Getting a job definitely is not easy, more so if it is at Amazon.
The whole process is made more complicated with a series of tests or interviews with the company. This is required to analyze if the applicant/candidate is a good fit for the job profile.
For this reason, a person has to be well prepared for the interviews. Some jobs, like at Amazon also include telephonic interviews as part of their screening process.
This article here discusses some points on how to prepare for Amazon phone interview.
1. Interview at Amazon:
The applicants who applied at Amazon gets a call for phone interview following the completion of tests and other required processes.
Amazon also sends out an email that would describe the entire procedure and what to focus on, while at the interview. This helps the candidate to prepare for it.
It is said that the procedure at Amazon includes telephonic interviews prior to the face to face interview.
On the whole, the first interview would be short and friendly. It would include biographical questions. The second interview, in the meantime could have more technical or competency based questions.
2. Why Phone Interview?
Many companies opt for telephonic interviews as the initial screening process. One positive thing about the telephonic interview is that, it is brief and saves time.
It is also definitely a good screening alternative if the candidate happens to be from another state or country.
3. Prepare for Interview:
- For any interview, what the candidate needs to do is sleep tight for the night. This helps one to be ready and prepared for the interview. One can also go on to tackle the questions with a fresh mind, the next after proper rest. Prior to the interview, make sure the candidate is well prepared with the questions that is expected to be asked.
- Make sure to have the resume and one’s profile in front at the time of the interview, so that the candidate would know how to answer the questions well. One can also look up in case there is need to mention any important milestone, as mentioned in the resume.
- Body language is also important, even if for a telephonic interview. The confidence and attitude one feels can be reflected in the voice and answers that one gives over the phone. How one projects oneself for the telephonic interview definitely counts.
- Some say, that it does good to dress well for telephonic interview, same as you would for the face to face interviews. This helps to instill the confidence in the candidate and also to approach the questions in the professional and serious manner. It is also important to make sure that one is comfortable in the dress they have worn for the interview.
- Inform the family or roommates about the expected time of the interview, so that no one would disturb the candidate amidst the interview. It is also important to inform friends and family not to call one, at that time. Use a headset, so that hands remain free, through the interview. The candidate can also make use of the hands to do the needful at the interview.
- Make sure to keep the paper and pen handy for the interview, in case there is a need for it. This definitely would come in needful for technical interviews. Prepare for the interview well ahead of time .
- Stressing too much on the interview, would cause confusion. It would also make it difficult for the candidate to give proper answers. Keep cue cards ready on one’s table. The cards should contain power statements or some key points, important information as well as success stories that one wishes to share.
- There is no foolproof method to prepare or study for the interview. But, it pays to get ready for some things at least, ahead of time. One can read up on some of the expected questions. One could also look up questions from certain books such as ‘cracking the code interview’. A person could as well read up on the company and learn about the team, that one is expected to join. All these points would be helpful in the interview.
4. Questions asked at Amazon Phone Interview:
- Be it in a face to face interview or telephonic interview, one common question one can expect to be asked is “Why Amazon?” Or “Why is one keen to join the particular company?”. The candidate will have to be prepared enough to give a straight and honest answer. It should be more specific rather than a generalized opinion. Make sure to learn about the rating of the company in the Forbes or other magazines. A candidate can also state that as a reason for opting Amazon.
- Then, like in any other interview one should go on to learn enough about one’s past work experiences and points mentioned in the resume, so that they can give proper explanation, when the interviewer asks questions. Read up thoroughly about past projects and especially of one’s contribution towards it. Talking about achievements and success stories when called for, definitely helps.
- After that, the interviewer could go on to ask questions with regard to Java or other such technical questions. One example of question asked is to tell apart the terms Final, Finally or Finalize or maybe to discriminate equals from == and so on. The candidate may also be asked to specify if one has more knowledge of Java or the c# language.
- Some common questions asked for Amazon interviews are given here. The candidate would have to know how to explain the 4 basics of OOP. One should also know how to define data abstraction and its importance.
- One should expect to be asked basic questions about software development. One might also have to put in plain words the intricacy of the algorithm. In other words, the candidate can for sure expect questions on algorithm and coding.
- It would also be better if one could learn how to prepare an Object Oriented model design for elevator, parking lots or movie theatres. Most interviews for Amazon, asks the candidate to be ready with an OO design for the deck of cards or parking lots, with emphasis on the classes and the functions parking lot. The candidate, while designing the lot, would also have to take into consideration the various types of parking facilities offered.
- Another time, a candidate was asked to explain about polymorphism, or even could be asked to find about ten of the top selling products. One can base the answer, according to the number of sales of each of these products.
- The candidate was also asked if in an array of integers, every number comes in even times where as only one number appears odd times, what the answer would be? The candidate could be then asked to write a code with the answer, which is derived as a hash table
- One could also be asked questions about the data structure, so that one can use it to find out the phone numbers of the customer names. Second interview again is more of the same related topics. Most questions asked is believed to be based on cc, even though there definitely is chance for extensions.
- One thing that everyone would agree on is that the first two rounds of telephonic interviews are by and large highly technical. The candidate would have to explain the algorithms used to solve the problem. This algorithm, has a computational complexity at a higher level than that of coding. The candidate would also have to justify one’s mathematical knowledge with the answers they give to algebra questions.
5. Interview Tips:
- What one needs to understand is that the leadership principles form an important part of the recruitment as well as for job opportunities at Amazon. It would be better if the candidate could learn about the principles and see the sample answers that would go best with these principles. This is so that one can answer properly at the telephonic interview or the assessment, in case the questions asked are related to it.
- If asked any business related questions, the candidate should be prepared well enough and ready to answer it. Read up on and learn about Amazon and its competitor companies as well as about the retail industry, as a whole. This would help the candidate to tackle well the questions related to business.
- It also helps if the candidate is familiar with the website of Amazon. One should also have a comprehensive knowledge of the product categories, postage policies and other added services. Armed with this knowledge, a candidate would for sure perform well even when under duress.
Ace the Interview:
Thus, one can conclude that the telephonic interview normally lasting for an hour would include about three problems. The candidate could be asked to write code for the first two problems, one on arrays and second on trees, while for the third the candidate could be asked to solve a problem.
In fact, the number of questions asked more often than not depend on how fast it gets solved. In the meantime, the interviewer would help out in discussing the problem as well as the thought process of the candidate. If one is prepared well enough, then the candidate could easily ace the interview and land the job at Amazon.