Amazon.com Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Apr 27, 2015
1,486 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (335)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in May 2013.

    Interview

    Called out of the blue, asked if I'd be interested in interviewing. Still not entirely sure how they got my name. Had first phone interview the next week, asked no personal questions, all technical in nature. Total of 3 phone interviews and an in-person trip out to Seattle.

    Took about 4 months start to finish. The people in the in person interview were wonderful. Very smart, laid back, and understanding. Got lunch, small tour of campus, and learned what I'd be doing. Got the offer 2 business days after the in person interview.

    Sadly, I signed a NDA and I respect the terms of that. As such, I can't give you any specific questions, but I'll gladly give you the best advice I have.

    Phone Interviews :

    Phone interviews are sucky by nature. Coordinating a call from west to east coast alone is painful, add the fact that phones just take away the benefits of body language, and just make it harder to hear, and you've got a recipe for disaster. But fear not! Here are some helpful hints, some of which are obvious, some of which are not.

    1. Get ready ahead of time. I just mean, get to the area you'll be doing the interview beforehand. I'd recommend an hour or more, just to get your nerves ready. Breathe, get used to the surroundings, and get everything laid out ahead of time. Which brings me to...

    2. I know it's a "programming" interview, but for the love of all things good, have a pen and paper ready and at your disposal. Bring a backup pen. Much like a printer, the pen will fail at the worst possible time. You may also need a laptop, as I was asked to do "on the fly" programming. But close anything and everything distracting. Speaking of...

    3. Pick a spot where there are no distractions. You'll want your undivided attention on this interview. Don't have BookTweet or FaceSpace or MyGram or that crap open if you have a laptop. And I personally wouldn't pick a public space, you never know when an annoying parent will put their screaming child right beside you.

    4. Breathe. Just breathe. Take a moment, stretch, and remember you got this. If you have trouble hearing, don't be afraid to ask again. Don't be afraid to say you don't know. Do as for clarifications, and state assumptions up front. Always re-state the problem as you understand it.

    As for the content : For the love of God, know what a time complexity is, and how to determine it for any and all code you write. Know the time complexities of all sorts. Know all data structures, how to use them, and properties of each. (Insertion time, deletion, etc) Generally know what heck you're talking about. But don't talk too much. You don't want silence at any point really, but you certainly don't want to let the interviewer not get a word in. Know graph theory, tree theory, and all the fun stuff associated with more "complex" structures. Understand what your language does behind the scenes, as far as GC and compiling go. Know how your language use internal structures to manage the code/objects you write.

    **Continued below**

    Negotiation

    As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.

  2. Helpful (29)  

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview

    Applied online in December. Received mail within 2 days. Online assessment in next 7 days. This test includes 7 questions in 20 minutes. Questions include correcting the already given code so that all the test cases work perfectly.
    Phone interview call in 1 week. 45 minutes. 2 questions.
    1) Find the second last node of a linked list.
    2) Find Nth node from the last in a given linked list.Find it's complexity.

    One question on recent project. Waiting for response.

  3.  

    Software Development Engineer I Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    Started off with a referral from a friend working at Amazon. A few days later, I was given a short phone screen and then an online assessment with some coding and some personality questions.

    A week after that, my recruiter reached out and asked for dates that I was available for an onsite. The booking company took care of hotel and airfare.

    Onsite, I waited with a group of other interviewees and we were all given lunch and then went into separate rooms for individual interviews. There were 3-4 interviewers who asked about what I've done and then asked a technical interview question. The interviewers are helpful and they want you to succeed as well.

    Interview Questions

    • Graph traversal, linked lists, other stuff from Cracking the Coding Interview   1 Answer
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  5. Helpful (4)  

    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview

    It is late in Feb. I got reference from one of my friend. I had two phone interviews at first. Each interview consist of 3 technical questions. Then I am asked to take an online test, including IQ problem and algorithm coding ( not very hard). Also, it contains reading and quantitative reasoning. After that, I was asked to do a team-work evaluation.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a sorted array, write a program to decide if two elements sum up to a third.   Answer Question
  6.  

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview

    Two forty-five minute interviews back to back. Technical interview with just a few questions about resume and past work experience. Expected to code with test cases. Not exactly a tough interview but requires considerable preparation. Mainly focused on data structures and algorithms with 2 questions on these per interview.

    Interview Questions

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Software Development Engineer I Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Amazon.com (New York, NY) in April 2015.

    Interview

    They contacted me through email and asked if I'm interested in new opportunities. Immediately, I responded back and within couple of hours they scheduled my first phone screen technical interview which is a week away. The interview started with asking about me and "Why amazon" questions. Little bit of difference between data structure questions and Object oriented design questions. Finally we started the coding part. I was little bit nervous about live coding which I have not done before. Coding in notepad helps a lot for interview preparation. The questions are not difficult at all. Very easy questions, anyone who has taken programming 101 can crack it easily. One mistake I did in coding was, I didn't take care of all test cases and only focused on happy path.

    Interview Questions

    • Count the number of words in a string without using any libraries or splitting the sentence or using regular expressions.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    Online coding challenge followed by a 4-hr on-site interview.

    Interview questions ranged from easy to very difficult. The easy part I could have done much better but I started coding right away (because I was asked to) BEFORE I had a plan of how I could solve the problem. As a result, what I wrote on the whiteboard was so messy even I myself got confused. Practicing writing code on paper was not enough, you needed to practice with an audience, and made sure he/she understands what you're trying to do from start to finish. Word of advice, start designing with your interviewer (regardless of how much they push you to start coding), before coding.

    Interview Questions

    • NDA signed. Don't think I can disclose... Nothing was too unexpected anyway.   Answer Question
  9.  

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    I appeared for a phone technical interview. This was in 2012, a little while back. I am not sure if the process is changed. All questions were in data structures and algorithms. The questions where in Java. I had trouble understanding the English accent, looked like an european accent to me. I was asked to write a program through online collaboration tool.

    Interview Questions

    • What happens when there is a collision in hashmap   Answer Question
    • Write a program to verify whether the given tree is a binary search tree or not without using recursions   Answer Question
  10.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    5 successive 45 minute 1 on 1 interviews where they start off with 1-2 personality/story questions, do 1 whiteboard coding problem, and then give you 2-5 minutes to ask your own questions. They send you a link to a "what to expect during your Amazon.com interview" video that's spot on.

    Interview Questions

    • "tell me about a time you failed, what did you learn?"
      "tell me about your most difficult success, what techniques did you use to succeed?"
      "tell me about a time you had an interpersonal problem, how did you resolve it?"

      All technical questions were problem solving based on basic algorithms and data structures (they prepare you with a list in the "what to expect" video.
       
      Answer Question
  11.  

    Software Development Engineer II Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Amazon.com (San Francisco, CA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    There were 1 phone interview on machine learning concepts which I cleared. The second interview was a coding interview. Asked to find sub-strings from a string which are valid dictionary words. I used recursion and Dynamic programming for coding. Asked me to do the time complexity analysis. I answered everything correctly, write up a runnable code and the interviewer said good at the end of the interview. Got a rejection after 2 days.

    Interview Questions

    • Several machine learning concepts in the first interview such as Why decision tree is not better than a random forest, explain hypothesis testing, situation specific designs. In the second interview asked to find sub-strings from a string which are valid dictionary words.   1 Answer

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