With over 500,000 employees, online retail giant Amazon is widely considered to be one of the most sought after jobs in the US, according to a new study.

But how does a company that popular find their perfect candidates and ensure its high standards are retained?

According to a 1998 letter to shareholders written by Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man has a three-question test for hiring new employees.

1. "Will you admire this person?"

With this one, Bezos encourages Amazon recruiters to think about their personal opinion of the candidate.


"I've always tried hard to work only with people I admire, and I encourage folks here to be just as demanding," Bezos wrote in the letter.

"If you think about the people you've admired in your life, they are probably people you've been able to learn from or take an example from."

2. "Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they're entering?"

With this question, Bezos is aiming to get a sense of a person's capacity for innovation.

"We want to fight entropy," Bezos wrote. "The bar has to continuously go up. I ask people to visualise the company 5 years from now. At that point, each of us should look around and say, 'The standards are so high now — boy, I'm glad I got in when I did!'"

According to Amazon's statement of its 14 driving principles; "Leaders have relentlessly high standards. Many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes."

3. "Along what dimension might this person be a superstar?"

Bezos considers it equally important to consider a candidate's individual talents.

"Many people have unique skills, interests, and perspectives that enrich the work environment for all of us. It's often something that's not even related to their jobs," Bezos wrote, citing at the time his excitement about having hired a National Spelling Bee champion.

"I suspect it doesn't help her in her everyday work, but it does make working here more fun if you can occasionally snag her in the hall with a quick challenge: 'onomatopoeia!,'".