Amazon.com Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jul 6, 2014
Updated Jul 6, 2014
76 Interview Reviews

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Senior Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
Application Details

The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2011.

Interview Details

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"   View 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"   View Answers (3)
No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon.com

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 days - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2012.

    Interview Details

    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?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2012.

    Interview Details

    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
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2011.

    Interview Details

    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.   View Answers (2)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
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    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2011.

    Interview Details

    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   View Answers (4)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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.   View Answers (5)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2011.

    Interview Details

    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?)   View Answer
    • - Find k-th element from the end of the singlylinked list in single pass?   View Answers (3)
    • - Write an algorithm for power set of {a,b,c}. hint: 2^n complexity and subsets.   View Answer
    • Write an algorithm for counting various vehicles ( cars, trucks..) passing the counting wire which timestamps for each hit ?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    The process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2011.

    Interview Details

    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?   View Answers (2)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2009.

    Interview Details

    Amazon asks you to code a program over the phone. The program they want you to code is a "word counter" or "wc" replacement. They will also ask you data structure and algorithm questions. The answer is "use a binary search" for any searching related questions...

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    The process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2009.

    Interview Details

    A recruiter from Amazon got my resume from Dice and called me. I did not have the exact skill sets for the job description for which I was to be interviewed but the recruiter informed that at Amazon they are looking for people with sound software engineering background and the exact skill set or experience in a particular programming language did not matter.

    The recruiter setup a phone interview for an hour. I could not attend the interview as my daughter was sick. So, the interview was rescheduled with no problems.

    The interviewer was very calm, giving me plenty of time to think and come up with an answer. He also gave me tips to lead me in the right direction. Overall the interview experience was very good. It was an hour long interview.

    Questions asked:
    1. How would you implement a hash map in java if for some reason you cannot use java.util.HashMap class?
    2. Can any class be used with an enhanced for loop i.e. for each loop in java?
    3. How would you implement threads in java. Go over all the details of join, wait etc.
    4. Why do you want to work at Amazon?

    Interview Questions
    • How do you implement a HashMap in java if suppose there was no java.util.HashMap class available.   View Answers (3)
    • How do you implement threads in java?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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