Amazon.com Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jul 1, 2015
115 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com (Austin, TX) in May 2015.

    Interview

    I had a call with a recruiter and she told me about the position and the company. A few weeks later I had a technical phone screen. The interviewer was on a speaker phone so it was very hard to hear him. He asked three technical questions and we used an a collaborative coding site so he could type a problem and I could write code for him to review. The questions were the ridiculous problems that you never encounter as a software engineer because somebody else has written a library to do them. I asked the interviewer a few questions about the position and it was different than what the recruiter described.

    A few days later they emailed me and asked me to do another phone interview but I declined as I decided to stay in my current position.

    Interview Questions

    • Write code that will return the nth digit of the Fibonacci sequence.   Answer Question
    • Write code that will take a string of numbers (12,345) and return the spoken word version of the number (twelve thousand three hundred forty five).   Answer Question
    • Write code that will validate a binary search tree.   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (4)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    The interview process was geared toward making me feel comfortable. First the interviewers would talk a bit about themselves and what they do at Amazon, followed by very open-ended questions about myself. After the initial open-ended questions, the interviewer would get into more specific topics and/or coding questions. The coding questions required writing close to syntactically correct code on a whiteboard, but the interviewers were OK with a bit of handwaving. The interviewers were also helpful in identifying issues with my solution in a way that kept my comfort level and confidence high. Overall it was a very positive experience.

  3.  

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com in April 2015.

    Interview

    I dad a round of technical whiteboarding session wherein i was given a program and asked questions related to it. the questions were average ones. the recruiter was helpful throughout the process.

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  5.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in March 2015.

    Interview

    Yes, you read that right.. 180 days. First phone interview, interviewer never bothered to submit feedback to the system. Recruiter would contact and go dark for a month, contact and dark.. Finally another phone interview.

    Was told I had to fly to Seattle for the on-site even though I live less than ten miles from the job location. I have to fly in the day before, so it takes me two days to do this interview. Also, I could not get a job description although I was told multiple teams were interested.

    After the flight had been booked I finally get a job description and the required skill-set is nowhere near what my resume lists.. I go anyway because I had never been to Seattle, though I started to have my doubts about all of it.

    Do the interview and everything goes ok. For dealing with technology so far out of my comfort zone I'd say I did pretty well overall. Lots of algorithm and cloud based questions. Aced a couple, did ok on some and got stuck on one.

    Get a call the next day that the team decided to pass because of my lack of knowledge of their technology. Told the recruiter that I thought it was odd that I was brought in for this job in the first place and expected the team to understand that I had to learn on the job.. Get quite rudely told that "we hire on experience, not potential." and she tells me she'll call back in a year or so.

    If you only hire on experience, why contact someone who has none of the skills listed that you are looking for? This turned into a giant waste of time for everyone involved because of some recruiter not doing their job.

    Interview Questions

    • Lots of algorithm questions straight out of careercup. Overall the interview was quite thorough and all bases were covered. I could not figure out who the 'bar raiser' was because none of the interviews stood out as particularly difficult.

      What was interesting was that when I asked questions about cooperation and interaction with different groups, all interviewers replied in a way that i could see there was a lot of friction between departments. Having read the amazon reviews and the dreaded 'stack ranking' system they still employ, it was no real surprise to me.
       
      Answer Question
  6.  

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took a weekinterviewed at Amazon.com in March 2015.

    Interview

    The interview is technical, no behavior questions. The interview takes 45 minutes long. First, he ask about some of my project in the resume. And after that we coded collabedit. Interviewer is patient. Try to guide me of the second question step by step. I think it is a good experience.

    Interview Questions

    • 1.what happened when u typed the url till the browser shows everything

      Write a program that will print all numbers between -50 and 50.
       When the number is divisible by 6 print X when the number is
       divisible by 7 print Z, otherwise print the number itself.
       
      Answer Question
    • Given a set of actors and a list of movies that they have both appeared in,
      find the fewest number of movies required to relate Kevin Bacon with a given
      actor.

      Sample data:

      Apollo 13: Kevin Bacon, Tom Hankes, Bill Paxton
      Titanic: Bill Paxton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
      Catch me if you can: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hankes, Christopher Walken
       
      1 Answer
  7.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Amazon.com (Washington, DC) in February 2015.

    Interview

    Apply online, got an email invitation for phone interview 2 days after. Purely technical interview without anything related to what on the resume. The interview started by a short and high level info of what the team is doing with a chance for some quick questions. All of this was about 5-7 minutes. The remaining time (of one hour interview) was all technical.

    Interview Questions

    • 1. Giving an array of integers from 1 to n-1 in random order where n is the size of the array. Find duplicates in the array and identify its runtime.   Answer Question
    • 2. What is a hashtable? How does it work? What is is the runtime for retrieving an item. In what situation the this runtime is lager than ideal case?   Answer Question
    • 3. Graph question which utilizes BFS to determine if one can fly from a to b, given a graph of cities that has flight to.   Answer Question
  8.  

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview

    I was contacted via Linkedin by an Amazon recruiter about a recruiting/interview event they were holding the next week in a nearby city. After a phone screen with the recruiter I was invited to come to the interview event. The actual interview was a series of four, one-hour interviews with different developers and managers.

    I was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to the interview so I can't reveal any specific questions. I was provided preparation materials by the recruiter and the interviews did not stray too far from what I was expecting based on those materials.

    I was asked to write code with a paper & pen. Make sure you COMPLETELY understand the problem before you start writing any code. Ask questions about the expected input, desired output and how to indicate any errors or exceptional conditions. A test-driven design approach is useful (i.e. think about your test cases first). Write down the answers to your clarifying questions on the paper. If the question seems too easy they are probably hiding a trap for you somewhere. Looking back on it now I wonder if I would have been better off spending the entire time picking apart the problem instead of actually coding anything.

    Brush up on time and space complexities of various data structures & algorithms: you will for sure be asked about them. bigocheatsheet.com is a good one-stop reference for this information if, like me, you haven't thought about big-O notation in 20 years. Be prepared to explain why you chose to use a certain data structure even if it's intuitively obvious that the structure you chose is the best one.

    It probably helps to fawn over the company and it's leader a little. When asked what drove me to interview with them my inquisitor did not seem too happy with my answer that they had come to me instead of the other way around.

    Every big company has some sort of kool-aid that they want you to drink: at Amazon it's the 14 leadership principles. When asked a behavioral question they are looking for you to pivot to these principles in your answer so it helps to know them.

    In my case all but one of the interviewers were furiously typing away any time I was speaking, which I found a tad unnerving. Three of my four interviewers had been with Amazon less than a year which I found totally bizarre; it also made it difficult to get answers to some of my cultural-fit questions as they just didn't have sufficient background to answer. One of the interviewers mentioned that he had been with Amazon for 8 months & already had more seniority than 40% of the company.

    I asked every interviewer about work/life balance; their answers all sounded suspiciously similar and the answers didn't exactly square with the research I had done. Obviously I can't say that I was lied to but it was a hugh red flag for me.

    Interview Questions

    • I signed a non-disclosure agreement & can not reveal specific questions.   Answer Question
  9.  

    No Offer
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview

    I have applied directly to amazon website and got an email from HR. My first round was telephonic round and they asked for computer access during interview for programming. Interviewer gave me 2 programs to make in 60 minutes,

    Interview Questions

    • Both programs were very difficult. They were related to data structure (tree and linked list). Asked complexities and search algorithms   Answer Question
  10.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in October 2014.

    Interview

    The biggest difficulty with this interview was the jet lag. I had planned to dose myself with caffeen to keep myself alert, but the canteen was consistently out of everything except decaf.

    One interviewing consider his job to see how upset he could make me, and see how I would interact. He started off by asking me about things not on my resume, not part of the job, and acted as if I didn't have those experiences I was a bad candidate. Then he lead me to a question about a time I had to fix a serious customer issue. The more negitive I described the problem it the more positive he reacted, as if he was pleased. I fell for this hook line and sinker and actually called a product I had worked on @RAP twice. Granted I was refering to the way the customer reported the problem, but I'm sure that cost me the interview right there. I can't blaim them as you don't want someone who will call a product they worked on @RAP even if is under extreme stress and jet lag. But it leaves this as a bad interview experience.

    With most of the interview questions, I felt I did reasonably well. There was two white boarding questions. One of which was trivial, the other was challenging.

    The recruiter would provide no feedback.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (1)  

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com in June 2014.

    Interview

    There's usually very little information from the recruiters on interview process or the groups that is taking the interview. Generally this info can be obtained from the interviewers.
    There were 2 phone interviews, both last for about an hour. Most questions were generic about algorithms and data structures etc. Nothing specific on any language or OS.
    After a long 3 week wait there was an invitation for in house interview. That too took 2 weeks to schedule, but no big deal.
    The in house interview lasted for about 4 or so hours. There's some new wave of interviewing called behavioral interviews. I don't understand it, but I seriously doubt its working OR the interviews know what to ask and how to interpret. Of course I'm sure they are trained, but not everybody learns what the non-techie expects techies to learn.

    Interview Questions

    • Design kind of questions are usually difficult questions. Mainly because they are hypothetical situations and not necessarily straight forward design. Of course the interviewer is always ready to help, but they have already prepared for it. We have to think and come up with some answer is next 5-15 minutes, to even start a discussion. That part is usually difficult.   Answer Question

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