Your Next Amazon Interview, a Step-by-Step Guide

Amazon’s interview instruction email say, “we don’t tell you what to wear” and leadership principles may say, “leaders do not believe in your body odor”. But, you certainly know, on the morning of your interview you would be in your best outfit and smell like success.

This article explains my interview experience, along with a tiny mystery puzzle you can solve as you read till end.

I arrived a tasteful 10 mins early at the front desk, ready to sail through the unknowns, cracked a poor joke with the receptionist, punched in my name, email and said cheeeese for the camera. The interview was for a Front End Software Development Engineer position. Each slot was of roughly an hour long.

Without further ado, I will get right at it and give you the questions

11:00 AM- (1 hour) - Senior Software Development Engineer

I felt that Amazon urges every interviewer to ask a number of behavioral questions even when both parties are disinterested.

So no matter how much of a visionary engineer you are, make sure you prepare scrupulously on the leadership principles and be judicious with your responses.

Interviewer: Tell me about your background and what are you working on right now?
Me: <<my well prepared robotic answer>>
Interviewer: What has been your greatest accomplishment and why?
Me: blah!
Interviewer: What is your greatest failure and why?
Me: meh!

And the questions continues to fire on

What are you looking for? Tell me about situation where you made a wrong decision and what did you do about it?

And a few followup questions around the particular situation…and all of this took 15 minutes but felt like much longer

But the next 45 mins flew by, as we moved onto technical questions

Explain your applications system architecture.
Explain a feature you developed. Deep dive on its implementation
Explain what happens when you submit a form on a web app. What measures would you take keeping web security in mind?
Explain to me MVC architecture, feel free to use the whiteboard. ( ‘Here’ is the concept of MVC explained through drinks at a bar )

1:00 PM — (1 Hour ) — Solutions Engineer

Warming up with a few behavioral questions

Tell me about a time you when you had to convince someone to complete something, and how did you?
Tell me about time when you made a wrong decision, what happened later?

Again a few follow-up questions on my ‘wrong’ decision :-/

Now onto some JavaScript Async concepts [for the non-tech folks curious about the mystery puzzle please stay with me & keep reading… .]

Write how would you invoke my method soon after my this JS file completes its load?
Write how would you invoke my method after all three of these http calls have been completed?
Explain how will you implement A/B Testing?

2:00 PM Software Development Engineer(1 Hour)

I assumed a not so senior employee would’nt be too bothered about my behavior. Incorrect! Here are behavioral questions gushing out..

Tell me about a time when you were not able to meet the deadline, what did you do about it?
Tell me about a time you when you could NOT convince someone to do something, and what did you do about it?

Now some code. Here’s the question

JavaScript!!

Does anyone have a better/more optimal solution for this? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

3:00 PM — (1 Hour) — Software Engineering Manager

Before you get close to guessing the mystery involved, let us impress the manager. Yay! No coding task.

Oh wait!!

Loaded Behavioral Questions

4:00 PM — (1 Hour) — Software Development Engineer

phew! Final round but was the toughest for me. After twisting and turning a handful of the same behavioral questions, he gave me these 2 coding tasks.

(Does anyone have a better/more optimal solution for this? I’d love to hear about it in the comments)

And the next question..

Stick a section to the right on scroll. And as and when the header gets hidden stick it to the top

THE END


You must be wondering what happened to the puzzle? I’m Sorry I just wanted to keep you engaged till the end of my article, but did you notice I went missing from 12:00 to 1:00 PM?

Yes, that was lunch time. I can’t forget the flavorful bowl of mango tender chicken I had. It was seriously the best part of my interview. We all love food, if you agree with me you really have to read this article