Common Amazon Interview Questions (With Preparation Tips)

Amazon is a leading tech organization that provides many remarkable career opportunities. Getting a job at Amazon is difficult. You should crack multiple interview rounds.

If you want to nail an Amazon interview and get a job in one of the biggest tech companies, you should be well prepared for both a technical interview and a Soft skill/behavioral interview. In the technical interview, you will have to answer questions across algorithms, data structures, and system design. The soft skill/behavioral interview at Amazon is focused on the 16th leadership principles.

In this article, we will provide all categories of questions you need for being well prepared for your next Amazon interview.

Here’s an overview:

Technical interview questions

Technical Interview is a valuable part of the interview section. It’s a crucial part of the IT sector.

The technical interview round includes interview questions:

  • on technical knowledge,
  • on technical experience,
  • situational based and
  • interview questions about education.

The technical interview questions are across data structures, algorithms, and system design. Below, I’ll list first the subtopics you need to cover:

Algorithms and Data Structures

  1. Arrays
  2. Strings
  3. Trees
  4. Graphs
  5. Sorting
  6. Linked Lists
  7. Recursion, and
  8. Dynamic Programming

System Design

  1. Scaleable, distributed systems
  2. Concurrency
  3. API Design
  4. Object modeling

Amazon coding interview questions (Algorithms/DS interview questions):

  • Find a missing number in the array
  • Determine If the sum of two integers is equal to the given value
  • Copy linked list with arbitrary pointer
  • Implement a segment tree range sum query problem with an update.
  • Prove that the time complexity of the build heap function in heap sort is o(n).
  • Print all the node data a distance of k from a given node in a binary tree.
  • A number is called a happy number if it contains only 4 or 7 or both its digits.

Ex. 4 is the first happy number.

7 is second

44 is third and so on…

given a happy number, find the rank of this number in the list of happy numbers.

  • You have given a postfix expression. Convert it in infix expression with the proper placing of parenthesis where it is required. Time complexity O(n). Space complexity O(n).
  • Find all subsets of a given set of integers

Coding books I recommend:

System design interview questions

  • Design Instagram.
  • Discussion and designing LRU cache.
  • How would you design a warehouse system for Amazon.com
  • Design a garbage collection system.
  • Design a system to capture unique addresses in the entire world.
  • Design a recommendation system for products.
  • How would you design Amazon.com’s database (customers, orders, products, etc.)?
  • Design a toll system for highways.
  • Design URL Shortener.
  • Design Instant Messenger.
  • Design Elevator system.
  • Design distribute caching system.
  • Design Amazon Locker Service.
  • Design Amazon Best Seller Item Service.
  • Design a counters system for online services.
  • Design a game of chess.
  • Design a parking garage.
  • Design an API rate limiter.
  • Design a proximity server.
  • How do you design a vending machine in Java?
  • How to design a limit order book for trading systems?

System design books I recommend:

Behavioral/ soft skill interview questions

Amazon requires behaviors that conform to the 14 Principles of Leadership (LP).

So, in the behavioral interview round, each question will be a “test” of at least one LP.

Your answer, i.e. the story, should be in STAR format. It is the situation, task (obstacle) actions, and results. Make sure that you answer the interview questions for 4-5 minutes, and that you give measurable results. You need to explain how you know you have succeeded or failed.

In your explanation, be concise and to the point. Below are the samples of the questions.

Amazon behavioral questions:

  • Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
  • Tell me about a time when you coached someone.
  • When have you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem?
  • Tell me a challenge you had where the best way forward was not clear cut. How did you decide what to do?
  • Give me an example of something you tried to accomplish but failed.
  • Give me an example of a time when you showed initiative.
  • Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
  • Tell me about a time you solved a pain point for customers.
  • Tell me about a time you came up with a simple solution to a complex problem.
  • Tell me about a time when you raised the bar.
  • Tell me about a time you used innovation to solve a problem.
  • Tell me about a time when you took a calculated risk. What was the outcome?
  • How do you handle when you have a conflict with someone at work?
  • Tell me about a time you had to handle a crisis.

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16th leadership interview questions

1. Customer obsession interview questions

  • Give an example when you asked for customer feedback? Explain how you used that feedback to encourage improvement?
  • Have you ever refused to comply with an unreasonable request by a customer?
  • Did you have an example where you used customer feedback to encourage improvement or innovation? Explain such a situation and tell me what action you take?

2. Invent & simplify questions

  • Give me a different scenario of a process you invented or improved.
  • What’s the most innovative new idea that you have implemented?
  • Give me an example of a situation when you were able to make something significantly simpler for customers and explain what drove you to implement this change?

3. Dive deep interview questions

  • Which was the most complex problem you’ve ever worked on?
  • When you had to solve a problem that required in-depth thought and analysis. How did you know you were focusing on the right things?

4. Frugality questions

  • Describe a time when you had to manage a budget. Were you able to get more out of less?
  • Tell me about a time where you thought of a new way to save money for the company.

5. Ownership Amazon questions

  • Tell me about a time when you didn’t think you were going to meet a commitment you promised?

6. Earn trust interview questions

  • Tell me about a critical piece of feedback you received
  • Give me an example of a time when you saw your team member was struggling.

7. Disagree and commit interview questions

  • Whether you have an example of a time when you decide to go along with the group decision, even if you disagree.
  • Tell me about when you took an unpopular stance in a meeting with peers and your leader, and you were the outlier.

8. Hire and develop the best interview questions

  • Tell me about a time when you’ve built a team for a specific project.

9. Bias for action interview questions

  • Have you ever taken a calculated risk where speed was critical? Tell me what was the situation, and how did you handle it?

10. Deliver results Amazon interview questions

  • Tell me about a time when you were leading a group, were assigned a goal, and did not reach it.
  • Can you give me an example of a situation where you not only met a goal but considerably exceeded expectations?
  • Tell me about a time when you could deliver an important project under a tight deadline.

11. Insists on the highest standards interview questions

  • When you have been unsatisfied with the status quo, what did you do to change it? And were you successful?

12. Learn and be curious

  • Give an example of a tough or critical piece of feedback you received. What was it, and what did you do about it?

13. Think big interview questions

  • Can you give me an example of a time when very senior people adopted your vision across the organization?

14. “Are right A lot” - principle interview questions

  • Tell me about a time when you made a bad professional decision? What was the impact of the decision and what did you learn?

15. Strive to be Earth’s best employer interview questions

  • Can you give me an example of a situation when you created conditions for others to succeed?

16. Success and scale bring broad responsibility Amazon interview questions

  • Tell me about when you reversed a decision when you realized it harmed colleagues outside your immediate working group.

While preparing for your interview, I recommend reading each one of the leadership principles, and reflect on your experience and come up with 3–5 good examples of where you showed (or failed to show) these behaviors.

Company-specific questions

  • Which Amazon leadership principle do you align with most?
  • Explain Amazon’s ownership principle. What does it emphasize?
  • How many Amazon leadership principles there are?

How to tell a fake leadership question from a real one?

If you want to spot fake questions easily, you should know the major themes of Amazon Leadership principles.

A real onsite Amazon interview question will never ask you hypothetical questions, brainteasers, and anything else different from behavioral questions. Real Amazon questions are behavioral questions.

All real Amazon interview questions look like this: “Tell me about a time when you {desired action}.”

How to answer Amazon interview questions?

In your answers, Amazon wants you to demonstrate deep understanding and clear thought, using the STAR method.

  • Situation: Describe the situation.
  • Task: Describe the task.
  • Action: Describe the action(s) you took to handle the task.
  • Results: Share the results achieved.

Your answers should be concise, clear, and to the point.

Through behavioral questions, the interviewer wants you to show them your past behavior, which will be an indication of future job success. Behavioral situations and answers can be very complex and may waste a lot of the interviewer’s time. The point is, you to give a lot of useful information in a short amount of time. The STAR method does exactly that. Your interviewer will learn a lot of information about you without wasting the interviewer’s time.

Questions to ask interviewers

At the end of the interview, don’t forget to ask your interviewer some company-specific questions. Below are the samples:

  • What does a typical day in this role look like?
  • What are the primary responsibilities of this position?
  • How do you measure the success of the person in the position?
  • What qualities does Amazon require to succeed in the company?
  • What sets a good worker apart from a great worker?
  • Where do you see Amazon in five-ten years?

You should always have at least a couple of questions prepared for your interviewer. An interview isn’t just a time to pitch yourself to the company. The job has a significant impact on your life. You’ll be spending 40 hours a week in the company. So you’ll want to choose your workplace wisely.

An interview is a platform where both prospective employers and employees evaluate each other. Ask questions without fear of judging you for what you want to know.

Interview preparation is more than understanding the technical subjects. In fact these are two different things. Interview preparation rather means enhancing your answering skills. It is crucial to maintain good communication throughout the interview. To understand the question well and then answer. It does matter how much and what you speak in the interview.

Are you sure you know how to answer all these questions? If not, but you want to learn it all I would recommend you to visit our platform Interviewhelp.io and let us help you. Our coaches know how to impress the company you have chosen.

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I hope this article helps. Good luck with your next interview!

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