My Interview Experience: Amazon SDE 2

My Background:

B.Tech (CSE) :- 2014–2018 (Tier 3 college)

Years of experience:- 3 years as a backend developer

Previous organization:- ThoughtWorks

How I applied?

I got referred by an existing employee and got approached by a recruiter as well.

To get the referral you ideally want to follow the etiquettes of asking for a referral, some of which I have mentioned on my Linkedin as well at https://www.linkedin.com/posts/aayush-makkad-551095127_i-am-very-generous-with-providing-referral-activity-6820592882353811456-k4O9

What was the process like?

I got a mail from Amazon that an employee has referred you and that I need to create an application on the careers portal for the same.

Post that, I got a call from a recruiter letting me know about the shortlisting of my profile and that they’d like for me to go through an initial screening test and that I can do it over the weekend as well.

I won’t be sharing the exact questions that were asked since I have signed an NDA.

The initial screening had two LC easy-medium questions and since I had already solved around 530 questions on Leetcode I completed the test in 25 minutes.

Within the next two days, I was notified that I have cleared the test and have been shortlisted for the Onsite interviews.

I was provided with around 2 weeks to prepare for the next 3 rounds of interviews to be held on the same day. First-round was HLD and the next two rounds were DSA/PS.

For those 2 weeks, I solved Amazon-specific questions only on Leetcode.

On the day of the interviews, I was super nervous since Amazon has always been my dream company and I was trying to get into Amazon for over a year.

First Round

The first interview was an HLD round with an SDE3, and this being my first HLD interview ever I was super nervous but the interviewer was very supportive and made sure that I am calm and not anxious.

We had a long and super interesting discussion about the work that I do and leadership principles post which we dug into the HLD question.

The round lasted around an hour, post which I had 30 minutes break before I had to jump into the second interview.

Second Round

The second interview was a Data Structure & Algorithms/Problem Solving round, the interviewer was an SDE2 at Amazon.

The first question that I was asked was a Heap problem and since I had already solved a variation of that problem I quickly provided the optimal solution.

The second question that I was provided with was a question that I had never seen before, it took a little while to come up with the most optimal solution but with HashMap + Stack/Queue I provided an O(n) solution to the problem.

Post this we had a discussion about Leadership principles which stretched for a little longer so the next round’s interviewer was already waiting on the same call as I had the last two rounds back to back.

Third Round

The third interview was also a Data Structure & Algorithms/Problem Solving round, the interviewer was an SDE2 at Amazon.

The interviewer was understanding of the fact that I have been giving interviews for some time now and I might need some break now so he provided me with a 10-minute break which was very supportive of him.

Post the break, I was provided with a Graph problem to solve which I had already solved before so I quickly provided a BFS (my favorite algorithm) solution for the same.

I was fairly relaxed and confident by this time and the interviewer and I had a casual discussion about the fact that I had already seen the problem and that BFS is something I can solve with my eyes closed as well. 😂

Post this I was given a problem that I had seen before but had never solved so it took me some time to get to the optimal solution for the same, initially, I provided an O(N log N) approach which was further improved by a greedy O(n) solution to the problem.

Post the solution we discussed Leadership principles and casually chatted about the questions asked. This was my best round.

Post the three onsite interviews I was called by the recruiter that I will have an LLD round as my last round (probably the bar raiser but can’t be too sure) and that I have a couple of days to prepare for it.

I started working on my OOD skills for 10 hours a day which is a lot!

LLD round

The last interview was with a Principal SDE at Amazon with over 2 decades of experience.

This was the most challenging round, I not only had to clear out & provide the expectations, entities, actors, relationships, and method contracts but also had to code complete production-ready method bodies for certain methods.

Post the problem I was asked about Leadership principles, interviewer and I had a very long and interesting (probably the most interesting) conversation regarding them.

In my opinion, this round didn’t go as well as my other rounds.

After a couple of days, I received a call from the recruiter regarding the offer rollout!!