How To Become a Bar Raiser at Amazon

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Amazon is renowned for its rigorous hiring process, known for its commitment to maintaining high standards of talent. One of the key roles in this process is the Bar Raiser—an objective third-party adviser who ensures the company makes the best long-term hiring decisions. But what does it take to become a Bar Raiser at Amazon? This article will guide you through the process, offering an in-depth look at the role, its importance, and how to prepare for it.


To become a Bar Raiser at Amazon, you need to be an Amazon employee for at least five years, get nominated for the Bar Raiser program, and complete a rigorous training focused on Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles and talent evaluation. This role requires a deep commitment to maintaining high standards, strong problem-solving skills, and an ability to provide unbiased and objective evaluations.

What is a Bar Raiser at Amazon?

A Bar Raiser at Amazon is a specially trained interviewer who plays a crucial role in the company’s hiring process. They act as an objective third party, ensuring that the best long-term hiring decisions are made and that the company continues to serve, surprise, and innovate for customers.

The “bar” represents the 50th percentile of all Amazon employees working in a specific role, so “raising the bar” means finding someone who is better than half of the people working at Amazon at that level. The Bar Raiser’s role is to ensure that every new hire “raises the bar” at the company.

What are the Key Qualifications to Become a Bar Raiser?

To become a Bar Raiser, you must meet specific criteria and undergo a rigorous training program. Key qualifications and expertise required for this role include:

  1. Amazon employee for at least 5 years
  2. Invitation to the Bar Raiser program
  3. Extensive training on Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles
  4. Strong problem-solving skills
  5. Proactive attitude and effective collaboration
  6. Adaptability to change
  7. Unbiased and objective evaluation
  8. Commitment to raising talent standards

How to Become a Bar Raiser at Amazon?

Here are general steps to prepare and train to become a Bar Raiser:

  1. Join Amazon as an employee and excel in your role. You need to be an existing Amazon employee for at least five years before you can be considered for the Bar Raiser program.
  2. Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles. These principles are the foundation of the company’s culture and hiring process, and Bar Raisers are stewards of these principles.
  3. Develop strong interviewing and assessment skills. Bar Raisers must be experienced and skilled in conducting interviews.
  4. Get nominated and accepted into the Bar Raiser program. You can only enter the Bar Raiser program by invitation from other Bar Raisers or your manager.
  5. Complete the training program. This can last from six months to a year, and is focused on developing your ability to evaluate candidates based on their ability to raise talent standards in the company.

Overcoming Challenges as a Bar Raiser

Like any role, being a Bar Raiser comes with its own set of challenges. Some of these include maintaining high standards, providing unbiased evaluations, balancing multiple roles, undergoing rigorous training, and calibrating expectations.

To overcome these challenges, Bar Raisers can continuously update their knowledge of Amazon’s leadership principles and hiring practices, collaborate with other Bar Raisers, seek feedback from hiring managers, prioritize their time and responsibilities, and regularly participate in calibration sessions with other Bar Raisers.


Becoming a Bar Raiser at Amazon is not an easy task—it requires commitment, a deep understanding of Amazon’s Leadership Principles, and a dedication to maintaining high standards. However, the role is rewarding and plays a critical part in shaping the company’s future. By following the steps and advice outlined in this article, you can prepare yourself for this unique and important role within Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles?

Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles are: 1. Customer Obsession, 2. Ownership, 3. Invent and Simplify, 4. Are Right, A Lot, 5. Learn and Be Curious, 6. Hire and Develop the Best, 7. Insist on the Highest Standards, 8. Think Big, 9. Bias for Action, 10. Frugality, 11. Earn Trust, 12. Dive Deep, 13. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit, 14. Deliver Results, 15. Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer, 16. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility.

What is the role of a Bar Raiser during an interview?

During an interview, a Bar Raiser is responsible for assessing the candidate’s fit with Amazon’s culture and their potential to exceed the performance level of current employees in similar roles. They ensure that the candidate aligns with the company’s 16 Leadership Principles and can “raise the bar” in terms of talent and performance.

Can non-Amazon employees become Bar Raisers?

No, only current Amazon employees who have been with the company for at least five years can be considered for the Bar Raiser program.

How long does the Bar Raiser training program last?

The training program for Bar Raisers at Amazon typically lasts between six months to a year.

What happens if a Bar Raiser disagrees with the hiring decision?

If a Bar Raiser disagrees with the hiring decision, they have the power to veto it, regardless of the opinions of the other interviewers. This ensures that the company maintains its high hiring standards.

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