The Amazon Bar Raiser Interview is considered by many to be the most challenging element of the Amazon hiring process. Many candidates are very nervous about this part of the process. This is why we have created this article, which explains the role of the Amazon Bar Raiser and the steps you need to take to succeed with the Bar Raiser Interview and get hired by Amazon.
In this article, you will find:
Let’s get started.
The Bar Raiser interview is the last stage in the Amazon interview process. In this stage, you will be facing several interviewers, one of whom is the Bar Raiser. You will not be told which of the interviewers is the Bar Raiser, but in this stage, you may be asked some of the most challenging questions.
The Bar Raiser is supposed to be an unbiased expert – that is to say, he is not a member of the hiring department, so they’re not supposed to have an interest in the outcome of the process of hiring. Instead, the Bar Raiser is supposed to ask you challenging questions to ensure the most qualified employees get hired.
Bar Raisers are also supposed to ensure that the hiring manager conducts the interview properly and does not ask ‘softball’ questions. They even have the authority to veto the hiring manager’s decision to hire a candidate.
The objective Bar Raisers are supposed to pursue is ensuring the new hire is better than at least 50% of existing Amazon employees in comparable positions. This is why this person is called a Bar Raiser – their job is to raise the bar!
Some people feel that it is very important to know who the Bar Raiser is from among their interviewers. This isn’t necessarily true – if you prepare for your interview and do your best, your likelihood of success isn’t really impacted by your ability to identify the Bar Raiser.
In some interviews, the candidate is told at the beginning which of the interviewers is the Amazon Bar Raiser. In other interviews, this is not mentioned. It is often possible, however, to guess who the Bar Raiser is.
An Amazon Bar Raiser is typically an experienced employee (with at least three years of experience at Amazon). The main clue to their identity is that they cannot be part of the department that is hiring for the position for which they are being interviewed.
That said, it’s entirely possible that you won’t be able to identify the Amazon Bar Raiser. This is all right. Just do your best in the interview regardless of whether you recognize who the Bar Raiser is.
Bar Raisers take part in interviews for professional or management positions, such as Area Manager or Software Development Engineer (SDE) positions. If you are applying for one of those roles, you will almost certainly encounter an Amazon Bar Raiser.
Applicants for more junior roles, such as delivery or warehouse positions, will probably not have to go through a Bar Raiser interview.
In some senses, Amazon Bar Raisers are just like other interviewers. To prepare for the Amazon Bar Raiser interview, you should go over the things you’ve studied for when you were preparing for other steps of the Amazon hiring process.
Bar Raisers are really interested in the same things as other interviewers. They want to see a candidate that shows good leadership skills (that’s why the 16 Amazon Leadership Principles are so important), who can perform well under stress, and who comes up with their own solutions to problems.
Arguably, the questions asked by Bar Raisers are much the same as those asked by other interviewers at Amazon, except that a Bar Raiser is trained to ‘drill down’ and expect more in-depth answers. Some sample questions are:
Like other Amazon interviewers, Amazon Bar Raisers expect you to follow the STAR format for most of your answers.
This consists of Situation, Task, Action, and Result – you need to provide context by describing the Situation in which you were, the Task you needed to accomplish, and then describe the Action you took to accomplish these goals, and finally, the Result you achieved. (Which may or may not have been a success).
You should strive to use the STAR format to better illustrate how you applied the Amazon Leadership Principles in your own experiences.
When answering the interview questions, you should avoid sounding nervous or less than confident. You should highlight your successes, of course – but you should avoid the extreme of totally refusing to admit failure. Good leaders are right most of the time, but they also admit failure when necessary and know how to deal with it.
At the end of the interview, you should strive to appear willing to learn. Ask the interviewers about their experiences working for Amazon or pose questions about how you can best improve to become a better candidate for an Amazonian.
The Amazon Bar Raiser Interview is not some totally separate type of interview that’s entirely different from regular Amazon interviews. Amazon Bar Raisers ask the same types of behavioral questions regular interviewers ask; they are just trained to drill deeper and challenge candidates more.
Therefore, you get ready to meet the Bar Raiser in the same way you get ready for the other interviewers – you study for the interview, rehearse your knowledge of the 16 Leadership Questions, and work with sample questions. Here much like with other elements of the Amazon hiring process, hard work pays off!