Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Amazon.com
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Helpful (391)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through other source. The process took 4+ months – interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in May 2013.
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.
As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.
Helpful (261)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2014.
A compilation of all the behavioral questions on this website.
1. Tell me about yourself
4. Why Amazon?
5. How can you translate your skills towards Amazon?
6. What experiences do you have that separate you from the rest?
1. Tell me about a time when you were leading a group, were assigned a goal, and did not reach it
2. Tell me about a time when you had a group conflict and how did you overcome this conflict?
3. How did your actions in a leadership role increase productivity?
4. Tell me about a time when you dealt with an employee with poor performance
5. What is your take on leadership?
6. Tell me about a time when you had a group conflict and how you overcame this conflict?
7. What kind of roles have you done that were leadership roles?
Behavioral Leadership & Safety & Customer Service
1. Tell me about a time when you dealt with ambiguity?
2. How important is safety to you? Rank Customer Service, Quality, Safety
3. Do you go against a supervisor who made a decision that goes against corporate policy and is a potential safety issue for one of your employees
4. How would you handle an employee who showed up to work drunk? (not very relevant)
5. Name a time you had to convince someone to do something they did not want to do
6. Tell me about a situation where you directly impacted customer satisfaction
7. What type of leader are you? Explain your leadership style. What does it mean to be a leader?
8. How do you motivate people?
9. What did you admire most about one of your previous supervisors
1. Tell me about a time you failed and how you handled it?
2. Tell me about an ethical conflict with your boss and how you’ve handled it
3. How do you deal with stress?
4. Have you ever proposed an idea to a superior and were ignored despite knowing that it would produce a positive result? How did you handle it?
5. Explain a time when you had to deal with poor job performance
6. Name a time you screwed up
7. What frustrates you
Continuous Improvement/ Problem Fixing
1. Tell me about a time when you leaned out a process
2. Tell me about a time you had a difficult job to solve
3. Walk me through a different scenario of a process you invented or improved
4. Tell me about a time you attempted to refine a process and failed
5. Give an example of a time when you found a simple solution to a seemingly difficult problem
6. How has your past experiences included lean management, six sigma, kaizen
- Tell me about yourself. Don't say something typical 3 Answers
Helpful (40)No OfferDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com.
I got an interview through an employee referal. They reached out after about a month after my application. The two interviews were scheduled for the next few days so there was not a lot of time to prepare between being asked to interview and the interview itself. The interview consisted of two back to back technical 45 minute interviews over the phone. The interviewers were nice and helpful and understanding of my newbie status into computer science.
- -Few language specific questions on Java -- what are private/public/package, who can access variable and methods given one of these?
-What is a hashtable, how would you implement one?
-Binary trees/AVL trees, what can you tell me about them.
-Given two texts, x and y, where x < y, check if all the characters of x are in y.
-Given a string, find the longest repeating substring. Answer Question
- -Few language specific questions on Java -- what are private/public/package, who can access variable and methods given one of these?
Helpful (25)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied in-person. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in October 2014.
Recruiter contacted via email for a phone screen. After the initial phone screen I was scheduled for 2 phone interviews with other departmental EA's.
Last step was an in person loop at the Amazon offices to meet with 6 team member. I met 1 recruiter, 4 EA's and 2 Directors. It was a 5 hour loop.
- Be prepared to answer situational questions. Be specific about experiences with other positions and be thoughtful about your answers. Try to think of best and worst case experiences and how you dealt with those in your past and what you learned from each. Don't try to be a perfect specimen. Be human, be honest and be accountable for your experiences. 1 Answer
Still in the offer phase. Great experience so far. Getting to the in person interview took some patience, but it has moved very quickly to the offer stage.
Helpful (19)No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com.
I heard that the review process was regimented and it's exactly as advertised. After applying, a recruiter sets up a phone interview with you that (at least for me) lasted 45 minutes. The recruiter clarified more detail about the role and briefly mentioned the importance of the leadership principles. The recruiter then mentioned that I'd likely be hearing from a coordinator to set up a further phone interview with the hiring manager. 6 days later, I heard back from a coordinator with no contact in the meantime. It was tempting to reach out, but I think they maintain very little communication with you throughout the process by design. Phone call with hiring manager is very STAR-oriented with a lot of chances for you to give examples of how your experience ties in with leadership principles. A lot of questions on how I use analytics/metrics to inform decisions in my current role.
There were a few curveballs, of course, such as when the manager asked about one thing I'd suggest to make the site better. When I gave a response, the follow-up was: "And how is your suggestion better for the customer?" There was a lot of back and forth on this topic throughout the interview. Not much chance for small talk or personal details, but the interview did run for more than an hour and twenty, which I figure is a good sign. The manager mentioned that I was going to be recommended for a further phone interview with another executive and that a coordinator would be reaching out soon to arrange the details. That was now a week and a half ago with no contact in the meantime. From what I understand on this site, this isn't out of the ordinary. Fingers crossed.
- Tell me specifically one thing you would do to improve the site. Answer Question
Helpful (19)Declined Offer
Amazon utilizes a mult-tiered interview process. Starting first with one to two phone interviews and then an on-site interview with various team members. Be prepared to discuss your resume in depth and a good working knowledge of the company and culture.
- HR questions where somewhat routine but I did not expect the in-depth Lean Six Sigma questions. Answer Question
Helpful (29)No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ week – interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2014.
The recruiter connect me a week ago, mentioning that there's event going hosted by Amazon’s Women in Engineering group, and they wanna get in touch with me. I had a phone call with the recruiter 2 weeks ago, and schedule the first tech phone interview today. It was a nice talk with the interviewer, I was nervous, but he still nicely giving me lots of hints and advice.
- What is HashTable? How does it work in the backend perspective? What to do if the collision happened? Whats the time complexity of inserting? deleting? seaching? What's the time complexity for the worse case? 1 Answer
- What is binary search tree? Whats the time complexity of inserting? deleting? seaching? What's the time complexity for the worse case? 3 Answers
- Whats the advantage of using BST rather than hashmap? 2 Answers
- Online coding interview:
Given an array of integers. Find the largest increasing sub sequence of integers in the array.
// 10, 3, 7, 9, 0, 15
// return index 1&3 5 Answers
Helpful (27)No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 4 weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in September 2014.
Very professional and organized process. Recruiting people are great. First a phone call from the recruiter. Second a 30 min interview with a director, pretty high level, and then another interview with a TPM which is more detailed.
I was then invited to travel to the HQ in Seattle for a marathon of 5 interviews, with TPMs and Directors, four of them 1:1 and one 2:1.
You can tell they interview a lot of people, some interviewers tried to show some interest others were in auto-pilot mode, asking the same questions and getting the same answers for the hundredth time can sure be boring.
In the end, all folks very professional, doing their job, but I did miss some small talk, non-scripted talk, maybe 5 minutes after each interview, where you get to know the people better. I left with the impression that I talked to 6 machines that were programmed to ask questions and drilling them down to the core.
From the Glassdoor reviews I learned that only one in four candidates who come to this stage get an offer letter, so I already knew my chances were slim. Anyways I flew over to gain experience and improve my interview game. Also I got to know the company and it's people, on which I don't think I would fit in.
- Can not specify a question due to NDA, but there are many questions about past projects and request to solution some problem. Nothing too exotic, however on interview #4 or #5 I confess I got sick and tired of talking the same things over and over. Incidentally the more important interviews are the last ones, maybe on purpose :) But at that point I already knew I did not want to be an Amazonian. Answer Question
Helpful (10)No OfferDifficult Interview
I applied online – interviewed at Amazon.com.
Applied on indeed.com got email from a recruiter that asked a few questions why do you want to change jobs etc. next I received a email stating they wanted to have phone interview. Once I had the phone interview got an email from the recruiter saying they were interested in the face to face interview. I accepted went to the interview and was asks behavioral questions which I don't think is a very fair way of interviewing but that's they're method. Once the interview was done I was escorted out by hr manager. She said they would call because they were looking to fill immediately. Later that day I logged into my amazon profile and found out that I was not selected for the position although I had more than the experience for it.
- Tell me a time when you strongly disagreed with your manager on something that was really important to the company. What was it about and how did you handle it? Answer Question
Helpful (8)No Offer
Four rounds in total. Every rounds was consist of one behavior question and one technical algorithm questions. The algorithm questions included linkedlist, hashmap and graph search. Every interviewee talked a lot about what they do in their teams.
- Not exactly as the problems I prepared before the interview. Answer Question
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