The Amazon founder appears to be a confident person when it comes to hiring and doing business. He can learn from this anecdote to recruit the best.
There is no perfect way to recruit, but you can certainly learn from the best recruiters. One of them is Jeff Bezos, who has seen believe, both his company and his payroll with Amazon and other business ideas.
An Amazon job applicant commented on his recruitment process and his final interview with the then CEO of the company.
“I submitted my resume to Amazon without giving it much thought. To my surprise, I was called in for a first round interview for a junior assistant position. I had no connections in the company, no computer science degree and absolutely no experience working for a CEO,” she commented.
Remember that he had long interviews, in a period of time that was also quite extensive. But, when he thought it was all over: An Amazon recruiter asked me to come back for a final interview.
”I was sitting patiently in a chair in the conference room when the door opened and Bezos walked in. He sat across from me and introduced himself,” he stated.
“I’ll do the math,” he said. “I want you to estimate the number of glass panels in the city of Seattle.”
I outlined how I would start with the number of people in Seattle, which I guessed correctly at about 1 million, luckily, just to make the math easier. Then I said that each would have a house, a means of transportation, and an office or school, all of which would have windows. So I suggested that we base the estimate on averages of those.
And then we did the math.
We look at all possible scenarios, groups, anomalies, and ways to account for these exceptions. I felt like I talked about it for hours as Bezos filled the whiteboard with numbers. I’m sure it actually took more than 10 minutes.
I remember being emotional when he wrote the final budget. She circled him. “That looks good,” she said.
Then he asked me the second question: “What are your professional goals?”
I told him that Amazon had proven to be a company full of ambitious and passionate people. I wanted to be like them and learn what they knew. His strengths were in areas that he personally wanted to develop, so the value of the experience was obvious, even though it felt like a departure from my goal of being a teacher.
I explained that I had no idea how to be an assistant, but I knew the importance of constantly being out of my comfort zone. I wanted to jump into an astronomical learning and growth curve.
Why was the interview like this?
Knowing Bezos as well as I do now, I see why those were his only two questions. He was gauging my potential by asking me questions that would explore whether I had the grit, courage, and motivation to run at his pace and be brave enough to consistently jump with him and level up.
At the end of the interview, we both knew that he would do anything to succeed, despite being a very young candidate.
And then I’m done. Exhausted, excited, done.
Bezos ended up hiring me on the spot. He gave me the open desk just a meter away from his. It was the closest desk to him in the company.
The story was published in make it for Ann Hiattwho has 15 years of experience working as an executive business partner for Jeff Bezos, Marissa Mayer and Eric Schmidt.
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A riddle and an aspirational question, this is how Jeff Bezos hires