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When I worked at Amazon 1999-2006, Jeff Bezos’ favorite interview question was “are you a lucky person?” What a great way to filter for optimists and people who manifest success.
If you’re a successful, optimistic, humble leader the right answer starts this way: “Yes, I’m the luckiest person on earth. I’ve worked hard to get to this point in my career, but a lot of things also had to go right and I’ve taken full advantage of my luck.”
Sorting for optimistic people is a good proxy for leadership potential and likelihood of success. Perceiving yourself as lucky is a good proxy for optimism.
Humility is also important, and it’s easy to filter out false humility (“humble brags”) in follow-up questions. This isn’t the only question, it’s a conversation starter and opens to door to exposing someone’s personality beyond their resume.
Two wrong answers: 1) No, I’ve never felt lucky but I’ve been able to overcome all the bad things that always happen to me; 2) No, I’ve never needed luck because I am better/smarter/stronger than everyone else.
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