Amazon.com
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www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 10, 2014
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169 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

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.

**Continued below**

Negotiation Details – As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.

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67 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Area Manager Interview

Area Manager

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
2. Strengths
3. Weaknesses
4. Why Amazon?
5. How can you translate your skills towards Amazon?
6. What experiences do you have that separate you from the rest?

Groups/ Leadership
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

Negativity
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 Answer

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5 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Manager Interview

Software Development Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2014.

Interview Details – I had been contacted by a recruiter from Amazon for a job I had applied to about 2 months earlier. She said a new position had opened up and asked if I was still interested. This was for a software development manager.

I had 2 phone screens (1 with the hiring manager, and 1 with a sr. software developer on the team). Nothing too out of the ordinary - some high level architecture questions and some open ended behavioral questions.

I didn't think anything would come from it, but shortly after the second phone screen, they asked if I could fly out to Seattle for in-person interviews (I live right outside of Washington DC). I set that up for the following week (they use a travel agency, so it's pretty straightforward).

The process was very well set up and everyone seemed pretty laid back and professional. The first person I talked for about 30 minutes was an hr manager. He explained that how Amazon interviews is different than most other companies. Instead of bringing in 3 or 4 candidates for a position then picking one, Amazon first wants to know if you're a good fit for the company. If you are, then they try and match you with a position that seems to be the best fit. So they are really hiring you for the company more than the specific position. And he also mentioned (as did a few of the other people I talked to), that it is pretty easy to move around within the company if you want a new or different challenge at some point.

The interview day is fairly intense - I met with 7 different people (1:1). The types of questions were similar to what I had experienced in the phone screens. A lot of behavioral type questions: "tell me about a time a project failed... got behind schedule... how did you handle it". They are really looking for how you deal with various situations. There were also some architecture and systems design questions.

My interview day was on Wednesday and they called the following day to offer my a position. Instead of a software development manager, they liked me for a technical program manager position. After looking at the job description, this really did make a lot of sense (I have managed software teams in the past, but also have a lot of project management experience). So I thought they did a good job of matching me to the right position (I talked a lot about project management processes, client management, planning, etc. during the interviews).

All in all, it was a positive experience. One thing I would have changed was the location of the hotel. The travel agent put me outside of city (This was not Amazon's fault). Not being familiar with Seattle, I didn't realize how inconvenient it would be to get around (and I stayed an extra day after the interview to check out the city). I would strongly recommend that if they offer to fly you out and put you up in a hotel, that you make sure to get a room in downtown Seattle. Minor detail - but worth noting.

Interview Question – There was not one question that stood out as being most difficult. I would say just be very prepared to talk about past projects and give specifics about your past experiences.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Negotiating the offer as I write this.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Operations Manager Interview

Operations Manager
San Bernardino, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2013.

Interview Details – The process is very structured. It is a POD setting with managers from all over the network participating. You may or may not be meeting with the people that you will eventually work with. You will be in a room with other candidates, who will be interviewing at the same time.

Interview Question – You will be expected to provide detailed summaries of how you have solved problems in the past. You will be expected to solve a series of math problems.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Lead Fulfillemt Associate Interview

Lead Fulfillemt Associate
Moreno Valley, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2014.

Interview Details – Applied online in May 2014 followed by a phone interview. the phone interview asks basic questions on safety and theft what would you do type questions, the next step is an in person interview 3 weeks after the phone interview. the in person begins with a group setting being read 2 scenario after which your timed response is written down and next is the in person interview with two supervisors general questions about education, work history, followed by scenario role playing and than detailed behavioral analysis questions phrased like tell me about a time. two weeks later receive call to come back in where your are given a contingent offer letter and submit to mouth swab drug test. next two weeks are waiting for test and background results followed by email with job offer.

Interview Question – tell us about a time you've faced a moral decision   View Answer

Negotiation Details – no negotiation willing to be a bit flexible with schedule but for the most part you are told a schedule

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2014.

Interview Details – I submitted an application online and forgot about it, and was contacted by a recruiter a few weeks later. I had two phone interviews about three weeks part. Each one was about an hour and involved technical questions. I did pretty terrible on both of them due to nervousness.

Shortly after (< 1 week) I was invited for onsite interviews. I had 5 interviews + lunch, with a mix of technical and behavioral questions. The questions were typical algorithm/data structures questions, so definitely prepare on those beforehand. The next day I got an email letting me know that they would be extending an offer. I had interviewed at a couple of other places previously which really helped my confidence. Definitely do that if possible.

Interview Question – A lot of behavioral questions, have some experiences memorized so you're not making it up as you go along.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate the base salary a little, but they wouldn't budge very much.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Corporate Counsel Interview

Corporate Counsel
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2014.

Interview Details – You have a general questionnaire, 2 or 3 phone interviews, a written exercise, and then an on-site interview with about 6 people (usually relatively high up interviewers). Interviews are focused on hypothetical questions and behavioral interview questions, with an emphasis placed on the Amazon leadership principles.

Interview Question – Tell me about a time you used your judgment and you were wrong.   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2012.

Interview Details – I applied through the career fair of our university. They contacted me afterwards and invited for a hiring event at Seattle. There were several candidates who were interviewed on the same day. I had 4 rounds of interviews and the difficulty of questions varied for moderate to hard. With good preparation of computer science basics and some interview practice, it is relatively easy to crack this interview.

Interview Question – I was asked to implement a hash map from scratch. It was challenging because we don't really think in detail about how to do it. There were problems about resolving hash collisions, how to maintain the hash map, how to update/ delete elements, complexity analysis etc. Overall I think this was a very good question to test both CS fundamentals and coding skills.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Had better offers.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
New York, NY

I interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2013.

Interview Details – Amazon HR called me describing the opportunity and asking whether I am interested. They were in New York for interview and after brief updates on my resume, I was selected for the final round interview.

Interview Question – How would you write a software for dna matching.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Area Manager Interview

Area Manager
Allentown, PA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2012.

Interview Details – The process was vey easy they fly you out to what ever location they are conducting the interviews and it is 5 hours process with 4 types of interviews. math flow problem, behavioral questions, production questions, and HR.

Interview Question – what is your favorite part or operations when it comes to 400 associates.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – none

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