Amazon has made a commitment to hire over 100,000 US veterans or military spouses by 2024.
The tech giant made this bold promise after significantly surpassing its 2016 pledge to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2021.
As of July 2021, Amazon employs more than 40,000 veterans and military spouses across several business divisions.
“Amazon is focused on recruiting and developing military talent with training programs specifically designed to help veterans transition into roles in the private sector,”
said John Quintas, Managing Director of Military Affairs and Programs at Amazon.
“We value the unique skills and experience that the military community brings—and our new hiring commitment will expand the impact that military members currently have on every single business across the company.”
Amazon is also particularly focused on supporting military spouses by helping them to maintain their own career growth and development despite military relocations. In November 2021 Amazon launched new technology, called Project Juno, to support military spouses. The aim of Project Juno is to help military spouses sustain their careers at Amazon when their partners need to move on military orders.
“We shouldn’t be losing valuable employees just because they move. We can’t put military families in a position to choose financial security over service,” said Beth Conlin,
Senior Program Manager - Military Spouse Programs at Amazon.
Beth Galetti, Senior Vice President of People eXperience and Technology at Amazon, introduced the new tool by saying:
“On average, a military spouse moves seven times more than a civilian spouse in their lifetime. Amazon employs more than 45,000 veterans and military spouses in the U.S., but many military spouses are forced to leave the company when their partners need to move on military orders. We shouldn’t be losing these valuable employees just because they get relocated. That’s why, we announced Project Juno, a program that helps employees seamlessly maintain their careers when they need to move.”
Carrus Coach, Brian Wilson, is all too familiar with the challenges of making the shift from military service to a role in the private sector. Brian says that going from the military to a civilian career was not an easy transition for him which is why he is passionate about helping others who are going through the same process.
As a previous Hiring Manager and Site Lead at Amazon, Brian was involved in the end-to-end Amazon hiring process. He has conducted phone screens, sat on interview panels, and taken part in countless debrief sessions.
We sat down with Brian to gain some invaluable insights into the Amazon interview and hiring process for military veterans and military spouses.
What kind of opportunities are available for veterans and military spouses at Amazon?
Amazon is very passionate and driven about hiring military veterans and their spouses for leadership and operational roles within the company. This demographic has shown to be very well suited to handle a dynamic atmosphere, stress, and challenges that are presented day to day along with having a strategic mindset for long-term goals. They also have a high retention rate and show above-average leadership skills which help drive team cohesiveness and achieve company goals.
Is the recruitment/hiring process different for veterans?
Military veterans and spouses do have an opportunity to participate in the Amazon Warriors hiring events. These events allow them to become more familiar with the Amazon operation with on-site visits and face to face interactions with veterans who are currently Amazon employees. They also give veterans an opportunity to participate in an interview panel.
These panels are conducted just like any other panel within the hiring process but usually do not have a specific role that the candidate is interviewing for. If the candidate successfully passes their panel, the Amazon Warriors’ recruitment team will begin looking for job openings within the company that the candidate would be well suited for. If the candidate is happy with the role that they match to, and the hiring manager for that role is in agreement, the candidate will be hired for that position without having to participate in another panel.
Military veterans and spouses may still apply for positions on the Amazon Jobs website just like any other candidate and do not have to take part in the Amazon Warriors panel process. Having their military experiences on their application and resume will still stand out and go a long way in the normal hiring process.
What is the Pathways program and how can veterans take advantage of it?
The Pathways program is Amazon’s “fast track” for high-potential candidates who have a Master’s Degree or MBA to be put on a Director/General Manager career path. The program starts off with a three-month long internship which, if successful, will lead to a full-time position in a mid-level leadership role. The full program usually takes five years and will involve rapid career growth and responsibilities.
At the end of the five years the Pathways candidate will usually be in a General Manager or Director role with the potential of possibly being looked at for a VP position down the road. The Pathway positions have a high amount of oversight from other senior leadership as they look for other potential senior leaders in the company. Pathway candidates are expected to be more flexible and willing to travel to where the company needs them to go. The amount of responsibilities and expectations from them are usually higher than other employees within the same job level but the amount of opportunity they will be given for their career development makes it well worth it for those who want a senior leadership position.
Veterans who are within a year of their separation or retirement date and have at least a Bachelor’s Degree can also apply to the Military Pathways program which provides the same opportunities for veterans who have held leadership positions during their time in the military.
What are the biggest challenges (or most common mistakes you see made) veterans face in applying for a role at Amazon (or other tech jobs) for the first time?
The most common mistake that I’ve experienced, both by myself and by other veterans that I’ve interviewed, is being able to articulate accomplishments and achievements from the military in a way that is understood and resonates within a commercial business environment. For a veteran, being able to articulate your achievements with data and in a way that shows your business acumen can be extremely difficult without help or coaching.
What 3 interview tips do you have for a veteran/military spouse who is interviewing at Amazon for the first time?
First, make sure you have data to back up your accomplishments. Do your homework and be sure to get quantitative data for the achievements you’ve experienced during your time with the military.
Second, have different examples ready to illustrate how you are aligned to each of Amazon’s leadership principles.
Third, practice practice practice! Set up mock interviews with someone who works within the civilian sector, and make sure your answers make sense to them.
Any other advice that you would give? Anything else that you’d like to share that could help?
Do some networking on LinkedIn and find Amazon Warriors (past or present) who you can connect with. Veterans are always there to help fellow veterans out! It will also help you make connections which can lead to an Amazon referral.
If you’re a military veteran or military spouse looking for assistance on landing a role or acing an interview at Amazon, book a free call with Brian here.
Other Amazon related reads on Carrus:
- How to Craft a Resume That Lands the Interview at Amazon
- Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles: What You Can Expect to be Asked in the Interview
- Our in-depth 6 part series on using the STAR Interview Method to Nail Any Tech Interview
- All About Bar Raisers: Amazon’s Essential Element to the Hiring Process
- Does Amazon Offer Work-Life Balance?
- How to Nail The Amazon Writing Assignment
- The Amazon Flywheel and What You Need to Know for Your interview
- Everything you Need to Know for the Amazon Engineering (SDE) Interview