Amazon.com Interview Questions & Reviews
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Network Support Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details As I read so much from glassdoor during my preparation for interviews, I feel like obliged to leave something.
The job was applied through their website. As it only took a few days for someone to contact me, the whole process took around 4 months.
A phone screening was presented first and it took nearly an hour to finish with some basic to medium questions. As for the on-site one, it was actually consist of five different small interviews each conducted by different interviewer within an overall time of 4 hours.
The questions were well presented and I did enjoy discussing some of the details with them. The difficulty of those technical questions were quite subjective to judge and all I can say is that they were not easy. I think I did great for merely more than half of the questions whereas around one third of them were completely out of my knowledge range. It was also common for them to follow one question with another until there is nothing left in doubt for the discussed scenario.
Some interviewers were more interested in technical questions and others laid more emphasis on behaviour aspects. All of the interviewers were really friendly and created a nice relaxing environment to help concentrating on the interview questions.
Interview Question – Nothing, I respect the non-discloser agreement. Answer Question
IT Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2014.
Interview Details 4 phone interviews, one video conferencing and one face to face. They called me for face-face but suddenly change their process. also they post-pond my two interviews on same day
Interview Question – All were relevant.. Answer Question
Network Support Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2014.
Interview Details The interview process is long and very difficult. I have a phone call interview for about 4 time, before i qualified to have onsite interview. Onsite interview is very difficult, and challenge, and you need to present yourself, to both technical skill, soft-skill, troubleshooting, and peer relationship question.
Interview Question – Troubleshooting question, and some advance technical topics. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – good
Security Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 8 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2014.
Interview Details I contacted AWS after reading an ad I'd seen on LinkedIn. The HR person called to set up the first phone screen interview and provided various documents including a consent for criminal records check and a statement of the Amazon values. These, I learned, are the cult truths that must be internalized by all new devotees.
First telephone screen was technical and would be conducted by a senior engineer and took an hour. I should confess I knew little about AWS so I was a little wrong-footed because they opened with questions about their business offering. Then it got onto tech questions "How would you do X?", "Explain what happens (in as much detail as possible) when a user does Y?" and so on. Since this was a security screen there were basic crypto and similar questions. I found that enjoyable and my interviewer told me I'd definitely be going forward. It took two weeks before I heard from HR and it was another phone screen - this time with a manager.
The second phone screen also asked some technical questions but the focus was different and considered me as a person and y work history. This was also scheduled to take an hour. I got a chance to explain my experience and to listen to some of the corporate speil. It is clear that internalizing the Amazon values is core to acceptance. Again a positive verbal feedback and another two week wait.
Next up was the face-to-face meetings and they lined up five one-hour interviews with various senior people. For this they flew me interstate. Each interview had a different focus and they were largely enjoyable and interesting. I got to ask questions but a combination of time constraints and not wanting to appear picky meant I didn't get to ask enough questions to satisfy myself as to what I'd actually do. I got a clear impression that they equate hours with effort and that work/life balance is tilted in favor of work. They also did not meet my interview expenses (I'd incurred about 100$ for taxis etc.) and I thought that a bit cheap. I also was left in no doubt that on-calls will feature heavily and travel to Seattle will happen reasonably often. Another two weeks before the offer materialized.
Interview Question – I had no troubles with any of the tech questions but I defintiely got one wrong (altho I hinted it was more of a guess than knowledge) and couldn't answer another. The most difficult were business questions as they have fewer obviously correct answers. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – The work/life balance is a huge disincentive to working for AWS and the salary package doesn't adequately compensate for that. Australian companies don't usually expect unpaid overtime but, in AWS, its clear that its expected. A cheapskate approach, the requirement for travel and on-call support made me realize I can do better.
Software Development Manager Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through another source and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details There are four stages as my understanding
1. HR Screen through phone call
2. Interview with another "Software Development Manager"
3. Interview with Senior Development Manager
4. One day interview at Head Quarter (I didnot pass into this stage) so I am not sure how it works. There are articles online may give you some clue
As I am in Australia, it may be different if you are in USA.
Interview Question – How to monitor web service? View Answer
Software Engineer I Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2013.
Interview Details An Amazon recruiter approached me on LinkedIn, had a short conversation on the phone, and then did the phone interview.
The phone interview was about writing a Java program in a text editor (Collabedit).
It followed 3 back-to-back interviews in Sydney in a couple of days, and they gave me an offer next day.
I had a hard time accepting it because of the terms associated with relocation assistance package and sign-in bonus, read more about those in Glassdoor before signing a contract with Amazon.
Interview Question – I can't disclose more details, but I was asked about solutions for a scalable continuous integration system. View Answer
Reason for Declining – Long story short, even if your contract is terminated by Amazon you have to re-pay them back (in pro-rata). It's not that bad, but it will make a situation that you do ANYTHING cause you cannot AFFORD to get fired (yes, the bonus can be huge compared to your base salary).
Anonymous Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2013.
Interview Details I applied for the position online in November 2013. It took 4 weeks for Amazon to review my CV and call me in for a technical interview. The test was written and consisted of 4 parts: Windows, Linux, Database, Network. You needed to show strengths in at least 2 parts to pass. 1.5 months later my test results were successful and i was called to do a 1 hour phone screen. That consisted of various technical and behavioural questions. It felt like the interview went on for ages and the questions were all very similar. "Tell me a time when you showed initiative" "Tell me a time when you showed ownership" "tell me a time when you had to do your managers job" etc
Interview Question – IIS questions put me on the spot. IIS is not my specialty and that was clearly shown on my CV. View Answer
Software Development Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through another source and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2013.
Interview Details I was contacted by the recruiting manager via LinkedIn and asked for my resume and if I am interested in the job. I sent my resume and after 2 days received an email asking for a phone interview.
Interview Question – There was only one technical question and it was to design a media player for a mobile device. I didn't expect it because of what I had read about Amazon interviews in websites. Answer Question
Cloud Support Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details An Amazon recruiter approached if I was interested in this role. As I just wanted to experience their interview process, I said yes. A couple of days later there was a phone screening with 15 minutes of simple technical questions on different areas, namely Linux, Windows, networking and database. She said I answered all well. I was then scheduled for a written 30-minute exam at Amazon a week later. Again the questions were relatively simple technical questions covering 4 areas mentioned above. This was used to gauge our areas of strength.
I passed this and progressed to the third stage of phone screening conducted by an Amazon engineer. The questions were a lot of technical and few scenario questions over 1.5 hours. Once I passed this, I was then asked to attend an half day technical and behavioral question between 5 different interviewers. Each session with the interviewer lasted 45 minutes. There were technical as well as behavioral questions.
Interview Question – If the enable password of a Cisco device is lost, how to recover.
About Linux, soft vs hard links, importance of filesystem journalling. Given a text file with mix phone numbers with and without country codes, format it to include a default country code if it is missing.
Describe in depth an experience handling a difficult cutomer. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Remuneration package was not as attractive as the current role.
Software Development Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through another source and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2013.
Interview Details 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.
Negotiation Details – As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.
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