Amazon.com Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 25, 2014
Updated Aug 25, 2014
4,801 interviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  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. 84 people found this helpful  

    Area Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    A compilation of all the behavioral questions on this website.

    1. Tell me about yourself
    2. Strengths
    3. Weaknesses
    4. Why Amazon?
    5. How can you translate your skills towards Amazon?
    6. What experiences do you have that separate you from the rest?

    Groups/ Leadership
    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

    Negativity
    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

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 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
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Manager Interview

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

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview Details

    Over the course of months (!) between phone calls they eventually invited me onsite for an interview. The people I met were great to talk to although they seemed really tired and were very intent on keeping everything prompt and punctual. Very scripted questions, nothing spontaneous. Overall a good interview experience except that a lot of my questions got generic answers.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe your biggest failure and what you did to ensure it wouldn't recur?   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    The offer was too low, even after negotiating, to be worth it. I received another offer that was 12% higher with a company that doesn't have all of the bad reviews that Amazon has.

    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Technical Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2013.

    Interview Details

    Phone Screen - Discussed my projects, problems solved, typical day, etc
    How will you launch Kindle in a new country

    In-house - 4 rounds
    Design Amazon home page
    Describe most complex and challenging project. - architecture, problems, design discussions, etc
    Resolving a conflict
    Managing timelines and deliverables when people do not report to you

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Seller Support Associate Interview

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

    I interviewed online. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    I applied on the career website, and within that same day I was contacted by hr. They then sent me a link to take a skills/personality test which lasted about an hour. A lot of the questions were very customer service focused. After completing the test, it took about another day or so for them to notify me that I passed the assessment and then they invited me for a face to face interview. Hr then emailed details of the interview, information on the company, and helpful tips. The interview was then scheduled for the following week. When I arrived for the interview, I was met by hr and they had explained what to expect for the interview process and whether I had any questions. I then met with the supervisor and then the manager, and each meeting lasted about 30 minutes. A lot of the interview questions were very customer service oriented, and they wanted to hear about your work experiences and how you dealt with certain situations. Two days after the interview, I was then contacted by hr and was offered a position :)

    Interview Questions
    • Overall, the questions were very basic. They emphasize how Amazon is very customer-centric, so they want to hear your customer service experience and how you've dealt with difficult situations, etc.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    There wasn't a negotiation phase. If selected for a face to face interview, hr explains benefits and pay rate prior to.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Senior Technical Program Manager Interview

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

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2013.

    Interview Details

    Amazon recruiters contacted me after finding my LinkedIn profile, and asked me to interview for a Principal TPM position. I wasn't really intending on considering the position (as I lived in Boston) but I figured it would be good to get the experience. She arranged for a phone screen with another principal TPM a week later.

    The first phone screen was primarily a discussion of my background. The interviewer had me walk him through my career, focusing on responsibilities, challenges faced, and how I handled situations. The interviewer said another phone screen would follow up a week later.

    The second phone screen was also with a Principal TPM. This time we focused on lots of "how would you handle this situation" type of questions, and then requests to relate it to previous work experiences. At the conclusion the interviewer stated he would like me to come to Seattle to take an in-person interview. This was right around Christmas, so I asked for a few weeks to figure out my holiday schedule.

    Before my in-person interview, another recruiter called and informed me that there is a writing assignment I would need to complete before the in-person interview. He emailed me with instructions and three scenarios from which to choose to write a 2-4 page paper. The options were all "tell us about a time where..." situational questions. The actual answer to the question is only used to seed follow-up questions in-person; the real intent of the assignment is to assess your ability to organize and communicate thoughts clearly and concisely.

    I flew in the week before Christmas, arriving Sunday night/Monday morning around 1am. They put me up at a hotel a few blocks from the interview site. I wore a suit (don't bother, it's casual... slacks and a polo is plenty dressed), and arrived at 9.45 for a 10am interview.

    The first interviewer came and got me promptly at 10. She introduced herself (a TPM), and then took me to a conference room where we had a more-or-less typical situational-style interview. "Tell me about a time where..." questions, nothing too tough.

    The second interviewer was a manager of product managers, and he focused on questions about how to recognize and recover from situations where plans have gotten off track. This was another interview where

    The third interviewer was a software development manager, and his interview was definitely the most unexpected and surreal of the day. He started by asking me what business Amazon should invest in next. Based on my answer, we spent the next hour exploring every aspect of my answer... why that particular idea, how to implement it (down to the nuts & bolts), business considerations, etc. The style was very confrontational. This interview was designed to see how quickly I could think on my feet, how rational my answers would be, and how I would handle direct challenges and refutation.

    The fourth interviewer was a product manager. He took me down to the cafe where we grabbed lunch and ate during the interview (hate that). We primarily discussed the proper metrics to gather and correct ways to analyze data in different situations with regards to making business decisions. I think the goal of this interview was to assess critical thinking skills and business acumen.

    The fifth interviewer was a Principal TPM (whom I later found out was the hiring manager, and who is now my boss). This interview was all about technology -- how to design distributed systems, problems that become emergent at massive scale, REST principles, etc. This interview was designed to smoke out folks who don't have a deep understanding of (and passion for) technology.

    The sixth interviewer wasn't really an interview, it was the recruiter who coordinated my process. She checked in to see how I was doing, did I have any of the standard process questions, etc. Short conversation.

    The seventh (final) interviewer turned out to be the VP who later made me an offer of employment. This was more of a philosophical conversation than an interview, where we discussed Amazon principles and culture. He clearly wanted to ensure I knew what Amazon is like, and to make sure I would be a good cultural fit (a lot of people aren't).

    Since the interview lasted all day Amazon gave me a second night in the hotel room, where I was able to shower and grab a few drinks before flying back to Boston at 11pm. By the time I got back in my car on the east coast the next morning the recruiter called with a provisional offer. The VP (final interviewer) called me a few days later with compensation and relocation details. I was given a week to make my decision.

    I accepted the offer, and the VP explained that I would have to start by 6 January (less than 2 weeks away, and right after the holiday season) in order to qualify for the yearly stock grant (very important). So, they allowed me to fly out to orientation and then return to gather my things a few weeks later.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Negotiate up on salary and signing bonus.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Warehouse Worker Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2010.

    Interview Details

    Too easy, I went in there with shorts and a pretty much and open top not expecting to interview that day but I breezed through everything I was only 18 when I interviews and got hired on the spot. That is why I say they hire just about anyone.

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fufilment Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied online for a new warehouse that was opening up. A month later I received a email telling me to schedule a date to come to a hiring event. Let me say this, it was the most funniest and pleasant experience I've ever had trying to get a job. The staff at the event were fun and full of excitement. You get there there is music playing and you give them proof of education. You take your id picture and take a drug test and background test. If you get invited your pretty much hired. Now I'm just waiting for my results and my orientation date. For a teen living at home like me the pay and hours are just awesome.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    None. You take what they give you which is already awesome for a person of my age.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  11.  

    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

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