Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Amazon.com
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I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2014.
The phone screen with 3 interviewer spanned 3-4 weeks. It was some kind of engg managerial position. But details of the positions were never disclosed to me. All of the individuals asked me if I am willing to relocate to Seattle. I was mainly interested in bay area position which the recruiter knew. So all of the interviewers were quick to add that there were opportunities in bay area also.
- There were nothing really difficult or that unexpected. Managerial type questions can have multiple answers. But your answer may not be the one they are waiting to hear. Answer Question
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceEasy InterviewNo OfferNeutral ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2014.
Contacted by recruiter and had solid conversation about the fundamentals of managing a highly technical team of software engineers. Enjoyed the conversation and was excited about the position and next interview. First interview with potential peer manager when well but I was disappointed in the questions being asked. Not really up to par with my expectations. The second interview with peer manager was even more disappointing - interviewer seemed like he did not want to be there. Questions were of low level difficulty but increasingly centered around specific api implementations with the Amazon customer - address domain. The interviewer seemed frustrated that I was not familiar with how these private api's interacted. My answers were solid but I could tell the conversation was over. Received email from recruiter assistant say "no thanks" - one week later I was contact by two other development manager recruiters from Amazon about applying for other teams. I was put off from the whole experience and probably will not consider Amazon in the future
- Customer - Address api as implemented in the Amazon shipping subsystem. I was not prepared for that question during a management interview. Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 days – interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in August 2013.
The recruiter called, asked a bunch of preliminary questions, and setup a phone interview.
- They asked a lot about my job history, and how I made things scale. (Which was basically a load balancer, and sharding). When asked very specifically about how to scale something beyond that this didn't seem to suffice for an answer. 1 Answer
- Declined OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult InterviewDeclined OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in May 2013.
Got pinged my recruiter and haunted me to take a phone screen. Then they went silent and when I threatened that I have another interview, they again followed up. They brought me onsite. We through about 6 or 7 interviews, and I was cocky in a few questions(I already had one offer and another one was brewing up). I refused to answer a puzzle question as I did not see how this would related to my job. It was a long day.
- Describe the most important decision you have taken in managing someone that still makes you feel good. Also describe the worst decision you have taken and how soon did you know that you made a mistake in judgment. Answer Question
Reasons for Declining
I had two other offers, and I was interviewing at amazon just to see what they would offer, and I could use that for counter at other places. I have heard of some horror stories with amazon work life balance.
- No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage InterviewNo OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2013.
I applied Online. Couple of Amazon recruiters emailed about opportunities, and setup 2 separate telephone interviews for different positions after initial phone chat.
Software Dev Eng interview involved writing code and sharing it real time with the interviewer on the Web. They mostly checked for logic than syntax.
Technical Program Manager interviewer posed questions about managing multiple cross functional Agile teams, prioritization, escalation, and managing expectations.
- Asked to write code online. Posed scenarios where teams are difficult to deal with and how to manage around it. Answer Question
- No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult InterviewNo OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in November 2012.
Amazon recruiter reached to me. Phone Interview.
- I interviewed for Manager position. They asked very deep technical questions. 1 Answer
Helpful (3)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult InterviewAccepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
The process took a day – interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in February 2012.
I interviewed for a technical engineering manager position at Amazon. Overall, my experience was very positive. The interview was challenging but fair. I won't divulge any specifics, but hopefully this review can give you enough of an impression of the interview experience to decide whether this position would be worth pursuing.
* The interviewers' areas of coverage areas were well divided. I met with folks from various roles, and they split up responsibilities so there was minimal redundancy in what I was asked. I was able to share about experiences in any number of different areas, which felt appropriate (versus some interviews I've been to that either focus entirely on technical, or personnel, aspects). Be prepared to talk about every aspect of your role and background.
* Many questions started off fairly typically with the kind of basic questions that every candidate should be prepared to answer, but I was impressed by the way the interviewers dug into my answers with followup questions. Don't expect to just rattle off some pat answers that you read from a book or website, and don't expect to be able to BS by saying what you think they want to hear; interviewers will drill pretty deeply to get an authentic impression.
* I didn't get the sense that interviewers were looking for a particular "right" answer to any question. Although it's often tempting to just say, "I did/didn't get an offer because I did/didn't give the one answer they were looking for", I moreso got the impression that interviewers were looking for good justification and clarity around my answers. So if you're asked a "What If" or "Would you do A or B" type question, worry less about trying to anticipate the "right" answer, but focus instead on explaining your rationale clearly, bringing up tradeoffs, and applying your previous experience.
* If you're interviewing for a technical management position, you'll be asked some coding and design questions. Amazon is fairly transparent about this expectation. The questions were challenging but not unreasonable. My interviewers were explicit that they weren't expecting me to come up with the most optimal answer or cleanest code, and rather that this was to make sure I had enough technical familiarity to interact with a coding team. It took me a bit to get comfortable on the whiteboard since it's been a while since I've coded, and the experience of coding on a whiteboard is much different / unnatural than coding on a computer so I'd encourage you to practice a bit beforehand.
* Amazon interviewers take copious notes on their laptops while interviewing. This can make parts of the interview seem less interactive. However, one positive aspect is that this naturally creates breaks in the interview flow -- while the interviewer is catching up typing, I get a minute to reflect a bit on my answers and for example in one instance, I caught a bug in my code.
* I was very impressed by the quality, punctuality, and maturity of the interviewers. I talked to folks in various roles and they were all very professional and respectful. I'm aware that Amazon gets tons of candidates, but I never got the sense that I was just being put through an interview mill. My recruiter was also very professional and prompt at responding to my questions, I was put up in a nice hotel, etc.
Overall, I highly encourage you to apply to Amazon if you have strong leadership experience with some amount of technical familiarity. When doing so, there's no need to overly prepare; as long as you're refreshed on basic algorithms and design, and are ready to talk about and defend your experiences, you'll be well prepared.
- Various questions covering the whole gamut of leadership, project management, design, coding, decision-making, personnel challenges, etc. Answer Question
- No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage InterviewNo OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6 weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in October 2011.
Overall, I had a positive experience interviewing at Amazon. I think the process was very slow though. I had 3 phone interviews and after every interview I didn't hear back for a week. Sometimes I had to ping HR on whats the outcome. I was in no hurry as I wasn't considering other companies but in this fast paced world I think Amazon is definitely losing out with such hiring processes.
I finally got an invitation for onsite interviews 2weeks back. All the people who interviewed were really good and knowledgeable in their area. I enjoyed the experience. Even though during the process it struck me as well as few interviewers that I might not be the right fit for the role as this position was kind of 1st tier support manager and in my current role I manage a team of DBAs. One and half week after the interview it was finally a "No Offer" which I was expecting.
- How to design a system which tells about movies going on each zip codes along with their showtimes and theatres 1 Answer
Helpful (2)No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult InterviewNo OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
The process took 5 days – interviewed at Amazon.com (Irvine, CA) in August 2011.
I submitted my resume online and got an email back from the recruiter asking to provide written responses to some questions related to willingness to relocate, a description of projects worked on and questions about current development team. A few days later a call was setup to speak to the recruiter. She was prompt and pleasant and described the job in general terms as well as the atmosphere. She asked a few things about why I was leaving the current position as well as the type of role I played in the position I held. The interview went well and at the conclusion she asked if I would like to talk to one of the managers. I indicated and she set that up for the following week. Interview lasted about 30 minutes.
The next interview began about 10 minutes late because the manager was late calling. He provided a short introductions and then asked if I had any questions before we started. I asked him to describe the postion and what they were looking for, and he gave an answer like "we have lots of positions in lots of areas" and did not provide much in the way of what he was looking for. He asked me to describe my background and I did so. He provided no feedback and it was hard to tell if there was any interest.
He never asked any technical questions and asked about if I had fired anyone and to describe the experience. Also wanted to know what my thoughts were on were on motivating high achievers as well as what I thought were good ways to screen people in interviews. I started to wonder if this was an engineering position or a human resources position. HIs lack of feedback and aloof attitude made the interview less then pleasant.
Helpful (1)Declined OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult InterviewDeclined OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com (Toronto, ON (Canada)) in May 2012.
- Design a system to provide services to users / clients to obtain uuid . 1 Answer
Reasons for Declining
Better offer elsewhere
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