How Amazon hires

The story (and song) behind Amazon’s Bar Raiser Program
on January 09, 2019
How do you get a job at Amazon? Every candidate goes through a series of interviews with several interviewers. What makes Amazon unique is its Bar Raiser Program. Amazon’s evaluation process is rooted in the company’s Leadership Principles to ensure we’re hiring people who will innovate on behalf of customers, and Bar Raisers are a critical component.

Read five things you might not know about Bar Raisers below, and watch this video featuring Amazonian Anthony Cole. He composed a reggae rap celebrating what it means to be an Amazon Bar Raiser, and hopes it inspires others to be the best versions of themselves.

Bar raiser video

All about Bar Raisers

  1. What is a Bar Raiser?

    A Bar Raiser is an interviewer at Amazon who is brought into hiring loops to be an objective third party. By bringing in somebody who’s not associated with the team, the best long-term hiring decisions are made to ensure the company is always serving, surprising, and innovating for customers. The role of the Bar Raiser is to be a steward of Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles.
  2. Why are they called Bar Raisers?

    When Amazon launched the hiring plan for tech job candidates in 1999, it was called the barkeeper program. But that name implied maintaining a hiring standard, when actually the program is about raising the standard with each hire. Every person hired should be better than 50 percent of those currently in similar roles – that’s raising the bar.
  3. Who are Bar Raisers?

    In addition to their day jobs, Bar Raisers are skilled Amazon interviewers who undergo lengthy training after being nominated and accepted into the program. They are passionate about our hiring process and serve as objective advisors during the interview process. Their craft is the guidance they provide during the evaluation process with our candidates. Because Bar Raisers hold positions that are typically outside of the business for which the candidate is being interviewed, they see aspects of a candidate's strengths and learning opportunities that we might otherwise miss. They are experts in evaluating talent against our Leadership Principles - identifying candidates who have long-term potential at Amazon and who raise the bar.
  4. How do Bar Raisers help with the hiring process?

    Bar Raisers have three responsibilities as part of the hiring process. The first is to assess candidates for the specific role and for long-term success at Amazon. The second function of a Bar Raiser is to make sure there is an open, accurate and fair assessment of the candidate with every member of the interview loop participating in the discussion. Finally, they are responsible for helping hiring managers and others prepare for interviews, ask questions related to the Leadership Principles and the competencies that are needed for the position, assess the candidate, and provide written feedback. Although Leadership Principles are the foundation and culture of Amazon, in any role, certain Leadership Principles will be more pertinent than others. Bar Raisers work with the hiring and recruiting team to understand the most relevant principles in which the candidate must naturally index or those which can be learned and developed over time.
  5. What should people know about how Amazon hires?

    Amazon is focused on hiring well, rather than hiring quickly. Teams identify candidates who can best deliver on behalf of customers, personify our Leadership Principles, and are the best long-term fit at Amazon. Recruiters, hiring managers and Bar Raisers alike are passionate about finding the right person for the job and what that means for the future impact of the business they support. That hiring legacy is something that all Amazonians take seriously. It has a broad and long-lasting impact on the livelihood, creativity and viability of the products and services we create for our customers.

See below for interview tips from an Amazon Bar Raiser.

Tips from an Amazon Bar Raiser
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