Senior TPM interview at Amazon - tips and experience
Recently interviewed for a Senior TPM at Amazon and got the job. My overall experience was very good. Started with a call from the Amazon recruiter who explained the role with a lot of clarity. First round was a phone interview with hiring manager - it was behavioral with a lot of emphasis on the technical aspects of the projects I was describing. Second round was with a peer, and that was also technical focused. I was pressed deep on technical aspects of the projects being described (“dive deep”). Both these rounds were centered around Amazon’s principles but the strong emphasis was on being technically competent. Then there was a written assessment that was to be submitted 2-3 days before onsite. At onsite there were 6 rounds in total with hiring manager (again), with a senior L8 manager, QA, System design with software engineer, PM-T and finally the Bar raiser. All
questions were centered around the Amazon principles but most of them ended up being focused on how technical I was and what I had done. System design was around a real problem that the team was facing and how I would solve it instead of deaign whatsapp / design Netflix style questions. All the interviewers seemed well prepared and had read my reading assignment. Got a confirmation within 2 days of interviewing.
Here are some tips:
- Listen to your recruiters advice - they are there to help and are on your side! These are top class recruiters and can give you very helpful tips. I got great insights from mine, like what to expect during the onsite, how to prepare and about staying technical even in the behavioral examples.
- Ask the recruiter about the profiles of the onsite interviewers (if not already shared) and look them up on LinkedIn. It’s ok if they see that you have viewed their profile. Having a knowledge of their background will be helpful.
- Prepare a lot in advance, even the seemingly innocuous question like “tell me about yourself”. Make sure you present a clear picture of what you are doing at present, what you did in the past ( keep it brief and don’t start with your highschool girlfriend :)) and what you want to do at Amazon in this role.
- Amazon interviews you for the company and not just the specific role. You need to study the principles and explain with credible examples from your work experience. I come from a completely different industry from the one I got hired into at Amazon.
- A good tip is to prep at least 2 examples
for every principle. 2 because multiple interviewers may ask you about the same principle and its generally not a good idea to repeat (though I did repeat a couple)
- You will be interrupted a lot and may be thrown off your train of thinking - that is by design. So look
for examples in your work ex that are real and you have actually dealt with. That way you can stay focused and will be better able to deal with the interruptions. Prep for this style - have a friend or partner roleplay this style of interviewing. DON’T make examples up!
- For system design, it is a great idea to watch a lot of system design interviews, but even more important to actually practice them on a white board. Here are a couple that I found useful:
It is very important that you don’t immediately jump to the solution space. Stay within the problem space for the first 5 minutes or so. Ask questions of the interviewer to understand what he/she really wants and narrow down the scope to a few featutes
that can actually fit in an hour. When describing the solution, start with the 30K ft view and narrow it down with more detail (UML diagrams, pseudo code if comfortable)
- The bar raiser can veto all other interviewers but there is really no special prep for that. Just focus on the principle and answer accordingly. Prepare to be interrupted and still maintain your train of thought.
- Be respectful at all times, even if the interviewer says something that you don’t think is accurate (mostly because he/she is from a different industry)
All the best and I hope these tips help!