Here's What It Takes To Land A $100K Job With Amazon

** From my weekly newsletter to TheLadders.com subscribers **

I’ve been on the road these past few weeks, meeting with our customers Microsoft, Lucas Group, Starbucks, and many others. What I’m hearing from them is what you would expect during the turnaround year of a recession: budgets have stopped being cut, HR staff is stretched thin, and the conversations are all about the hundreds or thousands of employees that these companies need to add in the coming year.

I was particularly enchanted with my friends at Amazon — I’ve been visiting their campus for the better part of the decade, and this year the buzz is as strong as I’ve ever felt it. And, no, I don’t think it’s just Seattle’s awesome coffee culture that’s got them buzzing.

So I thought I’d ask them a few questions on landing your $100,000+ job order with Amazon this Monday morning…

Susan Harker, Amazon’s Director of Global Talent Acquisition, was kind enough to spend some time answering my questions on Amazon’s hiring philosophy, innovation, and what it’s like to build at the company with a smile on, and in, every box!

MC: Amazon has pledged to be “Earth’s most customer-centric company.” Does that affect hiring decisions even for jobs that aren’t traditionally customer facing? If so, how?

SH: Being customer-centric is the cornerstone of Amazon’s business, and our teams work hard every day to innovate on behalf of our customers. It doesn’t matter which area of the business you’re in. We always start with the customer and work backwards, and this touches every part of the hiring and employee experience. Every position in the company impacts our customers, and Amazonians work hard to build solutions in every area of our business.

MC: I’ve heard that the interview process at Amazon can be long and exacting. What can a senior candidate expect from first interview to offer?

SH: One of Amazon’s leadership principles is hiring and developing the best. Through our interview process, candidates talk about their skills and experience and ask questions through phone and in-person interviews. As well as understanding our candidates’ backgrounds in depth, we ask our candidates to get hands-on in interviews, which may mean coding on a whiteboard in real-time or solving a business problem. This is what it’s like to work at Amazon — senior level Amazonians provide vision and direction, but can also roll up their sleeves.

MC: What are some of the hottest skill sets in demand at Amazon today?

SH: At Amazon, we’re looking for analytical and critical thinkers with great judgment who can both think big and roll up their sleeves to solve hard problems on behalf of our customers. A spirit of innovation is part of our DNA at Amazon, and we’re looking for leaders who can drive innovation in their area and enjoy solving hard problems. While technical skills are important, we really value these more intangible traits.

MC: I enjoyed your 2008 video series showing the working life of Amazon employees (http://www.youtube.com/user/InsideAmazon). How do you assess cultural fit at Amazon?

SH: Our company motto is ‘work hard, have fun and make history’. There’s no particular formula for assessing cultural fit, just as there is no formula for a typical Amazonian — we look for smart candidates that are great problem solvers, have a bias for action, and can get the job done. We also have a set of Leadership Principles, which include thinking long-term, innovating, and thinking big, that define successful leadership traits at Amazon. We look for people to join Amazon who embody these principles.

MC: What would you like a former employee to say first about Amazon if someone asked about working there?

SH: Employees at Amazon have an opportunity to make an impact and solve hard problems on behalf of our customers. It’s a place where builders can build and anyone can drive great innovation for customers. It’s a place where employees are super engaged and passionate about creating a great customer experience.

MC: For our 4 million professionals thinking about their next great job, what’s the first thing you’d want a prospective employee to know about a career at Amazon?

SH: Amazonians are builders. We work together every day to innovate on behalf of our customers, and we’re looking for people who want to join us in building solutions in every area of our business. We have tough and interesting problems to solve in all areas of the business, and it’s an environment that values and recognises builders.

MC: Thanks for your time, Susan!

…Well, folks, that’s the straight scoop direct from the folks who brought us the Kindle, Mechanical Turk, and Earth’s Largest Bookstore.

Amazon has 187 jobs live on our site today, check them out!:

Fianance Jobs Senior Financial Analyst Phoenix, AZ Senior Financial Analyst Carlisle, PA Site Controller Carlisle, PA Site Controller Lexington, KY HR Jobs Sr. Human Resources Business Partner PA Diversity Program Leader Seattle, WA Human Resources Business Partner – Phoenix, AZ Phoenix, AZ Human Resources Manager Plainfield, IN Human Resources Manager New Castle, DE Sr HR Business Partner Phoenix, AZ Sr. HR Business Partner Lake Forest, CA Sr. HR Business Partner New Castle, DE Sr. HR Business Partner Lake Forest, CA Sr. HR Business Partner, Technology – eCommerce Platform Group Seattle, WA Sr. Human Resources Business Partner Plainfield, IN Sr. Recruiter – Digital Seattle, WA Sr. Recruiter Corporate Operations Seattle, WA Sr. Recruiting Manager, Retail Seattle, WA Marketing Jobs Email Marketing Manager – New Products Division Seattle, WA Marketing Manager Seattle, WA Senior Product Manager – New Products Division Seattle, WA Category Marketing Manager, Computers Seattle, WA Manager, Editorial Kindle Content Store Seattle, WA Senior Manager, Marketing – Amazon mum Seattle, WA Senior Merchant Product Manager – Automotive and Powersports Seattle, WA Senior Merchant Product Manager, Video Games Seattle, WA Senior Product Manager, IMDb Studio City, CA Senior Site Merchandiser, Appstore Seattle, WA Senior Site Merchandiser, Computers Seattle, WA Sr. Product Manager Seattle, WA Sr. Product Manager Seattle, WA Sr. Product Manager Kindle Content Seattle, WA Vendor Manager – Video Games Seattle, WA Principal, Product Management – AmazonWireless.com Seattle, WA Senior Manager, Divisional Merchandise Manager -Toys Seattle, WA Senior Product Manager, Amazon Fresh Seattle, WA Senior Vendor Manager / Senior Buyer, Home Improvement Seattle, WA Sr Mgr, Print Magazines Seattle, WA Amazon Green Product Manager Seattle, WA Director of Business Development – Digital and Mobile Products Seattle, WA Product Manager Seattle, WA Operations Jobs Manager, Content Operations Seattle, WA Capacity Planning Manager Seattle, WA Customer Service Manager Huntington, WV Customer Service Operations Data Analyst Seattle, WA Director – Kindle Accessories Business Seattle, WA Director – Kindle Worldwide Demand Planning and In-stock Management Leader Seattle, WA General Manager, Author Central Seattle, WA Global Import / Export Program Manager Seattle, WA Global Security Systems Manager Seattle, WA Kindle Project/Program Manager – CS Seattle, WA Senior Instock Manager, Tools & Home Improvement Seattle, WA Senior Operations / Ingestion Manager – Disc on Demand Seattle, WA Senior Technical Account Manager, Kindle Content Operations Seattle, WA Senior Vendor Manager / Senior Buyer, Home Improvement Seattle, WA Sr. Mgr of Program Management – Transportation Platform Seattle, WA Sr. Operations Research Scientist Seattle, WA Sr. Product Manager – Customer Notification Seattle, WA WW Physical Security Project Manager Seattle, WA Director of Engineering – Digital and Mobile Applications Seattle, WA Director of Engineering – Digital and Mobile Applications Seattle, WA Manager, Content Operations Seattle, WA Programmer / Analyst – Customer Service Seattle, WA Senior Engineering Manager – Digital and Mobile Applications Seattle, WA Sales Jobs National Sales Representative – New Products Seattle, WA Head of Kindle Content Acquisition – USTop Tier Publishers Seattle, WA Sr. Manager, Account Management Seattle, WA Director of Business Development – Digital and Mobile Products Seattle, WA Principal Business Development Manager – Digital and Mobile Products Seattle, WA Senior Business Development Manager – Digital and Mobile Products Seattle, WA Senior Vendor Manager Seattle, WA Sr. Account Manager Retail Seattle, WA Sr. Manager – Publisher Operations Seattle, WA Technology Jobs eLearning Developer Seattle, WA eLearning Developer Huntington, WV Customer Service Operations Data Analyst Grand Forks, ND Sr. Business Analyst – Operations Seattle, WA BuildMaster – Device Drivers and Linux OS Seattle, WA Business Analyst Seattle, WA Data Analysis Manager Seattle, WA Data-Mining/Information Retrieval-Senior Software Engineer Seattle, WA Director of Engineering – Digital and Mobile Applications Seattle, WA Director of Engineering – Digital and Mobile Applications Seattle, WA Front-end Software Developer, Display Ad Execution Excellence Seattle, WA Hadoop / Lucene-Sr. Software Development Engineer Seattle, WA Hadoop / MapReduce – Senior Software Development Engineer Seattle, WA Intl. Program Manager, Amazon Digital Seattle, WA Machine Learning, NLP, IR – Senior Technical Program Manager (TPM) Seattle, WA Manager Quality Assurance – Device Drivers and Linux OS Seattle, WA Manager, Software Development Lake Forest, CA Operations Manager – AWS Dev Suppt Seattle, WA Principal Technical Program Manager Seattle, WA Principal Technical Program Manager Seattle, WA Principal Technical Program Manager Seattle, WA Product Manager Seattle, WA Product Manager Seattle, WA Product Manager – AWS Cloud Front Seattle, WA Product Manager – AWS New Business Seattle, WA Product Manager – Elastic Block Store Seattle, WA Product Manager – Simple Storage Svc Seattle, WA Programmer / Analyst – Customer Service Seattle, WA Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer – Ads, Search and Browse Experience Seattle, WA SDE in Test – Digital Products Seattle, WA Senior Engineering Manager – Digital and Mobile Applications Seattle, WA Senior Manager – Quality Assurance Seattle, WA Senior Manager Software Development- Amazon Green Seattle, WA Senior Manager, Infrastructure – Digital and Mobile Platforms and Applications Seattle, WA Senior Manager, Software Development San Luis Obispo, CA Senior Production Manager, Kindle Books Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Amazon EC2 Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Device Drivers and Linux OS Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Digital and Mobile Applications Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Digital and Mobile Applications Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Digital and Mobile Platforms Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Digital and Mobile Platforms Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Digital and Mobile Platforms Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Digital and Mobile Platforms and Applications Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – High Performance Services Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Scalable Systems Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Search Experience Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer – Targeting and Prediction Systems Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer -Targeting and Prediction Systems Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer, Amazon Studios Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer, Digital Media Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer, Display Ads Customer Experience Excellence Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer, Online Display Ads Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Engineer, Online Display Ads Seattle, WA Senior Software Development Manager – AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS) Seattle, WA Senior Software Engineering Manager – Browse team Seattle, WA Senior Software Engineering Manager – Display Ads, Web and Mobile Seattle, WA Senior Technical Program Manager – Search Experience Team Seattle, WA Senior Technical Program Manager – Website Application Platform Seattle, WA Senior Technical Program Manager, New Products – Display Ads Seattle, WA Senior Technical Program Manager- Display Advertisement Seattle, WA Senior UI Designer Seattle, WA Senior UX Designer Seattle, WA Senior UX Designer Seattle, WA Software Dev Engineer in Test (SDET), Ads, Search and Browse Experience (ASBX) team Seattle, WA Software Development Engineer – Amazon Studio Seattle, WA Software Development Engineer – Digital and Mobile Products Seattle, WA Software Development Engineer – Distributed Systems Seattle, WA Software Development Engineer – KDK Dev. Connection Seattle, WA Software Development Engineer – Machine Learning and Data Mining Seattle, WA Software Development Engineer – Scalable Infrastructure, Search Experience Team Seattle, WA Software Development Engineer – Scalable Merchant Systems Seattle, WA Software Development Engineer – Scalable Services- Ad Security Seattle, WA Software Development Engineer – Web Services and Applications Seattle, WA Software Development Manager Seattle, WA Software Development Manager – AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS) Seattle, WA Software Development Manager – AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS) Seattle, WA Software Development Manager – Kindle Offline Retail Seattle, WA Software Development Manager, Digital Media Seattle, WA Software Development Manager, Studios Seattle, WA Software Development Manager- AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) Seattle, WA Software Manager, AmazonFresh Seattle, WA Sr Tech PM WW Customer Returns and Kindle Operations Seattle, WA Sr, Product Manager Seattle, WA Sr. Applied Research Manager, Yield Optimization, Advertisement Team Seattle, WA Sr. Product Manager – Digital and Mobile Products Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Engineer – Amazon EC2 Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Engineer – Amazon S3 Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Engineer – Digital and Mobile Products Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Engineer – Digital Media Tech Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Engineer – Whispernet Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Engineer in Test, Kindle Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Engineer, Digital Fulfillment Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Engineer- Amazon EC2 Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Manager – Digital and Mobile Platforms and Applications Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Manager – Digital and Mobile Platforms and Applications Seattle, WA Sr. Software Development Manager- EC2 – CloudWatch Seattle, WA Sr. Software localisation QA Engineer, Amazon Digital Seattle, WA Sr. Technical Program Manager – Digital and Mobile Products Seattle, WA Sr. Technical Program Manager – Digital Services Seattle, WA Sr. Technical Program Manager, Display Advertisement Execution Excellence Seattle, WA Taxonomist & Browse Developer Seattle, WA Technical Program Manager Lake Forest, CA Technical Program Manager – Website Application Platform Seattle, WA Technical Program Manager, Amazon Studios Seattle, WA Technical Program Manager, Amazon Studios Seattle, WA Technical Project Manager Marietta, GA UX Designer – Digital and Mobile Products Seattle, WA UX Flash Framework -Senior Software Development Engineer Seattle, WA UX/Flash Framework- Senior Software Development Engineer, Online Display Ads Seattle, WA Web UI-Software Development Engineer -Display Advertsing Seattle, WA Other Jobs Regional Safety Manager Seattle, WA Senior Manager- Taxonomy Development Seattle, WA

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