How to ace the 2 most important interview questions at Amazon’s white-hot self-driving startup, according to its hiring director (AMZN)

zoox autonomous vehicle threequarter view

Summary List Placement

The autonomous-vehicle industry is crowded with companies looking to cash in on what could be a $50 billion market by 2030. Zoox, which Amazon acquired last year, stands out for pursuing a difficult strategy followed by few of its peers. Where many companies are focusing only on the software and hardware needed to create a computer-operated “driver,” Zoox is also designing and assembling a custom robotaxi.

When Georgina Salamy, Zoox’s director of talent acquisition and insights, interviews job candidates, she looks for people who have researched Zoox’s philosophy and are excited by it.

“We want to see if the candidate does have a fundamental understanding of the difference between our approach and other companies,” Salamy told Insider, as well as why the company is taking a different tack than the rest of the industry.

These are two of the key questions Salamy asks during interviews and what she’s looking for when candidates answer them.

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What is your ideal job?

Salamy wants to understand what drives the candidate and what kind of work environment they prefer. When evaluating a candidate’s answer, she’ll think about how closely it aligns with what it’s like to work at Zoox.

It’s a good sign if the candidate says they embrace being challenged and held accountable, appreciate working with smart colleagues, and want to build a product that has transformative potential.

“These are all things that are super important for us because of the complexity and the scale of what we’re doing,” Salamy said.


Why are you interested in working at Zoox?

You’ll hear this question at just about every job interview, and Salamy will notice if it sounds like you haven’t thought about your answer ahead of time.

Salamy wants the candidate’s answer to indicate that they’ve taken the time to learn about the autonomous-vehicle industry and the different approaches companies are taking to developing self-driving cars. She’s looking for candidates who find Zoox’s approach particularly exciting and can explain why.

“If somebody doesn’t have a compelling reason for why they are choosing Zoox over any other company in this space, it doesn’t sit well,” Salamy said.

Are you a current or former Zoox employee? Do you have a news tip or opinion you’d like to share? Contact this reporter at, on Signal at 646-768-4712, or via his encrypted email address

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