By S. Vaishali (MSc. Theoretical Computer Science, 2014-2019)
A sneak peek into the life at Amazon
“Amazon has always been my dream and now that I am into it I feel the dream was worth dreaming”, says Ramya (MSc TCS, 2010-2015) with both pride and satisfaction adorning her voice.
“I get to work with great minds and this pushes my thinking ability into another dimension”, says Nishanth(B.E CSE,2011-2015).
What is it that makes Amazon amaze everyone? How do I get into Amazon? How is life at Amazon different from life at other IT companies? These are a few thoughts that are sure to creep into inquisitive minds.
Team BRIDGE interviewed last year’s Amazonians Ramya E (MSc TCS, 2010-2015), Cibe Hariharan (MSc TCS, 2010-2015), Krishna Vaidyanathan (MSc TCS, 2010-2015), Vigneswari Priya (IT, 2011-2015), Nishanth (B.E. CSE, 2011-2015) from PSG College Of Technology. Here is what they have to say about their journey into the dream company of many.
What is it that makes people want to work in Amazon?
“Amazon works on a range of cutting edge technologies, and touches millions of human lives directly or indirectly through their Kindle, AWS, Amazon website etc. So I feel the work I do leaves an impact on the world, however small it may be.” says Krishna (MSc TCS, 2010-2015). This is a feeling shared by all the employees of Amazon as it seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.
In addition to that, the healthy work culture and friendly environment makes Amazon the dream company of many. Of course the sacks of gold rewarded for your brain’s work also does catalyze this dream!
How is the work culture at Amazon?
True to its motto “work hard, have fun, make history”, Amazon balances work and pleasure perfectly.
The work ethic at Amazon is very strong, and employees are expected to take “ownership” of their project. The leadership principle-“you take responsibility; you take your project forward” is adhered here. This proves to be beneficial not only to the workers but to the company as well. As the saying goes ‘a plant you plant is the best grown’, thereby making each project a success.
Formalities are eschewed; no dress code, first name calling is absolutely fine and you can be free with anyone and everyone. In contrast to most IT companies where each and every worker is put under surveillance and each step taken is monitored, Amazon offers freedom to walk into any cabin at your own will and wish. Thus Amazon provides you with a comfort zone at your workplace and hence becomes your second home.
On the other hand, it should be taken into note that the saying “work while you work and play while you play” is held high here. There is no compromise on your dedication at work. The company provides you with the platform to harness your skills and learn from your mistakes but in turn it expects you to deliver a 99% efficient code within a stipulated time. “ There are many eyes that are looking into your code”, says Nishanth (B.E. CSE, 2011-2015).
A glimpse at the interview process
The interview process of Amazon is professionally done, in a standardized and transparent format. Like any other interview it focuses on the individual’s ability to handle stress and remain unperturbed. All that you need to crack the interview is a love for coding and bit of luck on your D day. Yeah your subject knowledge also matters!
“I think it was one of the few companies which had their own representative to announce the results instead of mediating through our placement representative!” says Vigneswari Priya(B.Tech IT, 2011-2015) with a smile.
Interviewers are expected to attend training sessions before conducting their interviews. The no. of rounds in the interview has a lower bound of three, but the upper bound depends on the individual and his or her skills. A simple formula followed is –“The interview is conducted until they judge you”.
The first round – Online round is a common one; it consists of objective questions along with simple coding questions. The following rounds are mostly technical ones. They comprise of questions from fundamental topics such as Data structures, Algorithms, Operating systems…
The characteristic trait of an Amazon interview is the bar raiser round, it’s not a round where you cheer raising your glasses and shout with glee in unison. On the contrary it is the round which checks your temperament to the peak. It can be viewed as a trial to the real company experience out there.
Tips for the future interviewees
“My advice would be to relax when attending the interviews and not be afraid, as the interviewer will be nice – they are mandated to be nice to the interviewee! The interviewee can just concentrate on solving the questions asked and not worry about whether the interviewer will like him/her, if they will be rude if we don’t answer a question etc.
As to the nature of the questions in the interview, there are already multiple sources and any advice I give can get outdated easily, so I will only say that you should be strong in your fundamentals and if you don’t know the answer to the question asked try to solve it with them, showcasing your problem solving skills (which is most important, even if you don’t get the answer in the end).”says Krishna.
Words of inspiration
Always do something you are passionate about, just work hard and try your best. If not Amazon, there are a hundred ways to further one’s career so don’t get fixated with one company or goal. The world is wide and so are your opportunities, go and explore the world out there.
S.VAISHALI (MSc. Theoretical Computer Science, 2014-2019) is a voracious reader, passionate artist and math lover. She loves to code and write her own poems. She is a die hard movie fan who would willingly watch a movie in Greek and Latin if given the opportunity.
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