Amazon's SDM Interview Process - Everything You Need to Know

Amazon has a unique recruiting process. Its hiring decisions are based on cultural fit as much as a candidate’s qualifications. This term refers to Amazon’s 14 leadership principles that guide the company’s mission.

Before you go to the interview at Amazon, learn more about the Amazon interview process, prepare for Amazon’s interview questions, and find out how they hire the best.

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Let’s take a look at the Amazon interview process first:

Amazon interview process

Recruiter Connect:

You should have a good Linkedin profile and recruiters will reach out to you, or you can message recruiters. You can also apply on the Amazon job portal and also get a referral from an Amazon employee.

Interview rounds:

Amazon has 4 interview rounds including the initial coding test which consists of DS/Algo problems. The first round is an HR round ( here they ask behavioral questions and computer science theory questions), the next three rounds mainly focus on DS/Algo. They also look at the candidate’s leadership principles along with technical skills in these 3 rounds.

After the interview:

After these rounds, the recruiter will call you and tell you the verdict.

Hired:

In this step, recruiters shared the offer letter with you, and they hired you.

The hiring process at Amazon ranges from one week to four months, depending on the role. Amazon may require you to take a technical or non-technical assessment, answer behavioral questions, or even complete a writing sample.

SDM Interview process

For an SDM role, you are generally provided design and architectural problems and expected to provide an implementable solution. Generally, you are not required to code, but can understand and provide guidance to developers when required.

Depending on the level of the role, Amazon will try to gauge the complexity and scope of the projects that were handled by you in the recent past. You should dive deep into your past projects to help isolate their scope, complexity, and business impact. Articulate this well enough!

A key aspect of an Amazon SDM interview process is the ‘Hire and Develop The Best’ leadership principle.

This company will probe a few things around your past career as a people manager in more detail.

Specifically:

  • how have you managed low performers,
  • how have you promoted and grown people,
  • mentorship skills, etc…

For senior levels, having experience in managing, and employing delegation through junior managers is also looked for.

They will also probe your basic technical knowledge of your domains of expertise because technical managers succeed better at Amazon.

Other relevant aspects are:

  • project management skills,
  • communication and collaboration with stakeholders.

Amazon will ask you for scenarios where you had to navigate around a difficult situation in your project. To probe you, what were your teachings from that. This company will gauge your ability to influence and drive impact in your earlier organizations in good depth.

Amazon has a bar raiser program. What does it mean? “Bar raiser” is an employee who is trained to mediate the hiring process. He/she is anonymous and has veto power over your offer. You don’t know who the bar raiser is, but the “bar raiser” might emphasize the leadership principles more than other interviewers.

Amazon interview preparation

Here’re some tips for cracking the Amazon interview. Let’s look:

  • Learn and understand the 14 leadership principles well
  • Have a good understanding of data structures and algorithms/ have 1-2 excellent projects
  • Use the STAR method in your answers. This method is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
  • Know your strengths and know-how to describe them
  • Make the interviewer the part from the interview and keep the conversations going

  • Know what you want to work at Amazon
  • Focus on “I” not “We”
  • Impress the “Bar Raiser”

Look up Glassdoor and Quora questions and answers for this role, and practice a lot! Use our platform for practice mock interviews.

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