Amazon has been recruiting very heavily. Some of the most sought after positions are the Amazon Software Development Engineers (SDEs). 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.
What Is the Hiring Process for an Amazon SDE?
Step 1: Application
You should find an open position that matches your qualifications. It is important to note that there are internship programs and open positions designated specifically for new grads. So, if you majored in Computer Science or Computer Engineering this could be a good match for you. If you have more experience you can apply for a more advanced position. You must wait six months between applying and interviewing for open SDE positions.
Step 2 (Optional): Phone Screen
Prior to being sent the Amazon SDE Online Assessment you might undergo a short phone screen. This will give the recruiter a good opportunity to ensure that you are a good match for the position. This will also give you as the applicant a good sense of whether you are fit to take the rather cumbersome Amazon code assessment.
Step 3: Amazon SDE Online Assessment
If you are deemed a good match during the initial applicant screen, you will be sent an email announcement from Amazon. You will be requested to schedule the Amazon SDE Assessment Test. Expect to face a different exam based on whether you are applying for an entry level or more advanced position.
Step 4: Interview
Congrats! It is no simple feat to make it to the SDE Interview. As of 2020, this interview will most likely be given online and can last up to 5 hours. We cannot stress the importance of reviewing Amazon's Leadership Principles. You need to read these to understand Amazon's corporate culture and to impress your interviewer. Review the job description before the interview so you know exactly what is expected of you. You will face three question types on the interview; behavioral, coding, and system design. If you make it through the various interviews the last interview you will face is the "Bar Raiser." This interview will be performed by someone outside the team you are applying to. These interviewers are specially trained as the final barrier to the job. They ensure that they match a quality candidate to the open position.
Step 5: Job Offer
If you manage to excel on all the other steps you will be offered a job as an Amazon SDE usually within two weeks of the interview. What is great about this position is the great salary and upward mobility.
What Is the Amazon SDE Online Assessment?
If your initial resume review is deemed appropriate you will be asked to take the Amazon Online Assessment (OA). The Amazon Coding Assessment is an online unproctored exam given on either SHL's AMCAT platform or on HackerRank. Depending on the level of the position you apply to you will face different tests. The assessment structure for both coding exams are similar. Let's take a look at the different versions.
Amazon SDE 1 Assessment Test for Interns and New Graduates
This Amazon SDE 1 assessment test is given to those applying for internships or to recent graduates.This test has three different parts sent in three different assessment emails.
Amazon OA1 (Part 1)- Code Debugging
The first part of the Amazon SDE Online Assessment (OA1), includes a set of debugging questions to be completed within 20 minutes. You will be given a problem and a section of code. The section of code includes a bug, which causes it to fail to solve the problem. You will be required to identify the bug and fix the code. You will have about 3 minutes to answer the 7 debugging questions. You will face a variety of coding languages including C, C++, and Java.
Amazon OA2 (Part 2)- Coding and Workstyles
Amazon OA3 (Part 3) - Technical Problem Solving
The purpose of the third Online Assessment (OA3) is to give the new graduates a glimpse into a day in the life of a SDE. The first part will be an Amazon SDE work simulation video. In this video candidates will be presented a day-to-day routine of an Amazon software development engineer. You will be provided various work related scenarios and be asked how you would react to the given situation. You will be graded on how you deal with potential team conflicts, underperforming team members, prioritize tasks, and meet tight deadlines. You will have two hours to complete this section. All of the questions will be based on Amazon's Leadership Principles. So make sure you study those in advance. The second part, which you may not face, is a set of 24 logical reasoning multiple-choice questions to be completed in 35 minutes. You should try and answer as many questions as you can in the allotted time. The test is designed to test your problem-solving skills.
Amazon SDE 2 Test for More Experienced Positions
For those who are more experienced SDE's you will face the Amazon SDE 2 Assessment. This exam is one assessment rather than three separate parts. It consists of the following components:
Amazon Coding Assessment
This part of the test is 105 minutes long and you will face two coding questions and a coding approach questionnaire. In the coding questionnaire you will need to describe your preferred approach for solving a coding issue. You might be asked about some of your answers from the questionnaire in the interview so be prepared to give rationale for any of your answers.
Amazon Workstyle Assessment
This is a personality test designed to see if you have the right personality traits needed for the job. If you are applying to a manager position you want to make sure your answers show leadership skills. Again it is integral to study the Amazon's Leadership Principles. This will help influence your answers.
The last component is a quick feedback survey which will take about 5 minutes.
Free Amazon SDE Online Assessment Questions 2021
Free Sample SDE Coding Challenge
For an interactive coding challenge check out these questions.
Free Sample Workstyles Assessment Question
How Can You Prepare for the Amazon SDE Online Assessment?
To ensure you feel prepared for the test we recommend taking a look at Sample Amazon Online Assessment questions in advance. It is important to get a feel for the Amazon debugging questions and make sure you are not stumped on the test. With lots of growth opportunities within Amazon the entry level positions are quite competitive. It is hard for many new grads to land themselves in a prestigious first job. So it is important to come prepared.
What Is an Amazon SDE Salary?
Salaries for an Amazon Software Development Engineer can vary depending on the position. It can be anywhere from $65,00-$200,000. The average salary is about $120,000.
What Are Some Sample Amazon SDE Interview Questions?
Example Amazon SDE Coding Questions:
For an interactive coding challenge check out these questions.
Graphs / Trees (46% of questions, most frequent)
Example: "Given preorder and inorder traversal of a tree, construct the binary tree."
Arrays / Strings (38% of questions)
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 (10% of questions)
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 (2% of questions)
Example: "Given an array of meeting time intervals consisting of start and end times [[s1,e1],[s2,e2],...] (si < ei), find the minimum number of conference rooms required."
Stacks / Queues (2% of questions)
Example: "Design a stack that supports push, pop, top, and retrieving the minimum element in constant time."
Hash tables (2% of questions, least frequent)
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."
Example Amazon SDE System Design Questions
- How would you design the Amazon website so it could handle 10x more traffic?
- How would you design a warehouse system?
- How would you design a payment system for parking?
Example Amazon SDE Behavioural Questions
- 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.