Amazon SDE 2 Interview Questions to Practice Before Your Tech Interview
Amazon has one of the most challenging interview processes for software engineers among FAANG+ companies. The Amazon SDE 2 interview process primarily evaluates one’s problem-solving, analytical programming (object-oriented concepts), low-level design, and high-level design knowledge. With a less than 2% acceptance rate, even experienced programmers find it challenging to navigate the interview process. Knowing exactly what to expect at the interview and practicing a good number of Amazon SDE 2 interview questions is key to acing the interview.
If you’re a software development engineer preparing for Amazon’s SDE 2 interview, this list of Amazon SDE 2 interview questions that we’ve compiled will help you understand the type of questions asked so that you can accordingly plan your prep. We’ll cover Amazon SDE 2 interview questions on coding, low-level design, high-level design, and the company’s leadership principles.
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Let’s take a look at some common Amazon SDE 2 interview questions to help you prepare for your interview. We’ll briefly look at the interview process, followed by questions on coding, systems design, and Amazon’s leadership principles.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Amazon SDE 2 Interview Process
- Amazon SDE 2 Interview Questions
- FAQs on Amazon SDE 2 Interview Questions
The Amazon SDE 2 interview Process
The Amazon SDE 2 interview process evaluates your coding, problem-solving, and systems design skills. The process typically consists of four main rounds.
The Online Assessment
The Online Assessment, or OA, is the first step in the process. Typically, recruiters from human resources will contact you before the OA to understand your interest in the role, expectations, and prior professional experience.
The Online Assessment is a remote coding interview that lasts about 1.5 hours. The hiring manager in this round will ask you to solve 1-2 coding problems in core data structures and algorithms. The interview typically takes place via Amazon Chime.
In this round, the hiring manager will watch your code live and ask you questions about your approach. You’re also evaluated on your ability to solve all edge and test cases.
You can also expect a question about Amazon’s core leadership principles.
Some tips to crack the Online Assessment -
- Brush up on core concepts in the programming language of your choice
- Get acclimated to solving core DSA problems - use power patterns to solve problems and
- Think out your solution aloud
- Familiarize yourself with Amazon's leadership principles
The Technical Phone Screen
The Technical Phone Screen round usually involves answering Amazon SDE 2 interview questions on systems design and coding. You can expect one question from each category. Design questions are low-level, while the coding problems are usually complicated problems from Leetcode. Brushing up on core design concepts and DSA concepts is crucial to getting past this round and being called for the On-site interview.
An important point to note is that the Technical Screen doesn’t happen all the time. If you’re already asked LLD (low-level design) questions, and coding problems in the Online Assessment and your performance is satisfactory, you’ll be directly invited to the On-site interviews without needing to appear for the TEchnical Screen.
The On-site Interview
The On-site is the last phase in the Amazon SDE 2 interview process. Also known as the Loop, it typically comprises 3-4 rounds where the Amazon SDE 2 interview questions that are asked evaluate your coding skills, design skills, and understanding of Amazon’s leadership principles.
- The coding rounds - The On-site interview can have one or two coding interview rounds. These rounds last 30-45 minutes and evaluate your coding and problem-solving abilities. Depending on your role, you might be asked to code on a whiteboard.
- The systems design rounds - System design rounds for Amazon SDE 2 engineers are typically of two types - Low-Level Design and High-Level Design. These interviews test your ability to build arbitrary systems with low latency. Brushing up on systems design concepts is key to answering Amazon SDE 2 interview questions in these rounds.
- The behavioral and bar-raiser rounds - These rounds involve answering behavioral questions on Amazon’s 16 leadership principles. The bar-raiser round is conducted by recruiters who are specifically trained to keep the hiring bar high at Amazon. You can also expect many questions on challenging projects you’ve worked on in the past, your expectations from the role, and why you want to work at Amazon.
Take a look at the Amazon Software Development Engineer (SDE) Interview Process, questions, and prep tips.
Amazon SDE 2 Interview Questions
Amazon SDE 2 interview questions typically evaluate three main areas:
- Coding and problem solving
- Design and scalable systems
- Behavioral and leadership skills
Note that for the SDE 2 position at Amazon, coding questions asked are usually in the medium to hard difficulty range on Leetcode. There’s more emphasis on systems design concepts at SDE 2 interviews as applicants go through the low-level and high-level design rounds.
This section will look at Amazon SDE 2 interview questions in each of these categories.
Amazon SDE 2 interview Questions on Coding
Coding is an important component of the process. You’re asked Amazon SDE 2 interview questions on coding in the Online Assessment and On-site interviews.
To be able to answer Amazon SDE 2 interview questions on coding, you should be thorough with the following concepts.
- Arrays, strings, and linked lists
- Trees and graphs
- Sorting algorithms — quicksort, merge sort, heap sort, etc.
- Dynamic programming
- Graph algorithms, including greedy algorithms
Questions asked in this round are typically in the medium-to-hard difficulty level on Leetcode.
Let’s look at some sample Amazon SDE 2 interview questions on coding to give you an idea about the type of questions to expect at your interview.
- LRU cache Problem - Write a program to implement a Least Recently Used (LRU) cache and execute a given sequence of SET(key, value) and GET(key) operations. (Click here for the solution)
- Word Ladder Problem - Given two words which are - beginWord and endWord, and a dictionary word List, write a program to return the number of words in the shortest transformation sequence from one word to another, or 0 if no such sequence exists. (Click here for solution)
- 3-Sum Problem - Given an integer array arr of size n, find all magic triplets in it. Magic triplet is a group of three numbers whose sum is zero. (Click here for solution)
- Gas Station Problem - There are “x” number of gas stations along a circular route, where the amount of gas at the nth station is gas[n]. Your car’s gas tank can accommodate an unlimited amount of gas, the cost of which is cost[n] to travel from the nth station to the (n+1)th station. You start your journey with an empty tank at one of the gas stations. For two integer arrays gas and cost, return the starting gas station's index if you can travel around the circuit once in the clockwise direction; otherwise, return the value -1.
- Island Problem - Calculate the size of the largest island in a given matrix m where 0 represents the sea, and 1 represents the land.
Check out the comprehensive list of Amazon Interview Questions here.
For more problems with solutions, check out our Problems Page
Amazon SDE 2 interview Questions on Systems Design
Amazon SDE 2 interview questions on systems design are mostly asked at the On-site interviews. SDE 2 applicants go through a high-level design round where hiring managers evaluate their ability to build arbitrary, scalable systems with low latency.
Systems design (low-level and high-level design) is a key area of evaluation at Amazon SDE 2 interviews. To prepare yourself for the interview, you should brush up on the following concepts:
- API modeling
- SQL and databases
- Network systems
- Sharding techniques
- Caching and loading
- Case studies
Let’s look at some sample Amazon SDE 2 interview questions on systems design and distributed systems.
- How would you go about building a Chatbot for customers to engage with Amazon customer representatives?
- What metrics will you use to monitor the performance of Amazon’s Prime Video application?
- What important aspects should you consider to reduce system latency in the Cloud?
- What security aspects will you consider while designing and integrating payment interfaces in the Amazon website and applications?
- How will you design a snake and ladder game application? [Low-Level Design Question]
- How will you design a parking lot that captures information on vehicles present, new vehicles entering, hourly rates, and available space in the lot? [Low-Level Design Question]
- How will you go about designing an API rate limiter? [LLD problem]
Amazon Leadership and Behavioral Interview Questions
Amazon leadership principles interview questions are asked during the Online Assessment stage and On-site interviews. You can expect one or two questions at each stage of the interview. Questions in these rounds are based on Amazon’s 16 leadership principles. To give you a clearer idea, let’s look at the type of Amazon SDE 2 interview questions asked.
- Tell us about a time when you disagreed with your superior on a project
- Tell us about a time when a coworker wasn’t cooperating with you
- Tell us about a time when you had to adapt to a new time that involved acquiring new skills
- Tell us about a time when your work-life balance was hit due to a stressful project
- Tell us about a time when you had to coordinate with multiple teams to complete a project
Practice these above Amazon SDE 2 interview questions to get ahead with your prep and ready yourself for your upcoming interview.
FAQs on Amazon SDE 2 interview Questions
Q1. How many stages are there in the Amazon SDE 2 interview process?
There are 3 main stages in the Amazon SDE 2 interview process. They are - i) The Online Assessment, ii) The Technical Phone Screen, and iv) The On-site Interview.
Q2. What type of interview questions are asked at Amazon SDE 2 interviews?
Amazon SDE 2 interview questions are mainly around coding and problem solving, distributed and scalable systems, and Amazon’s leadership principles.
Q3. What is the average salary offered to Amazon SDE II?
The average salary offered to Amazon Software Development Engineers is $129,000 per year.
Q4. What are the important coding concepts for the Amazon SDE 2 interview?
The essential coding concepts to prepare to answer Amazon SDE 2 interview questions are - strings, linked lists, arrays, trees, graphs, greedy algorithms, hash tables, recursion, and dynamic programming.
Q5. Should you be good at multiple programming languages to stand out at the Amazon SDE 2 interview?
Having a solid hold on any object-oriented programming language such as Java or Python is sufficient for the Amazon SDE 2 interview.
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