Amazon Business Analyst Interview Guide | 2024 Edition

Tim S

Tim S

Tim currently works at FAANG as a data analyst. He's been in the industry for 5+ years and writes for Big Tech Interviews on the weekends. His favorite language is SQL and calls Denver, CO home.
As a potential Amazon Business Analyst, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the company’s principles and expectations. The Amazon Business Analyst Interview is a comprehensive evaluation of your skills and abilities, and it’s essential to prepare well to increase your chances of success.

At its core, Amazon is a large tech and e-commerce company focusing on product development and business analytics. As a Business Analyst, your primary responsibility will be developing a functional set of operational and business metrics to help the company grow.

This guide will take you through the step-by-step process for preparing for and ultimately cracking the Amazon interview, whether preparing for the SQL interview or approaching the final round. 

Overview of Amazon Business Analyst Interview

The Amazon Business Analyst assessment and interview process typically consists of 4 to 5 rounds. It typically involves the recruiter’s phone screen, technical interview, hiring manager interview, and the on-site loop. 

During the interview, you’ll be evaluated based on Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles, which aim to test your ability to think critically, solve problems, and work effectively with others. 

Overall, the Amazon Business Analyst online assessment and interview questions are a challenging but rewarding experience. By preparing yourself with a deep understanding of the company’s culture and principles and brushing up on your technical skills and business knowledge, you can increase your chances of success and secure a fulfilling role at Amazon. 

Key Qualifications and Responsibilities 

Amazon is one of the few large companies that has become more difficult to land a job offer at due to its increasing emphasis on “raising the bar.” To land your offer at Amazon, you’ll need an impressive background and the ability to answer technical and behavioral questions, ranging from SQL questions to Amazon business analyst-based questions

To qualify for a position as a Business Analyst at Amazon, you typically need:

  • Bachelor’s degree: A degree in finance, economics, operations, engineering, analytics, or a related field is a strong foundation. Candidates with an MBA or higher degree may have an advantage.
  • Experience: Candidates should have at least 2+ years of experience in relevant fields. This includes proficiency in:
  • Excel: Including VBA, pivot tables, array functions, power pivots, etc.
  • Data visualization tools: Experience with tools like Tableau is essential.
  • Analytical Skills: Demonstrated ability to conduct both quantitative and qualitative analysis effectively.

As a Business Analyst at Amazon, your responsibilities may include:

  • Solution Development: Manage developing and maintaining new and existing solution artifacts that enhance business efficiency through analysis, metrics, and reporting dashboards.
  • Collaboration: Partner with operations and business teams to consult, develop, and implement key performance indicators (KPIs), automated reporting/process solutions, and process improvements.
  • Data Analysis: Retrieve and aggregate data from multiple sources, compiling it into a digestible and actionable format to enable effective decision-making.
  • Reporting: Prepare and deliver business requirements reviews to the senior management team, updating them on progress and addressing any roadblocks.
  • Strategic Planning: Participate in strategic and tactical planning discussions to contribute insights and recommendations.
  • System Development: Design, develop, and maintain scaled, automated, user-friendly systems, reports, dashboards, etc., tailored to meet the evolving needs of the business.

How to Crack Amazon Business Analyst Interview

Before you can crack the interview process at Amazon, you need to understand what is fundamentally different with their hiring process compared to other companies. 

Emphasis on the STAR Method

Amazon’s interview process sets itself apart with a strong preference for the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to dive deep into your professional experiences. When faced with scenario-based questions, remember to:

  • Set the Scene: Briefly describe a relevant situation you were involved in.
  • Task at Hand: Outline the responsibilities assigned to you.
  • Action: Detail the steps you took to address the task.
  • Result: Highlight the outcomes of your actions, focusing on your impact and what you learned.

This approach showcases your problem-solving skills and demonstrates how you’ve applied them in real-world settings, with a strong emphasis on actions and results.

Technical Skills: A Must-Have

The technical aspect of the interview is equally critical, testing your proficiency in:

  • SQL queries and ETL processes.
  • Business case analysis.
  • Statistical analysis.
  • Product metrics.

Expect at least one round dedicated to evaluating your technical skills, primarily focused on SQL. Having a background in Python or familiarity with data visualization tools will give you an edge. Prepare to tackle Amazon-specific SQL questions and demonstrate your knowledge in data engineering, including data extraction and transformation.

Behavioral Interview: Showcasing Leadership

Amazon places a significant emphasis on leadership principles during the behavioral interview segment. Be ready to share instances from your past that demonstrate your leadership competencies, illustrating how you’ve led by example or navigated challenges effectively.

Knowing and having examples for each of the sixteen leadership principles is an often overlooked area of the interview process, but it’s critical. There’s even a round called the “bar raiser” where the interviewers’ sole responsibility is to ensure if the candidate joined the company, he/she would raise the bar. 

This might sound intense, but Amazon focuses on hiring well rather than quickly. The Bar Raiser Programme is just one example of their unique hiring process.

Want to Practice Real Amazon SQL Questions? Learn more here

Round 1: Phone Screen

The first round of the Amazon Business Analyst interview is typically held with the recruiter sourcing for the role. Their main objective is to ensure there are no red flags. For example, they’ll likely ask about your location, work preferences, salary expectations, and other related matters.

That said, it’s crucial you don’t overlook this round. You’ll need to prepare to answer questions such as, 

  • Why Amazon?
  • What about this job description stood out to you?
  • What are your salary expectations for this job?
  • When can you start?
  • What’s your experience using Excel, SQL, or data visualization tools? 

If you prepare adequately, your recruiter can become your most prominent advocate internally when the interviews are done, and the hiring team is finalizing who should get an offer.

Round 2: SQL assessment

The second round consists of a live coding challenge conducted by one of the senior business analysts or business intelligence engineers. The challenges and difficulties will vary depending on your role and experience, but almost all candidates will generally get a handful of Amazon SQL interview questions

During the technical interviews for a Business Analyst position at Amazon, interviewees can expect a comprehensive evaluation across several domains:

Database Management & SQL Expertise: Candidates should be prepared to showcase their SQL abilities by solving easy to complex SQL problems bug-free within a finite amount of time.  

Anticipate problems requiring advanced SQL techniques like subqueries, various types of joins, index utilization, aggregation operations, self-joins, and database normalization forms.

Real SQL Interview Questions for Amazon Business Analyst Interviews:

Real SQL Interview Concepts for Amazon Business Analyst Interviews: 

What is a DISTINCT clause? 

  • A DISTINCT clause eliminates duplicate values and ensures that only distinct (unique) values are returned in the query results.

What is the difference between UNION and UNION ALL? 

  • UNION combines the results of two queries and removes duplicate rows, effectively only returning unique rows from both queries. In contrast, UNION ALL returns all rows from both queries, including duplicates.

How do Window Functions work? 

  • Window Functions perform row-specific calculations using a set of rows related to the current row. Unlike aggregate functions like SUM(), which condense rows into a single output value, window functions maintain the individual row’s integrity in the output.

What is the difference between a primary key and a foreign key? 

  • A primary key is a unique identifier for rows within its own table, ensuring each row can be uniquely identified. A foreign key, however, references the primary key in another table, creating a link between two tables.

What is the difference between LEAD and LAG? 

  • LEAD provides access to a row that follows the current row in a specific order, while LAG allows access to rows that precede the current row.

Data Analysis Tools and Visualization Techniques: Questions may explore your experience with analytical and visualization software like Tableau and Excel. Interviewers are interested in understanding how you’ve leveraged these tools, whether at a previous company or open source project.

Data Analysis and Visualization Questions:

How would you visualize the sales performance of different product categories on Amazon over the last quarter?

  • Use a stacked bar chart to display total sales for each category, with layers representing different months in the quarter.
  • Implement a heat map to show which categories had the most sales on a given day, highlighting trends and peak sales days.

Can you create a dashboard using our Amazon sales data to highlight customer purchasing behaviors, including peak buying times and most popular products?

  • Yes, incorporate a line graph showing sales volume over time to identify peak buying times.
  • Add a ranking chart for most popular products based on sales data.
  • Integrate customer reviews and ratings to provide insights into customer preferences and satisfaction.

Describe a data visualization you would use to compare the effectiveness of various marketing strategies employed by Amazon across different regions.

  • Use a multi-axis line chart to compare marketing campaign reach (x-axis) and sales increase percentage (y-axis) across different regions.
  • A bubble chart could effectively illustrate the cost versus the impact of various strategies, with bubble size representing the cost and placement indicating the impact level.
  • Geographical heat maps to show which regions responded best to specific marketing strategies.

Data Engineering Know-how: Expect inquiries on your understanding of ETL processes, data warehousing frameworks including star and snowflake schema and the concept of clustered indexes. Your familiarity with constructing and managing data pipelines will be under scrutiny.

Data Engineering Interview Questions:

How would you design a data pipeline for processing customer purchase data in real time?

  • Utilize AWS Kinesis for real-time data ingestion, enabling scalable and durable collection of transactional data streams.
  • Implement AWS Lambda for serverless data processing, allowing code to be executed in response to Kinesis data streams, filtering, and transforming purchase data.
  • Store processed data in Amazon DynamoDB for high-speed, low-latency access, ensuring quick retrieval of customer purchase information.
  • Integrate Amazon S3 for long-term data storage, archiving processed data for future analytics and compliance purposes.
  • Use Amazon Athena for SQL-based queries on data stored in S3, enabling complex analysis and reporting without moving data.

Can you describe a scenario where you had to optimize a slow-running query critical to your project’s performance?

  • Situation: A critical report took too long to generate due to a slow-running query on a large dataset.
  • Actions:
    • Analyzed the query execution plan to identify bottlenecks.
    • Applied indexing on columns frequently used in the WHERE clause to speed up data retrieval.
    • Optimized joining conditions and restructured the query to reduce computational complexity.
    • Implemented query partitioning to break the query into smaller, more manageable chunks.
    • Moved frequently accessed data into an in-memory cache to reduce database load.
  • Result: The optimizations significantly reduced execution time, improving the report generation speed by over 70%.

Explain how you would use AWS services to build and scale a data warehouse for a global e-commerce platform.

  • Utilize Amazon Redshift as the core data warehousing solution, providing fast query execution and storage scalability for large datasets.
  • Implement Amazon Redshift Spectrum to query vast amounts of unstructured data directly in Amazon S3 without loading it into Redshift, facilitating efficient analysis of all stored data.
  • Use AWS Glue for data cataloging and as an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) service to prepare and transform e-commerce data for analysis.
  • Leverage Amazon QuickSight for business intelligence and data visualization, allowing stakeholders to access insights from the data warehouse easily.
  • Implement Amazon VPC for network isolation, AWS IAM for access control, and Amazon KMS for data encryption to ensure data security and compliance.

Data Engineering Interview Concepts Include:

  • The distinctions between star schema and snowflake schema.
  • A detailed explanation of the ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process with an instance.
  • Discussing challenges and solutions in data integration from diversified sources.
  • Clarifying the concept of a clustered index with an example.
  • Evaluating different types of data warehouses and contrasting them.

Statistical Analysis and Logical Thinking: Be prepared for queries testing your knowledge of statistical calculations like mean, median, mode, standard deviation, etc., alongside logic-based and analytical problem-solving questions.

Typical Statistical Analysis and Logic-Related Concepts:

  • Analyzing and computing mean, median, and mode for skewed distributions and their relational dynamics.
  • Describing absolute dispersion measures with examples.
  • Problems involving standard deviation calculations and logical puzzles.

Overall,  the key to success in an Amazon business analyst technical interview is a combination of technical knowledge, critical thinking skills, and market acumen. Being well-prepared and able to showcase your experience and expertise will help you stand out as a strong candidate for the role. Remember to research Amazon’s business model, product lines, and current trends before the interview, and be ready to provide specific

Round 3: Hiring Manager Interview

The third round consists of a 45-60-minute interview with the hiring manager. This round is focused mainly on your technical and non-technical prior experience. You’ll likely cover questions resembling case, product-sense, and behavioral questions. 

Scenario-Based Problem Solving: Interviews often include situational questions asking candidates to identify metrics, data sources, or recommendations for hypothetical business scenarios, testing analytical and strategic thinking.

Amazon Business Analyst Case Questions Could Be:

How do you measure a new product’s success on Amazon?

  • Look at sales figures and revenue for overall performance.
  • Analyze customer reviews and ratings for satisfaction and areas to improve.
  • Check conversion and click-through rates to see consumer interest.
  • Review market trends and competitor performance for industry comparison.

How can customer behavior insights improve Amazon’s recommendation system?

  • Use Amazon’s data on customer activities (purchases, searches, views) to find behavior patterns.
  • Apply data analytics and AI to tailor product suggestions, enhancing user experience.
  • Investigate cart abandonment rates and gather feedback to refine recommendations.

What strategies can boost retention for Amazon’s subscription services like Prime?

  • Analyze retention rates and identify factors leading to churn, such as usage and purchase habits.
  • Launch targeted marketing with personalized offers to keep customers engaged.
  • Learn from competitors’ retention methods to improve Amazon’s strategies.
  • Regular surveys should be conducted to gather member feedback to enhance service and retention.

Product Acumen and Market Insight: Understanding Amazon’s business model, product lines, and e-commerce trends might be assessed to gauge your strategic insight into potential growth avenues for Amazon.

Product Sense Questions Include:

  • How would you improve Amazon’s recommendation system?
    • Analyze user behavior data to personalize recommendations more effectively.
    • Incorporate real-time data analysis to suggest products based on current browsing.
    • Integrate a feedback loop for users to refine recommendations.
  • What metrics would you use to evaluate the success of a new feature in the Amazon app?
  • User engagement rate before and after the feature launch.
  • Conversion rate changes related to the new feature.
  • Feedback and ratings from users specifically about the feature.
  • How would you assess the demand for a new product category on Amazon?
  • Analyze search query trends related to the product category.
  • Evaluate competitor sales data and market trends.
  • Surveys or A/B tests should be conducted to gauge customer interest levels.

Behavioral Questions Include:

Tell me about a time when you had to analyze a large data set to make a business decision. What approach did you use, and what was the outcome?

  • Analyzed customer feedback data to improve product features.
  • Utilized SQL and Python for data extraction and analysis.
  • Results led to a 15% increase in customer satisfaction.

Describe a situation in which you had to negotiate with stakeholders to ensure they aligned with your analysis findings. How did you ensure everyone was onboard?

  • Identified conflicting interests among stakeholders.
  • Organized meetings to discuss findings and potential impacts on each department.
  • Facilitated a consensus by highlighting long-term benefits and securing stakeholder agreement.

Can you share an experience where you had to manage a project with tight deadlines and limited resources? How did you handle it?

  • Prioritized project tasks based on impact and urgency.
  • Negotiated for additional resources by presenting a business case to management.
  • Implemented weekly check-ins to monitor progress, allowing for early issue identification and resolution

Round 4: Onsite, Final Loop Interview

The Final Loop interview consists of 5-6 interviews back-to-back with a small break in-between to eat or go to the bathroom. You’ll likely be onsite to meet the team depending on the role location and requirements. 

Examples of Onsite, Final Loop Interview Questions: 

  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision with limited information. How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
  • Describe a time when you had to manage a project with competing priorities and tight deadlines. How did you prioritize and ensure successful completion?
  • Can you share an experience where you had to adapt quickly to a changing situation or unexpected challenge? How did you handle it and what was the result?

Tips and Tricks to Pass the Amazon Business Analyst Interview

After interviewing myself at Amazon and AWS for this role in the past, here are some tips to help you ace the interview:

Leadership Principles are Crucial

You’ll want at-least three well-thought-out responses ready that exemplify the company’s Leadership Principles. Typically, within a one-hour interview, an interviewer may ask about two or three questions, focusing on two specific Principles. This format requires that each answer should be detailed and last between 12 to 15 minutes, incorporating measurable data for clarity. It’s crucial to employ the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method in your responses and practice timing them, as they often require more time than anticipated. Listen carefully to each question instead of trying to categorize it by Leadership Principle to maintain focus. Preparing a combination of technical and non-technical replies will better demonstrate your range of skills. Ensure your answers are original for each interview and avoid reusing responses from prior sessions, including the initial meeting with the recruiter. 

Prepare with real Amazon SQL interview questions

You can practice free and premium SQL questions using our dynamic SQL engine. There’s over 25+ Amazon specific questions with easy to follow step-by-step video tutorials.  Get a sample of Amazon SQL questions here.

Practice Behavioral and Technical Questions

Aside from the Leadership Principle questions, you’ll also be asked behavioral and technical questions. Be sure to practice common behavioral questions such as “Tell me about a time when…” or “Can you give an example of a project where you had to manage tight deadlines?” As for technical questions, make sure you have a solid understanding of basic SQL, Excel, and data analysis concepts. You can also practice with real Amazon business analyst interview questions to get a feel for the types of technical questions they may ask.

Do Your Research on Amazon

It’s important to have a good understanding of Amazon’s business model, products, and market trends. Take some time to research the company before your interview to demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the company.

Don’t underestimate the “Bar Raiser” interview

In almost all Amazon interviews, if you make it far enough, you’ll encounter the “Bar Raiser”. This is someone not on the direct team you’re interviewing to join who will be more objective in terms of determining your fit within the org and likelihood of fitting culturally with the company. 

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What should candidates expect during the Amazon Business Analyst interview process?

  • Candidates undergoing the interview process for a Business Analyst position at Amazon can anticipate a mix of both behavioral and technical interviews. The aim of the behavioral interviews is to evaluate the candidate’s critical thinking and communication skills. Technical interviews, on the other hand, test the candidate’s proficiency in data analysis and their problem-solving capabilities. Applicants may also encounter case studies or project-oriented interviews to gauge their practical application skills in real-world scenarios.

How extensive is the interview process for a Business Analyst role at Amazon?  

  • The depth of the interview process for an Amazon Business Analyst role can differ based on the department and the specific position. Generally, candidates should expect to complete two to three rounds of interviews. The process typically begins with a phone screening, followed by one or two face-to-face interviews, potentially culminating in a final round with senior management or the hiring team.

What compensation can a Business Analyst expect at Amazon?  

  • Compensation for a Business Analyst at Amazon varies with the role’s demands and the candidate’s experience. On average, a Business Analyst can expect a base salary of about $90,000 annually. Additionally, there may be opportunities for supplementary compensation through bonuses, stock options, and other benefits.

How does the interview process for an Amazon BA intern differ from that of a full-time BA role?  

  • The interview process for an Amazon Business Analyst intern position shares similarities with that of the full-time role, albeit being slightly less demanding. It focuses more on evaluating the intern candidate’s potential for learning and growth. The intern interview might also explore the applicant’s future aspirations, interests, and professional goals.

Can I apply to Amazon again after being rejected?   

  • Yes, a candidate can reapply to Amazon after being rejected. However, it is recommended to wait at least six months before reapplying and make sure to address any feedback given from the previous application process. 

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