Amazon.com
3.3 of 5 3,203 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Principal Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

100%

Interview Experience 

0%
50%
50%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
2 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in
2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Principal Software Engineer Interview

Principal Software Engineer
Seattle, WA

The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2008.

Interview Details – Phone screen by recruiter who read from a script. A few days later got a call from the hiring manager. She was not sure exactly what she wanted, and talked about a number of different things. Invited in for onsite interviews. The first two guys were late and bored. I did not like it so i excused myself and left before lunch.

Interview Question – Usual questions about data structures. Nothing you haven't seen before.   Answer Question

Was this interview helpful?  
Yes | No
Flag Interview  |  Add Employer Response

1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Principal Software Engineer Interview

Principal Software Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2011.

Interview Details – Amazon contacted me. The phone interview was about my personality and to describe my background. The in-person interview was all about CS basics: if you know "Introduction to Algorithms" by Cormen you should be able to answer all of the questions. There is very heavy emphasis on O(N) notation. I found this a bit odd since I'm a EE/Math with 20 years industry experience.
The in-person interview goes from 10AM-3:30PM with no breaks. Most of the interviews are multi-person, with me at the white board. Two of the questions revolved around O(N) notation where there interviewers did not know the correct answer. (I verified after the fact.)
The questions are largely tricks that if you've seen before are trivial, if you haven't then they are close to impossible.
Example: Given a singly linked list, determine whether there is a loop in it. The solution to this problem was "Floyd's Cycle-Finding Algorithm" as published in "Non-deterministic Algorithms" by Robert W. Floyd in 1967. It is also called "The Tortoise and the Hare Algorithm".

Example: Given a singly linked list, find the maximum element and reverse the order of the maximum element to the end of the list, or a total of 5 nodes, whichever is less.

Interview Questions

  • Given an array of numbers, using a moving window of size 3, report the maximum element within the window for each position.   Answer Question
  • Code a Huffman lossless encoder on the white board.   Answer Question

Was this interview helpful?  
Yes | No
Flag Interview  |  Add Employer Response
RSS Feed Embed
Interviews for Top Jobs at Amazon.com

Worked for Amazon.com? Contribute to the Community!

Amazon.com Videos

Loading...

Amazon.com – Why Work for Us?

Not ready to apply yet? Click here to join our Talent communities, where you can learn more about us and stay up-to-date with Amazonian opportunities! Full Overview

Provided by employer [?]

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.

Glassdoor is your free inside look at Amazon.com Principal Software Engineer interview questions and advice. All interview reviews posted anonymously by Amazon.com employees and interview candidates.