Amazon Program Manager Interview Questions
Program Managers are responsible for setting goals and coordinating independencies for these goals, thereby playing a key role in the growth story of a product offering, service, or business process. Amazon hires talented Program Managers who can work cross-functionally, foresee and manage risks, allocate resources effectively, and build innovative strategies for the success of a project.
As such, Amazon has several teams that employ PMs either as Program Managers or Technical Program Managers. While Program Managers deal with the e-commerce non-technical side of the business, TPMs deal with the technical aspects of the company’s products/services.
If you are preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready!
Also, read How hard it is to get a job at Amazon and Cracking Amazon’s TPM Interview for specific insights and guidance on Amazon tech interviews.
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In this article, we’ll look at some Amazon Program Manager interview questions. We’ll also look at what exactly a Program Manager does and the interview process.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Roles and Responsibilities of Amazon Program Managers
- Amazon Program Manager Interview Process
- Amazon Program Manager Interview Questions
Amazon Program Manager Roles and Responsibilities
Amazon hires multiple Program Managers to help manage the functioning of various teams. Below is the broad scope of the main responsibilities of Program managers:
- Plan independencies for projects and ensure that requirements are met
- Allocate resources efficiently to ensure the smooth progress of the project
- Foresee risks and take appropriate action to mitigate or eliminate them
- Work cross-functionally with various teams to ensure dependencies are met
- Create performance reports, track performance metrics, and come up with strategies to improve performance
- Take key decisions based on datasets and available information
- Manage a team and ensure things run smoothly within the team
Related reading: Facebook Technical Program Manager Roles and Responsibilities
Amazon Program Manager Interview Process
The interview process for Program managers consists of 4 main rounds. They include:
The Recruiter Screen: Our interview process starts with being contacted by a recruiter from Amazon. The aim of this round is to give recruiters an understanding of whether your experience and skills match the requirements of the role. You can also be asked a couple of behavioral questions in this round, mostly those about why you wish to work at Amazon, what challenges you faced in your previous organization, etc.
The Writing Assignment: This round is unique to Program Managers and Product Managers. You’ll be given a topic on Product Management that’s closely associated with your role. Questions can be around how you tracked and understood metrics and situation-based experiences pertaining to design, product, etc., in the realm of program management. You’ll most likely be asked to write a 2-page essay on the topic, with recruiters mainly evaluating your thought process and overall expertise in the field.
The On-Site Round: The On-site round consists of a program management round, a behavioral round, and a Bar-raiser round.
In the program manager round, recruiters will ask you questions on the following categories:
- Program Management strategy based questions
- Metrics - understanding, tracking, and leveraging
- Hypothetical and situational-based process design questions
In the behavioral round, questions will be about past projects, workplace situations, work-life balance, team management, etc.
The final On-site round is the Bar-Raiser round, where you are evaluated on Amazon’s 14 leadership principles. Each of these rounds has equal weightage in Program Manager interviews.
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Amazon Program Manager Interview Questions
Questions asked in Amazon’s Program Manager interview are broadly based under the following categories:
- Behavioral questions These questions constitute about 49% of the questions asked at the interview
- Strategy-based questions These types of questions constitute 14% of the questions asked
- Other questions These questions make up for 27% of the questions asked and are mostly based on Amazon’s leadership principles and past projects
Amazon Program Manager Behavioral Questions
Behavioral questions test your responses to workplace situations and your ability to handle tough environments at work.
- Tell us about a time when a project failed despite towering efforts from your and your team.
- Tell us about a time when you had to collaborate with multiple teams to drive a client project.
- Tell us about a time when a project affected your work-life balance.
- Tell us about a time when a colleague didn’t respond appropriately to work-related requests.
- Tell us about a time when you resolved a conflict between two team members.
- Tell us about a time when you had to impart crucial learnings from a project to your entire team.
- Tell us about a time you missed a project deadline with reasons and how you managed it.
To see more behavioral questions and get tips on how to answer them, read this article on commonly asked Amazon Behavioral Interview Questions.
For questions specific to Amazon’s Leadership Principles, a crucial aspect that features in Program Manager interviews, check out these Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions. You’ll also find useful tips to answer these questions effectively.
Amazon Program Manager Strategy-Based Questions
- Explain the Amazon Web Services Business Model
- How can Amazon improve its logistics to aid buyers and sellers better?
- What aspects do you need to look at to enter new markets?
- Name some unexplored markets Amazon can target.
- What are our thoughts on the products Amazon should start manufacturing and selling on its platform?
- What would your price approach be for Amazon Prime?
- How would you improve user subscriptions for Amazon Prime? Tell us about some strategies that come to your mind.
Amazon Program Manager Interview Questions — Based on Program Management, Planning, Execution, and Process Design
- How do you deal with obstacles that you encounter while planning a project?
- Explain how you’d manage timelines in a highly matrixed environment
- How would you help sellers maximize their visibility on Amazon?
- How would you ensure that the security of user information isn’t compromised?
- What are your thoughts on creating a business process from scratch?
Related reading: Google Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
Prepare for Your Next Amazon Program Manager Interview
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