How Do I Display Earn Trust in the Amazon Interview?

Nick Dimitrov

Nick Dimitrov

07 July, 2022


Earn Trust is one of the more nuanced Leadership Principles, that's less forward to demonstrate with a professional accomplishment.

Hi, I'm Nick. I'm a former Amazon Bar Raiser who now runs Amazon Bound where we help talented job seekers to interview effectively with Amazon. If this is a topic that would be of interest to you, please feel free to subscribe to our channel.

In today's video, I will discuss the nuances of how do you display Earns Trust in your interview responses. Earns Trust is one of the more nuanced and nebulous Leadership Principles and it's much less forward to demonstrate Earns Trust with a professional accomplishment, than it is to demonstrate a bunch of the other more straight-forward Leadership Principles, such as Deliver Results, Ownership, Bias for Action, and so on and so forth. So, in today's video, I'd like to talk about how a Bar Raiser or any other Amazon interviewer would likely identify if you possess and raise the bar on Earns Trust.

Earning Trust usually comes through over and over again, repeatedly as you describe your professional accomplishments that demonstrate other Leadership Principles. So, Earning Trust kind of happens between the lines and that's what makes this Leadership Principle somewhat tough to articulate. A good way to think about Earning Trust is when you put others' interests before yours. You put the interests of your teammates, the customers, the company in general, before your own interests.

In general, I'd like to discuss two separate scenarios of Earning Trust. The first scenario is when you demonstrate Earning Trust in times of crises, in times when something negative is taking place, at work. Examples of this scenario could be, if there is a problem, if there is a failure, and instead of you pointing fingers that somebody else is responsible for the failure, you take on the responsibility. In this case, Earns Trust is tightly coupled with Ownership. And, you could be the team leader of the team that has messed up. Or, you could be the representative of the company, talking to a customer, and you specifically are not at fault for what happened, but the customer is upset for some reason. That is a very clear example of Earning Trust.

You could even raise the bar in displaying Earning Trust in such cases. And particularly, if you are a team manager, you could actively shield one of your direct reports from being exposed if they had done something wrong. Obviously, you would hold them accountable inside the team, but to other teams or to your managers, you are shielding the person and you stand up for them. That is Earning Trust at its finest, coupled with Ownership, and in the second example, even coupled with Backbone.

In scenario number two, you could demonstrate Earning Trust when things are good. Even when the times are good, you can demonstrate Earning Trust. How does that work? An example that illustrates Earning Trust when times are good would be if you are a team leader and you are actively helping the people on your team to grow their careers. You are putting them in front of senior management. You are giving them good, meaty, quality projects that they can complete and shine, instead of hogging all the credits for yourself. And, therefore, you are building a team of strong performers who would be promoted quickly. Even if it comes at the expense of, after the employee being promoted, them leaving your team and you needing to backfill.

In this case, you are clearly demonstrating Earning Trust, because one, you're not misappropriating the credit for the accomplishment. You're giving that credit to the employee. And, two, you're fully aware that by helping the employee shine, helping them rise through the organization, you're going to lose this person, maybe, in the long-run. Yet, you pursue and you continue to help them shine and help them stand out. In this case, Earning Trust is tightly coupled with another Leadership Principle, Hire and Develop.

So, you can see how, in both of these scenarios = in bad times in scenario one, and in good times in scenario two, you could demonstrate Earning Trust. And Earning Trust almost comes through, as a byproduct of everything else that happens. However, again to recapitulate, in order for you to demonstrate Earning Trust, you usually have to put the interests of others in front of your own interests, at work.

So, I hope this was helpful. If it was, please, subscribe to this channel. Please, ask us questions and best of luck as you get ready to interview with Amazon. You got this. Bye.

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