Amazon’s Interview Questions And Why I Don’t Work At Amazon

Why I don’t work at Amazon is simple. I would never make it through the interview.

“Do you know our CEO? How do you pronounce his name?”

We’ve met a few times. Jeff, It kind of sounds like Deaf but with a J on the front instead of a D. How long have you been working here that you don’t know this?

“How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?”

Probably pretty poorly, the atmosphere here is totally different, and there would be all sorts of language barriers… So lots of appendage waving, and jumping up and down.

“Tell the story of the last time you had to apologize to someone.”

I will probably screw up again, so I don’t know when the last time will be. I’m not a fortune teller.

“What is the most difficult situation you have ever faced in your life? How did you handle it?”
(I got this one at Google)

In fourth grade two men broke in to my house and tied us up and asked me if I’d rather they shot my sister or my dog. I told them my dog, so they shot my sister. I didn’t know they would do that. I just went on, how was I supposed to handle it?

(Interviewer left the room and HR came to apologize profusely and I told them I didn’t want to work for any company that thought that the question was appropriate)

“Walk me through how Amazon Kindle books would be priced.”

As Cheap as possible for as long as possible until the FTC decides there are monopoly issues. Loss leaders to keep others out of the space.

“Who was your most difficult customer?”

My Mother. She wants a deep discount and infinite tech support and warranty.

“What is the angle between hour hand and minute hand in an analog clock?”

Let’s just say that when I do this in radians they don’t ever think it is the right answer because they don’t know how to check.

“You are Amazon and Samsung offers you 10,000 Samsung Galaxy 3s at a 34% discount. Is that a good deal?”

If someone makes you an offer it is always a good deal. The only question is for whom.

“What is the worst mistake you ever made?”

(Variation on the one above)

When I was a camp counselor I didn’t attach the beaner to a climber correctly and she fell 40 feet and never walked again.

(This is not a question you ask in an interview)

“What would you do if you found out that your closest friend at work was stealing?”

You must have sucky friends, because the people I’m friends with don’t steal.

“If your direct manager was instructing you to do something you disagreed with, how would you handle it?”

What are they having me do? Using reusable bags instead of disposable? Putting the toilet paper so it rolls top forward rather than against the wall?  Or selling products manufactured in sweat shops by 8 year olds?  Cause only one of these is likely here…

“Describe what Human Resource means to you.”

HR is the department that determines if my hug was inappropriate. A Human Resource is anyone who is worth more to me alive and on the job than dead on the side of the road.

“How do you detect whether or not a word is a palindrome?”

Is this a test of my vocabulary or my programming because I’m insulted by both.
Are we not drawn onward we few drawn onward to new era?

“Here’s a string with numbers from 1-250 in random order, but it’s missing one number. How will you find the missed number?”

Mechanical turk.

“Are you willing to work on your feet for ten hours, four days a week?”

Probably, but labor laws prevent you from dictating those terms so I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.

“Do you think you’ll reach a point where you storm off the floor and never return?”

Yes. And then someone will realize I was right 3 months later, and like the last two times, 6 months later company will be better for it.

“What would you do if you saw someone being unsafe at work?”

If it looks fun join in.

“What would you do if somehow you misdirected 10,000 units of something?”

Blame who ever built a system that let me make that kind of mistake.

“How would you tell a customer what Wi-Fi is?”

WiFi is now you get internet with out having to drag a cord around your house. But if you have to ask, what ever you are buying isn’t the right product for you.