These principles and the associated questions are designed to investigate your professional background and your ability to handle workplace situations. At Levels.fyi, we know how these may be difficult to improvise on the spot, so it is wise to prepare for them ahead of time. Read on for some of Amazon Leadership Principles questions, sample answers to them, and interview tips.
LinkedinLive – How to answer Ownership Interview Questions & Answers | Amazon Leadership Principles
#2 Questions on “Ownership”:
#3 Questions on “Invent and Simplify”:
Question: Tell me about a time you went above and beyond
Going “above and beyond” is an idiom that means you do more than you’re required to do. One way to think about this is that the something extra you’re doing is something outside your usual focus area.
Here is one Software Developers answer:
“While working on my most recent project, our customer asked to add a new feature to the product. While it was a reasonable request, it went beyond the scope of the project we had worked out and there was no time built in to the schedule for it. My manager decided that we couldnt refuse and insisted that we rework the schedule. This change increased my workload about 25% in the same timeframe. I did my best to complete the extra work in the time given by working later at night and also working some of the weekends. Although it wasnt an ideal situation, we managed to pull it off and the customer was satisfied with our work.”
This developer should add details about the type of product, the feature, and the exact work she was doing to make for a stronger answer. Why did the manager insist on doing the work? Details help make the story more interesting.
Also, “above and beyond” means extra, so if you do something extra it will be something that isn’t already in your job description. Weren’t the things she was talking about here just her normal everyday job? How are they outside her normal work? I don’t think they actually are, so I don’t think this story would be a good choice to answer this particular question. She could use it for an example of doing something quickly or helping a customer.
Sample answers for the top 5 ownership questions
Senior Product Marketing Managers answer:
“When I was leading the Marketing Services team, we were told to have digital media investments as twenty percent of the product’s fixed marketing expenses in two years. At the time, the digital share was only five percent of expenses, with display and banner ads and some YouTube videos.
The business teams were the key responsible people for budget management and allocation. My role was to give them direction on the most effective way to spend based on the communication strategy. Both marketing teams and the media agencies were hesitant to make such a big shift in a short period because the ROI wasn’t known. My task was to convince the business leaders to invest more on digital campaigns.
I led four major initiatives. First, I collaborated with digital platform owners on Facebook, Twitter, and Google to give training on digital and social media to the marketers and build key campaigns together and used their data combining with brand metrics to evaluate performance. Then I started reverse mentoring in the company. Younger team members showed us how they were interacting with brands and what they liked doing in social media. This increased our organizational competency for digital. I also asked our creative and media agencies to include more digital talent. Last, I restructured the marketing KPIs and brand health tracking to incorporate the evaluation of digital campaigns. This enabled us to learn what drives ROI.
At the end of the second year, more than twenty percent of the budget was being invested in digital. One campaign won the Facebook Cannes award and the other won the Twitter Aviator award.”
This story follows the PAR structure, demonstrates ownership, is about the right length, and is easy to follow. For those reasons, it’s a good story. How could we make it even better? I think this story would be stronger if it had better focus. The candidate telling the story says that her task is to convince business leaders to invest more. When I read this story, it sounds like she was successful in convincing them when she “restructured the marketing KPIs and brand health tracking” to “learn what drives ROI.” However, she provides little detail on that topic and instead talks about other initiatives that were not directly connected to persuading the business leaders. My advice in this case would be to focus more on the main problem (convincing business leaders) and how the candidate solved it (demonstrating ROI).