Ann Hiatt was hired by Amazon more than 19 years ago. She has been an Executive Business Partner of Jeff Bezos for more than 15 years, and now she shared how she joined the Silicon Valley company.
He did so in an interview with CNBC, explaining that he had never thought about applying for a job at the tech giant despite the fact that most of his friends’ parents were tech executives and made a lot of money.
“I had no company connections, no computer science degree, and absolutely no experience working for a CEO,” Hiatt wrote. In addition, he added that he held fast-paced meetings with all the main attendees, some of which lasted all day.
The two questions Jeff Bezos asked him.
“I was sitting patiently in a chair in the conference room when the door opened and Bezos came in. He sat across from me and introduced himself, “Hiatt explained.
“I want you to calculate the number of glass panels in the city of Seattle,” he said was Bezos’s first order. “He wants to see how my mind works, I told myself. He wants to see me divide a complicated problem into small, manageable steps. I can do that,” he added was what he thought, after a moment of bewilderment.
What was Hiatt’s calculation? He estimated 1 million people in Seattle, thinking that each would have a home, a means of transportation, an office, and all those places would have windows.
“We analyzed all the scenarios, groups, anomalies and possible ways to explain these exceptions. I felt like I talked about it for hours while Bezos filled the board with numbers. I’m sure it actually took a little over 10 minutes. I remember that I was excited when he wrote the final estimate, “he said, while adding that it was correct.
“What are your professional goals?” Hiatt said, which was Bezos’ second question. “Amazon proved to be a company full of passionate and ambitious people. I want to be like them and learn what they know,” he said was the answer.
“At the end of the interview, we both knew that she would do anything to be successful, despite being a very young candidate. Bezos ended up hiring me on the spot. He gave me the open desk only three feet from hers. It was the closest desk to him in the company ”, he concluded.
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Silicon Valley Veteran: The Two Questions Jeff Bezos Asked You