Contrary to popular belief, joining product based companies such as Amazon or any of the big four corporations does not always require a degree from a Tier 1 or Tier 2 college, even though it is much appreciated and useful.
A great degree from a reputable institute is always preferred; however, one can always apply for off-campus placements or walk-in interviews to gain exposure in a reputable company like Amazon. Here is where other factors in an individual’s resume or skill set come in handy – one needs to be exceptionally well-versed in programming and computing with a strong academic background in order to be eligible for sitting in Amazon’s interview rooms.
Let us learn more about the process of applying for a job as a software engineer in Amazon directly and how to crack its interviews.
How to Find Off-campus Placement Drives or Opportunities?
Freshers can always apply for jobs directly through Amazon’s career portal, which is highly recommended even if one is considering applying through other platforms. There are many ways to land a job at Amazon, this can be done by closely looking out for openings and requirements in job-seeking platforms such as Naukri, Monster or Indeed.
One can also look out for Amazon’s requirements for software developers through LinkedIn by following Amazon’s closely and contacting HR executives who are hiring for the company. Another action, one can take additionally is that if he or she knows any Amazon employee, even at an associate or executive level, then he/she can always refer others if there is a job opening or to HR to contact the prospect. There are a few other things you can do to increase your range of opportunities to join this MNC.
- The importance of internships cannot be stressed enough. There is nothing like it if one can land an internship during college in Amazon or before applying for a job at Amazon; however, internships at other respected companies can also help in landing interviews.
- Contacting respectable consultancies and staying updated about off-campus placement drives.
- Follow Amazon’s social and job presences to find out about their requirements. Be active and keep a track of the job openings.
- Apply for CS, programming, networking or Data Science certifications.
Process of Applying for Amazon as a Software Engineer
So the process of applying to Amazon is quite simple. With the COVID-19 situation, there will be no more offline placement drives, so one has to rely on Amazon’s job portal and its LinkedIn, Naukri or Indeed representatives.
Regardless of the method, like in most MNCs, the candidate must create a profile and fill up the application form for the job role of his or her choice. After the profile has been created and the candidate has applied for the position, he/she is reviewed and accordingly called for an interview. Here are the next few steps in the process of joining as a software developer.
First Step – Online Assessments
There are the first two online assessments which prospects must clear in order to move on to the interview rounds. The first test checks the candidate’s logical and technical abilities while the second test covers programming. Here are the two tests:
1. Technical, Aptitude and Logical
Syllabus: Data Science Topics, Aptitude Tests, DBMS, Operating Systems, Computing Fundamentals, Data Structures, Logical and Reasoning Ability Tests
Syllabus: Data Structures, Coding Languages, Algorithms and Models
Second Step – Interview Rounds
The candidate must then go through multiple interview rounds which will be over telephone and video conferences. In this step, the HR executives and senior members will analyse the candidate and check if he or she is a good fit for the company and the job profile. This will involve checking the psychology, ethics and communication abilities of the candidate.
Third Step – Technical Rounds
After the initial interviews, the selected candidate will be required to clear the technical interview rounds which will involve two back to back interviews on matrices, OS environments, recursion, data structures, data mining, algorithms etc. The second interview is tougher than the first and involves debugging, advanced optimisation, coding etc.
Fourth Step – HR Manager Round
There will be another technical round which will involve solving advanced programming problems and puzzles. In this round, the HR manager checks the candidate to analyse if he or she is capable and asks questions on the projects, previous internships or codes built by the candidate.
This is the toughest round in the entire recruitment process and requires the most extensive use of coding and analytical skills.
Fifth Step – Bar-raiser Round
The interviews do not end with the HR Manager round and finish at a bar-raiser round conducted by a very senior recruiter or HR head who finalises the hiring decision before reviewing. The bar-raiser calibrates the interview process by comparing the current interviewee with the others and by maintaining certain benchmarks which must be adhered to.
This round is there to ensure that Amazon keeps raising the bar when searching for better-performing employees.
Sixth Step – Review Process
This is the final step in the recruitment process and is a back-end process that takes a few days. A group of senior recruiters and HR managers filters the best candidates out of all the ones that have cleared all the rounds and then the committee decides on the final selected candidates after analysing the candidates’ profile, resume and performance during the rounds.
Amazon expects its prospects to qualify in certain regards; these can range from academics to substantial projects. Here are a few important factors that Amazon looks out for:
- Strong academic background with good scores in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Valid BTech or MTech degree focused upon IT, CS or EC with 75% and above marks
- Substantial programming and Data Science experience and skills
- Candidates must have completed projects, work samples and programs that they can produce for reviewing
- Excellent analytical and reasoning skills with problem-solving abilities
- The candidate must have great business communication skills and be fluent in English
- Must be an Indian citizen
If candidates fulfil these criteria, then they can definitely apply for Amazon and other product based companies.
How to Prepare for the Technical Assessments?
To prepare for technical assessments and interviews, candidates must be ready with their language of choice (Python, Java or C++) and be ready to build programs without bugs and glitches. The codes must work well and without any errors. Candidates must practice translating solutions into codes through programming. They are credited for clean, compact, elegant, and bug-less constructs or codes.
Prospects must also take care to not use too many static variables while keeping clean refactoring in focus. One must aim to write flawless codes (without flawed logic or errors). Candidates must focus on their problem-solving abilities and harness them. Especially in CS or IT related roles in both service and product based companies, candidates are expected to solve analytical problems using CS and programming.
Preparing Data Science topics with special attention to data structures and algorithms is highly recommended as questions related to these topics are always asked. Candidates must be prepared to choose the most optimal or fitting algorithms and approach in accordance with the context or given problem, also being able to identify, articulate and act on the problem at hand.
Candidates must be good at debugging, discovering bugs and improving the performance of solutions as well. Here are a few examples of the problems that will be given to candidates.
- Printing all the possible permutations given strings
- Finding the minimum origin to destination cost paths
- Arranging a set of numbers for forming the biggest number
- Find the maximum depth of Binary Search Tree
- Counting of set bits in integers
- Stock span problems
- Counting the total number of methods for reaching the Nth stair
- Boolean parenthesization
- Checking balanced parentheses
- Contiguous subarray of the largest sum
In order to fulfil these requirements, candidates are advised to test their coding skills and execute algorithms or solutions in development environments. One must refer to the best books on algorithms, data science and programming to acquire the necessary skills.
Budding developers should also analyse their program or code’s complexity and figure out ways to make it more compact and elegant while optimising it for speed and errorless execution. Studying Operating Systems, the fundamentals of CS and foundations of networking can also help candidates immensely.
How to Crack the Interviews?
Leaving aside the technical interviews, the other interviews are fundamentally focused upon testing the personalities and quality of candidates. HR executives and managers are tasked with evaluating the candidates’ confidence, capabilities and knowledge.
The interviews are technical or general in nature covering different aspects of recruiting standards. One must take care to learn about Amazon and its services well. Amazon is one of the top product based companies, and interviewees must be aware of how Amazon conducts its business and operations.
Interviewees are also expected to research the job roles and the important values of Amazon. Amazon is a huge company and has certain benchmarks. Candidates must make sure to pass on an image that adheres to these standards and requirements.
Here are a few basic questions that candidates will definitely face in these many interview rounds.
- Why do you want to join Amazon?
- What do you know about Amazon?
- Tell us about yourself.
- What is your weakness or what are your shortcomings? How can you ensure that you will overcome them or it will not hamper your performance?
- What do you think about the job role?
- How can you contribute to Amazon?
- Is experience more important or a range of tools?
- What makes you different from the other candidates?
- Is taking risks important? When should we take risks?
- What is your salary expectation?
- What is your strongest skill?
- What are your best traits?
- Why should we hire you?
- What do you expect from this job?
- How is Amazon different from other companies?
- What are your career expectations?
- What do you expect from Amazon and the Amazon family?
When taking technical rounds, candidates will be checked to see if they are capable. During these interview rounds, candidates will be analysed, their confidence and attitudes will be evaluated, and accordingly, they will be scored. HR managers will also evaluate projects, past work and then ask questions on these, asking the interviewees for comments and explanations.
Candidates will also be asked about their academics, childhood, experiences and internships (if available). The personality and habits of the candidates are especially stressed during these rounds as well as their skills being rigorously tested again and again.
Candidates should prepare themselves by practising technical questions, mock interviews and spoken English as well. Interviewees are expected to have good communication skills, so interested candidates should brush up on their English and grammar as well.
Candidates should also practise being articulate and impactful by going through many mock interviews and questions. As for the bar-raiser round, candidates are simply advised to be confident and ensure they promote their image of a capable, loyal and humble future employee.
While the interviewee does not need to prepare any topic for this final round, preparing for this interview by watching interviews and reading up on generic bar-raiser rounds of product based companies should do the trick.
How to Build a Strong Resume?
A strong resume matters when it comes to getting selected by a company like Amazon. Even though the college where you studied will not matter that much in off-campus placement opportunities, a good C.V. and an exceptional academic record can definitely help. Here are a few tips for building a strong resume –
- Maintaining a good academic track record with great marks in CS, Mathematics and other related subjects
- A well maintained and active GitHub profile with many collaborations or sample work
- Reputable internships in related fields and roles. Internships prepare candidates for the future as well as validate the capabilities of interviewees to companies
- A good number of projects or a single well-orchestrated project. Sample work, projects and programs are highly appreciated and acknowledged
- Being involved in IT, programming, networking or CS-related events and expos is a plus. Being involved in extracurricular activities related to these fields gives off the impression that the candidates are truly interested in this field, thus promoting them as good future employees
- Going through extra programming, networking, CS or Data Science certifications and taking up courses from reputable institutions or organisations
Frequently Asked Questions
One must brush up on his/her CS and programming skills, while also focusing on his/her communication skills. One must be presentable, confident, humble and have the required skill sets to be able to crack the interviews and assessments for joining these companies.
Product based companies are companies that make products that might not be related to IT or Sofware but need IT departments to sustain and maintain their services or products and operate. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Paypal, Oracle, SAP and Salesforce are the best and the biggest Product based companies out there.
One must be aware of the job openings and accordingly keep applying for the desired job roles or positions. If called upon, one must then crack the interviews and clear the assessments provided before the main interviews.
Yes, Amazon is a product based company. It has its own IT services as well as fully-functional IT departments to support its other services and products.
Yes, Deloitte is a service-based company as it is not really known for its own products. It is popular for the Audit & Assurance, Risk & financial advisory, IT Consulting Services, Tax and other financial or business-related services it offers to other companies. Even though Deloitte has tried before, it could not manage to sustain itself by getting involved with different types of consumer and industrial products.
Similar to Amazon, Google is a product based company as it has its own products to sell. Google is centrally focused upon IT, computing and networking, and those are its core products, thus instilling Google as a product based company. However, Google provides services to other companies as well, being service-based as well in some regards.
One can apply for off-campus interviews by visiting Amazon’s or any other company’s career or job portal. Candidates can create a profile and fill up the online applications to then be called for the interviews.
Candidates should try being involved with as many projects and internships as possible. A good academic track record is also necessary; however, for roles such as an SDE in Amazon, special importance must be given to finish as many relevant internships and projects as possible. Projects which involve real-world challenges or problems are especially great for resumes.
Yes, absolutely. Any graduate with a valid BTech or MTech degree can apply. Even though the reputation of the college does not matter, the college must be UGC approved and the degree must be NAAC or AICTE accredited.
Amazon is a great place to work with amazing work environments and supportive ambiences. Amazon believes in fast-paced learning and growth for its employees, thus creating more reasons for candidates to apply to the company.
Thus, in order to stand out among the rest, one needs to brush up his/her skills and make himself/herself more presentable than the rest. Amazon is the biggest web-based retailer in the world, providing a range of products and services; it is also one of the biggest companies ever, only getting more massive every year. Applying to Amazon is highly recommended, regardless of the Tier your university or college belongs to.
One must simply take care to handle the different stages of the recruitment process confidently and revise the foundations of programming and Computer Science. Even though Amazon hires thousands of applicants every year, there are thousands more applying; one must take care to be aware of the job openings, apply to the job postings at the right time and give his/her everything during the interviews to gain exposure in one of the biggest product based companies in the world.