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What Is an Amazon Bar Raiser Interview and How to Crack It?

Posted on 
January 21, 2022
Vartika Rai
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About The Author!
Vartika Rai
Vartika Rai
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart | Ex-Microsoft | IIT Hyderabad | ML/Data Science Enthusiast. Works with industry experts to help working professionals successfully prepare and ace interviews at FAANG+ and top tech companies

The Amazon Bar raiser interview is an important step in the hiring process at Amazon. The bar raiser interview takes place during the Amazon Loop interview, also known as the on-site interview. The purpose of the Amazon bar raiser interview is to hire the right candidates by evaluating them against Amazon’s leadership principles and how they embody Amazon’s vision, culture, and spirit. Amazon Bar Raisers are specially trained and skilled interviewers unique to Amazon’s interview process. BAr raisers go through the Amazon Bar Raiser program to become Bar Raisers. 

As a potential employee, you will need to clear Amazon’s Bar Raiser interview round successfully to get through the Amazon Loop interview process. Many skilled software engineers are rejected during Amazon’s interview process because they fall short in the Bar Raiser interview. Answering Amazon Bar Raiser interview questions effectively is very important to land an offer from Amazon. 

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.

Having trained over 13,500 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $933,000!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

Want to nail your next tech interview? Sign up for our FREE Webinar

In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Amazon Loop interview and the Amazon Bar raiser interview. We’ll also tell you about the Amazon Bar raiser interview process, and the type of Amazon bar raiser interview questions to expect at the Amazon Loop interview.

Here is what we’ll cover in this post -

What is the Amazon Loop Interview?

The Amazon Loop interview, also known as the Amazon on-site interview, is a series of final rounds of interviews before a hiring decision is made. The Amazon Loop interview typically consists of coding rounds, design rounds, behavioral interviews, domain interviews, and the Amazon bar raiser interview. 

In order to be invited to the Amazon Loop interview, you should have met the hiring standard in the Technical Screen interview. The on-site (Loop interview) can last anywhere from 1 to 3 days, with each interview spanning roughly 30-40 minutes.   

The Amazon Loop Interview consists of:

  • 1-2 Coding interviews
  • 1-2 Systems Design and Domain Interviews
  • 1 Behavioral Interview
  • 1 Bar Raiser Interview

To learn more about the Amazon Loop Interview Process, check out our Complete Guide to the Amazon Interview Process 

To know the type of questions asked at the Amazon Loop interview, check out our post on Amazon Interview Questions

What is the Amazon Bar Raiser Interview?

The Amazon Bar Raiser interview is essentially a behavioral interview with one of Amazon’s bar raisers. Sometimes, especially in the case of senior positions, the Bar-raiser interview can also include a hiring manager along with the bar raiser. Bar raisers are usually from outside the team and are specially trained employees whose fundamental aim is to maintain a high hiring bar at Amazon. Amazon’s bar raiser interview is usually the last interview in the “Loop” interview process. An important thing that bar-raisers assess is if potential employees embody Amazon’s 16 leadership principles. So if you’re preparing for Amazon’s bar raiser interview, check out these Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions to get an idea of what to expect at your interview.   

How to Become an Amazon Bar Raiser?

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.

To become an Amazon Bar raiser, you should be an Amazon employee for at least 5 years and be invited into the Amazon Bar Raiser program by other bar raisers. Bar raisers are typically unassociated with the technicalities of the role. Their main role is to evaluate if candidates embody Amazon’s leadership principles and display an attitude that would deem them the right cultural fit. 

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 ( 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 Loop Interview Success Rate

Amazon generally has an extremely low acceptance rate. According to CNBC, the Amazon interview success rate is about 3%. As for the number of candidates who get through the technical Screen and get invited to the on-site interview, the percentage is about 10%. Specific to Amazon Loop interviews, one in every five candidates who gets invited to the Loop interview usually lands an offer. So the typical Amazon Loop interview success rate is 20%. 

As such, given the low Amazon Loop interview success rate, it is extremely important to begin your prep early. Check out our 2-month Amazon interview prep plan to understand how to shape the perfect Amazon Loop interview prep strategy. 

Role of a Bar Raiser in Amazon Interview Process

Amazon Bar Raisers are called in on Amazon interviews to:

  • 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.

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. 

  1. 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. 
  2. After conducting interviews, interviewers meet to compare their observations and recommendations about candidates. 
  3. Based on this shared information, interviewers then vote whether to hire a candidate or not.
  4. 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:

  1. Describe an instance when you dealt with a demanding customer and how you arrived at a solution to resolve a fundamental problem.
  2. Tell us about a challenging personal circumstance and how you dealt with it.
  3. How do you analyze risk? Describe a time when you took a risk that paid off.
  4. What would you do if you discovered your manager was going against company policy?
  5. Describe your ideal work environment.
  6. 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:

  1. Customer Obsession: Leaders are completely customer-focused and work to build and maintain customer trust.
  2. Ownership: Leaders own their work and decisions and work for the company’s benefit, not just their team.
  3. Invent and Simplify: Leaders promote innovation and encourage teams to find ways to simplify things.
  4. Are Right, A lot: Leaders can leverage strong decision-making skills and a well-developed intuition to make the right moves consistently.
  5. Learn and Be Curious: Leaders have a learning mindset and are always interested in exploring new ideas and opportunities.
  6. Hire and Develop the Best: Leaders raise the bar for performance in hiring or promoting employees. They drive their teams to meet high standards.
  7. Think Big: Leaders inspire teams to achieve bold goals and visions centered around the customer.
  8. Bias for Action: Amazon believes employees should work quickly, considering the calculated risks.
  9. Frugality: Amazon believes in working in a resourceful manner.
  10. Earn Trust: Leaders have strong listening skills, humility, and respect for others.
  11. Dive Deep: Leaders are detail-oriented and work through problems from the ground up.
  12. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit: Leaders are confident enough to put forward different perspectives and commit to decisions taken.
  13. Deliver Results: Leaders are result-oriented, focusing on quality and timeliness.
  14. Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer: Leaders are empathetic, fun-loving, concerned, and invested in their colleagues’ growth and success. 
  15. 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
  • Resourcefulness
  • 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.

Gear Up for Your Next Technical Interview

Learn all about how you can prepare for tech interviews at Amazon and other FAANG+ companies. 

Interview Kickstart’s team of instructors comprises actual hiring managers and tech leads from FAANG companies. Leveraging their insider knowledge of how hiring processes work at Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google, and other top tech companies, our instructors help engineers understand what interviewers look for and prepare for different tech interview process stages.

We also offer career guidance, including professionally conducted mock interviews that simulate real-life FAANG interviews with live feedback to improve your interviewing skills. These have proven extremely effective, especially in preparing for behavioral interviews such as the Amazon Bar Raiser interview.

Check out these reviews to learn how our alumni landed lucrative offers at FAANG companies by getting professional insights on FAANG interview processes and upskilling through our professional interview prep courses.

As pioneers of technical interview preparation, Interview Kickstart has helped train thousands of engineers to upskill and uplevel their careers, landing offers at FAANG and other top tech companies.

Sign-up for our free webinar now!

Last updated on: 
September 22, 2023

Vartika Rai

Product Manager at Interview Kickstart | Ex-Microsoft | IIIT Hyderabad | ML/Data Science Enthusiast. Working with industry experts to help working professionals successfully prepare and ace interviews at FAANG+ and top tech companies

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