Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Dec 6, 2017
1,631 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (1244)  

Software Development Engineer Interview

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

Application

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

Interview

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**

Negotiation

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

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon

  1. Helpful (601)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon.

    Interview

    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.


  2. Helpful (136)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    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   8 Answers
  3. Helpful (29)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    Two online assessments and a 30 minute video interview. The first assessment consist of simple code debugging questions and some logical/pattern recognition questions. The second assessment is a work simulation and two average difficulty coding questions. The video interview was more of a casual chat with an engineer at Amazon.


  4.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    Completed an online assessment that consisted of debugging portion and critical thinking portion. Then technical phone interview where I spoke with an employee that asked me a question and watched as I coded an answer.

    Interview Questions

    • Asked about experience, etc. Can't share what technical question was.   Answer Question

  5.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Amazon.

    Interview

    Have three rounds interview. First, resume. Second, code challenge. Third, onsite interview with no subsidy. The final interview has 2 *45 minutes. HR told that if you have any concerns you can ask. However, I asked the question with no response. The whole process is terrible.

    Interview Questions


  6. Helpful (7)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.

    Interview

    1st round: ~hour long online coding test
    2nd round: ~2.5 hour online coding test and workplace simulation
    3rd round: on-site interview

    Made it through the first 2 rounds and got flight confirmations for an on-site interview in Seattle in 2 weeks. 6 days before my flight, got a call from a recruiter telling me that all of their SDE positions had been filled and that they needed to cancel (said it had nothing to do with my application or qualifications). Extremely disrespectful to cancel in my opinion, especially for a company this large. I had already wasted ~4 hours on their interview process, and changed difficult-to-change plans because of the scheduled on-site interview. Really don't care that I didn't get the job, just feel very disrespected

    Interview Questions


  7.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.

    Interview

    Had two online rounds. The first one was code debugging and the second one there were programming questions. The company has been very responsive in telling about their results about the online rounds that took place. It was good experience

    Interview Questions

    • One of the questions was based on Trees and the other one was based on 2D matrices   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (5)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Amazon.

    Interview

    There were two online rounds, first one was debugging and IQ test, next one was work simulation and 2 coding questions. Was called for an on-site round, had a 45 min chat with the interviewer. Got call today saying all their quota was full. It is October and they should have cancelled the on-site earlier on.

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (2)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    Would like to leave a process and feedback before I get my result.

    1> Problem solving 2 question, fairly Challenging but its alright. Solved both of em before allocated time.
    2> Flown to Seattle for onsite. 4 consecutive one on one / two on one, 45 - 50 minutes each.

    Each round started with behavior questions followed by complicated problem with whiteboard coding.

    Round 1 : Fully Screwed, Was late as I went to wrong building and waited to be found that I gotto find run for another place. Interviewer was straight forward guy.. told me, dont waste time. In a rush I completely analysed question wrongly and went with approach that could no way solve the problem because problem was so easy, and I went with Graph approach. Even behavior round is screwed in comparison to others.

    Round 2 : Nice Indian EM, had nice talk.. he calmed me down a lot. Asked about behaviors / past experiences question followed by one system design. Was alright not as worst as first one.

    Round3 : Two to One, I guess both of em are Senior Engineers, they were young. Complexly messed up communication ability but was able to solve all questions and good enough share about behavior questions. I guess this is the best round of the fours.

    Round 4 : Two to One, Pretty sure, this one is bar raiser. Loved both interviewer, I spoke like I am talking with friends. Started with Behavior question, followed by one challenging question which I havent ever heard about. There were 2 parts in the question but could hardly give him a convincing answer to part 1 coz part 2 is a restriction to part 1. Finally I ran outta time and he told me.. thats alright.

    Overall, I dont think they will extend it but its good refreshment.

    One thing I will surely appreciate this time is the co-ordination of HR. Unlike other time , she just shared a much detail oriented steps of each round with some sample question.


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