Amazon Data Scientist Interview Guide

Leon Wei

Amazon Data Scientist Introduction

What Amazon's Data Scientist interview process looks like, sample interview questions, and instamentor's preparation guide.

Amazon is one of the biggest technology companies with over 1 million global employees. 

Due to its high employee turnover rate (compared to other FAANG companies), they are always looking for new employees with tens of thousands of openings as of September 2021. 

The interview mainly includes behavioral questions, machine learning, statistics, probability, SQL, Python. 

Depends on the team, sometimes interview questions can include medium-level data structures, system design, or product sense-related questions that are also asked during an interview.

Amazon Data Scientist Salary Guide

Salary data sourced from our customers and the internet.

Location Seniority Level Base RSU Bonus Total Comp
Seattle, WA Mid L5 $140,000 $60,000 $20,000 $220,000
Every situation is different, e.g., the offer also depends on your interview performance, job location and the urgency of filling that role. Therefore, this data is for your reference only and may not apply to everyone.

Amazon Data Scientist Interview Sample Questions

Sample interview questions

Leadership/Behavioral Questions

  1. Tell me about a time you have to change your product roadmap to meet a deadline.
  2. Tell me about a time you have to make an unpopular decision in your team.
  3. Tell me about the most difficult project you ever launched.
  4. Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager/coworker.
  5. Give me an example when you found a bug and dive deep to find the root cause/ tell me about a difficult bug.


  • 1. Write a query to return the top 3 and bottom 3 products this month ranked by sales.
    • Table: orders

      An eCommerce company's online order table.

        col_name    | col_type
      order_id      | bigint
      product_id    | bigint
      customer_id   | bigint
      order_dt      | date
      qty           | integer
      unit_price_usd| float
  • 2. Write a query to recommend products purchased by the same customers this month (August 2021) for candidate subscription products.
    • Table: orders

        col_name    | col_type
      order_id      | bigint
      product_id    | bigint
      customer_id   | bigint
      order_dt      | date
      qty           | integer
      unit_price_usd| float



Machine Learning

  • How do you measure the performance of a classification model?
  • How do you handle missing values?

  • How do you handle categorical variables?

  • How do you prevent over-fitting?

  • What is ROC/AUC?


  • How do you explain the p-value to non-technical people?
  • How do you estimate the necessary sample size for a/b testing?
  • How do you deal with co-linearity in a linear regression model? 




Amazon Data Scientist Interview Case Study

Mona, a recent instamentor mentee, just received her dream job offer from Amazon. She can't wait to start her new gig and relocate to Austin, Texas, to work for her dream company: Amazon.

Here is what the overall process looks like:


Candidate: Mona

Org: AWS

How it gets started: recruiter reached out on LinkedIn

Job level: L5

Year of Experience: 3 years as a data analyst

Degree: M.S in statistics

Offer: Yes

TC: ~200K USD

Location: Austin, TX

Interview process: 5 weeks

Preparation: 2 months

Has a job: yes

Decide to join: yes

Round 1 HR chat: 

 Basic questions such as whether willing to relocate to Texas, need H1-B sponsorship, why leaving the current company.

Technical screen round 1:

Several medium-level SQL coding questions need to know window functions such as LAG/LEAD, prepared SQL using SQLPad. 

See more questions here:  Amazon SQL Interview Coding Questions.

Technical screen round 2:

Resume deep dive. Tell me about your favorite project.

Leadership Principle questions: why amazon? Tell me about a time you disagree with your manager. How did you handle it?

Virtual Onsite:

Round 1: Leadership principle: general

  1. Tell me about a time you have to make a backup plan for a project deadline;
  2. Give me an example you solved a problem above and beyond;
  3. What are your biggest strength and weakness?

Round 2: leadership principle: Bar Raiser

  1. Questions about some projects on the resume
  2. Among the 15 leadership principles, which one do you like the most, and which one do you think is the least important?
  3. Give me an example you invented and simplified a solution for a complicated problem.

Round 3: Data engineering and machine learning

How to design a dashboard for executives (non-technical)?

Basic SQL questions.

How to evaluate a machine learning model, how to determine the importance of a feature.

How do you explain R-Square to non-technical people?

Round 4. Leadership principle: collaboration, cross-functional projects

Tell me about a time you worked on a project that involved more than two teams;

Tell me about a time you made an unpopular decision;

Tell me about a time you worked with non-technical people.

Round 5. Leadership, questions to ask with the hiring manager

Tell me about a time you helped a teammate;

What do you see yourself in 5 years;

Why do you want to join amazon?

Do you have any questions for us?

More sample Amazon leadership principle questions.


Received the job offer the following week.

Read more Amazon Data Scientist Interview Preparation Guide. Get mentored and become 100% job interview ready for your data scientist interview, learn directly from former FAANG hiring managers,  BOOK YOUR SESSION TODAY.

Amazon Data Scientist Mock Interviews

Mentored by FAANG experts and become 100% job interview ready.

instamentor | A/B Testing

A/B Testing $199+

A/B testing is a statistical framework that helps validate an idea or a theory through data. For example, a product manager wants to know if changing the color of a buy button from green to blue c…
instamentor | Behavioral Questions | Leadership

Behavioral Questions | Leadership $149+

Behavioral questions or leadership interview questions are probably the most frequently asked questions during a job interview. However, I've interviewed so many talented data scient…
instamentor | Machine Learning

Machine Learning $199+

  Machine learning-related roles, including Research Scientist (Amazon, Google), Data Scientist / Algorithm (Facebook), and Machine Learning Engineers, are highly paid. Super fun often involv…
instamentor | Product Sense

Product Sense $149+

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instamentor | SQL

SQL $199+

SQL is a must-have skill for any data related roles. Including data scientists, data analysts, data engineers, or even software developers, very often your future employee will verify your …
instamentor | System Design

System Design $199+

System design questions are commonly asked during software engineer and data engineer interviews. When interviewing at top technology companies, very often you will demonstrate your skills and abi…

Amazon Data Scientist Featured Mentors

  • Was Group PM @ Faire, $7B startup; promoted every year; led team of PMs for growth, search, discovery
  • Now Founder of,,
  • I worked at a start-up called Graphiq for 4 years which was acquired by Amazon Alexa. I then worked on Alexa for 3.5 years as a Technical Product Manager. Now, I'm starting my own company at
  • Ming is an experienced software architect and entrepreneur, business leader. He has worked at top tech companies such as Google, Amazon and is currently building his real estate tech startup.
  • I am an analytics veteran with over twenty years of experience in driving business value from data.
  • Prior to launching my own practice Intellego Consulting, I built and lead many high-performing data analytics teams at marquee global technology companies. As a player-coach, I have hands-on knowledge of how things work while at the same time being adept at driving outcome and impact. I am passionate about helping motivated early-career technology workers achieve their potential.
  • I'm a veteran software architect with 15 years of engineering experience in the area of computational advertising, big data analytics, and distributed ML training, currently working on a next-generation platform for distributed training pipelines at Facebook
  • Alex is a Principal Product Manager at Sambanova Systems. Previously, Alex has held product management roles at building out their ML Platform and deep learning offering to enterprise customers. He was also an ML practitioner as the first data science hire at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group working on building large-scale computer vision and sensor fusion algorithms for self-driving cars. Alex is motivated to help raise the next generation of data scientists and product leaders