How to Get into Google, Amazon & Meta From A Non-Technical Background [Application Tips]

18 November 2021

According to research by the Graduate Management Admission Council, 89% of tech employers plan to hire business school students in 2021 and remarkably, the average salary for an MBA grad is 75% higher than candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Put simply, big tech firms are hungry for a slice of the business school pie and grads will be paid handsomely in return.

But why? Surely tech companies are only interested in coding masterminds and computer whizzes, right?

Incorrect.

While many of the world’s fastest-growing businesses lean heavily on technical expertise, much of their growth is thanks to innovative breakthroughs from non-technical individuals. From rewriting the rulebook on customer success to rethinking the sales process, developing ingenious marketing campaigns, and strategizing game-changing business models, non-technical minds are responsible for some of the biggest big tech breakthroughs of the last decade.

It’s no coincidence that Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Amazon’s Andy Jassy all have MBAs from business school.

So, join us as we explore how you can leverage your business school know-how to land a job at the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Types of Non-Technical Roles for Business School Grads

Big tech firms are different from most traditional businesses in two key ways:

  1. They’re very big.
  2. They make most of their money by selling technology as opposed to physical products or professional services.

However, once you get past these two differentiating characteristics, the underlying DNA of a big tech firm is much closer to that of a traditional business than you might think. Just as a large grocery chain will have a procurement team to source the best produce, a marketing team to build brand loyalty, a sales team to get the tills chiming, and a customer success team to keep their patrons smiling, big tech firms require this same expertise to remain competitive.

As these businesses continue to grow from strength to strength, identifying highly-motivated individuals who thrive in fast-paced environments and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty is a key focus for companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Sound like you?

Great, let’s take a look at some of the main types of non-technical roles that would fit the skillset of a business school grad.

Marketing & Communications

As is the case with almost all businesses, building trust with potential customers and earning their loyalty is a critical success factor for big tech firms. Whether it’s developing persuasive marketing campaigns that encourage people to switch from one platform to another or conservative damage control campaigns to avoid backlash from a technical error, communication is everything when it comes to selling technology.

Specifically, companies like Google and Amazon will look for candidates who demonstrate an ability to combine marketing know-how with data analytics. With data playing such an important role in the decision-making processes of these businesses, understanding the value of experimentation and knowing how to design marketing campaigns around data-driven Key Performance Indicators (KPI) will stand you in good stead for the application process.

Product Management

Product innovation sits at the core of all successful tech firms. From Instagram’s decision to ‘borrow’ the Stories feature from Snapchat to Google’s launch of Augmented Reality (AR) Maps Navigation or Facebook’s new-found ‘Metaverse’ , releasing new platforms and features helps big tech companies move with the times and maintain relevance in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

While tech-oriented talent is necessary to conceive fundamental technical innovations (e.g. Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch iPhone screen or Facebook’s secret algorithm), Product teams are responsible for packaging this technology into usable and highly-attractive products or services.

If you’re someone who enjoys using technology products and you’re always coming up with innovative ideas about how things could be improved, Product Management might be your calling. Although most entry-level and internship roles won’t provide direct exposure to the product development process, understanding a company’s product pipeline and identifying how this ties in with its strategic direction is critical to succeeding in this space.

If Product is something you want to get into, check out this podcast from ex-Spotify and Monzo Product Manager, Benji Portwin . He explains how most tech companies will provide opportunities to hop from one discipline into Product if you show initiative and a natural flair in this arena.

Top Tip: It’s worth noting that many tech firms use a horizontal scrum structure where team members with specific expertise (e.g. Product Owner, DevOps, Marketing, Finance, etc.) are assigned to work on a specific product, as opposed to more traditional vertical structures where teams are organised by discipline. This horizontal approach will give entry-level employees first-hand exposure to the product management process and can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

Human Resources

If you’re a people person who enjoys managing interpersonal relationships, landing a job in HR or ‘People Operations’ at a big tech firm is sure to keep you on your toes.

The technology space is an inherently progressive environment that tends to attract forward-thinking individuals and welcome unconventional company cultures that strive to improve employee satisfaction. For example, Google’s quest to build highly-effective teams with its ’Project Aristotle’ initiative is a classic example of a big tech firm throwing the rulebook out of the window and embracing innovation to reshape the way things are done.

While the progressive nature and high employee churn rate of the tech industry can present unique challenges for HR teams, there are tonnes of exciting opportunities for new entrants to break the mould and drive the #FutureOfWork.

Sales & Business Development

Are you someone who enjoys diving into the inner workings of an organisation’s business model and conducting an analysis of their market positioning using techniques like Porter’s Five Forces, SWOT and PESTLE?

If so, Business Development or Sales roles could be a strong fit for your skillset. While the old-school image of Sales might conjure images of Jordan Belfort and phones ringing off the hook, big tech firms take a much more calculated and methodical approach to business growth that draws on lots of the theoretical concepts you’ll learn at business school.

Specifically, identifying market threats/opportunities and developing powerful merger and acquisition (M&A) strategies is a key focus for most big tech firms. Whether it’s Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods to venture into the grocery market or Google’s acquisition of YouTube to dominate the video-sharing industry, market intelligence is responsible for some of the biggest business success stories in recent years. Therefore, graduates who demonstrate strong analytical thinking and practical skills that support their theoretical knowledge are absolute gold dust for big tech firms.

Even if Sales is something you never pictured yourself doing, the opportunity to engage directly with customers and work alongside Marketing teams provides first-hand exposure to customer behaviours and will stand you in good stead if you ever wanted to shift towards a more Product-orientated role. Sales is often the easiest route into big tech and can provide the perfect springboard if you decide to pivot towards alternative business functions such as Marketing, Product or Operations.

Operations

The word ‘big’ in ‘big tech’ is a clear giveaway for why Operations teams are critical to their long-term success. Large organisations require constant support, guidance and planning from people who understand how the various components of a business fit together to work towards a common goal.

If you’re someone who enjoys process-led decisions, systems planning and organisation, landing an Operations role is sure to keep you entertained!

A golden example of how Operations teams play a significant role in the success of big tech companies is Amazon’s warehouse distribution network. Bezos’ multi-billion-dollar empire uses a web of incredibly sophisticated data-driven fulfilment centres that facilitate fast and cheap delivery of goods across the globe. These warehouses are probably some of the most impressive and efficient systems ever designed in modern commerce and help to power Amazon’s ‘flywheel effect’ .

Customer Success

Another exciting avenue for a business school grad to enter the world of big tech is through Customer Success. Although it might not sound like the most obvious choice, you only need to look at a business like Amazon to understand the importance placed on customer obsession across the entire company.

As Steve Jobs once said: “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”

Starting with a role in Customer Success will give you first-hand exposure to the needs and desires of your target audience and stand you in good stead if you wish to pivot into another business area within big tech. Customer Success is ultimately a sales role where your mission is to identify opportunities to increase the business’ Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) — be that through improved customer support, tech updates, or product innovations.

Most notably, if you have your eyes set on a career in Product Management, lots of tech companies will be open to ‘career switching’ from Customer Success to Product if you can demonstrate a genuine understanding of how your experience and know-how would translate into developing highly-desirable products.

Non-Technical Business School Programmes for Google, Amazon & Meta

Now that you have a better idea of what kind of roles you might be interested in, let’s take a look at some of the best MBA and entry-level programmes for non-technical jobs at Google, Amazon and Meta. The mere fact that these programmes exist is a clear indication that these big tech companies view non-technical expertise as a critical component of success.

So, let’s jump into it…

Google Internships

Landing an internship at Google is an excellent way to get a taste of various business functions, build practical skills, and kickstart a career in big tech.

If you’re coming from a non-technical background, Google provides a number of exciting opportunities for both students and graduates to don their ‘Noogler’ hats and get an insider view of Google life.

Google’s non-technical internships are organised across three separate programmes:

  1. Business Internship. Google Business Internships are available to undergraduate and graduate students across a number of locations outside of the US including Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Tel Aviv-Yafo, London and Paris. This is an ideal opportunity if you’re looking to build business know-how across a range of different fields (e.g. Sales, Marketing, Operations) and identify your desired career trajectory.

  2. MBA Internship. Google’s MBA internships provide the ultimate opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge to real-life scenarios. Applications open in September/October each year to anyone who is currently enrolled in an MBA programme. Check out this page to explore location-specific opportunities.

  3. BOLD Internship. Google’s Build Opportunities for Leadership & Development (BOLD) programme provides a unique experience for undergrads to gain exposure across a number of key business areas.

    Interns rotate across Sales, Marketing, People Operations, and many other roles to identify strategic business challenges and work on real client projects to drive growth and improve end-user experiences.

    The programme is a paid summer internship for students in their third year of a four-year BA/BS programme. Alternatively, if you’re enrolled in a five-year BA/BS programme, you can apply in your fourth year. The internship is designed to be accessible to historically underrepresented students and to spark progress in the industry by providing long-term career opportunities that stretch beyond the programme.

    If you’re only in your second year of study, you can apply for the BOLD Immersion Programme .

    Applications for the Summer of 2022 open in Autumn 2021. Google’s recruiters will then review applications on a rolling basis over autumn, winter, and early spring.

Amazon Launch Programme for MBA Students in EMEA

Amazon’s 2022 Launch Programme provides successful applicants with the ultimate opportunity to transition from an MBA student to an industry professional. In three years, you’ll move between two job rotations and receive expert guidance through various onboarding activities, training sessions, networking events, and dedicated mentorship.

At the end of the three years, you’ll be fully equipped to take your career to the next level and explore higher-level opportunities through Amazon’s internal jobs board.

Amazon’s European Launch Programme is split into two parts:

  1. Full-time roles are suitable for second-year MBA students or students on a one-year programme who are available to start in March, July or September 2022.
  2. 8-10 week internships providing exposure to specific business areas within Amazon.

As previously mentioned, customer obsession sits at the very core of Amazon’s business model. Their Launch programme provides an invaluable opportunity to learn about a number of business areas including Amazon’s Consumer team, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon Prime Video, and Devices/Alexa.

Internships are up for grabs in the UK, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands which could provide you with a fast-track route into Amazon’s full-time Launch programme if you impress.

Applications are open now for the full-time roles and applications to the internship programme open in January 2022.

Amazon’s Business Internships for Students

If you want to develop a deeper understanding of how Amazon works and nurture your analytical and problem-solving skills, Amazon’s Business Internship for Students gives successful applicants full ownership of a high-profile project that involves partnering with exciting clients, senior leaders, and a range of internal teams. A typical business internship with Amazon is data-intensive, analytical, and representative of a real business case.

Most of Amazon’s internships cover the following business areas:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Operations Management
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Product Management
  • Programme Management
  • Retail/Consumer Leadership

While there’s no dedicated programme for Amazon’s Business Internships, they post all available opportunities on their jobs board . Just scroll down to the ‘Category’ drop-down on the left side of the page and select ‘Student Programmes’ to filter your search.

Amazon Pathways — The Fast Track Route to Senior Management

Do you have dreams of becoming a leader in a global corporation where you oversee people, processes, and technology? Are you excited by the prospect of continuously improving customer experiences and developing innovative business strategies?

If so, Amazon’s Operations Leadership Development Pathways programme offers an intense five-year opportunity to climb the managerial ranks within one of the world’s biggest organisations. Pathways members will follow Amazon’s Leadership Principles to nurture their managerial skills and tackle a series of progressively challenging assignments across the company’s expanding supply chain network. Successful Pathways recruits are expected to scale with the growth of the business as they lead large teams, negotiate complex business challenges and develop creative solutions to feed Amazon’s customer obsession .

You can browse Amazon’s Pathways opportunities here . Note that application deadlines are location-specific and applicants are sometimes stationed at different locations depending on the needs of the business at any given time — be prepared to be flexible!

Want to learn more about how to get into Amazon and stand out from the crowd with your application? Check out this podcast from Tom Lawrence — the man who’s done over 1,000 interviews at Amazon.

Facebook’s RPM Programme

A recent study found that Facebook posts three times as many job opportunities that state a preference for business school grads compared to Goldman Sachs. Specifically, Facebook’s Rotational Product Manager (RPM) programme welcomes students to apply for an immersive 18-month rotational programme that provides close-up exposure to three of Facebook’s core business functions.

Successful RPM applicants get the opportunity to explore everything from product innovations to working directly with designers and engineers to introduce new functionality to Facebook’s ever-expanding product fleet. You’ll learn how to develop data-driven leadership skills and design around customer preferences across the likes of Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and even Oculus .

The RPM programme involves a full-time position that aims to nurture forward-thinking product leaders who are passionate about shaping the future. Facebook welcomes talented individuals who offer a diversity of ideas, expertise, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds to design powerful products that are representative of the company’s global user base.

Facebook hires RPMs once a year for two start dates in the following calendar year. There are five Facebook offices that support RPMs (London, Tel Aviv, New York, Menlo Park and Seattle) plus a limited number of remote options for applicants in the US. While there are no specified deadline dates at the time of writing, applications usually open at the end of July or the start of August each year.

Rather cleverly, Facebook posts all of its job openings and application updates about the RPM programme on the RPM Facebook page …stay tuned.

Remember, Facebook caps the maximum number of applications per candidate at three submissions every six months. So, be sure to apply for roles that strongly match your specific skill set and always do your homework before applying.

Direct Applications

Alternatively, some applicants opt for a less prescribed route into Facebook which is to submit a direct application to a specific job opening. While Sales tends to be the most popular direct-entry route into big tech firms, a detailed browse through Facebook’s career page will reveal a number of exciting career opportunities across a range of business functions that welcome direct applications from MBA students.

Take Brian Colivet , for example. After setting his sights on Facebook during his MBA studies, he attended Exactimo’s Digital Bootcamp to get his hands on practical tips and tricks that would help him stand out from the crowd in the application phase. A few years down the line, Brian’s proactivity paid off. After securing a job at Facebook through a direct application, he now heads up an entire team as their Global Gaming Business Lead.

[Practical Application Tips]

How To Boost Your Chances of Getting into Google, Amazon & Meta

So you’ve now got a pretty good idea of what kind of opportunities are out there, but what practical steps can you take to increase your chances of getting into big tech from a non-technical background?

With big tech being such a competitive space for business school students, preparing for application and interview stages is absolutely critical to stand out from the crowd. Specifically, demonstrating a genuine interest in the companies you’re applying for and understanding the key drivers behind their success will give you a winning edge.

We’ve prepared some quick-fire tips to help you nail your application and crush the competition.

Practical Tips: How to Get into Google

  • Understand where Google is heading. Sundar Pichai says Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the future of Google so it’s important to have a solid idea of how this technology fits into the company’s wider ecosystem and how existing products/services could harness the power of AI.

  • Prepare. If you’re interviewing for Google’s Ads team, come prepared with sit-up statements that will grab the interviewers attention and help you stand out from the crowd. To name a few…

    • Mentioning the history of BackRub (the first iteration of Google) and the academic paper that started it all is always a good way to get their attention.
    • The Ads team will also want to hear about relevancy and see that you understand the role of flywheels in Google’s business model.
    • Mention Quality Score and explain how Google is a meritocracy that ranks content based on its value to users.
    • Mention why Google’s search platform is all about fulfilling demand as opposed to generating demand which makes Google different to most advertisers.
    • Mention that Amazon is Google’s biggest rival when it comes to paid digital advertising.
  • Have a view. Be sure to do your homework on some of the other businesses in the Alphabet family (like Calico ) and memorise some metrics from their latest investor report.

    For example: If you were asked to give your opinion on the idea of Google charging users an annual fee of $20 to use their services, what pros and cons could you discuss?

  • Think like a Googler. If you’re ever asked a question about budgets or how you would approach a campaign, think about how you could use data to your advantage to experiment, learn and improve. For example, if you have £100 million to spend on the new Pixel campaign, how would you spend the money to maximise your return on investment (ROI)?

    FYI, the answer they’re looking for is that you wouldn’t spend it all at once — you would run a series of mini experiments. Try something, review the data, and iterate.

  • Be aware. It’s important to identify the kind of characteristics and personality traits that Google tests for:

  • General cognitive ability. Google interviewers will ask open-ended questions to understand your thought process. Remember, there’s no one right answer. Your ability to explain your logic and demonstrate the use of data to inform your decisions is key.

  • Leadership. Be prepared to discuss how you have used your communication and decision-making skills to get the most out of the people around you. This could be anything from stepping up to a leadership position at university or using an example from your personal life where you took the initiative to mobilise people and solve a real-life problem.

  • Role-related knowledge. Google is interested in how your personal strengths combine with your experience to make a positive difference. They don’t just look at how you could add to the business today, but also how your skills could evolve with time and (potentially) morph into an entirely new role in the future.

  • Googleyness. Demonstrate how you can work effectively both as an individual and as part of a team. The ability to help others, navigate ambiguity, and push yourself out of your comfort zone will get a big thumbs-up from Google’s hiring team.

  • Predict the future. If you’re sufficiently prepared, the vast majority of the questions you’ll be asked in a Google interview won’t catch you by surprise. Questions like “Why do you want this job?” and “What’s a tough problem you’ve solved?” should roll off your tongue once you enter that interview room. To prepare, start with a simple Google search for “common interview questions” and write down a range of answers for the top twenty results. Practice reeling off your answers to a friend to make sure you can recite them fluently. Failing that, speaking to yourself in the mirror can be a useful technique to help the answers stick in your brain.

  • Have a backup plan. Interviews don’t always go the way you expect them to. Luckily, you often get more than one shot to impress as Google tends to conduct a number of interviews for each applicant. If you find that your answers weren’t very well received in one interview, it’s important to come prepared with a backup plan so you can try something different to build rapport with your next interviewer.

  • Be data-driven. Supporting all answers with data is critical to demonstrate your appreciation of data-driven goals. If the interviewer asks you to give an example of an achievement that you’re proud of, it’s important to include measurable numbers in your answer. It’s also important to include data-driven metrics in your CV to justify any claims you make about yourself.

    For example: If you state that you’re a competent marketer with a proven track record of delivering high-impact campaigns, you should support this claim with something like “I launched a guerrilla marketing campaign in 2021 that increased weekly sales by 15% in the first two months after launch.”

    Check out this short video to learn more about how to include metrics in your CV.

  • Clarify. Google will deliberately present open-ended questions to expose the candidate’s ability to engage with a problem and develop an effective approach to solve it. If anything is unclear, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on specific points. Interviewers like to see thorough applicants with a curious nature and an eye for detail.

    For example, imagine you’ve transported back in time and you’re about to pitch Google Chrome to Larry and Sergey. What are the benefits? How would you quantify the potential impact of your idea?

  • Think Out Loud. Awkward silences aren’t going to get you very far in a Google interview. Thinking out loud and explaining your thought process to the interviewer is a great way to demonstrate critical thinking and will place less weight on your final answer. Even if your final answer isn’t perfect, at least you’ve demonstrated how you got to that answer. If you’re really struggling, start with a bare-bones solution and refine it — just let the interviewer know that’s what you’re doing and why.

Practical Tips: How To Get into Amazon

The #1 piece of advice that any Amazon employee would give to an applicant is to swot up on the company’s 16 Leadership Principles .

As we mentioned previously, Amazon lives and breathes these principles and almost all Amazon interviews will draw reference to them. You can think of them as a set of instructions that explain how to think like an Amazonian and how to align with the company’s wider vision.

So, let’s jump into the leadership principles and explore how you can use them to your advantage to optimise your interview performance.

  1. Customer Obsession. Amazon employees are taught to always start with the end customer and work backwards. Customer obsession sits at the heart of everything Amazon does and holds the key to much of the company’s success. Demonstrating an understanding of how to gather insights from users and harness this knowledge to build better products/services will stand you in good stead for almost any Amazon interview.
  2. Leaders are owners. Amazon leaders never say “that’s not my job”. They take pride in the company as a whole and will always work with long-term goals in mind. In the context of an interview, it’s important to show that you’re a genuine team player and that you align with the company’s long-term vision. With Amazon being such a fast-growing company, it’s important to stay up-to-date with its strategic direction and to understand how this links to the specific role you’re applying for. Ask yourself “how could my individual input contribute to achieving Amazon’s big picture goals?”
  3. Invent & Simplify. Innovation and the ability to simplify complex problems into practical solutions are absolutely fundamental to Amazon’s success. If you’re ever asked to provide an example from your past that demonstrates innovative thinking, be sure to explain the process of understanding the situation, identifying a complication and finding a resolution. The McKinsey Situation-Complication-Resolution (SCR) framework is a simple yet powerful way to overcome challenges with inventive solutions.
  4. Are Right, A Lot. Amazon Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgement, a natural instinct for success, and they seek diverse perspectives to disconfirm their beliefs. Demonstrating openness to new ideas in an Amazon interview is critical. While lots of applicants make the mistake of presenting themselves as ‘know-it-alls’, the best applicants are those who strike a modest balance between assertiveness and inquisitiveness.
  5. Learn and Be Curious. Amazon employees never stop learning. Asking questions in an interview is a great way to show that you are interested in a given topic and that you have a personality that is open to new ideas.
  6. Hire and Develop the Best. Amazon leaders develop other leaders and are serious about their role in coaching others. Remember that the person sitting in front of you in the interview room is someone you might share an office with one day. Conducting yourself in an engaging and personable manner is the first step towards building rapport with an interviewer. While it’s important to demonstrate your technical expertise and communicate why you think you would be a good fit for a role, don’t overlook the importance of connecting with the interviewer on a human level.
  7. Insist on the Highest Standards. Quality is everything for Amazon — they don’t tolerate corner-cutting or half-hearted responses. Be sure to do your homework before you enter the interview room and prepare for a range of different scenarios so you can adapt your answers accordingly.
  8. Think Big. You don’t become one of the largest organisations on the planet by sticking to what you know. Amazon promotes bold thinking and ambitious decision-making to drive the company on an upwards trajectory. Don’t be afraid to approach your interview with your own observations about a particular business function or to pitch innovative ideas about how this could add value. Conducting a digital audit can be an effective way to identify opportunities for a company to optimise its digital presence.
  9. Bias for Action. Amazon isn’t afraid to take calculated risks if it’s in the interest of speed and getting ahead of competitors. Giving examples of a time where you took a calculated risk to achieve a given goal will get a big thumbs up from Amazon interviewers. Try to explain how you assessed the risks and what backup plans you had in place to neutralise the worst-case scenario.
  10. Frugality. Amazon is all about accomplishing more with less. As we already discussed in the context of Google, using data and running a series of mini experiments can be an effective way to demonstrate your appreciation for frugality and maximising ROI. As Jeff Bezos puts it: “Frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”
  11. Earn Trust. Amazonians are encouraged to be vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. As Amazon candidly explains: the best leaders do not believe their own body odour smells of perfume. With this in mind, it’s important to approach your interview with a level of humility. You’re not expected to have all of the answers or to respond to every question with complete confidence. If the interviewer asks about your weaknesses or biggest failures, the worst thing you can do is deny that you make mistakes or try to frame a positive attribute as a negative one. The old cliché of saying that you’re “too organised” or “too empathetic” will earn you a one-way ticket to the door. We all have our shortcomings — the important thing is to acknowledge them and find ways to grow.
  12. Dive Deep. Leaders at all levels of the Amazon machine stay connected to the details and know how to interrogate data to spot inefficiencies or errors. If you’re presented with a hypothetical scenario in an interview and you’re asked how you would tackle it, remember to draw reference to the value of data at every stage of the decision-making process to measure, learn, and iterate.
  13. Have Backbone. Amazonians are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree. While most interview environments demand a certain social etiquette that can make it difficult to assert your opinion, providing confident answers and supporting your responses with hard evidence will usually be well received. If the interviewer interrogates your answer, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong — they just want you to explain your reasoning.
  14. Deliver Results. The ultimate goal of any leader is to have a positive long-term impact on the business. Using data-rich examples from your studies, personal life or previous work experience where you’ve achieved measurable goals will show interviewers that you can walk the walk.
  15. Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer. Amazon’s leaders are committed to creating a safe, productive, and diverse work environment. They lead with empathy and want to see their employees grow with the company. In an interview scenario, remind yourself of this leadership principle. While it’s easy to let the pressure get to you, knowing that the interviewer is ultimately looking out for your best interests should take the edge off things.
  16. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility. Amazon asks all of its employees to begin each day with a mission to make better, do better, and be better for the world around them. Showing an awareness of Amazon’s social, economic, political and environmental responsibilities as a global powerhouse and staying up-to-date with world affairs will help you answer questions maturely and confidently.

Want to dive even deeper into Amazon’s Leadership principles? Check out this podcast from an ex-Amazon recruiter who built the team responsible for hiring business school graduates into Amazon’s European Consumer and Leadership programmes.

Practical Tips: How To Get Into Meta

Routing back to Zuckerberg’s fascination with behavioural psychology and how to influence the way people think, behavioural interview questions play an important role in Facebook’s non-technical hiring process.

While many candidates make the mistake of improvising this phase of the application process, those who take the initiative to prepare ahead of time and understand what characteristics Facebook looks for will shine the brightest.

Facebook uses behavioural interviews to evaluate applicants based on their previous experiences and their ability to explain why they made certain decisions. Most questions will start with something like “give me an example of a time where…” and they are designed to interrogate a range of soft skills such as leadership, problem-solving, communication and grit .

The best way to approach behavioural interview prep is to split all possible questions into one of four categories:

  1. Personal. Facebook wants to build a general picture of your personal character and will use questions like “tell us about a time where you overcame failure” or “tell us about your greatest achievement”. While these questions might fill you with dread, remember that the interviewer cares more about how you approached a certain scenario and less about the scenario itself. Whatever you do, don’t try to invent a fictitious event to impress the interviewer — they will see straight through you. Once upon a time, these people were sitting where you’re sitting so they’re not to be fooled.
  2. Teamwork. Almost all Facebook interviews will include some kind of reference to teamwork and ask you to provide an example of a time where you worked effectively with others. Whether it’s a university group project or a sporting achievement, the important thing is to communicate what role you played in the wider group dynamic and explain what strategies you used to overcome challenges.
  3. Leadership. Facebook’s hiring team aren’t just looking for candidates to fill current job openings but they’re also looking into the future by identifying talented individuals who show promise and could evolve with the company. With this in mind, make sure you prepare a number of examples where you’ve mobilised a group of people to work towards a common goal.
  4. Role-specific. With Facebook (or should we say Meta?) being such an enormous organisation that covers everything from social media to virtual reality, it’s important to demonstrate skills that are tailored to the specific business function you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying to join Facebook’s Rotational Product Manager (RPM) programme and you’re asked to describe your favourite features of an app that you use every day, remember to answer the question through the lens of a Product Manager. Think about how the app makes you feel as a user and explain why or how certain features encourage different behaviours.

Want More Help With Your Application?

Exactimo delivers practical courses to help people get digital fast.

If you want to land a non-technical job at the likes of Google, Amazon or Facebook, we’re here to give you an insider view of their digital-first business models and help you differentiate from other candidates.

Discover practical tips and tricks from our ex-Google founder who has helped thousands of students achieve digital fluency and kickstart a career in big tech. If you’d like to get your hands on our exclusive training, head over to our Digital Strength Course and try the first module for free.

Also, if you’re interested, we’ve also created detailed guides that investigate the unique business models of Google , Amazon and Facebook that will prove very useful when writing your applications.

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