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Amazon.com SOFTWARE ENGINEER (SR DEVELOPER) Interview Questions & Reviews

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer - Kindle Team Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Boston, MA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2013.

Interview Details – I applied for one of their East Coast jobs; got a reply back from one of their recruiters pretty quickly. She then sent me an email with detailed instructions on their phone screen process.

For those that haven't gone through that experience, I'll summarize: they like to do "online white-boarding" sessions. That means you have to be near your computer, with online access to Collabedit. Also get ready to get grilled! This approach is convenient for them, but I'm a bit old-fashioned and prefer the in-person feel of an actual whiteboard.

Anyway, I decided to just through their hoop, since my work commute is very short. I was to expect their call at 9:30 am...9:45...10am...and NO CALL! I let the HR gal know...and she didn't call me back to reschedule.

So Amazon, it's perfectly for you to expect me to hold up my life and work, just so you can flake on me?

So, if you want to work there, go right ahead..but methinks they think of themselves too highly! There are companies out there with less onerous hiring processes.

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer
Cupertino, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in October 2012.

Interview Details – I have a friend at Lab126, a subsidiary of Amazon located in Cupertino, who referred me for a job with his team. I was prompty contacted by a friendly recruiter from Seattle, passed on to the hiring manager and had a first phone interview. First phone interview covered some simple coding questions using collabedit (a big improvement over verbally describing code!). It was apparent to me that I aced this interview, and indeed I did. So a second phone interview was set for the next week. In this interview I was asked one very difficult question which I was totally unprepared for -- I've never seen one like it before or since. I was pretty boggled by this question and made a crucial mistake, I just started coding it before really working out the algorithm. Recommendation: talk it out and describe the algorithm fully before you write any code!

I did barely squeak through this interview and so was contacted by another friendly recruiter in Cupertino to setup an onsite interview in Cupertino the following week. Unfortunately the airfare got messed up (be sure to confirm air reservations within 24 hours even if its over the weekend!) so we pushed it back til the next week. The whole interviewing process stretched out over about 4 weeks.

I studied coding questions intensively in preparation for the onsite interview, I should have prepared before the phone interviews too. This did serve me well in the onsite interview.

Since I was flying from Florida and wanted to stay extra days to check out real estate, they were kind enough to book me two nights (they usually only do one). They also set me up for a rental car which I had to get reimbursed for. The hotel was very nice, literally right next to Lab126 building where I had my interviews, I was able to simply walk over there.

Onsite interview involved 4 coding interviews (1 of which was by video since the guy was in Seattle) and then an interview with the manager of the team I was being interviewed for (while I wolfed down a mediocre sandwich from a catering company). I was out by 2PM, not quite the full day interview I've heard described by others. 3 of the 4 interviews were dead on, I answered the coding questions very well and in timely fashion and the interviewers gave me positive feedback. Unfortunately, the hard one was the bar raiser and I fumbled on that one a bit. This was a question about designing a reservation system for a restaurant -- obvioulsy impossible to code that in one hour. I think the key to these types of questions is to talk it out. My interview with the manager was hard to read, she wanted to know things like what other companies was I interviewing at, did I have any interest in management, etc.

At the end I had a brief interview with HR person who was friendly. She wanted to talk about HR things like relocation, salary, etc.

Ultimately I received a pretty standard corporate "No thanks" e-mail. For me, it was disappointing but probably just as well since the real estate in Silicon Valley area is ridiculously expensive! I was going to feel like I'd gotten a cut in pay given the salary I was likely to receive.

Interview Question – Write a function to allocated two dimensional rectangles within a larger area.   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

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

Interview Details – I had initially applied to a position in their Cambridge office, but a recruiter from one of the Seattle offices found it and contacted me. We scheduled a phone interview for the next week.

The first phone interview involved coding. Specifically, there was an algorithm question that was followed by a design question. This interview felt like it went well. About an hour after the interview, I received an email asking for a second phone interview.

The second phone interview was much like the first. However, in addition to a design and algorithmic question, I was also posed a straightforward topology/architecture question. This interview also felt like it went well. The next day, they contacted to schedule an on-site interview.

Both phone interviews were conducted on a real-time text-sharing and -editing website (in addition to the phone).

I am not located in Seattle, so I was flown out about 10 days after the second phone interview. Amazon put me up at a nice hotel and covered all of the expenses for my trip, which ended up being three days and two nights.

My on-site interview consisted of seven back-to-back interviews. Five of them were technical and comprised of a good mix of algorithm and design questions with a bias towards algorithms. The majority of these interviews were 45 minutes and we used every last moment. In some of the interviews, I was given a couple minutes to ask questions. Some of my technical interviewers did not have a copy of my resume and did not seem interested in my work history. A few of the interviewers were not members of the hiring team. In additional to the technical interviews, I had lunch with the hiring manager, where I was given plenty of time to ask questions. The manager also took some time to ask me a few non-technical questions. Finally, there was a brief interview with an HR representative to discuss logistics.

Overall, I felt the interview went well.

I received an offer approximately two business days after the on-site interview.

Interview Question – Given a trie and a prefix, find the word (in the trie) that starts with some subsequence of the prefix and also has the longest such subsequence.   View Answers (2)

Reason for Declining – Amazon made an attractive offer, but I decided that moving to Seattle wasn't something I wanted to do.

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Amazon.com.

Interview Details – 1. Phone interview with the recruiter (30 - 40 mins).
2. Phone interview with an engineer (1 hour).

Interview Question – Write a function to detect if a graph is cyclic.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer
Chennai (India)

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2012.

Interview Details – Very good hiring process. They mandate interview to be on the weekday

Interview Question – Lot of questions on the datastructure might be easier to remember all those stuff right out of college but after 9 years of expereince its very difficult   View Answers (2)

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2012.

Interview Details – Initial Phone Interview, then an interview with Sr. Project Manager and then Interview onsite with team 1:1, Director and Sr. Manager. (This was amazon acquired company audible.com)

From the benefits point of view it is good company, from culture very UN-natural. You hardly see people mingle or talk. Most of them are in there own place. Too subdued, quite and seemed very unnatural.

With the interview process, I found mostly incompetent senior leadership. They had no direction or a valuable insight. Team and people I found where very polite, nice but not much depth in technology. Most junior to mid level talent. They like to bring in fresh talent and tailor to the needs and culture of the company. But sounded and looked very fake. If they see you as a treat in interview process you will not be extended any offers. They will advertise high salary for the positions so that they get as much as information possibly from competing company talent which use to better their operations, delivery and engineering. This is very typical of Google, Amazon and Apple. Not worth working in my opinion if you are a senior talent person with can do attitude. From the interviews I guessed based on their input on the questions I asked they were lagging very much in technology, implementation, integration, delivery and operations. But mostly management aspect was very weak and sad.

Interview Questions

  • What iOS classes would you use to design a multi-level garage and how would you make sure the car you have parked in the space is tagged and you have the ability to find it again. Note: Remember this is designing virtual garage app.   Answer Question
  • What database fields are necessary to tie in online comments and reviews to tie into the product sale of an audio book item? Note: They explain and go through the exercise with you on how you approach solutions and design.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2011.

Interview Details – An internal Amazon recruiter contacted me after receiving my resume from an outside recruiter. I had two technical telephone (online) interviews and one day-long interview with several developers and managers. My best advice is, be very calm going in. Know what you have to offer, and make that clear. This group didn't make me jump through trivial puzzle hoops; the questions were meaningful and to the point. Enjoyed everyone I talked with.

Interview Question – All of the questions asked were within the range of the expected. Know your strongest language well.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The offer came back strong. No negotiation was necessary.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in October 2011.

Interview Details – Was contacted by a recruiter after i applied online. Setup a phone interview with a Director in Kindle team.
The phone interview consisted of some introductions and then a question about rating teams which was ok. Then there a technical question which i fumbled. Next day the recruiter sent a negative reply.

Interview Question – Give a 2D rectangular array represented as a 1D arrary in row-major form, rotate the array by 90 degrees   View Answers (4)

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