Amazon Interview Questions in Palo Alto, CA | Glassdoor

Find your next job here

Amazon Interview Questions in Palo Alto, CA

Updated Dec 29, 2017
12 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
64%
18%
18%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
33%
25%
17%
17
8

Difficulty

3.4
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy

12 Candidate Interview ReviewsBack to all Interviews

Filter

Sort: PopularDateDifficulty

Filter

Sort: PopularDateDifficulty
  1. Helpful (3)  

    Machine Learning Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    I applied online (Machine Learning Scientist at AWS) and contacted by a recruiter after a month or so. Technical phone screening is scheduled subsequently for one week after. In the meantime, I studied for Machine Learning, Probability & Statistics, Programming questions.

    The interviewer was a nice person, but was a bit confused himself; and sometimes was not so clear in his questions. The questions were all Machine Learning questions, no Statistics/Probability, or Programming (even though there was a shared screen for coding).

    He asked about a project I've done on Machine Learning and questions mostly evolved from my answers (careful about what you say!): the difficulty level mostly depends on the knowledge you already have.
    The questions were overall easy and conceptual, and required a general knowledge on various topics.

    Interview Questions

    • Difference between convex and non-convex cost function; what does it mean when a cost function is non-convex?   1 Answer
    • Difference between Generative and Discriminative models.   1 Answer
    • Stochastic Gradient Descent: if it is faster, why don't we always use it?   1 Answer
    • Text methods (latent, etc), he asked if I knew anything about these.   Answer Question

  2. Helpful (2)  

    Software Development Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in January 2017.

    Interview

    Contacted by Amazon recruiting, poor quality phone calls, multiple contacts, many seemed to be new and poorly organized. Helps to be organized and manage process, with regular followup. Not a problem as this was a management position. Great if you have an amazon contact who can track down what is happening. Did finally talk with a Amazon recruiter who seemed on top of process and one the phone was helpful in describing details and preliminary schedule. The email and other processes were a black box.

    Ended up having two online/phone technical interview, the second interviewer was confused why needed a second, hopefully Amazon will figure out their growing pains as they do have a detailed tracking process and are know for data analysis.

    For on site interviews, nice people, but disorganized: difficulty finding my primary contact, problems setting up video conference. Three of the interviewers appeared to change at last minute, two of interviews had new employee observers. Two were video conference to Seattle. Be prepared to have phone numbers for your primary recruiting contact, they can help resolve problems on that day. One of the interviewers was waiting in another conference room.

    During interviews, everyone very focused on typing what you say into their system. A couple did explain, and even apologized for lack of engagement as they typed. Because of problems mentioned above, most of my interviews were running late and constrained. Most tried to allow some time for questions beyond their behavioral, Amazon principals questions. The one technical interviewer gave less than 15min for technical problem discussion and solution (a fairly typical coding interview problem but challenging for the time). One peer interview left no time for my questions, "needed to get through questions", offered to answer questions via LinkedIn, but never accepted connection. Perhaps already knew thumbs down or was interviewing others first?

    Some interviewers provided some feedback re Amazon environment, be sure to ask. You should talk with one long time (3+year) Amazon employee.

    After interviews, two weeks before heard decision. Three different Amazon contacts for recruiting, was never perfectly clear who would respond, so helps to include all with your email. Vague timelines when team might decide. As with many high tech interview processes, no information about why. Throughout process got a number of apologies, so I'm convinced it wasn't some type of torture test. Hopefully this experience is an outlier, and more an indication of the growing pains at Amazon. Ultimately, heard they had decided to not move forward, with a "really impressed with your qualifications, please stay in touch!" however…

    Important note: Amazon said they have a 12 month "cooling off" period. They will *not* consider you for other openings. If you are going though the process and it looks like it isn't a fit, you might see if you can decline them before they block you from other openings. Alternatively, I've heard that multiple Amazon applications and interviews can happen around the same time. They work internally to decide which is the best fit. My error, I applied to this one job first, and didn't apply to others until later, apparently I won't hear back.

    Interview Questions

    • Refer to all the areas of the Amazon leadership principals.   2 Answers
    • Before the onsite interview, you will be asked to submit a two to four page writing sample answering one of two questions. During the interview process I was asked about the question I did not choose by at three different interviewers.   2 Answers
  3.  

    Hardware Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in October 2016.

    Interview

    I had on campus interviews. It was 4 back to back 45 minute interviews. Most of the interviews began the same way and was geared towards talking about my resume. Then we would discuss technical questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Design the system requirements of your favorite IoT system   Answer Question

  4.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in July 2016.

    Interview

    An Amazon recruiter reached out to me by email to schedule a phone interview. I later interview with an Amazon engineer on the phone for about an hour. The interviewer was polite and friendly. We started with a couple basic questions, an online programming problem, ended with any questions for the interviewer.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about yourself?
      Programming test - Linked list problem   1 Answer

  5. Helpful (1)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in April 2016.

    Interview

    One online interview (7 debugging questions) and then one hour long phone interview. I submitted my application online. I got an email about the online test. I was nervous for the test but it was rather easy in my book. You had 20 ish minutes. The questions were mostly on if you knew syntax, like arrays starting at zero. After that, it took a while to hear back and learn that I got a phone interview. The phone interview was the last step (only two parts) and then it was more waiting.
    The interview process was painless besides the waiting.

    Interview Questions

    • My question was an in depth exploration of hashmaps. Covered how they work with a focus on algorithmic efficiency.   1 Answer

  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in September 2015.

    Interview

    Two phone screens, one onsite interview. Overall, took a couple of weeks. Pretty technical interview, a bunch of coding questions, some brain teaser, and design questions. Overall, pretty demanding but manageable. People are pretty friendly and helpful.

    Interview Questions

    • 100 floors, two eggs, if you drop the egg from a floor high enough, it might break. find the lowest floor where it would break using minimum trials.   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in January 2015.

    Interview

    Two phone screens, onsite "loop" with four team members and one "bar raiser." Each interviewer will focus on at least one of the amazon leadership principles. Questions about amazon itself, the customer, etc. Process very smooth from phone screen to onboarding. It's VERY VERY VERY common for a first interview on the phone to not result in a good fit, but if the screener likes you they will definitely pass you to another group.

    Interview Questions

    • Standard product management questions but with a cloud focus. How do you work with engineering, etc. How would you price a service in a new region, etc. Then a semi-technical interview with a bar raiser. Let's build X service in the cloud... Lots of focus on the Amazon leadership principles, which IMO are a great set of principles to have an example of in any interview. There's a reason every single customer loves amazon.   1 Answer
  8. Helpful (5)  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in March 2014.

    Interview

    2 phone interviews followed by one written exam and onsite interview. Most of the questions are around algorithm and data structures. Look for trees and hash tables and distributed designs


  9.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in March 2014.

    Interview

    Most interviewers were good but one or two need training. Whenever the interviewer says "You cannot ask me questions...You are getting interviewed not me", you know that guy is a jerk . This was when he expressed dissatisfaction with my algorithm for a problem. I asked him what he thinks is a good solution and this was his answer. This Interviewer was pressing wrong buttons elsewhere in the interview. Someone from HR should consider reprimanding but then again this is Amazon so I have no expectations. ,

    Interview Questions

    • Convert each level of Binary tree into a linkedin list.   Answer Question

  10.  

    Senior Mobile Software Engineer for AWS Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Palo Alto, CA) in May 2013.

    Interview

    They mostly followed a normal "Google" style interview. One guy asked me questions specific to the technology I'd be working with.

    I had two phone interviews, one was more about my experience, the other was code-heavy. The on-site in Palo Alto had 5 interviews, two of which had "shadow" interviewers that sat quietly and took notes.

    I did very well in four of them, and didn't do so well on the fifth one. Didn't get the job, which was disappointing, because I really kicked major butt on the first four. They let me know two business days after the interview.

    The team and manager seemed really cool and great to work with. Their work hours were sane, and standard according to silicon valley (around 50 hours per week including lunch time). The perks are almost non-existent at Amazon, which is a bit annoying. If devs stay late, they should be given dinner, this should be the norm in software jobs... after all they just cut into their dinner prep plans, right? Spend the $7 on them for the extra hour ($50+) or two ($100+) they put in.

    Interview Questions

    • Hardest Q was: Here's a binary tree: find the longest path within it. So, find a path between any two leaf nodes, where the path is the longest.   1 Answer

Don't Miss Out On a Job You Love
Upload a resume to easily apply to jobs from anywhere. It's simple to set up.