Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Process

Software development engineers are an indispensable part of IT companies. Their role is extremely crucial, so FAANG+ companies conduct extensive interviews to hire only the best. To increase the probability of landing a job with a FAANG company, you must get yourself acquainted with the entire interview process. So, if you are aspiring to be the next Amazon Software Development Engineer or are looking for Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Prep Guide, we are here to help you. 

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation ebook to get interview-ready! Also, read How hard it is to get a job at Amazon and Amazon interview questions for specific insights and guidance on Amazon tech interviews.

Having trained over 6,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have been landing lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $933,000!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

Want to nail your next tech interview? Sign up for our FREE Webinar. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

  1. About Amazon
  2. What do Software Development Engineers at Amazon do?
  3. What are the levels of Software Development Engineers at Amazon?
  4. How many SDE Amazon hires every year?
  5. What is an Amazon Software Development Engineer (SDE) interview like?
  6. What to expect in an Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview?
  7. Major components of Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview and how to prepare for them?
  8. Problems asked during Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview
  9. How to prepare for Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview? Tips and tricks to ace it. 
  10. Where to Prepare for Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview?
  11. Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Preparation Course at Interview Kickstart.

About Amazon

Amazon is one of the big five multinational companies in the US. This tech giant is acclaimed for its customer-centric goals and providing services across various sectors like E-commerce, digital streaming, Cloud computing, and AI. 

The widespread solutions offered by the company provide the employees with a plethora of opportunities for innovation and growth. Amazon’s work approach is based on four principles: make smart decisions, be nimble, innovate and focus on customer satisfaction. 

What Do Software Development Engineers (SDEs) at Amazon Do?

Software Development Engineers are the drivers of technological innovations at Amazon. Their main responsibility is to build, invent and sometimes convert outdated practices into simpler and faster solutions. 

SDEs at Amazon build scalable solutions to complex problems and leave an impact on millions of lives. At Amazon, Software Development Engineers are passionate, skilled, and open to exciting challenges. 

What Are the Levels of Software Development Engineers at Amazon?

There are six main job designations available for Software Development Engineers at Amazon. These designations are allotted under different levels within the company’s compensation hierarchy. The job titles and their levels are:

  • L4 - Software Development Engineer
  • L5 - Software Development Engineer II
  • L6 - Software Development Engineer (SDE) III
  • L7 - Principal SDE
  • L8 - Senior Software Engineer (Principal)
  • L9 - Distinguished SDE

What Is an Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Like?

The entire Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview process takes about four to eight weeks to complete, and the timeline is as follows: 

  • The process begins with the submission of the resume, cover letter, and referrals. 
  • Shortlisting of the candidate via HR recruitment mail or call.
  • Online assessment for fresher positions.
  • Phone screen (one or two interviews).
  • On-site 4 to 6 interviews.
  • Debriefing.
  • Offer letter.

Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Process

The amazon software development engineer interview process is lengthy and exhaustive. Here’s what you can expect:

1. HR interview: The preliminary step of the interview is focused on understanding the candidate’s interests and why the candidate would be a good fit for the company. Once the recruiter is satisfied with your answers, you would be given an online assessment to solve, or a technical screening would be scheduled based on the profile you have applied for.  

2. Amazon Online Assessments: This online assessment is usually a part of the hiring process for interns and fresher candidates. Sometimes, it is also included for experienced candidates. The assessment has three sections:

  1. Debugging questions: A set of seven debugging questions will be assigned to you with an allotted time of 20 mins. Java, C, and C++ will be the three coding languages available for you to solve this assignment.
  2. Questions on Coding: The second assessment would comprise two questions based on data structure and algorithm. You can use any of these languages: C, C#, C++, Java, Ruby, Swift, JavaScript, and Python.
  3. Questions based on work simulation and logical reasoning: There are two parts to this assessment; In the first part, you would be given various scenarios from the life of a software development engineer, and your responses to it would be analyzed. The second part would contain 24 multiple choice questions based on logical reasoning. 

3. Phone Screen: During this round of technical phone screening, you will be asked a set of technical and behavioral questions. The entire session goes on for 45-60 mins, and the recruiter is mostly your potential manager. During this round, be sure to express your understanding of Amazon’s leadership principles. 

4. On-site interview: The most elaborate interview consists of 4-6 rounds of 60 mins each. Some of the interviews will assess your coding knowledge, while others will assess your system design skills, and one topic common to all the interviews is behavioral questions. 

One of the last interviews, called the “bar raiser,” is conducted by experts to see that for each competency that they test, you are least as good as or better than the average Amazon SDE. Needless to say, this round is tough to crack!

Read Amazon Interview Process Guide 2021 for more information.

What to Expect During an Amazon SDE Interview Process

As from the previous two subsections, you might have understood the intricacy of the entire interview process. So, we have broken down the entire Amazon Software Development Engineer interview process into three major components to help you plan your prep. 

1. System Design

Amazon has a large consumer base, so they are always looking for software development engineers who can design scalable systems. Commonly asked system design interview questions are:

  1. How would you design a payment system for parking lots?
  2. How would you design a warehouse system for our company?
  3. Design a counters system for online services. 
  4. Design a URL shortening system. 

Simple ways to ace the system design interview questions are: reading books like “Designing Data-Intensive Applications” by Martin Kleppmann, brushing up on fundamental concepts, and practicing mock interviews. 

For more details on amazon system design interview questions and tips for preparation, refer to our guide on Amazon System Design Interview

2. Coding 

Coding forms an integral part of any technical interview, be it for a software developer, software engineer, or technical lead role. One of the frequently asked questions in the Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview is based on coding. The examples of questions asked are:

  1. Construct a binary tree, given preorder and inorder traversal of a tree. (Solution)
  2. Find the missing number in the array; an array of positive numbers is given from 1 to n; you have to find two missing numbers in the array. (Solution)
  3. Design a stack that should support push, pop, and top and retrieve the minimum element in constant time. (Solution)
  4. Determine if the given binary tree is a search binary tree. (Solution)

The best way to clear the coding questions asked during the online assessment or in an on-site interview is to at least dedicate three months of self-study. During this period, you should review your basics; study the concepts of algorithms, system designs, OS, and concurrency. 

3. Behavioral Questions

Amazon strongly believes in its 16 leadership principles, so behavioral questions are a part of every round of interviews. Compared to other FAANG companies, in Amazon Software Development Interview, the answers to behavioral questions hold much greater importance. The common behavioral questions asked are:

  1. Share the lessons you learned when you took a calculated risk and failed?
  2. Tell us about a time you had to handle a difficult customer.
  3. Describe an incident where you had to make an important decision without receiving approval from your boss.
  4. What is one of your most innovative ideas?
  5. How do you prioritize your work?

If you wish to know how to tackle Amazon SDE behavioral questions and prepare for them, you can check out Amazon Behavioral Interview Questions

At Interview Kickstart, we teach you effective ways to crack any technical interview. Want to learn more about us? Sign up for our FREE Webinar.

How to Prepare for Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview

The only way to crack an Amazon interview is to have a strategic plan and stick to it. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

  1. Learn to code in any computer language and get a strong grasp of data structures and algorithms. Strengthen your foundation of other computer science subjects.
  2. Learn about Amazon’s culture and its leadership principles. 
  3. Practice interviews by solving problems. Ask your peers to help you with interview prep to build confidence. 
  4. Refer to the most commonly asked behavioral questions and prepare your answers.
  5. Try to attend 10-15 mock interviews with ex-interviewers to analyze your weaknesses. 

Check out Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview Preparation for more. 

FAQs on Amazon Software Development Engineer Role

Q. How many SDEs does Amazon hire every year?

The actual number of SDEs hired varies as per the requirement of the company for that particular year. However, as the company’s functioning is primarily based on technology, they hire fifteen thousand employees every year. The number greatly depends on the expansion of the company in that location and the company’s needs. 

Q. What is the salary of a software development engineer at Amazon?

The average salary will differ based on your experience. According to Level.fyi, you can make anywhere from $151,000 per year as an entry-level SDE to $490,000 as a principal SDE. For more information, read Amazon Software Development Engineer Salary at Different Levels.

Nail Your Amazon SDE Interview

If you’re looking for guidance and help with getting your prep started, sign up for our free webinar. As pioneers in the field of technical interview prep, we have trained thousands of software engineers to crack the toughest coding interviews and land jobs at their dream companies, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and more!

Sign up now!

Interview Process

Attend our Free Webinar on How to Nail Your Next Technical Interview

About usWhy usInstructorsReviewsCostFAQContactBlogRegister for Webinar