20 Best Amazon Data Engineer Interview Tips with Practice Questions and Answers

By | July 18, 2023
Amazon Data Engineer Interview
You can improve your chances of passing the Amazon data engineer interview by taking lots of practice.

This post gives detailed information and tips to help you prepare effectively for a data engineer interview at Amazon.

It also provides likely questions which may be asked, as well as answers, that you can use for practice in your preparation for the Amazon data engineer interview.

it’s no longer news that you should not be quiet when you are asked if you have questions to ask at the interview. With that in mind, the questions you can also ask are covered in this post.

Please read on:

Getting a job as a data engineer is not an easy task, let alone getting it in a company such as Amazon, and yet, it is possible to get one.

In this post, you will find all that will help you land the data engineering job that you desire.

20 Best Amazon Data Engineer Interview Tips

Here are useful tips to help you prepare for Amazon data engineer interview:

  1. Get familiar with SQL.

The most common language for manipulating data is SQL; getting familiar with it will save you a lot of stress and you have a better chance at being selected once you are familiar with it.

  1. Learn to read the results of an EXPAIN query.

While it may look like it’s not a big deal, the truth is that not many data engineers know how to read this result; learning how to do it gives you an edge.

  1. You should know how some data systems like Kafka, Spark, Flink, Flume, Presto, HDFS, etc. all work on a greater scale, and the role they play in the data ecosystem.
  2. Make sure you are skilled in running a java virtual machine language.

Many of the systems are in JVM languages. Although they may consist of APIs that are not JVM, APIs which are JVM are swifter in carryout the jobs.

  1. Know what “React” entails.

This is largely because you would need to have front end skills because you may need to build data tools needed for your team.

  1. Map reduce and Hadoop.

These are also important, having a sound knowledge of both of them are some of the things you need to have as a data engineer.

  1. What have you done?

It’s easy to start talking about the teamwork and the effort of the team but what is expected of you is to tell what your role was. What exactly did you do? You should be prepared to answer this.

  1. Be concise.

It is important not to beat around the bush, tell the exact thing you are asked.

  1. Be detailed.

In as much as you have to be concise, you must be detailed as well. Also, learn how and when to tell stories in the answers to the questions you are asked.

  1. Practice.

You must be sure to practice with your friends or even someone you do not know, just make sure you have a mock interview. This will help make you better, it will also help in building your confidence.

  1. Your reason.

Some of the questions you will be asked will revolve around why you did them, and not exactly what you did. They would want to know the motive behind the actions you took.

  1. Take your time.

There is no need to rush into answering the questions you will be asked, it’s important to relax and take your time. Think through every question you are asked.

  1. Ask for clarification where needed.

If the questions being asked are not clear to you, ask for them to be explained, it would make your process of answering smoother and easier.

  1. Be creative.

Find a way to add something creative to everything you say, and make sure what you say is relatable. It shows you are human and not a robot.

  1. Get ready for all interviews.

It’s going to be a long set of interviews, you must be mentally prepared to face all of them.

  1. Engage.

Interviewers are happy when those they interview get to engage them on topics. You may not be a doyen at it, but by engaging them on the topic, it shows you have a keen interest to learn.

  1. What are you bringing to the table.

This is one of the tips you must bear in mind at all times, the reason for applying for the data engineer job here should be fueled by this.

  1. Look smart.

In all the interviews you would be having, both virtual and physical, make sure you look smart, it simply gives a first good impression of you.

  1. Be thoughtful.

Some of the questions that may be asked, especially the behavioral ones would require you to just be thoughtful, so its best you learn how to be.

  1. Be courteous.

It goes a long way in getting your favor.

20 Amazon Data Engineer Interview Practice Questions and Answers

Here are useful sample questions with answers that you can work with in your Amazon data engineer interview preparation:

  1. What would you consider the best thing that has occurred since you started in your career?

For a question like this, you should not be vague; you have to go straight to the point.

Tell the interviewer something you achieved and were proud of. You could tell of a time where you and some colleagues started working but didn’t think the job would turn out to be fine because of certain issues, but at last, it had a beautiful ending, it’s been the best so far”.

  1. Why did you choose data engineering?

You need to explain why and how you got interested in data engineering.

Your answer could be something like, “I always loved computers since when I was a kid, and so I knew I would find myself doing something related to it”.

  1. What would leaving your current job do for you? Why do you want to do it?

You could answer this by focusing on the fact that you are enthusiastic about new things, especially things you know will be profitable in the long run.

  1. Is Amazon a potential employer for you, and why is this so?

You can tackle this one by focusing on the fact that you have carried out your background study and research, and you know that this is the best place where you will grow tremendously.

  1. What experience has come with a challenge in the office where you work currently.

Find a way to incorporate a story here. It could be that you were asked to work with a team but they kept on delaying and you eventually had to do it yourself.

  1. Differentiate a relational database from a non-relational one.

Here, you will have to explain what a relational database is, and how it is different from a non-relational database.

When data is stored in form of a table, and that table has a schema, this is a relational database.

A non-relational database has no schema. You have to go on to explain what these mean.

  1. What affects the speed of SQL queries?

They are Joins, aggregations, records, and traversals. You must explain what these mean.

  1. What is the cache database?

Explain that it is for short storage, but it is used to store structured and unstructured data, it can also be split and scaled.

  1. Have you had dissenting opinions with a colleague? How did you manage it?

You may say yes, and go ahead to explain how you got to put everything under control. You can tell a story.

  1. How do you manage stress?

Tell them how you manage stress. Your response can be, “I take out time to relax when I notice I’m under some kind of stress.” Another answer can be, “I take out time to meditate or walk down my street whenever I feel stressed”.

Other questions youmight be asked in a data engineer interview with Amazon include:

  1. How can the data transfer be minimized while using Apache spark?
  2. How well have you understood Apache Spark?
  3. If given structured streaming in Apache spark, what would you do with it?
  4. What does a property graph consist of?
  5. How do you set a replicator factor in HDFS?
  6. What is the Hadoop application made up of
  7. Can a graph be created in spark? How?
  8. Big data has 4 V’s, what are they?
  9. There is something called bucketing in hive, what is it?
  10. What different types of tables do we have in hive?

10 Good Questions you can ask Interviewers in an Amazon Data Engineer Interview

Here are relevant and reasonable questions you can ask interviewers during an interview with Amazon for the position of a data engineer:

  1. Are there projects that did not go well at some point? How was it handled?
  2. Will I be working with a team?
  3. What will the evaluation process be like, in terms of performance?
  4. What should I expect from your company in terms of commitment to my growth?
  5. How will the jobs I take on fit into the goals of the business?
  6. What is success to you, business-wise?
  7. What do you expect to be delivered in the next 3 to 6 months?
  8. What development opportunities will be made available? Would there be training?
  9. How is data sourced in this company?
  10. How do you merge data?


This post has provided tips, ideas, and sample questions and answers to help you prepare effectively for the data engineer interview at Amazon, and increase your chances of getting the job.