principles Of Leadership Are Hiding Something Important 

The 3 Possible Outcomes Of Your Amazon Interview 

Repeat Amazon Interview Question and Answer? 

Amazon Interview Preparation Nerves Hacks 

The Amazon Culture

The Biggest Amazon Interview Strategy Mistake

Read more