apple hiring interview process

Recently I decide to apply for a job in an Apple store. Here is apple hiring process.

First I went to Apple store on 5th Avenue and talked to a manager. There I found out that Apple dosen’t hire through stores as most big companies but has it’s application process on-line.

“4 Steps” of Apple interview process

Step 1.

Go to At the left bottom conner – “job opportunities“.  Find: Corporate; Retail; Students. Depending on what career you want to pursue – choose a category. Then you will have an opportunity to choose the position in the Apple store that you would like. Each position has a description and requirements. Smily and love to please people – front office floor guy – “specialist“. Don’t like people but still want to do simple work at Apple – Back office inventory guy- “inventory specialist“. Don’t like people and not afraid to unscrew gadgets- “genius“. After, it will ask you in what store you would like to work. Create an account and just keep filling all necessary info about you. It will take you about 15 – 20 minutes. When you are done- be patient and wait for an email response.  If you are qualify- congrats! Move to step 2.

(I personally again went to the apple store and ask apple employees about what to expect during an interview. That didn’t really help me. The answer was- be yourself).

Step 2.

Congratulations! You have some chances to actually get a position in Apple! But don’t be to excited, because your chances are now the same as wining a lottery. There is a 3 stage interview process. And of course, after each level there are less and less applicants.

In their email response their provide all necessary info about the first stage interview including adress and time. No need to dress up and iron your best shirt. Just wear what you comfortable in. Apple isn’t Goldman Sachs.

You will be interviewed in a rented conference room most likely in a hotel. Besides you there will be 20-25 people. Here it is very important to show simple leadership qualities (or as I call it “Alpha mammals” features) – take the front desk or seat, strike up a small conversation with your neighbor, and always keep smiling. Your goal is being noticed by one of the “observers” (there are going to be about four of them that will stay in the back during the “questions” section and nothing will get away from them). But don’t fake it. You know how bad actors look. If it’s not in your blood, it will be obvious. You will have 5 mins to fill out forms.

Everyone will introduce themselves. Say a few words about your background and answer questions that might be asked (see list of possible questions at the end of this article).  Make the people in the room laugh and you will score some “points”.

The main apple guy is going to give a small presentation, to make you really want to be hired. Be careful with that presentation, don’t underestimate it. No need to memorize all statistical data like revenue on a square foot of a retail space (which is the second one after “Tiffany” right now, but pay attention to it). You will be asked some question based on what you’ve just seen such as what did you learn that was new. Questions will be thrown randomly and again, based on how active you are, you will receive points. Finally (the most important part) – you will be divide in four groups (five to six people in each). You will be given a store scenario – you have an imaginary customer with provided descriptions of interest such as a student  who wants to create  movies. Also you will have cards with Apple products and a board to write on. Your task is to propose an Apple product to your new customer. Since you are in a group of five, I would also suggest that you show your “alfa” skills. Take the marker (as fast as possible – there will be only one) and start giving proposals to your team. You will have an “observer” who will keep track of earned “alfa” points. After a discussion with your team you will report to your “observer”.

You are done.  Say “good buy”. Give a handshake to observer. Call him by name (on his name tag).

There is nothing else for today. Patiently wait for an email invitation to a second stage interview.

Step 3.

You have been chosen – you are lucky! Now you will be invited to the Apple store where you are going to work ( if you are lucky enough). You will meet your manager. He will show you around and try to find out who you are. He is not a hiring manager, he is just a manager. That said he will either like you or not. Again, just be yourself. There are no right answers. You are likely to pass this stage. Again, you will wait for an invitation for the next interview.


Step 4.

Now the last and the most difficult part. You will be invited to a corporate offices. In New York it is on the second floor at the Apple store on 14th street. In addition to you – there will be  two other applicants. After a few minutes you will be asked to proceed to a glass walled conference room with them. There was a classic rectangular table from the Apple store. Three apple recruiters will interview you simultaneously. Again – no ties (Apple blue t-shirts on recruiters). Questions, questions, questions.  Now they want more specific answers, to more specific questions such as “what motivates you”. Be relaxed, and be yourself – and you will succeed. After the 30 minutes session – you are free. Go back home and pray for the most desired email.

Some sources told me, after this stage Apple does a “background check”. If you were in jail or arrested, Apple you find out about it.

Who doesn’t Apple like? (at least for retail)

Apple doesn’t like Apple fanatics. Apple doesn’t like nerds. Apple doesn’t like people who are fat or ugly. Apple doesn’t like dumb people. Apple doesn’t like people who lack social skills. Apple doesn’t like old people.

Who  does Apple like?

Best Apple specialist candidate is a 23 years old, easy going, laid back,  skinny, in skinny jeans, hip musician and who doesn’t really know what he want from life. And Apple like ethnic diversity.


List of possible questions that can occur during apple hiring process:

  1. Why do you want to work for Apple?
  2. Tell me a time when you didn’t meet your own expectations.
  3. Tell me a time when you exceeded the expectations of others.
  4. Tell me a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.
  5. What was the most fast paced environment you have worked in? How did you deal with it?
  6. How would you sway a PC user to use Mac products?
  7. What are some advantages Macs have over PCs?
  8. How would you help a customer that has no knowledge of Macs?
  9. Describe your relationship with your previous bosses or managers.
  10. Describe a time you had to learn something and apply it quickly.
  11. What kind of co-workers do you like to work with?
  12. Describe a time a customer was upset and how you turned it into a positive experience.
  13. Tell us about a time where you dealt w/ a customer and they had unrealistic expectations of you. Be specific and talk about the outcome.
  14. What questions did you have for us?
  15. What kind of research did you do to prepare for your interview with Apple today?
  16. Imagine a crystal ball, Where do you see yourself in Apple?
  17. Describe a situation in which you excelled above and beyond expectations.
  18. How has apple affected your life?
  19. Tell me about a time when you had to handle an unruly customer
  20. Tell me about a time that a customer presented you with a problem that seemed unimportant.
  21. What is new in Mac OSx lion?
  22. What is a “iLife” ?
  23. What is Ram and HD?
  24. What’s so special about SSD?
  • Interesting fact: First thing that new Apple employees noticed- relatively small wage in such big and successful company full of cash (on there balance sheets). Costco’s entry level employees get paid more. So prepare to stay on Ramen for a little longer.

By the way, after talking with recruiter in the Apple’s office on 14th street I wasn’t hired and never heard back. That made me start my own small business (read). Today I’m glad that I wasn’t hired.