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Amazon Solutions Architect Interview Questions

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Helpful (64)  

Solutions Architect Interview

Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Boston, MA) in February 2020.

Interview

It was a fair process, the first round was telephonic and then on-site. Right from my telephone round to accepting the offer the process was very organized and streamlined. The recruiter I was working with was amazing.

Timeline:
1. Applied:12/23/2019.
2. Recruiter Reached out:01/09/2020.
3. Telephone Round: 02/04/2020.
4. Response from Recruiter: 02/06/2020
5. On-Site: 02/28/2020.
6. Job Offer: 03/09/2020

Telephone Round:
The first step is the telephone round with Sr Solutions Architect where you will be tested in various areas. The interview break-down is 80% Technical and 20% Behavioural. The interviewer was very polite and humble. Your goal should be to make the interview as interactive as possible.

Technical Section
You will be tested in the following 4 areas
1. System Design: You will be given a scenario and will be asked to design it.
2. Software Engineering Principles: Understanding of REST APIs and OOP principles.
3. Networking Concepts: Understanding of Sessions, Authentication, Caching, Encryption, security, HTTP vs HTTPS and working of OSI layers is extremely important.
4. Scalability and Performance: Every design recommendation you make needs to perform and scale well. Research on HA and Scalable architectures.

Behavioural:
Make sure to answer all questions using the STAR method. The questions that were asked were no different than the ones that have been posted on Glassdoor. The key indicator of success is to give precise answers that will showcase what you have done i.e. never use "we" always narrate your answers using "I".

On-Site:
Before your on-site interview, your recruiter will reach out to you to give you pointers. These were very helpful during my process. Make sure to take notes and ask questions to your recruiter about your on-site interview.

The on-site loop will consist of 5 rounds. You will be given an option to take an hour for lunch or you can have lunch with an Amazonian (This is not part of the interview). I decided to meet up with a fellow Amazonian for lunch. Before we jump into interview rounds some basic tips. Amazon Leadership principles, you have to know them thoroughly.

1st:
The hiring manager was very polite and greeted me well. This round was mostly talking about my past experience and how it relates to the current role. Be prepared to talk in-depth about your experience. Every question you answer will have follow up questions and this goes pretty deep. So make sure when you prepare you go deep to the root of the problem. Key emphasis will be on your initiatives and how did you drive towards a successful solution. You will be given some tricky situational questions and will be tested on your response. The questions were similar to what is posted on glassdoor. Be prepared with at least 2 examples for each question. This round also consisted of Behavioural questions which will start with "tell me a time when". A mistake that I made during my interview that you should avoid, DO NOT mention/say things that you can't elaborate.

2nd:
The second round was purely focussed on system designing. This will include whiteboarding, you will be given a problem statement and will be asked to come up with a design for it. Now the key to answering design questions is to not start scribbling on the whiteboard but to take a step back and think through the problem. I told my interviewer that I would like to draft my solution on a piece of paper first and then whiteboard it. The question will be vague, so it will be your responsibility to ask follow up questions. For this round, you will need to brush up on system designing concepts. I read a lot of blogs on Medium for this. I would also recommend opening an AWS account and designing a simple HA system.
I can't share the exact questions but they can be anything related to Amazon Products.

3rd:
The third round was a mixture of Behavioural and System design. Again, I can't stress enough on practising whiteboarding. Technical questions can range from Website designing to understanding OSI layers. The interviewer tested me on different components of software architecture: Front End, Back End, Application Server, Web Server. For my interview, I had to showcase an understanding of Abstraction and Encapsulation on a system design question. Always remember to look out for hints. If you get stuck the interviewer will intervene and provide you hints.

Lunch: I opted to have lunch with an Amazonian. This is not part of the interview loop but make sure to be professional and ask the right questions. I took this opportunity to ask more about Amazon culture, projects and expectations.

4th & 5th
Fourth round I think was the bar raiser round. This was purely behavioural. Fifth-round was mix was behavioural and System Design. Design questions were purely from my past experience. I was asked to design the architecture of a solution that I had developed.

Interview Questions

  • Signed an NDA, but all questions were similar to what has been shared previously.   6 Answers

Other Interview Reviews for Amazon

  1. Helpful (2)  

    Solutions Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Charlotte, NC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Amazon (Charlotte, NC) in June 2020.

    Interview

    Call from recruiter, pass initial screening. This call was unscheduled. He just called my cell.
    Call with 2 SA Managers.
    Waiting now. Told I would be informed of a move-forward or not decision within 2 days.

    Interview Questions

    • Q: describe database normalization
      Q: what is layer 3 of the OSI model. Describe.
      Q: describe the actions when attempting to contact a website from your browser.
      Q: what is RAID. what is RAID-10. what are 2 other types of RAID.
      Q: how would you design a 3-tier architecture that needed to support a heavy read workload?
      Q: how do you design a clustered database environment? what's a hot standby? describe failover.
      Q: what is block vs. object storage?
      Q: how would you horizontally scale a multi-tier architecture at the top level (network)?
      Q: what is RPO and RTO?
      .....many more network questions. few storage questions.   1 Answer

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Solutions Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a week. I interviewed at Amazon (Boston, MA) in June 2020.

    Interview

    Spoke with an internal recruiter, and that was friendly and went well. Then had a technical interview, and everything spoken about and understood with the internal recruiter seemed like it no longer applied or mattered. There were two additional people on the call, but it was unexplained who they were or why they were there. He ran through what seemed like a written list of questions, much of which you'll find on here, and didn't seem like he was at all interested in what he was doing or who I was, absolutely no attempt at friendliness at all. Even the token, "do you have any questions" at the end, and I did have some questions, seemed like he didn't want to be bothered to take the time to answer them, but did so out of obligation. Almost like he was going through the motions. I've learned since that he has a reputation for being a smart guy but a really unpleasant person to interview with from people I know that work there, so maybe it depends on who you get. Overall, one of the worst interviews I've ever had in my long career, not because of the questions asked, but because of the total disinterest of the interviewer. I don't think they get that the person being interviewed is also interviewing the company, or maybe they don't care because of their size. I know it's a large corporation, but at least in the initial phase, you're just a number and a body, and if this person decides he doesn't want to pass you along, you're out...

    Interview Questions

    • What are the three "tiers" of a web application.   1 Answer
  3. Helpful (1)  

    Solution Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Interview

    No technical questions or personality-based questions. Simply told to describe my education, experiences, and asked various questions about AWS and if I knew the concepts or not. They weren't expecting me to have any experience and poked about my knowledge.

    Interview Questions


  4. Helpful (8)  

    Solution Architect Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in March 2020.

    Interview

    Was heavily based on the 14 Amazon Leadership principles. They want to know how you are connected to the leadership principles. And asked about experiences through projects and school related experiences.

    Interview Questions

    • When is a time you had to take a calculated decision and make the leap?   2 Answers

  5.  

    Solutions Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon in March 2020.

    Interview

    First there was an online test, then lengthy phone interview with an employee that tested my technical expertise. There were some behavioral questions as well. I didn't get past the second round interview

    Interview Questions

    • Walk me through the process of setting up a server, etc.   Answer Question

  6.  

    Solutions Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Irvine, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Irvine, CA) in March 2020.

    Interview

    The interview process was seriously flawed as the interviewer lacked the knowledge to provide context for the question. The interview was substandard when compared to Microsoft, Dell or Google. It is no wonder why veterans of technology are warned away during community chatter...

    Interview Questions

    • What is a virtual machine or a container? What differentiates the two?   1 Answer
    • Describe tools for data replication?   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (4)  

    Solutions Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Houston, TX
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Amazon (Houston, TX) in January 2020.

    Interview

    It was fair process first round was telephonic and then onsite. It was easy going and interviewer were really nice and professional. they ask mostly behavioral questions. It was fair process first round was telephonic and then onsite. It was easy going and interviewer were really nice and professional. they ask mostly behavioral questions.

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Solution Architect Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Houston, MS
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Amazon (Houston, MS) in January 2020.

    Interview

    Long Process. Very technical. Three interviews total. One with recruiter, SA and group. Review question prior to the technical interview. It will help you prepare for the hour long interview.

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Solutions Architect Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Amazon (Seattle, WA) in January 2020.

    Interview

    They flew me out to Seattle for about 6 hours of interviews. The questions were relevant to the position. The interviewers seemed more concerned with my interaction style than with my experience. I get the impression that someone who can act convincing has an advantage over someone with skills and experience. This makes sense for a company that is focused on sales and reflects my experience interacting with solution architects at AWS. They have still not reimbursed me for travel expenses after 5 months.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a conflict you had with your management and how you overcame it.   2 Answers

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