I applied through other source and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2013.
Interview Details – 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.
Interview Question – In person interviews :
Day before :
If you've made it this far, first off, congrats. Take a step back and realize you're already among the best. Relatively few people actually make it this far, but you're not off the bat yet. You'll very probably be doing a 3 day/2 night stay. I had to fly across country, (E to W coast.) and that trip alone is enough to stress anyone out. But once you FINALLY get there, just get to your hotel. Public transit is pretty easy from the airport to downtown, but take a cab if you prefer.
Honestly, the best thing you can do this first day, is just get your bearings. Drop your stuff off in the hotel, and find just some normal (for you) food. Don't get all exotic and try something you've never had. Don't get alcohol. I sound probably like your mother. Sorry. But just try to find where you'll be interviewing. Get a feeling for how long it'll take to get there in the worst case scenario.
Once you've done all that, I'd hang out in the room, review some of the above stuff a bit, and try to hit the hay by 10 at the latest.
Breathe. I went for a nice little jog in the gym across the street. Helped to relax me a bit. Whatever helps you do that, find it and do it. Eat a light and again, KNOWN breakfast. If you've never eaten it before, DO NOT do it that day. I'd recommend something simple, toast, fruit etc. Dress well, not full out suit, but I wouldn't show up in a tank top and shorts. (Though, one of my interviewers was in shorts... so???) I just did khakis and tucked in button down with rolled up sleeves.
I walked there, it was about a 15 minute walk and showed up about 40 minutes early. I wouldn’t personally go any earlier than that, but there’s a starbucks downstairs, so that might be a good place to relax a bit before you go upstairs. The receptionist greeted me, and got me all checked in. Once you sit down, this is an **ideal** time to turn off your cell phone. And I mean off. Few things are more detrimental to an interview than having that random alarm you set go off in the interview. Just turn it off. All the way off. It’ll be OK, your texts will be there when you’re done I promise.
The first person I met with wasn’t an interviewer. She was just to talk to me a bit, walk me to the room I’d be in for the rest of the day, and chat with. Ask this person your questions. We got coffee, sat down for a bit and just chatted. She asked what I did, I asked what she did etc. She told me about who I’d be meeting with that day, and my general timeline after the interview. Super nice.
The next 5 hours were just random questions about CS in general. Be prepared to write a lot of code that day (on a whiteboard), and know your crap. You’ll be asked all kinds of fun questions, probably very specific to the domain of the team interviewing you. Know the same stuff from above.
In these interviews, it’s best to show your confidence, and show them your knowledge, but more importantly your potential. You’ll very probably know 75% to 80% of the content they ask right off the bat. The rest may require some thinking out loud and vocalizing your thought process. Don’t stare at the board blankly. Talk to them, ask questions, bounce ideas off them, and just be a normal person. Pretend you already have the job, and they’re just there as a code reviewer/fellow engineer. I promise, it’ll go quickly, and by the end, you won’t believe how much knowledge you were able to just spout out.
That being said, I’ll quote one of the engineers, “The best thing you can do is to just get something working.” And he’s right. Just get an implementation down. Don’t necessarily write the most naive approach or the brute force approach (as a general rule, anything with a O(n^2) or worse run time isn’t worth writing down), but the next best idea, just go with it. Don’t over engineer it at first, just start. And then yall can optimize together. They’re great people, and they just want to see how you think.
Finally, just be yourself. Show them you like coding, and it’s what you want to do with them. Don’t be afraid to interact with them like they’re just old coding buddies. Make them laugh, have fun, but not too much. Remember, they’re still ultimately responsible for your next job. Just be you, and be confident. You go this in the bag already.
Most importantly, go out and celebrate when you're done. :D View Answers (12)
Negotiation Details – As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.
I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in October 2013.
Interview Details – 1. Contacted by a recruiter out of nowhere
2. Took an online assessment test
It has 3 questions. Detect and remove loop in linked list, calculate first five highest averages
and return as a Map and the other I forgot. Make sure to write code without errors and mention comments for the code in detail.
3. I passed the online test and was invited for onsite interview.
As I walked into the lobby, I found 40 people waiting to be interviewed. It was horrible. Everyone had four rounds of interviews, each 45 minutes and it included lunch with the interviewers.
Questions are straight from Cracking the code interview. How to print a tree in level odder with each level in new line, a hash map problem which was easy, modifications to hash maps, how to find if a a graph is 2-colorable or not? Code it. I did well on all questions, analyzed runtimes and was happy about how the 4 rounds went.
4. After 2 weeks I received a rejection. I expected this because out of 40, they had to pick about 10. Many of them interned at Amazon before or had at least 2-3 years of experience. It was relative and I didn't feel bad about it.
Interview Question – How to find if a a graph is 2-colorable or not? Code it. Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.
Interview Details – I was initially contacted by a recruiter via LinkedIn. After an initial phone call to discuss my background and interests, went through 2 phone interviews. These include a detailed discussion on my experience and specifics on projects I worked on (be ready to explain what you did, how, and why you did it), as well as some coding. Amazon seems very interested in understanding the complexity of your work and how versed you are in sharing those experiences.
After these interviews, I was scheduled for an onsite interview at the Seattle HQ. Amazon puts you in contact with a travel desk that arranges your flight and accommodations for you. Feel confident in asking for flights/airlines or other requests you may have, as they are friendly and will try to get what you ask for. Amazon flies you a day before the interview and puts you on a very nice hotel 10 min away from the office.
Onsite interview day included five 1:1 interviews, including two development managers and three SDEs, focusing on different areas. You are received by your recruiter and have a 30 min chat with him. You get some details on what to expect during the day, and the days after the interview.
Most interviewers will be writing notes while you chat (they ask if you're ok with it - I wonder if you say no, what happens?!). Questions include behavioral and technical, as well as coding on a whiteboard. Interviewers are friendly and help you through the process - ask for what are you thinking and give you hints in case they see you getting stuck. The best way to easy the nerves is to keep talking as you tackle problems. It helps more than what you think.
I heard back from my recruiter after 2 days saying the team wanted to move forward and extend an offer. A couple days after I got the details of it and after some light negotiation I accepted.
My advise is to avoid focusing too much on the horror stories you find online, and just make the experience your own. It is unlikely you'll get something like you have read here. It will be unique and a good learning experience, whatever the outcome is. Just try to enjoy it as much as you can and please, don't go into it without serious preparation before hand. Even if you don't make it you want to give a good impression, and of course, avoid post-interview "what if I have..." thoughts.
Interview Question – I cannot disclose specific questions due to NDA. However, just get ready and feel comfortable with basic CS (algorithms, data structures, OO design). Make sure you can cleanly write code for simple, well-known problems, and that you can explain in few words these concepts. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Not much room for negotiation, as the initial offer tends to be quite good. My advice is: don't even try to negotiate if you can't list a few points on how your profile and experience justifies the (concrete) demands you are making. I did negotiate and was able to get a small bump on compensation.
I applied through college or university and interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details – submitted resume on career fair and received an email to do an online assessment after about 4 months, the assessment took about 1.5 hours
Interview Question – 1.find intersections of two sets
2.given a number list, output the sum of numbers within a window
3. student test score Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.
Interview Details – I applied to Amazon sometime around September online and the recruiter emailed me for an interview towards the end of January. My recruiter was very bad at replying and I had to reschedule my interview twice. She never told me about the status of my interview so I had to email her a month or so later to ask.
The interview itself was two 45 minute phone interviews in a row with a 15 minute break in between. The first one went for about an hour due to technical difficulties on their side. My first interviewer was ok, but he seemed bored and apathetic the entire time. The second one was really nice and did a great job answering all of my questions.
Interview Question – Questions from interview #1: Describe a hash table to a regular person, some general OO questions, determine whether a BST's nodes are in-order (interview was a long time ago but the question was something about in-order nodes).
Interview #2: Binary tree vs. Binary Search Tree, more OO questions, write a function to determine whether or not a tree was a binary search tree and how would you test it. Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.
Interview Details – Applied through both career fair and Amazon website. Received an email about scheduling an interview a week later. Interviewed with two people for 45 mins each. Both technical but they gave me a chance to ask questions at the last minute. First one was all technical and somewhat challenging (they don't expect you to finish the code). Second one, the interviewer asked few behavioral questions in the beginning but jumped right into technical questions.
Interview Question – Told me to write a whole data structure with certain features. Answer Question
I applied through an employee referral and interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details – Had two rounds of phone interview, completely technical. In the first round I was asked to write a program, and then apart from that questions based on sorting were asked. In the second round, had to talk to a chinese guy and I had problem communication with him. This round consisted of writing one program, which I did but i found it a little difficult to explain the recursion part via phone.
Interview Question – 1) Input: An integer. O/P: reverse the byte order(not the bits, reverse each byte order, i.e. order of 1's and 0's should not change within each byte) and display the number.
2) Find and display all anagrams of a given string. This one is nothing but permutation of a string. Answer Question
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details – Group Interview, The problem is quite long. Better to read it through soon. The algorithm design is important to the problem. It is quite difficult to think about a good one in such a short time. Food is available. Better comment your code. If you have some trivial problems about the APIs, you can search the web or ask team mates.
Interview Question – What if there are some boundary cases? Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details – There were four interviews, all of which took place on campus. The first interview was for selection to the next round. Was asked to merge LL and an OOP question. Was asked to come the next day for three more interviews. They were pretty standard questions based on Binary Trees, arrays and some other data structures.
Interview Question – Serialize/ Deserialize a binary tree. View Answer
Interviewed at Amazon.com
Interview Details – I applied online. The questions asked initially were expected (a few OOPs concepts, OS etc) but later the coding questions got a lot harder. Also, the interviews don't really follow a logical train of thought, they jump from one concept to a totally different concept rapidly. They look for perfection, and your code must be complete.
Interview Question – Implement a T9 dictionary Answer Question
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