Amazon Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Amazon Interview Questions

Updated Jun 18, 2018
16,842 Interview Reviews



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Getting an Interview





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  1. Helpful (1365)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview


    I applied through other source. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in May 2013.


    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**


    As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.

  2. Helpful (1120)  

    Area Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview


    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon in January 2014.


    A compilation of all the behavioral questions on this website.

    1. Tell me about yourself
    2. Strengths
    3. Weaknesses
    4. Why Amazon?
    5. How can you translate your skills towards Amazon?
    6. What experiences do you have that separate you from the rest?

    Groups/ Leadership
    1. Tell me about a time when you were leading a group, were assigned a goal, and did not reach it
    2. Tell me about a time when you had a group conflict and how did you overcome this conflict?
    3. How did your actions in a leadership role increase productivity?
    4. Tell me about a time when you dealt with an employee with poor performance
    5. What is your take on leadership?
    6. Tell me about a time when you had a group conflict and how you overcame this conflict?
    7. What kind of roles have you done that were leadership roles?

    Behavioral Leadership & Safety & Customer Service
    1. Tell me about a time when you dealt with ambiguity?
    2. How important is safety to you? Rank Customer Service, Quality, Safety
    3. Do you go against a supervisor who made a decision that goes against corporate policy and is a potential safety issue for one of your employees
    4. How would you handle an employee who showed up to work drunk? (not very relevant)
    5. Name a time you had to convince someone to do something they did not want to do
    6. Tell me about a situation where you directly impacted customer satisfaction
    7. What type of leader are you? Explain your leadership style. What does it mean to be a leader?
    8. How do you motivate people?
    9. What did you admire most about one of your previous supervisors

    1. Tell me about a time you failed and how you handled it?
    2. Tell me about an ethical conflict with your boss and how you’ve handled it
    3. How do you deal with stress?
    4. Have you ever proposed an idea to a superior and were ignored despite knowing that it would produce a positive result? How did you handle it?
    5. Explain a time when you had to deal with poor job performance
    6. Name a time you screwed up
    7. What frustrates you

    Continuous Improvement/ Problem Fixing
    1. Tell me about a time when you leaned out a process
    2. Tell me about a time you had a difficult job to solve
    3. Walk me through a different scenario of a process you invented or improved
    4. Tell me about a time you attempted to refine a process and failed
    5. Give an example of a time when you found a simple solution to a seemingly difficult problem
    6. How has your past experiences included lean management, six sigma, kaizen

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about yourself. Don't say something typical   18 Answers
  3. Helpful (682)  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon.


    An online quiz and then a phone interview. The online quiz wasn't very hard. It tested basic computer science knowledge. The phone interview was slightly harder but it was basically data structures and algorithm questions. They give you an online editor and you type responses into it.

  4. Helpful (386)  

    Operations Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (New York, NY).


    Basic target selection questions, STAR. Called for interview at FC. Interview lasted roughly 40 minutes. Well organized and flowed great. Asked about a process change I helped implement and the simple math question of 38 hourly with 2 indirect employees. Added how many people would be needed if one wanted 10000 more units.

  5. Helpful (493)  

    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied online. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Amazon.


    1st you must complete an online assessment to qualify , if you application is accepted you have a group interview where you must then pass a mouth swab drug test

  6. Helpful (226)  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Amazon in April 2017.


    The recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn and let me know about the available positions with the team. After a brief call with the recruiter I was sent a 90 min coding test of 2 questions. I find timed coding tests pretty intimidating and I think they are also not the best way to screen people, too many ways for false positives and false negatives, would have preferred a phone interview. But after a month long of practicing at least 2 questions a day on leetcode helped me be ready for any coding challenges. Hackerrank is also another great resource for this.

    But there is also a trick here which I found out of sheer luck. I went through dozens of reviews here on glassdoor and I found another Chinese website where people post reviews/interview questions (thanks a lot google translate!). Apparently Amazon has a set of questions (I believe 5) which they use every month. Anyone who takes the coding test would get 2 of those 5 questions. I didnt want to take any chances so I found out those 5 questions that were asked previously in that month and practiced and wrote solutions for all of them. And on the day when I decided to take the test, I was gladly surprised to see 2 very familiar questions. I wrote code for both of them in about 30 mins but to my dismay one of the problem passed only 1 of the 5 test cases. I spent next hour trying to debug but I ended up passing only 2 of the 5 before the test got automatically submitted. I was disappointed and didnt have much hopes. But after couple of days the recruiter sent an email asking for 15 min technical screen. It was the same recruiter who called me earlier and this time was asking data structure questions as a technical screen. The questions were pretty basic though like HashMap vs HashTable etc.

    And after the call I was sent an invitation for the onsite interviews. I had previously received Amazon offer which I declined and I think because of that I had only 4 technical rounds this time (Or maybe they changed the process and made it shorter now?)
    On the day of the onsite the recruiter received me at the lobby and took me into a small conference room. The first round was with a hiring manager and he asked me many behavioral questions for almost 15 mins. All the questions were in a way related to the Amazon leadership principles so be sure to write stories for each of them and prepared before onsite. And then he asked me one dynamic programming question which was a variant of max subarray problem but he had put many conditions to get the subsequence so the question is not exactly the same. Although I did end up solving the problem and writing the code but I took way too many hints and I thought I messed up. The second round was also by an engineering manager who asked me behavioral questions for first 10 mins and then another dynamic programming question. I was able to solve it fast and thankfully he was very impressed. Since we had another 10-15 mins time he asked me to write object oriented design of a parking lot. I had just studied that problem on CTCI book so I was about to write the same class design but then he gave me extra conditions like electric chargeable parking space etc so I ended up doing a very different solution from that of CTCI book. Nevertheless he was clearly happy with my class design.

    The third round was with a senior engineer who asked me to design an ArrayDeque data structure. I wasn't familiar with it so she first explained the requirements and I had to write 4 functions for that data structure like get(index) etc.
    The fourth round was with a principal engineer who also asked me to design a conceptual datastructure for a stack of plates. This question seemed to be developed by him on his own so I won’t reveal the details but it involved multiple stacks. I had to write similar functions of a stack like pop(), push(), peek() etc for this datastructure.
    All the interviewers were very friendly and gave hints whenever I seemed stuck.
    I received a phone call the next morning from a (different) head recruiter and told me of the decision. The next day I was given a verbal offer on the phone with total compensation more than I asked for. They gave me a base pay more than my other offer I received the same week. Over the weekend I wrote a succinct email negotiating for better signing on bonus (I gave a number I wanted) and they not only gave me the bonus I asked for, they even increased my base pay (Always negotiate! And that single email could be the most worthy email you would write that year)
    Before you start the interview process I would advise you to finish off the CTCI book first (For Amazon concentrate on Arrays, LinkedLists, Trees and Graphs, Dynamic Programming chapters)
    Before onsite write down the stories from your previous experiences (school or professional) about each of the Amazon's leadership principles. These are very important. And keep practicing coding on leetcode or other online sites. Good luck!

    Interview Questions

    • Design data-structures, dynamic programming questions   13 Answers

  7. Helpful (393)  

    Technical Program Manager Interview

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


    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in December 2015.


    Step 1:
    Got an email from Amazon recruiter that they saw my profile matching with their requirement and interested to see whether am willing to proceed with interview process. I said why not, as Amazon in one of my dream company to join with. I replied back with all required details and resume.

    Step 2:
    After one week I got an email for first phone interview. Which was technical round. The guy who interviewed me was senior development engineer and interview went for 1 hour. It was perfectly planned and he was very nice guy and has experience in taking interview for sure.

    Step 3:
    After one week from first phone interview, i got an email stating, they liked talking with me and willing to proceed with second phone interview. I have replied and they scheduled me second technical phone interview in a week. Now, Senior technical project/program manager took the interview and it was really interactive and went very smooth. It was more of behavior and scenario related questions and he helped here and there to provide the lead to answer. It was only for 40 mins as that manager was busy with some other important work to do. But it was great. He informed me right away that he liked me and he will ask recruiter to schedule next round as a pure technical.

    Step 4:
    After 5 days, I got an email for Final Phone interview, and this will be pure technical. I provided my availability. In meantime when I was waiting for final phone interview, I got an email stating they willing to fly me to Seattle office for in person interview. There you go.

    Step 5:
    All arrangements done in 2 days and I flew to their office for in person interview. There were totally 6 interviews, each 45 mins. In between there was one lunch meeting with manager from different team. All interviewers were very cool and process oriented. I studied many reviews and comments from glass door and other websites. But its not really that bad as they have pointed out. Amazon has a process to note each and every word you say to decide your ability. So I don't think their activity to type what you say while the interview in process is bad at all, because they are recording it for future decision. So I really agree they have their process which is working well for them and I felt good. Most of the questions were behavior, given scenario, your past experience, technical, design, architecture related. It started at 9:30 and ended at 4 PM with 5 mins break between some interview.

    Overall it was great experience to me.

  8. Helpful (30)  

    Solutions Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview


    Two phone screen interviews and then five in person interviews in one day, including a solution presentation. The interviews are all behavioral based and tied back the Amazon Leadership Principles.

    Interview Questions

    • What is the difference between network Layer 2 and 3?

      TCP vs UDP
          Use cases
          What newer technologies would use UDP

      Unicast vs Multicast

      What's a three tier web architecture
          How would you limit downtime
          What about maximizing uptime for the Db

      What else would you do for a high volume distributed app web site

      What is continuous integration
          What ci/cd tools have you used

      What are the benefits of ci/cd

      What tools have you used for infrastructure monitoring

      Discuss durability vs availability

      Discuss SSD vs traditional disk

      What are the RAID levels
          Which one would a DB use

      How would you mitigate a DOS?

      What is identity management?

      Where are customer encryption keys stored

      How do you secure a web site

      What's a Web Application Firewall?
          How's it differ from a firewall?

      What is a Bastion host?

      What are SQL databases good for?

      What are NoSQL databases good for?

      How can a database be scaled?

      What is a CDN?
          How does a CDN make web sites faster

      How you challenge an existing process

      How do you challenge a customer

      How do you sell cloud to a compliance group   Answer Question

  9. Helpful (274)  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied in-person. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Amazon.


    No interview process just tell you about the company and do a drug test,take your picture and select your's all a step by step process I waited like a whole month before I got a call back for the start date

  10. Helpful (110)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

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


    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in August 2017.


    I am interviewing with the AmazonFresh team. The phone interviews were manageable and went well. Before the in person interview, I had to write up an example of a judgment call. I then got that question two times during the in person interview. I had examples for each leadership principle ready but in hindsight, I should have had 3 examples for each leadership principles which isn't easy when most companies don't set goals and accurately measure your impact. Recruiter, Hiring Manager, Team Member, 5 hour interview with entire team and 1 bar raiser, written assessment. Bar riser is one person not on your team that can veto you if you wouldn't fit in the culture. I got along with him the best. My struggle was the last person after 4 hours of being grilled I think I was just tired and got very nervous.

    Interview Questions

    • Make sure you have 3 examples for each leadership principle since you get the same question over again by different people and it is frowned upon to say the same thing. All answers should follow the STAR method and you need to tell the story with emphasizing the results instead of just reading them off.

      1. Why Amazon now?
      2. What is the most technical project you worked on? What were the risks? Impact?
      3. Who are you?
      4. What feedback have you received from past managers?
      5. What was your most creative idea?
      6. Give an example of a project that had a change in scope and how did you handle it?
      7. Give an example of when a project failed?
      8. How did you vent your ideas and convince leadership?
      9. Name a new metric you discovered?
      10. Walk me through your background?
      11. Give an example when you didn't agree with your manager?
      12. What are the KPIs for your company?
      13. How would someone who has worked with you describe you?
      14. What was your proudest moment in your career? What part did you play in making that happen?
      15. What was a revolutionary idea that you implemented?
      16. If you didn't have goals or KPIs for your example, in hingsight what would you measure and why?
      17. If you were changing the AmazonFresh experience what are some are your ideas and how would you measure them?
      18. What metrics do you use to drive change?
      19. When was a time that you take ownership outside of your role?
      20. What is an area that is an opportunity for you to improve upon?
      21. Tell me about a feature or customer experience that had multiple CX issues?
      22. Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager - I got this question 3 times
      23. Tell me when you made a judgment call since you didn't have any data (make sure you have 3 examples ready)   2 Answers

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