The Ultimate Guide to Acing Your Amazon Bar Raiser Interview

by Sarah Duncan

If you are eager to land a role at Amazon, you may have heard about their in-depth and unique hiring process that includes several different interviews and assessment phases.

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One such interview you may have to sit is the Bar Raiser interview.

As a candidate, it’s crucial that you perform well in this interview, impress your Bar Raiser, and prove that you are worth hiring.

The thought of a Bar Raiser interview can be daunting, so we’re here to help.

With the right understanding and a bit of preparation beforehand, you can ace the Amazon Bar Raiser interview and make an excellent impression.

This article will explain the purpose and set-up of the Bar Raiser interview, as well as provide you with the best strategies to help you prepare. Let’s get started!

Understanding the Amazon Bar Raiser Interview

One of Amazon’s top priorities is to consistently raise the bar in terms of employee performance. They want to ensure that every new hire will add value to the company.

Therefore, they implement a unique and rigorous hiring process that ensures the right people are being hired and that a variety of opinions and perspectives are considered.

The Bar Raiser interview is a unique initiative within Amazon’s hiring process. It empowers Amazon employees to become Bar Raisers, contribute to the hiring process, impart their perspectives, and help make hiring decisions.

Bar Raisers are trained to recognize desirable candidate characteristics and identify individuals who will mesh well with the company culture.

So, your Bar Raiser interview will be conducted by a Bar Raiser: an Amazon employee (who is NOT exclusively part of the recruitment team) trained to recognize talent and potential and ensure that every new hire helps to “raise the bar” at Amazon.

Your Bar Raiser will be an employee from a department separate from the one you are applying for in order to maintain objectivity.

One positive about this interview structure is that meeting with a current employee (who was once in your shoes) may help you to feel more relaxed and speak more openly.

You’ll also be able to ask your Bar Raiser questions about working at Amazon.

The Bar Raiser interview is typically a 30-60 minute virtual interview. Most of the questions hone in on Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles to assess how well you fit with the company culture.

Your Bar Raiser will attempt to evaluate your understanding of these principles, how you apply them to work, and how they align with your own characteristics.

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The Role of a Bar Raiser at Amazon

The Bar Raiser program empowers current Amazon employees to contribute to the hiring process and serve as an objective third-party advisor.

Bar Raisers come from a range of different teams and departments across the company. They include software development engineers, HR professionals, marketers, product managers, and more.

To become a Bar Raiser, an Amazon employee must be nominated by peers, managers, or other Bar Raisers.

Once accepted into the program, they complete extensive training modules and ‘shadow’ experienced recruiters in order to pick up on interviewing techniques.

During the training process, Bar Raisers gain an in-depth understanding of Amazon’s 16 leadership principles as this is typically what interview questions seek to investigate.

Once trained and certified, Bar Raisers meet with aspiring candidates to conduct an interview.

They are responsible for evaluating candidates against key competencies required for the job, identifying desirable traits and characteristics, and assessing a candidate’s fit with the company culture.

Bar Raisers compare notes, impart their perspectives, and contribute to hiring decisions with the rest of the hiring team.

The Bar Raiser program ensures that a variety of diverse opinions are considered during the hiring process, which eliminates bias.

Preparing for the Bar Raiser Interview

Now that you have an understanding of the purpose of an Amazon Bar Raiser interview and its unique properties, you may have a better idea of how to prepare.

To increase your performance within the Bar Raiser interview, follow our top tips for preparation:

1. Become an EXPERT on Amazon’s Leadership Principles

Bar Raisers are taught to assess how well candidates understand and demonstrate the company’s leadership principles!

Therefore, when preparing for your Bar Raiser interview, you must gain a strong understanding of these 16 principles:

  • Customer obsession
  • Ownership
  • Invent and simplify
  • Are right a lot
  • Learn and be curious
  • Hire and develop the best
  • Insist on the highest standards
  • Think big
  • Bias for action
  • Frugality
  • Earn trust
  • Dive deep
  • Have backbone
  • Disagree and commit
  • Deliver results
  • Strive to be Earth’s best employer
  • Success and scale bring broad responsibility.

We get it – that seems like a lot. However, knowing what these principles are, what they stand for, and how they can be implemented is crucial.

It may seem like an overwhelming task – but with a bit of time and effort, it’s easy to wrap your head around the principles.

Do your research, become familiar with each principle, think about how you have demonstrated these qualities in the past, and come up with examples of how they could be applied to your role at Amazon. It may be useful to write down notes or create mind maps.

Once you’ve got the 16 principles down pat and feel confident with discussing them, you should be able to answer just about any question your Bar Raiser throws at you.

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2. Understand the requirements of the job

Research the specific position you are applying for and read the job description thoroughly.

Ensure you have a strong understanding of the role’s key responsibilities as well as the skills, qualities, and characteristics required for success.

This will allow you to anticipate the type of questions you may encounter within the interview and will identify the skills and characteristics that you will need to demonstrate to your Bar Raiser.

3. Practice Interview Questions

Now that you have the knowledge required, it’s time to apply this to an interview setting and practice how you would communicate your ideas and responses.

To practice answering interview questions, you can find sample questions online. Read each question, think about the best way to respond, and then have a go at speaking your response aloud.

It may be useful to practice with a family member or friend so that you can feel more confident in communicating your thoughts.

You could even try a mock interview. When practicing answering interview questions, ensure you speak calmly, clearly, and confidently. Explain your thinking, but don’t ramble for too long.

4. Utilize Online Resources

There are many valuable resources online that can help you to prepare for your Bar Raiser interview.

For instance, JobTestPrep provides a plethora of resources to guide aspiring Amazon candidates through the interview and assessment process.

Further, JobTestPrep provides sample interview questions and detailed answer explanations. You’ll gain an idea of the type of questions you can expect to encounter within your interview, and how to effectively respond.

JobTestPrep also offers preparation packs for many of the other assessments and interviews you are likely to face during your Amazon hiring process.

Bonus Tips for Success

  • Research Amazon. It’s important that you can impart a thorough understanding of Amazon – its origin, mission, values, and team culture. Be prepared to describe how you would fit into this company culture, as well as how you can add value
  • Be prepared to discuss your career development goals and how Amazon can help you to achieve these
  • Come up with a few questions to ask at the end of your interview. Asking questions proves that you are interested in the company, and enthusiastic about the role
  • On the day of the interview, try to stay calm and collected. Find a quiet spot in which you can complete the virtual interview and focus. Dress well: it’s important to appear professional.

Ensure your wifi connection is stable, and that your device is fully charged, to avoid technical issues. Never underestimate the power of a good night’s rest and some quality brain fuel beforehand.

Final Words

The Bar Raiser interview is a unique initiative – and for aspiring candidates looking to secure a role at Amazon, it’s crucial to ace this step of the hiring process.

When preparing for a Bar Raiser interview, the two most important things are to research the company and its culture and become extremely familiar with the company’s 16 leadership principles.

Other than that, confidence is key. Try not to stress yourself out, and instead use the Bar Raiser interview as an opportunity to showcase your strengths, qualities, and desirable traits.

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