Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Prepare For Amazon Software Engineer Interview

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What Do Software Development Engineers At Amazon Do

Amazon Software Engineer Interview: Print Left View of Binary Tree

Software Development Engineers are the drivers of technological innovations at Amazon. Their main responsibility is to build, invent and sometimes convert outdated practices into simpler and faster solutions.

SDEs at Amazon build scalable solutions to complex problems and leave an impact on millions of lives. At Amazon, Software Development Engineers are passionate, skilled, and open to exciting challenges.

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Coding Interview Study Plan

The recommended time period to set aside for coding interview preparation is 3 months for a more holistic preparation. I shared my 3 month study plan here, which provides a list of coding interview topics with resources and practice questions that you should work through in order of priority every week. I will also be adding content on recommended 1 month and 1 week study plans soon.

If you have less than 3 months to prepare, you can generate your own study plans using the Grind 75 tool which generates recommended study plans for coding interviews based on the time you have left. The algorithm behind it includes a ranking of questions by priority and also a balance between breadth and depth of topics covered.

Amazon Sde Online Assessment

Amazon has been recruiting very heavily. Some of the most sought after positions are the Amazon Software Development Engineers . One of the most daunting challenges an SDE will face is the Amazon Online Assessment. Depending on the position you apply for expect to face a different Amazon SDE exam. We will walk you through what to expect on the various Amazon OAs, and provide you with sample Amazon SDE Online Assessment questions with detailed explanations.

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Hiring Decision Process For Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview

This step is called the Debrief. Interviewers make notes in each round and mark candidates as Strong Hire, Hire, No Hire, or Strong No Hire.

Unlike, in the Amazon SDE interview process, you have to pass each round to qualify for the next one. Notes about your evaluation are filed after every round. In the debrief, all these notes are combined with the Bar Raiser evaluation to decide whether you are a good fit for Amazon or not.

We suggest you read for more insights on the Amazon hiring process.

How Do You Answer Amazon Leadership Principle Questions

Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Most of the time, Bar Raisers will test your alignment with the leadership principles using behavioral interview questions .

It can be hard to think of examples from your past experience on the spot for questions like these, and once you do think of an example, it can be difficult to tell it in a succinct way.

Thats where an answer framework comes in.

The STAR method is a popular approach for answering behavioral questions because its easy to remember. You may have already heard of it. However, weve found that candidates often find it difficult to distinguish the difference between steps two and three, or task and action. Some also forget to include lessons learned in the results step, which is especially crucial when discussing past failures.

So weve developed the IGotAnOffer method to correct some of the pitfalls weve observed when using the STAR method.

Lets step through our suggested five-step approach:

  • Situation: Start by giving the necessary context of the situation you were in. Describe your role, the team, the organization, the market, etc. You should only give the minimum context needed to understand the problem and the solution in your story. Nothing more.
  • Problem: Outline the problem you and your team were facing.
  • Solution: Explain the solution you came up with to solve the problem. Step through how you went about implementing your solution, and focus on your contribution over what the team / larger organization did.
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    Amazon Sde Work Simulation

    In the SDE Work Simulation section , Amazon wants to see your system design and problem-solving skills applied to various work-related scenarios with simulated peers, managers, and stakeholders.

    When responding to these scenarios, put your system design hat on, and employ system design concepts like designing for maintainability, determining tradeoffs, and dealing with ambiguity.

    The test includes 3 different modules all of which are examples of real-life work of Amazon software development engineers. They are comprised of different backgrounds, data, and tasks that are all relevant to the questions.

    You are required to rate each response according to the options given. The assessment should take 15-20 minutes to complete.

    Here’s an example of a scenario that resembles a question from the real test:

    Your team has been assigned a new task to develop a real-time voting system for a new Amazon Prime show. The final show is scheduled to take place 5 weeks from now. When the show ends, a 5-minute voting window will take place where all votes will be tabulated.

    You will rate each action given below for its effectiveness as if it would be your next step.

  • Not at all Effective
  • A. Create a proof of concept to test the systemB. Ask stakeholders about their specific requirements and clarify themC. Approach the problem with a fundamental library codeD. Develop a Database schema.E. Schedule a meeting to take the design team on board

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    Do you know that Amazon launched a new program called âBest Fitâ that allows software engineers to apply once and get considered for thousands of jobs across the company? This makes it easier to find a job that best fits your working styles and interests. Currently, Amazon has over 10,000 open positions for software engineers in the US. In 2021, they had a total of 1,608,000 full and part-time employees. The engineering roles at Amazon are challenging and competitive to land. In fact, itâs very common for it to take multiple attempts to secure a role at Amazon and other FAANG companies. So, it should go without saying that getting hired into one of these sought-after roles requires a great deal of dedication. Youâll need to focus both on improving the skills you can offer and perfecting your interview technique, but itâll all be worth it.â

    A software engineer working at Amazon explained why he loves working for this customer centric tech giant:

    âAt former companies, I didnât have a choice on what I worked on. Amazon offered me multiple job opportunities, and I chose to work directly with customers. I can now point out something to my kids and say, âI am working on thatâ, with pride.â

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    Are System Design Interviews Difficult

    System design interview questions are notoriously difficult to prepare for. Unlike algorithmic questions, they dont reduce down to a handful of prescribed patterns. Instead, they require years of technical knowledge and experience to answer well.

    For junior engineers, this can be tricky. Even senior developers sometimes find themselves scratching their head trying to understand a system.

    The key to doing well in these types of interviews is to use your entire knowledge-base to think about scalability and reliability in your answer.

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    Example Amazon Sde Coding Questions:

    Most Tech Interview Prep is GARBAGE. (From a Principal Engineer at Amazon)

    For an interactive coding challenge check out these questions.

    Graphs / Trees

    Example: “Given preorder and inorder traversal of a tree, construct the binary tree.”

    Arrays / Strings

    Example: “Given a string s, find the longest palindromic substring in s. You may assume that the maximum length of s is 1000”.

    Linked lists

    Example: “You are given an array of k linked-lists lists, each linked-list is sorted in ascending order. Merge all the linked-lists into one sorted linked-list and return it.”

    Search / Sort

    Example: “Given an array of meeting time intervals consisting of start and end times ,,…] , find the minimum number of conference rooms required.”

    Stacks / Queues

    Example: “Design a stack that supports push, pop, top, and retrieving the minimum element in constant time.”

    Hash tables

    Example: “Given a non-empty list of words, return the k most frequent elements. Your answer should be sorted by frequency from highest to lowest. If two words have the same frequency, then the word with the lower alphabetical order comes first.”

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    Can You Tell Me About Atime When You Were More Than Halfway Through A Project And Had To Pivot Quicklydue To An Unexpected Change How Did You Handle It

    This is a question that could be applicable to nearly any role, though it may be more common in technical positions. Its focus is on ascertaining your level of agility and ability to make course corrections under pressure when priorities change.


    While developing a new system for an employer, a requirement came in late. Since the project was rapidly nearing completion, integrating the feature became a challenge. The point in development where it would have been addressed typically had already passed. To address the new requirement, I first took a step back and reexamined all of the existing work. The goal was to minimize disruption to segments that were complete, and a bit of planning ensured I didnt use a less-than-ideal approach simply because I was under pressure. After identifying a course of action, I implemented the changes methodically. I relied heavily on testing to ensure there were no unexpected ramifications or that issues could be addressed quickly. By using a strategic approach, I was able to limit the negative implications of a last-minute change, expediting the remainder of the process while ensuring the final result met every need.

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    Tips For Amazon Interview Preparation

    Now that we know about the rich heritage of Amazon, its work culture, and Leadership Principles, I am sure that you are tempted to interview at Amazon and take a job! Here are a few tips which you can use to crack Amazon’s interview and get a job

  • Understand the Leadership Principles Well – As mentioned before, Amazonians take great pride as far as their Leadership Principles are concerned. Therefore, knowing about these principles and citing an instance or two where the candidate has applied them in real life will have a positive impact on the interviewers. This leaves an impression that the candidate is genuinely interested in working with the company.
  • Be Thorough with Data Structures and Algorithms – At Amazon, there is always an appreciation for great problem solvers. If you want to have a good impression of the interviewers, the best way is to prove that you have worked a lot on developing your logic structures and solving algorithmic problems. A good understanding of Data Structures and Algorithms and having one or two good projects always earn you brownie points with Amazon.
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    How To Prepare For The Amazon Sde Interview

    You can crack the Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview if you stick to the following tips.

    • Learn about Amazon’s leadership principles and the company culture.
    • Aim for 10 to 15 mock interviews to analyze your interview style, identify any weaknesses and perfect your answers. Mock interview preparation is without a doubt the best way to ace your interview because itâs the closest thing to a real interview, without the high stakes of landing your dream job. The process allows you to practice the stories and answers youâve prepared and a great coach will give you direct feedback that you can use immediately. People see a dramatic improvement in confidence, communication style and the quality of their examples even after one hour of mock interview prep.
    • Get a firm grasp on the concept of data structures and algorithms and learn to code in any programming language.
    • Solve different problems and ask your peers to help you with interview preparation. You can use sites like HackerRank and LeetCode that have countless sample coding questions you can practice on.
    • Prepare your answers to the typical behavioral questions, and practice your storytelling techniques.

    Having Trouble With The Technical Interview

    Amazon Interview Questions Software Engineer 2021

    Are you contemplating a job change? Are you ready to begin the interview process? Is this your first interview experience? Perhaps you have been through this process multiple times. Do you find the programming interview process intimidating and overwhelming? Don’t let fear and apprehension keep you from performing at your best during your next coding interview.

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    Mock Interviews For Software Engineers

    Before you start practicing interviews, youll want to make sure you have a strong understanding of not only graphs but also the rest of the relevant data structures. Check out our guides for questions, explanations and helpful cheat sheets.

    Once youre confident in all of the data structures, youll want to start practicing answering coding questions in an interview situation. One way of doing this is by practicing out loud, which is a very underrated way of preparing. However, sooner or later youre probably going to want some expert interventions and feedback to really improve your interview skills.

    Thats why we recommend practicing with ex-interviewers from top tech companies. If you know a software engineer who has experience running interviews at a big tech company, then that’s fantastic. But for most of us, it’s tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.

    Here’s the good news. We’ve already made the connections for you. Weve created a coaching service where you can practice 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from leading tech companies. Learn more and start scheduling sessions today.

    Onsite Interviews + Example Questions

    There will be 4-5 onsite interviews after you clear the technical phone screen. Candidates spend a day at one of the Amazon offices for these rounds and meet with interviewers across company levels, i.e., hiring managers, team members, managers, and senior executives.Out of all onsite interviews, 3-4 will mainly focus on coding questions, i.e., data structures & algorithms, computer science fundamentals, and system design questions. Candidates are expected to solve the coding questions on a whiteboard, so make sure you practice keeping this in mind. One interview will also be with an Amazon “Bar Raiser”, basically someone who works at Amazon but is not associated with the team you’re joining, that assesses a candidate’s behavioral fit around the leadership principles along with other technical questions.All interviews at Amazon will be 35-40 mins technical and 15-20 mins around the leadership principles, so it is important to ace both of them to clear a round.It is important to note that if you’re interviewing for entry-level roles, there might not be much focus on system design questions, which changes as you appear for more senior-level positions.Here are a few examples of Amazon software engineer interview questions you can practice to prep for onsite coding interviews:

  • Given an array of intervals where intervals = , merge all overlapping intervals, and return an array of the non-overlapping intervals that cover all the intervals in the input
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    Cracking The Top Amazon Coding Interview Questions

    Landing a job at Amazon is a dream for many developers around the globe. Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, with a workforce of over half a million strong.

    For you to join them, youll need to complete their unique interview that combines technical and leadership knowledge.

    Today, Ill walk you through everything you need to crack the Amazon interview, including coding questions and a step-by-step preparation guide.

    Today we will go over the following:

    Example Amazon Sde Behavioural Questions

    How I cracked my Amazon Coding Interview | Software Development Engineer Interview | Sprint Master
    • Tell me about a time you made a system much simpler.
    • Tell me about a time you said no to a request made by a customer and why?
    • Tell me about a time you took ownership of a problem.
    • Tell me about a time you faced criticism.
    • How do you prioritize tasks in your current role?
    • Describe the steps you took to help a struggling team member.

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    Positive Pregnancy Test But Feel Like My Period Is Coming

    Designation: SoftwareDevelopmentEngineer Eligibility: Currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related field at the time of application Location: Bangalore, India Skills: Familiarity with the syntax of languages such as Java, C/ C++, or Python. Knowledge of Computer Science fundamentals such as object-oriented design, algorithm. Software engineering is a lucrative job, and it requires hard work and dedication to become one. Becoming aware of questions asked in interviews can really help a lot. We covered software engineering questions that can help you crack that interview. The above list of relevant questions can only be a guideline.

    How To Prepare For Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview

    Invention is in Amazonâs DNA. Amazon believes that technology is a fundamental tool for evolving and improving customer experience. Every action taken in Amazon must prioritize customers. You need to apply this customer-first ideology to the coding, system design, and behavioral questions you answer.

    As for technical interviews, Amazon insists that they do not expect you to memorize all technical topics. What they are looking for is your ability to solve a given problem based on what you already know.

    Pro Tip: If you have less time to prepare, review computer science fundamentals, and practice coding outside an integrated development environment.

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    What Are Amazons 16 Leadership Principles

    Amazons leadership principles are the core values that guide Amazon as a company. As , We use our Leadership Principles every day, whether we’re discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach to solving a problem.

    As the leadership principles are key to every decision made at Amazon, interviewers work hard to make sure that every new candidate aligns with them. The Bar Raiser in particular is considered the steward of these principles, so youll need to take the time to learn and apply them to your answers.

    If you’re not already familiar with Amazon’s leadership principles, here is the full list:

  • Customer Obsession – “Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
  • Ownership – “Leaders are owners. They think long term and dont sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say thats not my job.
  • Invent and Simplify – “Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by not invented here. Because we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.
  • Once you have your list of stories, youll need to format them in a way that can be used as an interview answer.

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