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# Amazon.com Principal Software Engineer Interview Questions

2 Interview Reviews

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## Principal Software Engineer Interview

No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in June 2011.

Interview

Amazon contacted me. The phone interview was about my personality and to describe my background. The in-person interview was all about CS basics: if you know "Introduction to Algorithms" by Cormen you should be able to answer all of the questions. There is very heavy emphasis on O(N) notation. I found this a bit odd since I'm a EE/Math with 20 years industry experience. The in-person interview goes from 10AM-3:30PM with no breaks. Most of the interviews are multi-person, with me at the white board. Two of the questions revolved around O(N) notation where there interviewers did not know the correct answer. (I verified after the fact.) The questions are largely tricks that if you've seen before are trivial, if you haven't then they are close to impossible. Example: Given a singly linked list, determine whether there is a loop in it. The solution to this problem was "Floyd's Cycle-Finding Algorithm" as published in "Non-deterministic Algorithms" by Robert W. Floyd in 1967. It is also called "The Tortoise and the Hare Algorithm". Example: Given a singly linked list, find the maximum element and reverse the order of the maximum element to the end of the list, or a total of 5 nodes, whichever is less.

Interview Questions

• Given an array of numbers, using a moving window of size 3, report the maximum element within the window for each position.   Answer Question
• Code a Huffman lossless encoder on the white board.   Answer Question

## Principal Software Engineer Interview

No Offer
Neutral Experience
Average Interview

Application

The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in January 2008.

Interview

Phone screen by recruiter who read from a script. A few days later got a call from the hiring manager. She was not sure exactly what she wanted, and talked about a number of different things. Invited in for onsite interviews. The first two guys were late and bored. I did not like it so i excused myself and left before lunch.

Interview Questions

• Usual questions about data structures. Nothing you haven't seen before.   Answer Question
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