Amazon Virtual Coding Interview Preparations

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Due to COVID-19 Amazon and other FAANG companies have been practicing responsible interview processes. Technical interviews are now virtual, the good old whiteboard has been replaced with tools such as Google Docs, Livecode, Amazon Chime, and Google Meets.

Obviously, this leads to many questions such as;

What happens If one experiences a bad internet connection? is there any need for special equipment? What if your location is not “quiet enough”?

In this article, I will address the questions above and others that have been missed.

Preparations

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source: Trust “True” Katsande via unsplash.com

How does one even begin to prepare for the dreaded technical interviews!

The following might be helpful:

Mindset Plays A Big Role!

Treat the interview as a way to discover your superpowers. These challenges are designed in such a way as to test your communication, coding, and problem-solving skills.

Do you write human-readable code, are you a team player, how do you cope under pressure, how do you approach problems. These are all the superpowers I discovered during my interview and that I have what it takes to become an Amazonian!

Phone Screening Interview

This takes an hour and will be conducted over Amazon Chime, you will be using LiveCode for your challenges. Just have a laptop with a built-in microphone or use headsets.

You can postpone your interview if you are not ready, the interviewers and the companies are very compassionate and understanding.

Look for a quiet place with a good to an average internet connection, as you want the screening process to run smoothly.

The phone interview is mostly about you, why you chose Amazon, coding exercise and you will get the chance to ask a few questions about the company, culture, etc.

The Onsite Virtual Interview

Traditionally candidates had to be flown in, for the onsite/whiteboard interview.

These days the ‘Onsite’ will be similar to phone interviews and candidates can even divide it into 5 days, to reduce pressure on themselves.

The onsite interview is very intensive as it includes behavioral, system, and more coding challenges.

Algorithmic Coding Challenges

Computer Science fundamentals will be tested such as Data Structures and Algorithms.

You must know Strings and Arrays, Linked Lists, Stacks and Queues, Trees and Graphs, Sort Algorithms, Big O Notation, Object Orientated Programming.

Amazon Principle Interview

This is based on the 14 leadership principles that drive Amazon, they include;

  • Customer Obsession
  • Ownership
  • Invent And Simplify
  • Are Right, A Lot
  • Learn and Be Curious
  • Hire and Develop The Best
  • Insist On The Highest Standards
  • Think Big
  • Bias For Action
  • Frugality
  • Earn Trust
  • Dive Deep
  • Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
  • Deliver Results

These are very important when interviewing at Amazon, you must know them and merge them into your work experience.

System Design Interview

These test your knowledge on system architecture such as tiny Url systems, Search engines, Web Crawlers, Scalability, Shared Drive, Garbage Collection System, a recommendation system, and so on.

This video produced by Amazon Web Services might also be of help; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5M3ttm9c8Y

Last Words

No one wants to get the rejection call, it's discouraging to any software engineer and you might start to doubt yourself. The trick is learning from your mistakes and trying again, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, become that master developer they are looking for.


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The Maths Geek 🤓

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