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Software Development Engineers SDETs

SDETs (software development engineers in test) are software engineers who are not only responsible for writing codes but also to test the codes.

Originally the role was introduced by Microsoft but now many other organisations and companies are demanding such professionals.

If you are trying to practice for SDET's interview or want to know about the test this article is definitely written for you!

Amazon is one of the biggest E-commerce companies in the world so, obviously, it will hire The best talents for itself but not to worry you will be taught every single piece of information related to the test in this article so let's dive into it!

It takes 4 to 8 weeks for the completion of the interview. First, you have to submit an application to the company to appear in the test/interview with your necessary details and documents then you proceed to the next step. I have divided it into five steps:

  1. HR recruiter email or call.

  2. Online assessment

  3. Phone screens

  4. On-site assessment

  5. Debrief

  1. HR recruiter

In most cases, Amazon starts the process with an HR recruiter call to discuss your interest and decide where do you fit the best.

You have to make them realise that you are the best for this job and tell them with details explaining your background. When you are done with this step, the recruiter will send you an online schedule and take your screening according to the rule for which you have applied.

  1. Online assessment

Before proceeding to the technical Phone screens you have to go through three steps of an online assessment. Usually, this assessment is for internship newly graduate positions but sometimes they also ask from experienced ones.

  1. Debugging

This step usually includes seven questions and the time provided is twenty minutes. There are three coding languages provided to solve the questions and those are Java C, C++. They give you a problem and a snippet of a code to solve the problem. Each of the questions has its own certain time limit to solve.

  1. Coding

There is a total of 2 questions and you have to solve them in approximately one hour or 70 minutes. This assessment is a set of two data structures and algorithms. Your code must compile for both of the questions. Here you are provided eight languages to solve the coding  C#, C++, Java, C, Python, Ruby, Swift, and JavaScript.

Most people find it difficult to solve coding-related questions so, for their assistance, this article has provided a list of question types and their frequency used in this test. 

  • graphs 46%

  • strings 38%

  • strings 38% 

  • Linked list 10%

  • sort 2%

  • hash table 2%

  • stacks 2%

  1. logical reasoning

This step is completed in two steps:

The first step takes about two hours to complete. They will make you assume a day as a software engineer at Amazon and present different scenarios. They will then ask you to solve the problems or how will you respond to the situation.

The second step includes multiple-choice questions of logical reasoning. They are approximately 24 in number and the time limit is 35 minutes. These questions are asked to test your problem-solving skills

  1. technical phone screens

In this test, you will be interacting with potential managers or peers of the company. This interview takes place through the company's video conferencing product “Amazon chime” each of the interviews lasts for 45 to 60 minutes. Two types of questions are asked here:

  • technical questions

  • behavioural questions

  1. technical questions

Here the recruiter asks questions related to data structures and algorithms. You have to solve these questions in collabs edit which is an online collaborative text editor but make sure to prepare this session without syntax highlighting and autocomplete feature because the editor won't have that features.

  1. Behavioural questions

There are some tricky questions asked from a person in this phase but amazon told itself about a trick to answer the behavioural questions and this trick is called as star technique.

  • S stands for the situation. Normally a person is asked about past experiences and the situations through which the person has suffered.

  • T stands for tasks and it means what task did you do to solve that situation.

  • A stands for actions which means what actions did you performed on the basis of those tasks.

  • R stands for results which means what were the results according to your actions.

They can ask you different questions and scenarios for example:

  1. Tell me about your ownership skills?

  2. Any situation where you have fulfilled the customer's demand above the beyond?

  3. Did you ever have a conflict? 

  4. If you had the conflict how did you responded to it? 

  5. How do you work under deadline pressure? 

  1. On-site assessment

You have to participate in four to six interviews for this step. The time limit for each interview is about one hour. You will be interacting with the people from the team you’re going to join in the future.

Interview questions

The type of questions that you will be asked are:

  • coding questions

  • system design questions

  • behavioural questions

Bar-raiser round

Bar-raiser round is actually to test that how you can lift your team with your working skills.

What does Amazon need in an employee?

There are several personality, emotional and intellectual skills required to fit for a job. These characteristics will ensure to a company that you are capable and the best for the position and at the end of the day company will be benefited from your work instead of loss. These characteristics are

  • deliver results

  • big thought

  • technical competency

  • technical competency problem-solving skills

  • customer opposition

  • behaviour

  • bias for action

  • leadership qualities

  1. Debrief

After all of the processes discussed above the recruiter will file the final results into the system. One of the following lines will be stated and filed for you in the system according to your performance at the interview. 

  • strong higher

  • higher

  • no higher

  • strong no higher


Bonus tips for preparation

  1. Learn to code under time pressure

To solve coding questions limited time is provided so, it is necessary to practice with the timer. More you practice less you panic on the final day because you would have practiced enough to solve it in the limited time or even before the time up. 

  1. Think logically

Do not only try to memorise every single problem, this may make it difficult for you to cover all syllabus and memorise it. But if you concentrate on the pattern and logical reasoning behind the problem, you can easily solve them. And you can solve many coding problems with one pattern.

  1. Must know leadership principles

These principles are not only important for Amazon but also for many other company jobs. Leadership principles are way too important for Amazon. So, you have to be prepared for Questions related to leadership skills.

Bar-raiser interview 

Note that your whole interview is based on this round, so try not to stress out in this round because this phase may freak you out because of different and annoying questions. But you can pass this round if you practice the answers at home and concentrate on every minute detail.

  1. Research about the company, job description, and basics

You should be pre-prepared for each and every situation. It is very important to know about every detail about the company. You should know enough knowledge about the department you are applying for and about the company. Even the latest updates and news should be known to you.

Also, make sure to read the job description carefully. And make answers for the questions like how are you capable for this job? Why you? Etc.

Also do not forget to revise the basics. Even in case, you have work experience, organise your thoughts about the basics and fundamentals of your job.

  1. Be well prepared

Most of the people fail in tests due to under preparation of the test. They do not prepare enough for the coding problems and behavioural scenarios. I will not lie that some questions are quite tricky and difficult but can be solved easily with practice.

  1. Maintain good body language

The interviewer judges you more by body language instead of your answer. They figure out in the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire a person or not by examining his body language. Try to maintain eye contact, sit upright, speak clearly and keep a smile on your face.

This will display your confidence and help you to gain their trust.

Conclusion 

The test will be tricky and a lot of practice is needed to be good at it. If you focus on the bonus tips provided in this article 50% of your problems will be solved. The remaining 50% can be solved by learning, working hard, and practicing again and again. This article has also provided you all the information related to Amazon SEDT interview/test.


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