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2-Month Amazon Interview Preparation Plan to Ace Your Amazon Technical Interview

Amazon has one of the most challenging interview processes for software engineers. If you’re a software engineer looking to crack Amazon’s technical interview, your Amazon interview preparation plan should be nothing short of exhaustive and consistent. Given that less than 2% of engineers who apply make it past the grueling interview rounds, we’ll look at the fundamental elements of an exhaustive Amazon interview preparation plan to help you crack the interview. 

The Amazon interview typically tests your coding and design skills. You’re also evaluated on certain behavioral traits and Amazon’s 14 leadership principles before a hiring decision is made. If you are wondering how to prepare for the Amazon interview and how to go about your Amazon interview preparation, this article will throw light on what to expect, the interview process, some notable tips, sample interview questions, and a comprehensive study plan to stand you in good stead to ace your interview.

If you’re a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! 

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Let’s go ahead and take a look at the important elements of a foolproof Amazon interview preparation plan. This article will help you answer the question — how to prepare for Amazon’s interview. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Amazon Technical Interview Process
  • The 2-month Amazon Interview Preparation Plan
  • Amazon Interview Questions for Practice
  • Amazon Interview Preparation Tips to Crack the Interview
  • FAQs on Amazon Interview Preparation

Amazon Technical Interview Process 

Amazon Technical Interview Process

Amazon Technical Interview Process 

Before learning how to prepare for Amazon’s interview, understanding what the interview process looks like is crucial to give your Amazon interview preparation plan the much-needed direction it needs. Let’s go ahead and look at Amazon’s technical interview process. 

The process consists of 4 main rounds:

The Initial Recruiter Screen 

In this round, a recruiter will get in touch with you to ask you a few basic questions about your professional profile. You can expect questions about your technical skills, experience with past companies, and compensation expectations. 

The Technical Phone Screen

This round of the Amazon interview process mainly tests your coding and problem-solving skills. A hiring manager oversees and evaluates a remote coding exercise via a shared document or a remote interviewing tool like HackerRank. 

Here, you’ll typically need to solve 1-2 core DSA problems by writing error-free code. 

The On-site Interview (The Loop)

Amazon’s on-site interview, also known as the Loop, consists of 4-5 rounds of interviews — a coding round, a design round, a behavioral round, and a Bar-raiser round. The behavioral round evaluates you against Amazon’s leadership principles, while the Bar-raiser round tests if you have it in you to be the right cultural and professional fit at Amazon. 

The 2-Month Amazon Interview Preparation Plan

Giving yourself at least 2 months to prepare for Amazon’s technical interview is highly recommended if you wish to beat the competition and emerge on top. In this section, we’ll tell you how you can plan and structure your Amazon interview preparation plan. 

Week 1-2

  • Start with the fundamentals of core data structures and algorithms. Spend the first two weeks focusing on arrays, sorting algorithms, strings, and linked lists.
  • Search for good online resources or sign up for an interview prep course to help you with your prep.
  • Practice at least 1-2 problems a day. Start categorizing problems based on solution patterns and use existing patterns to solve new problems. 

Week 3

  • Continue solving 1-2 problems a day and extend your focus to trees, graphs, recursion, hash tables, and dynamic programming.   
  • Start doing periodic, timed tests to expose yourself to an interview-style environment. 

Week 4-5

  • Continue revising concepts in algorithms and core data structures. 
  • Begin your prep for the systems design interview. Start by learning systems design case studies, the type of questions asked, and the approach to build arbitrary systems. 
  • Brush up on important design concepts, including sharding techniques, online processing systems, file systems, and loading. 
  • Spend Week 5 continuing to solve problems in core DSA and design concepts, including network protocols, API modeling, and concurrency. 

Week 6-7

  • Practice mock interviews with industry experts and FAANG hiring managers. Interview Kickstart is a dedicated interview prep school that allows you to practice mocks with industry experts and hiring managers from FAANG companies. 
  • If you’re prepping for a domain-specific interview, start preparing your domain concepts, and practice mocks with domain experts. 
  • Make sure to continue solving and practicing 1-2 problems every day and identify patterns in every problem you solve.

Week 8-9

Recommended Reading: 7 Tips to Create a Stellar Software Engineer Resume

Amazon Interview Questions for Practice

In this section, we’ll look at some Amazon interview questions that you should focus on as part of your Amazon interview preparation strategy. We will look at Amazon interview questions on coding, systems design, and Amazon’s leadership principles.

Amazon Interview Questions on Coding

Amazon coding interview questions are primarily based on algorithms and core data structures. Your Amazon interview preparation plan should majorly focus on practicing such questions. 

The following concepts are important for Amazon’s coding interview:

Below are some sample Amazon coding interview questions to help you make the most of your Amazon interview preparation.

  1. For a given rotated array that is sorted, write a program code to find a particular element in the array. 
  2. Write a program to check if a binary tree is a valid binary search tree. 
  3. Write a program to find if the permutation of a string (given) is a palindrome or not. 
  4. Write an error-free program to check if a given binary tree is balanced or not. 
  5. You are provided with a string in the form of a sentence. Write a program to display the characters of the string in reverse order. 
  6. For an array of integers and unique values, write a program code to decipher if the sum of any two integers in the array is equal to a given value. 
  7. For a given two-dimensional array with integers of unique values, write a program to make the entire column or row of the array zero if any element in the array is zero.
  8. You are given two linked lists. Each of the linked lists has an integer value. Write a program to add the two linked lists and return the value of their sum. 
  9. You’re given the root of a binary tree. Write a code to show the node values at every level. 
  10. For a given binary search tree where two nodes of the tree are swapped, write a program to correct the binary search tree. 

Visit our Problems Page to find more sample software engineer interview questions on coding. 

Amazon Interview Questions on Systems Design

Your Amazon interview preparation plan is incomplete without dedicating at least 1-2 weeks to thoroughly cover concepts in distributed systems design. 

Following are the important design concepts to cover, followed by some sample systems design interview questions. 

  • Systems design case studies
  • Loading
  • Caching 
  • Sharding Techniques
  • Network Protocols
  • Database management
  • Scalable systems
  • Concurrency
  • API modeling
  • Servers and maintenance 

Following are some sample Amazon interview questions on distributed systems design:

  1. What are the security aspects to consider while building an e-commerce application
  2. How would you go about designing a proximity server?
  3. Explain how you’d go about designing a chatbot service that provides users with notifications while also allowing them to interact with the AI unit?
  4. How would you design a platform like Uber?
  5. How would you go about setting up security for multiple servers?
  6. How would you perform API modeling while handling multiple remote servers and systems?
  7. How would you go about designing a platform like Instagram?
  8. How do you design a shared drive on the cloud?
  9. How do you design a search engine? What aspects should you consider while designing the algorithm for a search engine?
  10. What do you understand about load balancing? Why is it important, and where is it useful?

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview Questions

Preparing for the behavioral interview at Amazon should be a crucial part of your Amazon interview preparation strategy. While prepping for Amazon’s behavioral interview, make sure to practice comprehensive answers to Amazon behavioral interview questions and Amazon Leadership Principles interview questions

Below are some sample Amazon behavioral interview questions:

  1. Tell us about the most difficult project you worked on.
  2. Why are you currently looking to make the shift to Amazon?
  3. What are you looking forward to experiencing at Amazon?
  4. Do you know of Amazon’s Leadership Principles? What do you think about them?
  5. Tell us about a time when you made an important project suggestion to your superior? 

Amazon Interview Tips - How to Prepare for the Amazon Interview?

The 2-month Amazon interview preparation plan is incomplete without some slick Amazon interview tips that will help you stand out from the competition. 

Let’s go ahead and take a look at some noteworthy Amazon interview preparation tips:

  1. Practice Whiteboard coding, especially for the on-site interview. Whiteboard coding is an important part of the On-site interview process. You can be asked to code and articulate your approach using a whiteboard as recruiters see this as an evident way of assessing your problem solving approach. 
  2. Spend at least 7-8 weeks preparing for your interview, as the topics to cover are vast and, at times, complex. 
  3. Solve at least 1-2 coding problems every day. Focus more on problems around trees and graphs. 
  4. Have a strong portfolio listing the projects you’ve worked on in the past. This will definitely help you stand out from other applicants contending for the job. 
  5. Think out loud during your interviews. That way, the recruiter will know your approach to problem-solving. Remember, you’re awarded points not just for getting the solution right, but also for your approach to arriving at the solution. 
  6. Dedicate at least 1-2 weeks to prepare for the design interview.
  7. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume are succinct. 
  8. Practice mock interviews with industry experts and FAANG hiring managers. 
  9. Enroll in a good interview prep course with a high success rate. 

How to Prepare for the Amazon Interview If You Have Less than 2 months time?

If you have less than 2 months time, you should keep your Amazon interview preparation crisp and succinct. You should essentially stick to the fundamentals in coding and systems design, and also get acquainted with Amazon’s leadership principles. As a rule of thumb, study the important concepts in each section and aim to revise concepts that you’ve already studied. This way, you’ll be able to make the most of your Amazon interview preparation plan. 

Here’s what you can do -

  • Focus more on core data structures concepts such as trees, graphs, graph algorithms, and dynamic programming
  • Don’t spend too much time going into details in design topics. Familiarize yourself with the basics of databases, processing systems and systems design case studies.
  • Prepare answers to behavioral questions in the STAR method. Rehearsing answers to specific situations can help a great deal. 

FAQs on 2-Month Amazon Interview Preparation Plan

In this section, we’ll look at some FAQs on the 2-Month Amazon Interview Preparation Plan.

Q1. What areas should you focus on in your 2-month Amazon interview preparation plan?

Your Amazon interview preparation plan should mainly focus on covering topics in coding, distributed systems design, behavioral concepts, and Amazon’s 14 leadership principles.

Q2. What coding concepts should you include in your Amazon Interview Preparation Plan?

The important coding concepts that should be part of your Amazon interview preparation strategy include Trees, Graphs, Greedy Algorithms, dynamic programming, recursion, hash tables, and sorting algorithms.

Q3. How long is the ideal Amazon interview preparation plan?

Considering the difficulty and competition associated with Amazon’s tech interviews, adopting an interview preparation plan of 8-9 weeks is highly recommended. 

Q4. What is the Bar-raiser round in the Amazon on-site interview?

The Bar-raiser round typically exists to help Amazon make a good hiring decision, one that involves hiring candidates who’re the right cultural fit. Bar-raisers are specially trained to maintain the hiring bar at Amazon. At Bar-raiser rounds, you’re mostly evaluated on Amazon’s leadership principles and your approach in dealing with professional challenges. 

Q5. How long should you ideally prepare for Amazon’s system design interview?

The ideal 2-month Amazon interview preparation plan should designate 1-2 weeks for the systems design interview. Design interviews at Amazon are more important for senior developer and managerial interviews. 

Gear Up for Your Next Technical Interview

Are you getting ready for an upcoming technical interview? Register for our technical interview webinar.

At Interview Kickstart, we’ve trained over 9,000 engineers to land lucrative offers at the biggest tech companies. Our instructors, who are FAANG hiring managers, know what it takes to nail tough tech interviews at top technology companies.

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Interview Preparation
Last updated on: 
August 10, 2021

Ashwin Ramachandran

Head of Engineering @ Interview Kickstart. Enjoys cutting through the noise and finding patterns.

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