Amazon 行为面试解析

Amazon是一家非常注重行为面试(Behavior Question)的公司,一般每一轮面试都会问2 - 3个行为面试问题,而且不同面试官的问题往往涉及不同方面。Amazon会因为行为面试不过关,将五年工作经验的同学lowball成L4(SDE I - Entry Level),也会以为行为面试表现优异,而破格录取在技术方面有缺陷的面试者。

Amazon的行为面试又非常有迹可循,其官方给出了十四条Leadership Principles(领导力准则)作为行为标准。行为面试的回答,应当能够通过事先准备好的亲身事例,尽可能深入而全面地覆盖这些准则。一般可以准备三到五个事例,每一个分别覆盖几个准则,这样面对不同的问题和不同的面试官,就可以运用不同的事例。面试官在面试完会集中交流,这时候就会看到多个事例覆盖了多个准则,而不是只有单一的事例或者仅仅提及了单一的准则。稍后在官方面试指南中也会提及相应的准备方法。

本文分三个部分:

1)列出Leadership Principles的官方解释,并逐条分析其重要性。

2)给出Amazon的官方面试指南,包括了可能涉及的问题,以及应该如何准备。

3)通过列举面试真题,给出参考答案,让大家对如何回答行为面试有一个直观了解。

Leadership Principles

领导力准则

We use our Leadership Principles every day, whether we’re discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach to solving a problem. It is just one of the things that makes Amazon peculiar.

1. 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.

顾客至尚
领导者从客户入手,再反向推动工作。他们努力工作,赢得并维系客户对他们的信任。虽然领导者会关注竞争对手,但是他们更关注客户。

2. Ownership**
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”.

主人翁精神
领导者是主人翁。他们会从长远考虑,不会为了短期业绩而牺牲长期价值。他们不仅仅代表自己的团队,而且代表整个公司行事。他们绝不会说“那不是我的工作”。

3. 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.

创新简化
领导者期望并要求自己的团队进行创新和发明,并始终寻求使工作简化的方法。他们了解外界动态,四处寻找新的创意,并且不局限于“非我发明”的观念。当我们开展新事物时,我们要接受被长期误解的可能。

4. 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.

决策正确
领导者在大多数情况下都能做出正确的决定。他们拥有卓越的业务判断能力和敏锐的直觉.他们寻求多样的视角,并挑战自己的观念。

5. 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.

好奇求知
领导者从不停止学习,并不断寻找机会以提升自己。领导者对各种可能性充满好奇并付于行动加以探索。

6. 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.

选贤育能
领导者不断提升招聘和晋升员工的标准。他们表彰杰出的人才,并乐于在组织中通过轮岗磨砺他们。领导者培养领导人才,他们严肃地对待自己育才树人的职责。领导者从员工角度出发,创建职业发展机制。

7. Insist on the 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.

最高标准
领导者有着近乎严苛的高标准 — 这些标准在很多人看来可能高得不可理喻。领导者不断提高标准,激励自己的团队提供优质产品、服务和流程。领导者会确保任何问题不会蔓延,及时彻底解决问题并确保问题不再出现。

8. 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.

远见卓识
局限性思考只能带来局限性的结果。领导者大胆提出并阐明大局策略,由此激发良好的成果。他们从不同角度考虑问题,并广泛寻找服务客户的方式。

9. Bias for Action *
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.

崇尚行动
速度对业务影响至关重要。很多决策和行动都可以改变,因此不需要进行过于广泛的推敲。我们提倡在深思熟虑前提下进行冒险。

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

勤俭节约
力争以更少的投入实现更大的产出。勤俭节约可以让我们开动脑筋、自给自足并不断创新。增加人力、预算以及固定支出并不会为你赢得额外加分。

11. 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.

赢得信任
领导者专注倾听,坦诚沟通,尊重他人。领导者敢于自我批评,即便这样做会令自己尴尬或难堪。他们并不认为自己或其团队总是对的。领导者会以最佳领导者和团队为标准来要求自己及其团队。

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

刨根问底
领导者深入各个环节,随时掌控细节,经常进行审核,当数据与传闻不一致时持有怀疑态度。领导者不会遗漏任何工作。

13. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit *
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.

敢于谏言,服从大局
领导者必须要能够不卑不亢地质疑他们无法苟同的决策,哪怕这样做让人心烦意乱,精疲力尽。领导者要信念坚定,矢志不移。他们不会为了保持一团和气而屈就妥协。一旦做出决定,他们就会全身心地致力于实现目标。

14. 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.

达成业绩
领导者会关注其业务的关键决定条件,确保工作质量并及时完成。尽管遭受挫折,领导者依然勇于面对挑战,从不气馁。

其中标记蓝色**是最重要的准则,各类职位最好都能在某些回答中提及这两条。绿色*是对于技术岗位比较重要的,应该尽可能在不同问题的回答中覆盖这些准则。其他条目如果能覆盖当然最好,但可能领导岗位会更加看重些。当然最好是面试前和HR多聊一聊,对方很可能会暗示(明示)哪些条目对于你面试的岗位比较重要。

Amazon官方面试指南

面试前HR一般会根据不同职位发一个官方面试指南,我们截取其中共同的部分罗列如下,同学们看后应该会更了解如何回答行为面试问题,其中大部分内容对于其他公司也是适用的。

The LPs (Leadership Principals) represent the core competencies that interviewers will be looking for from you. Each interviewer will be assigned 2-3 LPs which they will be asked to evaluate you on. They will ask you questions like “Tell me about a time when…” where the question is geared toward evaluating each LP.

The interviewer will likely follow-up asking you to dive deeper in your story, so don’t fluff your story. If you say “I used X method to solve Y”. They’ll want to know how X works and what the business and customer focused results were of your actions. If you can’t explain X to a novice or the results of your actions, tell a different story.

We will ask you to give us examples from your experience to illustrate your strengths in these areas. That is, we don’t just ask, “Do you think it’s important to have a bias for action?” (to pick one of the leadership principles above). Rather, we will ask a question like, “Tell me about a time when you took action and made something happen.” We want to hear (true!) stories from your own history that provide the necessary evidence. We would recommend that you take some time before the interview to make a list of the technical & leadership skills above, and think of 2-3 stories from your background that show that you have those skills.

STAR Method

The STAR method is a common interviewing practice of framing your stories around a situation, outlining the tasks or actions taken, and a result. All stories should start with a problem that is business and customer focused, list the tasks or actions that were taken, and end with the result.

Be Guidable

Interviewers will ask you to change directions frequently.

Be Detail Orientated

Don’t skim stories.

Be Data Oriented

Talk about numbers and results.

Be Concise

Don’t tell long monologues.

Talk About Yourself

Amazonians are interested in YOUR contribution.

Be Earnest

If you don’t know an answer, say so. Say how have found similar answers before.

真题分析

我们列举了两个比较难回答的问题为例进行分析。按照官方指南,我们要通过详实的例子,交代当时的情况,你面对的任务和处理方法,和最后的结果,最好能够有数据作为支撑,不能泛泛而谈。在实际面试时,应该多和面试官交流,先确定面试官要问的是不是自己所想的问题,这对于行为面试和技术面试都是同样适用的,有时候面试官甚至会故意问一些比较模糊的问题,希望你能够首先clarify问题think loud,而不是盲目作答。另外,面试时面试官很可能会问更多细节或者转变问题方向,这时候一定要和挺清楚问题,而不是一味背之前准备好的答案。

1. 说说你遇到的失败经历

这个问题其实更注重的是你遇到了失败之后,从中学习到了什么,如果补救失败的经历。我们可以举例比如某个机器学习的项目,想当然用了linear regression结果效果不好(列出accuracy),没有达到要求 (这就是失败经历,但不要停在这里)。这时候离客户说的deadline还有一天,于是我们加班加点通过分析validation set,发现是under-fitting了。于是我们研究了更加复杂的模型,比如CNN,Random Forest等等,比较了他们的accuracy是多少多少,最终赶在ddl前解决了问题,让客户/老师满意,获得了第几名等等。

在这样一个例子中,我们就涉及了Bias to action, dive deep, customer obsession等等好几条准则。

2. 你是否和你的领导有过不同的意见

可以说有一个项目,你想用技术A来做,因为从长远的角度,这个方法更加scalable,可以让客户有更好的体验,但是你的领导认为应该用方法B,因为容易实现可以尽快上线。你和你的领导进行了细致的交流,分析了利弊,也听取了其他同事的意见,你认为多花一点时间努力工作技术A也可以快速上线,于是最终领导同意了你的方案,你每天多工作x个小时,最终在Y天内完成了该项目上线,现在这个项目可以很容易scale到同时间有Z用户在线。

这样一个例子中,就包括了Ownership,Right a lot, Think big, Earn trust等等多条LP。

大家如果有疑问或是希望得到回答的Behavior Questions,可以在留言区评论,我们会一一解答。

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