Amazon Web Services (AWS) Test: Everything You Need to Know

As the world’s second-largest company and the biggest e-commerce company, Amazon has become one of the top choices for thousands of aspiring applicants. They have multiple subsidiaries, which include Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud computing platform with clients almost as big as the company.

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It is therefore understandable for a globally-recognized company such as AWS to have a strict and demanding job application process. It takes skills and effort to get through every step of the screening; being part of AWS is a badge of honor that can change the trajectory of one’s career.

Amazon Web Services Test: Overview

Amazon Web Services or AWS is a comprehensive cloud computing platform provided by Amazon. It offers a broad range of services and tools that enable individuals and organizations to build and manage various types of applications and services.

It provides storage, database, computing power, and security products to its users. As of the first quarter of 2023, AWS revenues totaled to $21.35B, which represents almost 17% of Amazon’s overall revenue. This shows the value of AWS not just to its parent company, but globally as well.

Within AWS, hundreds of employees work together to deliver these services. The introduction of work-from-home setup requires cloud services for companies, and therefore a bigger demand and opportunities for employment in AWS.

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The AWS Test or Assessment is the official hiring process of AWS. It consists of several tests that look beyond technical skills; it also looks at one’s work attitude and other important employee characteristics. Each test or section can last up to 10 to 50 minutes and will also depend on the position you are applying for:

  • Work Simulation – Tests how you see with pressure at work and how you are able to solve problems in real life (50 minutes)
  • Amazon Work Style – Tests your compatibility with Amazon’s core work and leadership values (10 minutes)
  • Working with Customers Simulation – Tests how you deal with customer relations by rating the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of sample responses
  • Work Preferences and Skills – Aims to find out your personal ratings of your own skills and tests your technical skills as well (10 minutes)
  • Technical Knowledge Test – A multiple-choice exam that will test relevant technical knowledge (45 minutes)

Depending on the position, job applicants can take less or more assessments. Some of the tests, such as the Amazon Work Style and Work Simulation, are taken by all employees, while others are curated depending on the roles.

Which Companies Use the Amazon Web Services Test

The AWS is a globally-recognized platform used by companies and organizations of all sizes. It is also used by governments to help secure their data through its services. The following are just a couple from Amazon Web Services’ hundreds of clients:

  • Verizon – a multinational telecommunications conglomerate that provides various products and communication services
  • Snapchat – an instant messaging app and service developed by Snap, Inc.
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment – a video game and entertainment company owned by the Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony
  • Netflix – a subscription-based, on-demand streaming television service based in the US
  • Airbnb – an online company that serves as a marketplace for short- and long-term homestays and experiences

Whether or not you end up working for AWS, acquiring the skills and certifications related to its services and products can lead to other career opportunities; it is a leader in cloud computing technology which other companies also require within their own pool of employees.

AWS Certifications such as Cloud Practitioner, AWS Certified Developer, Solutions Architect, and SysOps Administrator are just some of the highly valued specialty certifications, and is considered an industry recognized credential.

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Why is the Amazon Web Services Used?

The AWS Test was developed and streamlined to effectively filter the thousands of job applications that it receives for every opening. The competition for every position is fierce, and in order to speed up the recruitment process and reduce costs dedicated to it, the AWS Test helps hiring managers find the best person for the job.

Beyond recruitment purposes, the AWS Test also sheds light on the potential development and career path of an applicant within AWS, if they are chosen for the position. Leadership skills, customer relations skills, and other important values are measured by the AWS Test.

Questions to Expect in the Amazon Web Services Test

As previously mentioned, the AWS Test consists of several assessments, all of which are vital in helping AWS find the right employee. Each test has a different format, with the questions varying from technical to seemingly random, but still important in the overall assessment.

Work Simulation

This test will provide complex work case scenarios, which will test both your technical and interpersonal skills. It is not just important to solve the technical issue at hand, but also to communicate properly with both your co-worker and the client. See the following example:

A client sent a message about their servers not working since yesterday, and a co-worker has failed to inform you about it. How do you deal with both the client and the team?

The way you choose your answers will reflect how you deal with pressure and how you value your team’s synergy through professional communication.

Amazon Work Style

The Amazon Work Style test gauges how compatible your own values and principles are with Amazon’s. You will read two statements side by side and choose which is more like you or most like you. To fully prepare for this part, make sure to read up on Amazon’s Leadership Principles.

Working with Customers Simulation

Customers are the number one priority for Amazon. Thus, this simulation tests if you think the same, by providing scenario-based questions that come in the form of emails from your Team Lead, AWS customers, and Co-Workers. You will then be asked to rate the effectiveness of several responses using the scale from ineffective to highly ineffective.

Personality Tests

You may also be asked to answer a personality test, which will shed light on how you approach work or situations in general. See the following example:

In a team project, you notice that one team member is consistently falling behind on their tasks, which is affecting the project timeline. How would you approach this situation?

a) Take over their tasks and complete them yourself to ensure the project stays on track.

b) Speak to the team member privately to understand any challenges they are facing and offer assistance or guidance.

c) Report the issue to the project manager without discussing it directly with the team member.

d) Ignore the situation and hope that the team member catches up on their own.
Your response will help the hiring personnel see if you are fit for the role.

Work Preferences and Skills

This section is divided into two parts: the interests and proficiency questionnaire, and the technical knowledge. The first will be a series of rating questions, and you will be asked to rate your proficiency from No Awareness (0) to Expert (5). Make sure that you answer honestly, and that it also matches your portfolio.

On the other hand, the technical knowledge test exam questions are a multiple choice assessment that determines your skills in areas relevant to your position. Make sure to read the job description carefully so you know which AWS services or products to focus on. See the following example:

Which AWS service provides fully managed message queues for application-to-application communication?

a) Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service)

b) Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service)

c) Amazon SQS (Simple Queue Service)

d) AWS Lambda

Make sure to brush up on your knowledge in both your current skills and the position you are aiming for.

How to Prepare for the Amazon Web Services Test

The first thing one has to remember when applying for AWS is that there are thousands more applying for the same position, and thus it is important that you stand out among the rest. Preparation is required for all assessments in the AWS Test. Boost your application by doing the following:

  • Stay Updated. Technology develops and grows exponentially. One day you are considered skilled in one software, and the next day there’s a new platform that you have no idea how to work with but everybody is using. For professionals in the field, it is important to stay updated with new or potential developments, as AWS is always on the lookout. If you don’t already have them, try getting an AWS certification account and get an AWS certification on courses relevant to your position.
  • Immerse Yourself in AWS. Familiarize yourself with all of AWS services and products. The AWS website provides comprehensive features that you can take advantage of, including whitepapers and technical guides that are available for everyone. Take note of the latest publications that are applicable to the position you are applying for, which might come up in the tests. You can also bring these up in your interview to showcase your knowledge and passion for the role. If you do not have a lot of experience, becoming AWS certified, such as AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, AWS cloud computing, AWS Certified Advanced Networking, AWS Certified Solutions Architect, AWS Certified Security Specialty, or AWS Certified Machine Learning will definitely boost your chances of getting to the next step. Passing these AWS certification exams will show that you already have one foot in the company.
  • Polish Your Skills. Global, in-demand companies like AWS have a systematic way of screening candidates. You can’t go in without researching their assessment style and structure. Their hiring teams have spent years formulating the best assessments to hire talents. So even if you have five or ten years of previous experience in cloud expertise or cloud initiatives, or you are already AWS certified in multiple software and platforms, it is still important to polish your skills before the test. You might not be aware of some minor changes in a specific software or language, which might make or break your application. Being open to changes is a critical attitude to have for professionals in the cloud and API field.
  • Prepare with Practice Exams. There’s no better way to prepare for a test than simulating with practice tests. These will help you assess yourself and your skills, which will help you create the right study plan to improve your scores. In a fast-changing industry, technical expertise is not enough. It is important to find the most updated test practice exams created by experts.
  • Read, Comprehend, Calendar. This goes for each part of your application process. From the moment you see the job posting, to every email you receive from AWS, it is important that you read, comprehend, and calendar every important detail. For example, if you miss out an important deadline on submitting requirements, or even miss out the last day for taking an online assessment, you are considered to have forfeited your application. Take note of important details and make sure you get reminders days or hours before an important deadline.
  • Become an “Amazonian”. The AWS Test includes assessments that gauge your compatibility with the work culture. Find out what it takes to be an “Amazonian” so you can apply it to your responses in the tests. Immerse yourself in AWS technologies and AWS infrastructure. Amazon’s values also center on its leadership principles, which include being innovative, maintaining high standards, and prioritizing customers above all. These will tell you about what they need in an employee, beyond technical skills and expertise.
  • Stay Authentic and Creative. While AWS looks for highly-skilled professionals, they are also always on the lookout for creative employees who can eventually present new innovations for the company. During the interview, they may ask you random questions that do not appear to relate to the job. They want to see how resourceful you are. These days, companies are more willing to work with easy-going people. Having a killer personality is an asset for the company. It brings up morale and coherence. Avoid being overly patronizing in your interviews and responses, as employers tend to lean more towards those who have more unique things to say rather than the ones who say things they have already heard a thousand times.

The job landscape is already very competitive, even more so for careers in this field. But with enough preparation, you might just be the one to get that coveted job offer.

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The Amazon Web Services Test Process

The general hiring process for AWS is similar to other companies and varies depending on the specific roles. As previously mentioned, some tests or steps are not applicable to all job candidates. When applying for the AWS, one can expect the process to go as follows:

1. Online Application/Document Submission

The first step in applying for any position in the AWS involves creating an account on their official website. This is followed by filling in all necessary information in the provided forms, which includes necessary certifications or licenses. Initial screening will be conducted and those who do not have the relevant licenses, degrees, or qualifications will be eliminated. Make sure to have documents such as your CV, portfolio, and reference letter in hand as you start the application process.

2. First Round of AWS Tests

It is important to take note that the first round of assessments is conducted online. You will need a computer or laptop with a stable internet connection to answer the tests. You will receive a link to an online test and must complete it within a specified timeframe, and failing to submit the test on time means forfeiting the chance. Make sure to submit the test immediately, or at the very least set a reminder for the deadline.

Results are calculated automatically in the AWS Test. You need to score above the benchmark for the work simulation assessments. While the personality test is not a deciding factor, it provides references for future interviewers.

3. Phone Interview

If you pass the online assessments and are deemed fit to go to the next step of applications, you will have a phone interview with the HR manager. Questions in this part will delve more about your portfolio and other information provided in the original form. Make sure to prepare for this part as well, so there will be no inaccuracies on your end. This interview also helps the HR manager get to know you as a person and evaluate your fit within AWS.

4. Full Interview Day at a Physical Location

This is the final step before employment or a job offer. This means that you have impressed the HR manager in your previous interview and they are satisfied with your performance. Now it is time to meet your potential co-workers and bosses. After another exam, you will talk to a panel consisting of the HR manager, department supervisor, and relevant senior personnel. It is also your chance to ask questions about the workplace environment, clarify your role and other inquiries you might have. It is important to make a good impression and show them that you will be an asset to the team.

5. Job Offer

If chosen, the hiring manager or personnel will extend an offer to you. If the offer meets your expectations, you can sign the agreement and return it. If there are any discrepancies or if the offer does not align with your discussions, it is important to clarify them promptly. Even if you decide not to accept the position, it is courteous to inform the HR manager, leaving a positive impression for future opportunities.

Please note that the specific details and steps may vary depending on the role and company conducting the AWS employment test.

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Are you ready to be an Amazonian?

Becoming part of AWS is almost a challenge, but certainly one worth taking on. The Amazon Web Services test is a way for AWS to find the right employee for the job, which is why it consists of several assessments and a couple of interviews after.

To prepare for the AWS Test, it is not enough to have technical skills. Amazon has a specific culture that they want to imbibe in all its subsidiaries and is, therefore, an important part of the hiring process. Exam content is both a mix of personality and technical questions.

Stay updated on the latest advancements in cloud computing platforms and services, and showcase your diverse skills that will make you an asset to the company. Prepare to be an “Amazonian” and fight your way toward this prestigious position!

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