Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
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Helpful (469)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through other source. The process took 4+ months. I 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. **Continued below**
As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.
Helpful (23)No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).
White board coding interview with engineers/tech leads. I was called on campus a day before and was provided with hotel stay. The hotel is pretty close to the office to one can walk to the campus easily. I was provided with lunch first and the interview process began. I wasn't prepared much but in my opinion, the interview was fairly simple. Make sure your object oriented concepts are clear to be able to solve the design questions. Data structures is equally important along with its Algorithmic complexity.
- You have a list of packages A, B, C such that A is dependent on B,C,D and B is dependent on D and C is dependent on E etc. Print the sequence of packages to run 1 Answer
- No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).
HR representative did the initial phone screen followed by two phone screens one by the hiring manager and someone on the team. There was a lot of gap between the two phone calls. After the initial screen I received a response almost after 10 days that the position was deprecated and they are re-purposing the position.
- Mostly behavioral focusing on your past experience and situational questions Answer Question
- Declined OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).
OCR through university. The interviewers are patient and polite, remember to ask all clarifying question before your response. The entire process moves very fast, Amazon HR inform candidates about the result of the first interview within days, following that the second interview was scheduled within a day or two.
- Normal behavioral and situational questions Answer Question
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).
Long interview. Plan to spend 2-3 hours for interviewing 1-5 persons. Be prepared to answer the question "tell me about a difficult (co-worker, customer, project) and how you handled it". It will be asked.
- tell me about a difficult customer and how you handle this situation (this was asked of me by each of the interviewers). Answer Question
- Declined OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).
Three phone interviews. Great correspondence from recruiting team. Fourth round, In-person was also well managed; however, it felt like a beat-down process rather than a true discussion. I have 15+ years experience, and I felt like I was treated like a junior level applicant or recent grad. Let's discuss ideas and if this will work, rather than challenge me and attempt to make me feel small at every turn. This was two of the six in-person interviews. I don't play games, and didn't feel their culture was where I fit. Plus, I had to write a 3-4 page essay after the 3 rounds of phone interviews. Not one person in the in-person day had read my essay prior to meeting. All my prep with ideas and essay was pointless.
- Should we sell private label cleaning products? 1 Answer
- No OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).
Process started with a phone interview with recruiting coordinator, and followed by 2 interviews with hiring manager and a colleague. Whole day on-site interview followed these. The recruiting coordinator changed a few times during the process and the phone interviews had all kinds of hassle. I was living in an other country during the interviews and interviewers could not call me. They did not have a subscription that allows calling abroad, and company did not arrange them one. They organized a conference call line, that was supposed to be free, but was free only in US, so luckily I had a phone benefit from my employer that covered also calls abroad. Otherwise it would have been costly for me. I got impression that they really have no experience hiring people outside of US. They also had hassle about the calling times. They gave me twice wrong time for the calls, since they were not able to calculate the time difference and did not give me the Seattle time, but only my local time. Onsite interview was organized pretty ok, interviewers seemed to have instructions on how to interview. They all took lots of notes during the interviews. The meeting room schedules were a mess. We changed a room 4 or 5 times during the day and occasionally needed to kick other people out or we were kicked out from a room. After the interview I had a feeling that I will not be getting an offer. First, one interviewer was really upset when she realized I knew who would be interviewing me beforehand, and could check their LinkedIn profiles. She reacted with a high pitch voice, and made me feel as if I had done something completely inappropriate. Well, maybe her company should tell her what information the interviewees get. Two interviewers were mocking an other local company, and it may have been dumb from me, but I told them quite casually, that my spouse is working in that company and really loves his work. And in addition this company has taken really good care of our family when relocating. They looked little embarrassed. And usually people feel very negative about a person that makes them feel embarrassed. The final incidence was that one interviewer, knowing that I have lived in Germany and speak German, said to me that he really hates German language and asked how I feel about it. Actually I like German people, country and the language, so I told him that. I could read from his face that he had expected me to agree with him. I did not quite like the attitude of these people, they were little arrogant. But I have to say, that the recruiting manager and the colleague interviewing me were behaving very professionally and had a good attitude. I was informed about the result within a week.
- Behavioral interview questions. Some very specific. Answer Question
Helpful (1)No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 8 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).
Three phone screens and an in-person interview loop consisting of 6 people, and a 1 hour lunch break. A few basic computer science questions which I thought was odd for the role, and a few design and scenario questions. Amazon definitely comes at you from a technical perspective rather than a project/program management skills and experience perspective. I think it is indicative of the way they want to run the organization which is really short sighted considering all the bad press they've been getting about a cut-throat work culture. I think they could benefit in some diversity in the style of management versus trying to hire for a specific type of employee that fits the Amazon mold. Then again, they're successful at what they do, and as long as they are people who are willing to work like an Amazonian, they'll be able to fulfill their staffing requirements.
- Design the product recommendation feature based on a user's purchase history. Answer Question
- No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied in-person. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).
Majority of questions were behavioral, like "Tell me when you increased efficiency of the system", "Tell me when you took an unpopular decision and how you convinced others", "Give me an example of when you solved a complex problem with a simple solution", "What was your most challenging project". Surprisingly, some questions were repeated by different interviewers. The rest were technical questions.
- a. Design an algorithm to find K biggest numbers in the array. b. Design an algorithm to find a shortest path between two given words of same lengths so that every word differs from preceding and succeeding word in the path by exactly one character. c. Design a system that processes events in real time. Answer Question
Helpful (7)No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 8 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).
Applied through college internship fair. I got an email couple months later that i had to apply as a full time developer. I had two online assessments, one with debugging, reasoning, and coding. Second with coding and work simulation. Now i have group on-site interview. i heard this interview is grouped with two other candidates and work on a project. I am still waiting.
- data structure question Answer Question
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