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Amazon.com Software Development Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 21, 2014
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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in October 2007.

Interview Details – Had 2 phone interviews with techies which is Amazon standard. Passing 1 gets u the next phone interview & and passing the second gets u to Amazon campus. On site interview is quite intense and they pretty much look for superstars by having what is termed as bar raisers.

Interview Question – Sort the first 100 numbers from a incoming input stream of milions of numbers.   View Answers (2)


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2009.

Interview Details – i got an email in hte month of november for a phone screen interview but i was busy back then.......so i had to schedule interview in december. this was my first interview and therefore dint perform well. but, i have an idea regarding the area i need to to brush up my skills at.

Interview Questions


No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2010.

Interview Details – Got my foot in the door through my friend's employee referral. 3 phone interviews scheduled through e-mail. Somehow passed and was flown to Seattle. Airfare and hotel was paid for; everything else (taxi, food) I pay first and submit receipts for reimbursement. On-site interview was 5 grueling hours involving 4 technical interviews and a lunch interview.

Advice - know your data structures and algorithms thoroughly. Reading PIE will help, but they obviously won't ask you stuff in that book. Luckily, I didn't receive any puzzle questions. Know how to design software and design big systems.

Interview Question – List all anagrams in a file. Assumptions: case-insensitive, a-z characters only, one word per line. For example, if the file contains dog, cat, ddd, goo, act, god -- output dog, god, act, cat   View Answers (8)


4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2010.

Interview Details – The first round was a written technical and intelligence test. Second round was a coding round where two questions were related to BST and one related to Strings. The interview were held on next day for the 30 shortlisted candidates out of 300 odd who attended the initial rounds.

The first interview began with questions from the code I had written in the second round. Was asked to optimize it, and explain the code (draw recursion stacks and explain how hashset works were auxillary questions asked as I was explaining my code). If you get stuck, they do give you a hint. But one hint per interview is the max you can expect. Duration: 45mins.

Second interview was held 3 hours after the first one. And this one was with a Development Lead. I guess this was a bar raiser for me, a concept unique to Amazon. This interview can be difficult or easy depending on what kind of projects you've done, what kind of activities you engage in. Typically, this round assesses your overall qualities, and assesses if you're fit to work for Amazon.com. Was a really long interview, about 2 and half hours.

Third interview was again on algorithms and data structures. I was asked an odd question regarding race condition, and synchronized blocks in java. I was given no hints in this round, although I eventually managed to answer all the questions he asked. Duration: 1hour 15mins.

Foruth interview was with a senior developer at Amazon.com. He asked four questions, and told me to write my best code for each, with utmost optimization. He told me I can take all the time in the world to solve the problems. Each one was algorithm based. After I had answered all the four, I walked him through all the test cases. Later he asked a question from Probablity, which I struggled to answer, but I guess it didn't matter as my performances in the previous rounds were excellent.

Interview Questions


3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2009.

Interview Details – there were 2 phone screens before full day inhouse interview
there were 2 phone screens before full day inhouse interview
on phone : they asked data structures and problem solving questions
1. string reversal
2. binary tree
3. oops concept
in house :
1. db session , asked to write outer join queries
2. design session : write a design for a bus stand
3. tricky session : they gave me a puzzle - related to cryptography keys
4. find least common ancestors in a binary tree

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – I had initially rejected the offer but went back and asked it back . they reduced the offer saying that amazon stocks bumped up so they reduced my stocks options by couple of hundreds.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

The process took 1+ week - interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2011.

Interview Details – I have a file containing below matrix information:

3 3

2 0 0

0 0 0

3 0 0

First row represents order of Matrix. 2 -- Start Point 3 -- End point 0 -- a city to be visited 1 -- a city you have no access

Find all possible ways to go from start to end city visiting all 0 nodes and avoiding all 1 nodes. In this case the possible solution is 2

Interview Question – I have a file containing below matrix information:

3 3

2 0 0

0 0 0

3 0 0

First row represents order of Matrix. 2 -- Start Point 3 -- End point 0 -- a city to be visited 1 -- a city you have no access

Find all possible ways to go from start to end city visiting all 0 nodes and avoiding all 1 nodes. In this case the possible solution is 2
  Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2011.

Interview Details – My interview consisted of two phone interviews separated by a week and then a final contact a week later telling me that they were going with other candidates. The interviews focused primarily on programming and general development knowledge.

The questions are listed below.

The interviewers were very helpful in describing the problem if you didn't understand the specifics and would ask you to look at specific areas of your code and see if you could improve it. All-in-all it was a good if stressful experience. I am not certain exactly what qualities they are looking for, but I would suggest a month of brushing up on your algorithms and general CS knowledge before you apply unless you are some sort of coding god. Good luck!

Interview Questions

  • The difference between and interface and an abstract class   View Answers (3)
  • Using only putchar how would you print out the ascii values for each digit in an integer. For example if the integer was 123, then you would want to print the ascii values for 1, 2, and 3.   View Answers (5)
  • Given a value and an array of integers, find if there are two integers in the array that add up to the value.   View Answers (4)
  • Describe the class structure for a chess game.   View Answer


No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

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

Interview Details – I was selected to bypass a phone screening and attend an on-site interview with a large group of other interviewees (though the interviews itself were on an individual basis). The interview day consisted of 4, 45 minute technical interviews each conducted by a different interviewer. Coding on the whiteboard is required (or sometimes on paper), and each of the interviews you are given a complex coding question that you must solve in front of them. These questions may be relatively simple if you remember all of your algorithm knowledge from college very well, otherwise you must go in with a significant knowledge of trees (binary and binary search, etc), data structures in general, searching and sorting algorithms, object oriented programming, just to name a few.

Interview Question – Given two very large binary trees T1, with millions of nodes, and T2, with hun- dreds of nodes, create an algorithm to decide if T2 is a subtree of T1.   View Answers (6)


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2011.

Interview Details – A friend put in my resume and I was contacted by phone about a week later by an HR rep. She was very short and was interested in only setting up the interview. She was reluctant to discuss the position or company.

On the day of the interview the interviewer called me a few minutes late. He was friendly but seemed hurried. He asked me some questions about my most difficult project and the program I was most proud of. He asked some technical questions related to projects I was working on. He seemed uninterested in my work history.

After about 10 minutes of talking he sent me a link to a window and gave me a programming assignment. I asked some follow up questions and began to write out an algorithm on a notepad nearby, talking through my thought process all the while. After 2 or 3 minutes he insisted I stop writing and begin coding. I feel like planning first is better but he was running the show.

Know your data structures by heart and be able to code them in your sleep. Terminology is important too.

Interview Questions


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Hyderābād (India)

I applied in-person - interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2012.

Interview Details – I appeared for the "Amazon Code Ninja" coding competition online at Interviewstreet.com just for fun. I solved 3 out of their given 5 problems and got world ranked 251. They HRs then contacted me via mail after a week asking me if I was interested. Once I gave the go they scheduled for me 2 telephonic interviews. These interviews typically had 3 algorithm questions in each. It was followed by 3 onsite 1 on 1 interviews at their Hyderabad office. In these 3 interviews the level of questions were tougher and you had 1 hour to solve and optimize 2 problems. This was followed by 2 telephonic interviews from Seattle one of which was by my Hiring manager. These rounds were about higher conceptual computer science questions and design questions.

Interview Question – Design the backend system and data structure needed for an online ticket booking system for an intercity bus service.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – They give you the best compensation offer which you can't say no to.

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