Getting an interview with the biggest tech company in the world felt like I’d found the ‘Golden Ticket’!
Back in 2012, I was fortunate to be invited to an Apple Recruitment Day. I had worked in technical support for nearly 10 years and was fully Microsoft Certified, but I was gradually switching over to Apple as it seemed like the right thing to do. I thought with all my experience and knowledge it would be easy to get my foot in the door with the tech giant Apple. Wrong!
I did a lot of research on the internet to get me ready from what to expect. The application process was pretty quick actually, I applied online just by chance and got invited to attend a recruitment day just two weeks later.
I wasn’t sure how to dress, so I went smart, but casual. The event was held in a nice hotel up north. I had to use my iPhone to guide me to the location using Apple Maps, which at the time was dreadful to use and wasn’t the best sat nav experience, but eventually I found the destination (after I switched to Google Maps!)
Once in the hotel, I made my way to the area of the hotel where the event was being held. It was quite a low-key event actually and I was expecting more from the world’s biggest tech brand, but this is Apple, who I guess liked to keep things simple.
I sat in dimly lit room with around twenty other people. We were all squashed in like we were all participating in a surprise birthday party. Nobody spoke. Some of the people were dressed in suits while some, like myself had gone for a more casual approach. I was also surprised there was only two females attending this recruitment group.
After a while, two Apple representatives came in wearing Apple’s signature blue polo shirt and white lanyard. They started with a name call and gave us a really crappy name badge, which was our names written in blue marker on a sticky label. I was really disappointed as I was expecting an Apple Visitor badge, which I could probably keep even if I didn’t get a job!
One of the Apple reps was like a kids TV presenter, he had a Scottish accent and was all jolly and smiley. I was expecting a puppet sidekick to appear at any moment and join in. The other guy didn’t really say much and was a double for Steve Jobs!
We then proceeded into a room of chairs in a U-shape facing a big screen, so there was no escaping for anyone wanting to sit at the back. In front of the screen there where some fancy glass bottles of water, which throughout the whole two hours were never offered out!
One of the reps joked about using Apple Maps to find the hotel, which was kind of ironic. The first thing we had to do was sign a declaration to stop us talking about what happens today. It’s kind of like ‘the first rule of Apple Recruitment is – we don’t talk about Apple Recruitment!’ They wouldn’t even tell us the location or when the store was opening either!
We then had to introduce ourselves with our name, what we are doing as a job now, something interesting about ourselves and the usual interview question – ‘why do you want to work for Apple?’ It’s advisory that you should volunteer to go first for this section as this shows leadership value. Probably?!
Some of the people in the group went on for like 5 or 10 minutes, and you could tell these were brown nosers. Two of the guys who sat next to me couldn’t be more Apple if they tried. They just never shut up praising and arse-licking the whole brand. It was pretty cringe-worthy.
Both of them bragging about how they were certified Apple Professionals and that their mummy and daddy brought them their first Apple product when they were just 8! One of them even brought in a Generation 1 iPod to show us all, because he probably thought he might get brownie points! It more than likely worked, as some of the people in the room were under twenty, and to them this was like a sacred ancient relic to behold. It was like we had discovered the lost ark!
One person brought out all the guns and had a sad back story, but then they got an iPod and it changed their life, and to work for Apple was a way forward for them. It was like watching an audition on X-Factor!
A lot of the attendees were the kind of Apple Fan boys that make me embarrassed to even support the brand! But, then again these are the kind of people Apple will be employing because they talk the talk like some kind of Apple evangelist!
We then watched a video presentation and were then asked:
- “What surprised us about Apple the most?”
- “How many countries do they have stores in?”
- “How much money did they make last year?”
All the answers to these questions were on the video.
In the video, it said Apple had stores in eleven countries, but again, the arse-lickers amongst us corrected the reps and the video, all by saying – “Well, actually that figure is thirteen, and did you include Brazil?” “Okay, that’s great, super – high-five!” These dickheads had done their homework!
We then watched a second video and were asked “What we thought about Apple”. The usual arseholes were interrupting and shouting their answers out. Again this is what Apple wants!
We then had to do a group exercise. We were split up into groups of four or five and were given scenarios to deal with (really it was to see how good you were at selling and ‘brainwashing!’)
Unfortunately, I was placed in a group with the biggest Apple fan boys in the group. We all worked together to come up with a solution to our scenario which was about what products we would recommend ‘a person who liked travel and mountaineering.’ We then all had to come up with an individual question we would then ask the customer.
When the time was up, we had to present to the whole group and Apple reps on the solution we had come up with. In turn we all had to say what our individual question would be too.
We all came up with individual questions but for some reason the question I came up with was stolen by one of the other members of my team who went before me, so I was pretty much left giving the same question, making me look like a dick! I was so p*#sed off as I felt that I was screwed over because of this!
Again, like I said before – ‘volunteer to go first‘.
We then all sat back down in the u-shape, and finally we had to each say what we would bring to Apple. Again the arse-lickers had definitely done their homework and blabbed on and on and on. I’m surprised that they didn’t blurt out a Steve Jobs quote or something and run through the group giving high-fives just to seal the deal!
Overall the experience was disappointing. I went for a job as a ‘Genius’ (technician) for what I am fully qualified for, but felt like I was going for a job as an 18-30 holiday rep.
It’s a real shame as any experience or expertise I could have brought to the job has gone out the window. I know I wouldn’t be invited back to the second stage. I was just glad to get out of there and hug my iPhone saying “It doesn’t matter. I still love you. This changes nothing!”
I don’t think I would ever go for another job at Apple, but then again I could return knowing the kind of stuff they were going to ask and the kind of people they were looking for.
I don’t know if the recruitment process is the same for working in the corporation side of the company. Maybe I’ll go back and shout my mouth off, praise Apple like it’s a religion and even bring an old iMac from the 90’s or have an autograph signed by Steve Jobs I managed to source off eBay!
It definitely hasn’t put me off the brand I still love Apple products and the company.