Amazon.com
3.3 of 5 3,204 reviews
www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Research Scientist Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 4, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

41%
22%
17%

Interview Experience 

63%
27%
9%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
13 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Research Scientist Interview

Research Scientist
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2013.

Interview Details – One phone call from HR in 3 days after applying for the position. One phone interview from the group asked some statistics questions which were good and made sense. The second phone interview also asked statistics questions by whom like a computer science student only want to know answers ...

Interview Question – A little rude to statisticians.   Answer Question

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

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Research Scientist Interview

Research Scientist
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2014.

Interview Details – Got an message at LinkedIn from an Amazon recruiter. Arranged for the phone interview (~1 hour) within a few days. After that, got the chance to attend a hiring event for onsite. The onsite has four rounds of interviews with each 45min.

Interview Question – Phone interview: research + one coding question

Onsite: Two rounds of research interviews and two rounds of coding. Asked typical coding questions, similar to LeetCode. No brain teaser.
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The package is kinda good enough. Didn't negotiate.

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

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Operations Research Scientist Interview

Operations Research Scientist
Seattle, WA

I interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.

Interview Details – Three question. One is conditional probability, second one is inventory and demand related. Third one is website customer behavior question.

Interview Question – website customer behavior question.   Answer Question

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

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Research Scientist Intern Interview

Research Scientist Intern
Seattle, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2014.

Interview Details – two phone interviews. The first one mainly focus on machine learning and algorithm part. And the second one is about statistics.

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

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Operations Research Scientist – Global Supply Management Interview

Operations Research Scientist – Global Supply Management

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com.

Interview Details – I was contacted for interview around a month and half after I submitted my application online. I had two phone interviews.

The first interview caught me a bit off guard. The interviewer asked two straight questions related to stochastic process, for which I was ill prepared at all. One is about the optimal stopping time, the other about random sum of random variables. With a bit help from the interviewer, I managed to solve the first one. But I was quick on the second. At the end, the interviewer kindly promised me a second interview.

So I got my second phone interview, which was focused on math modeling. I thought I did well overall, but got rejection from Amazon one day later. On hindsight, I found out I made a minor mistake by confusing OPL language.

Interview Question – All the questions are sort of textbook problems, relatively easy.   Answer Question

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

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Operations Research Scientist Interview

Operations Research Scientist

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2013.

Interview Details – Three phone interviews in three months.

Interview Question – How to forecast the output of a warehouse for Christmas?   View Answers (2)

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

6 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Operations Research Scientist Interview

Operations Research Scientist
Seattle, WA

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

Interview Details – The process was very long, VERY.

The very first phone interview with HR person was in last December. Questions that I can recalled now are (1) tell me about your research. (2) what is the most interesting project you have done so far, and what is the worst team work experience you have so far. (3) when will you be available. etc. This phone interview was about 30 minutes, not too intense.

The second phone interview was in mid January. a tech one. He gave me a real problem he is solving (or has solved), and asked how I would approach this problem. It was an open research question and hence there is no correct answer. I gave the first answer for the simplified version of that problem and then we went from there, we gradually relaxed some constraints and improved the previous solution. The very last part of this interview was a simple coding question, about array sorting. This phone interview was about 45 minutes long.

The third phone interview was in late Feburary. In fact before they emailed me to arrange this one I thought I was out after the previous phone interview. This is a tech one also, and more about programming part. Questions are about sorting, heap, shortest path algorithm, etc. Basically I needed to explained the algorithm first, and then wrote the code on a website he provided where he can see directly what I am typing. This one was about 45 minutes as well. Questions are not too difficult, but I haven't really implement Dijkstra algorithm so it took me a while to finish it.

The fourth phone interview was in mid March, a tech one as well. He gave me a real problem he is solving now and wanted to know my opinion. This problem is about the operation optimization in amazon fulfillment center. Scheduling, picking, sorting, that kind of stuff. Again this is open research question and there is no correct answer. 45 minutes long as well.

Finally here came the onsite, it was in early April. Because I applied for a research-type job so I was required to give a seminar presentation, which is fine. (But I heard NOT all research job candidates are required to do so, which is weird, I suppose everyone should) After the hour-long presentation the interview sessions started right away. There were two tech ones first, then HR one, and then lunch break (this is a tech one as well), then two other tech ones. Each one was about 30 to 45 minutes, but you don't have to worry about the time, they will control the time. They will keep emphasizing we are almost out of time when you are trying to figure out something. That bothered me A LOT.

You can go to restroom or get something to drink between interview session, but that's basically all the rest you can get. There is no further break between sessions. So it is very exhausting. (presentation + 2 + 1 + lunch + 2, basically non-stop)

I signed NDA and hence I won't mention the details of each session. But basically all the tech sessions were about open research-type questions, probably because of the job I applied. Hence I suggest, for those who are interested in applying for Operations Research related job in amazon, google what they did, what they are doing, and what they plan to do, and think about if there is any research topics related to those. It would help a lot.

There is NO typical programming and algorithm session for me, which may not be standard I think.

The decision came in late April, I did not get the offer, which is quite disappointing, especially after such a long process. It wasn't a pleasant process because firstly it is long, and secondly because I didn't get the offer, but still I learned many things in this process, and helped me a lot in interviewing with other companies.

Oh by the way they paid for everything, flight, hotel, food, as usual.

Interview Question – Google what they did, what they are doing, and what they plan to do, and think about if there is any research topics related to those. It would help a lot.

By the way, even if you are doing optimization, logistics/transportation/supply chain type of research, still, get some ideas about machine learning, data mining, analytics-type of stuff, it would help.
  Answer Question

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

2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Research Scientist Interview

Senior Research Scientist
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in October 2012.

Interview Details – A good friend of mine that served on my PhD committee told me about this position. I got so excited, I found several jobs on the Amazon web site and applied for all of them. I bombed the first interview with different group. I was then able to have two interviews for the job. I was invited for an on-site interview. It was probably the most in-depth interview of my career. They asked me about programming, signal processing and other related topics. At first, I wasn't sure if I would get a job offer.

Interview Question – Given a set of strings, find the equivalence classes of permuted strings. This threw me for a loop because it's been a while since I have done string manipulations.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – They matched my salary expectations. My wife wanted a little bit more on base salary after seeing the prices of real estate in Seattle. They agreed to increase it a little. They were very easy to contact and negotiate with.

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

2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Research Scientist II Interview

Research Scientist II
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2012.

Interview Details – Went through 4 Phone Interviews, one with the hiring manager and 3 technical phone screens. After which I was called onsite to their Seattle HQ, where I had another full day of interviews. I signed an NDA, so would not go into details, but all in all the interviews evaluated both my algorithmic/programming skills and math/statistics/machine learning skills. The interviewers posed a lot of real worlds scenarios for me to solve and judged me based on my approach.

Interview Question – The unexpected part was some questions regarding multi variate calculus which I had not expected.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The Recruiter did not leave much room for negotiation. I liked the offer and accepted it.

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

2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Operations Research Scientist Interview

Operations Research Scientist
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2011.

Interview Details – After review my resume handed by an Amazon employee, they responded quickly to set up a phone interview opportunity. It's a one hour interview with the hiring manager. We went through my resume in 5-10 mins. Then he asked me a classic operations research question: the vehicle routing problem. We know that this problem is NP-hard, then he asked me to spend the rest 40 mins to give him a heuristic algorithm. I didn't get the onsite interview opportunity, unfortunately.

Interview Question – The open question of vehicle routing problem is pretty hard for some one whose research is not focus on this specific area.   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 Research Scientist interview questions and advice. All 13 interview reviews posted anonymously by Amazon.com employees and interview candidates.