The two questions Jeff Bezos asked a Silicon Valley expert before hiring her at Amazon

During the article, Ann Hiatt expressed that she had never thought about applying for a job at the technology giant Amazon despite the fact that most of her friends’ parents were technology executives and made a lot of money EFE / EPA / FRIEDEMANN VOGEL / Archive

Ann Hiatt is a Silicon Valley veteran with 15 years of experience working as an Executive Business Partner for Jeff Bezos. In an article for the American portal CNBC, The current businesswoman gave an account of her experience at Amazon and gave details of the interview she had with one of the richest men in the world and that earned her hiring in 2002 after he asked her two specific questions.

During the article, Hiatt expressed 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.

However, she said she submitted her resume to Amazon without much thought and that to her surprise, she was called in for a first interview for a junior assistant position. “He had no company connections, no computer science degree, and absolutely no experience working for a CEO”Hiatt wrote.

The current Silicon Valley veteran who also worked for Google said her initial interviews at Amazon were dizzying in volume and pace, while noting that she held meetings with all the keynote attendees, some of which lasted the entire year. day.

Ann Hiatt is a Silicon Valley veteran with 15 years of experience working as an Executive Business Partner for Jeff Bezos. Photo: Twitter @AnnRHiatt
Ann Hiatt is a Silicon Valley veteran with 15 years of experience working as an Executive Business Partner for Jeff Bezos. Photo: Twitter @AnnRHiatt

In that context, she recalled that an interview took place in a dark office with only the brightness of a monitor full of codes and a strange multicolored rotating night light in the corner, something that did not impress her.

However, he said, a few months later, after he had received no response and was beginning to lose all hope, the phone rang. It was about an Amazon recruiter who asked him to come back for a final interview and who apologized for the lengthy and lengthy interview process. What he did not tell him is that the last test would be with Bezos himself.

The two questions of the interview that Jeff Bezos asked him

According to Hiatt, during the October morning that the interview took place, she felt relaxed. “I was sitting patiently in a chair in the conference room when the door opened and Bezos came in. He sat in front of me and introduced himself ”, he narrated. The Amazon founder began the interview by promising that he would only ask two questions and that the first would be a “fun” riddle.

“I want you to calculate the number of glass panels in the city of Seattle”, said it was Bezos’ request.

He added: “I was momentarily terrified. Then I paused to calm myself, reminding myself to think about her motivation for asking me that question. He wants to see how my mind works, I told myself. You want to see me break a complicated problem down into small, manageable steps. I can do that”.

In that framework, Hiatt said that he described how he would start with the number of people in Seattle, which he luckily calculated correctly at around 1 million, just to make the math easier. He then told Bezos that each would have a home, a means of transportation, and an office or school, all of which would have windows. So he suggested they base the estimate on the averages of those and then they did the math.

We analyze all possible scenarios, groups, anomalies, and ways to explain these exceptions. I felt like I talked about it for hours while Bezos filled the board with numbers. I’m sure something actually took more than 10 minutes. I remember getting excited when he wrote the final estimate”, He affirmed, while adding that it was correct.

The billionaire mogul’s second question was what were your career goals, to which Hiatt replied that Amazon had proven to be a company “full of passionate and ambitious people.”

Knowing Bezos as well as I do now, I see why those were his only two questions. I was measuring my potential by asking questions that would explore whether I had the courage, courage and motivation to run at his pace and be brave enough to constantly jump with him and level up (Hiatt)

“I wanted to be like them and learn what they knew. Her strengths were in the areas that I personally wanted to develop, so the value of the experience was obvious, although 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 that I knew the importance of constantly being out of my comfort zone. I wanted to jump on an astronomical learning and growth curve“, said.

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 (Hiatt)

“Knowing Bezos as well as I do now, I see why those were his only two questions. I was measuring my potential by asking questions that would explore whether I had the courage, courage, and motivation to run at his pace.I hear being brave enough to constantly jump with it and level up, ”he highlighted.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon REUTERS
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon REUTERS

She added: “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”.

As Hiatt explained in his article in CNBC, the It took years to fully understand why Bezos took a chance and gave him that great opportunity.

“He surrounded himself exclusively with people he had to restrain, not push forward. He created teams of people so ambitious, creative, and determined that they made up for whatever experience they lacked. In that kind of environment, Bezos would only have to use his energy as a leader to channel our own energy, rather than trying to draw it out of us. I learned that the key to the initial success of Bezos and Amazon was this tireless search for the exceptional, ”he analyzed.

“From that first hiring experience, I have always tried to be the person who needs to be retained, not pushed forward. I have looked for teams that challenge, support and inspire me to do things far beyond my current abilities, and that has led me to greater satisfaction in my work life than anything else, “he concluded.

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The two questions Jeff Bezos asked a Silicon Valley expert before hiring her at Amazon