Amazon Bar Raiser Interview: What to Expect & How to Ace It

What Is the Amazon Bar Raiser Interview?

The Amazon Bar Raiser interview is a 30-60 minutes virtual interview with an Amazon employee not part of the hiring team. The purpose of the Bar Raiser is to provide oversight to the entire hiring process by allowing 5 interviewers to compare notes to ensure that incoming employees are better than the top 50% of current employees.

Most questions on the Bar will tie directly into the company's 16 Leadership Principles. Here is what to generally look out for:

  • Leadership and Inspiration
  • Ingenuity
  • Venturousness

The final round (or interview loop) of the Amazon interview process typically includes the Amazon Bar Raiser interviews. As unbiased interviewers who are unrelated to the position or team a candidate is applying for, Amazon Bar Raisers are brought in.

They don't have a personal stake in making a hasty hire because they are from a separate department from the hiring department. They are only focused on the hiring process' quality.

How Do Bar Raisers Help With the Hiring Process?

As part of the employment process, bar raisers have three duties:

  • Evaluation of applicants for the desired position and long-term success at Amazon
  • Make sure the discussion about the candidate is open, truthful, and impartial, and that every other interviewer in the loop interview is included.
  • Be in charge of helping hiring managers and others with Amazon interview preparation, posing questions about the leadership principles and the qualifications required for the role, evaluating the applicant, and offering written comments.

Although Amazon's culture and foundation are based on leadership principles, some Principles will be more applicable in a given function than others. The hiring and recruiting staff and the Bar raisers collaborate to identify the most important values that the candidate must possess or may be taught and honed over time.

How Can You Identify the Bar Raiser in the Room?

The quickest way to learn who is the bar raiser is to be informed, and sometimes you'll be told. If you think knowing would help you feel better, you can ask the recruiter, but they might not know or tell you.

However, here are some tips for identifying the Bar Raisers:

  • They are experienced Amazonians who have most likely worked for the company for at least three years.
  • The Amazon Bar Raiser is usually the most senior in the room and will likely be the one asking most of the questions.
  • They won't work in the hiring department. Usually, this will give you a hint as to who they are.
  • The person who raises the bar has typically conducted interviews and hired and retained staff.

Which Amazon Positions Don't Have a Bar Raiser Interview?

There are several roles at Amazon, especially on the L-4 and L-5 levels, that do not need a Bar Raiser, including:

L-5 Examples

  • Lead manager
  • Smaller team manager

L-4 Examples

  • Application Engineer
  • Process Lead (Operations team)
  • Support Engineer-II
  • Technical Lead (Tech-ops team) and more…

Can Bar Raisers Call a Veto or Force Hiring Managers to Hire a Candidate?

Each interviewer compiles their notes and casts a vote before the recruiting meeting. The other interviewers discuss the Hiring candidate's strengths and weaknesses during the selection meeting after sharing their notes from the interview.

Since they now have more information, some other interviewers can modify their votes after this round of discussion. It takes much work to make a decision that everyone can agree on.

The hiring manager and bar raiser must first consider the input for the candidate to receive an offer. Even though the bar raiser has the veto power, they won't decide without considering the opinions of all parties, especially the recruiting manager.

Can the Bar Raiser and the Hiring Manager be the Same Person?

The short answer is no. The bar raiser and the hiring manager cannot be the same person.

The long answer is that it's complicated.

For the process to work, the recruiting manager who works with the candidate through the interview process must be different from the hiring manager. This ensures that two people are looking out for the company's best interest and that the candidate isn't being pushed through by someone who wants to fill a role.

The bar raiser is usually, but not always, someone different from the hiring manager. This helps to ensure that the candidate is being assessed against Amazon's high standards by someone who isn't personally invested in the outcome.

How to Prepare for the Bar Raiser Interview (+ Tips & Examples)

What Do Bar Raisers Focus on?

Bar raisers focus on finding candidates that meet Amazon's high standards and who will be a good fit for the company. They pay close attention to the candidate's ability to display Amazon's Leadership Principles and their potential to be successful at the company.

Common Interview Questions Asked by Bar Raisers & How to Answer Them Correctly

Most of the interview questions for the Amazon Bar Raiser will be based on the company's overall work culture, and its 16 leadership principles. Even though it takes a while, Amazon's interview process strongly emphasizes quality in hiring.

Bar Raiser interview questions are also designed to assist hiring managers in finding long-term employees that understand and cater to the customers' wants.

The majority of the Amazon Bar Raiser interview questions are behavioral in nature. You can get a sense of the types of questions asked at Amazon's Bar Raiser Interview by reviewing the sample interview questions below:

  • Describe a situation where you had to deal with a picky consumer and how you came up with a workable solution.
  • Tell us about a difficult personal situation and how you handled it.
  • How would you assess risk? Tell us about a moment when you took a chance, and it paid off.
  • What would you do if you found out your manager was violating corporate rules?
  • Describe the kind of workplace you'd want.
  • How do you go about mentoring others? Describe situations in which you have mentored peers or subordinates.

Tips for Impressing Your Bar Raiser

If you're preparing for an interview with a bar raiser, it's important to remember that they will be looking for evidence of Amazon's leadership principles.

Be sure to have examples of how you have displayed these qualities in your past experiences, both professional and personal.

Some specific tips to impress your interviewer for a bar raiser interview include:

  • Do your research on Amazon and its culture. Be prepared to discuss how you would fit in and contribute to the company.
  • Be familiar with Amazon's leadership principles and have examples of how you have displayed these qualities in the past.
  • Think about tough situations you have faced and how you handled them. The bar raiser will likely ask you about a time when you faced a difficult challenge.
  • Be prepared to discuss your career goals and how Amazon can help you achieve them.
  • Practice your answers to common interview questions. This will help you stay calm and collected during the interview.

Questions to Ask at the End of the Interview

It is always a good idea to ask questions at the end of an interview, especially when interviewing with a bar raiser. Asking questions shows that you are interested in the company and have thought about the role.

Some good questions to ask a bar raiser include:

  • What qualities are you looking for in a successful candidate?
  • What do you think sets Amazon apart from other companies?
  • What do you think is the most relevant thing for a candidate to know before coming to work at Amazon?
  • Do you have any advice as I continue preparing for my next interviews?

What Happens After the Bar Raiser Interview?

After the bar raiser interview, the bar raiser will meet with the recruiting manager to discuss feedback from the interview. The recruiting manager will then decide whether to move forward with the candidate.

If the decision is positive, the candidate will be asked to come back for another round of interviews. If the decision is negative, the candidate will be informed, and the process will end.

Conclusion

The bar raiser interview is an important step for hiring candidates in Amazon's hiring process. If you're preparing for an interview with a bar raiser, be sure to do your research on Amazon and its culture.

Be familiar with the company's leadership principles and have examples of how you have displayed these qualities in the past. Practice answering common interview questions and sample answers, while preparing to discuss your career goals.

 

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