Amazon Interview Questions in Herndon, VA | Glassdoor

Amazon Interview Questions in Herndon, VA

Updated Jul 13, 2017
62 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Herndon, VA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA) in June 2017.

    Interview

    Was contacted by a recruiter directly for an online coding challenge. After successfully completing the challenge, had another technical phone screen round on coding as well. Finally, had an onsite interview with 5 rounds including coding, system design, and behavioral rounds.

    Interview Questions

    • Signed an NDA, so cannot reveal the exact questions. They were largely based on algorithms and data structures with strong emphasis on Hast Tables.   Answer Question

  2. Helpful (5)  

    Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Herndon, VA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    I initially approached an Amazon recruiter within LinkedIn. From there, he introduced me to another Amazon recruiter that handles the job opportunities within Amazon Web Services located at Herndon, VA. The recruiter reached out to me through email and introduced the position available. We set a time for him to call me. The first call was about 30 minutes, he did most of the talking about the job opening. He also emailed me a lot of information about the job description and responsibilities. After a week, I had my first phone interview. It lasted for 1.5 hours. Two people were in it; a systems engineer and a developer. I was asked about a combination of systems administration and scripting/developer questions. I honestly stated that I don't have developer experience so I was asked basic programming questions. The morning after the interview, I got an email from the recruiter that I got positive reviews and the team wanted to move forward with another technical phone interview. After a week, the second phone interview was set. This time it was with the Hiring Manager. He was the manager/team lead of the team I would be working with. The interview took another 1.5 hours to complete. It was very technical so it was really draining on the brain. After the interview, he mentioned that it might take a longer time for the result since it was a Friday and a long weekend. The following week, I received an email from the hiring coordinator that the team has decided to pursue other candidates at this time. They will, however, keep my resume on file for 12 months and will contact me if ever there are other positions that fit my qualifications and experience. They also asked me to apply for other open positions.

    Overall, it was a good experience. The interviewers were all polite and professional.

    Be prepared. Read a lot of online articles and explanation on how things work. They do ask practical questions but there were a lot of things that if you didn't read it, you wouldn't have an idea on how to explain it as some questions are really based on a lot of readings and understanding on how things work.

    Interview Questions

    • Explain the Linux boot process.
      Explain the permissions on files and directories.
      Explain the OSI layers, be prepared to provide examples.
      How to set a list?
      What is the difference between an integer and a string?
      What is the difference between a for and a while loop?

      What happens when you enter amazon.com on a browser? Explain what goes through the OSI layer. How does routing and ARP work? What would be the most difficult thing that you have encountered at work and how did you resolve that issue? Tell me about a time where you recommended something that was entirely different from what the customer wanted.   1 Answer
  3. Helpful (1)  

    Technical Writer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Herndon, VA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    I submitted my resume online and was eventually contacted by an Amazon Web Services recruiter. I went through 2 phone interviews, each an hour long, then had to write a 6 page, 10-pt single-spaced paper with executive summary based off a prompt they gave me about the needs of a potential client. I had 7 days to research and write it. This was probably the most difficult part of the interview because the guidance on what they are actually looking for is minimal. I researched several of AWS' 70+ features and chose a handful to write about, hoping they were the right applications for the prompt. After I made it through that round, I had 6 hours of in-person interviews on site in Herndon, VA. A week before my interviews they scheduled a 30 minute phone call with another AWS recruiter who basically coached me on how to be successful in the interview; what they're looking for, how to prepare, etc. That helped me a lot when getting ready. Each interview was one-on-one in a small 'interview room' and 45 minutes long. Generally these interviews were not very warm. You are not left alone the entire day; they don't want you wandering off in the building so you always have a chaperone and interviewers don't leave until the next one arrives. 3 of my 5 interviews were given by remote employees and were supposed to be over video chat but the chat didn't work for any of them so we had to resort to over the phone, and I don't know how that may have affected the interview process since they couldn't read body language and we couldn't talk face to face. Lunch was provided and you ate with an employee who was not interviewing you, so it's nice they don't interview you over lunch. Every person who interviewed me worked in some capacity on the team I would be working on, except one and I am assuming he was the 'bar raiser' because he really pushed me. and his interview was the hardest All questions asked at every interview stage were 'tell me about a time when' or 'give me an example of'- type scenario questions, and then they would ask further in-depth questions about the scenario I described, so you can't really BS your way through. You have to really know and remember details about the experience you are describing because they are going to grill you on it to gauge how you respond to different events. They want to know what you already HAVE done, so come prepared with really good examples you want to share and how they fit with the job description AND the Leadership Principles. The AWS recruiter told me that it's ok to only have a handful of stories and reuse them in different interviews as long as you can apply them to various Leadership Principles (but bear in mind everyone who interviews you does get together after to score you so they'll know all the example scenarios you used). Every question throughout all levels of interviewing were based on the Principles. I studied for my in-person interviews like I would a test, reviewing the Principles and coming up with examples from my work history that exemplified them. Although they told me I would hear either way within a week, I did not hear from them for 3 weeks which I found unusual and kind of unprofessional. I finally emailed the recruiter and asked for confirmation, at which point they finally confirmed I had not gotten the job.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a time you disagreed with a co-worker on a project and lost.   Answer Question

  4. Helpful (6)  

    Technical Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Herndon, VA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Application

    The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA).

    Interview

    Amazon (AWS) has a horrible recruiting process. I went through it 3 times. Recruiters or hiring managers interviews you, says you are a good fit & will move to next steps. So you take interviews over the next 4-8 weeks as they drag out the process of making a decision. Then they curtly reply, "not moving forward". No indication nor feedback as to how status went from great candidate, to not interested. Yet they encourage you to keep applying. I'm done. I don't see how they'll get to 20k additional hires using this method.

    Interview Questions

    • Do you know the company principles?   1 Answer

  5.  

    Cloud Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Herndon, VA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    Applied through employee referral. Got a call from recruiter for a 60 min interview. Spoke to senior cloud architect and mostly technical disucssion. It was mostly centered on scaling of the platforms.

    Interview Questions


  6. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Human Resources Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Herndon, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA) in April 2017.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter via LinkedIn who told me about the position. I applied and received an email about flying out to D.C. for an interview the following week. The whole interview process took about 3 hours (two interviews in one day). The majority of the questions in the first interview were behavioral questions. The second interview was a case study where I had to explain what I would do in a hypothetical situation. The interviews were challenging, but doable as long as you take the time to study the information they provide and prepare answers ahead of time. The entire process from application to offer letter took about three weeks.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a time you disagreed with a supervisor.   1 Answer
    • How do you earn trust with you coworkers?   1 Answer

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Cloud Support Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Herndon, VA
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA) in February 2017.

    Interview

    tl;dr - Unprofessionalism. A company who's mantra is "Frugality" and their hiring process is beyond broken

    I started the process in October following an Online Test. The Online Test was easy so I attempted 3 out 5 of the sections (leaving aside Database and Big Data). 4 days later I am told that I have made it to the Phone Interview round. This is where the unprofessionalism began! The person supposed to call me was late and he did not even book a meeting room for our call. Yes - he did not book a meeting room where we could chat uninterrupted for that 1-hour long phone call. Someone walked in while I was answering his question and he had to just drop the call right there. Wow! That was a first for me. 5 minutes later the interviewer calls me from his cell phone! Apologizes for what happened and then resume the discussion a bit more and then we're done.
    A week later I come to know that I've been selected for an onsite interview and that I would be approached by another recruiter for scheduling the onsite program. Then immediately two days later the recruiter calls me up and informs me that the position that I have been interviewing for, has closed. Probably because they found someone or they stopped hiring. The funniest part is: The hiring was stopped in Office B whereas my first preference was Office A!! Now this was interesting - the recruiter goes back to the emails and finds that there has been a misunderstanding and that I actually applied for Office A, not Office B. Hiring has been stopped in all offices and I wait the whole Nov and Dec.
    I was approached once again in Jan for 2 different positions (including the one I interviewed for earlier). I was sent an online coding challenge which I cleared. Now comes the onsite interview. I am once again given Office B when I have clearly mentioned earlier my choice as Office A. I couldn't for the life of me understand what's going on. I comply to their requests and give the onsite interview at Office B in Feb. 2-3 days later I am approached by the HR that they want to extend an offer. I was more than excited but it was short lived because they messed up the salary this time. They couldn't even match the current salary I had but they wanted me to join. I mentioned about my counter offer from another company which was more than my current. No success. They came back with the same offer. During the whole process I was also reached by another team from Amazon for Systems Development Engineer. They told me that I could fit into the other team as well - I agreed. Accordingly a quick phone interview was scheduled and I never ever heard from the HR...even after repeated emails.
    I had no other option but decline their offer. Its a shame on how they reached out for interviews and wasted my valuable time. The stories you read on Glassdoor about bad interviews are indeed true - I experienced them first hand! I wish I never interviewed for Amazon.

    Interview Questions

    • I signed an NDA so I cannot disclose any interview questions   1 Answer
  8.  

    Linux Cloud Support Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Herndon, VA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA) in February 2017.

    Interview

    I got a screening from an HR representative roughly a month after applying which included taking a Linux knowledge test. The first phone interview was set up for a few days after that. It lasted about an hour and consisted mostly of technical questions dealing with Linux commands, DNS, and general networking. There were also various troubleshooting scenarios. The second interview took place a couple weeks later and followed the same structure. After this interview, I did not hear anything from Amazon for almost 3 weeks. I emailed them and one of the HR reps told me he will update me with the status soon after checking on where they were at with it. A couple more weeks gone by, heard nothing. I am assuming if they just stop keeping in contact with you, you might as well just look elsewhere.

    Interview Questions

    • Mostly different Linux commands and what they do. There were also a fair amount of questions pertaining to DNS and troubleshooting a network (all generally within the Linux environment).   1 Answer

  9.  

    Customer Support Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Herndon, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA) in February 2017.

    Interview

    I was asked to apply online by the employees I met during a career fair in my college. I applied and received a link to a screening test. I was asked to choose my area of interest ie big data, database, linux etc. The questions were based on what I chose. After that I was called onsite for a 3 hour interview process which consisted of 4 rounds.

    Interview Questions

    • Questions asked were basic and were related to linux commands and my knowledge about databases   Answer Question

  10. Helpful (9)  

    Solutions Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Herndon, VA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Herndon, VA) in December 2016.

    Interview

    I had a great time at Amazon. Amazonians were super friendly, smart and easy going, it made me feel welcome. The recruiter was amazing and they have provided all information I needed for the interview, explained the role and what is expected for each step of the interview etc. The interview process was long, intense and difficult but somehow necessary for the huge expectations and responsibilities required for the role, I also think think they receive a huge amount of volume and candidates from all over the place so handling that is not easy, they need to draw a line and it may take a while to respond to you but don’t be mad about it, just follow up after a week and try again if you fail. I had two phone interviews one technical screening and a second behavioral question interview followed by an onsite interview at Amazon called “the loop”. In my opinion, the loop was intense and the hardest part of the process, you will be sitting in a room for 5 hours answering questions nonstop until they can extract everything from you.

    My interview was schedule for 11:30AM, I was in a hotel 20 minutes away from Amazon’s Herndon, VA office, the recruiter called me at the hotel on the interview day at 9:30AM to say that my interview was rescheduled to start at 10AM, not sure if they dropped the ball or wanted to test how flexible I am but that didn't help my performance during the interview. My interview started at 10:15AM and it went until around 4:30PM. The loop was very intense, I only had 5 minutes each round to ask questions back to the interviewer and I had only one chance to go to the bathroom and drink water during lunch time. I was talking a lot trying to answer all those behaviors questions and my mouth was super dry, it would be good if water and breaks between interview rounds were provided more often but time is very limited at Amazon.

    I liked all interviewers and Amazon staff, they were super friendly, professional, hard working and smart people. The hire manager was awesome and super smart, the bar raiser asked a lot of difficult questions that made me freeze for a while, they don’t tell who he/she is but you will notice it. I went until the last round and did a presentation at the end. A week later I received an e-mail saying “thanks but you failed”. They don’t provide feedback but I pay attention to things and I know what I should improve, I think I did provide a bad example for resilience/fail tolerance on my presentation and I need to improve my DevOps skills. I learned a lot during the interview and it gave me more motivation to keep studying hard, working hard. I think I would have done better now with all the knowledge acquired over the couple of months. My take is that, I failed the interview but I'm not giving up on them, I'm studying like crazy to improve my skills, polish my presentation skills and be more prepared to apply again in 6 months. I'm looking forward to work for Amazon one day but there are other good companies out there too.

    My free advise is, they care a lot about customer experience and they are looking for a smart, easy going person that fits their culture, pay attention to your customer, dive deep and focus on the other Amazon Leadership Principals read the book “Amazon Way” and try to think what you did in the past that is similar to the 14 principals, sometimes is hard to remember what you did 5 years ago but it will be tested on the interview! Try to deliver the message in a structured manner, don't bs them, make sure to include leadership principals and technical details of real situations, what was accomplished and what both company and customer got from it.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a time when you did this and that. Please provide specific details.   2 Answers
    • Please draw on the white board a hybrid solutions for an enterprise customer that needs to store files online in a private cloud with 99.95% SLA and specify which AWS component you will need to use and details about security, access control etc   1 Answer

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