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.

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.