Everyone knows that Amazon is a global leader in the online retail business. However, this is also supplemented by the tech innovations that Amazon has done to achieve massive scale and high performance that customers have come to love and expect. Amazon understands that if it has to continue to disrupt the technology world, it has to keep investing in hiring the best engineers, which is also one of its core leadership principles. And while we do that, we are also very particular about providing a good candidate-experience during the entire interview process.
Once shortlisted for SDE roles, the recruitment team ensures that candidates are provided all the assistance that is needed in order that their experience is not just pleasant, but also to ensure that they are setup for success in the interview. They are made aware of the interview expectations and they have more specific questions about the role which the recruiter is not able to answer, a call with the hiring manager is arranged as well.
“Interviewers strive to setup the candidate for success during the interview and help create an environment for the same. ”
The on-site interviews are optimized for the candidate to meet multiple Amazonians across relevant functions and teams. The Hiring Manager and other interviewers are experienced and have undergone a rigorous training about effective interviewing, and understand the importance of candidate experience. They make all the effort to make her feel comfortable so that the candidate doesn't feel rushed when solving technical problems such as designing or writing code.
The candidate is allowed to follow his/her path to the solution. Remember the onus is on the interviewer to let creativity flow and genuinely make an effort to understand the candidate’s thought process and challenge his/her approach. This creates a congenial and intellectual atmosphere where the interviewer is not trying to cut short a thought process, which can make the candidate more nervous. This way the meeting turns into a give-and-take discussion with a team member trying to work together to figure out a solution. For SDE roles a problem is calibrated (or selected) such that it can be meaningfully completed in 30 - 45 minutes. Interviewers always have these assessment goals in their mind:
1. Will the candidate be able to design independently, and write modular and working code if she joins the team?
2. Can the candidate discuss design, code and problems with the people she'll be working with?
3. Can the candidate reason about arbitrary problems and constraints?
Amazon encourages diversity of domain experience and backgrounds, as we understand how important different perspectives are to overall success. At the end of the day, even if the candidate doesn't get hired, we want her to go back with pleasant memories and come back with even greater conviction in the future.