How To Get Hired By Amazon And Other Top Tech Companies

Amazon has more than 91,000 employees. But they're always looking for a few more good entrepreneurs.

Amazon has launched the "instant gratification revolution"--and if you position yourself right, you might be able to be a part of it.

As we've discussed before, knowing which skills are in-demand is crucial to planning your career. So when Jennifer Boden, the giant's director of global university programs, talked to the Wall Street Journal about what they're looking for in a hire, our ears perked up. For if you know what one of the most consistently innovative companies in the world is looking for, others might want you, too.

Though Boden focuses on hiring out of schools--she likes entrepreneurship-focused MBAs like Carnegie Mellon and Michigan--her insights could help anyone angling for an Amazon hire (or work at other excellent businesses, for that matter). She says that MBA-suited roles share a few core qualities:

  • a strong sense of ownership (of projects)
  • customer obsession
  • a bias for action and teamwork
  • ability to influence others
  • ability to invent and deliver on behalf of the customer.

Starting to cultivate those qualities

Boden stressed repeatedly that Amazon doesn't care so much about the name of the school you went to--some candidates tripped themselves up by namedropping during interviews--but what you got done:

We'll ask them to tell us about times that they've owned projects from start to finish. We'll talk about tying results to customer demands. We tend to look for real, practical work experience.

Boden says that Amazon is looking for people who can incubate ideas and bring them to market, as well as make analytics-based decisions--which happen to also be tenets of the Lean Startup. To get that going in your own career, you might want a crash course in data.

What It's Like to Interview at Amazon

[Image: Flickr user John Benson]

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