Ah, Amazon…the all in one shopping center of the globe. Take Walmart, Trader Joes, a library, a movie theater, a concert hall, a jewelry store, and about a million other establishments and combine them and put them online; and you’ve created Amazon. Potential employees for Amazon are faced with a pretty rigorous hiring process and interview in order to work for this highly influential ecommerce platform. In order to best prepare for a web development interview with Amazon, we must first take a look at what it means to be a web developer as well as familiarize ourselves with the history of one of the world’s largest online shopping platforms. This all may sound daunting but have no fear. Career Karma is here to break down Amazon’s hiring process to ensure that you ace your interview and get hired for your dream job!
What is a web developer?
Before we dive into the depths of Amazon’s interview process, let’s take a step back and review what a web developer actually does. Web developers create things on the web. This may seem like a rudimentary answer, but the truth is that web development is a blanket term for a lot of things. You may be working with front end or backend coding languages and may be part of anything from conception to project publication. The web development industry is booming, and demand is sky rocking. The number of web development jobs in the US during 2014 was estimated to be just shy of 150,000. Web development jobs are on track to see a 10-year projected increase of 27%. The median salary for web developers is about $64,000 a year or $31.00 an hour. However, the median web developer salary at Amazon is over $101,000 per year. If those numbers are enough to sway you to the world of Amazon’s web development, let’s get a bit of background on your future company of employment.
The History of Amazon
Amazon is a multinational corporation with offices across the globe. While this may seem like a pretty daunting company to work for, to truly understand what the essence of Amazon, we need to trace back to the company’s roots. When you look at the global enterprise of Amazon today, it’s crazy to think that this all started with one idea. Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s founder) wanted to find an efficient way outside of the United States Post office to ship products. He started out with the smartest and most sustainable product that he could think of; books. Bezos didn’t stop there as he quickly expanded the business to include other products starting with CDs and eventually transforming to clothing, household items, to pretty much anything that could fit in a box. The company continued to grow as it acquired other companies such a Twitch and Audible and also launched its own movie and music streaming service. While Amazon hasn’t always been the giant that we know and love today, it has always had one constant; it’s company mission statement. Amazon’s mission statement is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.” Amazon has always been a customer forward company with one of its main core principles being to always put customers first. So, when it comes to hiring, it’s safe to say that Amazon is also looking for candidates that embody these beliefs.
Most Common Amazon Web Developer Interview Questions
Now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for: here are some of the top web development interview questions asked during Amazon interviews.
- How would you implement integer division if your language did not offer it?
- Vertically and horizontally center an element on the screen using CSS.
- How do you resolve conflict with coworkers, and what did you learn from the experience?
- How would you make your web pages load fast?
- How would you make this markup more accessible for a visually impaired person? Hearing impaired? How about a person on a slow network?
- Build a file uploader.
- Take two arrays and compare them to find duplicates. Only list each duplicate once.
- Outline how you would implement a chess game in a language of your choice.
- Make an accordion where when clicked, text expands from it and when another item is clicked, the first one collapses and the second one expands.
- What is the importance of CSS selectors? Where do you use them?
- How would you reverse a linked list?
- How would you implement document.querySelectorAll manually using recursion?
It’s important to note that these are only 15 of the many questions that you may face during a web development interview with Amazon. Per most interviews, you can expect a combination of both skill and personality-based questions. It’s always a good idea to do your research on prominent interview questions and web development concepts before attending your interview.
Amazon Web Developer Interview Tips
During your in-person interview, you will be interviewed by several employees. It’s important to recognize who the “bar raiser” (more explanation below) is, as they will play an important role in your hiring process.
While skills based questions are important, expect several personality based questions as well.
Amazon’s Extensive Hiring Process
Amazon’s hiring process is highly unique and unlike any other company. Jeff Bezos himself has been quoted regarding the hiring process “I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.”. This model rings true with Amazon’s hiring team today. Amazon hires team members using what they call “bar raisers”. Bar raisers at Amazon are full time employees who sometimes spend up to 30 hours a week interviewing potential candidates for other departments. These are employees who already have jobs at Amazon who are able to take a direct role in the hiring process. This in itself is unique. An additional factor is that several people form multiple departments are needed to sign off on a candidate before they are offered a position with Amazon. If for any reason the candidate doesn’t life up to the standards of all of the bar raisers involved, the prospective hire’s candidacy can be vetoed at any time. While this may sound rigorous to some, Bezos commends the process saying that it weeds out “cultural misfits” who may not fit with the company’s values. As one might imagine, a process like this is rather extensive and takes a lot of time. So, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t contacted within a few weeks, for some potential employees, the hiring process can as long as nine months! Once you’ve made it through the process, what’s waiting for you at the end of this very long hiring tunnel?
What’s In It for You?
So, if you make it through the strenuous process of hiring at Amazon, what’s in it for you? First, Amazon is dedicated to the education of its employees.You will have a wealth of knowledge and resources available to you for your continuation of learning. Additionally, Amazon offers competitive health care plans, stock options, “bring your dog to work days”, and more! Amazon is a prominent player in the innovation of the tech industry. Working for such a major company will put you at the forefront of creation as Amazon continues to lead the drive towards technological efficiency!
Ready to Get Started as an Amazon Web Developer?
If you like the prospect of being able to create meaningful sites that could be viewed by thousands of people, look no further web development. Amazon values innovation skills and hard work; two of the things that master coders need most! If you’re ready to begin your coding journey, Career Karma can help match you to the best coding bootcamp to suit your needs. In addition to partnering with a bootcamp, Career Karma will also immerse you in a community of like minded individuals who will help you stay on track and succeed! Through the power of community, collaboration, and good ole’ fashioned hard work, you could be the next member of the Amazon family!
Ready to begin your web development career with Amazon? Download the Career Karma app today!