As the CEO of Amazon – the pioneering e-commerce platform of the world – Jeff Bezos is one of the most demanding employers out there. After all, he founded Amazon as an online bookstore from his garage after quitting his job at Wall Street in 1995. He once famously had his own VP call customer service in a meeting, just to fact check his numbers about support wait times.
Amazon is notorious for a cutthroat management style, and that often starts at the top. This has made Jeff Bezos a politically polarizing figure – but it also makes him a great example of a tough interviewer.
Getting a sales or marketing interview with Bezos is a long shot, even though he used to interview everyone in the early days of Amazon. But practicing your answers to interview questions you might expect from him can help you build the skills to crush it with any demanding interviewer you might encounter.
The fact is that there are business leaders and managers everywhere who are just as tough as him. So even if you find yourself facing them in an interview, make sure you are well prepared.
Getting a sales or marketing interview with Bezos is a long shot. But practicing your answers to interview questions you might expect from him can help you build the skills to crush it with any demanding interviewer.
Eccentric or demanding employers like Bezos ask questions that catch you off-guard during a marketing or sales interview. But you’re still being evaluated based on how you answer, so you don’t have to panic.
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Here are a couple questions you just might hear.
Tell me about a project that went beyond your scope of work
This usually comes up during marketing interviews – behavioral questions like these are used to evaluate how you think in challenging situations.
Interviewers at Amazon and other large organizations want to see how you’ve developed and mastered a trait, skill, or ability that can provide value to the company. They’re looking for someone willing to push the limits and bring order to chaos – they want someone who can not only survive, but thrive in a demanding work environment.
Make sure you take this opportunity to show them how great you are at thinking outside of the box, and going above and beyond when your team and company demand it.
Whom do you admire the most?
This is not the kind of question you might expect in a sales interview. However, execs like Bezos want to see not only your accomplishments, but what drives you to achieve your goals.
In his 1998 letter to shareholders, Bezos mentions, “I’ve always tried hard to only work with the people I admire and encourage folks here (at Amazon) to be just as demanding.”
What he’s trying to say is that the people you learn from are the ones that you admire – so he’ll probably ask you about it too.
Execs like Bezos want to see not only your accomplishments, but what drives you to achieve your goals.
Don’t go all historical during this answer – but talk about real people you’ve met throughout your career. They could be a teacher, mentor, boss, colleague or anyone who has inspired you to do your best at work and in life.
Know the company culture at Amazon before you ever set foot in there for an in-person interview.
Understand that you need to be very driven and accountable if you want to qualify for a meeting with at such a high-profile company.
You can’t rely solely on your credentials – figure out whether you’re a perfect fit for an organization that’s continuously looking for people with exceptional leadership qualities.