Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer

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The role of an Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer

As a Business Intelligence Engineer at Amazon, you work alongside Data Scientists, Data Engineers, business leaders, and product managers. You will help them design innovative analysis techniques and work on improving data warehouse performance to enhance the customer experience. 

Business Intelligence engineers hold the responsibility of smartly analyzing data. They are required to perform functions ranging from Automated Inventory Management to Transportation Risk & Compliance. With great responsibility comes the need for greater knowledge, and therefore, they must have good business acumen and be up to date with the growing technologies in data science.

A Business Intelligence Engineer at Amazon must possess the following qualities - 

  • They must be analytical, combined with knowledge of Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence tools.
  • Ability to design and demonstrate optimal solutions using tools like JIRA, QlikSense, and Tableau that cater to the needs of the customer. 
  • Be able to work in a fast-paced environment and keep up with the growing demands of the customer. 
  • Additionally, Amazon looks for people who live by the 14 leadership skills every day. 

Interview Guide

The Amazon Business Intelligence Engineer interview consists of 3 rounds.

After the recruiter approaches you via email, there will be 2 phone screens. The first phone screen will assess your behavioral and technical skills. The second phone screen will be with the hiring manager and will majorly focus on leadership-oriented questions. The third and final round is the onsite round, which will consist of 5 interviews with various executives of the company. 2 of these interviews will have a mix of technical and behavioral questions, and 3 would be purely behavioral, focusing on Amazon’s 14 leadership skills.

We've got the same guide also available to watch as a short video if you prefer consuming content that way.

Technical Phone Screen

Overview

The first screening interview will be a 40-minute video call consisting of a mix of 5-6 technical and behavioral questions. The technical questions will be majorly composed of SQL queries, but you may be asked basic questions on Data modeling, Data Warehousing, and Data Engineering concepts. Behavioral questions will focus on Amazon’s 14 leadership principles. Additionally, some basic coding questions in Python may be asked. 

What the interviewer will assess

  • Your coding skills as well as your approach towards problems.
  • Your understanding of the concepts mentioned above. 
  • Whether you are a cultural fit for the company or not.

Tips

  • Get lots of practice on writing syntactically correct queries. During the interview, you will be asked to write queries in a text editor, and will not be able to execute them and check for errors.
  • Have a good command of SQL. Practice the basics and make sure you’re very familiar with fundamentals such as joins, the WHERE clause, GROUP BY, CASE, sum, finding and omitting duplicate rows, etc.
  • During the interview, don’t jump straight to coding. Talk briefly to the interviewer first about what the problem demands and how you will approach it. 
  • The interviewers tend to look out for candidates who are proficient in Python, so do revise your python concepts. 

Interview Questions

  • Given an order table, write queries to get the desired output (frequently asked). 
  • Write a function to calculate the palindrome of a number.
  • Write a function to print the Fibonacci series of first N numbers using recursion.
  • Tell me about the most complex problem you have encountered. How did you get through it?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
  • String manipulation questions such as - 
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  • Explain how you can extract data from a CSV file.
  • What is the difference between Row-Level security and Column Level Security in Tableau?

Note - The language is open-ended - you can use Oracle, MySQL, or any database you’re comfortable in.

Hiring Manager Phone Screen

Overview

This is the second phone screen in which you will most likely be talking to the Hiring Manager. This round will focus more on behavioral and leadership-oriented questions, however, 1-2 basic technical questions may be asked too. You may also be given a business case study and asked to comment on it. 

What the interviewer will assess

  • Your approach towards solving coding problems. 
  • How you have dealt with situations at work in the past. 

Tips

Follow the STAR method to answer the behavioral questions - Situation, Task, Action, Result. Focus more on the result. This way, you’ll cover all the points that the recruiter wants to hear.

Interview Questions

  • Describe a scenario for a given leadership principle. 
  • Tell me about a time you worked outside your comfort zone.
  • Tell me about a time you made decisions without consulting your manager.
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Describe a time you went against the manager.
  • Tell me about a situation where you made a big mistake that cost the company. What did you do?
  • Describe a time when you wowed your customers?
  • Describe a time when you disagreed with the approach towards solving a problem?
  • How do you respond to negative feedback?
  • Tell me a time when you did something against the advice of your manager.
  • What is one valuable skill you have gained in the last year?
  • Tell me a time you took action without doing a lot of research.
  • Describe a time where you not only met a goal but considerably exceeded expectations.
  • Calculate week-over-week changes in revenue in Tableau.
  • What is the difference between ETL and ELT? In what situation do we use which?
  • What is the difference between Snowflake schema and Star schema?
  • How is the customer churn rate calculated?

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Onsite Round

Overview

The onsite round is a 6 hour round consisting of 5 interviews. In 4 of the interviews, you will be talking to Business Intelligence Engineers, Hiring Managers, Business Analysts, and Data Scientists. The 5th interview will be a Bar Raiser round. 

You will be tested on the following topics - 

  • SQL
  • Data Visualisation
  • Data Warehousing
  • ETL
  • Descriptive Analysis
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Leadership Principles

Each interview will be about 60 minutes long - 50 minutes for the interview and 10 minutes for any questions you would like to ask the interviewer. There will be a lunch break in between. There is no specific order as to who will conduct the interview first, but generally, the last interview is conducted by the Data Scientist.

Tips for the onsite round - 

  • The answers should be well structured so that they can be understood by anyone. Quantifying the answers will make them sound more authentic, for example - During my term, I acquired x customers.
  • Do not make experiences out of thin air, they should be realistic so that when you are cross-questioned, you can give details and explain the technicalities and logistics. 
  • Prepare 15-20 scenarios for Leadership Principles, as you will be asked 3-4 questions by each interviewer across all rounds. You can find them here.

1. Hiring Manager round: 

This interview will be composed of Leadership Questions. Follow-up questions may be asked as per your response to the questions. 

Sample Questions - 

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why this role? 
  • Why Amazon?
  • If you are behind schedule on a project, then how do you communicate the delay to the customer? Follow up questions - 
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  • Give an example of a time when you anticipated a customer's needs and impressed them with your foresight.
  • What was the most critical piece of feedback you received?
  • Describe a time when your team did not like your decision. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time when you helped a struggling teammate. 

2. Business Intelligence Engineer round: 

This interview will have a mix of technical as well as behavioral questions.

Sample Technical Questions - 

  • How would you decide which product to price cut to improve the sales? You will be given all necessary information such as product information, sales, etc.
  • Given two order tables, explain which type of join should be used.
  • What is a foreign key relationship?
  • Join two given order tables using the where clause.

Note - SQL questions may be asked on the following topics - joins, group by, where, aggregate, outliers.

Sample Behavioural Questions - 

  • Give me an example of when you moved forward without your manager’s approval. Follow up questions - 
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  • Questions based on customer obsession -
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  • Give an example of a time when you were an outlier among your peers.
  • Describe a time when you were compelled to go along with a group decision even when you disagreed.
  • What is the most innovative new idea that you have suggested and worked on in a project?
  • How did you solve a complex problem with a simple fix?

3. Business Intelligence Analyst round: 

This interview will be a technical round. Questions will mostly revolve around SQL, Data Modeling, Data Warehousing, and related concepts. 

Sample Questions -

  • Design a data model for an American technology giant like Uber.
  • What is the difference between a Dimension table and a Fact table?
  • Given an order table, use the Rank function to get the highest salaries in each department. 
  • What are window functions in SQL?
  • What will you do if you identify slow-running queries in the SQL server?
  • How will you explain Primary key and SQL joins to someone from a non-technical background? 
  • Rank the revenue in the given order table without using the rank function.

Note: Questions related to SQL filtering may be asked. 

4. Bar Raiser round: 

For the bar raiser round, questions will be asked related to Amazon’s 14 leadership skills.

This interview examines how you influence your peers, deal with situations at work, and whether you are a potential fit for the company. You will also be asked a lot of follow-up questions to truly dig deep into your experience.

  • Give me an example of a time when you successfully recommended a solution to a client. 
  • What is the proudest moment of your career which you not only achieved but also surpassed yourself? 
  • You've been dissatisfied with the current situation at work. What did you do to make things different? Were you able to succeed? 
  • Describe a time when you were disappointed with a product's quality at work and went out of your way to change it. 
  • Talk about a time you took a huge risk and it backfired. What went wrong? If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?
  • If there is a project you are working on for the first time, how would you verify that the data is valid?

5. Data Scientist round:

This round will be a mix of both technical and behavioral questions. The goal is to ensure that you have the raw technical skills to succeed in this role.

Sample Behavioural questions - 

  • How do you test your work and measure your success?
  • Describe a time when you took a calculated risk. Were you successful?
  • How would you handle a disagreement with your manager? 

Sample Technical questions - 

  • How will you predict the success/failure of a newly launched product? How will you find the factors impacting it?
  • What factors would you consider to determine whether a campaign conducted by a marketing team is successful or not? 
  • Design a data model for a school. 

Note: Technical questions related to your experience may be asked.

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