No doubt Amazon system design interview is a test of your nerves, and if you are looking for assistance in preparing for this evaluation, you are at the right place.
To prepare for an Amazon system design interview:
- Research the company and its products.
- Exercise solving different types of system design problems.
- Understand key concepts and common design patterns.
- Make yourself familiar with Amazon’s technology stack.
- Finally, practice explaining your thought process with different assumptions.
To help you perform best, we have discussed how to prepare for the Amazon system design interview below.
Tips To Prepare for Amazon System Design Interview
Before going into the nitty-gritty of the Amazon system design technical interview, you can expect most of the evaluation will be behavioral-type questions like:
- Have you ever handled a difficult situation in a project?
- How do you manage ambiguity and uncertainty in a system diagram?
- How do you take constructive criticism and feedback in a design chart?
Amazon evaluates your fit with their culture and the level you’re applying for depending on how well you raise the bar across the Sixteen Amazon Leadership Principles.
1. Research the Company
To prepare for the Amazon system design interview, you must conduct in-depth research about the company and its products, such as Amazon Web Services, Amazon Prime, and Amazon Alexa.
Understanding how these products and services work will give you a better knowledge of the group of problems Amazon is trying to solve and the types of systems they have in place.
Moreover, review Amazon’s whitepapers and technical publications to understand the company’s approach to system design and how they solve common problems in large-scale systems.
2. Make Yourself Familiar With Amazon’s Technology Stack
Understanding Amazon’s technology stack, including its programming languages, databases, and platforms, will give you an idea of what technologies you should be familiar with when preparing for the interview.
Amazon uses AWS, SQS, SNS, DynamoDB, MySQL, S3, and Amazon EC2 container services for the backend, whereas Java, AngularJS, and Jquery are used for the front end.
3. Exercise Solving Common System Design Problems
Amazon’s system design interview questions can be open-ended and vary significantly in scope and complexity; that’s why you should practice solving different system design problems.
Try to exercise problems, such as designing a distributed file system, a recommendation system, or a service that can handle millions of requests per second.
The interviewer may ask you to design a social media app, a website that converts the URLs into tiny forms, or a clone of Uber Eats, Instagram, or even Amazon Prime.
So, practicing, solving, and designing typical applications, problems, and websites can help you get out of this part of the interview successfully.
4. Understand the Key Concepts of System Design
For an excellent system design interview at Amazon, you should understand how to design systems that can handle high traffic, data growth, failures, high availability, low latency, and high throughput.
Along with that, also familiarize yourself with key concepts and principles of system design, such as:
- Availability: The availableness of a system when the user wants to perform a query.
- Latency: The time taken by a system to perform a query.
- Throughput: The maximum capacity of a system.
- Network protocols: They help platforms to communicate between servers and users.
- Load balancing: A technique to equally divide the load between two servers.
- Proxies: They act as a middleman between client and server, e.g., forward and reverse proxy.
- Databases: The place where all the data from the client side is stored.
- ACID vs. BASE: ACID ensures data transactions in a guided manner, whereas BASE ensures the proper functioning of NO SQL databases.
- Consistent Hashing: It is a concept of making distributed systems more flexible.
- Caching: The technique which helps in reducing the latency issues.
5. Practice Explaining Your Thought Process With Different Assumptions
Exercise explaining your thoughts instated of the correct answers because the interviewer at Amazon will observe how you approach the problem and think about the requirements and constraints, not necessarily the final solution.
For example, they could want you to create some Alexa-based software even if you have a background in banking or financial systems. If you have worked on your thought process with assumptions, it will be easy for you to answer them.
While answering, don’t be afraid and elaborate on your point of view confidently, even if you don’t know the correct answer.
Amazon has a culture of innovation and always looking for people who can think out of the box and come up with creative solutions.
In this guide, we’ve discussed how to prepare for the Amazon system design interview, along with some key concepts and terminologies.
We hope that you have learned a lot and become able to perform better in your interview. However, remember that this is not only a technical evaluation but a behavioral examination too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the System Design Interview at Amazon Hard?
Amazon system design interviews are challenging, as they test your ability to design large-scale systems, handle constraints and requirements, and explain your thought process and trade-offs.
How Long Should You Study for the Amazon System Design Interview?
The amount of time needed to study for an Amazon system design interview can vary depending on an individual’s background, experience, and familiarity with the concepts.
However, preparing for the interview may take at least several weeks to a few months.
Which Language Is Best for System Design?
Some commonly used languages for system design include C++, Java, Python, and C#. It’s best to be familiar with at least one high-level programming language.