Amazon.com Senior Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jul 8, 2015
18 Interview Reviews

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Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in June 2015.

Interview

I got contacted by an Amazon recruiter via linked in and replied back. After an informational screen, I've got scheduled for a coding exercise. Logistics of the coding exercise might vary by Amazon sub-org, or perhaps, candidate seniority level. I got 60 minutes to complete and submit a working solution to a moderately challenging algorithm/design problem. All interactions with the recruiting coordinator are handled via email: you get an email with several attachments describing the problem, and you are sending back a complete solution as an attachment in a reply. In about a week after I got an invite to a full round of onsites (very packed 9am -4:45pm). I had a team of senior, principle and director level engineers and managers on my interview loop, and the interviews were dominated by behavioral questions ("tell me about the time when...") with few moderately challenging technical questions added here and there. I did not expect to spend so little time on design/algorithms/coding portion of the interview to be honest. In a week or so I got a call from the recruiter telling me I aced the technical portion, but failed the behavior part without additional details. My guess I failed to showcase sufficient leadership skills and/or confidence required for the position, but who knows. I really enjoyed my interview experience with Amazon. My recruiter was extremely responsive, supportive and very courteous. I've enjoyed interacting with all of my interviewers as well.

Interview Questions

  • Can't discuss specific questions due to NDA. I'd recommend practicing answering behavior questions, and brushing up on basics (graphs, trees, OO design).   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon.com

  1.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com in April 2015.

    Interview

    I dad a round of technical whiteboarding session wherein i was given a program and asked questions related to it. the questions were average ones. the recruiter was helpful throughout the process.

  2.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took a weekinterviewed at Amazon.com in March 2015.

    Interview

    The interview is technical, no behavior questions. The interview takes 45 minutes long. First, he ask about some of my project in the resume. And after that we coded collabedit. Interviewer is patient. Try to guide me of the second question step by step. I think it is a good experience.

    Interview Questions

    • 1.what happened when u typed the url till the browser shows everything Write a program that will print all numbers between -50 and 50. When the number is divisible by 6 print X when the number is divisible by 7 print Z, otherwise print the number itself.   Answer Question
    • Given a set of actors and a list of movies that they have both appeared in, find the fewest number of movies required to relate Kevin Bacon with a given actor. Sample data: Apollo 13: Kevin Bacon, Tom Hankes, Bill Paxton Titanic: Bill Paxton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet Catch me if you can: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hankes, Christopher Walken   1 Answer
  3.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Amazon.com (Washington, DC) in February 2015.

    Interview

    Apply online, got an email invitation for phone interview 2 days after. Purely technical interview without anything related to what on the resume. The interview started by a short and high level info of what the team is doing with a chance for some quick questions. All of this was about 5-7 minutes. The remaining time (of one hour interview) was all technical.

    Interview Questions

    • 1. Giving an array of integers from 1 to n-1 in random order where n is the size of the array. Find duplicates in the array and identify its runtime.   Answer Question
    • 2. What is a hashtable? How does it work? What is is the runtime for retrieving an item. In what situation the this runtime is lager than ideal case?   Answer Question
    • 3. Graph question which utilizes BFS to determine if one can fly from a to b, given a graph of cities that has flight to.   Answer Question
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  5.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview

    I was contacted via Linkedin by an Amazon recruiter about a recruiting/interview event they were holding the next week in a nearby city. After a phone screen with the recruiter I was invited to come to the interview event. The actual interview was a series of four, one-hour interviews with different developers and managers. I was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to the interview so I can't reveal any specific questions. I was provided preparation materials by the recruiter and the interviews did not stray too far from what I was expecting based on those materials. I was asked to write code with a paper & pen. Make sure you COMPLETELY understand the problem before you start writing any code. Ask questions about the expected input, desired output and how to indicate any errors or exceptional conditions. A test-driven design approach is useful (i.e. think about your test cases first). Write down the answers to your clarifying questions on the paper. If the question seems too easy they are probably hiding a trap for you somewhere. Looking back on it now I wonder if I would have been better off spending the entire time picking apart the problem instead of actually coding anything. Brush up on time and space complexities of various data structures & algorithms: you will for sure be asked about them. bigocheatsheet.com is a good one-stop reference for this information if, like me, you haven't thought about big-O notation in 20 years. Be prepared to explain why you chose to use a certain data structure even if it's intuitively obvious that the structure you chose is the best one. It probably helps to fawn over the company and it's leader a little. When asked what drove me to interview with them my inquisitor did not seem too happy with my answer that they had come to me instead of the other way around. Every big company has some sort of kool-aid that they want you to drink: at Amazon it's the 14 leadership principles. When asked a behavioral question they are looking for you to pivot to these principles in your answer so it helps to know them. In my case all but one of the interviewers were furiously typing away any time I was speaking, which I found a tad unnerving. Three of my four interviewers had been with Amazon less than a year which I found totally bizarre; it also made it difficult to get answers to some of my cultural-fit questions as they just didn't have sufficient background to answer. One of the interviewers mentioned that he had been with Amazon for 8 months & already had more seniority than 40% of the company. I asked every interviewer about work/life balance; their answers all sounded suspiciously similar and the answers didn't exactly square with the research I had done. Obviously I can't say that I was lied to but it was a hugh red flag for me.

    Interview Questions

    • I signed a non-disclosure agreement & can not reveal specific questions.   Answer Question
  6.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview

    I have applied directly to amazon website and got an email from HR. My first round was telephonic round and they asked for computer access during interview for programming. Interviewer gave me 2 programs to make in 60 minutes,

    Interview Questions

    • Both programs were very difficult. They were related to data structure (tree and linked list). Asked complexities and search algorithms   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com in June 2014.

    Interview

    There's usually very little information from the recruiters on interview process or the groups that is taking the interview. Generally this info can be obtained from the interviewers. There were 2 phone interviews, both last for about an hour. Most questions were generic about algorithms and data structures etc. Nothing specific on any language or OS. After a long 3 week wait there was an invitation for in house interview. That too took 2 weeks to schedule, but no big deal. The in house interview lasted for about 4 or so hours. There's some new wave of interviewing called behavioral interviews. I don't understand it, but I seriously doubt its working OR the interviews know what to ask and how to interpret. Of course I'm sure they are trained, but not everybody learns what the non-techie expects techies to learn.

    Interview Questions

    • Design kind of questions are usually difficult questions. Mainly because they are hypothetical situations and not necessarily straight forward design. Of course the interviewer is always ready to help, but they have already prepared for it. We have to think and come up with some answer is next 5-15 minutes, to even start a discussion. That part is usually difficult.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in May 2014.

    Interview

    A recruiter reached out to me and persuaded me to pursue the opportunity. First, I had a homework assignment in which I had to put aside 2 hours. The assignment consisted of three programming exercises to be completed in any language you choose. I received a second phone call inviting me to Seattle. Amazon paid for everything. I had to plan on being in Seattle for 2 days. The interview process lasted an entire afternoon and consisted on a different person every hour on the top of the hour. Each time I had to present a solution on the whiteboard.

    Interview Questions

    • Pretend that an end user is providing you with input. In this case, it's a math equation, such as (3+2)*4-1. Parse the input and display the answer.   1 Answer
  9. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com (San Francisco, CA) in February 2014.

    Interview

    I was contacted by recruiter on linked in. The process took 3/4 weeks. There were 5 face to face interviews.

    Interview Questions

    • I can not disclose interview questions. But here is my experience and tips … 1) During interview every interviewer was taking notes … they write down what you say. 2) The questions are not very difficult. Practice well. Practice the thinking process to solve the problem. Know time complexities. VERY VERY IMP - practice writing code on paper. 3) Preparation: After reading other blogs I somehow gave little importance to graphs, and I got question on graph :(. Prepare on arrays, strings, trees and don't forget graph. Also dynamic programming will be helpful. Hash data structure is important and keep it in mind always while solving problems. Also its very important to read AWS interview blogs, glass door, career cup etc. and solve the problems posted there. If you are not currently interviewing I will suggest you to prepare for 4 weeks (prepare with writing code on paper) before the interview. 4) Amazon do concentrate on leadership principles and ask many questions related to behavior etc. So prepare it very well. These questions like 'why amazon' are important and can be phrased into multiple ways. 5) Design questions: Ask questions while solving to clarify and keep on building the system … do some practice at home. I will suggest to first concentrate on computer science questions like OS, file system design and then work on more generic like design coffee shop etc. Overall the interview is not difficult. Every engineer/manager I met were awesome, they help you solve the problem. (In one of my interview I was working on to find better algorithm myself, but the interviewer was so excited that he kept on asking questions which will lead to hints … :) ) Good Luck!   Answer Question
  10. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Amazon.com (Cupertino, CA) in October 2012.

    Interview

    I have a friend at Lab126, a subsidiary of Amazon located in Cupertino, who referred me for a job with his team. I was prompty contacted by a friendly recruiter from Seattle, passed on to the hiring manager and had a first phone interview. First phone interview covered some simple coding questions using collabedit (a big improvement over verbally describing code!). It was apparent to me that I aced this interview, and indeed I did. So a second phone interview was set for the next week. In this interview I was asked one very difficult question which I was totally unprepared for -- I've never seen one like it before or since. I was pretty boggled by this question and made a crucial mistake, I just started coding it before really working out the algorithm. Recommendation: talk it out and describe the algorithm fully before you write any code! I did barely squeak through this interview and so was contacted by another friendly recruiter in Cupertino to setup an onsite interview in Cupertino the following week. Unfortunately the airfare got messed up (be sure to confirm air reservations within 24 hours even if its over the weekend!) so we pushed it back til the next week. The whole interviewing process stretched out over about 4 weeks. I studied coding questions intensively in preparation for the onsite interview, I should have prepared before the phone interviews too. This did serve me well in the onsite interview. Since I was flying from Florida and wanted to stay extra days to check out real estate, they were kind enough to book me two nights (they usually only do one). They also set me up for a rental car which I had to get reimbursed for. The hotel was very nice, literally right next to Lab126 building where I had my interviews, I was able to simply walk over there. Onsite interview involved 4 coding interviews (1 of which was by video since the guy was in Seattle) and then an interview with the manager of the team I was being interviewed for (while I wolfed down a mediocre sandwich from a catering company). I was out by 2PM, not quite the full day interview I've heard described by others. 3 of the 4 interviews were dead on, I answered the coding questions very well and in timely fashion and the interviewers gave me positive feedback. Unfortunately, the hard one was the bar raiser and I fumbled on that one a bit. This was a question about designing a reservation system for a restaurant -- obvioulsy impossible to code that in one hour. I think the key to these types of questions is to talk it out. My interview with the manager was hard to read, she wanted to know things like what other companies was I interviewing at, did I have any interest in management, etc. At the end I had a brief interview with HR person who was friendly. She wanted to talk about HR things like relocation, salary, etc. Ultimately I received a pretty standard corporate "No thanks" e-mail. For me, it was disappointing but probably just as well since the real estate in Silicon Valley area is ridiculously expensive! I was going to feel like I'd gotten a cut in pay given the salary I was likely to receive.

    Interview Questions

    • Write a function to allocated two dimensional rectangles within a larger area.   Answer Question
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