I applied through other 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
I applied through other source and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2013.
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.
Interview Question –
In person interviews :
Day before :
If you've made it this far, first off, congrats. Take a step back and realize you're already among the best. Relatively few people actually make it this far, but you're not off the bat yet. You'll very probably be doing a 3 day/2 night stay. I had to fly across country, (E to W coast.) and that trip alone is enough to stress anyone out. But once you FINALLY get there, just get to your hotel. Public transit is pretty easy from the airport to downtown, but take a cab if you prefer.
Honestly, the best thing you can do this first day, is just get your bearings. Drop your stuff off in the hotel, and find just some normal (for you) food. Don't get all exotic and try something you've never had. Don't get alcohol. I sound probably like your mother. Sorry. But just try to find where you'll be interviewing. Get a feeling for how long it'll take to get there in the worst case scenario.
Once you've done all that, I'd hang out in the room, review some of the above stuff a bit, and try to hit the hay by 10 at the latest.
Breathe. I went for a nice little jog in the gym across the street. Helped to relax me a bit. Whatever helps you do that, find it and do it. Eat a light and again, KNOWN breakfast. If you've never eaten it before, DO NOT do it that day. I'd recommend something simple, toast, fruit etc. Dress well, not full out suit, but I wouldn't show up in a tank top and shorts. (Though, one of my interviewers was in shorts... so?) I just did khakis and tucked in button down with rolled up sleeves.
I walked there, it was about a 15 minute walk and showed up about 40 minutes early. I wouldn’t personally go any earlier than that, but there’s a starbucks downstairs, so that might be a good place to relax a bit before you go upstairs. The receptionist greeted me, and got me all checked in. Once you sit down, this is an ideal time to turn off your cell phone. And I mean off. Few things are more detrimental to an interview than having that random alarm you set go off in the interview. Just turn it off. All the way off. It’ll be OK, your texts will be there when you’re done I promise.
The first person I met with wasn’t an interviewer. She was just to talk to me a bit, walk me to the room I’d be in for the rest of the day, and chat with. Ask this person your questions. We got coffee, sat down for a bit and just chatted. She asked what I did, I asked what she did etc. She told me about who I’d be meeting with that day, and my general timeline after the interview. Super nice.
The next 5 hours were just random questions about CS in general. Be prepared to write a lot of code that day (on a whiteboard), and know your crap. You’ll be asked all kinds of fun questions, probably very specific to the domain of the team interviewing you. Know the same stuff from above.
In these interviews, it’s best to show your confidence, and show them your knowledge, but more importantly your potential. You’ll very probably know 75% to 80% of the content they ask right off the bat. The rest may require some thinking out loud and vocalizing your thought process. Don’t stare at the board blankly. Talk to them, ask questions, bounce ideas off them, and just be a normal person. Pretend you already have the job, and they’re just there as a code reviewer/fellow engineer. I promise, it’ll go quickly, and by the end, you won’t believe how much knowledge you were able to just spout out.
That being said, I’ll quote one of the engineers, “The best thing you can do is to just get something working.” And he’s right. Just get an implementation down. Don’t necessarily write the most naive approach or the brute force approach (as a general rule, anything with a O(n^2) or worse run time isn’t worth writing down), but the next best idea, just go with it. Don’t over engineer it at first, just start. And then yall can optimize together. They’re great people, and they just want to see how you think.
Finally, just be yourself. Show them you like coding, and it’s what you want to do with them. Don’t be afraid to interact with them like they’re just old coding buddies. Make them laugh, have fun, but not too much. Remember, they’re still ultimately responsible for your next job. Just be you, and be confident. You go this in the bag already.
Most importantly, go out and celebrate when you're done. :D Answer Question
Negotiation Details – As a recent grad, there wasn't much room for negotiation.
Very Difficult Interview
I applied through college or university and the process took 3+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2013.
I applied to multiple positions at Amazon throughout my time in business school through the school's career management portal. I finally received an invite for a role within a fast growing division at the company.
1st Round: Hiring Manager (Director) discussed background and experience including prior roles at Amazon. Then transitioned to detailing current team and objective. This description was highly insightful and I recommend taking very detailed notes as it will help you prepare for later rounds. The interviewer then transitioned to describing the role (new position) they were hiring for and expectations for a successful candidate. Interviewer then opened for questions. This was followed by a competency based interview using the Adler "ONE QUESTION INTERVIEW METHOD" If you are not familiar with this format do yourself a favor and look it up. It is a variation of the typical Competency Behavioral Question, but requires a much deeper story than standard STAR response as it dives deep during follow-up questions. There was no typical walk me through your resume portion.
Initial Question: What do you consider your most impactful piece of work and why?
Follow-up Questions: How did you come to work on this particular project? How did you go about coming up with the initial analysis and recommendation? What was the project/product lifecycle? What were some interesting facts that you learned from the data? Who else was working with you on your team, what was your role? How did you present your findings to senior leadership? What was their response? How did you overcome initial pushback? What initiative did you take during the process? What was the result of the project?
Interview concluded with typical question and answer round followed by a brief description of candidacy process. 1 more phone round, plus on-site loop and possible written case. Received 2nd round telephone invite 2 days later, scheduling process was similar to 1st round.
2nd Round: Team member (Product Manager). The call had barely begun and the interviewer jumped into case interview. He had to pause and rewind to introduce himself when he realized he had just jumped in head first. The case was a very typical "interviewer-led" consulting case, where the business problem was based on actual Amazon problem. If you don't know what this is you desperately need to pick up either "Case in Point" or "Case Interview Secrets" by Victor Cheng. The case started was mixed (40/60) qualitative/quantitative where interviewer expected you to identify need to do market segmentation, sizing, and P&L estimation. There were -a lot- of numbers and towards the end of the case I tripped up several times inverting several numbers and also saying some pretty dumb sounding things. A full quant case is hard enough in person doing it while on the phone was exceptionally difficult. At the end of the case the interviewer wrapped up by asking for a recommendation. When I had made the recommendation which I knew was correct, he asked me "ok, but how are we going to do that?" After a few generic answers didn't satisfy him it was clear he was looking for a specific answer. I happened to nail it just as his patience seemed to be waning. Case took about 35-40 mins. The interview concluded with about 5 mins of Q&A.
After 2nd Round I though I was toast. I had tripped up towards the end of the case, and the only thing I could hope for was that I had earned enough points early on in the case to pass, but wasn't sure where the bar had been set. On a consulting case interview scale of (1-10) this case was at or above 8. Similar to late round McK & Co.
To my relief I was invited for on-site the following morning.
For the details on travel etc you can read up other on-site experiences on glassdoor.com, mine was close to identical.
On-site 5 Interview as follows: Hiring Manager, Non-Team Member (Senior Product Manager), Team Member (Sr. Product Manager), Team Member (Principal Product Manager), Team Member who first interviewed me (Senior Product Manager).
All the interviews were competency based interviews. Most, if not all followed previously mentioned Adler method. The principle product manager gave me what I guess would be considered bar raiser interview. It started off really friendly and then he started to turn up the heat. A lot of push back after my responses. How would you market yourself as a product?
Finished with brief meeting with recruiting manager to discuss feedback, go over salary expectations, relocation package, questions/concerns etc. Hiring manager gave me an exact date for when my evaluation meeting would take place and promised to contact me with a decision either that same day of the meeting or the next day.
Recruiting manager called on exact date as promised.
Interview Question – Adler style "One Question Interview", Full Quant Case Interview Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No Negotiation. Same offer as entire MBA class.
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2013.
I was approached by a recruitment consultant initially had a phone interview with her, followed by math and logic tests, a phone interview with head of department and another phone interview with the European lead. I was then told that there will be another 5-7 face-to-face interviews. I waited for over two months for the next interview date and finally withdraw my application.
The two interviews I had were quite uninspiring and unenthusiastic. Both gentlemen talked about Amazon's growth and the huge opportunities but sighed whilst talking about big publishers and their challenges.
I also asked if they could clarify their interview process as I was close to receiving offers from a couple of other companies. My interviewers response was that they didn't really had a fix process and they were not going to rush or speed up the process for my sake. As preferred to take their time and have choices for the position rather than going with the first good person they come across.
Interview Question – What do I see as the main challenges of the role? Have I ever dealt with difficult clients? Not really difficult. Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2013.
I had applied several times through Amazon's career page but never heard back using that method. I obtained a recruiter's Amazon email through my University's career adviser and sent out an email explaining my love for Amazon as a company, and genuine desire to be a part of the expanding giant. I heard back two days later, was quickly invited to two back-to-back 45-minute phone interviews scheduled one week after I had first sent out the email.
This all just happened today. Will update as I move along in the process.
Interview Question –
The interviews were very technically oriented thankfully. There were no behavioral questions besides the usual: "Why do you want to work with Amazon?"
I was given only one problem in every interview, which surprisingly takes the greater part of the interview to solve. We communicated using CollabEdit.com.
Question Number 1:
//Write a method which takes an array input and returns true if the sum of any two elements is equal to the sum of the corresponding indices.
// Concretely if for an array the sum of values at any two indices i and j is equal to the sum of i and j.
Question Number 2:
// Write a method to reverse a linked list.
// State any assumptions and write any classes/structs that you will need. Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details I was solicited out of the blue by a call from Amazon. I was contacted by email by one recruiter who redirected me to another recruiter once I showed interest. I had a phone interview with this second recruiter to discuss the typical stuff of what I was currently doing, about the job, and why I would be interested. He then routed me to a third recruiter who handled the scheduling of the technical phone interview. I was interviewed by a developer on the team I believe. I was interviewing for a manager spot so most of the questioning was more theoretical, but we did get into some of the details of programming.
Interviewed at Amazon.com
Interview Details Process was very straight forward; series of 2 or 3 phone interviews, followed by 1 round of an all-day in-person.
Interview Question – How did you know that your product was successful? Answer Question
Interviewed at Amazon.com
Interview Details On campus interview - Invited to round one which was one 45 minute interview, heard back that night that I was invited to round two -- three 45 minute interviews the next day, all mostly technical with some behavioral, a few about my past experience. Most of the technical questions were expected -- basic computer science/algorithm.
Interview Question – Questions were pretty much your expected computer science/algorithms until the last one, the "bar raiser" interview. Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2013.
Interview Details I met the recruiter at a college job fair. They flew me out for day-long interview. You worked in groups of 3, and the programming task had 3 parts to it, so each person picked a part. The parts were conceptually related, so teamwork was a benefit (bouncing ideas off each other), but in the end your code is your own; you could use any language you want (independent of team members). Halfway through the day there was a 30 minute session where you were expected to walk through your algorithm design choices and code with 2 of the proctors.
Interview Question – "What would be a disadvantage to using recursion in this case?" Answer Question
Pros: Amazon's customer focus is the most genuine I've worked with to date, not like other companies who put some fancy words on the wall then do everything they can to ignore them.
Compensation is decent, especially singing bonuses which are huge… – Full Review
At Amazon, we believe that everyone is a leader—it's part of what makes us 100% Peculiar. Whether you are a Software Development Engineer, Product Manager, Fulfillment Associate, or Customer Service Representative, you… — Full Overview
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