What Are The Amazon SDE Interview Questions?
Each day, Amazon handles transitions worth billions of dollars. The whole logistics go smoothly thanks to the software development engineer (SDE) behind continuously improving the system. To support this multinational empire, Amazon has created a unique set of pre-employment tests to determine your candidacy.
Answering your interview questions with flying colors requires inside knowledge of the test system, which is why we are here. We have broken down all the parts in the Amazon SDE hiring process so you can prepare for your interview now.
Table of Contents
What Is The Amazon SDE Hiring Process?
The Amazon SDE hiring process is fairly straightforward. You follow a stream of detailed hiring guidelines and attend relevant tests and interviews at each stage. In your application, you will need professional referrals from previous managers. For some senior positions, you may be asked to show more than one professional reference.
Once you have submitted all the required documents, the system will automatically screen your eligibility for the position. If you meet the standards, you will be invited for an online assessment. The assessment evaluates your coding skills, system design knowledge, and personality.
After passing the test, you have to attend some rounds of online and in-person interviews before you receive a job offer. During every hiring period, you are competing against thousands of high-quality candidates. Therefore, you must be skillful at tackling the hiring questions to get ahead.
What Are The Amazon SDE Interview Questions?
1. Over-The-Phone Interviews
Before you are invited to an in-person interview, there will usually be a few online interviews. The interviews can either be in the form of video calls or phone calls, depending on both sides’ preferences.
Some teams strictly avoid video calls to minimize the ground for discrimination while others believe video calls allow better communication. As a candidate, you are always free to voice out your preference.
During the online interview, you will likely be first screened by the hiring manager. You have to go through the details on your CV and why you think this position fits you.
While you do not have to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of every aspect of the company, you do have to show you know your duties well enough to carry them out.
The hiring manager is here to preliminary screen your personality as well. Candidates with a strong logical reasoning sense and pleasant communication skills are preferred.
If the hiring manager is satisfied with your performance, you will be passed on chatting with senior members and supervisors at the SDE team.
Team leaders will ask you more technical questions about the role. They will give you work scenarios and ask you to come up with solutions. Your creative ideas and attitude directly influence your chance of passing this stage.
They are here to evaluate both your aptitude and attitude. Amazon has a strict protocol in company ethics that every member is expected to follow. Your interviewers are here to access that.
If you are going through the recruitment process through a recruitment agent, they are able to tell you how likely you will pass after your interviews. Then, you get a good idea of how you have performed and how to improve for upcoming interviews.
2. In-Person Interviews
Onsite interviews will last for an entire day. On the day, you have to attend at least three interviews. There will be both group and individual interviews. Amazon bulk interviews potential candidates at a physical location to evaluate how they perform against each other and who matches the company styles best.
At this stage, since you are very close to getting an offer, you are expected to have done extensive research on Amazon. You should be able to tell its operational characteristics and how you can make the flow better.
Technical questions will be much more challenging to answer. You have to work in teams to solve some of the puzzles. It dissects your spirit as a team player. In this round, you have to further insert your capability with past work experiences. More importantly, you have to show what you can bring to the company.
Each interviewer is assigned to score your performance in one particular aspect. Then, there will be an external interviewer called the “Bar Raiser”. This interviewer is not from the SDE unit and has nothing to do with the team’s operation.
They are here to access your overall performance and candidacy to Amazon. Therefore, you have to be an all-rounded candidate to impress the Bar Raiser.
3. Chat With The Hiring Manager
This is not exactly an interview but when you are shortlisted for the position, a hiring manager will reach out to vet out details in your CV. You have to answer questions about past jobs and provide evidence of projects you claim to have completed.
In addition, the hiring manager will reach out to your references to verify your referrals. Meanwhile, you have to maintain excellent communication with the hiring manager so this process flows smoothly.
If your references do not reply within a certain date, your application may be terminated. And if something does not check out, you could be permanently banned from applying for jobs at Amazon again for being dishonest.
Candidates have to arrange the logistics and make sure their references are readily available during certain times for a chat with the future employer. Depending on the level of the position, this step is not always necessary but should be expected. Amazon also conducts random checks to make sure every employee’s qualification is up to standard.
Your application can only proceed if your background checks out. It is a must for you to disclose any information that may influence the decision. You can ask your hiring manager what you are legally required to reveal and not.
What Are The Online Assessments?
Before you are qualified for an interview with a real person at Amazon, you have to pass several automated tests online. Amazon has a specific set of tests for SDE. It covers your coding knowledge, design sense, and personality traits.
The basic questions will filter out candidates with inadequate experience whereas the personality test aims to retain talents sharing the same vision and goals as Amazon. A huge chunk of applicants will be rejected at this stage.
Aside from measuring your skill proficiency, you also have to complete the Amazon SDE Work Stimulation section. It mimics all the major daily tasks at Amazon as an SDE and how you would rate the functionality of a system and how to improve it in real-time, etc.
Testing candidates with real-life scenarios give a quick judgment call for the company. Some experienced experts may not be familiar with Amazon’s work style. Hence, they will not perform well, despite their excellent resumes.
The online assessments are designed to mimic daily tasks. So, they will not be overly challenging. Questions are reasonably made so suitable candidates can complete them on time.
Therefore, the assessment should not be considered particularly difficult as long as you are familiar with the scope of work and have adequate preparation for it.
How Can You Prepare For The Amazon SDE Hiring Process?
1. Download All the Possible Test Questions
JobTestPrep has a full set of Amazon SDE assessment questions with a clear breakdown of how each section is weighed. The study guide gives meticulous instructions on completing the test in an effective way to maximize your score.
The whole set is available with a one-time payment. You can unlock all the secret tips gathered by Amazon SDE experts at an affordable price. The coding exercise and study tips are all derived from real tests. It will be enough to prepare you for the real assessment day.
2. Network with Amazon SDEs
Occasionally, Amazon organizes Career Days for interested candidates to mingle with professionals at the company. Although most of these talks are organized for college students, you can still find plenty open to the public. You can attend talks and seminars to better understand each title and the corresponding responsibilities.
Other than the official channel, networking online is another great option. Hop onto professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. You can search for contacts by job titles. Present your skills and humbly ask for their advice on the hiring process. If there is ever a physical networking event, join them to greet talents in the industry.
3. Revise the Materials Repeatedly
A lethal mistake most interviewees make is to only revise the study materials once. Statistically, the chance of memorizing answering techniques in one go is slim. You should not expect to instill knowledge after revising the materials once.
Go through each test set at least three times. Mark down all the wrong answers as you go. In the end, compare the results to see if you keep getting certain questions wrong.
Repeat the test until you can get all the questions right. Do not underestimate the power of repeating the test. It strengthens your memories and gives you a better chance at utilizing each formula.
4. Think About the Questions Logically in the Personality Test
It goes without saying that a company is looking for a team player that can work independently but also adhere to company rules. So, when you are answering questions in the personality test, think about each question logically.
To be fair, the whole point is to analyze whether this position is suitable for you so you should not lie. But there are ways to increase your chance without making things up. You should avoid extreme opinions because they indicate unstable emotions.
Also, avoid choosing the same options all the time. You should have varying views on different matters. Passing your personality test is important. Candidates will not be promoted if they fail this test.
5. Practice in Front of the Mirror
Although communication may not be your biggest job responsibility, an SDE has to be extremely communicative to work with other departments and team leaders to design a functioning workflow.
Therefore, practicing in front of the mirror can boost your confidence and allow you to see your shortcomings in giving public speeches.
You will need this skill when you are doing the group interviews. Leading the team while incorporating everyone’s useful input shows your quality and potential. Besides, being personable is a big key to getting the interviewers to like you.
6. Organize Your Previous Work Samples
During the interview, you get one chance to present yourself. There is no second chance if you can’t properly organize your portfolio. Take the time to work on your past achievements. Rank every project so you can prioritize them accordingly in your speech.
Make sure to read what you have included in your resume. It would be awkward if the interview spots something in your CV that you have forgotten about. Be sure to have a few constructive things to say about each project.
When Will You Hear Back After Your Interview?
Typically, the hiring process at Amazon lasts for almost 11 weeks, counting from the date you submit your application. Initial screenings and online assessments will be done within the first three weeks of the application deadline.
Then, capable candidates will be invited for over-the-phone interviews and a few rounds of in-person interviews. Your interviewers will further access your skills and work ethic to determine how suitable you are for the role.
After all rounds of interviews, you will often hear back within 10 days of the results. Subsequently, you have to attend pre-employment briefings and training before the job begins.
It is common for candidates to never hear back during the first stages if they were not even selected for the initial online assessments. After this stage, you will likely hear back even if you are not selected.
Working as an Amazon SDE is a proud achievement. To get there, you will have to pass several challenging assessments designed to measure your skills. Get your full study guide on JobTestPrep before you find yourself keep failing the pre-employment test.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.