What to know for an entry-level interview at Amazon … and ‘The Tale of Two Packets’

Amazon tape

A visitor to Reddit’s section devoted to networking asks of the group: “I have an entry level Amazon interview coming up. Throw me all your interviewing questions and I'll answer them without googling.”

It’s nice to know that our candidate isn’t going to cheat on his interview preparation.

We also have to trust the author of the top-ranked reply, who says that he works at Amazon and is using a throw-away Reddit account -- called seattlepacket -- “for obvious reasons.” He tells our interviewee:  

I'm over at the company you are interviewing with. Relax, we're not trying to grill or destroy you.

Entry-Level at Amazon is a little different than a small company, you won't be just configuring switch ports or stay in Tier 1. We want you to succeed and grow, literally month by month depending on the team. Here is what I'd expect you to know from a book level;

  • Layer 1 (Copper, Fiber, Basic Binary) basics.
  • Layer 2 (VLAN, PVLAN, STP, BCast vs Unicast flooding, CAM Tshooting, Port Security)
  • Layer 3 (IP Subnets, Routing Vs. Forwarding, Basic OSPF, BGP)
  • Layer 4 (UDP, TCP, TCP's Finite State Machine, Tshooting, More TCP, Did I say TCP?)
  • Layer 7 (Tracert, Ping, Paris, MTR, What is IPAM, Basic Tshooting)
  • Layer 8 (Soft Skills, Ambition, Energy, Problem Solving)

What's most important is how you think and solve problems. Anyone can run 10 show commands and hope to find an answer, but it takes a special person to put themselves into the "shoes of the packet" and really walk-the-walk.

(Hint, I love packet walking with candidates, Jeremy C. at CBT did a Layer 1-7, 7-1 packet walk, google it.)

Jeremy C. is Jeremy Cioara, a trainer at CBT Nuggets, and someone did Google the packet-walk video, called “The Tale of Two Packets.”

Makes it sound so easy.

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