Amazon Interview Experience SDE1

Drives were conducted at Pune, Gurugram, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Round 1: There was a mixed panel including some SDEs and HM. My first round was with the HM. It was a real-time scenario faced at Amazon. We had a discussion for about an hour which started with my resume and past experience and quickly moved onto the problem. The discussion was apparently to see how you respond to some issues that might arise and if you are quickly able to decide the trade-off for handling that situation and how correct can you be. The discussion had less technical part, more on problem-solving skills. So, for this round, just keep your cool and try to go into the problem as the interviewer describes and don’t hurry on the interviewer, take genuine time and ask for hints. Such rounds are more discussions than interviews.

Round 2: 2 SDEs were there to conduct this round for me. This was more of a Data Structures and Algorithms round.

Q1. Find the kth largest element in an array. — simple priority_queue(heap) qustion.

Q2. Find the middle of a linked list.

Q3. I do not exactly remember the question, but i solved it using the algorithm for sum of k-max elements in an array, adding if the element is larger and subtracting if the element is smaller. It wasn’t exactly that question but a good variation of that.

The interviewers were asking about different solutions, edge cases, optimisations in all of these questions, but they were simple questions.

Round 3: In this round I was interviewed by a senior developer in the team. We had a short chat about my work experience and hobbies, then we jumped straight into questions.

Q1. You have to find cost for setting up electricity connection in a city where setting up electricity costs 1 unit and if the house is connected to any other house which already has an electricity connection, then there is no cost for that. The network of houses is given as a grid of 1s and 0s, where 1 represents a house and 0 represents no house and you can set up connections in all eight directions.

Can be solved simply using DFS. The interviewer was very specific about the working on all edge cases and also the code written.


2nd question was where the interviewer only wanted to see my approach and no code. In all other rounds and questions based DS, Algo I had to write code on a paper. There were some variations from this article, but reading this will give you good understanding of the core concept he was looking for.

Round 4: After round 2, elimination had started. And during the drive only 3 rounds were conducted and people shortlisted after all 3 rounds were then contacted for the final round which was through video conferencing. I was lucky enough to get shortlisted.

The interviewer was right on time and we started off with a little discussion about the hiring team and their work. Then we moved onto my introduction and work-ex. After that I was asked a question on Boggle-Solver with direction option limited to up, down, right and left. I did it using trie and submitted the code.

Happy to share that after 2 weeks I got my offer.

Amazon interviews are more about keeping your head still and using your knowledge to understand the problem and return the solution. Also, don’t think too hard about the interviewer and include him in the questions and hints required(genuine). They are here to help you get hired and not torture you. Just stick to your basic fundamentals that you have learned. And GeeksforGeeks is a great source of knowledge so use it to the fullest and never give up :P.

All the best!!!

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