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From the Archive: Amazon Interview Experiences

Posted in Work

Just like I did a few weeks back with my Google interview experiences, I figured I should rescue my Amazon interview post, as I see in my search referrals that a lot (relative to my normal traffic) of people come here for information about Amazon interviews. Here’s the original post from 3/25/08, completely unedited:

Better late then never, here’s some notes on my Amazon interview that I had last Thursday. First of all, the one question even the most technically-oriented company asked: why do you want to work here? After interviewing with Google, I started to get a clearer idea of what I want: I want to be challenged. Luckily, a lot of cool companies seem to want to challenge me. After this we got into some coding questions. I had thought I would be asked to work in an OO language, so i was ready to pull out some Java, but I was offered C, so I took it. The first question had to do with finding primes, I had a reasonably fast answer, with a good design, which kept being improved as I worked. By the end of the question, I had a pretty solid answer. After that we moved to a Binary Tree question. First I had to design the Binary Tree typedefs, then write an algorithm using them. The algorithm was very straightforward, the biggest problem was setting it up to work with the function signature I was given. I ended up with a division by zero error, which I caught with a little prodding. Amazon turned out to be quite nice, I got immediate feedback on how I did. Turns out the guy I was interviewing with was my potential boss, and he was happy with my work, so I have another interview scheduled later this week. At some point I’ll put together a summary/guide on what to expect in interviews with some of the big companies (and some smaller ones too). I’ve applied to Apple and I’m still hoping to hear back from them, so maybe I can throw in some information on them too.

It looks like I never posted about my Microsoft interviews, which is funny considering that I now work there. Maybe I’ll get around to that sometime soon.

Sage LaTorra is a game designer and engineering manager at Google. You may know him from Dungeon World.

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From the Archive: Interview Experiences