29 replies to Jeff Bezos’s Amazon Interview Questions (Part 1)

Inc.com published this article on 29 Interview Questions Amazon Uses and I would like to give it a shot (as-an-when basis). Here it goes.

1. “Who was your most difficult customer?”

The one that kept quiet. It is hard because you can force the horse to go to the river. But you can’t force it to drink. But the secret is to (1) Establish the form of communication. (2) Keeping the momentum. (3) Understand that he/she is a human and they decide best.

At the end of the day, he/she might not buy it now. Maybe later. If not this product, the other product from your store. Business is when needs are fulfilled. Economically speaking, supply meets demand.

2. “How would you introduce AWS in an elevator pitch?”

The solution that wasn’t available a decade ago. It is made available with a friction of a cost allowing you to replicate your applications that can serve your customer all over the world. Scalable is the keyword. If you don’t need it now. You will need it in the future because this is the future.

3. “What is the worst mistake you ever made?”

Not opening myself up for possibilities. Between 20 – 25 years old, my focus was to do ALL things possible my way, the way I want it to be. But now, 3 years later. I realised that although I manage uncover a lot of things, the secret is to allow openness.

In terms of learning and in terms of accepting that you can’t do all things by yourself. The secret to living is growing and in order to grow, we must learn. And to learn, we must be open. #kisahorangbiasa

4. “If your direct manager was instructing you to do something you disagreed with, how would you handle it?”

This isn’t the first time. During the first few, I found hesitation in myself, but sooner I realised that it didn’t do me any good. Despite the different personality that I have with my superior, but I always ask this question to myself everyday:

When is the last time you try something new?

So, I believe that I just need to do deal with it and treat it as something new. There must be something I can learn. Or if it is a vicious cycle, you will learn “how not to be someone”.

5. “Describe what Human Resource means to you.”

Anthony Robbins mentioned in his TED Talk that most people complain about lack of resources. “I don’t have enough staff”, for example. And human is part of the equation or resource.

Network = Net worth. So, human resource is putting the value to the time and energy spent by the people.

6. “What is the angle between the hour hand and minute hand in an analog clock?”

Depending on your time. I don’t have the exact mathematics calculation on top of my head but if you consider. 3am (hour hand at 3, minute hand at 12). That is a 90 degrees. And you can divide them into 3 which is 30 degrees for each distance between 1 and 2 for example. The rest, you can deduce from there.

7. “How do you detect whether or not a word is a palindrome?”

To be honest. I don’t know the effective way. But what pops on top of my head now is drawing a line in the middle of all characters combine. And check if left side is similar to right from the centre. Done.

8. “Do you know our CEO? How do you pronounce his name?”

Jeff Bezos. I have been pronouncing his name the way it should. Double checked it on several video sources.

9. “Here’s a string with numbers from 1-250 in random order, but it’s missing one number. How will you find the missed number?”

This is quite challenging. To be honest I don’t know how. Perhaps sort the numbers from 1 – 50, 51 – 100, 101 – 150, 151 – 200 and 201 – 250 and check the unfortunate column.

10. “Are you willing to work on your feet for ten hours, four days a week?”

Sure. I just need a standing workstation and permission to wear whatever shoes I want to wear.

11. “Do you think you’ll reach a point where you storm off the floor and never return?”

It is hard to say but so far I will know if I am “falling” and I will bring myself up again. I prefer to keep quiet and not say anything.

When you’re up to this point, ask yourself?

Is this worst then death? No. Good!

12. “Would you tell on an employee for stealing?”

It is code of conduct. I will personally tell him/her. Even in a single note but this will be on my personal record. If it happens again, it is time for face-to-face. If it happens again, HR it is.

Sometimes, people didn’t know it is “stealing”.

13. “How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?”

Just solve the problem if you can. If you can’t communicate, find a way to do so and solve the problem. People don’t care where you are coming from. Stay focus on the problems.

14. “How do you persuade people?”

I influence them with what I have done and what I am willing to do for them. Mutual understanding. Mutual respect. Perhaps we can reach to a mutual agreement and expectations.

Communicate effectively.

15. “Describe what happens in your browser as soon as you hit enter after writing a URL in the address bar.”

With my little knowledge, URL is mapped to an IP. Basically you will request for information (download) from that IP to be displayed. It will travel through the wire and go through the tunnel where the IP is located. Then the packets will be sent back to you and displayed on your screen.

(Part 1 – 15 December 2015, 5:30PM)

READ PART 2

Image credit: ceoworld.biz

Personal Coaching for E-Commerce in Malaysia

Feel free to hit the “x” button on your browser tab should none of these questions relevant to you cause I’m selling something 🙂

  • And have you ever wonder how can you start your online business?
  • How do you setup your online store?
  • How you can streamline your online business?
  • How you can focus on your business?
  • How you can retain your customer?

In 2014, I have committed that I wish to share my knowledge in developing e-commerce sites and helping your businesses to grow online.

What I have done?

  • I have started my own homestay in Pasir Gudang. When I started them, there are 24 homestays in that area, I will share how I beat the competition in less than 1 month. Now, I’m looking to acquire another house to turn it into my second homestay.
  • I have helped my friends L’adorn and Ever Dainty to start their e-commerce business selling shawl, hijab, clothes and accessories. Good for them!
  • I have helped businesses to gain Likes on their Facebook page. Some reached up to 700% increase in Likes!
  • and many more!

What you will learn with me

  1. How to find and test business niche
  2. How to develop your business plan
  3. How to build your e-commerce site in a day
  4. How to integrate payment with your e-commerce site
  5. How to gain customer and retain them

Personal Coaching and Video Tutorial

Personal coaching is one-on-one hands-on coaching class where I will  teach you the above things. Notes will be given.  In 5 weeks, you will learn all everything you need to know to run your online business.

In my personal coaching class or video tutorial, I will provide step-by-step guide and checklist for you to follow.

Should you stuck at any stages, my support team will be available to help you.

How much and what do I get?

Video tutorial (Normal Price: RM170, Offer: RM97)

  • Access to all video tutorials
  • Document checklist
  • Pre-installed website for e-commerce
  • Support site

Personal coaching –  (Normal Price: RM970, Offer: RM470)

  • 5 weeks coaching (3 hours per session)
  • All video access
  • Printed notes and checklist
  • Pre-installed website for e-commerce
  • Support site
  • Private Whatsapp number for all Q&A

To register your interest, please fill up your info in the form below:

It is time to make a change if whatever you did in 2013 didn’t work for you. Time and tide wait for no man.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

Alternative for iPay88

If you’re starting out an e-commerce site or blogshop, you would probably looking for options other than iPay88 to accept payment for your products or service online.

Truth be told, I’ve been looking for a good option other than iPay for few good reasons:

  1. iPay88 took a lot of transaction fees (4%)
  2. Website owners (merchants) are charged with setup cost
  3. Maintenance fees (yearly) for SME Plan

webcash-logo-ipay88-alternative

Discover the alternative to iPay88, Webcash payment gateway for Malaysia

I was working in Cyberjaya back in 2011/12 and discovered “Webcash”. It is basically a web payment switch that allow you to collect payment from credit cards (Visa & Master Card) and various local bank such as:

  • CIMB Clicks
  • Maybank2U
  • RHB
  • Public Bank
  • Standard Chartered
  • Bank Islam
  • Hong Leong Bank
  • Affin Bank

Although it is similar to iPay88, Webcash offers:

  • 2% transaction fees
  • No setup cost
  • No yearly maintenance fees

But why don’t Webcash be a serious competitor to iPay88?

Two reasons which I can conclude, they are only providing the payment switch. Secondly, they are developer-friendly.

What Webcash can be integrated with?

I’ve worked with couple of sites and it has been integrated and tested working with:

  • WordPress
  • WooCommerce
  • Gravity Forms
  • Event Espresso

I wrote the modules and plugins to allow Webcash to work with the above platform and tools. And it working fine. The server is fast and notifications of payment sent by Webcash instantly reach the merchant and buyer’s inbox.

How much?

I don’t have a plan to release it to the public yet. But if you are interested, you can contact me by filling up the form below. Thank you!

Digital journey of Galeri Petronas

Since July, I was appointed to be the PR & Online Communication for Galeri Petronas and the mission is to manage the digital presence of Galeri Petronas.

20th Anniversary

This year, Galeri Petronas is commemorating the 20th Anniversary in conjunction with 50th Malaysia Day and I feel that it is the right point to start a new journey. I am putting all of my effort and invite everyone looking at the future with the reference of the past.

And looking at the digital ecosystem in Malaysia as a whole, it is the right time to be presence and not too late to catch up if you are fairly new.

All things digital

I am sure that you have read about the comparison between the digital and traditional media – the pros and cons of both. But personally, if I were to place my personal bet, it will be digital in any case for some of the reasons I am going to outline below:

Targeted Niche

Within just few clicks and tweaks, we can setup a targeted Facebook ads for our digital campaign. It costs much cheaper and get the message across.

During the old days, people will go to the market to buy the products. But now, the market will come to where the people are e.g. Facebook. That is simply smart if you asked me.

Measurable

For each dollar that goes out, we want to know where it goes and what it gives us. And a good analyst will look into what the insights data tell us about a campaign or effort.

Hence, when looking at executing a digital advertising campaign, we will look into:

  • What type of messages that would attract more people?
  • What channels are most effective?
  • When we should post the message? Duration, frequency, timing.
  • What are the risk and assumptions made? And how do we address them.
  • How we could improve it?

Split testing

Interesting enough we could use a split testing method (A/B testing) for our digital campaign and obtain a real-time data feed/result. So, we can determine which landing page, advertising copy, image chosen are effective for the digital campaign.

 Never ending, but milestones

As of now, we still couldn’t see the horizon for a new era other than digital. And like I mentioned earlier, we are still at the early stage. The key is to prioritize and take one step at a time.

7 Steps to Happiness

I found this shared over by my Facebook friends. So, I thought I keep it here to remind myself there are seven ways to be happy. Life is hard, but do one of these, perhaps you could smile even for a while.

7-steps-to-happiness

  1. Think Less, Feel More
  2. Frown Less, Smile More 🙂
  3. Talk Less, Listen More
  4. Judge Less, Accept More
  5. Watch Less, Do More
  6. Complain Less, Appreciate More
  7. Fear Less, Love More

May you be happy everyday!

Credit: To the original poster of this 7 Steps to Happiness.

Why I switched to Ubuntu from Windows for daily usage

rafie-ubuntu

I have been using three different operation system for the last couple of years with Mac being my favourite. I switched to PC when I need something for me to work remotely, away from my iMac.

And after a while, I realized it didn’t give me enough flow, so I installed Ubuntu on the laptop with dual boot. It sits inside this computer for two years now and initially, I only use it when I need speed in booting up the computer or connecting to the Wireless properly. Windows seems to be slow and having some dysfunctional Wireless chemistry. It works, but it will take some time. I know for Ubuntu or Mac, it will always work.

Work with Ubuntu

Recently, I found myself using Ubuntu more and more. With my Mac at home sits in the box waiting to be repaired, I found new love.

Sometimes, you’re asked:

When is the last time you try something new?

And I can proudly say last few weeks when I deploy a demo site on a cloud server – http://labs.mrkdesign.com/ It is purely experimental, but I learn few bits about command line and setting up things from just an empty server box.

Office program for Word and Excel?

I normally use Word and Excel on both Mac and PC but I have to settle for LibreOffice for now. It is okay and do what it needs to do. Otherwise, Google Drive will save the day.

Other than that, for coding stuff, I have installed Sublime 2 here which is fast and had less notification saying there’s update and ask me to purchase the license (although it is not required).

Fast action, fast results

I want to do something fast so that I can get fast results. Although I can afford a Mac, but I skip it because there is no need for it now. This machine still can be use for about a year more I think (I bought in 2010). I’ll wait for the next big thing after the retina display from Apple, then I switched 😉

For now, I am happy with Ubuntu.

But remember, I use this because it fits me and what I’m doing. Knowing what fits you is important.

What my mom thought me about bootstrapping

bootstrap-mom-tought-me-how

I wanted to start my own private limited company and start hiring people. I asked my mom whether I should:

  1. Take a business loan from the bank
  2. Get a steady paying gig and save on the side for the funding box
  3. Start with the business using my own savings

I told my mom that I do have enough savings, but it is risky considering I have a family.

If I were to take a business loan which I believe I can commit to it, I would be happy. But I think I have to wait after the election (5th May 2013). But I do not like owing to the bank due to the interest.

So, my mom told me to go for Option 2. Find a steady paying gig whether job or client and save some money on the side specifically for the new business funding.

It might take awhile but I will be financially stable. And who knows I would love what I do.

We’ll see.