I Failed an Amazon Software Engineer Interview Too

I’ve noticed that you can get a bunch of clicks on an article by discussing an experience with Amazon interview. So here I go typing about this as it was pretty standard process.

Reference: https://www.flickr.com/photos/topgold/8325104250

Recruiter Interview

Just a standard LinkedIn back and forth with a 20 minute call about what a sick developer I am.

Online Coding Assessment

Shit was hard as fuck, but I managed to solve the first problem and get half way done with the second? So a high F on the problem solving, but it got me to the final round of interviews somehow. I believe they were just looking for competency in problem solving rather than being a LeetCode guru on it.

Final Round Of Interviews

The final round of interviews consisted of 4 interviews that were about 1 hour each doing various technical and leadership type questions. Amazon is really big on the leadership type questions, but if you’ve worked at any firm for a couple of years I guarantee you have plenty of stories to fit all these questions.

So going through all those questions I did pretty bad on this stage overall. I felt that I got potentially 2/4 technical questions correct as I was super unprepared for the interview. The questions were fairly difficult, but nothing that can’t be found online and practiced regularly. I will say I was able to come up with a brute force implementation for one of them, but man I was really stumped on them.

Reference: https://www.flickr.com/photos/flamephoenix1991/8376271918

My Thoughts

I understood the result with how it went and the interviewers were helpful, but damn those problems were insane. I am shocked that people can get these down to a science and solve them because I was super lost as I haven’t used trees, graphs and etc. since school. Next time I’d like to prepare a lot more then I initially did, but it’s difficult while maintaining a full time job to read books and LeetCode grind. However one point I want to get across is that while the interview was insanely difficult and thing seem unfair at this, let’s be honest I just wasn’t good enough.

I do understand we could go on for a bit about how technical interviews don’t fit the job you end up doing. Even valid points about how medium size firms think they are the next Google and attempt do the same thing. However, at the end of the day I just didn’t answer the questions well enough and by that didn’t meet the requirements. I should of done better and could of prepared differently, which I will shoulder that responsibility instead of blaming a system that is faulty. I don’t believe it’s bad to view it both ways, just trying to blame “mickey mouse” problems and being upset about the process doesn’t encourage growth.

One final thing though and I encourage that companies do this more often, I would like to see feedback for any interview I have done. I don’t get why firms don’t do this, maybe it’s some massive conspiracy to not hire developers, but it’s total bullshit that it’s never shared. I think it would help interviewees grow and move on to the next firm. If you read this and disagree screw you and I will gladly argue about how wrong you are.

Thanks for the read!

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