women talking at a table for a job interview.

Interview Questions Based on Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles

As one of the largest corporations in the world, Amazon is excellent at what they do. The company didn’t form overnight, and it took years to gain traction and take off. With every hiring process, Amazon sets the standard to its 14 leadership principles. These principles help to shape and guide the company in the right direction. These principles can be taken and used for all types of interviews and all types of businesses, and you should learn from the best. Here are Amazon’s 14 principles and how they can be framed into questions during any job interview. 


1.Customer Obsession 

The most important person is the customer


What made your most difficult customer difficult?


Tell me about a time you didn’t complete a client’s needs/expectations and how you handled that situation. 


Can you walk me through a customer’s journey with our product?


2. Ownership

Take ownership and be responsible/accountable


Tell me about a time where you had to take responsibility for a mistake you made?


When was a time you were assigned a project/task with little responsibilities, and how you handled it?


Tell me about a time you had to do work beyond your responsibilities.


3. Invent and Supply

Leading teams that are innovative and inventive


 Tell me about a time when you gave a simple solution to a complex problem.


What is your creative process?


Tell me about a time when you innovated on something, and it went wrong.


4. Are right, a lot

Leaders have strong judgment and good instincts. 


When were you wrong in a position of leadership, and how did you handle it?


Tell me about a time when you had to use your judgment to solve a problem.


In a situation where your beliefs were challenged, what happened, and how did you respond?


5. Learn and Be Curious

Improve, develop and ask questions


What was an experience you went through that changed your way of thinking?


What was the most important lesson you learned in the past year?


Tell me about a time when you solved a problem through just superior knowledge or observation


6. Hire and Develop the Best           

Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion



Who is the most important person in your life? Why?


If you were to hire someone, what are the top defining qualities/characteristics?


Tell me about a time when you mentored someone.


7. Insist on the Highest Standards

Demonstrate you can work to high standards


What did you do when someone on your team/group didn’t meet the expectations of the project?


Tell me about a time you went above and beyond?


In a group setting, what did you do to motivate your team members?


8. Think Big

Have huge ambitions and go out of your way for the customer


What is your proudest professional achievement?


Tell me about a time when your vision resulted in a big impact.


What was one of the most difficult decisions you have had to make?


9. Bias for Action

Get things done


In a situation where someone isn’t responsive, how do you respond? 


Tell me about a time when you made a decision too quickly and what you would have done differently.


When was a time you took a calculated risk?


10. Frugality

Achieve more with less


What was a time you were crunched for time to complete a task?


What was a time when you had limited resources to complete a task?


What was a time that you beat others when you had limited resources?


11. Earn Trust

Treat people with respect


Tell me about a time when you had to tell someone a harsh truth.


When was there a time that you had to speak up in a difficult environment?


What do you do to gain the trust of your teammates?


12. Dive Deep

Look into things deeply and analyze data/information 


What is something that you recently learned in your role?


What is an example of when you had to teach yourself something in your role?


Tell me about a time you used data to improve your work.   


13. Have a Backbone; Disagree and Commit

Challenge decision and then commit


When was there a time you had to challenge someone superior to yourself?


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


What do you believe that no one else does?


14. Deliver Results

Get things done promptly


Tell me about a time you were stressed at work and how you handled it.


When was there a time that you had too much on your plate? How did you manage to get it done?


Tell me about a time when everyone else on your team gave up on something, but you pushed the team towards delivering a result.


Overall, these leadership principles from Amazon are influential in the hiring process across the board. There is no right or wrong answer, but these questions will help you excel in your interviews. Practice how you would answer these questions and develop thoughtful answers.