Sunday, January 22, 2023

How To Prepare For Amazon Program Manager Interview

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Keep Your Answers Short And Clear

Amazon Interview: 33 Behavioral Questions For Project / Program Management Roles (Tech & Non-Tech)

Answers to behavioral questions should be between 1 and 2 minutes long. If you’re going past 2.5 minutes that’s on the long side and may be too long unless you’re giving an example that requires a lot of detail. The best answers that I see are about 2 minutes.

I realize 2 minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, but it’s hard to listen to someone for 2 minutes. The listener gets bored. On the other hand, if you’re talking for less than 1 minute you may not be giving enough detail.

If you’re the kind of person who talks a lot, pay attention to this rule and try to keep your answers short.

If you feel like your answers are too long, time them. I often time my clients when I’m working with them. Timing yourself can give you a clear idea of whether your answers are too long.

If you’re thinking that you know you don’t talk too much, are you absolutely sure? I’ve noticed that the people who do talk too much usually are not aware of it. Are you in sales? Almost all sales people I talk to have answers that hit 4 or 5 minutes.

How Do You Decide Which Metrics To Track And Share With Stakeholders

Program managers shouldnt follow a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to communicating with dashboards and data. Show the interviewer that you grasp which metrics are important, and why. Remember, theres a huge difference between a vanity metric that doesnt impact the companys broader goals, and a real metric that can make an appreciable difference to the business.

Tips: Communicating with stakeholders isnt just a task, its a strategic activity. To win over a hiring manger, explain how you tailor the type, volume and frequency of metrics reporting to audiences with different functional expertise. Different divisions can also have wildly different information needs.

What Does 36 Months Of Non

According to PMIs calculation, the concept of non-overlapping experience refers to the following: If a professional is working on multiple projects at the same time, then the experience will be counted for one project over that stipulated period for which he/she worked on the project.

Example: Mr. A has managed 2 projects in 2016, Project 1 ran from Jan16 to Aug16 and Project 2 ran from April16 to Dec16 . In this case, we have an overlap of 5 months . So the experience for these 5 months will be counted as 5 months and not as 10 months . The non-overlapping experience is 12 months.

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Good Questions To Ask Atthe End Of An Amazon Interview

As your Amazon interview starts to wrap up, youll get a chance to ask the hiring manager some questions. Being ready for this moment is critical, as it allows you to assert your interest and learn valuable tidbits that can help you decide if the job is right for you. If you dont know what to ask, here are a few questions that can work in nearly any situation:

  • What qualities do your most successful employees have in common?
  • Can you describe a typical day in this role?
  • What defines success in this position?
  • What is the biggest challenge Amazon is facing today? How does this role help solve it?
  • What do you enjoy most about working for Amazon?
  • If you want some more examples, check out our article: questions you can ask during your interview.

    Interview Preparation Checklist For Technical Interviews

    How to Win the Amazon Product Manager Interview

    With that in mind, here are some tips for the technical interviews.

  • Always bring a pen, a backup pen, and paper even though itâs a âprogramming interviewâ.
  • Donât be afraid to restate the question/problem. You might have some time limit , but it makes sense to make sure you fully understand the question, then ï¬gure out the best method to solve, and lastly spend a fraction of the time actually executing.
  • Understand the properties of data structures and how to use them.
  • Understand how your language uses internal structures to manage the codes/objects you write. 5. Like all Amazon interviews, being concise is key. This means not talking too much, but not leaving out key points. The interview should never be a monologue.
  • I recommend reading the book Cracking the Coding Interview which will give you a more thorough list of questions to study!

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    Get Familiar With The Product Manager Interview Process

    The interview process for Product Managers will vary significantly depending on the company, the specific role, your level of seniority, etc. However, there are some elements that are pretty typical across the board.

    So, in this section weve summarized common elements of PM interviews to help you get an overview of what to expect. This is an important first step because it will help you gain a high-level understanding of the steps you need to prepare for, allowing you to be more strategic with how you allocate your prep time.

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    Interview With Hiring Manager

    This portion is either in person or via a phone call with the hiring manager, who would be your direct manager. The hiring manager is on your side. They have the biggest pain point, meaning that they really need to hire someone. Itâs in their best interest to be nice to you, and they usually are. That doesnât mean you wonât get tough questions. However, I ï¬nd that this ï¬rst meeting with the hiring manager is going to be one of the main chances where you get to ask speciï¬c questions about the role.

    For this interview, you should be ready to sell yourself. Prepare fewer questions about the company culture, and more questions about what kind of goals the manager has, what projects you would work on immediately, and their expectations for the role. The hiring manager will usually be the âeasiestâ interviewer you come in contact with. Your conversation will likely be about the role itself and your career goals, along with what relevant experience you have for the job. You should use this meeting as a chance to learn as much as possible about the job. You want to ï¬gure out: What would I be doing on a daily basis and what will it be like working with this manager? Here are some good questions to ask them in the first meeting:

  • What are the three most important leadership principles for this job?
  • How do you define success for this role? What metrics are you using to measure my accomplishments?
  • What specific tools will I be using on the job?
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    What Is The Most Common Reason Projects Fail

    Hiring managers want to avoid failure. That means hiring a program manager that understands what can cause it, allowing them to sidestep it to the best of their ability.


    If I had to pick a single reason, Id have to say poor communication. When the lines of communication breakdown, the resulting situation invites failure. For example, team members may not be on the same page, causing one group to prioritize one aspect while others concentrate in a different direction. Details about changes might not be properly shared, slowing progress and potentially requiring some to redo work simply because they werent informed that they needed to take a new direction. All of this elevates costs and lengthens the timeline, increasing the odds of failure. But, with solid communication, much of this can be avoided.

    How To Answer Program Manager Interview Questions

    Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview: Ownership

    First, dont confuse program managers with project managers or product managers. While the job titles look ridiculously similar, and the roles do have quite a bit in common, they arent actually the same. Technically, they all oversee projects, but the niches can vary.

    Product managers focus on products. Project managers might work in any niche, depending on their employer. But their work tends to focus on the project at hand, and not on the big strategic picture.

    Program managers usually oversee a group of projects , and each one is connected by a common element, like a single company goal. Additionally, they are responsible for guiding strategy, keeping everyone moving toward the right target.

    Oh, and project and product managers earn an average of $76,683 and $83,617 a year, respectively. For program managers, the annual salary average is $134,620.

    MIKE’S TIP:While some duties are alike, there are nuances to each role.

    Now thats out of the way, but before we go over the program manager interview questions, lets pause for a moment to talk strategy. You need the right approach. That way, if the hiring manager asks you something unexpected, you can adapt.

    Start by doing some research.

    The program manager job description is a great place to start, as it spells out what the company considers must-haves. Couple that with a look at the companys mission and values statements, and you can find out a lot about the skills and traits the hiring manager wants to find.

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    Top 3 Amazon Interviewquestions

    Alright,lets take stock. Right now, you have a winning strategy for answering Amazoninterview questions. Thats a great foundation.

    But, havingclear examples can also help. It lets you review questions you may face and seehow to put the tips above to work. We arent going to leave you hanging.

    Here are thetop 3 Amazon interview questions you could encounter when meeting with thehiring manager, along with tips for answering them.

    Putting It All Together

    Ultimately, by embracing the tips above, you can show those program manager interview questions whos boss. Just make sure to practice your answers ahead of time, ensuring you can discuss your capabilities with ease. That way, youll showcase yourself as the amazing candidate you know you are, increasing the odds that youll get the offer when all is said and done.

    Good luck!

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    How Do You Update Your Skills And Knowledge As A Program Manager

    A competent program manager must strive to improve their professional skills consistently. The goal of the question is to evaluate the candidate’s approach to updating their skills and knowledge. What to look for in an answer:

    • Interest in taking part in professional development opportunities
    • Self-awareness of their professional strengths and weaknesses
    • Ability to accept new information and implement it into their daily tasks


    “It’s important to me to improve my skills and enhance my knowledge. I take regular courses online specific to program management to be a better leader and manager. I’m also part of several meetup groups that network with each other and provide monthly guest speakers.”

    Learn About Amazon’s Culture

    Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions Examples ...

    Most candidates fail to do this. But before investing tens of hours preparing for an interview at Amazon, you should take some time to make sure it’s actually the right company for you.

    Amazon is prestigious and it’s tempting to assume that you should apply, without considering things more carefully. But, it’s important to remember that the prestige of a job won’t make you happy in your day-to-day work. It’s the type of work and the people you work with that will.

    If you know TPMs or engineers who work at Amazon or used to work there, talk to them to understand what the culture is like. The leadership principles we discussed above can give you a sense of what to expect, but there’s no replacement for a conversation with an insider. Finally, we would also recommend reading the following resources:

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    How Does A Program Manager Contribute To The Success Of A Company

    The goal of the question is to evaluate the candidate’s understanding of the role and ability to contribute positively to the business. What to look for in an answer:

    • Understanding the full scope of duties and responsibilities of the job description
    • Ability to manage multiple projects effectively
    • Interest in providing a positive contribution to the organization within their role


    “A program manager contributes to the overall success of a company by effectively managing and leading multiple projects that bring the company closer to its goals and objectives. Having a clear vision and communicating it to the team is the first step of contribution.”

    Amazon’s Leadership Principles In Interviews

    What are Amazons leadership principles? They’re a set of 16 concepts that Amazon uses as a mission statement. Why are they important for interviews? After all, most companies have mission statements and they don’t necessarily ask about them in interviews.

    The Amazon leadership principles are important in the interview because your job in the interview is to show that you fit into the Amazon culture, and the principles are the culture. You have to show that you embody the principles, live by the principles, are aligned with the principles, and so will fit into the culture.

    The big reason Amazon interviews are so challenging is that you must convincingly demonstrate that you embrace the principles, in addition to all the other normal interview stuff.

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    The Role Of An Amazon Program Manager

    Program managers typically oversee a group of projects , each of which is linked by a common aspect, such as a single company target. They are also in charge of strategy, ensuring that everything is moving in the right direction and on the right timelines.

    An efficient program manager will help create a more cohesive and successful team. Therefore when organizations are looking for applicants to lead various projects and teams, they go through a rigorous screening process to ensure the candidate has a positive effect on others as well as the company.

    This guide will walk you through the Amazon Program Manager interview process, including useful tips and tricks to help you ace the interview.

    How To Crack The Amazon Phone Interview

    Amazon Program Manager Interview Experience | Amazon Interview Tips | Interview Preparation

    Amazon, one of the American based biggest internet retailer is headquartered in Seattle which holds offices and distribution agencies in almost 32 countries globally.

    The employees working in Amazon are known as Amazonians also there are many people who work very hard to get into this company. Usually hiring process of bigger MNCs are not that easy to crack and also are very time taking . They do not compromise things when recruiting employees for their organization.

    The basic recruitment process would involve with 1 2 rounds, then a phone interview and finally an on-site interview. The phone interview holds great importance in the hiring process. So, here are few tips to know and follow when attending Amazon telephonic interview.

    • Hiring is a long procedure
    • Arrange your place in advance
    • Collect all the things needed and keep it handy
    • You can try to arrange a little extra
    • Take some time to yourself and relax before the interview
    • Prepare for the unexpected
    • Answer all the questions confidently and try to be honest.

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    Who Is The Bar Raiser

    One thing could make or break the outcome of whether or not youâre hired at Amazon. And that one thing is the

    Bar Raiser

    finding someone whoâs better than half of the people working at Amazon at that level. A Bar Raiserâs role is to make sure that every hiring committee focuses on maintaining and improving this bar. Bar Raisers have extensive knowledge of Amazonâs Leadership Principles and their primary purpose is to ensure that candidates that are chosen are those who will âraise the barâ on performance in their team. Itâs a way for Amazon to avoid hiring unsuitable candidates especially in times when teams are anxious to fill a role. The primary questions that Bar Raisers will be assessing you on are those related to their Leadership Principles. But which ones? â any, but are more likely to be leadership principles that are less related to functional aspects of the role,â says former Amazon career coach

    Hereâs an example:

    Letâs say youâre applying for a marketing position. The Bar Raiser is not going to be the one to ask you a functional question like how you would approach a marketing campaign, what data you would analyze, and how youâd plan out the deliverables. Instead, the Bar Raiser could ask you something like, âTell me about a time you made a bad decision,â to assess you on your behavioral competencies on decision making and course correcting.

    Kevin weighs in:

    What Technology And Tools Do You Have Experience Using As A Program Manager

    A program manager uses applications and computer programs to manage projects and remain organized. The goal of the question is to determine the tools and technology the candidate has experience using in their position. What to look for in an answer:

    • Solid foundational computer literacy skills
    • Experience using company-specific software or tools, as required
    • Understanding how the use of technology can improve productivity


    “Having worked first as a project manager before I moved into program management, I have years of experience using various project management software platforms, such as Citrix Podio and Basecamp, as well as basic programs such as Microsoft Excel and Word.”

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    When Managing Multiple Projects How Do You Evaluate The Health Of Each Project

    A program manager monitors multiple projects and needs to be aware of the health of each. The goal of the question is to evaluate the candidate’s ability to monitor and analyze the health and viability of their projects. What to look for in an answer:

    • Organizational and time management skills to balance multiple projects
    • Critical thinking and analytical skills to assess project health and risks
    • Management and leadership skills to provide direction and guidance to project managers and team members


    “I evaluate the health of my projects by monitoring the progress of each project. Using project management software, I can assess each project within the dashboard to review progress, team milestones, deliverables, and resources. I also…”

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