Amazon.com Interview Questions & Reviews
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Software Development Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in July 2014.
Interview Details I was contacted by a recruiter via email to interview for a SDE position during a hiring event in Boston. I had an initial phone call with the recruiter, who put me in touch with a scheduler. The scheduler set me up for a phone interview, which was a live-coding interview.
# Phone Interview #
There were a few questions about my resume (the one they had was four years out of date!) but the majority of this interview was technical. The questions were pretty basic and focused on general algorithmic knowledge. I only remember the last task, which involved Fibonacci sequence generation. There were several steps after this that involved optimizing the solution. Once finished, the interviewer gave me a chance to ask questions about Amazon.
Shortly after the phone interview, I was contacted by the team recruiter who informed me that they'd like me to come in for an on-site interview. I made a point to discuss my resume being four years out of date, but was told this would not be a problem. I was given a list of times and asked to pick a handful that worked best for me. Once that was taken care of, I was given a rundown of the position (salary range, relocation package, benefits, etc.) Onsite interview specifics were explained to me and the onsite was set to take place a couple weeks later.
# Onsite Interview #
A schedule was given to me a few days before the onsite interview that outlined who I'd be interviewing with (name and title,) and at what time. The format was 4 interviews at 45 minutes each, all in the same room, all technical in nature. I arrived early, and waited in the lobby for an interviewer to come meet me and take me to the interview room. Once other candidates arrived, there weren't enough chairs for everyone in the lobby, so the receptionist had to run and get some office chairs from somewhere else in the building. After waiting for a short period (maybe 20 or so minutes,) my first interviewer met me in the lobby, got me a visitor badge, and we headed over to the interview room.
I won't get specific about the questions from the onsite interview (NDA, more on that later,) but I will say that they follow a basic template. First few questions are scripted behavioral questions, everything else is technical. I was required to write code for every interview (even those with managers.) All of the interviewers were explicitly *not* strict regarding syntax, with the exception of the bar raiser. I was also asked architectural and design questions. I got along well with everyone but the bar raiser, who succeeded in ruffling my feathers a bit. All of the interviews were completed with enough time for me to ask the interviewer questions except for the bar raiser, whose interview I didn't wrap up in time. Every interviewer had my outdated resume and asked me about my experience listed. This meant I had to update each about the last 4 years of my professional life (which contained directly relevant experience.)
After the final interview, I was escorted to the elevators after being told multiple times that I'd hear back from someone within 3 days. Overall, the campus felt very sterile and almost prison-like. What I did see of the office was bland and unappealing (no art on the walls, nothing distinguishing peoples' desks, nothing to suggest that people even work there.) I was only ever offered water, and was at no point allowed to go anywhere without a direct escort. Throughout the interviews I did not leave the room, but was asked in between interviews if I needed to use the restroom. I was required to sign an NDA to complete the interview process, but at no point was told what it was I'd actually be working on, despite me directly asking. I was told that even other teams within the company weren't privy to what was going on.
As mentioned earlier, I was told that I'd receive either an offer or rejection within 3 days. About a week passed, so I reached out to the recruiters to ask for an update. No response. It wasn't until almost a month after the onsite that I was sent a rejection. The email was pretty off-putting because it was suggested that maybe a support or systems engineering position would be a better fit for me. I was already making a downward move title-wise to the SDE position, but the change of location and project focus were appealing enough to merit that.
# Overall #
While every person I spoke with was personable and seemed intelligent (without coming off arrogant,) the company bothered me. Amazon seems to be devoid of a culture to the point of feeling robotic. The sterile office, scripted responses, failure to follow through on self-appointed contact deadlines, general lack of input recognition, the mildly insulting rejection quip, and some frustrating logistical blunders (which I won't get into,) all made me think that it's probably best I didn't receive an offer.
Interview Question – I'll respect the NDA and not go into specifics. I will say that it involved graph traversal. Answer Question
Fulfillment Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2010.
Interview Details Had to go thru a temp-service initially. Had to basically understand and write english. The interview was basic questions about yourself then why you would like to work for Amazon. They would ask where you would like to work like packing, picking, ect. Then discuss the shift of your choice. Once at the company as long as performance and attendance were met you could get converted as a full-time Amazon employee.
Interview Question – Would you be willing to walk 10 - 15 miles a day? View Answer
Negotiation Details – work schedule and area of work preference
Business Intelligence Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details Was called for a phone interview after submitting an online application. First phone interview was a mix of behavioral and technical questions. Not very difficult and then they called for a second phone interview which was a deeper technical assessment with SQL and past ETL experience. Following this, the full interview loop was a mix of technical interviews with the team and client interviews, mostly about how you would handle difficult situations.
Interview Question – In your experience, how have you navigated multiple deadlines and conflicting expectations? How did you handle not meeting that expectation and the criticism that came with it? Answer Question
Account Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2013.
Interview Details Be prepared for a very bizarre interview. They will ask you many form questions, with no real connection or proper communication. I met with 5 people on the team, one of which who was possible the meanest person I have ever met and seemed to have absolutely no interest in being there.
Interview Question – While I was interviewing for a post sales position, many questions were about sales specifically. I think the most unexpected question though, was when I was asked to describe something technical that had nothing to do with the job. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – I had heard Amazon had a habit of overworking employees, and I had better offers. I was also VERY put off by the final interviewer's attitude and how dismissive they were.
Software Development Engineer I Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in January 2014.
Interview Details The interview process went by rather quickly. I submitted an application and I heard back within a week about setting up two 45-minute phone interviews that would be technical in nature. During the first interview, I was asked to write a few small programs. For example, one of the programs I was asked to write was a simple java program that would take in a base integer and an exponent and would calculate the exponentiation.The interviewer was greatly interested in how and where I could improve my initial write-up of the program to handle edge cases and non-standard inputs.
Interview Question – I was really taken off guard by the depth of which my last interviewer went into with questions related to algorithms. The questions seemed to be less about design and best practices and more about theory. Needless to say I wasn't prepared and this part didn't go so well. Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
Product Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details I had a 30 min interview with a member of the team and then they flew me out to their offices. I was asked to write an essay about a product I built from end to end. Then I went through a round of 6 interviews.
Interview Question – When was a time that you failed at work?
When did you develop a product that didn't work? Answer Question
Technical Consultant Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through another source and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com.
Interview Details Still in the interview process. Have completed preliminary (1) online exam, (2) telephone interview and will soon be attending their onsite interview which will consist of 5 back to back interviews.
Software Development Engineer I Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com in December 2013.
Interview Details The process was very in depth, but also had a very friendly and kind of laid back feel. I met with 4 different interviewers who asked a bit about my background and experience, and followed up with a technical question. Most of them were related to a problem one might face while working with Amazon, while others were about general algorithm design and implementation. Each portion lasted about an hour, and the entire interview day was about 5 hours, with lunch provided. The interviews are all conducted at their HQ, but Amazon will pay for your travel, hotel room, and reimbursement for certain personal expenses during your stay. All in all it was very professional while being incredibly fun.
Interview Question – The most difficult question was one in which I had to design a specific algorithm off the top of my head, and really had no clue where to start. It wasn't inherently difficult, I just wasn't prepared for it, so I stumbled a little bit. Answer Question
Software Development Engineer I Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2014.
Interview Details firstly they took a online test conducted through hackerrank and then 25 students were shortlisted ..then two technical iinterview rounds were there...... they questiojns regarding trees, algorithms, sortings questions, operating system.... interview was really nice and goes very smoothly if u know most of the things
Interview Question – they askes me a puzzle of bouncing ball and 100 buildings problem Answer Question
Senior Technical Program Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2014.
Interview Details They searched my profile on LinkedIn and contacted me for this role. The recruiter asked for a time to talk. She asked me a few sample questions and told me the sample answer formats to it as well. Then she sent me a document with the leadership values for Amazon and said that the document gave a fair idea of what may be asked in the interview.
In the first interview, the hiring manager called and asked the usual behavioral questions. However, what I didn't expect was him to ask me a dollar amount or impact for every statement in the resume and for every answer to the question. This became irritating after a certain time because it was evident that he was following a questionnaire template and wanted to fill answers in the template from the interview result. A manager should know that while most of the business situations are quantifiable, not all are. Also, when you are managing an account, there are some things that you do to build relationships and can also be a financial loss, but the value lies in the brand building and the relationship building.
I didn't clear the interview which I gauged from the interview. When the process started with the recruiter I was quite impressed, but as the process moved ahead, the process wasn't impressive at all.
Interview Question – What was the dollar impact for every statement in the resume and for every example I gave Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Amazon.com
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Pros: “co workers tend to be pretty decent people. well organized company, good for people who like to work hard or who are competitive and the benifits and time off are pretty good. its great to…” “co workers tend to be pretty decent people. well organized company, good for people who like to work hard or who are competitive and the benifits and time off are pretty good. its great to get to learn the ins and outs of any department you want and decent possibility of moving up.” – Full Review