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Amazon.com is a Fortune 500 e-commerce company based in Seattle, Washington, and has the distinction of being one of the first large companies to sell goods over the internet. In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, which launched the following year. If you’re of a particular age, you likely remember that Amazon started out as an online bookstore and then quickly diversified by adding other items, including DVDs, music, video games, electronics, and clothing.

Amazon

In 1999, just five years after he started Amazon, Jeff Bezos was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” He received the honor largely because of the company’s success in popularizing online shopping.

Corporate Culture

Amazon.com considers itself a completely customer-centric company, believing that if it doesn’t listen to customers, it will fail. Amazon has stated that it wants to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself to the company during a time of unprecedented technological revolution.

According to Amazon’s website, Bezos sketched on a napkin a small graphic illustrating the company’s culture. It shows how growth leads to lower costs, which leads to lower prices, which leads to better selection—and everything points to a better customer experience.

Interviews

Amazon describes its interview process as “peculiar,” but it does offer an online guide to help job candidates through the process. Two key elements that are a part of the process are discussions about failures and a writing sample.

Review the FAQ page on Amazon’s job site to find out all of the relevant details about how to apply for opportunities with the online retailer.

Failures are important to explore, according to Amazon’s jobs site, because many successful projects are built from previous failures. Those doing interviews at Amazon want to hear candidates talk about some of their own failures and how they did or could turn them into something positive.

The writing sample is important because Amazon emphasizes what it calls narrative memos as opposed to presentations through PowerPoint or other similar programs. Employees should be able to explain through engaging prose what a proposal entails and how it should be executed.

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