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Amazon vs Google, which one has the harder interview process for Software Development Manager

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Amazon vs Google, which one has the harder interview process for Software Development Manager

Amazon SDM interview process

The Amazon software development manager interview process usually takes 2-4 weeks to complete. But in some cases, it can take 7+ weeks. This process follows the below steps:

  • Cover letter, resume
  • Recruiter call
  • Initial interview
  • Onsite interviews (including five interviews)

You will be interviewing for 45 minutes each interview (1–3 questions each) and have 5–7 interviewers.

In the software development interviews at Amazon, they will ask you general questions about your past experiences, team size, and challenges. Also, you will be asked about your past failures, how you handle them, and what you learned from them.

You should understand:

  • the 14 leadership principles
  • metrics, KPIs, and slas and how each relates to the other
  • How the AWS ecosystem (infrastructure) is put together and have some strong examples on how to architect out particular solutions
  • And have a deep dive into a certain discipline or system (code, backend, networking) and how to best bring solutions that solve a customer’s problem.

Amazon does not require you to code, however, you may be presented with an algorithm and asked to find any bugs in it. So, you may not be able to code, but can understand and provide guidance to developers when required.

Google SDM interview process

The Google software development interview process takes more than eight weeks. This process follows below steps:

  • Resume, cover letter
  • Online assessment ( new graduates and interns only) - 90 minutes in total
  • Technical phone screen: 1-2 interviews (30-60 minutes each)
  • Onsite interviews: 4-6 interviews (45 minutes each), includes Coding interviews, System design interviews, Leadership interviews (management positions only).

Google’s software development interview questions are generally more unique than those you’ll face at Amazon and at other big tech companies. You will be asked system design questions, behavioral questions, and coding & algorithm questions.

In the first section of the form, the interviewer fills in the questions they asked you. Then these questions are then shared with your future interviewers so you don’t get asked the same questions twice.

Google requires you to code and requires you to have strong problem-solving skills.

For coding interviews, you must understand the subcategories Graphs / Trees, Arrays / Strings, Dynamic programming, Recursion, Geometry / Maths.

Show that you think in a structured way and write code that’s accurate, bug-free, and fast.

Google software development manager interview process is harder than Amazon’s SDM interview process

Based on the answers from the candidates interviewed at those companies, Google SDM interview process is harder. Here’s why:

  • Google has unique questions

This makes the Google interview harder because you’re expected to solve a question of moderate to a high difficulty that you’ve never seen before. At Google, you’ll also be facing a time limit and the pressure of having an interviewer beside you, who’s expecting you to explain how you’re going to solve the problem in the most efficient way possible.

  • Has higher difficulty

Algorithmic difficulty also is higher with Google, although that can differ per question. So you might get questions of the same level at Amazon, but Google’s level will be higher if you average them out. This is purely anecdotal though, so take it with a grain of salt.

  • Google requires coding, but not only coding,

Google requires you to code, but also Google places high importance on non-technical skills like communication and leadership skills. They even have their own word for the behavioral quirks that they like to see in interview candidates - Googliness - and they don’t take it lightly.

Since many programmers don’t prepare for the soft skills aspect of the interview at all, thinking that the only thing they need to perform well is great coding skills, Google’s focus on the soft skills can trip up a lot of SWEs.

Update: 2021-10-19