I received the following question during one of my recent webinars:

"If I get a surprise question during the Amazon interview, should I use a similar answer I had prepared in advance or think of a new answer on the spot?"

Here is what I think:

You should always take a second to think. It’s quite ok to say, “Hey, could you give me a few seconds to think?”. If you do not think of a good response, maybe ask if it’s ok to answer the question somewhat differently. Oftentimes, the interviewers don’t necessarily care about the question they asked, they care about the Leadership Principle that’s underneath that question.

So, if you could identify that maybe they are going for this type of subject-matter expertise, and you have another accomplishment prepared, then ask the question, if it’s ok to use a different answer. And 9 times out of 10, they would say, “Yes – go ahead.” If they insist on their question, then I would repeat the answer you have given before.

It’s not ok to say, “I don’t have an answer to this question,” So, that’s your progression I would suggest.

If the above has made you curious to find out more about Amazon, about whether you have what it takes to interview there and successfully answer real Amazon interview questions, you might want to consider enrolling in "The Premium Package: The Premium Course to Prepare for the Amazon Interview." Good luck.

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