Amazon on-site

Apr 14, 2018 21 Comments

I just had an interview with Amazon and wanted to get some opinions on my chances of getting an offer.

The team seemed really interested in interviewing me after I had coffee with a hiring manager. They actually went straight to the on-site and scheduled it for two days later.

All the interviews up until the last one felt really great. It was more LPs and talking through my experience than coding overall. The coding questions I came up with a good or optimal solution quickly and went straight to asking the interviewer questions.

Each interviewer seemed very pleased with my LP responses, lots of smiling subtly while they typed and responses like "oh that'll be great data", or "that's perfect I was about to ask about this". The format of them furiously typing was a little odd, but I hear it's Amazony.

The only issue was the very last interview. It was a high scalability architecture/database design question, which definitely isn't my forte. It felt like things didn't click with the interviewer and he was looking for something else while we talked through options and trade-offs.

The vast majority of my experience is front end on Web, iOS and Android, which is what this role would be. It shows in my resume and I was pretty forthcoming up front that back-end architecture isn't my strong suit.

What are the odds I receive an offer given this situation?

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TOP 21 Comments
  • Amazon DKqb14
    If the bar raiser or hiring manager were your last interview you could be in trouble. They are the only ones that could swing a vote when everyone else liked you. A random team member not liking you wouldn’t change outcome if the HM and BR were on board.
    Apr 14, 2018 7
    • Amazon RBMY63
      Contrary anecdote:
      I was on a loop where BR as well as everyone but me was not inclined, and turned the BR and one other member, and that was sufficient to get the candidate the offer. They ended up on my team and were a strong contributor.
      Apr 14, 2018
    • Amazon RBMY63
      If you botched system design you won’t get an SDE3 offer. Not sure the level of the loop. It may hurt SDE2 chances but probably won’t sink them.
      Apr 14, 2018
    • Amazon Vshfd
      @RBMY63 I’ve done the same with the same results. The posts here saying that only the BR or HM can swing the votes just tells me that we have a bunch of weak interviewers. The opinion of everyone who interviewed is equally important. The BR isn’t there to be the most important / competent interviewer, it’s to make sure that the team hiring is evaluating the feedback appropriately and not letting the bar change across the company.
      Apr 14, 2018
    • Amazon DKqb14
      Everyone’s opinion on a debrief is not equal. Bar raisers and hiring managers have far more influence. You can absolutely convince them to vote a different way. But HM’s and BR’s are the only ones with veto power to override an inclined vote from the rest of the group
      Apr 15, 2018
    • So it sounds like I've got a pretty good shot at an offer, just maybe not at the higher level or with the most competitive TC.
      Apr 15, 2018
  • OP
    Heard back from the recruiter today and got an offer!

    They went with L5 instead of L6, but gave me the higher end of the band, average of ~$225k TC across the 4 years.

    I think this was definitely fair as I thought I was borderline SDE II/III going in and I know they tend to down level.
    Apr 17, 2018 4
    • Amazon bPRG82
      Cool man! Im sde 2 too with average of 200k across 4 years. How many years total exp u got
      Apr 17, 2018
    • OP
      ~8 yoe in mostly startups with no degree.

      I've actually never even taken a CS course before. Just lots of hard work trying to learn everything I need to know to be successful.
      Apr 17, 2018
    • Amazon bPRG82
      Where u located. Seattle?
      Apr 18, 2018
    • OP
      Yes
      Apr 18, 2018
  • Amazon bPRG82
    What were ur coding questions? How tough were they?
    Apr 14, 2018 4
    • I want to respect the confidentially of their interview questions, but I will say that the Amazon list on LeetCode Premium was a good way to prepare.
      Apr 15, 2018
    • Amazon bPRG82
      Thats respectable! I was curious as you said your interviews were more LP than coding and what ever the coding questions were u were able to find a solution quickly. I have seen a huge variance across teams in interviews on the emphasizes of LP over coding. It took me 3 tries at Amazon and every loop was different in terms of difficulty of coding questions and the emphasizes they gave on asking LP question
      Apr 15, 2018
    • Definitely more focused on LP and talking through design process than straight coding.

      Other than the last interview, which I really didn't like, the process was great. I definitely left wanting to work at Amazon more than when I started.
      Apr 15, 2018
    • Amazon bPRG82
      Let us know when u hear back
      Apr 15, 2018
  • Amazon Beff J
    It's a team discussion and debate in the debrief. They all compare notes. One poorer interview won't sink you usually. But Amazon us trained to create positive experience for all candidates, and still only like 1 in 3 get an offer. Lots of good advice in this thread.
    Apr 15, 2018 0
  • Amazon QlrL00
    Have seen enough loops where BR was not inclined but candidate was hired. Everyone’s combined experience with candidate does make a difference.
    Apr 14, 2018 0
  • Microsoft O|||||||O
    They might give you an offer but under level you if you didn't do as good in design interviews.
    Apr 14, 2018 0