Amazon.com Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Aug 26, 2015
86 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (2)  

Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).

Interview

Two phone screen, went wel. Then they invited me to seattle, wa for the onsite interview. Everybody was very nice. five interviews, seven interviewer, 45 minutes each. basic algorithm, data structure and problem solving questions. Had to write code on white board.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon.com

  1.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in October 2012.

    Interview

    I had 2 Phone interviews followed by an Onsite interview. The phone interviews were straightforward, involving standard questions such as how to reverse a string. Also some questions on arrays, how to find if there are duplicates. Then there were questions related classes and polymorphism. Afterwards I had to email solution to a dictionary problem within the next day, which made use of STL data structures such as hash maps. The onsite interview was a pleasant experience. The hiring manager wanted to know my ambition and what I see myself doing in the team. The staff was a mix of strict interviewers who were opinionated and those who were open to my view point. I did not get good read of whether they were happy with my answers. I thought the interview went positive, however it came back negative.

    Interview Questions

    • Write code to iterate through a binary tree, delete a node from binary tree Write C++ code to support Rubik's cube solving What is model-view-controller paradigm? How will you deal with very large data set, especially those that does not fit into memory. What search techniques will you use?   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    I was contacted by Amazon.com recruiter, and decided to speak to him out of curiosity (I already had a job and was happy there). There was no phone interview per se, in person interview look was quickly arranged. I had five 1:1 interviews, one of which was a lunch where I was the one asking questions. Of course, they all count, no matter if I am answering or asking questions. Each of the other four interviews included a programming question, and having read GlassDoor reviews in advance, I knew almost all would include some sort of hash table. Two were developers, three were managers. I received a call the next day that they would extend the offer. But I did not receive the offer for three weeks. When I did, it was not to my satisfaction. Attempt to negotiate was not successful, so I declined.

    Interview Questions

    • One of the interviewers asked me to implement a file system. What was in particular frustrating is that he left is so open ended as to the level of detail required, yet expected a specific answer and was unhappy that I took a different approach.   1 Answer

    Reasons for Declining

    Financially, they were merely able to match what I currently make, and vacation and benefits were far inferior to my current company. I would not have accepted without a significant raise.

  3. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon.com (San Francisco, CA) in August 2012.

    Interview

    HR phone screen, online programming test, onsite interview

    Interview Questions

    • Given 2 strings find the common words along with the time and space complexity. How would you optimize the algorithm   3 Answers
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  5. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in July 2012.

    Interview

    1. Phone interview with on screen programming for an hour and 15 minutes, questions include: data structures: linked list, hash. Heap vs. stack, error handling in C++, synchronization, data base, and a short program to write. 2. On site interview with 6 people. The questions covered: programming a game, design questions, C++ questions, personality fitting questions, optimization......

    Interview Questions

    • When did you disagree with your boss? What did you do? What was the result?   Answer Question
  6.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2012.

    Interview

    2 Phone interviews. Both involved writing code by hand.

    Interview Questions

    • I expected higher level questions for a senior position. I was not expecting all of the questions to be about foundational data structures and algorithms (which I was a bit rusty on).   2 Answers
  7. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate 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
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Amazon.com (Seattle, WA) in March 2012.

    Interview

    I got an email from a recruiter, went to an interview in the following week. It was an international recruite event. The interview went ok, really enjoyed meeting with those guys from amazon, both recruiter and interviewer. Received a call from hr a few days later, with an job offer for a position based in seattle.

    Negotiation

    Negotiated some increase in bonus but not too much.

  9. Helpful (9)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    A friend of mine working in Amazon forwarded me for a role in their Kindle division. That led to a phone interview where I was asked for an optimal search pattern in a binary tree. Now here is where the problems begin. The interviewer did not seem to accept my answer "it depends on the data" and "I never write an algorithm myself without researching for an existing implementation first" and seemed to feel I was avoiding the question. My maxim is that the best coders always avoid writing new code - new code is buggy, and half your time goes on debugging, so maximising productivity equals trying to never write new code. Anyway I kept arguing, but after ten minutes I felt compelled to give him what he wanted so I told him "this will be a very poor answer" and I wrote out an O(N^2) answer. The interviewer then wanted me to optimise it. Again, I argued that is impossible without knowing a lot more about the data. He then suggested a technique which involved traversing to the top of the tree from each node until the paths overlapped, which is a compsci textbook 101 answer but anyone experienced knows that that approach tramples all over the CPU and TLB caches if the binary tree is a linked list randomly spread over memory, which it usually is. In other words, it's a hidden scaling limit because it adds pressure to the memory bus, then you hit the memory wall sooner. Often, it can be better to use a O(N^2) or even a O(N^4) search adjacent to a node in order to improve data locality because the link pointers don't introduce as many read stalls. Anyway, I digress. I repeatedly suggested to the interviewer to look at my resume rather than get hung up on compsci 101 algorithm questions. I am the author of a few well known and popular open source algorithm implementations which one would have thought would suffice. I also serve on ISO Programming Language standards committees. Either the interviewer did not know what those are, or it didn't matter to him. Ultimately, it makes little difference to me - finding employment isn't hard for someone with my background. Glassdoor wanted a review to unlock my new account, so that's my review. In short, I think Amazon focuses far too heavily on elementary compsci questions in their recruitment process. What's far more important in an engineer is how good they are at finding an existing implementation and adapting it for purpose. The best engineers always avoid writing new code, and *especially* new algorithms whenever they possibly can. I think I've written no more than three new algorithm implementations in the past five years - each has gone on to be a roaring success as an open source library, which suggests I'm very good at it. But honestly, it's simply bad engineering to constantly reinvent the wheel. Recruitment shouldn't look for people who do!

    Interview Questions

  10.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate 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

See What Amazon.com Employees Are Saying

    Former Software Development Engineer Intern

Pros: “Amazon seems to be a company which really welcomes Intern. It was a nice experience right from the interview to the last day at office. The accommodation and travel facilities provided were...”“Amazon seems to be a company which really welcomes Intern. It was a nice experience right from the interview to the last day at office. The accommodation and travel facilities provided were really good as well. Got a challenging work. Was a very good learning experience.” – Full Review

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