Individuals have at all times needed to know the way I gave Jeff Bezos an opportunity and employed me to work for him immediately at Amazon in 2002.

Initially, I did not consider making use of to Amazon. After I was rising up in Redmond, Washington, most of my buddies’ mother and father had been tech executives, and whereas they made good cash, their lives did not appear notably enjoyable to me. However a lot of my classmates had been graduating with out job affords, so I figured I ought to discover all of the choices.

I submitted my resume to Amazon with out a lot thought. To my shock, I used to be referred to as for the primary spherical of interview for the junior supporting function. I had no connections on the firm, no pc science diploma, and completely no expertise working for a CEO.

My Job Interview Expertise at Amazon

My preliminary interviews at Amazon had been dizzying in quantity and velocity. I had back-to-back interviews with all my senior assistants, a few of them lasting all day.

One interview came about in a darkish workplace with the glow of a code-filled monitor and an odd multicolored rotating evening gentle within the nook. However I knew sufficient technical individuals in my life and was used to bizarre settings. I chalked up the encounter to a type of personalities uniquely suited to the tech world and was shocked by it.

A number of months later, after I hadn’t heard again and was beginning to lose all hope, the cellphone rang: An Amazon recruiter requested me to come back again for a last interview. He apologized for the lengthy, drawn out course of and promised me it might be the final.

He did not inform me it might occur to Bezos himself.

Jeff Bezos requested me 2 interview questions

I felt snug going to the interview that October morning. I used to be patiently sitting in a convention room chair when the door opened and Bezos walked in. He sat down in entrance of me and launched himself.

Bezos started the interview promising that he was solely going to ask two questions and that the primary could be a “enjoyable” brainteaser.

As he stood up, I took a deep breath and opened a pen to the whiteboard wall. “I am going to do the mathematics,” he mentioned. “I would like you to estimate the variety of panes of glass in downtown Seattle.”

I used to be terrified for a second.

Then I paused to relax, reminding me to consider his motivation for asking me that query. He needs to see how my mind works, I informed myself. He needs to see me break down a fancy drawback into smaller, manageable steps. I can do it.

I outlined how I’d begin with the variety of individuals in Seattle, which I appropriately estimated as about 1 million, to make the mathematics simpler. Then I mentioned that every of them would have a house, a method of transportation, and an workplace or college—all of which might have home windows. So I urged that we base the estimates on their common.

After which we did the mathematics.

We went under consideration for each attainable situation, group, anomaly, and these exceptions. It felt like I talked for hours whereas Bezos stuffed the whiteboard with numbers. I guess it really took greater than 10 minutes.

I keep in mind feeling a thrill when he wrote Closing Guess. He circled it. “It appears proper,” he mentioned.


Then he requested me one other query: “What are your profession targets?”

I informed him that Amazon has proved to be an organization stuffed with bold and passionate individuals. I needed to be like them and be taught what they knew. His strengths had been in areas I personally needed to develop in, so the worth of expertise was clear, though it felt like a diversion from my purpose of being a professor.

I defined that I did not know the way to be an assistant, however I knew the significance of being always exterior of my consolation zone. I needed to leap into an astronomical schooling and development curve.

Figuring out Bezos in addition to now, I see why these had been his solely two questions. He was measuring my capability by asking questions that will discover out if I had the braveness, braveness and motivation to run at his tempo and be courageous sufficient to leap and stage up with him always.

By the top of the interview, we each knew that I’d do something to achieve success, regardless of being a really junior candidate.

After which I used to be completed. Drained, hilarious, completed.

Bezos employed me on the spot. He gave me an open desk simply three toes away from him. It was the closest desk to him within the firm.

Endurance, ambition and power are extra worthwhile than a particular talent set

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