As one of the world’s most innovative companies, Amazon is always looking for the next generation of builders to help us invent and use technology to improve experiences for our customers, employees, partners, and communities. To deliver on this promise, we rely heavily on our software development engineers (SDEs).

Prepare for Amazon’s interview questions, learn more about the process, and find out how we hire and develop the best.

Let’s dive deeper into the SDE interview at Amazon. We know preparing for the interview takes time, but it shouldn’t take guess work. We’ve compiled our best tips and resources for you to leverage throughout your experience.

Make sure you really understand the job description

Thorough interview preparation is key to showcasing your talent and the value that you will bring. First, we recommend you carefully review the job description and get prepared to demonstrate how your skills and experiences tie back to both the required and preferred qualifications for the role. Before you dig into the technical topics you may be asked about during your interview, connect with your recruiting point of contact to understand the subject and/or skills you’ll most likely be discussing and demonstrating so that you can tailor your preparation accordingly.

Prepare with existing resources

Our candidate-first approach to interviewing means we will do our best to set you up for success and provide tools and resources to help you throughout the process. Because of this, we have several guides available on to help candidates understand the process, prepare for phone and remote interviews, and learn about Amazon’s culture. Here are a few highlights tailored specifically for SDEs:

  • Discover possible interview topics: You can anticipate that during your interview you’ll cover common technical topics like programming language, data structures, algorithms, object-oriented design, and more. Interviewers will not be evaluating your ability to memorize all of the details for each of these topics but are looking for your ability to apply what you know to solve problems efficiently and effectively.
  • Practice with a realistic example: We understand nothing beats a tangible example to help you practice, so we have created a sample coding challenge that you can take online at no charge to you.
  • Hear from employees who have been where you are:  Team members from around the world answer seven of the most frequently asked questions from SDE candidates.
  • Immerse yourself in our candidate prep guide: We’ve created this guide to provide you a glimpse into the entire interview process, the types of questions to expect, and the technology and tools you may use during the interview.
An image of a woman wearing a yellow shirt seated in front of a laptop in an office setting.

Brush up on your coding skills 

We know you are an expert and probably consider most things second-nature at this point. However, during the interview process, you will be asked to write syntactically correct code. If you feel a bit rusty coding without an IDE or coding in a specific language, it’s a good idea to dust off the cobwebs and get comfortable coding with Livecode. The most important thing a SDE does at Amazon is write scalable, robust, and well-tested code. These are the main evaluation criteria. Also, check for edge cases and validate that no bad input can slip through.

Amazon’s newest skills development program helps engineers launch a technical career at Amazon via paid training.

Ask clarifying questions

Interviews are supposed to be a two-way door, and we encourage you to feel comfortable enough to take a pause and get the information you need. Many times candidates jump into the solution for coding or system design questions without taking a moment to ask clarifying questions. Taking a moment to follow up with questions allows you the opportunity to take a much-needed breather to settle your nerves, avoid misunderstandings, provide better and more thoughtful answers, and make a positive and lasting impression on your interview.

Know your ‘Why Amazon?’ answer

Don’t skip on the ‘Why Amazon’ question during interview prep. Candidates can spend so much time preparing for the technical part of the interview that they overlook the importance of knowing why they want to work at Amazon. We’re interested in you and want to understand why you're exploring a new opportunity to get a better sense of who you are and what motivates you.

LinkedIn recognizes Amazon as a top workplace in the U.S. across all industries and No. 1 in the tech sector, citing skills training and opportunities for growth as key differentiators.

Next, tell us about the kinds of problems you want to solve and products you want to work on. Opportunities at Amazon are endless and the possibility to work on the latest innovations is one of the major benefits of working here. As an engineer, you could have the opportunity to work on anything from the robotic systems and Prime Air drones to vehicle safety technology for drivers. We have a ton of different teams at Amazon working on very different kinds of engineering, and we want to know why you feel you’d be able to make an impact based on your professional experience and career interest.

Be yourself

Amazon’s culture of inclusion encourages us to seek candidates with varying skills, perspectives, and knowledge, who will allow us to innovate on behalf of our global customers and communities. While it’s important to be prepared, it’s also critical that you don’t come off too robotic in your responses. We want to see a glimpse into who you are, what excites you, how you think, and how you’re able to use your skills to make an impact.

Our goal is to facilitate a stress-free interview process and we hope these tips help you prepare for success in your upcoming interview with Amazon. We encourage you to visit our our site for additional interviewing tips, FAQs, and to read more on our blog on the career journeys of our current Amazon employees.

Next, learn four ways to improve your resume before applying for a job at Amazon.