Amazon.com Software Development Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 25, 2014
Updated Aug 25, 2014
1,107 interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

65%
23%
10%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

43%
17%
17%

Interview Difficulty

3.3
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy

1,107 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all interviews

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty
  1. 199 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through other source. The process took 4 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2013.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer II Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed online - interviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview Details

    Two phone screens. Cleared first one. Didn't move forward after second phone screen. First phone screen was just pure coding excersice. Second phone scree started with talking about resume, current projects, why change blah..blah. Then there were three coding exercises which were quite simple. After that I was thrown a random design question, on which I spent quite a bit of time and as it was open ended, there was no clear answer. Didn't move forward for onsite after second phone screen.

    Interview Questions
    • // You are on a team that is creating a program to model stress on furniture.
      // Your task is to model the behavior of furniture under abuse such as
      // excessive weight or application of fire. There exists a prototype that
      // defines the following:

      class Furniture {

          /**
           * Furniture becomes unusable if enough weight is applied; the
           * algorithm depends on shape of furniture, the strength of material, and
           * the location where the weight is applied
           */
          void applyWeight(double x, double y, double weight, double seconds);

          /**
           * Furniture becomes unusable if it is made of wood, and fire is applied
           * long enough; wood will change from brown to black if it is burnt
           * (whether or not the furniture becomes unusable)
           */
          void applyFire(double x, double y, double fireStrength, double seconds);

          /**
           * possible values: Gray, Brown, Black, etc
           */
          Color getColor();

          /**
           * possible values: OK, UNUSABLE
           */
          FurnitureState getState();
      }

      class WoodChair extends Furniture {...}
      class SteelChair extends Furniture {...}
      class WoodTable extends Furniture {...}
      class SteelTable extends Furniture {...}
      class RubbrCouch

      // We will need to start adding other furniture like couches, beds, bookcases, and desks, and also new materials such as plastic, cloth, rubber, etc. Try to improve the class design - you are free to modify it however you wish since it is only a prototype.
        View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Software Development Support Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 1+ week - interviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview Details

    I heard of the job through a recruiter, who at the time did not give me a good description of what the role was. The recruiters I worked with were more than nice, and accommodated my schedule. They even provided general background topics to brush up on.

    The topics they provided were more along the lines of a software engineer rather than that of a DevOps candidate (implementation of hash tables, breadth-first search and common algorithms in Java, c++, etc...).

    The interview process was not painful at all. The hiring manager I spoke with was a really nice guy and comfortable with causal conversation and idle chit-chat. He proposed a problem, explained it, and clarified any questions I had as I worked though the issue. After being done informed me how he'd approach the scenario given his chosen tool sets.

    Interview Questions
    • Parse the first column of a CSV using bash.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  4. We want your feedback – Is this interview information helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Champaign, IL
    Anonymous Employee in Champaign, IL
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    The interviewer first ask you to introduce yourself, then dive into tech questions. The first interviewer asked about writing algorithms for testing whether a tree is Binary Search Tree or not. Then the second interviewer asked about how to calculate exponential.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a recruiter via email to interview for a SDE position during a hiring event in Boston. I had an initial phone call with the recruiter, who put me in touch with a scheduler. The scheduler set me up for a phone interview, which was a live-coding interview.

    # Phone Interview #
    There were a few questions about my resume (the one they had was four years out of date!) but the majority of this interview was technical. The questions were pretty basic and focused on general algorithmic knowledge. I only remember the last task, which involved Fibonacci sequence generation. There were several steps after this that involved optimizing the solution. Once finished, the interviewer gave me a chance to ask questions about Amazon.

    Shortly after the phone interview, I was contacted by the team recruiter who informed me that they'd like me to come in for an on-site interview. I made a point to discuss my resume being four years out of date, but was told this would not be a problem. I was given a list of times and asked to pick a handful that worked best for me. Once that was taken care of, I was given a rundown of the position (salary range, relocation package, benefits, etc.) Onsite interview specifics were explained to me and the onsite was set to take place a couple weeks later.

    # Onsite Interview #
    A schedule was given to me a few days before the onsite interview that outlined who I'd be interviewing with (name and title,) and at what time. The format was 4 interviews at 45 minutes each, all in the same room, all technical in nature. I arrived early, and waited in the lobby for an interviewer to come meet me and take me to the interview room. Once other candidates arrived, there weren't enough chairs for everyone in the lobby, so the receptionist had to run and get some office chairs from somewhere else in the building. After waiting for a short period (maybe 20 or so minutes,) my first interviewer met me in the lobby, got me a visitor badge, and we headed over to the interview room.

    I won't get specific about the questions from the onsite interview (NDA, more on that later,) but I will say that they follow a basic template. First few questions are scripted behavioral questions, everything else is technical. I was required to write code for every interview (even those with managers.) All of the interviewers were explicitly *not* strict regarding syntax, with the exception of the bar raiser. I was also asked architectural and design questions. I got along well with everyone but the bar raiser, who succeeded in ruffling my feathers a bit. All of the interviews were completed with enough time for me to ask the interviewer questions except for the bar raiser, whose interview I didn't wrap up in time. Every interviewer had my outdated resume and asked me about my experience listed. This meant I had to update each about the last 4 years of my professional life (which contained directly relevant experience.)

    After the final interview, I was escorted to the elevators after being told multiple times that I'd hear back from someone within 3 days. Overall, the campus felt very sterile and almost prison-like. What I did see of the office was bland and unappealing (no art on the walls, nothing distinguishing peoples' desks, nothing to suggest that people even work there.) I was only ever offered water, and was at no point allowed to go anywhere without a direct escort. Throughout the interviews I did not leave the room, but was asked in between interviews if I needed to use the restroom. I was required to sign an NDA to complete the interview process, but at no point was told what it was I'd actually be working on, despite me directly asking. I was told that even other teams within the company weren't privy to what was going on.

    As mentioned earlier, I was told that I'd receive either an offer or rejection within 3 days. About a week passed, so I reached out to the recruiters to ask for an update. No response. It wasn't until almost a month after the onsite that I was sent a rejection. The email was pretty off-putting because it was suggested that maybe a support or systems engineering position would be a better fit for me. I was already making a downward move title-wise to the SDE position, but the change of location and project focus were appealing enough to merit that.

    # Overall #
    While every person I spoke with was personable and seemed intelligent (without coming off arrogant,) the company bothered me. Amazon seems to be devoid of a culture to the point of feeling robotic. The sterile office, scripted responses, failure to follow through on self-appointed contact deadlines, general lack of input recognition, the mildly insulting rejection quip, and some frustrating logistical blunders (which I won't get into,) all made me think that it's probably best I didn't receive an offer.

    Interview Questions
    • I'll respect the NDA and not go into specifics. I will say that it involved graph traversal.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Austin, TX
    Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Apply online one day and got a feed back in less than 24 hours. The recuriter sent an email with instructions on the position, tips to perpare you for the test, and the link to take the test. Had to take a 60 minute test before continuing. The test contains some logical questions and especially heavy on data structures.

    Interview Questions
    • Hardest question was the first one. It asks you to write a program that will allow the user to create lines, rectangles, circles, text, etc. And allow them to manipulate them independently (move them, resize them, etc.) Design an object model for this application. (How would you model the representation of the document in an object oriented language? What classes would you define? What methods would you have? What would your API look like?)   Answer Question
    • The second question ask you to code the following about facebook: Direct friends of m are Level 1 friends. Friends of friends are level 2 friends.....and so on
      Print level 1 friends first. Then print level 2 friends....and so on
        Answer Question
    • The third and final question was the follow: Write an efficient function that returns the n’th Fibonacci number (There are many ways to solve this problem. Please write the most efficient method possible). Each Fibonacci number is the sum of the last two. The first 10 are: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed through college or university. The process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2013.

    Interview Details

    It is a campus interview so basically they came to our university during a showcase and after that they organized the interview. I was contacted by phone and instructed to sign up for a time slot on our school's career center website. It contains three rounds of interview and the interviewers are nice guys.

    Interview Questions
    • Given the data of users' activities on our website(e.g. what link they clicked), write a program that predicates the next page a user will visit based on his current page.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Software Development Engineer I Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    collected resume at career fair; technical interview by 2 people lasting 45 minutes each. Was asked both aero/astro questions and software design questions. People were very relaxed and understanding but not afraid to call out a wrong answer

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
  10.  

    Software Development Engineer II Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 6 days - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2014.

    Interview Details

    1 behavior question
    2 write code to get biggest number in a array
    3 describe the time complexity of a problem, I said nlogk, but they said that is not the best, best is n
    4 how to compare two huge file in two different locations

    Interview Questions
    • how to compare two huge file in two different locations   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  11.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    I interviewed with Amazon for a Summer Internship. The process took less than 3 weeks. I had two back-to-back 45 minute phone-interviews scheduled. Within a week I was informed of the decision.
    The questions were of average difficulty. They were mostly looking for strong Computer Science fundamentals. The first interviewer was interested in details of one of my projects. He then moved on to asking me a few fundamental questions about inheritance. The coding problem involved merging two unsorted strings. The interviewer was also interested in questioning me on how the code would scale if the strings grow to large.

    The second interview was more grilling, the interviewer gave me a situation where a web server not performing as expected and wanted me to dive deep into deciphering what all could have gone wrong. I was then asked to implement 'toString' Java API.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    I was not given an option to choose a team unlike my other batchmates who got in through college career fair.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

Worked for Amazon.com? Contribute to the Community!

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.