Headquartered in Seattle, retail behemoth Amazon has offices and distribution centers in 32 countries around the world. The more than 150,000 global employees call themselves “Amazonians”, and more and more youngsters are keen to join this elite group when they pass out of college.
But getting a job with the Internet retailer isn’t easy- the hiring process typically takes between one and three weeks. Things begin with a phone interview – one or two, depending on the position you’re interviewing for. If that goes well, the next step is an on-site interview. However, to get there it’s essential to ace the phone screening.
Here’s what you need to know about Amazon phone interview questions:
Know that recruitment is a long process
Aaron Krauss, a full stack developer based out of Edmond, Oklahoma, in 2015 interviewed with Amazon Web Services for a senior web developer position and was eventually offered a job with one of the AWS teams. He divides his hiring process into five phases – the connection, first phone interview, second phone interview, on-site interviews, and – finally (if you make the cut) – the offer.
Keep the home front in the loop
Make sure you inform your family or roommates about the time when you are scheduled to receive your call. This will ensure that no one pops in and out of your room. There can be nothing more irritating than having people call out questions or come in just to ask what you want to do for dinner.
Put out all that you may need
Make sure you have your resume and other documents in front of you at the time of the interview. This will ensure you can quickly refer to the papers in case there’s any question or need to mention any important milestone. Make sure you have paper and pen (and your laptop) handy in case you need them.
Add the little extras
If you don’t have one, invest in a headset so that your hands remain free and can be used to research the internet, if needed. It’s a good idea to ready some cue cards for the table – they should ideally have power statements or some key points that you would like to share.
Give yourself time to spare
A telephonic interview could normally last for an hour and it would be ideal to give yourself some extra time. Telephone rounds are meant to screen potential candidates and weed out those who may not be the right fit, so remember to prepare yourself for technical problems – at least three of them.
Be prepared for the unexpected
Aaron was surprised that his first phone interview “lasted about 1 hour and 10 minutes – and it really wasn’t technical at all.” The manager “started off with just asking about my general skill-set, and told me a little bit about what the position entailed”. Other questions followed – “what was a single-page app, what was MVC, was there a time I disagreed with my manager etc.”
Get set for a technical second round
On passing the first round, applicants usually get an email describe the entire procedure and what to focus on for the second interview. “Unlike the first phone interview where I had no idea what it was going to be like, I knew ahead of time that this interview was going to involve me coding for an hour,” Aaron said on his blog.
Be it round 1 or 2, these questions may come up, so be prepared:
- Why Amazon?
- Why are you keen to join us?
- What do you know about our postage policies?
- Tell us about our product categories.
- Tell apart the terms Final, Finally or Finalize.
- Explain the 4 basics of OOP.
- Define data abstraction and its importance.
- Prepare an object-oriented model design (for an elevator, parking lot or movie theatre).
- Explain polymorphism.
- Find 10 of Amazon’s top-selling products.
- Explain the algorithms used to solve XXX problem.
- Questions about the data structure.
- Write code on arrays.
- What are the time and space complexity differences over iterating between arrays, hashes, binary trees, etc?
- How would you find all HTML elements on a page by class?
You can never predict the questions that will crop up at your interview with Amazon, but preparing well, making your point, discussing the problem and solution, and showcasing your thought process will help you stand out. You could then easily ace the interview and land the job.
Click here to know how to tackle Amazon interview questions and answers.
This article has been compiled from various sources including company websites, corporate review sites, online discussion forums and knowledge sharing platforms.