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www.amazon.com Seattle, WA 5000+ Employees

Amazon.com Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 11, 2014
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Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
London, England

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2012.

Interview Details They contacted me on LinkedIn and we planned a first phone screen where the interviewer asked me about my past experiences.
After that, I had a technical interview where he asked me to solve problems over the phone and think aloud so that he can understand the way I think.

Interview Question – He asked me to give him the algorithm for the Fibonacci number in both iterative and using recursion.
I failed to solve a problem regarding the algorithm of a rand7 function by using a rand5 function.
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Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Amazon.com

Interview Details Scouted by technical sourcer on Linkedin. Codility test to pass stage 1.

Interview Question – Question - Count all lists of adjacent nodes stored in an array   Answer Question

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Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Amazon.com

Interview Details There was an one hour phone interview asking about basic programming algorithm and computer science fundamental knowledge. Not difficult. They also asked about UNIX experience.

Interview Question – How to find a string in a large file storage   View Answer

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Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Amazon.com

Interview Details Started with 3 online programming questions. Not difficult. But I didn't do well. But they still let me pass. Then there is an one hour phone interview. asking about basic programming algorithm and computer science fundamental knowledge. Not difficult. Just need to be calm and think carefully. I was a bit too nervous.

Interview Question – how to design a calendar.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com.

Interview Details Recruiter reached out to me. Interview was scheduled for a week later.
It was a technical interview. I was asked a few basic questions about OOP like what's a class, object, etc. Then one algorithm question.

Interview Question – How to divide a number?   View Answer

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2 people found this helpful

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Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
London, England

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Amazon.com in September 2011.

Interview Details I applied online submitting my resume. The role was intended to be for fresh graduates from computing-related fields. The hiring manager contacted me in mail asking for the most desirable date and time to have phone interview.

The phone interview lasted around 30 minutes. The interviewer was an engineer from Amazon Research Lab at Edinburgh asking me first the questions about my background, studies at the university I was then doing Master's course, and finally, questions regarding my skills in Java. The Java part was about collections, syntax and exceptions. It was heavily Java collections questions with problem, use case scenario and a question on how I would solve it, which data structure would chose and what the overall computing complexity would be as a result.

I have not been successful in getting next round of the interview. The hiring manger contacted me in 3 days after phone interview letting me know that they made decision not to continue with my application.

Interview Question – Why would you use ArrayList? Is there a way to implement the same logic using just an ordinary array of int elements? What is the pros and cons in your decision?   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

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Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Amazon.com in October 2011.

Interview Details After applying online, I waited 30 days before being requested for an interview by an Amazon recruiter and I was set up for two phone interviews. The first interview went very well, although at times the questions were so vague that I felt like I would have to use divine power to come up with the answer that would match the question. For instance, rather than a straight forward 'what is unit testing?', I was instead asked 'what is a way to ensure that changes to a function will not have negative impact on other functions?' For me the answer is documentation - because that's how I write good conforming code that doesn't need unit testing in the first place, but go figure. Overall though, I was happy with the first interview, particularly as he made an effort to get to know me and I felt that I did well.

The second interview was poor and the interviewer's style was frustrating. For example, 'how would you reverse a linked list?'. I provided a correct answer. 'What if there were no prev pointers?' I provided a correct answer. 'What if the list was so long that you can't use a memory buffer?' At that point I was annoyed... if the list is potentially that long then I would obviously put back the prev pointers. For me, an O(n^2) solution is not a solution at all. But that's not the game they want you to play.

The worst part was when I gave a correct solution on how to find a common ancestor in a binary tree, but he thought it was wrong. I explained it again and it seems he understood, but then said 'are you sure that will work in all cases?' Yes, I said, I was very sure! I had drawn a binary tree diagram and tested enough cases to be absolutely positive it was correct. I even used the slowest, most reliable solution possible to avoid a repeat of the linked list annoyance that he had given me earlier. I had to keep convincing him before he eventually said 'well, let's move on'. Imagine how that felt.

At that point I practically had to give up on the guy because it is annoying enough to get a couple of answers wrong but then also have your correct answers considered wrong as well! This did not leave a good impression on me, particularly knowing I would have to work with this guy. A few other questions seemed quite bizarre, but this report is long enough already.

Unfortunately the recruiters also left an extremely poor impression - I would expect a phone call in the next 24 hours afterwards and then a follow up call after an official decision had been made. Instead I got a cut and paste message that wasn't even correct for my circumstances.

Good luck Amazon. While I accept there may be some good people in your ranks, this experience doesn't make me want to become one of them.

Interview Question – What is wrong with this code:

int *ptr;
*ptr = 7;
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Negative Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com.

Interview Details I've applied for a position in Amazon Fulfillment. They contacted me in a week and we arranged a phone interview. They did three technical interviews in total. The engineers who did the interviews were very kind and professional. However, after the last interview, which went fine in my opinion, I just lost contact. No feedback, no "You did good", not even "Thank you, we are not interested in you right now". After a month, I sent an e-mail requesting a feedback. They said that they will contact me in a couple of days, but they didn't.

Overall, it was a waste of time.

Interview Question – Implement an online board game from scratch. Starts with classic coding questions and ends with the overall system design.   Answer Question

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Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Amazon.com

Interview Details I was contacted by a polite recruiter through LinkedIn. She arranged a phone interview for me. The guy that talked to me was very polite. The questions were of incremental difficulty. He started by asking basic data structures questions and then we did some coding.

Interview Question – Find if a word is anagram (e.g. ana is an anagram).   Answer Question

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Seattle, WA (US)

I interviewed at Amazon.com in March 2014.

Interview Details After online test, onsite interview. Online test is easy. I'm sure you must do same or similar questions before. The hotel is really close to the comany. Only 10 minutes walking. I didn't prepare well and I'm so nervous, so I can't work out the first question, which make me upset.

Interview Question – All technique questions. Difficult if you donesn't prepare well.   Answer Question

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