Amazon’s recruiting process usually begins with one or two phone screens in which you interview with a specific team. The engineer who interviews you will usually ask you to write simple code and read it aloud on the phone. They will ask a broad set of questions to explore what areas of technology you’re familiar with. Next, you fly to Seattle for four or five interviews with one or two teams which have selected you based on your resume and phone interviews. You will have to code on a whiteboard, and some interviewers will stress other skills. Interviewers are each assigned a specific area to probe and may seem very different from each other. They can not see other feedback until they have submitted their own and they are discouraged from discussing it until the hiring meeting. Amazon’s “bar raiser” interviewer is charged with keeping the interview bar high. They attend special training and will interview candidates outside their group in order to balance out the group itself. If one interview seems significantly harder and different, that’s most likely the bar raiser. This person has both significant experience with interviews and veto power in the hiring decision. You will meet with your recruiter at the end of the day. Once your interviewers have entered their feedback, they will meet to discuss it. They will be the people making the hiring decision. While Amazon’s recruiters are excellent at following up with candidates, occasionally there are delays. If you haven’t heard from Amazon within a week, we recommend a friendly email
Amazon is a web-based company, and that means they care about scale. Make sure you prepare for questions in “Large Scale.” You don’t need a background in distributed systems to answer these questions. See our recommendations in the System Design and Memory Limits Chapter.
Additionally, Amazon tends to ask a lot of questions about object oriented design. Check out the Object Oriented Design chapter for sample questions and suggestions.
What’s Unique: The Bar Raiser, who is brought in from a different team to keep the bar high.