Working at the biggest multinational technology company in the world is the dream for many students and graduates, regardless of their interests. With fingers in many pies, Amazon has something for everyone, allowing you to work alongside top industry professionals and get the chance to accelerate and grow your career.
Luckily, the process of getting a spot on their internship programme isn’t as difficult as you might have thought. And with internship opportunities offered across the globe, you can become an Amazonian in no time.
To find out more about impressing the recruiting panel at Amazon, keep reading our guide below.
1. Know the basics
To ensure that an internship at Amazon is right for you and that you’re eligible to enrol in a student internship, you’ll need to get familiar with the fine print first. Generally speaking, you’ll need to be currently working towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or an MBA or a PhD, and have at least one quarter or semester left after the completion of your internship. You’ll also need to be available for 12 to 16 weeks (between May and September) and be willing to work for up to 40 hours per week.
If you meet these basic requirements, you might be interested to learn about the different perks that come with interning with Amazon. These include:
- paid salary of up to $9,053 per month
- travel expense reimbursement
- team-building experiences
- free dinners
- the opportunity to work on individual projects and collaborate with Amazon professionals.
2. Find the right role
Whether you’re an undergraduate, MBA or PhD student, Amazon will have the right role for you. To check the available roles and locations, browse Amazon’s internship job board to find and apply for a specific role. The positions generally include product design, software development, product management, PR and marketing, finance, sales, IT, buying and machine learning science.
That said, if you can’t find a suitable role online, you should look out for Amazon scouts around your university campus. Alternatively, you can network on LinkedIn to find an HR professional and contact them directly with an impressive cover letter and powerfully written CV.
And to make sure you’ve covered all bases, it’s a good idea to spruce up your LinkedIn profile and have a social media clean-out (you don’t want to end up like that NASA intern who lost the opportunity of a lifetime by tweeting inappropriate things, do you?).
3. Complete the online assessment test
Following the completion of the online application form, you’ll be instructed to complete an online assessment test. Depending on the role you’re applying for, this can include a numerical and reasoning test, a work style assessment or a work sample simulation.
Here are further details on the individual tests:
- Numerical and reasoning: This is a one-hour psychometric test that judges how well you understand statistical information and use it in practice. This will typically involve graphs, number sequences, tables and text which you will need to decipher to provide an answer.
- Work style assessment: This short test is centred around Amazon’s Leadership Principles, so get familiar with them before starting your assessment. You’ll simply need to choose which available statement best describes your work style to see if you’d be a good match for the Amazonian team.
- Work sample simulation: This virtual assessment will ask you to complete tasks related to the position that you’re applying for. During the completion of the test, you’ll need to demonstrate strong problem-solving, time management and organisational skills.
4. Ace your interview
Now that you’ve managed to impress the recruiting panel with your awesome application, you’ll be contacted by an HR professional for your first telephone screening, followed by a second phone interview and, finally, an in-person assessment.
HR phone interview
The first part of the Amazon interview process involves a telephone interview with a member of the HR department. During this 30-minute interview, you’ll be asked several standard behavioural interview questions, including ‘Tell me about yourself’ and ‘Tell me about a time you faced an obstacle and how you overcame it’. When answering these questions, try and relate to Amazon’s company culture and leadership principles to prove that you are suitable for the role and a great fit for the team.
And don’t forget to ask your own questions throughout the phone call. For example, you could say something like: ‘I discovered that you hired over 600 interns last year. What percentage of those employees succeeded in securing a full-time position with Amazon?’.
Second phone interview
Some candidates proceed to a second phone interview with a member of the team they’ll be potentially joining, while others skip to the in-person assessment. If you do get to a second phone interview, the questions will usually be more technical than the first.
This is where your potential manager or supervisor will determine whether you have the knowledge to perform well in the team. You won’t be expected to know everything but do be confident in your delivery about your technical understanding.
If you’ve come this far, you’ll have successfully moved into the final stage of the interview process. The last leg will involve an in-person interview with up to seven Amazon employees who will ask you a number of behavioural and technical questions. If you’re applying for a design role, meanwhile, the interview may require for you to use a whiteboard to demonstrate your thought process and ideas.
To answer their questions thoroughly, be sure to use the STAR technique where you describe a situation you faced, explain the task that you were working on, the approach you took to resolve the issue, and the result of your efforts.
5. Get an offer
Once you’ve gone through the vigorous interviews, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief! The hard part is now over, and there’s nothing left to do but wait, which typically takes up to five business days to get a response. If you don’t hear from your recruiter by then, do reach out to them to recap on your experience and push your application forward.
If you’ve managed to secure a spot on Amazon’s summer internship programme, congratulations are in order! It’s time to get prepping for your internship to get the most out of it and start your professional journey.
Have you ever applied for an internship with Amazon? If so, join the conversation below and let us know about your experiences!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 28 November 2014.