How to get an internship at Amazon

How To get an Internship at Amazon

Most likely, you may have stumbled upon this article while searching for internships in Amazon India. One of the biggest entities in the e-commerce sector, Amazon is known for its tough and grueling interview process. Amazon internship is highly prestigious for college students all over the world.

What are the types of internships available at Amazon and who are eligible to apply?
Amazon has dedicated internship programs for engineering undergraduates, MBA, and Ph.D. candidates which typically last over a period of 12 weeks. Internships are available in a variety of disciplines. Engineering undergraduates can work in areas like software engineering, business analysis, customer support, or retail. MBA interns normally work on Operations management, program management, and retail operations. A Ph.D. candidate generally works in the applied research teams.

How to apply?
Interested students can apply through the following methods:
1. Online application: Internships – Amazon recruitment
Applying online through Amazon’s university recruitment page.

2. Through a referral:
Having a referral is the easiest way to get invited for an interview at Amazon. If you know someone who works at Amazon, ask them to provide you a referral. You can even find some employees through LinkedIn or Facebook for this.

3. Mailing the HR executive:
Find a previous/current Amazon employee/intern and ask her to provide you the e-mail address of the HR. Mail the HR directly, clearly stating your purpose, with a strong cover letter and resume.

4. Campus Recruitment:
Amazon visits a few selected colleges for recruiting interns.

What after applying?
Undergraduate students are asked either to upload their resume while applying online or to send in their resumes to the HR they communicated with. After the initial screening based on their resumes, students are called for a telephonic interview or an online screening test.
This screening test generally comprises of 20 MCQs from Computer Science fundamentals (OS, DS, DBMS, and Networks etc.) and 2 coding questions like:
• Given a linked list, write a function to reverse every k nodes (where k is an input to the question)
• Write a function that returns true if a given undirected chart is a tree, and false otherwise.

This is followed by a telephonic interview which consists of both technical and general questions. Few sample technical questions are:
• Given a binary tree, print its boundary traversal.
• What is meant by virtual memory?
• There are billions of URLs given. Come up with an efficient data structure that returns the IP addresses of these URLs.
• Given a string, display the words in reverse order.

The HR questions asked are pretty standard like:
• Tell me about yourself.
• What are your career goals and how will this internship fit into that?
• What problems you faced during your past projects and how did you overcome them?

After this, the students are called for a face-to-face onsite interview at one of the Amazon India offices. These interviews are mostly broken into 2 parts where a panel of three interviewers analyze your technical and behavioral skills. Some sample questions are:
• Which data structure will you use to keep records of the stock market – If you have to maintain the stock values of various companies during various periods and return minimum stock value of a particular company over a given period of time?
• Write a function to check whether a binary tree is a subtree of another binary tree.
• You have to design a media player: What data structure will you use to store songs and play them in a random order without any repeats.

Once the internship starts, interns are assigned a mentor. The first week is generally comprised of orientation programs, boot camps etc., and every intern is assigned to a specific team. The intern projects at Amazon are normally of high quality and significance, and interns are encouraged to write/tweak important codes. Amazon generally offers a stipend of 30K/ month along with one week of accommodation. Other perks include Sodexo coupons, 24/7 cab facility, and team outings.

Word of advice from ex-interns:
Get comfortable: During interviews, be prepared to code on different mediums (on paper, shared text editor, whiteboard etc.) for different questions and get comfortable talking about coding over the phone.

Unique work culture: All the interns are treated like the employees of the company. Interns are encouraged to come up with new ideas in the weekly brainstorming sessions. You usually call your managers by their first names, and you get flexible work hours with the option to work from home.

Getting placed: Generally, the internships at Amazon India result in three different outcomes:
1. Pre-Placement Interview (PPI) – If you have completed your project on time and with a decent performance, you’ll get an opportunity to take a PPI which will consist of 1 or 2 technical rounds.
2. Pre-Placement Offer (PPO) – If your manager is impressed with your work, you may directly get the offer letter without any interviews.
3. Rejection – If your manager believes that you are not competent enough to match Amazon standards, you are directly rejected. This is a very rare case; mostly interns at least get the chance of taking a PPI.

A couple of pro-tips:
• For software developer profile, you need to be proficient in Java as most of the work at Amazon is done in Java.
• For the personal interviews, go in casuals. Being suited up won’t impress anyone.
• Practice a lot of coding quizzes. Interviewers want to check whether you can apply your coding skills in the real world scenarios.
Resources: The best way to prepare for the interviews is by practicing different types of coding questions which were actually asked in the Amazon interviews in the past. You can get all the questions asked over the years here. For practicing specific technical questions, use this Q&A site.

You can also read about the amazing experience of Neha while she did her summer internship at Amazon.

If software industry is your calling, you can check out these great computer science internships and apply after registering here. If you have done an internship at Amazon India and have something to add, please comment below.

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