Amazon AWS Data Center Manager Interview Tips

Are you interested working for Amazon as a Data Center Manager? Cool! I am a data center manager for a 500 company and I was looking at some options. A recruiter from Amazon AWS contacted me through LinkedIn and asked me if I was interested in an interview. I said sure why not. I have nothing to lose. So I did. I did it because it was a good opportunity for me to learn their hiring process and get an idea of what questions they would ask. This is what I learned:

1. Learn and memorize the Leadership Principles -At amazon, they are obsessed with being customer-centric. This is the secret to their success. Being customer-centric means that you put the customer at the center of everything you do. Customer is King! Customer is #1, Customer is always right! These are the 12 principals. I think they are goofy but they are important within their organization. Many of the questions you will get are in one way or another related to these principles.

  1. Customer Obsession
  2. Ownership
  3. Invent and Simplify
  4. Are Right, A Lot
  5. Learn and Be Curious
  6. Hire and Develop the Best
  7. Insist on the Highest Standards
  8. Think Big
  9. Bias for Action
  10. Frugality
  11. Earn Trust
  12. Dive Deep
  13. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
  14. Deliver Results

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A good example question you might get related to these principles is: Give me an example when you xxxxxxx?

Once you have learned and memorized these principles, you will have to think about what you have done in your experience as a Data Center Manager that relate to these principles.

For example, what long term decision did you take to sacrifice short-term results.

These are my own understanding of these principles in plain English:

  1. Customer First!
  2. Take Ownership of everything you say and do
  3. Innovate, create new things
  4. Knowable - Don't give false information. That means research and learn so you wont be wrong.
  5. Learn and Be Curious
  6. Be a mentor for others
  7. Don't settle for less, demand the best
  8. To think big means to look at the big picture
  9. Make quick decisions.
  10. To be frugal means to be cheap but don't settle for bad. It means to get the best value possible
  11. Have good integrity.
  12. Don't look down on your subordinates, to learn, be humble.
  13. Stick with your principle, as long as your heart is in the right place, stick to doing the right thing.
  14. It means to not give up.

These are my own, yous should not depend on my opinion of them, I would recommend you research. You will find a ton of youtube videos about these principles to help you understand. 

Example Questions: Which of these principles would you say you need to work on the most? Or which of these do you have the most trouble understanding?

Answer: At first I was a little confused about "Are Right, A Lot" - But after thinking about it for a while, I understood that many times you need to have different points of views and look at solutions from different perspectives.

I interview two times and on either occasion I was not offer the job. I think I didn't get the job because simply I was not really serious about it. Like I said, I was just learning. So hopefully my failure will be your success.

Some questions to remember:

  1. Give me an example when you had to make a quick decision that was going to have a significant to your organization?
  2. Give me an example when you found a simple solution to a complex problem?
  3. Tell me a situation when you had to work with incomplete data or information?
  4. Provide an example when you had to take a calculated risk at work?
  5. Tell me how you would complete a project or task if you had limited time or resources?
  6. Give me an example when you experienced conflict within a team?
  7. Give me two examples of when you have gone above of beyond what was expected?
  8. Have you ever failed at work? If so, tell me what happened and how you reacted?
  9. When have you had to overcome a challenging situation at work?
  10. When have you had a disagreement at work, either with a work colleague or a manager?
  11. Give me a situation where you have previously shown one of Amazon's Leadership Principles at
  12. Tell me about an unpopular decision you had to make at work?
  13. Give me one thing you will like the most about being a leader with Amazon, and one thing you
  14. Tell me a time when you had to give bad news to a member of your team?
  15. Give me an example when you led a team of people to achieve an organization's goal or object
  16. Give me an example when you had to persuade someone to follow your course of action?
  17. When did you have to overcome a difficult challenge at work?
  18. Give me an example at work where you improved how you did something to achieve a better outc
  19. Give me an example when you learned something new that was outside of your comfort zone?
  20. Give me an example when you received criticism from a manager or a work colleague? How did
  21. Give me an example when you analyzed information carefully to overcome a challenging task
  22. Tell me a time when you had to make an effective decision under pressure?

Simple English Definitions:


  1. Bias for Action           Get things done
  2. Invent & Simplify                     Lead teams that innovate and inven
  3. Have Backbone; Disagree & Commit                Challenge decisions and then commi
  4. Customer Obsession              The #1 most important person in Amazon is the custome
  5. Earn Trust                   Treat people with respec
  6. Are Right, A lot         Leaders have strong judgmen
  7. Hire & Develop the Best                       Leaders move forward and improve with every person they hir
  8. Learn & Be Curious                 Improve, develop and ask questions
  9. Frugality                     Achieve more with les
  10. Think Big                     Have huge ambitions and go out of your way for the custome
  11. Ownership                 Take ownership of situations and be responsible & accountabl
  12. Dive Deep                  Look into things deeply and analyze data/informatio
  13. Insist on The Highest Standards         Demonstrate you can work to high standards, always
  14. Deliver Results         Get things done in a timely manner!



1. What is your compensation expectation? (how much do you want to make)

2. How many years of leadership expirience do you have

Good luck.

Amazon Leadership Principles Quiz

Take this quiz to find out if you know the Leadership Principles. Amazon uses these Leadership Principles every day, whether they're discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach to solving a problem. It is just one of the things that makes Amazon peculiar.