The Amazon technical program manager interview is quite challenging. Because you will be tested on multiple fronts, you must prepare to cover various topics such as program management, system design, architecture, etc.
The TPM interview is not impossible to pass. All you need is the right Amazon technical program manager interview prep strategy that covers all of the different aspects of the role. That is precisely what we have in store for you.
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- Role of an Amazon Technical Program Manager
- Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview Process
- Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
- How to Crack the Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview?
- FAQs on Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview Prep
Role of an Amazon Technical Program Manager
As a TPM at Amazon, you’ll be expected to work with many different teams assigned to you. Some of these teams at Amazon where your expertise as a TPM will be required are:
- Amazon Devices Team
- Amazon Advertising Products Group
- AWS Services Team
- Automation, Tooling, and Insights team
Generally, an Amazon TPM’s day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Collaborate with product management to create business strategies, requirements, and timelines.
- Head several different teams through design, delivery, management, and support.
- Consistently communicate with the senior management to update them about the progress, risks, and any changes that might be made.
Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview Process
The Amazon technical program manager interview can be roughly divided into three parts:
- Recruiter Screen (30 minutes): In this round, you’ll be asked questions based on your experience. The recruiter will try to gauge whether you’re a cultural fit for the company.
- TPM Phone Screen (45-60 minutes): After clearing the HR round, you might be asked to give one or two TPM phone screens. The TPM will assess your technical skills and ensure you’re eligible for the on-site interviews.
- On-site Round (45-60 minutes/interview): There will be four to six interviews, and the panel will include a mix of people, such as people from the team you’re applying to join, the hiring manager, peers, and a senior executive.
Go through the detailed Amazon TPM interview process here.
Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
For your Amazon technical program manager interview prep, just keep in mind that the interview questions will be divided into three categories:
1. Technical Interview Questions
Technical questions can be divided into three categories — system design, technical explanation, and coding. Here are some samples of the type of questions you can expect:
- Define a hypervisor.
- What is Java construct?
- Design a database schema for a certain configuration manager.
- Design the software for an elevator system.
- How would you design a deck of cards using OOD?
- Differentiate between a router and a switch.
- How are passwords passed securely from server to client?
- How would you write a program that traverses a linked list?
- Write a test scenario for copying a file from one location to another using a wireless connection.
- Explain how Amazon.com works.
2. Program Management Interview Questions
For these questions, you’ll need to show you think about programs analytically and comprehensively (for instance, resources, risks, etc.) with a record that reflects the execution flawlessly.
- Explain how you’d manage external team dependencies in your programs.
- Differentiate between program management and technical program management.
- Can you walk us through your process for change and incident management?
- According to you, what are the traits of a successful technical program manager?
- What do you do if you're working on a program where a part of the features was completed with errors, and the responsible team has moved on to another project?
Want to know how much you can earn if you crack the technical program manager interview process? Take a look at our article on technical program manager salaries in the US.
3. Behavioral Interview Questions
Amazon’s behavioral questions are primarily based on their 16 Leadership Principles. These principles, along with the kind of questions you can expect based on them, have been listed below:
- Customer Obsession (Can you tell us about a time you said no to a customer request and why?)
- Ownership (Tell us about a time you took ownership of a problem that was not the focus of your organization.)
- Bias for Action (Tell me about a time when you launched a feature with known risks.)
- Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit (Have your work ever been criticized? How did you handle it?)
- Invent and Simplify (What’s your most innovative idea ever?)
- Dive Deep (Elaborate on an incident when you used a lot of data in a short time.)
- Are Right, A Lot (Describe a time you made a mistake.)
- Deliver Results (Has your team ever failed a deadline?)
- Think Big (Tell me about your most significant accomplishment. Why was it important?)
- Hire and Develop the Best (Why choose Amazon?)
- Frugality (Can you elaborate on the last time you came up with a way to keep an approach simple or to save on expenses?)
- Learn and Be Curious (Currently, what technologies are you learning?)
- Insist on the Highest Standards (How do you ensure standards are met when delivering projects?)
- Earn Trust (How do you earn their trust when working with a team?)
- Strive to be Earth's Best Employer (Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for an employee.)
- Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility (Tell me about a decision you made about your work and regret now?)
To keep the momentum going, you can also practice these Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview Questions.
How to Crack the Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview?
You can use these tips to improve your Amazon technical program manager interview prep and increase your chances of getting hired:
- For the phone screen round, make sure you practice many system and architecture design questions.
- Thoroughly practice questions based on Amazon’s 16 leadership principles.
- For the behavioral questions, we suggest you create a story bank of around 10 stories that’ll reflect how you’ve used those leadership principles.
- When approaching technical questions, remember to ask clarifying questions, design at a high level, and then drill down, explain each step, and bring it back together.
- One of the most effective ways to practice these questions is to say the answers aloud. It won’t just help you improve your communication skills but also boost your confidence.
It all comes down to practice and a thorough understanding of all the important topics. So practice as much as you can with your friends, peers, or, if possible, ex-interviewers.
Do you want to learn more about the role of a TPM in Tier-1 organizations? Read our blog on "Becoming a Technical Program Manager at FAANG+ Companies," where one of our mentors describes his work experience and shares many insights from his 8+ years as a TPM at a FAANG+ company.
FAQs on Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview Prep
Q1. How many rounds are there in the Amazon technical program manager interview?
The Amazon TPM interview process is divided into three parts — recruiter screen, phone screen, and on-site round.
Q2. What type of questions are asked in the Amazon technical program manager interview?
In an Amazon TPM interview, you can expect questions on several topics such as program management, system design and architecture, and behavioral skills.
Q3. How to succeed as a TPM at Amazon?
An Amazon technical program manager interview tests your program management, technical, and behavioral skills. So work on improving your communication skills because you’ll be asked questions based on background, past work experience, system design and architecture, and coding.
Q4. Do TPMs need to know how to code?
While TPMs don’t need to code when doing their jobs, they might be asked coding questions in the interviews to test their knowledge. Or they might even be asked to show the detailed design of some past project. To do both of these, coding skills are needed.
Q5. What’s the average salary of an Amazon technical program manager?
As per Glassdoor, an Amazon technical program manager makes $111,829 per year, on average.
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