Amazon Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Amazon Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jul 22, 2017
117 Interview Reviews

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Senior Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon.

Interview

Interview process was fairly technical , with several coding examples to understand thought process....there were around 6 rounds of interview and one interview was over lunch. Interview team was very friendly and I find process very accepting .....

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon

  1.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Amazon (Santa Monica, CA) in July 2017.

    Interview

    Had a phone screen and then onsite interview all day. Onsite interview session was grueling. There were 2 interviews in the morning, then lunch and 3 more in the afternoon. All the people I talked to were pretty nice and gave me hints if I was stuck in a question.
    Lot of behavioral interview questions. Technical interviews were not too difficult. If you are fairly good with algorithms and data structures, you should do fine. Two system design questions. These were pretty standard too.
    Overall I thought i did ok, but looking back, it was a waste of time as I did not get the offer.
    Read up on the Amazon leadership principles and have some solid answers ready for behavioral interview questions describing the situation, action, results of your experiences/projects.
    Same questions might be asked in different interviews. you can have the same answers as long as your story is consistent.

    Interview Questions

    • System design questions - design URL shortener , design music streaming service.
      Describe a situation where you disagreed with your manager.
      Describe a time when you worked on a project where you had insufficient data.
      Describe a time when you worked on something you did not have prior experience in, limited domain knowledge etc.   Answer Question

  2. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Amazon.

    Interview

    The whole process was a bit chaotic and feels very reflective of what working at the company would be like.

    I was initially referred by a friend who works there. Dealt with a number of different recruiters \ interview schedules until someone could actually schedule a phone screen. The phone screen was straight out of every interviewing book ever.

    Getting the onsite interview organized was a similar process. One recruiter initially, handed off to another recruiter, handed off to an interview co-ordinator, back to the recruiter.

    The interviews were all pretty much what you'd expect. The interviewer would come in to the room at exactly their slotted time and end the previous interview. They'd introduce themselves and talk about what they work on. They'd ask a few questions about your resume. Then either an algorithm question or a system design question. Then a behavioral ("tell me a time when...") question that is either about a specific Amazon Leadership Principle or about a reality of working at amazon (mostly dealing with being put into situations where there is more work than you can handle).

    Pros
    - the process was generally efficient. In spite of the fact that you have to deal with a bunch of recruiters and never really know who's going to contact you, they would reply quickly. I was finished exactly when I was told the day would be done. None of the questions were difficult to see the solution to.
    - the interviews are a strong reflection of the culture of the company; the people are smart, the problems are hard - but expect to be pushed to work hard and have to really commit to the culture.

    Cons
    - don't expect much of a conversation when it comes to the technical questions. The question is posed, and then the interviewer will sit there and just type whatever you say or write on the whiteboard.
    - don't expect to get a feel for your team or your co-workers. Everyone I interviewed was from various teams related to the team I was interviewing for but not direct co-workers
    - Expect the 'bar raiser' interview to pick something that's going to be tricky to write on a white board. Just because you understand graph theory and use it every day, it's a whole different ball game trying to create and traverse a graph on a whiteboard while someone is taking notes on everything you write.
    - everything ties back to their "leadership principles". If you really want to work at amazon, learn those, embrace them and come up ahed of time with a situation that lines up with each one so you're prepared when they ask it.

    Interview Questions

    • Design a simple service for scale and be prepared to defend your design. Data structures (graphs, trees). Behavioral questions that line up with the company values.   Answer Question
  3.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    Hiring manager reached out to me on LinkedIn and set up an informal chat where he explained about the team and role. The role sounded interesting, so I decided to give this a try. The hiring manager then referred me to a recruiter, who then contacted me to set up a phone screen. The phone screen went well and I was invited to an onsite. At the same time, I was contacted by another team in Amazon who was also interested in interviewing me. So, I set up a combined loop with both teams.
    The onsite had the following rounds:
    1. Coding/Algorithms
    2. System Design Interview
    3. Coding
    4. Lunch (informal, not an interview)
    5. Coding/Design
    6. Behavioral interview
    7. Resume deep dive

    Each interviewer (except for the lunch buddy) asks you some question which is related to Amazon's Leadership Principles. So read up about the Leadership Principles and come prepared with a list of examples where you demonstrated some competency related to the LP.

    I heard back positive news 2 days after the Phone interview and 4 days after the onsite.

    Interview Questions

    • 1. Simple backtracking question related to generating permutations
      2. LRU Cache
      3. System Design questions based on the product the team is building
      4. Lots of 'Tell me about a time when ...' types of questions   2 Answers

  4. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in May 2017.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter through a Job search website for a full time position.
    The response after each interview was super quick (relative to interviews in other companies)
    Once they reject you, seems like the recruiter don't respond to your mail anymore. Pretty rude and unexpected.
    1st phone call was with the recruiter. A 20 minutes conversation. Later he scheduled a day for phone interview.
    1st round was a 45 minute technical phone interview. It went well. The interviewer was supportive and knowledgeable. I enjoyed the interview.
    In couple of days I was told that they want to go ahead with onsite interview. I was thrilled and set a date for 3 weeks later.
    I hated the onsite interview process. I liked that they paid for my travel(from California) and the stay at downtown. The onsite interview was of 4 hours - 5 rounds and NO BREAK for me in between. Why no break? Because the interview started 15 - 20 minutes late and that's why every next interview got overlapped and the interviewee had to suffer. It was utterly exhausting for me and frustrating after 2.5 rounds. I was interviewing after 9 long years and that's why I was uncomfortable, I guess, to ask for breaks in between. But if you are reading this and face similar situation please ask for breaks after every interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Phone rounds:
      1. Odd/Even number of occurrence of integers in an array
      2. Given an organization structure as a file, print out the employee names and its corresponding reportees in a structured format.   1 Answer
    • Onsite:
      Round 1: Mostly behavioral
      - Any technical challenge I have faced in past? How did I resolve it?
      Any big impact to any of your recent projects?
      How would you convince your manager(reasons/factors) to changing an implementation(a big modification) in a product which is in production currently?

      Round 2: Technical
      - Implement merge sort.
      - Graph problem

      Round 3: Technical
      - A method to count number of occurrence of words in a file. The objective was to write a clean code rather than an optimized code.

      Round 4: Behavioral and Architecture
      - Past project experience
      - Design a messaging app

      Round 5: Design/Coding
      - Ideas about implementing a search suggester
      - How will you implement it?   Answer Question

  5.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    I was given an online coding assessment. I ran into many technical difficulties, such as not being able to compile even a simple line of code and missing problem description. I asked Amazon for a retake, but they didn't even have the courtesy to respond.


  6. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in March 2017.

    Interview

    Interview process was first technical interview, where a very low-experinced employee interviewed me on problem solving and solution thinking for 45 minutes. It included using the interactive whiteboard to discuss problems and do just a little simple coding for partial solutions (the problems were too big to solve in a few minutes in an accurate and tested manner).

    The issue I have with this process is that it is NOT a reasonable assessment of a senior candidate's experience and skills. When a 5 years or less 'person' interviews a very successful senior engineer with well over 20 years of real world experience, and then does not recommend further interest in the candidate due to lack of skills, well, something is wrong with the system! People think of solutions in different ways, and working together to collaborate on a best solution is what good engineering is about. A barely-out-of-being-junior engineer cannot come close to understanding what that is like in the world outside of Amazon.
    I would not work with such a person, even if they had made an offer.

    Interview Questions

    • Something about searching a string for sequences of characters and counts of them.   3 Answers

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in December 2016.

    Interview

    TL;DR: The interview process at Amazon is broken. Amazon favors those who are experts at interviewing and show aptitude for solving puzzle problems under pressure, on a white board and in an academic way under time constraints. The interview is structured in a way that completely obfuscates and diminishes real-world, pragmatic experience acquired over the years of writing software and focuses on how well you payed attention in class. It's a kin to a trauma surgeon with 15 years of battlefield experience being judged solely on how well he or she can suture a small cut on a pinky finger.

    The interview process started with a recruiter organizing a technical phone screen with a simple coding question much like every other company. The phone screen was easily passed and did not present much of a challenge.

    The next step was to interview all day on site with several individuals some of which were by remote video conference. Many of interviewers were from teams other than the team I was interviewing for and it was evident by their demeanor. They seemed to have been required to perform the interview and did not seem overly interested in the outcome. The words "robotic" and "forced" comes to mind when describing the interviewers.

    On a side note, you can easily infer the outcome of the interview by taking note of the recruiters attentiveness to you before and after the interview. In my case, the recruiter was responsive to my inquires and questions, answered the phone and went out of her way to be available to me before the interview. After the interview had taken place, she was unavailable and would not return calls as promptly thus indicating a negative outcome. If there is a rejection, you are dead wood to the recruiter who does not wish to waste precious time with you anymore.

    Interview Questions

    • Expect puzzle questions, some of which are found online. Amazon interviewers lack the brilliance to come up with anything unique or representative of real-world applications. Amazon! The 1990's called; they want their soft skill questions back!   1 Answer
  8.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Interview

    I applied through Amazon internal system. 3 months later I was contacted for phone interview
    Phone screen held by HR person, technical part consists from data structures algorithms questions. General feeling was like interview person read those questions from the screen, just to collect answers.


  9. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in October 2016.

    Interview

    Phone screen with recruitor, tech screen, architecture questions. Fly up onsite all day. They sort of want you to read this book on Amazon values because your interviews will all be basically 30 minutes of "tell me about a time when" related to their "core value" and you need to give a specific example. Like being frugal or whatever. You need to show you can drink their kool aid. Then you get an algorithm whiteboard coding.

    Overall, I haven't done Java in 15 years, yet they kept asking me about object oriented design questions. With the recruitor, with the hiring manager on the phone, I emphasized I had spent the last *decade* doing functional programming and haven't touched java. "That's fine, you've done it", etc. Well, turns out, I nailed the core values, I nailed all the whiteboard stuff, but one guy "OO opinion" didn't like my OO design of a "Chess Game" . His linked in background has him with 5 total years experience and 3 doing Java at Amazon. Well, it was a Collabedit session and I kept the Code, b/c he was IN SF so we did it over Video. During me working on CollabEdit I could see him typing/working on his laptop on other things, seemingly distracted when I'd ask him to clarify something. He didn't say a word or guide me in any direction, just kept saying, 'yeah, good, okay, yeah"....

    Got the call, no dice, didn't like my Chess game. Bwah bwah....so, I asked the recruiter, who said I didn't get the job because of my OO design, if she would guide me on what the design should have been, because my design, which I kept matches what is on many websites, and even reviewed by my friend at Google who came up with a few adjustments but nothing he said he wouldn't hire someone who obviously is rusty in Java over.

    Either way, an enormous waste of my time, interviewing with a company that is more like the UPS of Software Developers anyway. At the end of it, you get some very low salary and padded with "cash bonuses" that run out and loaded up on Stock that you'll need to exercise to even survive at the salary they offer. (basically 50% of what I'm making now).

    Interview Questions

    • Lots of basic stuff you can stuff on leetcode or wherever. Design a Chess Board OO   2 Answers

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