Amazon Bar Raisers are specially trained and skilled interviewers unique to Amazon’s interview process. Amazon Bar Raisers are Amazon’s employees from teams, roles, or functions different from the potential role of the Amazon interview candidate. These interviewers go through the Amazon Bar Raiser program to become Bar Raisers.
You will need to clear Amazon’s Bar Raiser interview round successfully to get through the Amazon interview process. The Amazon Bar Raiser interview round is the final round or “the loop” interview of the Amazon interview process.
Many skilled software engineers are rejected during Amazon’s interview process because they do not clear the Bar Raiser interview. Answering Bar Raiser interview questions effectively is very important to get hired as a software engineer at Amazon,
In this article, we delve into the various aspects of the Amazon Bar Raiser interview:
- Role of a Bar Raiser in Amazon Interview Process
- Who Becomes an Amazon Bar Raiser?
- Amazon Bar Raiser Interview Process
- Amazon Bar Raiser Interview Questions
- Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles for the Bar Raiser Interview
- How to Prepare for the Amazon Bar Raiser Interview?
- FAQs on Amazon Bar Raiser Interview
If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation ebook to get interview-ready! Also, read Amazon Coding Interview Questions, Facebook Coding Interview Questions to Nail Your Next Interview, and Google Coding Interview Questions for specific insights and guidance on coding interview preparation.
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Role of a Bar Raiser in Amazon Interview Process
Amazon Bar Raisers are called in on Amazon interviews:
- To provide a third-party, objective assessment of Amazon interview candidates based on Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles.
- To raise hiring standards by identifying candidates who perform better than at least 50% of the existing employees in similar positions.
- To assess candidates based on Amazon’s long-term, global hiring goals.
- Facilitate debriefing sessions to drive data-based hiring decisions.
Who Becomes a Bar Raiser at Amazon?
Amazon employees, who hold regular job roles in various departments of the company, are nominated to the Amazon Bar Raiser program by their managers or existing Bar Raisers. Their peers may also nominate them. The position of Bar Raiser at Amazon is voluntary and is a role performed in addition to existing responsibilities. Amazon Bar Raisers are usually employees who are passionate about Amazon’s hiring process.
Bar Raisers can be inexperienced or highly experienced interviewers who want to hone their hiring skills as hiring managers. Under this program, trainees gain experience interviewing candidates for various positions and roles.
Employees accepted into the Amazon Bar Raiser program are trained extensively on Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles. They get first-hand experience of the Amazon interview process by observing how existing Bar Raisers conduct interviews and assess candidates.
Becoming an Amazon Bar Raiser can take up to a year. A trainee completes the program only when they meet the required quality standards, which are very high.
Amazon has thousands of Bar Raisers (aboutamazon.com) representing various departments in the company — Marketing, Human Resources, Software Development, etc. They can be employees at varying positions — managers, specialists, team members, etc.
Bar Raisers at an Amazon interview will not be connected to the candidate’s potential role or team in the company.
Amazon Bar Raiser Interview Process
The Amazon Bar Raiser interview is usually the final round/loop interview of the Amazon interview process.
Amazon Bar Raisers are brought in as objective interviewers who are not associated with the role or team a candidate is being interviewed for. They are from a different department than the hiring department and, as such, have no vested interest in making a quick hire. They are only concerned about the quality of the hire.
Amazon generally has up to 5 interviewers on loop in the interview, including the hiring manager and the Bar Raiser.
- The Bar Raiser ensures that the interview is conducted properly, i.e., the interview is set up to assess candidates based on the right parameters.
- After conducting interviews, interviewers meet to compare their observations and recommendations about candidates.
- Based on this shared information, interviewers then vote whether to hire a candidate or not.
- When the Bar Raiser reaches a consensus with the hiring manager, after considering all the information presented, a candidate is given an offer.
Bar Raisers possess the authority to override or veto the hiring manager’s decision in favor of or against hiring candidates.
Bar raisers are responsible for ensuring that candidates hired “raise the performance bar,” i.e., they are better than at least 50% of the existing employees in the same or similar positions.
Amazon Bar Raiser Interview Questions
The Amazon coding interview focuses on data structures and algorithms, and the Amazon system design interview focuses on designing systems. However, there are no specific Bar Raiser interview questions at Amazon.
Amazon Bar Raiser interviews questions will be primarily based on Amazon’s 16 Leadership principles and Amazon’s overall work culture. Amazon’s interview process focuses on quality in hiring, even if this takes a long time.
Bar Raiser questions are also devised to help interviewers identify long-term hires who understand and meet the needs of the company’s customers.
Many of the Amazon Bar Raiser interview questions take the form of behavioral questions. The below sample interview questions will give you an insight into the type of questions asked at Amazon’s Bar Raiser Interview:
- Describe an instance when you dealt with a demanding customer and how you arrived at a solution to resolve a fundamental problem.
- Tell us about a challenging personal circumstance and how you dealt with it.
- How do you analyze risk? Describe a time when you took a risk that paid off.
- What would you do if you discovered your manager was going against company policy?
- Describe your ideal work environment.
- What is your approach to mentorship? Explain instances when you mentored subordinates or peers.
Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles for the Bar Raiser Interview
Below are Amazon’s Leadership Principles, which form the basis of many Amazon Bar Raiser and leadership interview questions:
- Customer Obsession: Leaders are completely customer-focused and work to build and maintain customer trust.
- Ownership: Leaders own their work and decisions and work for the company’s benefit, not just their team.
- Invent and Simplify: Leaders promote innovation and encourage teams to find ways to simplify things.
- Are Right, A lot: Leaders can leverage strong decision-making skills and a well-developed intuition to make the right moves consistently.
- Learn and Be Curious: Leaders have a learning mindset and are always interested in exploring new ideas and opportunities.
- Hire and Develop the Best: Leaders raise the bar for performance in hiring or promoting employees. They drive their teams to meet high standards.
- Think Big: Leaders inspire teams to achieve bold goals and visions centered around the customer.
- Bias for Action: Amazon believes employees should work quickly, considering the calculated risks.
- Frugality: Amazon believes in working in a resourceful manner.
- Earn Trust: Leaders have strong listening skills, humility, and respect for others.
- Dive Deep: Leaders are detail-oriented and work through problems from the ground up.
- Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit: Leaders are confident enough to put forward different perspectives and commit to decisions taken.
- Deliver Results: Leaders are result-oriented, focusing on quality and timeliness.
- Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer: Leaders are empathetic, fun-loving, concerned, and invested in their colleagues’ growth and success.
- Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility: Amazon understands its global impact as a large-scale business. Leaders understand this and aim to create a better world for current and future generations to function in.
These principles only serve as a guide to the type of questions you can expect at the Bar Raiser Interview. In answering Bar Raiser questions, don’t focus on any particular principle but answer in a relevant and effective way to the question asked.
Recommended Reading: Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions
How to Prepare for the Amazon Bar Raiser Interview?
To prepare for the Amazon Bar Raiser interview, focus on showcasing the following aspects:
- Leadership and the ability to inspire others
- Risk-taking capabilities
Tips to Prepare for the Amazon Bar Raiser Interview
Below are some quick tips to help you prepare for and improve your performance at the Amazon Bar Raiser interview:
- Prepare for behavioral and situational questions
- Understand the 16 Amazon Leadership Principles
- Go over your resume and your past projects and experiences thoroughly
- Look back on key personal and professional achievements, failures, and milestones
- Understand your key personality traits; strengths, and weaknesses
- Prepare examples and experiences you can draw on to substantiate answers to Bar Raiser questions; quantify answers where possible.
- Prepare for follow-up questions to answers you give to Bar Raiser questions.
- Ask clarifying questions; take a moment to understand questions before answering them.
- Practice mock interviews to improve your Amazon Bar Raiser interview performance
FAQs on Amazon Bar Raiser Interview
Q1. Do all candidates have to appear for the Amazon Bar Raiser Interview?
Software engineers and developers will encounter a Bar Raiser interview as part of the interview process at Amazon. Amazon Bar Raiser interviews are part of the Amazon interview process for corporate roles and not roles such as those in warehouse services.
Q2. How will the Amazon Bar Raiser Interview round differ from the Amazon coding or system design interview rounds in the Amazon interview process?
Bar Raisers are more skilled in their interviewing techniques and approaches than other interviewers. Given their level of expertise and experience, their questions and assessment will tend to be more nuanced and focused. Candidates may find the Amazon Bar Raiser interview more challenging than coding or system design interviews, where answering questions can seem more predictable.
Q3. How can you identify the Bar Raiser at an Amazon interview?
In some cases, you’ll be informed who the bar raiser is. Amazon interviews generally feature five interviewers, of which one is the bar raiser, in addition to the hiring manager and three other interviewers. The Bar Raiser can be identified as the interviewer from a different department; they are also more experienced and ask nuanced, culture-based questions.
Q4. Do Amazon Bar Raisers determine the offer a candidate receives?
Amazon Bar Raisers are an integral part of the hiring decision process but are not responsible for the salary or compensation decisions or offers made to candidates chosen to be hired. Bar Raisers can make recommendations on how strong a candidate’s performance was during the interview, which may be considered when generating an offer.
Q5. Are technical questions asked at an Amazon Bar Raiser Interview?
No, technical interview questions are asked during other rounds of interviews during the Amazon interview process. Amazon’s Bar Raiser Interview doesn’t focus on technical questions. Bar Raisers focus on questions based on Amazon’s leadership principles and other cultural-based aspects.
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