After a long selection process, Bezos himself gave an interview to Ann Hyatt
The meeting with the founder of Amazon consists of only two questions
Convince one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs without experience
Hiatt knows that courage, ambition and energy are more valuable than any knowledge
Hiatt decided to apply to Amazon. Although she admitted this was never her dream, she saw that many of her parents’ friends were making a lot of money as tech executives, and job offers that caught her eye were scarce, so she sent her resume without much thought, but without much hope.
Soon, she’s called up for a round of interviews for a junior assistant job, which is a complete surprise.
He said, “I had no company connections, no computer science degree, and absolutely no experience working for a CEO.” CNBC Make It.
After a long process of interviews that lasted almost all day with all the main assistants, even one in an office whose only light was the screen icons, Hyatt came home and had not had any contact for a few months.
The surprise came after several months of waiting
I had already given up hope when the phone rang: “An Amazon recruiter asked me to come back for a final interview. He apologized for the long and drawn-out process and promised it would be the last. What he didn’t tell me was with Bezos himself.”
Unlike the boring interviews above, the meeting with the Amazon founder consists of only two questions. The young woman was sitting in the conference room with no idea that she would see Bezos when he walked in, introducing himself and sitting across from her.
The simple fact of being unexpectedly in front of one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs was already causing stress, but Bezos’ first question left her “horrified”.
A pointless question?
He told her that her first question would be a “funny puzzle,” and as she was writing on the board in the conference room he asked her to estimate the number of panes of glass in Seattle.
“I paused to calm myself, reminding myself to think about his motives for asking me this question. He wants to see how my mind works, I said to myself. He wants to see me break down a complex problem into small, manageable steps. I can do that.”
With a trembling voice, he began to count the population of Seattle and suggested that the estimate be based on the presence of at least one house, car, office, or school, all with windows.
“Then we did the math. We looked at all the scenarios, the combinations, the anomalies, and the possible ways to explain these exceptions. I felt like I’d been talking for hours as Bezos filled the board with numbers. I’m sure it didn’t really take more than 10 minutes.”
It was a huge relief when Bezos collected the final estimate and said, “It appears to be true.”
Second question: What are your professional goals?
Hyatt was completely honest. He admitted that he had no idea how to be a helper, but he knew the importance of staying outside his comfort zone, and that Amazon had proven to be a company full of ambitious and motivated people he wanted to be like.
It was clear to Bezos that despite her young age, she was a candidate who would do anything to be successful and have the courage and motivation to run at her own pace and constantly rise.
The Amazon founder hired it right away. At that very moment he gave her his office, which is the closest to his office in the whole company.
Nearly 20 years later, Ann Hyatt has served as executive business partner of Jeff Bezos, Marissa Mayer, and Eric Schmidt. He recently established a consulting firm with CEO clients around the world, applying the lessons of innovation, ambition, growth at scale, and future leadership he learned at Amazon and google browser.
Over the years and his experience with Bezos, Hyatt has learned that courage, ambition, and energy are more valuable than mastering a particular skill set.
“It took me years to fully understand why Bezos took this risk and gave me that great opportunity. He surrounded himself exclusively with people he had to contain, not move forward. He created teams of people who were so ambitious, creative and determined that they made up for it whatever experience I learned was the key to initial success. For Bezos and Amazon this has been a tireless search for the extraordinary.”