4 Ways Apple Can Inspire Your Recruitment Drive

4 Ways Apple Can Inspire Your Recruitment Drive

Focused on innovation, Apple is a completely different company or organisation than our previous post based around NASA.

As pioneers in the PC, laptop and mobile phone industries, Apple pride themselves on knowledge, customer service and above all, quality.

However, to successfully do this, they have to recruit the right employees to fit their forward-thinking dynamic – whether it’s for a role in one of their stores or for a marketing role in their HQ.

So, if you’re interested in taking a leaf or bite out of Apple’s book, here’s a quick look into their own recruitment process.

Patience is a virtue

According to a UX designer, Luis Abreu, he had to undergo “3 screening calls, 5 FaceTime interviews, a trip to Cupertino for 5 two-person interviews lasting a whole day and a launch at the newest Café Macs.”

And the worse part of all is that he only received “A shallow no.”

Granted, carrying out this many stages in your recruitment process simply isn’t feasible or time-savvy.

But it does serve a lesson in patience.

Apple only wants the best, so setting a potential candidate a task and turning them away after this stage isn’t a waste of time, it’s an investment your business should be willing to make.

MI5 have a similar process, where they often drag out the recruitment process over the space of a year or two.

This includes monitoring a potential candidate in their daily routines and carrying out rigorous checks.

The beauty of Apple is that they want to see their candidates in every possible light.

An interview only gives you a professional snapshot, while a task simply gives you a broader understanding of their skills.

But what you often don’t see is the candidate in a natural environment.

That’s why Apple decided to take Luis to the launch at one of the newest Café Macs.

Getting a current employee to show a candidate around the building or to sit with them in the reception before their interview is a perfect way to gauge how they are in a more relaxed environment.

Test the candidate’s initiative

It wouldn’t be Apple if they didn’t test their candidates in a strange and innovative way would it?

In a report by The Telegraph, previous candidates revealed some of the weird and wonderful questions Apple have asked them.


“Who would you most like to share a coffee with and why?”

A great icebreaker question to encourage further conversations around hobbies and interests.

“What would you say to a customer who says they don’t like Apple?”

This question is aimed more at the customer service role in their store. They are looking for something smart enough to change the customer’s opinion.

“Tell me about a time when you got something you didn’t think you deserved.”

This is all about honesty and turning a negative into a positive.

“What is the most embarrassing song you have on your phone?”

Another top icebreaker question and one that could lighten the spirit.

“If you’re given a jar with a mix of fair and unfair coins, and you pull one out and flip it 3 times, and get the specific sequence heads, heads tails, what are the chances that you pulled out a fair or an unfair coin?”

A technical one I certainly don’t know the answer to. The point is, it can test the initiative of a candidate! (Maybe go for a less tricky one though.)

“How many children are born every day?”

100% a pub quiz question, but always good to get the candidate’s mind going.

“Are you smart?”

This question should be rephrased: “Are you modest?” This will undoubtedly sort out the big heads from the conservative people.

Get the atmosphere right

For in-store positions, Apple usually carry out group interviews to help them narrow down their search for the perfect employee.

One student explained to Macworld how five people conducted the first interview and applauded the group of applicants as they entered the room.

This idea was all in favour of creating the right atmosphere for their applicants so that they feel comfortable enough to speak out in front of others.

It’s also a top way of showing the candidates your appreciation that they’ve actually turned up too!

Establish your values

Before you post the job advert or contact a recruitment agency, you should establish your company’s core values.

Apple places their customers at the forefront of everything they do, meaning their employees need to act and feel the same way.

Getting in a top salesperson who is only interested in making his/or her commission isn’t doing this.

Yes, you’ll get the initial business, but will the customer return again and again – I’m not so sure.

Focus on your important core values and then you can find the right candidate based on these very principles.

You’ll be surprised by how much easier it is to sort the pretenders from the contenders.

Final thoughts

Apple’s recruitment ideas and techniques may not exactly be affordable or practical to some.

But they do provide a few key points you can take away and adapt for yourself.

For example, you should be willing to wait a little longer to find the right employee and make sure that they align with your company values.

While creating the right atmosphere and asking a few light-hearted questions in the interview is essential in establishing a real understanding of what a candidate is like, instead of just seeing their automated/professional side.

Good luck!

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