There’s no perfect formula for getting a job, but Ardine Williams has a few tips for how to score one at Amazon.
Williams — Amazon’s vice president of workforce development and leader the e-commerce giant’s effort to fill 30,000 open jobs — spoke with Business Insider at Amazon Career Day in Arlington, Virginia, part of a series of recruitment events held on Tuesday. In addition to providing application tips during a panel discussion, she told us what she views to be the most important factor in getting hired — closely studying and emulating Amazon’s company’s leadership principles.
“The advice I would have is to take a look at the leadership principles, they really are the fabric of the company,” she said. “It’s how we hire, it’s how we promote, it’s how we evaluate ourselves. So I think that’s really the opportunity is to really think about your experience and to be able to tell your story within the framework.”
Specifically, these core tenets include concrete concepts like “insist on the highest standards” and “learn and be curious,” as well as more obscure points like “customer obsession” described as leaders that pay attention to competitors but “obsess over customers.”
During the panel, Williams provided tactical recommendations for candidates that make it to the interview process, including sharing anecdotes that clearly and definitely highlight their skills.
“What are the stories you can tell me as a recruiter or me as a hiring manager that highlight the work you’ve done in the context of the leadership principles?” Williams said. “And make sure you have the details down. One of our principles is ‘dive deep.’ We expect leaders of all levels to have command of the data and to be able to get their hands dirty.”
When it comes to oboarding the new employees anticipated to fill 30,000 open spots, Williams told Business Insider that Amazon is well-equipped to handle training at scale. “We hire a lot of people on a regular basis,” Williams said. “We have 300,000 full-time, full-benefit rolls in the United States, and so our sites are set up for that new hire orientation”
She continued: “Ramping into a new culture is always a challenge no matter where you work, and so our focus on both new hire orientation and ramp plans that we build for our employees really focuses on helping them find their way so that they can understand the leadership principles and know what that looks like in practice.”
Moving forward, she’s looking forward to staffing up HQ2, which currently has 70 employees working from a temporary space, before moving to their permanent building in Arlington near the Career Day site.
“We’ve been humbled by the response,” she said. “I think it’s far exceeded my expectations. Clearly this is what I was hoping for.”