Image
Arslan Ahmad

Mastering the "Why Amazon?" Question for Your Interview

How To Respond To The Most Trickiest Interview Question
Image

One of the most common and important questions at Amazon interviews is "Why Amazon?"

This isn't just a casual or random question—it's a chance for you to show why you're genuinely excited about working at Amazon and how you align with its unique culture and values.

Many candidates find this question tricky.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of giving a generic answer that doesn't really stand out.

In this blog, we will guide you through crafting a compelling answer to the "Why Amazon?" question. We will cover essential research tips, how to align your personal and professional experiences with Amazon’s core values, and provide examples of strong responses.

How to Understand the Question "Why Amazon?"

When asked "Why Amazon?" in an interview, the interviewer wants to know why you specifically want to work at Amazon and how well you understand the company.

Here’s how to break down and understand this question:

Purpose of the Question

The interviewer is gauging your interest in the company. They want to see if you have a genuine desire to work at Amazon, not just any tech company.

They are also assessing your cultural fit. Amazon places a high value on its leadership principles, and understanding these is crucial.

What They’re Looking For

    1. Enthusiasm: Show that you are excited about the possibility of working at Amazon.
    1. Alignment with Values: Demonstrate that you understand and resonate with Amazon’s core values and mission.
    1. Knowledge of the Company: Prove that you have done your homework about Amazon’s operations, products, and initiatives.

Researching Amazon

Before appearing at an interview, it is important to learn about the company.

Here is an overview of Amazon:

Company Overview

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994.

It started as an online bookstore but has since grown into a major technology company with diverse business interests.

Today, Amazon is known for its e-commerce platform, which is one of the largest in the world.

Beyond online retail, Amazon has expanded into several other areas:

  1. Cloud Computing: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a leading cloud computing service provider, offering a range of services such as storage, computing power, and databases.

  2. Digital Streaming: Amazon Prime Video provides digital streaming services with a vast library of movies, TV shows, and original content.

  3. Artificial Intelligence: Amazon has invested heavily in AI, with products like Alexa, a voice-activated assistant used in smart devices.

  4. Other Ventures: Amazon also has interests in physical retail through Whole Foods Market, publishing, and even space exploration with Blue Origin.

Amazon’s Mission and Vision

Amazon’s mission is "to be Earth's most customer-centric company." This means that Amazon aims to prioritize customers in every decision and innovation they undertake.

Here’s how this mission influences their operations:

  1. Customer Focus: Every product and service is designed with the customer in mind. Amazon continually seeks to improve the customer experience, whether through fast delivery, easy returns, or responsive customer service.

  2. Innovation: To fulfill its mission, Amazon constantly innovates. This includes developing new technologies like the Kindle, AWS, and drone delivery services.

  3. Long-term Thinking: Amazon is known for its willingness to invest in long-term projects that may not pay off immediately but are expected to benefit customers in the future.

Understanding the Core Values of Amazon

Amazon's culture is built around 16 Leadership Principles that guide decision-making and behavior within the company. These principles are key to understanding how Amazon operates and what they look for in employees.

Here’s a breakdown of these principles in simple terms:

  1. Customer Obsession: Always put the customer first. Understand and prioritize their needs and work to gain and maintain their trust.

  2. Ownership: Take responsibility for your work and think long-term. Act as if you own the business and make decisions that benefit the company as a whole.

  3. Invent and Simplify: Innovate constantly and look for ways to make things simpler. Be open to new ideas from anywhere and strive to improve processes and products.

  4. Are Right, A Lot: Use good judgment and make smart decisions. Seek diverse perspectives to ensure you're on the right path.

  5. Learn and Be Curious: Never stop learning. Always look for ways to improve your skills and knowledge, and explore new possibilities.

  6. Hire and Develop the Best: Focus on bringing in top talent and helping them grow. Support your team members in their development and ensure they reach their full potential.

  7. Insist on the Highest Standards: Set and maintain high standards in everything you do. Aim for excellence and ensure quality in all your work.

  8. Think Big: Set bold, ambitious goals. Don’t be afraid to dream big and look for opportunities to achieve significant impact.

  9. Bias for Action: Value speed and action. Make decisions quickly when needed and take calculated risks to move forward.

  10. Frugality: Do more with less. Be resourceful and avoid unnecessary spending. This encourages creativity and innovation.

  11. Earn Trust: Build and maintain trust by being honest, respectful, and transparent. Admit mistakes and learn from them.

  12. Dive Deep: Get into the details and understand all aspects of your work. Verify facts and stay connected to the intricacies of your projects.

  13. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit: Stand up for your beliefs and challenge decisions if needed, but once a decision is made, fully commit to it and move forward together.

  14. Deliver Results: Focus on the key inputs for your business and deliver them with the right quality and on time. Overcome setbacks and never settle.

  15. Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer: Work to create a safe, productive, and inclusive work environment. Ensure your colleagues are growing and empowered.

  16. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility: Recognize that with great success comes the responsibility to make a positive impact on society. Be thoughtful about your actions and strive to improve the world.

How Should You Tailor Your Answer

To answer the "Why Amazon?" question in your interview, it's important to craft a response that reflects both your personal values and professional experience.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Personal Alignment

First, think about your own values and career goals.

Identify where they match Amazon’s principles.

For example, if you love working directly with customers and ensuring their satisfaction, you can talk about how Amazon’s principle of "Customer Obsession" aligns with your passion.

Example: "Customer satisfaction has always been my top priority in my career. I find great joy in solving customer issues and improving their experience. This is why Amazon’s commitment to 'Customer Obsession' resonates deeply with me."

  1. Professional Alignment

Next, focus on your professional background. Highlight your relevant skills and experiences that match Amazon’s needs.

If you have led innovative projects or taken on significant responsibilities, use these examples to show that you embody Amazon’s values.

Example: "In my previous role, I led a project that required innovative problem-solving and significant ownership. This experience aligns with Amazon’s principles of 'Invent and Simplify' and 'Ownership,' where I had to simplify complex processes and take full responsibility for the project's success."

  1. Structuring Your Answer

A well-structured answer will help you convey your points clearly and effectively.

Introduction

Start with a statement that shows your enthusiasm for Amazon and its mission. This sets a positive tone for your answer.

Example: "I'm excited about the opportunity to join Amazon because of its relentless focus on customer satisfaction and innovation."

Body

  • Personal Connection: Explain how Amazon’s mission and values connect with your personal values. This shows that you are a good cultural fit. For example, "Amazon’s commitment to 'Customer Obsession' mirrors my own dedication to putting clients first in all my projects."

  • Professional Fit: Discuss your skills, experiences, and achievements that are relevant to Amazon. Mention specific teams, projects, or roles that interest you. For example, "My experience in cloud computing and my passion for continuous learning make me particularly excited about the opportunity to work with AWS."

By tailoring your answer to highlight both personal and professional alignment with Amazon’s values, you can demonstrate that you are not only interested in the company but also a great fit for its culture and goals.

This approach helps you stand out as a candidate who understands and aligns with what Amazon stands for.

Build strong coding skills and make sure you avoid these mistakes during interview.

Examples of Strong Responses

Crafting a tailored response to the "Why Amazon?" question can significantly boost your chances of success.

Here are some strong examples for different roles, explaining why they work well:

  1. Customer Service Role

Example: "I am passionate about Amazon’s mission to be the most customer-centric company in the world. My background in customer service has equipped me with the skills to understand and address customer needs effectively, and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Amazon’s commitment to exceptional customer service."

Explanation:

  • Alignment with Mission: The response starts by expressing passion for Amazon’s core mission, showing that the candidate values the same goals as Amazon.

  • Relevant Experience: It highlights the candidate’s background in customer service, which is directly relevant to Amazon’s focus on customer satisfaction.

  • Excitement to Contribute: The candidate shows enthusiasm for joining Amazon and helping it maintain its high standards of customer service.

  1. Tech Role

Example: "Amazon’s leadership in cloud computing through AWS is inspiring. I have always admired Amazon’s innovative approach and its impact on the tech industry. My skills in software development and my experience with cloud technologies align perfectly with Amazon’s 'Invent and Simplify' principle. I am thrilled at the prospect of being part of a team that constantly pushes the boundaries of technology."

Explanation:

  • Recognition of Leadership: The response acknowledges Amazon’s significant position in the tech industry, particularly in cloud computing, which shows that the candidate is informed about Amazon’s strengths.

  • Alignment with Principles: The candidate connects their own experience in software development and cloud technologies with Amazon’s principle of "Invent and Simplify."

  • Enthusiasm for Innovation: By expressing excitement about being part of a team that pushes technological boundaries, the candidate demonstrates a forward-thinking mindset that aligns with Amazon’s culture.

  1. Sustainability Role

Example: "I am deeply impressed by Amazon’s commitment to sustainability and its initiatives to create a better world for future generations. With my background in environmental science and project management, I believe I can help Amazon achieve its sustainability goals. I am particularly motivated by the opportunity to work on projects that make a significant positive impact on the environment."

Explanation:

  • Commitment to Values: The candidate expresses admiration for Amazon’s sustainability efforts, aligning their personal values with the company’s initiatives.

  • Relevant Expertise: Mentioning a background in environmental science and project management shows that the candidate has the skills and knowledge to contribute effectively to Amazon’s sustainability projects.

  • Desire to Make an Impact: The candidate’s motivation to work on projects that benefit the environment indicates a proactive and purposeful approach, which is likely to resonate well with Amazon’s goals.

Why These Responses Work

Each of these examples is effective because they:

  1. Show Knowledge of Amazon: They demonstrate that the candidate has researched Amazon’s mission, values, and industry position.

  2. Align Personal Values with Amazon’s Principles: They reflect a genuine connection between the candidate’s personal and professional values and Amazon’s core values.

  3. Highlight Relevant Skills and Experience: They clearly articulate how the candidate’s background makes them a strong fit for the role.

  4. Express Enthusiasm: They convey a sincere excitement about the opportunity to work at Amazon, which helps show that the candidate is motivated and likely to be engaged and productive.

By structuring your response in a similar way, you can create a compelling answer that not only addresses the question effectively but also sets you apart as a candidate who truly understands and is excited about Amazon’s mission and culture.

Discover the 6 soft skills that you need to ace your interviews.

Avoid Major Mistakes in Your Responses

Let's have a detailed look at what to avoid and how to make your answer stand out.

  1. Generic Responses

Pitfall: Giving vague answers that could apply to any company.

Example of a Bad Response: "I want to work at Amazon because it’s a great company with lots of opportunities."

Why It’s a Problem

  • Too General: This type of answer doesn’t show that you’ve done your homework about Amazon specifically. It sounds like something you could say about any big company.

  • Lacks Specificity: The interviewer can’t see what excites you about Amazon itself.

How To Avoid It

  • Be Specific: Talk about specific aspects of Amazon that attract you. For instance, mention their innovation in cloud computing with AWS, their commitment to customer satisfaction, or their sustainability efforts.

  • Show Personal Connection: Explain how your personal interests and career goals align with Amazon’s mission and values.

Example of a Good Response:

"I want to work at Amazon because I’m inspired by its leadership in cloud computing through AWS and its focus on customer satisfaction. As someone who thrives in fast-paced, innovative environments, I believe my background in software development and my passion for creating efficient solutions align perfectly with Amazon’s 'Invent and Simplify' principle."

  1. Lack of Research

Pitfall: Not demonstrating enough knowledge about Amazon.

Example of a Bad Response: "I want to work here because it’s a big company with lots of products."

Why It’s a Problem

  • Unprepared: This shows you haven’t taken the time to understand Amazon’s unique culture and operations.

  • Misses the Mark: The interviewer wants to see that you’re genuinely interested in Amazon and understand what makes it unique.

How To Avoid It

  • Do Your Homework: Learn about Amazon’s mission, values, recent projects, and specific roles. Know the company’s history and its key initiatives.

  • Use Concrete Details: Reference specific facts and insights you’ve gathered about Amazon in your response.

Example of a Good Response

"I’m excited about the opportunity at Amazon because of its commitment to customer obsession and innovation. I recently read about Amazon’s latest advancements in AI with Alexa and how they continually improve user experiences. My background in AI research and development makes me eager to contribute to such forward-thinking projects."

  1. Overemphasis on Perks

Pitfall: Focusing too much on benefits like salary, stock options, or other perks.

Example of a Bad Response: "I want to work at Amazon because of the great pay and benefits."

Why It’s a Problem

  • Wrong Focus: This makes it seem like you’re more interested in the perks than the actual work and culture.

  • Misses the Bigger Picture: Amazon wants employees who are excited about the company’s mission and values, not just the compensation package.

How To Avoid It

  • Emphasize Fit and Values: Focus on why Amazon’s culture and values resonate with you and how you can contribute to their mission.

  • Mention the Work Itself: Talk about the projects, teams, and opportunities that excite you at Amazon.

Example of a Good Response

"While Amazon’s competitive benefits are certainly attractive, I’m most drawn to the company’s culture of innovation and its dedication to being customer-centric. I’m particularly excited about the chance to work with AWS, where I can apply my cloud computing skills to help drive impactful solutions for customers."

Tips To Answer the "Why Amazon?" Question

Here are some tips to help you develop a strong and compelling answer:

  1. Do Your Research

a) Learn About Amazon: Understand Amazon’s mission, vision, and leadership principles. Knowing these will help you tailor your answer to what the company values.

  • Amazon’s Mission: "To be Earth's most customer-centric company."

  • Leadership Principles: Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s 16 leadership principles, such as Customer Obsession, Ownership, and Invent and Simplify.

b) Study Amazon’s Products and Services: Be aware of Amazon’s key products and services like AWS, Amazon Prime, Alexa, and their latest innovations.

c) Read Recent News: Stay updated on Amazon’s recent achievements, projects, and strategic moves to show that you are engaged and knowledgeable about the company.

  1. Align Your Values With Amazon

a) Reflect on Personal Values: Think about what you value most in your work and career. Identify how these values align with Amazon’s principles.

Example: If you value customer service, discuss how Amazon’s focus on customer obsession resonates with you.

b) Professional Alignment: Highlight experiences and skills that demonstrate your alignment with Amazon’s principles.

Example: If you have a background in innovation, mention how you have led projects that required you to invent and simplify processes.

  1. Be Specific

a) Avoid General Statements: Generic responses don’t stand out. Be specific about why Amazon appeals to you.

Example: Instead of saying, “Amazon is a great company,” talk about specific projects or initiatives that excite you.

b) Use Concrete Examples: Provide examples from your past experiences that relate to Amazon’s work.

Example: “I am excited about Amazon’s sustainability initiatives, such as their Climate Pledge. In my previous role, I led a project aimed at reducing our carbon footprint by 20%.”

  1. Show Enthusiasm

a) Express Genuine Excitement: Let your passion for Amazon and the role shine through.

Example: “I am thrilled about the opportunity to work at Amazon because of its relentless drive for innovation and excellence.”

b) Relate to Amazon’s Culture: Talk about how you fit into Amazon’s dynamic and fast-paced environment.

Example: “I thrive in environments that challenge me to think big and deliver results, which is why Amazon’s culture of high standards and innovation appeals to me.”

  1. Tailor Your Answer to the Role

a) Understand the Job Description: Know what the specific role entails and how it fits into Amazon’s larger goals.

Example: If applying for a software development position, discuss how your technical skills and experience with cloud computing make you a great fit for AWS.

b) Match Your Skills to the Role: Highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Example: “With my background in data analysis and machine learning, I am particularly excited about contributing to the advancements in AI at Amazon.”

  1. Practice Your Answer

a) Rehearse Out Loud: Practicing your response will help you refine it and ensure it sounds natural.

b) Seek Feedback: Get input from friends, family, or mentors to improve your answer.

c) Stay Authentic: While it’s important to practice, make sure your answer remains genuine and true to who you are.

Example of a Strong Answer

Let us have a look at some of the strong answers:

  1. Customer Service Role

"I am passionate about Amazon’s mission to be the most customer-centric company in the world. My background in customer service has equipped me with the skills to understand and address customer needs effectively. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Amazon’s commitment to exceptional customer service, especially in helping improve customer satisfaction through innovative solutions."

  1. Tech Role

"Amazon’s leadership in cloud computing through AWS is truly inspiring. I have always admired Amazon’s innovative approach and its significant impact on the tech industry. My skills in software development and my experience with cloud technologies align perfectly with Amazon’s 'Invent and Simplify' principle. I am thrilled at the prospect of being part of a team that constantly pushes the boundaries of technology."

By following these tips, you can form a thoughtful and compelling answer to the "Why Amazon?" question, showing that you are well-prepared and genuinely interested in contributing to the company’s success. Check out the complete roadmap to clearing the Meta Interview.

Final Words

Knowing why you want to be a part of any organization is super important.

Similarly, you must be clear about why you have chosen Amazon while answering your interview questions.

By researching the company, aligning your personal and professional values with Amazon’s principles, and crafting a specific, enthusiastic response, you can effectively demonstrate your fit for the role.

Remember to practice your answer, seek feedback, and stay authentic. With thoughtful preparation, you’ll be well on your way to joining one of the world’s most innovative companies. Good luck!

Behavioral Interview
Amazon
FAANG
Get instant access to all current and upcoming courses through subscription.
$20
.17
/mo
billed yearly ($242)
Recommended Course
Join our Newsletter
Read More