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The Complete AWS Account Manager (Inside Sales) Interview Guide

CompGauge shares the AWS Account Manager interview questions, interview process, and interview tips to help you ace the interview.

*Note: This is for the Inside Sales Account Manager position (Inside Sales Rep).

Interview Basics

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What are Inside Sales Reps known as at AWS?

Inside Sales Reps are known as Account Managers or Account Executives externally. This is what you’ll see on job boards and LinkedIn. Look for keywords in the job posting to distinguish between a field sales and inside sales role as they are both known as Account Managers and Account Executives.

Inside Sales Reps at AWS are overlay sales reps and their main responsibility is to go after lower priority accounts in the territory or different lines of business at a priority account.

How many years of experience do you need for this role?

For someone coming in as an L4 Account Manager, you should have at least two years full sales cycle experience.

For someone coming in as an L5 Account Manager, you should have at least seven years full sales cycle experience.

For someone coming in as an L6 Account Manager, you should have at least twelve years full sales cycle experience.

Ideally, the prior sales experience is in SaaS or Technology sales.

Which AWS offices do Inside Sales Rep work at?

AWS Inside Sales Reps are mainly in HQ1, Seattle and HQ2, Washington DC. However, everyone is currently working from home.

How do I get an Interview for this role?

The best way to get an interview is through internal referrals. The internal referral can be an AWS or Amazon employee. Note that if you apply online before an AWS employee refers you, you can’t actually get the referral as your application gets processed immediately after you submit it.

Can you choose what account size you will sell into?

After you get an offer, yes, as your recruiter will ask ideally how many accounts you’d want, and then they match you to a team that fits your criteria. So if you want enterprise accounts, tell your recruiter that you want ideally less than 20 accounts, and your odds of getting an enterprise account patch go up. If you want greenfield accounts, tell your recruiter you want hundreds or thousands of accounts.

Interview Process

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What is the Interview Process like?

The AWS interview process consists of four steps: 

  • Questionnaire 
  • Phone Interview with the recruiter – 45 minutes
  • Phone Interview with a tenured Inside Sales Rep – 45 minutes
  • The ‘Loop’ video interviews with 4-5 AWS Salespeople: 2-3 Inside Sales Managers, and 2-3 Inside Sales Reps. Each video interview is about 45 minutes, for a total of about 4-5 hours spent interviewing at the Loop stage. Note, you will get to do a prep mock call with the recruiter beforehand to prepare you for the loop. One of these interviews will be with an ISM who is also a Bar Raiser. The Bar Raiser’s role is to make sure you’re better than 50% of the people currently working at AWS.

What were the roles of the people you interviewed with?

You will interview with a recruiter, 2-3 Inside Sales Reps, and 2-3 Inside Sales Managers (ISM’s).

How many interviews did you have?

You will have a total of 6-7 interviews.

How long was the interview process?

The interview process typically takes two to six weeks from initial recruiter outreach to job offer. Most commonly, it is a three to four week process.

Interview Questions

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Recruiter Interview

This interview’s purpose is to allow the recruiter to vet that you have the proper experience and interest in the role.

  • Tell me about your current role.
  • What size and number of accounts do you currently cover?
  • What type of solutions do you currently sell? 
  • Are you currently a full cycle seller? 
  • Are you currently in a quota carrying role?
  • Describe the expectations of your current role.
  • What is the value prop of cloud computing?

Tenured Inside Sales Rep Interview

This will be your second interview. Most of this interview is fit based and to see if you align with the AWS sales culture and their leadership principles. This interview is light on the technical component.

  • How do your experiences align with leadership principles?
  • Basic STAR Questions – “Tell me about a time when…”
  • How do you overcome failure?
  • What are the biggest wins of your career? 
  • What were the largest, most challenging deals that you’ve ever been a part of and what you learned from them?
  • Walk me through a full sales cycle deal you were a part of.
  • What do you know about AWS? 
  • Are you familiar with our core products and services? 
  • What kind of solutions have you sold in the past and how did you ramp up on them?
  • What are your favorite AWS products and why?

The Loop Interview

This is the final step in the interview process. Each of your one on one interviews in the Loop will revolve around the leadership principles, technical aptitude, and the scope of your sales experience. You’ll get a couple of minutes to ask questions at the end of each interview.

  • Customer stories – How our customers were able to leverage AWS and then familiarize yourself with key products and services, EC2 to S3, CloudFront, Redshift, etc.
  • What is cloud computing?
  • Walk through your sales process step by step in great detail, using examples of a recent customer or exciting deal that you landed. 
  • Who are the typical decision makers you deal with? 
  • What types of questions and objections you typically receive, and how do you overcome those? How is your performance measured – KPIs, quotas, performance against them, and what you’re doing to overachieve.
  • In your current role, what strategies, methods, and sales approaches do you use? 
  • Any trainings that you’ve completed?
  • Walk me through a deal you’ve closed – be prepared to discuss how you overcame objections, terms of the contract, the roles of the people you sold to, and your role from beginning to end.
  • What’s your favorite product? Why is it your favorite product? What specific use case do you see that would provide value to a customer that’s potentially reviewing it? How would you pitch it to a CTO?
  • Tell me about a time you learned from your failures.
  • What deal that you’ve completed in the past are you most excited about?
  • Tell me about a time where you nearly lost a deal.
  • Tell me about a time you didn’t get along with a coworker and how did you resolve that?
  • Tell me why a CFO would move from Capex to OPEX, when OPEX would present a scenario that would create uncertainty from a CFO standpoint.

Interview Preparation

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What are your recommendations to prepare and succeed?

  • Get a referral to get you the initial interview.
  • Master the STAR Method and learn to tell your stories in a sequential manner.
  • To prepare for the STAR questions, prepare eight to ten detailed stories from your sales experience with all the supporting data points as well. Use numbers, data, and metrics to back up your stories where possible. These stories should relate to the AWS leadership principles. It’s very important to have these stories sharp and ready to go. 
  • Another method of preparing for the STAR questions is to prepare a story around each of the 14 AWS leadership principles.
  • Develop a strong elevator pitch for yourself.
  • Be able to fluently speak about three to five AWS products, with at least one being a lesser known product to show you really did your research.
  • To prepare for the technical questions, do the free AWS training on A Cloud Guru, try getting your AWS certification (this would be a big plus, but probably overkill), watch the AWS Reinvent keynote, review customer stories on the AWS website, and learn a few products really well in terms of their use case and benefits as if you were going to pitch it to a client.
  • AWS puts significant weight on the failure questions. Having a strong answer to how and why you failed and what you did to overcome failure is an opportunity to differentiate yourself.
  • The recruiters want you to succeed and have insider info, so leverage them as much as possible.
  • The most important AWS leadership principle is Customer Obsession.

What happens after you get the offer?

After you get the offer, you will receive a call from the recruiter to discuss team fit, promotion opportunities, and compensation. You will be able to give your preference for account size and type (account spend). You can negotiate your base salary, variable comp (commission), signing bonus, and stock grant.

Salary and Commission

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How much does an AWS Account Manager earn?

Check the AWS company page for detailed information on compensation.

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