Amazon.com Research Scientist II Interview Questions

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Research Scientist II Interview

Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in January 2014.

Interview

Initial phone discussions, day of in-house interviews, follow-on discussions about leveling and responsibilities, offer. On-site interviews covered business process, problem solving (some with a situational component, see below), management experience. At least one paired interview (a junior plus a senior person). Didn't actually get to meet my potential manager. Offers from Amazon are tricky. Pay scale will be considerably under market value. Early on they make that up with a cash bonus; after year 2, they make that up with stock grants (not options, these are just shares that you are given as pay). However, there is a catch with all that. The bonus money is forfeit if you leave early, and you'll have to return it. So, unless you can afford to pay that money back, you're on the hook for a minimum of two years. After that period, the stock grants will make your pay competitive or better, but only if (a) you sell them when you get them and (b) the stock continues to go up year over year. If the price levels or falls, you will be stuck with a lower than average salary and not enough stock to bring you up to parity.

Interview Questions

  • There was a question about how to optimally deliver water to the cages in a zoo with the minimum work. What made the problem challenging was that it was presented as a "situational" interview. That is, the interviewer will do things to make the experience more stressful. They will interrupt, attempt to distract, make you argue in favor of a step, and run out the clock so that you only have a short time to finish the last and hardest part of the question, and then pressure you to complete it.   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon.com

  1. Helpful (3)  

    Research Scientist II Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in August 2012.

    Interview

    Went through 4 Phone Interviews, one with the hiring manager and 3 technical phone screens. After which I was called onsite to their Seattle HQ, where I had another full day of interviews. I signed an NDA, so would not go into details, but all in all the interviews evaluated both my algorithmic/programming skills and math/statistics/machine learning skills. The interviewers posed a lot of real worlds scenarios for me to solve and judged me based on my approach.

    Interview Questions

    • The unexpected part was some questions regarding multi variate calculus which I had not expected.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    The Recruiter did not leave much room for negotiation. I liked the offer and accepted it.

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