Amazon.com Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Sep 28, 2014
Updated Sep 28, 2014
641 Interview Reviews

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220 people found this helpful  

Software Development Engineer Interview

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

I applied through other source. 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.

**Continued below**

Negotiation Details
As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon.com

  1.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online - interviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview Details

    I applied online and was gives two time slots to choose from for scheduling the interview. It was two telephonic calls of 1 hour each. Both were done using a shared doc. The interviewers were very patient and helpful. Was a pleasant experience though I wasn't given an offer for the position.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online - interviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview Details

    2 Phone Screens & 7 Onsite Interviews. After the offer the Recruiters were very rude. They think they can get away with it as they do in Seattle. But in Bay area there are lot of options.

    Interview Questions
    Declined Offer
  3.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com.

    Interview Details

    I interviewed with Amazon after being pushed by their various recruiters at least a dozen times in the past 6 months. I went in well prepared and did well for the most part. I noticed throughout the day the super low diversity but ignored it. All the interviewers were white, most of them were fair. However, when one of them walked in, I knew immediately he was never going to let me land an offer. His body language was aggressive and dismissive. I answered every single question he asked without any mistakes. At the end he said that the recruiter would get back to me with feedback. At that point he confirmed my fear. I am really glad I did not get into this company where racism is not only tolerated but encouraged.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    I missed a hiring event earlier in the week, but a friend referred me to a recruiter that contacted him earlier last month. I emailed her and had a brief conversation to ask what I'm currently doing at my job and why I'm looking to leave. Afterwards, she set me up with a 90-minute remote interview using collabedit.com. She recommended using www.topcoder.com and www.careercup.com to prepare for the interview.

    Almost a week later, I had the phone/ coding interview:
    1. Find the intersection of two arrays
       a. What's the time and space complexity?
       b. Can you improve performance? i.e. What if arrays were sorted?
       c. Which sort would you choose?
       d. What if provided and unknown number of arrays?

    2. Given a binary search tree, write a method to add a new node to the tree (without re-structuring)

    P.S. I heard from a fellow Amazon friend that they are changing up the interview process, so I'm not sure if this is what it's moving to since he said that he had 2 45-minute interviews before proceeding to the on-site interview.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online - interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    I applied online a few months ago and received an invitation from a recruiter to take the amazon online assessment test. It was a link to hackerank.
    The actual interview consisted of two pretty simple coding questions and a logic test part.
    I was given 30 mins for each coding question and 35 mins for the logic part(25 questions).
    NOTE: Time flies really fast during the logic session. You should work fast.

    The first question had to do with string manipulation and the other question was on bit level manipulation

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Development 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 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    Referred by a friend of mine who is an employee. A few days following the referral I was contacted by a recruiter who asked for a current version of my resume and gave me an overview of what the team I was interviewing for did. A few days later I had a phone interview in which we discussed my background as well as solving a coding problem live on colabedit.com.

    About half a week after the phone I was asked to fly up to Seattle for an on-site interview. This consisted of 4 back to back interviews (including one lunch interview). The lunch interview is all behavioral. Of the other three, 2 were about 33% behavorial, 66% whiteboard coding. The last interview felt more like a knowledge test, being asked a series of basic algorithm and data structure questions pretty rapid fire.

    Having told them I had other offers outstanding, the recruited informed me that they would have a decision within the next two days. Received their decision by call the day following the interview

    Interview Questions
    • Be sure you know all the nitty gritty details about how various data structures are implemented   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through other source. The process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    Contacted by email out of the blue and asked for an on-site interview for the position. Flew to Seattle HQ and interviewed there. The process was very quick and well organized. Due to NDA I cannot discuss the format or details of the interview but the interview was very different from any other tech companies. The format and question asked were more related to actual programming than the usual questions you'd see from the book.

    Interview Questions
    • The interview format was different than the usual problem, solution on whiteboard kind of interview. It was much more similar to day to day coding and related more to the job.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied online. contacted by recruiter to schedule technical phone screen. during the phone interview few basic CS questions about hash tables, searching algorithm and data structures. then moved to coding piece which was about implementing binary search

    Interview Questions
    • Designing a stack like data structure(push, pop) and a min() function which operates in constant time   Answer Question
    • You have two large 1GB plain text files stored in two computers connected by a slow connection. Most of the files is the same or they could be the same, how would you quickly determine if the files are the same and if they are different where are they different?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Very fast process but hard interview. Not for junior or entry level positions. I applied online and received email within one week to arrange for phone interview. Interview questions are typical study material for computer engineers such as data structures and object oriented designs

    Interview Questions
    No Offer

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