How to Get a Job at Amazon
About this guide
These pages are meant to provide helpful information about how to get a software engineering, product manager, data science, and designer job at Amazon. Being prepared and knowledgeable is a key to every step of the hiring process. You can tab through each part of the guide to see information that can be helpful to your stage from office location for those trying to figure out if a company has a presence in your city of choice to real world interview questions. These guides contain much of the same information we have Pathrise fellows review before they apply or interview for a job with Amazon for roles including Software Developer, Mobile Developer, Software Engineer, Web Developer, Software Architect, Computer Programmer, Machine Learning Engineer, Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Product Designer, UI Designer, UX Designer, Experience Designer, Web Designer, Product Manager, and Technical Product Manager and other tech, data, and product related roles. We hope you find these helpful and if you have content that you think we should add or think we got anything wrong, please email us at [email protected] and let us know.
- Amazon is one of the most valuable and prestigious companies in the world, so working there will be excellent branding to start your career
- Known for intense, at times bruising culture
- Compensation is typically slightly lower than some other high prestigious FAANG companies but still among the most generous in all of technology
- Large emphasis on candidates displaying company cultural values in interviews
The usual interview process usually takes about 4 weeks
Stage 1: An online coding test, solving two algorithms in the language of the candidate's choice each with a time limit of 70 mins
Stage 2: Two technical phone interviews conducted one after the other with different interviewers.
Stage 3: A technical phone screen with either a technical recruiter or an engineer.
Stage 4: An onsite interview consisting of 6 sessions, 5 technical and one with HR. Technical questions cover things like graph problems, sorting streams of integers, checking if a given list of words are contained in a magazine. Every problem is coupled with an analysis of computational complexity and memory trade offs.
The average interview for a data scientist position at Amazon can takes about 2-3 weeks.
Stage 1: Initial phone screen by HR.
Stage 2: A phone screen with a product manager that is resume based and the
Stage 3: A phone screen with a coding component (SQL, SAS, R and Python) and a Market entry case.
Stage 4: An onsite interview composed of 6 one-on-one interviews, 5 formal and 1 informal interview over lunch. Each interview tests at least 1 leadership principle and also tests problem solving skills. The questions include SQL questions + statistics questions + machine learning questions, predictive modelling, exploratory analysis, etc.
The interview process for user experience designer position at Amazon usually takes about 2-3 weeks.
Stage 1: Initial phone screen by HR.
Stage 2: A phone interview that covers behavioural questions, portfolio review, design decisions and design thought
Stage 3: A second phone interview that includes a design exercise.
Stage 4: A full-day onsite interview that lasts about 6 hours, including lunch. It starts with an hour long portfolio presentation. There is a 45 min to 1h whiteboard exercise, and the rest of the interviews are more in the meet-and-greet format. It is specifically mentioned that all interviewers pay special attention to Amazon's Leadership Principles, so they will test the candidates for them and it's suggested by the interviewed candidates as a smart thing to incorporate them indirectly in one's answers.
The average interview process for product manager position at Amazon about 2-4 weeks
Stage 1: Initial phone screen by HR
Stage 2: Two phone screens with a hiring manager and a different manager covering behavioral questions and some case questions
Stage 3: An onsite interview consisting of 6 individuals interviews each lasting for 40-50 minutes. Each interview has a distinct focus (work history, business case, break even analysis, product spec and cultural fit). The interviewers consist of current pms, a VP level interview and an engineering peer. It is absolutely essential to have knowledge of the core Amazon principles and to be prepared with the exact situational responses based on the one's experience.
- What is HashTable? How does it work in the backend perspective? What to do if the collision happened? Whats the time complexity of inserting? deleting? searching? What's the time complexity for the worse case?
- What is binary search tree? Whats the time complexity of inserting? deleting? searching? What's the time complexity for the worse case?
- What's the advantage of using BST rather than hashmap?
- Given an array of integers. Find the largest increasing subsequence of integers in the array. // 10, 3, 7, 9, 0, 15 // return index 1&3
- Given a maze, find the way from top-left corner to bottom-right corner.
- Implement a function which returns the string versions of numbers in English, e.g. 11 => eleven.
- Write an algorithm that calculates median (and keep it constant) when random numbers are added.
- Implement a breadth first traversal of some tree.
- Implement a method for the fibonacci sequence.
- For a bitmap editor, given an x,y location and a color, write a series of methods for a Fill operation like the paint bucket, except only change the color of the outer boundary of what would be filled.
- Given a matrix of numbers. You start at left top corner and stop at right bottom corner. You can only move right or move down. Maximize the minimum number in the path.
- Given a list of 2D coordinates representing boundaries of a 2D shape and an internal point (x,y) within the 2D shape. Find how many internal points are there within the 2D shape.
- Design a chess game
- If you are a web administrator, and you receive an DDoS Attack, were there are "N millions" of hits at the same time, how do you avoid the servers going down?
- Given a sorted array of zeros and ones, find the number of zeros in the array.
- Given a sorted array of integers, find the number of times a given number K occurs in the array.
- Given a number n, the number of open parenthesis find number of all possible valid pattern of pairs of parentheses. eg. n=2 (()) , ()()
- Given a tree find shortest path between any two given nodes
- How would you add n items in Fibonacci Series?
- Given a string (0-9a-z), use run-length encoding to compress it.
- Given one day's stock prices, find the buying/selling point that maximize the profit.
- Design a toll system for highways .
- Given an array of integers, find all pairs in the array which sum to 10
- Write a function to detect if a string is a palindrome
- Draw an architecture diagram for a reviews system
- Write an algorithm to compute square root that handles perfect and non-perfect squares
- How do you reverse a linked list
- Given two BSTs write a function that says if the trees are the same or not.
- If you come in one day and you see that suddenly the traffic to your website is down 10% how would you go about troubleshooting this.
- Given a sorted array of numbers and then the numbers are rotated, how would you implement a search in less then O(n)
- Given two strings, check if one is a result of rotation of the other
- How would you design a system to maintain a zoo (OO design)
- I have table 1, with 1million records, with ID, AGE (column names) , Table 2 with 100 records with ID and Salary. How many records will the following query return SELECT A.ID,A.AGE,B.SALARY FROM TABLE 1 A LEFT JOIN TABLE 2 B ON A.ID = B.ID + WHERE B.SALARY > 50000 ( HE ASKED TO MODIFY THIS LINE OF QUERY) ?
- Given a csv file with ID, and Quantity columns, 50million records and size of data is 2gig, write a program in a language of your choice to aggregate the QUANTITY column.
- Write a Python function that displays the first n Fibonacci numbers.
- If you have a table with a billion rows, how would you add a column inserting data from the original source without affecting the user experience?
- Estimate the cumulative sum of top 10 most profitable products of the last 6 month for customers in Seattle.
- Explain the concept of colinearity
- Given a bar plot and imagine you are pouring water from the top, how to qualify how much water can be kept in the bar chart.
- How to choose a model, and how to determine if a model is better than another.
- What is linear regression?
- Given a table with three columns, (id, category, value) and each id has 3 or less categories (price, size, color). How can I find the id's for the values with two or more category matches to one another? EG: ID1 (price 10, size M, color Red), ID2 (price 10, Size L, Color Red) , ID3 (price 15, size L, color Red) Then the output should be two rows: ID1 ID2 and ID2 ID3
- What are hyperparameters, how do you tune them, how do you test them, how do you know if they worked for the particular problem.
- Write Python code to return the count of words in a string
- What is cross validation?
- What is over-fitting? How do you avoid it?
- What types of regularization exist? Which one is simpler to use?
- Explain decision trees?
- What are different metrics to classify a dataset?
- What is bagging?
- We have two models, one with 85% accuracy, one 82%. Which one do you pick? -
- What is p-value and how can we use it?
- How do you deal with unbalanced data where the ratio of positive and negative is huge?
- Estimate the disease probability in one city given the probability is very low nation-wide. Randomly asked 1000 person in this city, all negative response responded negatively (NO disease). What is the probability of disease in this city?
- How to do treat colinearity?
- How do you inspect missing data and when are they important?
- How will you apply machine learning to a business case, explain the algorithm and why you chose it?
- Which machine learning algorithms/techniques are you familiar with?
- What is k-mean?
- How does speech synthesis work?
- When you have a time series data by monthly, it has large data records, how will you find out a significant difference between this month and previous month
- Navigate a binary tree
- If you have a customer and want to decide whether they will buy today or not buy today and you know 1. where they live, 2. their income, 3. their gender, 4. their profession, how would you define a machine learning algorithm to figure this out?
- How does a neural network with one layer and one input and output compare to a logistic regression?
- Given a long sorted list and a short (4 element) sorted list, what algorithm would you use to search the long list for the 4 elements? How would the algorithm scale?
- Given an unfair coin with the probability of heads not equal to .5, what algorithm could you use to create a list of random 1s and 0s?
- Describe the project that you are most proud of. Why?
- Describe the project that you had the most trouble with. What would you have done differently?
- What would you do if you know you are going to miss a deadline?
- Design an airport experience. Redesign the amazon.com home page.
- Design an object that provides good user experience
- Designing an ATM for children to use.
- Redesign a shopping and return experience.
- Out of the Amazon Leadership Principles, which principle do you feel like is your greatest strength?
- What were the key metrics for your design, and how did you measure them?
- Build an in-store kiosk experience.
- Let's say a VP came to your desk and said we needed a timeline of past orders and gave you no further direction. What would you do?
- How would you design an elevator for a 1000 floor building?
- How would you redesign Amazon?
- How would design an online presence of a brick and mortar coffee shop?
- How would you design a charging station in a mall?
- Think of a new product or business for Amazon, and describe how you would decide to create the product and launch it? How would you choose which features to implement and which are most important to our customers?
- Pick and product that you like/dislike. Why? What would you change about the product?
- Should Amazon enter into selling contact lenses?
- How would you improve an existing amazon product? How would you measure the impact?
- How would you design a fridge for the blind
- Describe a customer feedback recommendation that you implemented
- How would you go about building a dating site for people who want to cheat on their spouses?
- Pretend you know nothing about Amazon Prime. How would you price it?
- How did you size the market for your product? What metrics did you use to measure the product success? What would you go back and change in your product
- Given a 15 minute description of an area of Amazon's business, come up with a new business idea in the next 15 minutes that is unique and potentially profitable.
- What could cause a decrease in sales of magazine XYZ on Amazon's website?
- What are the variable costs associated with sending physical products to customers?
- We know that 10% of the time a customer will enter a product into our search feature and it will return a "no item found" message. What are some of the possible reasons and how can we fix it?
- Imagine you are starting a new category of sales at Amazon (for example pet supplies), how would you start building the business?
We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience
To be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
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.
Leaders are owners. They think long term and don't sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say that's 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. As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.
Are Right, A Lot
Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.
Learn and Be Curious
Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.
Hire and Develop the Best
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.
Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards - many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.
Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team's body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.
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