Killer Interview Question: Do You Know How To Pronounce The CEO’s Name?

Killer Interview Question: Do You Know How To Pronounce The CEO’s Name?

This week’s KIQ will require you to do some research because some people (including myself) have confusing names that are hard to pronounce. But it’s important to get your potential new boss’ name right to make a good impression.

businessman pointing at himself image from Shutterstock recently put together a list of some odd questions CEOs and managers of major companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon like to ask. There was one from Amazon really stood out: “Do you know the CEO’s name?”

It might seem like an unfair trick question considering you probably don’t know the CEO personally, but saying somebody’s name correctly is more important than you’d think. It’s hard not to get at least a little annoyed when somebody says your name wrong and it’s always a bit awkward when you have to correct someone. Getting your potential future boss’ name right the first go means you won’t make an ass of yourself when you meet them in person. More importantly, it shows that you were attentive enough to do your research about the company before the interview.

This should be a cake walk for CEOs of big companies like Amazon since there are a number of video interviews featuring Jeff Bezoz (for the record, it’s pronounced “bay-zose”). For smaller companies, you might have to ask around to find out.

Have you ever been asked this question in an interview before? Let us know in the comments.



  • It’s also a great indicator of the corporate culture of that company.

    And not a particularly favourable one, IMO, unless it’s a small start-up where most positions aren’t 9-10 levels below the CEO and there might actually be some possible reason for you to ever know their name or be impacted operationally by any of their decisions.

    Any kind of priority placed on hierarchy for the sake of hierarchy rather than operational considerations is less about working efficiently and effectively, and is more about appearances.

    In general it’s going to be a lot more important to know how to pronounce the name of the person in charge of mail who has a surname almost entirely without vowels, given that for most roles you’re FAR more likely to interact with them, or be impacted by their actions.

    • Agree. Honestly, if you’re going for an interview at a company the size of Amazon it doesn’t really matter what the CEO’s name is because you’re unlikely to have much interaction with him/her anyway. It’s advantageous if you have at least a rudimentary knowledge of what the company does when you go for an interview, but if they expect you to know the names of individuals in particular roles before you even start, it suggests they’re more interested in your ability to stroke egos rather than get the job done.

      Unless, of course, the job is ego-stroking 😛

  • Not the CEO, but was asked “Do you know how to pronounce our full names?”. In the email confirming the interview it did name the 3 people who will be interviewing me – 2 of them had foreign surnames

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