Huge congratulations to Nathan who has secured a graduate role with Amazon starting in September. We caught up with Nathan while he enjoys his summer to get his inside scoop on the application process and his tips for his fellow Bright Network members who want to apply to Amazon.
Why did you apply to Amazon?
I’ve always been really interested in gadgets and technology and Amazon are known for making some of the best technologies around, just look at Alexa. So, for me to be able to work for a company who specialise in producing all these different technologies was just always sort of my ideal job. Also, Amazon are one of the biggest companies in the world so to work for them would be an unforgettable experience and one I felt I could learn a lot from.
What was the application process like?
First, I had to submit my C.V. online and then when I got through the screening stage I had to do a video interview online. In this interview I was asked a lot of competency-based questions such as “describe a time when you had to be a leader”. After I got through this round they put on an assessment centre for us. The centre started with an informal breakfast. However, there were actually interviewers at this breakfast so even though they might not have been formally assessing us they were already getting an opportunity to see how we interact with other people. So, the breakfast was really our first opportunity to make an impression. After breakfast we had to do a group presentation. In groups of 4 we were given half an hour to come up with a new business venture for Amazon. Our idea was that we would try to automate agriculture, for example, we wanted to use drones to plant seeds and AI to constantly measure soil properties. We had to present this idea then we had a question and answer session on it afterwards. We then had an informal lunch followed by 2 back to back 45-minute interviews. Most of the interview questions were focussed around Amazon’s 14 leadership principles and times when we had showcased these principles.
What three tips would you give to fellow Bright Network members?
- Do your research on the company. Look up their culture, what do they want and expect from their employees? Do they have a set of values which they look for in applicants? Knowing all this not only makes you look interested in working for the company, but it shows you to be prepared and ready to take this seriously.
- From my experience, all the people who got offers for graduate roles were the people who had been sociable and confident. They had talked to other candidates and been pleasant and friendly throughout. So, try to stay confident and affable throughout the whole day whether you know you’re being formally assessed or not!
- Try not to get down over rejections. We all get rejected from a lot of jobs before we find the right one. If you keep going though you’ll find the right one in the end!
What was the hardest interview question you were asked?
I was asked when I had ever taken a calculated risk. I told them I had invested in a foreign company that was a high-risk investment. The interviewer then gave me a whiteboard and pen and told me to convince them to invest in that company too.