How to Become a Software Engineer at Amazon

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If you’re a software developer or engineer looking for a lucrative career with an industry leader, you might have wondered how to get a job as a software engineer at Amazon.

Amazon leads the tech industry for a reason. The company has a reputation for offering great perks and rewarding creative thinking.

Amazon’s application process is very competitive and rigorous, but being well prepared can increase your chances of landing a great job as a coder or engineer. Breaking down the steps involved is the key to success.

Read on for our guide on the steps you can take to pursue an Amazon software engineering job.

0. Check your readiness.

Start with an honest assessment of your abilities. Do you think you have what it takes to land a job at Amazon? Typically, successful candidates for Amazon software development jobs hold at least the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in software development
  • Familiarity with C++, Java and Python
  • More than five years of professional experience

It might make more sense to wait until you have acquired the necessary skills and experience.

1. Update your hardware.

Make sure your application documents are in order. Check your resume for typos or outdated information. Update professional profiles on sites like LinkedIn, GitHub, and HubSpot.

You should also update your coding portfolio, as Amazon may request work samples during the interview process.

2. Research the application process and set your expectations.

Before applying, research other applicants’ experiences at Amazon and the company’s thoughts on their demanding application process.

The application process for a software engineer job at Amazon can take one to three months.

Jobs at Amazon are competitive, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed immediately. The process will require patience and your A game as an interviewee, engineer, and coder.

3. Search and apply for jobs on Amazon’s career website.

Once you’re ready to make the perfect application, start searching and applying for jobs on Amazon’s job search site. You can usually also find Amazon jobs posted on popular job search sites.

Adjust your resume to better match each position by using keywords from the list or emphasizing specific credentials. Competition is fierce, so only apply to jobs where you match at least 85% of the qualifications listed.

Amazon does not allow cover letters, which will save you effort. Links to portfolios are appropriate, however.

4. Take assessments.

Amazon requires applicants to complete assessments during or after the application process. There are two main types that all applicants should be aware of.

Work style assessment

Amazon uses the Work Style Rating to determine how you would perform in various real-world work situations. To prepare for this assessment component, read Amazon’s Leadership Principles and start thinking about how you would apply them yourself.

Work sample simulation

The work sample simulation is a coding demo that Amazon uses to test software engineers‘ skills with various common coding languages. You can complete a practice simulation here.

5. Wait for a screening call.

Amazon will not notify you if it rejects your application. However, you can check the status of your application on your profile.

If you seem like a good candidate, Amazon will contact a screening call with HR or an internal recruiter.

The selection call assesses your career trajectory over the past five years and how your skills align with the position.

You can prepare for the screening call by preparing concise and substantive answers to the following questions:

  • What have been your greatest professional achievements?

  • What have been your biggest professional failures?

  • Why did you stay or leave each position?

6. Prepare for additional interviews.

The exact structure of the interview process depends on the level of the role. Follow this link for more information on preparing for interviews for a software development position at Amazon.

Typically, the first interview is with the hiring manager, your potential future supervisor.

This is followed by a day filled with four to five 60-minute “loop” interviews with members of the software engineering team, some from teams related to the desired position, others from completely different teams. Each interviewer asks questions about leadership skills and technical skills, which are covered below.

You can prepare for the process by checking out Glassdoor’s advice on Amazon interview questions and then getting a reminder from us about phone interview tips.

Leadership skills

During the interview process with Amazon, you will be required to explain how you have demonstrated Amazon’s leadership principles in your career. Your interviewer will ask you for examples of times you demonstrated leadership skills.

Plan to answer these questions using Amazon’s preferred STAR format. Describe the situation and explain your task. What action did you take to deal with the situation? And what was the results?

Prepare your list of relevant career experiences to date in advance. Follow this link for helpful examples that showcase leadership skills.

Technical skills

Next in the interview process are the technical questions, which fall into two categories:

  • System design skill: measures your ability to black box design a software system

  • Coding Proficiency: Measures your ability to program coding languages ​​including C++, Java, and Python

The coding skill category is divided into three subcategories:

During this part of the interview, you will be required to answer technical questions, using personal career examples to illustrate and demonstrate your ability to improvise to solve problems.

You can prepare by revisiting Amazon’s interview preparation guide for more detailed information and by visiting our IT interview questions page.

7. Improve your skills and try again.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get the job or even an interview. A similar job posting will likely appear on Amazon’s careers site within a few weeks.

Given the overwhelming number of applications each position attracts, getting an interview or a job is largely down to luck.

Treat the experience as a learning opportunity. Take notes on your interview performance and brainstorm ways to improve.

Consider continuing your education through a coding bootcamp or earning your master’s degree in software engineering.

In conclusion

Successfully landing a software engineering job at Amazon involves a critical soft skill: confidence in leadership. Amazon’s behavioral interview methods ask you to explain how you have handled difficult situations during your career.

To do this, you must have confidence in your successes and be able to explain how you will recreate them.

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