Amazon Interview, Round 2 of ???
March 9, 2007
Phone interviews are something. They’re essentially quizzes of the entire breadth of your knowledge of the position for which you’re applying. In this case, I’m applying for a Software Development co-op at Amazon.com. This was my second interview of.. I don’t know how many are possible. Either way, this interview went fairly well, and I’ll put some of the questions asked below.
For anyone applying to a co-op at Amazon (or to any CS type job), take a look at this blog article.
The above link takes you to a page of Steve Yegge’s blog (Special thanks go to Noah Richards for the recommendation of that blog. Go check out Noah’s blog at noahsmark.com ). Yegge was (and may still be) and employee of Amazon.com, and that page gives a good breadth of questions that you may be asked for an interview. One of the questions in my last interview was taken directly off that site (the contact/grep question). It’s a good read, and is really helpful for preparation.
Now, for my interview.
Started off with a question about projects I’ve done. Just an open-ended question. Be familiar with a project you’ve done. No big deal.
My second question was a logical thinking question. I’m not going to get into what it was (if you want to know, just say it in a comment and I’ll explain it), but if anything, make sure of the limitations they put on the question. I spent most of time of the question with a false assumption, which I was able to recover from, but still, ask a lot of questions. It can’t hurt.
I then had two simple coding-type questions, one with working with a string and the other with shuffling a deck of cards. Again, no real deal.
The final questions I had dealt with Object-Oriented programming concepts. I was actually able to pick one topic to explain (I chose polymorphism) and the other the other I was given to explain (Virtual and Pure Virtual methods, as well as Virtual destructors).
This interview, unlike the last one, did not have an involved coding question where I was to submit code. The code questions I was asked covered this. I don’t know which is preferable; I find it a little hard to code over the phone (I tend to start writing code and then realize I need a variable which I didn’t declare, which is easy to fix in an editor, but can be confusing over the phone).
It seems that the phone interviews have a time limit. This time limit seems to be, for Amazon, about 45 minutes long.
Now I get to see where it goes from here. They’ll eventually contact me regardless of what they decide. Which is nice; waiting for something that’s not going to come isn’t fun. Hopefully, I impressed the interviewer enough to get me to the next round, so I can make a new article, called “Amazon Interview, Round 3 of ???”
Maybe this is just me, but I wasn’t aware of the multiple-interview format. This is probably how any large company screens it’s prospects. I’ll just have to get used to it.