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Amazon PM (Product Manager) Interview Guide

Learn how to prepare for the Amazon Product Manager interview and get a job at Amazon with this in-depth guide.

Getting ready for an Amazon product manager interview? We've got you covered. We'll break down what to expect in the interview, what questions you'll get asked, and how best to prepare for a PM role at Amazon.

Amazon's non-tech PM roles are great for those with a solid business and design understanding. The job is non-technical in nature and does not require a computer science degree.

You will find that unlike many other tech companies, Amazon has a predilection for hiring product managers with an MBA.

Amazon hires PMs from various backgrounds: undergraduates, MBA graduates (their largest source of PMs), experienced professionals.

While the e-commerce arm of Amazon is open to those from any background, AWS prefers those with a technical background.

That being said, many non-tech professionals have successfully transitioned into becoming a product manager at Amazon.

Amazon has various levels of PMs:

  • L4 (PM 1),
  • L5 (PM 2),
  • L6 (SPM or PM 3),
  • L7 (Principal PM or Senior Manager, Product Management).
  • L8 (Director) and above (various senior leadership roles).
  • The levels are capped at L12 (CEO).

You can begin your application process by searching for “Product Management - Non-Tech” roles on Amazon’s careers page. You will see that project/program/product management--non-tech is an option for you to further filter your results.

Technical Background

Amazon considers having a technical background an asset, but the product manager role is open to those from all backgrounds. Many product leaders at Amazon thrive without having a technical background.

New Graduate

Amazon’s PM program specifically recruits new grads from MBA programs (the largest cohort of all Amazon’s new grad PMs) and other graduate programs. While the majority of MBA grads get L6 positions, some candidates can get L5 roles depending on their experience and expertise.

Experienced Hire

Amazon also hires experienced professionals of various backgrounds into product management.

Interview Process

What is the process for Amazon to hire new product managers? On average, expect the hiring process to take about five weeks.

  1. Applying for the job: Tailor your product manager resume to be Amazon-specific, write a concise cover letter, and seek out referrals for Amazon from your own connections or through Exponent's referral network.
  2. HR Recruiter: An HR Recruiter from Amazon will call you to assess your readiness for an interview.
  3. Phone Screens: Meet with hiring manager or a product manager at Amazon and answer some questions about yourself and your experience.
  4. Take-home questions: Amazon sometimes asks candidates to complete a take-home case study usually one or two pages long.
  5. On-site interviews: You'll complete five or six interviews in a single day in the "on-site" interview at Amazon. Meet with stakeholders, other PMs, and more.
  6. Review
  7. Offer: If Amazon wants to hire you, you'll get an offer!

Screening (Optional)

You may begin your process by speaking with a recruiter. The purpose of this call is to ensure that you’re a good fit for the role. It’s a fairly straightforward call about your background and fit for the role. Be prepared to elaborate on your work experience as listed on your resume, and be prepared to share why you are interested in the role to which you applied for, and why you want to work at Amazon.

If you do not have a screening, Amazon may just ask for your availability for a first phone call through an automated email.

Phone Interview

You will then have a phone call with either the hiring manager or an existing product manager. Sometimes, this interviewer will not be from the team that you applied to work on. This initial conversation will take one hour and have two parts.

First, the interviewer would like to ensure you understand the role you applied for. You'll be asked to explain your understanding of what the job entails. Be sure to do in-depth research into the role, as you may be asked to elaborate on certain aspects of the job. For example, if you applied for a PM role related to the cloud, the interviewer may inquire about your understanding of the cloud and why people use it. It is recommended to have some quick bullets from your background to bring up here, to show why you fit not only the basic requirements of the PM job, but also the preferred qualifications.

Second, you will be asked a few questions on how you demonstrate Amazon's 14 leadership principles. This will be a recurring theme, so be sure to make yourself familiar with the company's 14 principles.

An Amazon product manager Exponent spoke with mentioned, in their initial phone interview, they were asked to talk about a time they declined a customer request and a time they wowed a customer. You will receive the results of this interview within 24 hours via email. Note that some candidates may encounter two phone interviews at this stage. You can expect to similarly encounter behavioral questions based on Amazon's leadership principles and product or strategy questions in this second phone interview.

On-Site Round

The on-site interview consists of 5 rounds, each round lasting 1 hour. You will start off with five minutes of introductions, then 50 minutes for your interview, followed by 5 minutes for any questions you may have for your interviewer.

A typical schedule will look like this: 10 AM to 12 PM - two interviews 12 PM to 1 PM - lunch 1 PM to 4 PM - three interviews

Throughout your day, you will speak with a mix of the following Amazon employees: product managers, technical program managers, software developers, software development managers, a bar raiser, and the hiring manager. Regardless of whom you're interviewing with, you will again be asked to speak on Amazon's 14 leadership principles.

All of these interviewers carry equal weight in the evaluation process (with the exception of the bar raiser). A bar raiser is an interviewer from a different business unit than the one that you are applying for. This bar raiser interviewer will be more senior than the level you are applying for and holds special veto power. Their responsibility is not to gauge your fit for the team, but rather they are looking for your fit with Amazon. Bar raisers ensure that candidates who get hired are at least better than 50% of the current workforce.

During the lunch hour, you will have the opportunity to grab food with someone outside of the interview committee. You will be encouraged to ask any questions you otherwise wouldn't be comfortable asking the hiring manager. Details of your lunch conversations will not be disclosed to the interview committee.

You will receive the results of your on-site interview within 24 hours.


If you've done well and there is a mutual fit, you'll receive an offer. Congratulations! You will have a phone call with an Amazon recruiter 24 hours after your on-site interview, where you will be asked for your expectations for your compensation. Your compensation for a non-tech PM role will be a mix of base salary, joining bonus, as well as stocks.

While compensation depends on a variety of factors, those on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) team generally gets paid the most while those on the human resources team typically get paid the least.

As an example, a non-tech product manager Exponent spoke with revealed their offer consisted of $145k base salary, $110k joining bonus (paid monthly over the course of two years), and $200k in stocks (5% the first year, 15% the second year, 40% the third year, and the remaining 40% in the fourth year at the company).

If you performed well in the on-site, but the team did not feel there is a good mutual fit, you may enter a team matching stage where you speak with different hiring managers from other teams. You can expect these post-onsite questions to be more casual. To be on the safe side, you should still brush up on Amazon's leadership principles and have stories for how you embody them.

Sample Interview Questions

Amazon's behavioral interviews fall into categories based on their leadership principles.

Customer Obsession

Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

  • Tell me about a time when you declined a customer requirement.
  • Tell me about a time when a customer gave you critical feedback.
  • Tell me about a time when you developed something for a customer that they did not ask for.
Featured lessons on Customer ObsessionCustomer Obsession: Pain Point
Customer Obsession: Pain PointVideo Answer


Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job."

  • Tell me about a time when you worked on a project outside of your scope.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to leave a task unfinished.

Invent and Simplify

Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here." As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.

  • Tell me about the most innovative project you worked on, why it was innovative, and what the challenges were.
  • Tell me about a time when you gave a simple solution to a complex problem.
Featured lessons on Invent and SimplifyInvent and Simplify: Simple Solution
Invent and Simplify: Simple SolutionVideo Answer

Are Right, A Lot

Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.

  • Tell me about a time where you made a decision without having complete information.
  • Tell me about a time you made a design decision where a lot of people had opposed you. Why did they oppose you?
  • Tell me about a time you made a design decision where a lot of people had agreed with you. Why did they agree with you?
Featured lessons on Are Right, A LotAre Right A Lot: Instincts
Are Right A Lot: InstinctsVideo Answer

Learn and Be Curious

Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.

  • Tell me about a skill you recently learned. How did you learn it?
  • Tell me about an experience you went through that changed your way of thinking.
Featured lessons on Learn and Be CuriousLearn and Be Curious: New Skill
Learn and Be Curious: New SkillVideo Answer

Hire and Develop the Best

Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.

Note: This leadership is less frequently touched upon in the interview.

  • Tell me about a time when one of your team members had difficulty doing a project. What did you do?
  • Who is the most important person in your life and why?
Featured lessons on Hire and Develop the BestHire/Develop The Best: Team Member
Hire/Develop The Best: Team MemberVideo Answer

Insist on Highest Standards

Leaders have relentlessly high standards — many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high-quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.

  • Tell me about a time when everything was going well on a project, yet you worked on an improvement that no one had asked for. What was the improvement? Why did you think it was important? How would you measure success?
  • Tell me about a time when you raised the bar.
Featured lessons on Insist on Highest StandardsHighest Standards: Raising the Bar
Highest Standards: Raising the BarVideo Answer

Think Big

Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.

  • Tell me about a time when you initiated work on a project that both impacted a majority of your team and had a lot of opposition.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a bold and difficult decision.
Featured lessons on Think BigThink Big: Difficult Decision
Think Big: Difficult DecisionVideo Answer

Bias for Action

Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk-taking.

  • Tell me about a time when you had a conflict and you had multiple ways to resolve it. How did you evaluate your options? Which solution did you choose and why?
  • Tell me about a time when you made a decision too quickly and what you would have done differently.
Featured lessons on Bias for ActionBias for Action: Calculated Risk
Bias for Action: Calculated RiskVideo Answer


Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size, or fixed expense.

Note: This leadership is less frequently touched upon in the interview.

  • Tell me about a time when you had to work with limited time or resources.
  • Tell me about a time where you turned down more resources to complete an assignment.

Earn Trust

Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.

  • How do you earn the trust of stakeholders?
  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.
  • Tell me about a time when you worked on a project that got delayed. How did you handle it? Once you know it would be delayed, explain the actions you took afterwards.
Featured lessons on Earn TrustEarn Trust: Mistake
Earn Trust: MistakeVideo Answer

Dive Deep

Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdotes differ. No task is beneath them.

  • Tell me about a time when you had a problem and you had to go through several hoops to discover the root cause.
  • Tell me about a time when you had a problem yet no one was willing to investigate since they thought it was outside their scope of ownership.
Featured lessons on Dive DeepDive Deep: Root Cause
Dive Deep: Root CauseVideo Answer

Have Backbone

Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

  • Tell me about a time when an idea you proposed was not agreed on. How did you react?
  • What do you believe that no one else does?
Featured lessons on Have BackboneDisagree and Commit: Idea Proposal
Disagree and Commit: Idea ProposalVideo Answer

Deliver Results

Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.

  • Tell me about your proudest project.
  • Tell me about a time when everyone else on your team gave up on something but you pushed the team towards delivering a result.
Featured lessons on Deliver ResultsDeliver Results: Proudest Project
Deliver Results: Proudest ProjectVideo Answer


When Exponent spoke with a few folks who interviewed for the Amazon non-tech PM role, some had reported that they also encountered the following questions

  • How do you prioritize requests from multiple stakeholders?
  • What is your favorite and second most favorite leadership principle?
  • Which leadership principle do you least resonate with?

Hiring Decision

After your on-site interview, those who interviewed you will debrief together and discuss if the team got a positive signal for each of Amazon's leadership principles. All of the leadership principles are equally important.

You will be mostly evaluated based on the responses you provide to questions regarding leadership principles. Each on-site interviewer will be assigned 2 leadership principles, for which they will ask you questions. If any of your answers violates any of the leadership principles, that will be a red flag and send a negative signal.

For example, let's suppose you were working on a project and a critical co-worker, whom you needed something from, was on vacation. It would send a negative signal for the "ownership" principle to assume you can wait for your co-worker to return from vacation because their work is not in your scope of ownership.

The most important factor in your hiring decision is your ability to answer the behavioral questions. Be prepared to communicate clearly and succinctly. You should also be able to show in your answers to the leadership principles that you have the ability to think solutions that work well at large scale.

Tips and Strategies

Be extremely well-versed in the principles. Not only should you have at least two examples prepared to corroborate why you embody each leadership principle, but also you must not violate any of the other leadership principles in your answer (which would send a negative signal). The questions will all be in the format of "tell me about x." Oftentimes, the interviewer will then follow-up with "Give me another example of this leadership principle" (hence the importance of preparing more than one example for each leadership principle).

One framework that works well is STAR: situation, task, action, result. In this framework, you would first provide some context as to what was the situation you faced. Then, you would bring up which tasks you were involved in to resolve the situation. Next, you would dive into the actions you took, and finally, what the results of your actions were. Check out some sample questions asked by Amazon in their PM interviews here.

Finally, check out this blog for ideas on what you may want to ask your PM interviewer, and this blog for some tips on conducting remote interviews.

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