Amazon.com Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Aug 20, 2015
85 Interview Reviews

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Senior Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in April 2011.

Interview

Passed Phone Screen since they basically asked OOP ("What is encapsulation?") and Algorithms ("Name an O(n log n) Sort")-kind of questions. They love Bucket Sort, so understand it. Breezed right through. I took time off my current job and flew to Seattle. Got in late on puddle jumpers. The job I was interviewing for had advertised they wanted J2EE, Oracle DB's, XML, standard stuff for a Senior Java guy. However, I was asked about none of that. Instead we emarked on a masturbatory exercise whereby developers one after another propsed what Einstein called "Gedanken Experiments", all of which had to be coded by hand on a whiteboard resulting in compilable code. You are allowed to ask questions of the interviewer and have 60 mins to solve. Here are my questions: 1.) "Given an NxM matrix, with some cells black and some cells white, code an algorithm to find all the black cells." 2.) (This one was from one of the senior developers, an older gentlemen who had been pretty much since the founding). "A road has a traffic counter on it and results in an array of durations since the sampling began. Code and algorithm to find out how many cars have passed, keeping in mind that there may be 18 wheelers, cars towing trailers, pickup trucks and passenger vehicles" 3.) "Given two arrays of floats, not necessarily of the same size, write an algorithm to merge them in ascending order." This was the only one I got completed and correct. 4.) "Given a log file spanning multiple days, and given a page transition A -> B -> C, find all the unique users who made this page transition in the logs" Needless to say, I spent a great deal of time preparing, reading Bertrand's Object Oriented Software Construction and Lafore's "Data Structures and Algorithms in Java". It didn't matter. Could have went in cold and done almost as well. The people were pleasant, but the experience wasn't good.

Interview Questions

  • (This one was from one of the senior developers, an older gentlemen who had been pretty much since the founding). "A road has a traffic counter on it and results in an array of durations since the sampling began. Code and algorithm to find out how many cars have passed, keeping in mind that there may be 18 wheelers, cars towing trailers, pickup trucks and passenger vehicles"   1 Answer
  • "Given a log file spanning multiple days, and given a page transition A -> B -> C, find all the unique users who made this page transition in the logs"   3 Answers

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon.com

  1. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in January 2012.

    Interview

    I first passed two phone interviews, with standard algorithm and design questions, similar to ones posted on GlassDoor. I was flown to Seattle for interviews. The hotel was nice, but breakfast was not included. I interviewed with 9 people, some 1:1, but most 2:1, and one 3:1. Most interview questions can be found on GlassDoor, or are very similar. The final interview was with the "bar raiser", which I basically failed. I also had a hard time with an algorithm efficiency question since the interviewer misunderstood my code. In general, the people were smart and nice. Questions were pretty much the same as posted on this site. The bar raiser asked questions requiring familiarity with implementation of Reliability and Durability within a distributed messaging system architecture. I was surprised to learn that Amazon developers are periodically on call, and even more surprised to learn they can expect to be called when they are! I would say the interview questions were more difficult than average, but it is hard to maintain high energy and mental agility through so many interviews, so I rate the process Very Difficult.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you find if a list of strings, at least one is a prefix of another?   1 Answer
  2.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in February 2012.

    Interview

    2 phone screen included, then go onsite to meet about 6 amazon engineers, one of them are hiring manager and had lunch together. During lunch, there isn't technical questions asked but rather background and interests. Also, the other interviews are just coding, algorithm, design like any other interviews. one interview is more difficult than others.

    Interview Questions

    • a dynamic programming questions (can't disclose because of NDA)   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in June 2011.

    Interview

    I went through 3 telephone interviews, the first was the typical HR phone screen, then a technical screen with the manager of the group, and another technical screen with a senior member of the group. The questions were all fairly technical data structures / algorithms questions you can find anywhere... Some of the questions were unique to amazon, and dealing with large data sets.

    Interview Questions

    • Given an array and a sum, determine if any of the items add up to sum. Do a linear space solution and constant time solution.   3 Answers
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  5.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2011.

    Interview

    I had two phone interviews preceding an all day onsite set of interviews. The phone interviews intermixed exposition of my background with technical questions. Phone questions were simple data structure and object oriented concept questions. The onsite lasted from 10 to 5:30 with a short break to pick up a lunch and bring it back to the interview room. I met around nine people mostly one on one. The most difficult technical questions were asked by the last couple interviewers.

    Interview Questions

    • If a stick breaks randomly in three pieces, what is the probability that you can form a triangle from the pieces.   5 Answers
  6.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in May 2011.

    Interview

    Most of the Amazon interview was in grilling Data structures involving - search - sorting - data structures - class design

    Interview Questions

    • weighted binary tress (find the node with highest weight?)   1 Answer
    • - Find k-th element from the end of the singlylinked list in single pass?   3 Answers
    • - Write an algorithm for power set of {a,b,c}. hint: 2^n complexity and subsets.   1 Answer
    • Write an algorithm for counting various vehicles ( cars, trucks..) passing the counting wire which timestamps for each hit ?   1 Answer
  7. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (New York, NY) in May 2012.

    Interview

    HR contacted me after I applied online, had forst phone interview, time ran out before completing the algorithm so the interviewer asked me to email it to him. Then, the next day got a call from HR to schedule another phone interview, this time I kinda screwed it up, I took the whole time to solve the problem, couldn't so interviewer asked me to send it in 40 min, I did manage to send it in 3 hours, but got rejected the next day :(

    Interview Questions

    • Exaplain Hashtable. Explain polymorphism. Design a OOD for a system like Netflix.   Answer Question
    • In a binary tree where each node contains the number which says how many children the node have, now if that tree is traversed in inorder, find k-th element.   Answer Question
    • Given a matrix of MxN, find the components that are unique. It was more like, finding connected graph with DFS.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    I was contacted by the hiring manager by email and they asked me for a phone interview. After 1 week I had the phone interview, and it consists 3 programming questions. I was notified one week later that they will move to other candidates.

    Interview Questions

    • A list with a set of integers. All elements appear even number of times while one appear odd number of times. Find this number that appear odd number of times   4 Answers
  9.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2011.

    Interview

    I had a phone interview and it was technical and got rejected

    Interview Questions

    • Given an array having integers with just one integer repeated thrice, how will you find out which integer is that?   2 Answers
  10. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in February 2011.

    Interview

    I had 3 phone interviews and then a full day of in-person interviews. On the full day of interviews, I met with 5 different people for 45 minutes each. 1) Design file system 2) Design database tables for Books, Authors and Publishers 3) Print BST 4) Given a file with integers on each line, parse the file and return the overall sum of all integers 5) A website has 2 log files for two days ( a log file for each day) with customer information in it. Find all customers who visited the website on both days? 5-a) what is the complexity of the algorithm?

    Interview Questions

    • Design file system using OO techniques   Answer Question
    • Design database tables for Books, Authors and Publishers   Answer Question
    • Print BST   1 Answer
    • Given a file with integers on each line, parse the file and return the overall sum of all integers   1 Answer
    • A website has 2 log files for two days ( a log file for each day) with customer information in it. Find all customers who visited the website on both days? 5-a) what is the complexity of the algorithm?   1 Answer
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