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Amazon.com Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 27, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

34%
32%
16%

Interview Experience  

51%
32%
15%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
101 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer

I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2014.

Interview Details – 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 Question – 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


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
New York, NY

I interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2013.

Interview Details – Amazon HR called me describing the opportunity and asking whether I am interested. They were in New York for interview and after brief updates on my resume, I was selected for the final round interview.

Interview Question – How would you write a software for dna matching.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer III/Senior Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer III/Senior Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through other source and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2014.

Interview Details – 2 phone interviews followed by one written exam and onsite interview. Most of the questions are around algorithm and data structures. Look for trees and hash tables and distributed designs


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer III/Senior Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer III/Senior Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.

Interview Details – I was contacted through LinkedIn by the AWS Mobile division, as I had stated in my profile that I had been developing SDKs for mobile applications. The whole process lasted two months and Amazon HR were extremely helpful and straightforward throughout.

The first steps were a couple of Skype interviews and a CV profiling, which took a week. After that, they announced they were going on a recruiting trip to Barcelona, in the same dates as the Mobile World Congress. They offered to pay for all expenses, including plane, taxi and hotel, so I could make it to Barcelona for the personal interviews.

Personal interviews were at the same time interesting and puzzling. They set up shop in a touristic apartment building, and interviewed 4 candidates each morning. Each candidate was shown a room and stayed there while the interviewers were rotating. Interview slasted one hour and were half technical (simple problem resolution) and half personal (predefined questions and general chatting). The technical part was quite easy: pen and paper exercises writing algorightms for tree traversing, sorting, parsing HTML, and such. Interviewers were specially interested in knowing the order of magnitude of my solutions and if I could devise some ways to optimize them without the limitations of a pen and paper test.

On the other hand, the personal questions were a stopper. For starters, the interviewers were developers just like me, not HR people and not even managers. They weren't used to asking those kind of questions and it showed, as they were unable to get the conversation going if I stumbled finding an answer or simply understanding the question. That was a bummer, because once we put aside the standard questions and started chatting about what they did in Amazon, and more technical details, it was really fun and interesting. Personal questions didn't allow me to speak about myself in a freely manner, so I had to use those 15 minutes between interviews to pass along some tips about my strong points.

The standard personal questions they had to ask (and write down the answers, as they really didn't have the means, nor the interest of expanding on them) were all of the kind: "Tell me about a past experience where you... resolved a conflict with a teammate | provided value for a client | had to deal with a deadline you couldn't meet ...". Those questions were really exhausting, because I had first to understand what they were really asking and what kind of answer was expected. Then, to navigate through my memory to find a suitable experience to tell. And finally, translate it to comprehensible terms, which in the case of a developer often implies a lot of technical context sure to be lost in the transcription. Worst of all, there wasn't any of the more usual questions like "things you do well, things you must improve, what do you want to do in the future, etc." that you may have rehearsed.

I was told I would receive an answer after a week, but I didn't. I kept asking by e-mail each week, and always told I was still in the process and a decision had not been made yet. After more than three weeks I was finally told the positions had been covered by other candidates. I reckon I was being kept as a replacement in case some of them didn't accept their offer.

Interview Question – I was asked to elaborate about an example of my technical creativity: present the problem to the interviewer and delineate the solution in quite a detailed way.   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer III/Senior Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer III/Senior Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com.

Interview Details – I have initiated communicated with recruiter via linkedIn.
On next day the first phone interview has been scheduled.
At total, during next 2 weeks had 4 phone interviews.
After last one i have been invited to fly to Seattle for one day on site interview.
The overall experience is very positive.
The recruiters works very fast, waited no more for 2 days to get result from phone interview.
The onsite interview I did on Friday and next Tue afternoon I got a job offer.

Interview Question – The technical questions was very interesting but nothing not expected. Cannot share more information, since has been asked not to publish it.   Answer Question


3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer

I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at Amazon.com.

Interview Details – I had a telephonic interview with Amazon and was asked a couple of questions.
1. Given an array of numbers (+ve , -ve) and a number k, return true if any two numbers sum up to k.
    This question tests datastructure (Hashmap) and BST knowledge.
2. Design an online airline reservation system.


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer III/Senior Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer III/Senior Engineer
Cambridge, MA

I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.

Interview Details – Reached out to Amazon Recruiter via LinkedIn. The Recruiter responded very quickly. After a Phone screen by the recruiter, got scheduled for a local Hiring-event in Cambridge.

The interview was a typical 4-hour long event. 5 different sets of people, each chatting for about 45mins. I did 4 of the 5 okay...took a little longer to come up with the answer they were looking for in one case. Oh well...

Interview Question – Write a program to generate a "Unique Ticket" for each request. The number of requests could be quite large - up to a million per second.   Answer Question


3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer

I applied online and interviewed at Amazon.com.

Interview Details – A few days after applying online I was emailed to do a phone interview.

Interview Question – Asked to write a method were it's passed an array of numbers and a single number. I needed to return true if there was two numbers in the array that if added totaled the single number. I was then asked to rewrite it to make it run faster.   Answer Question


No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.

Interview Details – Three phone interviews: 1 with recruiter and then 2 technical, full day on-site interview of technical questions. Only allowed to interview one team at a time which is a bit unusual for a large company. Promises of being able to interview on other teams afterward was false. Other teams had directly (direct contact) expressed strong interest if first team wasn't a fit, but emails now go unanswered.

Interview Question – No questions particularly difficult: graph path finding, binary search tree, design a chess game   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer
San Francisco, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.

Interview Details – I was contacted by recruiter on linked in. The process took 3/4 weeks. There were 5 face to face interviews.

Interview Question – I can not disclose interview questions. But here is my experience and tips …
1) During interview every interviewer was taking notes … they write down what you say.
2) The questions are not very difficult. Practice well. Practice the thinking process to solve the problem. Know time complexities. VERY VERY IMP - practice writing code on paper.
3) Preparation: After reading other blogs I somehow gave little importance to graphs, and I got question on graph :(. Prepare on arrays, strings, trees and don't forget graph. Also dynamic programming will be helpful. Hash data structure is important and keep it in mind always while solving problems. Also its very important to read AWS interview blogs, glass door, career cup etc. and solve the problems posted there. If you are not currently interviewing I will suggest you to prepare for 4 weeks (prepare with writing code on paper) before the interview.
4) Amazon do concentrate on leadership principles and ask many questions related to behavior etc. So prepare it very well. These questions like 'why amazon' are important and can be phrased into multiple ways.
5) Design questions: Ask questions while solving to clarify and keep on building the system … do some practice at home. I will suggest to first concentrate on computer science questions like OS, file system design and then work on more generic like design coffee shop etc.

Overall the interview is not difficult. Every engineer/manager I met were awesome, they help you solve the problem. (In one of my interview I was working on to find better algorithm myself, but the interviewer was so excited that he kept on asking questions which will lead to hints … :) )

Good Luck!
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