Are you looking to advance your career? If you are applying to be an Area Manager, Operations Manager, or Tier 3 role get ready to face a very competitive application process. There are a lot of great opportunities working within the realm of Fulfillment Center Operations. There are a number of different management positions. These positions are highly coveted with great salaries, benefits, and upward mobility. We are here to walk you through the basics about Fulfillment Center Operations, the difference between these positions, the Amazon assessment, and interview process.
What Are the Responsibilities of Fulfillment Center Managers?
Fulfillment center operations is broken down into Inbound and Outbound departments. If you work in the Inbound department you will receive products from Amazon's numerous vendors. Once they are processed the products are available on the Amazon website. The outbound department is responsible for fulfilling the customer's orders. That involves picking the correct item, packing, and shipping thet item to the customer within a tight deadline. There are a lot of outside influences which might change the eb and flow of your workload, including the time of year and sale season. Managers can be responsible for leading teams of 150+ associates. As a manager you will be responsible for inbound operations, outbound operations, and the day to day process within the fulfillment centers. Some of the different positions you might see are; Area Manager, Operations Manager, Tier 3 Associate, Flow Lead, Team Lead, Depot Manager, Shift Manager. Let's take a look at a few of the different Fulfillment and Operations Management positions:
What Does a Tier 3 Amazon Associate Do?
An Amazon Tier 3 associate is also called a process assistant or a PA. The process assistant is a team lead or assistant manager in production. They are the ones who are responsible for supervising a smaller group of associates on the ground level of the Fulfillment Center.
What Does an Amazon Area Manager Do?
An Amazon Area Manager, also known as the front-line supervisor, is responsible for leading a team of Amazon Warehouse Associates in one of their Fulfillment Centers. You will be responsible for making sure your team maintains the highest levels of safety, performance, quality, and attendance during your shift.
What Does an Amazon Operation Manager Do?
An Operations Manager is a higher managerial position. They are responsible for managing, training, and evaluating a team of area managers. They are responsible for setting team goals, monitoring efficiency, and guiding the Fulfillment Center team leaders to create the best work flow.
Amazon Area Manager/ Operations Manager Hiring Process
Step 1: Online Application
You will go to the Amazon Job Search page and you will look under Fulfillment & Operations Management. Once you find a position that matches your qualifications you will need to create a new profile, or log in if you are a returning candidate. You will only need to upload your resume. It is important to know that NO cover letter is needed. If your resume is considered a good match you will pass on to the Amazon Assessment.
Step 2: Amazon Assessment
The Amazon Area Manager Assessment also known as the Amazon Operations Manager Online Test is an important filter used by Amazon to weed out the quality candidates. If you don't excel on the Amazon Operations Manager Assessment you won't be invited for an interview. The manager assessment will be conducted virtually. So, make sure you are in a quiet location where you can complete it without disruptions. We will walk you through the full Amazon Area Manager Assessment below.
Step 3: Interview
In the past you would have likely gone in for an in-person interview. Due to the Coronavirus disease, Amazon has moved to a virtual interview process when possible. You will need to review and agree to a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The interview will take place over Amazon Chime, Amazon's video conferencing tool. So if you don't already have it you will need to download it. You will face two 45 minute interviews with current managers. Ensure that you review Amazon's 14 leadership principles in advance. Be ready to answer behavioral-based questions keeping these principles in mind. You will hear back about your interview within 5 business days.
Step 4: Job Offer
If you are hired you will get a written acceptance email with information about the New Hire Orientation. For orientation where proper attire; close toe shoes, no hoodies or jackets, or loose jewelry.
What Is the Amazon Area Manager Assessment?
The Amazon Area Manager or Operations Manager Assessment is broken down into two parts: the Amazon Virtual Job Tryout and Amazon Work Style Assessment. Let's take a deeper look at what each test covers.
Amazon Manager in Operations Virtual Job Tryout
The Amazon Manager in Operations Virtual Job Tryout also known as the Area Manager Virtual Job Tryout is an online assessment which takes about 45 minutes to complete. You will need a writing utensil, calculator, and scrap paper. The virtual job tryout is a work sample simulation which is broken down into five sections:
- Work Scenarios: This is a situational judgement test. You will be presented with typical work scenarios you would face as an operations manager and you will choose the best way to respond.
- Manage Your Day: You will be given tasks and asked to arrange them according to their urgency and priority.
- Run Your Area: You will get a report similar to that you would face as a manager in operations at Amazon. You will need to analyze the data, answer questions, and make decisions based on the information.
- Tell Us Your Story: You will give a rundown of your Biodata. Explaining your background and work experience.
- Describe your Approach: This section is a mini personality test. You will be given a set of statements and you must identify which is "most like you."
Amazon has specific answers that they are looking for from their managers. It is important to know what to expect and plan in advance.
Sample Amazon Area Manager Assessment Questions and Answers
Amazon Virtual Job Tryout Example
One of my strengths is my ability to inspire and motivate others.
- Strongly agree
- Somewhat agree
- Somewhat disagree
- Strongly disagree
This is a question you might find in your "Describe Your Approach" section. Remember this is just one of five sections that resembles a short personality test. The best answer is either A or B. Perhaps, you might have answered this question differently if you were applying for an associate position. As an Operations Manager you can have 150+ employees working under you. It is essential that you motivate them in order to be a quality manager. This is the assessment where you can really show your strengths. It is the first chance you get to show how you would work as a manager. It is ESSENTIAL that you do well on this test.
Amazon Work Style Assessment Example
I have a hard time being productive when I am under pressure.
- Strongly Disagree
- Neither Agree nor Disagree
- Strongly Agree
Remember to answer every question with Amazon's 14 leadership principles in your mind. As an Amazon Area Manager or Operations Manager you will encounter specific times of the year when the fulfillment center is especially busy (around holidays and sales.) Therefore, it is extremely important that you stay productive under pressure. The preferred answer is either A or B.
Amazon Area Manager/ Operations Manager Interview Questions
The Amazon Operations Manager interview will have a variety of questions. Each interviewer has their own style. You will face behavioral-based questions which focus on past situations you encountered and how you solved them. You must use Amazon's Leadership Principles to guide your answers. Amazon will not ask brain teaser type questions (e.g., "How many doors are in NYC?") they do not believe these questions indicate potential success on the job.
Amazon Operations Manager Behavioral-Based Question Examples
- Describe a time when you faced a problem that had a number of potential solutions. What was the problem and how did you decide your solution? What was the outcome of your decision?
- When did you take a risk on the job, make a mistake, or feel that you failed? What was your response to the situation? How do you feel you grew?
- Describe an instance where you took a leading role on a project.
- How do you motivate a group of individuals and promote collaboration on what you are working on?
- How have you leveraged data to help create a strategy?
Amazon is looking for data-driven answers. They are looking for your answers to be in the STAR answer format.
What Is the STAR Answer Format?
STAR stands for:
- SITUATION: Choose a situation or task that you needed to accomplish and describe it. Ensure you include enough detail so that the interviewer understands the complexity of the situation. Use a real life experience from your work, volunteer, or school time.
- TASK: what was the goal you were targeting.
- ACTION: Describe actions you took to address the situation. Remember to focus on YOUR role and outline the steps you took.
- RESULT: What was the outcome of the situation. Describe what YOU accomplished and learned. If possible include metrics and data.
How Can I Prepare for the Area Manager Assessment?
Amazon Area Manager or Operations Manager positions have one of the most competitive hiring processes. What is great about Fulfillment and Operations is that they have positions all over the world. The Amazon Manager Assessment is the filter which sifts out the strong candidates. This can be considered the pinnacle of the interview process. Ensure you go into this process prepared. We recommend using this Amazon Manager Virtual Job Tryout and Work Style Assessment practice pack which includes; Management work scenario practice tests, Work Style Assessment, Virtual Job Tryout, and interview prep.