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Guide to Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Interview Preparation

Amazon loves data and they have a lot of it to work with. The company seeks people who can identify valuable data, derive meaningful insights from it, explain past trends, and help predict future ones. Cracking Amazon’s Business Intelligence Engineer (BIE) interview was never easy.

But after Amazon had its latest addition to its leadership principles: “Strive to be the world’s best employer on Earth,” the competition is likely to get even more challenging at Amazon, whether you are a coding engineer/software developer or business intelligence engineer. Read through this article to know how you can prepare for the Business Intelligence Engineer interview and put your best foot forward.

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Also, read Amazon System Design Interview Questions and Amazon Phone Interview Questions for specific insights and guidance on Amazon tech interviews.

Having trained over 13,500 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have been landing lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!

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Take a look at the topics we’ll discuss in this article::

  • What’s an Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview like?
  • What to expect in the Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview?
  • Skills examined in the Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview
  • Five key tips on how to prepare for the Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview
  • Important topics to prepare for the Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview
  • Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Interview Questions
  • Books to help you prepare for the Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview
  • FAQs on Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview

What’s an Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Interview Like? 

The format for Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview is relatively standard. You can expect a 30-minute phone interview with the recruiter, followed by one or two technical phone interviews, which could last for about 45 minutes each. 

Lastly, there will be an onsite interview with five to six rounds, lasting 45 to 60 minutes each, taking 8 hrs overall in one day (including lunch break). 

What to Expect in the Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Interview?

In your Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview, you can expect:

  • In-depth questions related to your background, experience, and relevant projects.
  • Questions involving the reasons for your interest in that particular BIE role, in that specific team, at Amazon.
  • To be judged on your communication skills and behavioral attributes.
  • Five or more questions related to SQL, Python, data analytics, and data visualization skills.
  • Questions about edge cases, qualifying requirements, and statistics
  • An onsite interviewer to be the bar-raiser unknown to you. This bar-raiser has veto power and the responsibility to hire candidates better than at least 50% of Amazon’s workforce.

Each round usually focuses on one or two skills, although you can expect questions related to other skills to bleed in from time to time. With that in mind, you can typically expect:

  • General, resume, and work experience-related questions in the recruiter phone interview. The phone interview round mainly checks if you have a shot at clearing the actual interview.
  • Technical, coding problems in the technical interviews. The technical interviews focus on seeing if you can solve a technical problem in a limited time, ask necessary clarifying questions, and communicate your solutions well.
  • Conceptual rounds, technical/coding rounds, behavioral rounds, and some mixture of all three in the 5-6 onsite rounds. The onsite rounds are more comprehensive and check not only the skills you have but also if they play well with each other. Like if you still have, say, your behavioral skills when focusing deeply on answering technical questions, etc.

Skills Examined in the Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Interview

For your Amazon BI Engineer interview prep, you can target developing skills Amazon examines for better performance. Here are some of them:

  • Role-related knowledge: SQL, Data Analytics, ETL tools, Data Visualization, Statistics, Python, and Tableau/Quicksight or other similar tools.
  • Experience: Do you have experience in creating and maintaining data pipelines? Do you have experience with relational and dimensional data modeling? Have you used the tools relevant to the particular role you’ve applied to before for a project?
  • Communication skills: BI Engineer role is cross-functional. So you need to communicate effectively with various professionals on different teams and levels.
  • Alignment with leadership principles: They’re hoping to see a history of demonstrating ownership, customer obsession, and other leadership principles in your experience stories.

Five Key Tips on How to Prepare for Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Interview

Here are five important tips to ace your Amazon BIE interview:

  • Refine your skills at tuning SQL queries.
  • Learn how to create and maintain a pipeline and the tools associated with that.
  • Work on your statistical analysis and data analytics skills.
  • Learn common role-relevant data visualization and ETL tools.
  • Present examples from your past experiences relevant to the Business Intelligence Engineer role in the situation, task, action, and result (STAR) format.

Important Topics to Prepare for the Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Interview

See below some of the key topics you should prepare for before your Amazon BI engineer interview: 

  1. SQL: Joins, lead, lag, finding outliers, pivoting, duplicate rows, sub-query, windows, group by having, where, and aggregate.
  2. Data+BI: Data analytics, data visualization, statistics, product sense, and data science.
  3. Python: Usually questions of up to Medium level difficulty. Some past questions include the usage of lists, Fibonacci, and palindromes.
  4. Behavior: Why Amazon? Why BIE? Why this particular BIE team at Amazon? Talk about one of your past major challenges and how you faced them. Other areas of interest include root cause analysis, instances of showing ownership, customer obsession, and alignment with other leadership principles.

Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Technical and SQL Interview Questions

Some past Amazon BI Engineer interview questions include:

  • How would you simplify a complex pipeline?
  • How is variance calculated in PCA?
  • Name the assumptions in a random forest model.
  • Are there any statistical problems when the analysis to know whether people like a product is based on their behavior on the website?
  • How would you design a data model for Lyft App?
  • What are dimension and fact tables?
  • Explain how you’d set up an online A/B testing scenario and decide whether to roll out a new program based on the test results.
  • In a new project, how would you tell if the data we’re using is correct and will give accurate results?
  • Differentiate between OLTP and OLAP.
  • Explain the concept of a join to a non-technical person.
  • You need to find the traffic insights on your website. Write an SQL query to find the top 10 people who visited the website in the last six months.
  • Explain all types of joins in SQL.
  • When would you use ELT over ETL, and Why?
  • What is the difference between union and union all? Which one is faster?
  • What are DML, DCL, and DDL?
  • How would you handle a report running slowly?
  • Write code to get the largest palindrome product of two numbers. The number of digits of the two numbers isn’t fixed.
  • Explain the ways we can optimize queries and tune performance.

Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Talk about a time when you worked on something that wasn’t a part of your regular job.
  • How would you predict if a newly launched product will grow or fail?
  • Talk about a time when you used data to decide and solve a problem.
  • What’s the most difficult problem you’ve worked on till now?
  • If a product is not growing, how will find the factors impacting it?
  • Talk about a time when you significantly exceeded expectations.
  • Talk about a time you committed to a deadline and couldn’t finish, how did you communicate this to your clients?
  • Talk about a time when you had a different viewpoint than the whole team.
  • What variables would you consider for predicting the demand for a product?
  • Talk about a time when you suggested a greatly successful solution.
  • What was the best moment of your career?
  • Talk about a time when you delivered a project under a tight deadline.
  • Talk about a time when you took a decision without consulting or getting your manager’s approval.
  • You have the product sale information on a shopping website, how would you decide which product to cut the price of to improve sales?

Books to Help You Prepare for the Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer Interview

Some additional reading can give you an edge during your interview. Here are some top-rated books you might want to read to increase your depth of knowledge and confidence for the interview:

  • Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic (Author)
  • Business Intelligence, Analytics, and Data Science: A Managerial Perspective by Ramesh Sharda (Author), Dursun Delen (Author), Efraim Turban (Author)
  • Business Intelligence Guidebook: From Data Integration to Analytics by Rick Sherman (Author)
  • Power BI - Business Intelligence Clinic: Create and Learn by Roger F. Silva (Author)
  • Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2016, by Brian Larson (Author)
  • Successful Business Intelligence: Unlock the Value of BI & Big Data by Cindi Howson (Author)
  • Expert Data Modeling with Power BI: Get the best out of Power BI by building optimized data models for reporting and business needs by Soheil Bakhshi  (Author), Christian Wade (Foreword)
  • Mastering Tableau 2021: Implement advanced business intelligence techniques and analytics with Tableau, by Marleen Meier (Author), David Baldwin (Author), Kate Strachnyi (Foreword)

FAQs on Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview

Q1. What not to expect when applying for the BIE role at Amazon?

Don’t expect:

  • A long delay after your onsite interview. (You will most likely get the results after one working day.)
  • That behavioral interview questions won’t be of significant importance. (Alignment with Amazon’s leadership principles and clearing the behavioral interview are crucial to your selection.)
  • A significant number of difficult technical questions. (Almost all technical questions will be up to medium difficulty questions.)

Q2. What is a business intelligence engineer at Amazon?

At Amazon, the Business Intelligence Engineers work with analysts, clients, and database developers, in an attempt to translate raw data into insights and business decisions. The solutions they create guide the automation, analysis, and reports of internal as well as external client data.

 Q3. How many interview rounds are there in Amazon business intelligence engineer interviews?

You can expect mainly three types of interviews: A recruiter phone interview, 1-2 technical phone interviews, and 5-6 rounds in an onsite interview. Making the total number of rounds between seven to nine.

 Q4. How long does each interview round last in an Amazon business intelligence engineer interview?

A recruiter phone interview lasts 30-minutes, followed by 1-2 technical phone interviews, lasting 45 minutes each. And 5-6 rounds in an onsite interview, each round lasting 45 to 60 minutes, all onsite interviews together taking about one working day.

 Q5. How much does an average Amazon business intelligence engineer earn?

Typically, an Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer earns $1,10,450 per year

Ready to Nail Your Next Coding Interview?

If you need help with your prep, consider joining Interview Kickstart’s Data Engineering Interview Course — the first-of-its-kind, domain-specific tech interview prep program designed specifically for Data Engineers.

IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview. 

Whether you’re a coding engineer gunning for a software developer or software engineer role, a tech lead, or you’re targeting management positions at top companies, IK offers courses specifically designed for your needs to help you with your technical interview preparation!

If you’re looking for guidance and help with getting started, sign up for our FREE webinar. As pioneers in technical interview preparation, we have trained thousands of software engineers to crack the most challenging coding interviews and land jobs at their dream companies, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and more!

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Interview Preparation
Last updated on: 
August 10, 2021

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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