Amazon.com Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Software Development Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2013.
Interview Details – Called out of the blue, asked if I'd be interested in interviewing. Still not entirely sure how they got my name. Had first phone interview the next week, asked no personal questions, all technical in nature. Total of 3 phone interviews and an in-person trip out to Seattle.
Took about 4 months start to finish. The people in the in person interview were wonderful. Very smart, laid back, and understanding. Got lunch, small tour of campus, and learned what I'd be doing. Got the offer 2 business days after the in person interview.
Sadly, I signed a NDA and I respect the terms of that. As such, I can't give you any specific questions, but I'll gladly give you the best advice I have.
Phone Interviews :
Phone interviews are sucky by nature. Coordinating a call from west to east coast alone is painful, add the fact that phones just take away the benefits of body language, and just make it harder to hear, and you've got a recipe for disaster. But fear not! Here are some helpful hints, some of which are obvious, some of which are not.
1. Get ready ahead of time. I just mean, get to the area you'll be doing the interview beforehand. I'd recommend an hour or more, just to get your nerves ready. Breathe, get used to the surroundings, and get everything laid out ahead of time. Which brings me to...
2. I know it's a "programming" interview, but for the love of all things good, have a pen and paper ready and at your disposal. Bring a backup pen. Much like a printer, the pen will fail at the worst possible time. You may also need a laptop, as I was asked to do "on the fly" programming. But close anything and everything distracting. Speaking of...
3. Pick a spot where there are no distractions. You'll want your undivided attention on this interview. Don't have BookTweet or FaceSpace or MyGram or that crap open if you have a laptop. And I personally wouldn't pick a public space, you never know when an annoying parent will put their screaming child right beside you.
4. Breathe. Just breathe. Take a moment, stretch, and remember you got this. If you have trouble hearing, don't be afraid to ask again. Don't be afraid to say you don't know. Do as for clarifications, and state assumptions up front. Always re-state the problem as you understand it.
As for the content : For the love of God, know what a time complexity is, and how to determine it for any and all code you write. Know the time complexities of all sorts. Know all data structures, how to use them, and properties of each. (Insertion time, deletion, etc) Generally know what heck you're talking about. But don't talk too much. You don't want silence at any point really, but you certainly don't want to let the interviewer not get a word in. Know graph theory, tree theory, and all the fun stuff associated with more "complex" structures. Understand what your language does behind the scenes, as far as GC and compiling go. Know how your language use internal structures to manage the code/objects you write.
Negotiation Details – As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.
Area Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2014.
Interview Details – A compilation of all the behavioral questions on this website.
1. Tell me about yourself
4. Why Amazon?
5. How can you translate your skills towards Amazon?
6. What experiences do you have that separate you from the rest?
1. Tell me about a time when you were leading a group, were assigned a goal, and did not reach it
2. Tell me about a time when you had a group conflict and how did you overcome this conflict?
3. How did your actions in a leadership role increase productivity?
4. Tell me about a time when you dealt with an employee with poor performance
5. What is your take on leadership?
6. Tell me about a time when you had a group conflict and how you overcame this conflict?
7. What kind of roles have you done that were leadership roles?
Behavioral Leadership & Safety & Customer Service
1. Tell me about a time when you dealt with ambiguity?
2. How important is safety to you? Rank Customer Service, Quality, Safety
3. Do you go against a supervisor who made a decision that goes against corporate policy and is a potential safety issue for one of your employees
4. How would you handle an employee who showed up to work drunk? (not very relevant)
5. Name a time you had to convince someone to do something they did not want to do
6. Tell me about a situation where you directly impacted customer satisfaction
7. What type of leader are you? Explain your leadership style. What does it mean to be a leader?
8. How do you motivate people?
9. What did you admire most about one of your previous supervisors
1. Tell me about a time you failed and how you handled it?
2. Tell me about an ethical conflict with your boss and how you’ve handled it
3. How do you deal with stress?
4. Have you ever proposed an idea to a superior and were ignored despite knowing that it would produce a positive result? How did you handle it?
5. Explain a time when you had to deal with poor job performance
6. Name a time you screwed up
7. What frustrates you
Continuous Improvement/ Problem Fixing
1. Tell me about a time when you leaned out a process
2. Tell me about a time you had a difficult job to solve
3. Walk me through a different scenario of a process you invented or improved
4. Tell me about a time you attempted to refine a process and failed
5. Give an example of a time when you found a simple solution to a seemingly difficult problem
6. How has your past experiences included lean management, six sigma, kaizen
Interview Question – Tell me about yourself. Don't say something typical View Answers (2)
Software Development Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details – Over the course of months (!) between phone calls they eventually invited me onsite for an interview. The people I met were great to talk to although they seemed really tired and were very intent on keeping everything prompt and punctual. Very scripted questions, nothing spontaneous. Overall a good interview experience except that a lot of my questions got generic answers.
Interview Question – Describe your biggest failure and what you did to ensure it wouldn't recur? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – The offer was too low, even after negotiating, to be worth it. I received another offer that was 12% higher with a company that doesn't have all of the bad reviews that Amazon has.
Seller Support Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2014.
Interview Details – I applied on the career website, and within that same day I was contacted by hr. They then sent me a link to take a skills/personality test which lasted about an hour. A lot of the questions were very customer service focused. After completing the test, it took about another day or so for them to notify me that I passed the assessment and then they invited me for a face to face interview. Hr then emailed details of the interview, information on the company, and helpful tips. The interview was then scheduled for the following week. When I arrived for the interview, I was met by hr and they had explained what to expect for the interview process and whether I had any questions. I then met with the supervisor and then the manager, and each meeting lasted about 30 minutes. A lot of the interview questions were very customer service oriented, and they wanted to hear about your work experiences and how you dealt with certain situations. Two days after the interview, I was then contacted by hr and was offered a position :)
Interview Question – Overall, the questions were very basic. They emphasize how Amazon is very customer-centric, so they want to hear your customer service experience and how you've dealt with difficult situations, etc. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – There wasn't a negotiation phase. If selected for a face to face interview, hr explains benefits and pay rate prior to.
Technical Program Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2013.
Interview Details – Phone Screen - Discussed my projects, problems solved, typical day, etc
How will you launch Kindle in a new country
In-house - 4 rounds
Design Amazon home page
Describe most complex and challenging project. - architecture, problems, design discussions, etc
Resolving a conflict
Managing timelines and deliverables when people do not report to you
Very Easy Interview
Fufilment Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2014.
Interview Details – Applied online for a new warehouse that was opening up. A month later I received a email telling me to schedule a date to come to a hiring event. Let me say this, it was the most funniest and pleasant experience I've ever had trying to get a job. The staff at the event were fun and full of excitement. You get there there is music playing and you give them proof of education. You take your id picture and take a drug test and background test. If you get invited your pretty much hired. Now I'm just waiting for my results and my orientation date. For a teen living at home like me the pay and hours are just awesome.
Interview Question – No interview as for my experience Answer Question
Negotiation Details – None. You take what they give you which is already awesome for a person of my age.
Software Development Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2014.
Interview Details – I interviewed with Amazon for a Summer Internship. The process took less than 3 weeks. I had two back-to-back 45 minute phone-interviews scheduled. Within a week I was informed of the decision.
The questions were of average difficulty. They were mostly looking for strong Computer Science fundamentals. The first interviewer was interested in details of one of my projects. He then moved on to asking me a few fundamental questions about inheritance. The coding problem involved merging two unsorted strings. The interviewer was also interested in questioning me on how the code would scale if the strings grow to large.
The second interview was more grilling, the interviewer gave me a situation where a web server not performing as expected and wanted me to dive deep into deciphering what all could have gone wrong. I was then asked to implement 'toString' Java API.
Interview Question – None. All questions were of average difficulty. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I was not given an option to choose a team unlike my other batchmates who got in through college career fair.
Customer Service Experience Interview (Positive Experience)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details – I applied on Amazon's jobs site for this intern position in the morning and received an offer by e-mail from Human Resources in the evening. Contingent on my successful completion of a background check, of course. The recruiter was very professional. This was the easiest application process that I have ever gone through.
Negotiation Details – No negotiation.
Fulfillment Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2010.
Interview Details – Had to go thru a temp-service initially. Had to basically understand and write english. The interview was basic questions about yourself then why you would like to work for Amazon. They would ask where you would like to work like packing, picking, ect. Then discuss the shift of your choice. Once at the company as long as performance and attendance were met you could get converted as a full-time Amazon employee.
Interview Question – Would you be willing to walk 10 - 15 miles a day? View Answer
Negotiation Details – work schedule and area of work preference
Account Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2013.
Interview Details – Be prepared for a very bizarre interview. They will ask you many form questions, with no real connection or proper communication. I met with 5 people on the team, one of which who was possible the meanest person I have ever met and seemed to have absolutely no interest in being there.
Interview Question – While I was interviewing for a post sales position, many questions were about sales specifically. I think the most unexpected question though, was when I was asked to describe something technical that had nothing to do with the job. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – I had heard Amazon had a habit of overworking employees, and I had better offers. I was also VERY put off by the final interviewer's attitude and how dismissive they were.
Interviews for Top Jobs at Amazon.com