Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Aug 21, 2017
1,510 Interview Reviews

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Software Development Engineer Interview

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

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (New York, NY) in March 2017.

Interview

Challenging technical and behavioral interview questions including algorithms, API design, high level system design, interacting with difficult coworkers, disagreements with supervisors, and handling failures/mistakes. There were four 45 minute interviews back-to-back. I was seated in a small conference room and interviewers rotated in. An HR rep walked me to the elevator afterwards. The process was very intense, with very little time for questions about the company or work environment. The HR reps were very responsive over email for those sorts of questions. Although I did not get an offer, the HR rep gave me constructive feedback and invited me to apply again in six months after brushing up on appropriate skills.

Interview Questions

  • Design the high level communictions and protocols required for an air traffic control system.   Answer Question
  • Given a stream of letters (like a DNA sequence), scan the stream for occurrences of keywords from a list.   1 Answer
  • Given an array of 1s and 0s, cound the "islands" composed of contiguous 1s in the "sea" of 0s.   Answer Question
  • Design an API to add new filters to an extensible version of the unix 'find' command line tool.   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon

  1.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Sunnyvale, CA) in April 2017.

    Interview

    1 technical phone interview
    4 1-on-1 onsite rounds

    Technical phone interview with coding component. Be ready to explain your approach and describe trade off between different solutions with big O notation.

    2 algo/ds, 1 system design, and 1 behavioral rounds onsite.

    All interviewers will ask at least one "tell me about a time when..." question.

    I would recommend completely internalizing amazon leadership principals well before the interview.

    Interview Questions


  2.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Irvine, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Irvine, CA) in May 2016.

    Interview

    After career fair, got an email for online coding assessment as round 1 of interview. Next I was invited to onsite interview in Washington. It was a full day of coding where you can choose your programming language to solve the question. Not the typical one function questions, but you are given a scenario and you design your code from there.

    Very sure that it's the hardest interview of my life (as an entry level, recent graduate). However it was truly a great experience.

    ---
    That was my interview last year.... This year, they seem less responsive to emails and don't follow up at all (been unanswered 1 month after they sent out an interview invite).

    Interview Questions

    • Scenario based question testing OOP concepts   1 Answer
  3. Helpful (35)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon.

    Interview

    - Disclaimer : I cannot reveal any questions or specifics as per the NDA I signed before the interview. This one is just to give you a ball parked idea of what you can expect. Thats right, code and code and code.

    Step 1 : Recruiter called and Explained what unit within Amazon I will be interviewing for and what I can expect in the interview.

    Step 2: Phone Screen for 1 hour, with an engineer from the team I was aspiring to join. Very algo/DS focused interview, used hacker rank to screen share, compile and execute the code. Question was a bit tricky + the interviewer was ultra friendly and made me feel relaxed which I must say helped me a lot to think clear. He asked me to evaluate the runtime and space complexity of the solution and suggested improvements which i implemented. Overall, tricky question but careful thought process helped me a lot with the interviewer's friendly presence.

    Step 3: Recruiter reaches out again and asked for 5 dates to schedule dates for an face to face interview and finally scheduled a date. Right before the day of the interview, a recruiting co-ordinator reaches out to me and preps me on how to face the interview (which I felt was awesome btw) and sent me some materials on what to expect on the day of the interview and what areas that amazonians expect us to have a firm knowledge of (ex: important DSs, algorithms etc).

    Step 4: Onsite round - 5 Face To Face Interviews. Three coding exercise rounds + manager round + one architectural understanding round.

    Coding Exercise Rounds :

    * One Round Focuses on your core skills, engineer gives you a problem statement and split it up into tasks. Based on what SDE level you are interviewing for, the questions are that complex, they make sure you have a intimate understanding of the skills you claim on your resume. BTW they give you a pre-setup IDE and everything that you may need to complete your question.

    * Other two rounds focused on Algo and DS. During these rounds I was expected to have a working code on basic IDE for the problem statement, to not waste any time, they do a great job in setting up the input variables etc (ex: say if you have to read input from a local file on file system, thats there for you, you have to focus on reading out from the file and implementing code). I was given a pen and paper and was encouraged to think aloud and be verbal about my approach.

    * Architectural and Dev Manager Rounds : SDM asked me mostly behavioral questions. Trust me, its extremely important to be prepared for these. Architectural Round is mostly logic based architecture and maybe related to your core field. Always make sure you have to design as a scalable architecture.

    Remember that you have to focus equally on preparing for behavioral and architectural rounds. These questions can get tricky and unless you have actually faced challenges in real-life scenarios they are hard to answer.

    OVERALL :
    * Really Professional Recruiters and Scheduling Teams.
    * Real - Friendly Interviewers and Team. They work with you.
    * Coding Exercises - DS/Algo and skills based
    * Please prepare and brush up all your CS fundamentals. Cant emphasize enough how extremely important they are. Prepare, prepare and prepare......

    Sources of Preparation: Career Cup, Cracking the Coding Interview, Stack Exchange (Stack Review Sub channel). Hopefully this gives a direction for future interviewers. All the best.

    Interview Questions

    • Signed NDA, can't disclose any specifics unfortunately.   Answer Question

  4. Helpful (1)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Amazon in July 2016.

    Interview

    One hour phone screen. The interviewer was on a bad speaker phone and had a heavy accent that made it very difficult to understand any question that was asked. I had to repeat myself many times as they also seemed to be having difficulty understanding me. As well, I was not actually interviewing with the person that was originally in contact with me.

    Interview Questions

    • Check the validity of a string containing opening and closing tag pairs.   2 Answers

  5. Helpful (2)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Iaşi (Romania)
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Amazon (Iaşi (Romania)).

    Interview

    Contacted by a HR representative, provided clear instructions on the whole interview process.
    Interview span over many months.
    Very hard, need to be aware of algorithms and edge cases.
    Many interviews with different people including future team, HR, project manager, director, bar raisers aso.

    Interview Questions

    • Algorithmical and theoretical CS.
      Experience on former projects.   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Amazon (Vancouver, BC (Canada)) in December 2014.

    Interview

    One is telephone interview with screen sharing for a technical question. Another one is an on line recorded interview with a general question asking me to describe a situation that I persuade a co-worker to make a change, then a programming question and some questions about software development knowledge.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a matrix of letters, write a program function to list all words that start with each of these letters.   1 Answer

  7.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Amazon in August 2014.

    Interview

    I was called on-site for the group interview. There were 11 other fresh grads along with me for the interview. There was a short campus tour. Followed by that, they had a company presentation. And then divided us into groups of 3 to solve a real problem. Its not really a team effort, since everyone is just competing.
    Overall, I thought it was stressful and the people were quite arrogant. I would definitely not want to work there.

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in September 2014.

    Interview

    I got an email out of the blue asking me if I wanted to fly to Seattle and interview. I still don't know where they got my resume; but I assume it was from when I applied for a co-op position a year before. I was excited to go, but from the very start I got the impression it was going to be tough. I got an email about a week beforehand with about 8 attachments containing literature about the company. I was informed that I would be doing a programming problem for most of the day, and I would have my choice of language, compiler, and OS.

    When I arrived on campus, we were given visitor badges and told to wait until someone came to get us. I felt weird that the majority (at least 75%) of interviewees were foreign students. It made me feel like I was out of my league. We were taken upstairs to a conference room where HR gave a speech about how great the company is. We were then assigned to a table, and given a laptop and packet describing the programming challenge. The challenge was supposed to be team-based (with the people at your table), but it turned out to be more individual that I anticipated. The problem broke into three pieces, and each person picked a part to do. You didn't have to use the same language. The parts were basically independent, but I could see where sharing code between teammates could be helpful.

    We were given 6 hours to complete the task. After about half an hour, an engineer came to gauge our understanding of the problem, and clarified anything we didn't know. We then worked for about an hour, and an engineer pulled each of us out for a personal "interview". It was the least personal interview I have ever had. The engineer was all business, and we just talked about my approach to the problem. When I got back, I had about 4 more hours to complete the assignment. Half an hour before the deadline, we were individually interviewed again. Pretty much the same type of thing, just talked about my approach. The interviewers were always interested in efficiency. They asked questions like "how could you make this better/faster", and "why did you use this data structure".

    I really got bit in the butt because I was forced to use C++, instead of C (which I am much more familiar with). I was unfamiliar with the C++ libraries, and I had to waist a lot of time looking at documentation. BIG TIP: be very familiar with your language before you go!

    My solution was incomplete, and I knew this when I turned in. I was encouraged to write a README file which explained my shortcomings, and any ideas I had to make the code more efficient.

    At the end of the interview, we had a group Q&A with a developer. I got the impression that this was a very stressful job with poor work/life balance. I love the area, so if I had gotten an offer it would have been a tough decision weather I was willing to sacrifice a stressful job for my dream city.

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    I was approached by a recruiter, and talked to a hiring manager over the phone. In my experience, phone interviews are notoriously tricky to give but this man had supreme confidence in its effectiveness.

    With no shared whiteboard, no facial cues, no real feedback, it was hard to understand not only the details of the question but also what he was driving at.


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