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Source: AMZN 1998 Letter to Shareholders
Published: April 1999

Three questions to ask when hiring

Circulated: November 23, 2020

In Amazon’s 1998 letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos wrote that setting the bar high in hiring was the most important element of Amazon’s success: “It would be impossible to produce results in an environment as dynamic as the Internet without extraordinary people.”

As of 1999, during Amazon’s hiring meetings, employees considered three questions before making a decision:

  1. Will you admire this person?
  2. Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they’re entering?
  3. Along what dimension might this person be a superstar?

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