How to Land an Amazon Internship

Feb 28, 2022

12 Min Read

From starting the Amazon internship application to obtaining an offer, here’s everything you need to know.

One of the most well-known businesses in the country is Amazon. It is not just the world’s third most famous brand but also a worldwide leader in e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. So it’s no surprise that top IT talent goes to Amazon every year, given the company’s vast footprint and ongoing need for innovation.

Amazon’s extensive internship program is one of the most popular ways for the corporation. Vault.com ranked the Amazon program as the 5th Most Prestigious Internship, including possibilities for students engaged in software engineering, data science, product management, human resources, sales, and more.

It would help if you were well-prepared to secure one of these prestigious internship positions. So here’s all you need to learn about getting into this tech powerhouse.

Before Applying

Once you’ve found the right opportunity, begin to plan.

Interns at Amazon work on various teams, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and digital entertainment. If you’re more interested in team-specific possibilities, read about each team’s responsibilities and look for internships in that field.

If you’re looking for a particular position, such as software development or operations, you’re in luck. Summer internships are available at Amazon in a variety of disciplines. They usually distinguish between technical and non-technical jobs, each with many alternatives. The following are some of the most popular internship programs you can apply to:

  • Amazon Operations Finance Rotational Program 
  • AWS Sales Summer Internship
  • Software Development Engineer (SDE) Internship
  • Data Engineer Internship

Look at amazon.jobs to learn about the available positions. Then, decide on which program to focus on. Understand the job description, prerequisites, and application date.

Watch the Calendar

With so many student programs to choose from, it’s no wonder that they all have various recruitment timeframes. You can even submit your summer applications at any time of the year, depending on your institution’s position.

As a consequence, pay attention to the deadline. What method do you use to find out what it is?

  • Look for the internship you’re interested in on Amazon.jobs.
  • Look through your university’s employment board, such as Handshake, until you locate anything appropriate.
  • Inquire at your university’s career center for any information.
  • Look for possible tips and techniques on sites like TeamBlind, Quora, or professional advancement-related blogs.
  • You can create a schedule for application and interview preparation after knowing the deadline.

How To Achieve Success With Your Application?

Here’s how you can make your application stand out:

Update Your CV

Unlike Google, Microsoft, and many other big corporations, Amazon does not accept cover letters from job candidates. As a result, your CV will determine the outcome of your application. Before submitting anything in, double-check that it’s up-to-date, well-formatted, and impressive. Here are some pointers:

1. Emphasize Relevant Work Experience

Internships or job experience, school projects, courses, leadership roles, or even volunteer work can all be examples of this as a student. Include experiences that represent Amazon’s values (see below) as well as talents that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

2. Don’t Forget the Fundamentals

Keep observant of grammatical and spelling errors. Also, make sure that your formatting, font, and style are all consistent. You’d be surprised how many people overlook this, yet it makes a significant impact.

3. Proofread Your CV

Have one of your Amazon contacts or someone in your industry of interest check your CV. They’ll be able to provide you with helpful information about what recruiters are searching for. If you can’t get in touch with an industry expert or an Amazonian, ask your university’s career office to check into it.

Don’t Forget to Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Even if you’re applying via a university career portal, a recruiter or hiring manager will almost certainly look at your social network. Therefore, LinkedIn will be a logical option as the most popular professional networking site.

Make sure your profile is updated, complete, and well-written. Your education and job experience, as well as a compelling summary, are crucial. You can watch YouTube tutorials for detailed suggestions on enhancing your LinkedIn profile.

Make sure your profile image is of good quality with a professional-looking headshot. This procedure does not need the use of a photographer. Try reading blogs or YouTube videos to get a highly-professional profile picture that appeals to employers. You can do it at home by yourself.

Feature These Traits

A 4.0 GPA or a top-tier university degree aren’t required at Amazon. Instead, they want to be motivated, enthusiastic, and eager to learn. These characteristics specifically include:

1. Problem-Solving Skills

Concentrate on connecting the difficulties you’ve solved to the ones you’ll encounter in your Amazon role—what abilities did you pick up? Identify bottlenecks and provide methods for their resolution. Based on their website, these solutions might include making “easier, quicker, simpler, and more enjoyable experiences for all customers,” based on their website. How will you put this into practice now?

2. Action-taker

Become a “doer.” Not only should you have excellent ideas, but you should also be prepared to put them into action. Showcase occasions when you’ve shown initiative, made difficult choices in leadership positions, or gone above and beyond to complete a task.

3. A Thirst for Knowledge

You must have an insatiable drive to learn and improve as a person and employee. When discussing your interests, experiences, and attitude regarding Amazon, this should come through.

4. Innovative

Innovativeness helps enhance the business, customer experience, and more, besides having the characteristics above, which contribute to creative potential. Demonstrate this by talking about prior initiatives you’ve proposed, companies you’ve helped in innovative ways, ideas you’ve tried out, procedures you’ve improved, and so on. You’ll go a long way if you have an entrepreneurial mentality.

Carry On the Application Process

Applying for an Amazon internship is a simple process. However, because cover letters are not accepted, your CV is the most valuable tool you have when applying to this position.

Additionally, you’ll be required to provide certain personal information in addition to your résumé, such as an address, phone number, email, etc. Finally, additional or clarifying questions regarding your experience may be requested, depending on the situation.

New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Diego, and Seattle are among the most popular workplaces in the United States. The HR manager may ask you about your preferred area. Your choices will differ based on the program.

Amazon is unable to react to every application since they get so many. As a result, the employer will only contact you if they are interested in moving further with your application.

How to Prepare for an Interview?

Your behavioral reactions are excellent. So, what makes you unique?

Understand How To Respond To Behavioral Questions

Behavioral inquiries may take many forms, but the ones that begin with “tell me about yourself” is the most common.

Despite their annoyance, these sorts of inquiries are posed to everyone, even those applying for technical positions. Moreover, they assist Amazon in learning more about your history, beliefs, and work habits. In other words, they evaluate your potential as an employee.

Given the importance of these inquiries, you must know how to respond to them. Amazon suggests that interviewers arrange their comments using the STAR approach. Discuss the following:

  • Situation. Discuss the background information that is important to your tale.
  • Task. In this case, state your obligation or challenge.
  • Action. Take a look at the steps you followed to complete the assignment.
  • Result. Discuss the effect of your efforts, as well as any lessons learned.

Practice Yourself

It’s crucial to practice asking the right questions. It is also essential to practice your answers with the typical interview questions. If you wonder what questions to be anticipated, Amazon has a website devoted to software development subjects that might come up in the interview.

Practice your communication skills in addition to asking pertinent questions. Confidence, disciplined thinking, and evident problem-solving abilities are all qualities that interviewers look for. They also want data-driven responses and a thorough understanding of Amazon’s leadership values (which we’ll discuss shortly). Try mock interviewing with a buddy in the business to improve your interview abilities. Alternatively, sign up for a Candor mock interview, where a professional in the industry can provide you with crucial feedback.

Learn About the Company’s Culture

Amazon’s culture is mainly built on its 14 leadership principles, which must be followed by interns and senior executives equally. The most important idea is “customer-centricity,” which implies that every product, service, and advancement of Amazon technology is done with the consumers in mind.

As a team member, you’ll need to know all 14 principles. However, choosing a few favorites in terms of direction and relevance to your professional path is essential.

“Peculiarity” is another cultural feature that Amazon enjoys. They see themselves as a one-of-a-kind firm with unconventional methods, and they want to employ individuals who can help them stand out. As a result, be ready to respond to the inquiry, “What makes you unique?” To put it another way, what do you offer to the table that others do not?

What Should You Expect During Your Interview?

You’re on the edge of getting an offer if you get through the application stage. Here’s what to anticipate during the interview at Amazon:

Assessments

These are accomplished virtually and within a short time frame. The evaluation is submitted together with the application for specific positions. For others, it’s the first step toward speaking with an Amazonian in real-time. It intends to “get to know you better” and “measure essential attributes necessary for success in a position,” according to Amazon. You may be required to complete one of two types of assessments:

Workstyle Evaluation (10-20 minutes): You will be asked to pick statements that describe your work style throughout this period. Before beginning these tests, familiarize yourself with Amazon’s culture and leadership values since these are the themes Amazon is searching for. Amazon provides the following example question on their website:

“For example, we may ask you which of the two statements “I like things to be well-organized,” or “I enjoy the opportunity to learn new things,” best represents you.”

Work Sample Simulation (20-60 minutes): These are responsibilities particular to the position you are applying for. They may require you to make business judgments or display abilities critical to your company’s success.

Most positions do not need any prior planning. Only one exception is mentioned: software development engineer interns should be acquainted with the skills provided.

If you’ve been selected for an interview, you’ll get an email notification. In addition, the status of your application on the website will indicate whether you were accepted or rejected.

Interview Over the Phone or the Internet (1-2 Rounds)

Some roles will have just one phone interview, usually with HR, while others may have two, one with HR and the other with a prospective team member. This interview may include behavioral, technical, and role-specific tasks, which you will be informed of before the interview.)

Follow the recommendations mentioned in the interview prep section above while answering behavioral questions.

Expect the following from SDE interviewers:

  • A few initial inquiries, such as “tell me about yourself.”
  • A technical knowledge examination might be conducted verbally; for example, what is TCP?
  • A few technical questions range from simple to somewhat tricky. Data structures and algorithms are emphasized, and a list of software development subjects. ​

Following this round of interviews, you should hear back rather quickly—Amazon aims to respond to applicants within two days.

Personal Interview (4-6 Rounds)

Due to Covid-19, Amazon’s interview procedure is still digital as of this writing. The last round, under normal circumstances, would take place in one of Amazon’s offices.

The Framework

Each session will be arranged differently depending on the job you’re applying for. However, every job will face behavioral questions about Amazon’s leadership ideals, your history and expertise, and prospects for advancement inside the company.

Before the final round, review the software development subjects (which are also relevant to other tech positions, such as machine learning) or the extra instructions Amazon gives. You’ll be informed whether you’ll be required to complete a role-specific activity ahead of time. Technical interviewees should anticipate role-specific actions and the possibility of being asked to whiteboard during the in-person interview.

The One Who Raises the Bar

You may talk with prospective colleagues, managers, HR officials, and others during the day. You will, however, always converse with a “bar raiser.” This Amazon employee has been taught to be impartial and expert. They must decide if you will adhere to existing best practices or innovate to “raise the bar” on corporate performance.

Even if you have no idea who this interviewer is, they are usually the final person you talk with. They’ll analyze your user empathy, corporate enthusiasm, and aptitude for big-picture thinking by focusing extensively on Amazon’s leadership values.

Some Tips To Get You Started

Demonstrate that you’re interested. Prepare to discuss why you’re interested in the position, the team, and the firm as a whole. Every question requires genuine, thoughtful responses, but “Why Amazon?” is vital.

Most interviews allow applicants to ask questions. Prepare a list of questions. Include questions about personnel, corporate rules, culture, or anything else that interests you. Make sure your inquiries are both professional and thought-provoking.

Following the final round, Amazon plans to contact applicants within five days to inform them of their application status.

Expect a Hefty Offer

A committee will determine the status of your offer behind the scenes. Interviewers have considerable power, and each will take notes during their time together to discuss ideas afterward. You would be on the correct route to an offer if you wowed the interviewees, especially the bar raiser.

You’re fortunate if you receive one. Amazon’s internship program is one of the best compensated in the nation. Amazon interns are the second-best paid, according to a 2019 Glassdoor report, with a median monthly wage of $7,725.

How Does the Program Look?

There is no one-size-fits-all experience for Amazon interns. Here’s what you expect about the internship program:

No Two Interns Are the Same

Interns are expected to complete their tasks by the conclusion of the summer. Teams and programs have different expectations for intern projects, even though they all agree that they are valuable and influence the company. The following are some real-world examples taken from Amazon’s website:

They have worked on a wide range of initiatives, including producing customer-facing material for the Alexa device and introducing Prime pricing, providing real-time feedback systems for Amazon’s hourly workers to increase their productivity, as well as constructing new features on amazon.com.”

There are a few characteristics that all interns have in common, although your experience will be unique:

Training

It is done professionally and casually through particular programs and “self-service” resources. These materials are crucial since interns are encouraged to take charge of their development. They are highly recommended and teach skills necessary for success at Amazon.

Mentorship

Mentorship is highly valued at Amazon. A mentor and a manager are assigned to each intern, and their roles are to provide direction, criticism, and even career counseling. However, many TeamBlind members believe that the usefulness of mentors is under question. Some interns appreciate them, while others don’t. “Deep dive more (and) be autonomous” is the only direction one intern was given, he claimed.

Evaluation

You can expect to be appropriately vetted regardless of the team you’re working with. On TeamBlind, “the internship itself is like a three-month-long interview.” When evaluating internship candidates at Amazon, they look at things like “overall performance, deliverables & talents as they relate to the position & project objectives at Amazon,” as stated on the company website. A formal assessment after the internship is mandatory, but you may expect informal input frequently from your team and mentors.

Be Ready for the “Frugal” Culture To Take Hold!

You’ll have everything you need, from accommodation to food to transportation, at your disposal. The advantages of other FAANG companies aren’t going to be as extensive as you’d imagine. For example, you won’t get free meals daily—you’ll only get them when you attend intern activities. Exotic vacations, hasty business trips, and other extravagant adventures are definitely out of the question.

Professional advancement is the focus of the rewards. Many team dinners, social gatherings, and networking opportunities are provided regularly, in addition to the self-service resources already mentioned. “Speed networking” and a “women’s lunch,” according to one ex-intern, are great ways to meet other workers.

Getting a Full-time Job Offer Is Quite Possible

Getting a return offer isn’t tough, according to Amazon workers on TeamBlind. Depending on who you converse with, anywhere from 50 to 60 % of interns get a full-time job offer.

Even said, there are plenty of interns who choose to create their path. Other digital giants, such as Google or Facebook, hire some graduates. Others may choose to work for a Fortune 500 enterprise, join an exclusive startup, or go it alone.

An internship at Amazon is a great starting point for a wide range of professions. In addition, this well-known organization will give several opportunities for professional advancement and provide doors to essential positions worldwide.

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