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Amazon.com Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 20, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

39%
17%
16%

Interview Experience  

59%
28%
12%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
2,035 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

Interviewed at Amazon.com

Interview Details – Same experience as everyone else on glassdoor. Two online coding tests. Five in person 45 min interviews in one day. Lots of whiteboard coding and design. Lots of behavioral questions. They try to get you to badmouth previous managers and badmouth yourself with uniquely worded questions. Recognise these for what they are and respond appropriately.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Miami, FL

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2014.

Interview Details – I was contacted to do an initial interview. The interview process was all done online, on a 3rd party website where I had to solve three problems. They asked three questions in regards to manipulating data structures. I was required to solve the problems in the most optimal manner, as well as provide a reasoning on why I solved it the way I did, as well as explain in detail the time complexity.

Interview Question – Explain in derail the time complexity of all solutions.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2014.

Interview Details – I submitted an application online and forgot about it, and was contacted by a recruiter a few weeks later. I had two phone interviews about three weeks part. Each one was about an hour and involved technical questions. I did pretty terrible on both of them due to nervousness.

Shortly after (< 1 week) I was invited for onsite interviews. I had 5 interviews + lunch, with a mix of technical and behavioral questions. The questions were typical algorithm/data structures questions, so definitely prepare on those beforehand. The next day I got an email letting me know that they would be extending an offer. I had interviewed at a couple of other places previously which really helped my confidence. Definitely do that if possible.

Interview Question – A lot of behavioral questions, have some experiences memorized so you're not making it up as you go along.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate the base salary a little, but they wouldn't budge very much.


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2012.

Interview Details – I applied through the career fair of our university. They contacted me afterwards and invited for a hiring event at Seattle. There were several candidates who were interviewed on the same day. I had 4 rounds of interviews and the difficulty of questions varied for moderate to hard. With good preparation of computer science basics and some interview practice, it is relatively easy to crack this interview.

Interview Question – I was asked to implement a hash map from scratch. It was challenging because we don't really think in detail about how to do it. There were problems about resolving hash collisions, how to maintain the hash map, how to update/ delete elements, complexity analysis etc. Overall I think this was a very good question to test both CS fundamentals and coding skills.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Had better offers.


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


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2014.

Interview Details – Group Interview. Three guys in a team. We have to solve a problem, there three parts in the problem. Everyone of us choose one part and solve it by ourselves. So it's not really a group interview. During this process, we have to talk to the engineer two time. The in person interview is about the algorithm and how to improve it.

Interview Question – Nothing unexpected   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

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

Interview Details – Had a few phone conversations with HR about specific positions and interests. One technical phone interview with coding on a shared google-doc-like website. Flew me to Seattle and put me up in a nice hotel.

Interviewed with six people back-to-back without pause for four or five hours. Each interview was roughly the same: do some whiteboard coding, answer questions about your history. None of the whiteboard questions were riddles or tricks or things with one weird solution that you probably won't come to on your own. They were just mildly thorny problems where a decent solution involves a map or two and updating data in the proper order: decent and realistic stuff.

Read up on Amazon's Leadership Principles. There is a lot of "behavioral interviewing" where you're asked about challenges you've experienced and how you've responded to them. I went in expecting general questions where they'd analyze my answer to see if it exemplified specific Leadership Principles. In reality, the interviewers just straight-up asked, "tell me about a time where you <INSERT AMAZON LEADERSHIP PRINCIPAL>".

Where Amazon differed from other companies is that I was not given much opportunity to ask questions of the interviewers. They told me the project is secret and that most projects at Amazon are treated as secrets, even to other employees within the company. It's a little weird not knowing 100% what you're signing up for. Also, I didn't get a good feel for the culture of the team I'd be joining.

The whole process took just over a month, which is apparently faster than usual. I was fielding interviews and offers from other companies so continually pushed Amazon to keep the process moving along.

Negotiation Details – Offer was very good, negotiated for a bit more. Probably helped to have competitive offers from other companies on the table.


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2014.

Interview Details – I didn't hear back from them for over month after I applied. So I contacted them by email to ask about the status of my application, and they replied by inviting me for an on-site interview at their Seattle campus. They didn't ask for a phone interview or talk to me before that. I thought that was weird, but cool nonetheless.

As it turned out, there was a catch. The reason they don't do phone interviews is because the on-site interviews are group interviews with about 50 other candidates. And damn they are difficult. They don't have time to do phone interviews, because they are doing it mass production style. Amazon is growing at a very fast pace, and adding a lot of employees constantly, as well as replacing those who leave because of their high turn-over rate. I guess they figured this is the only way that they can hire a lot of people, yet still ensure they are only getting top quality. I would have preferred if it was one-on-one interviews. Even if I hadn't gotten an offer that way, I would have felt more respected.

The interview day is comprised of one big programming project. We were given old low-end bulky laptops with small screens (14 inch?) to work on. We worked in groups of three. They constantly stressed that we were not competing with either our teammates or other groups, and that if we were all good, they would hire us all. Given the fast rate at which Amazon is growing, I believe that.

I believe the programming project was too big and too time consuming for only about 5-6 hours. I think it favors people with a lot of programming experience rather than problem solving ability. Someone who can crank out a lot of simple code quickly will outperform someone who can write a small amount of really difficult code. I don't think they are necessarily getting the best quality of candidates this way. This is an entry level position, and they shouldn't have interviews more suitable for seasoned software engineers.

Amazon admitted that they have a very frugal cost-conscious company culture and this is a good thing. However, I don't like that they downplayed the frequency with which employees are on-call: where they could be called in the middle of the night and have to wake up and fix a site reliability problem, albeit from their home. According to them, it was a few days every six months, but according to someone I know who worked at Amazon, it is a few days every couple of weeks.

Interview Question – The programming project was too big and time-consuming for completing in under 6 hours. It takes a lot of time to read and fully comprehend the long project writeup and the framework code we are supposed to build on, let alone code it, test it, and comment it.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Seattle, WA

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

Interview Details – Two phone interviews and onsite interviews. I work at another company for 8+ years.
Be as detail oriented as possible. Positive phone interview and negative onsite interview process, too less of time

Interview Question – 1. Expression evaluation
2. How would you design a system to sync bookmarks across various devices
3. How would you design a telemetry system that alerts if a transaction takes over X seconds, multiple components involved in between
4. Vendor says he has not received payment for the goods sold, what would you do
  Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Blacksburg, VA

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

Interview Details – I had two 45 minute technical interviews. The first interview was more about core java concepts, while the second was a critical thinking technical question. You should know all your data structures really well, and be ready to apply them in situations presented. They are also looking for people that are passionate about emerging technologies and have a desire to constantly keep learning

Interview Question – Ask questions about data structures and core java concepts.   Answer Question

See What Amazon.com Employees Are Saying

2 people found this helpful

 Current Warehouse Associate in San Bernardino, CA

Pros: “Decent pay, could be better.” Full Review

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