At Zappos, we like to make sure that Customer Loyalty Team has someone they can turn to if they need some additional information. This is called the Resource Department. We also like to make sure the Resource Department (“RDesk” for short) has someone they can turn to if they need additional information. This role is called the quartermaster. They are like the Resource Department’s resource department! They have even more Inception-like qualities.
One such quartermaster is the indefatigable Stephanie H. The H stands for “hunka burnin’ love”. Ok, that’s not actually true. The H is a closely guarded Zappos secret. I sat down with Stephanie to see what other secrets she might have…
First question is a challenge. If you answer it, you receive one point. Then at the end of the interview, we’ll see who has the most points.
SH: Wait, so I’m competing against you, and you know the answers to everything?
No, I don’t know the answers to everything. If you feel like you have any challenges you wish to issue during the interview, you are free to do so. You should know that gives me opportunities to pass you in point. Ok, are you ready?
Ok, that is one point for you since you got that one right. Now for question two. Can you describe for me what quartermasters do. But your answer must be an acrostic that spells the word “pirate”!
SH: Ok, so P- I help “please” the team. If they have questions, I help answer them. Or if they need anything like tissues because their nose is running --
Or they’re crying.
SH: Or they’re crying. I‘m there to wipe their tears. And their nose. Ok, the letter I. Can I just make the “I” me? I’m quartermaster so “I”. R is “run around and dance”. A is --
(At this point, a Zappos Insights tour group from Taiwan joins us in the UFO meeting room…)
SH: A for “all kinds of stuff”. T for “telephone”, I answer that. E for “excitement”…
(the Taiwanese tour group applauds here)
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and why?
SH: Whether I’m hungry or not, because my answers will have a lot to do with whether I’m hungry or not--or grumpy. But if I’ve had food, I’m a happier person.
Wow. If you ever get interviewed again, I hope someone asks you that question.
Anyway, next question. So, you notice there’s this pad and pen in front of you. To a layman, it might seem more logical for the pad to be in front of me. But I assure you this is not an error. For your next question, you must explain what Zappos culture means to you. But while you answer, you must close your eyes and draw a rabbit.
SH: Umm, ok. [draws bunny] To me, the Zappos culture means that I can go to work, and I can have a fun time. I still get my work done, but I can dance around in between calls, and I can sing and express myself.
Keep answering until the bunny is done! You ran out of answer before you ran out of bunny!
SH: Is that cheating? Oh no! And yeah that’s it!
Stephanie puts the pen down. I hold up the drawing of the bunny.
Stephanie's rabbit & a real rabbit for reference.
The tour group “oohs” and “ahhs”.
If you could be any kind of shoe, what would you be?
SH: I would be an Alexander McQueen heel because I can’t afford one.
That is the end! Thanks so much Stephanie for taking the time to do this Zapponian Spotlight interview!
Oh, and those tourists? Some say that they are still in the Zappos UFO to this very day, whispering things that you can’t understand. ‘Til next time!