How do I answer the 'Why Amazon' interview question?

Nick Dimitrov

Nick Dimitrov

10 Jun, 2021


Why do you want to be an Amazonian?

Hi! I'm Nick and today we'll talk about how to answer the 'Why Amazon' question. If you hear the question, 'Why do you want to be an Amazonian?' or 'Why do you want to join Amazon?' in your interview loop, you can break your answer into two parts. The first part is cultural and the second part is functional.

In the cultural part of your response you can talk about what elements of Amazon's culture impress you. Here you can discuss things like the Amazon Leadership Principles, like Day 1, like Customer Obsession. Maybe you are Prime customer and you've been impressed with the quality of service you've received by Amazon. Maybe you have a lot of Alexa devices in your house. Maybe you're impressed by how Amazon handled the COVID pandemic and how they provided their e-commerce services to help a lot of people who were battling the pandemic.

Whatever your answer is, it needs to be specific and genuine. It almost needs to be vulnerable in a way. Don't be afraid to be yourself and show how much you care about Amazon, about the parts that impress you, of course.

In the second part of your response, the functional part of your response, you should study the products and services which the team you're interviewing with is building. And you should show your depth of understanding of those services. You should show your functional curiosity. You should show your subject-matter expertise into the services which the team you're interviewing with is building. So, for example, if you're interviewing with AWS, you can talk about micro-services such as Redshift, or SageMaker, and discuss the technical depth of those services or recent news and publications, just, again, to demonstrate your functional curiosity and express your excitement to join the teams that are building these services.

So, to summarize, the good 'Why Amazon' answer consists of two parts: a cultural and a functional part. Both parts need to be very specific. Do not answer the 'Why Amazon' question with generalities. Do not use answers such as, 'I want to join a company that is growing fast or which is helping humankind with its services and with its products' or 'I want to join a team of smart people.' All those answers could be applied to a number of other great companies. Your answer, the good answer to 'Why Amazon' should be almost nonsensical when applied to any other company.

I hope this helps. Best of luck. Stay in touch.

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