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21 Questions Amazon Asks Its Job Candidates

By February 7, 2018March 5th, 2021No Comments
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I was intrigued by’s article “21 Questions Amazon Asks its Job Candidates.” It is all about Amazon’s toughest questions it asks during the interview process. The article starts off with a great quote from Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos:

“I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.”

There is a hiring adage, “Slow to hire, fast to fire.” It still amazes me how quickly some companies hire people–as little as one interview. For me, there are always multiple interviews to ensure we have the right candidate for skills and culture fit. For one position earlier in my career, I interviewed with 22 people in one day. Yes, 22 people. And they asked some of the toughest questions. Interviews went from sunrise to well after sunset, from one-on-one’s to group interviews. A grueling day. An excellent day. A new day. I got the job and moved back to one of my favorite cities, San Francisco.

From the article, “Business Insider sifted through hundreds of Glassdoor interview reviews and found 21 of the toughest questions that Amazon has asked its candidates in the past year.”

My Favorite Toughest Questions

1. “Jeff Bezos walks into your office and says you can have a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea. What is it?” — Position:  Product development specialist candidate

2. “Describe a situation where you had to make a decision without data.” — Position:  Senior investigation specialist candidate

3. “Why should we hire you?” — Position:  Transaction risk investigator candidate


  • Avoid using the word “Anxious” (read)
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  • Talk at the 10th Grade – Simplify Your Communication (read)
  • Communication Audit – 10 Critical Communication Elements for Your Career Success (read)
  • Internship – Keep It this Summer – Big Idea #1 (read)
  • All Career-Related Blog Posts (go now)


Photography Source:  Amazon
#career #storytelling #chiefstoryteller

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after storytelling coach, global speaker, trainer, consultant, communication coach, and public speaking coach.