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Group Interview at Apple UK

I recently set out on a venture to work at Apple and to my first job interview ever. I walked past the store twice before finally venturing in. . I got to the end of the Apple Store and told a member of staff in an orange shirt that I had an interview. They searched for my name tag (just my name on a sticker) and she  looked up my name on the store's iPhone, asked for my number and took a photo. I am guessing this will be used later on in the recruitment process when deciding if I will get through or not.

I sat down and waited for the others to arrive, surely enough over the course of the next 10 minutes people slowly started to drag themselves in. It was clear that I was one of the youngest there but another two candidates were also the same age as me. We also stood and sat around almost silently and staff kept on telling us that we could in fact speak to each other - no-one did. Although me and two girls did have a short chat before it went all quiet.

3 minutes late, the interview started - we were led to the back of the store through a humongous silver door that was at least 3 metres tall. We walked through the testing and fixing area and then went into the staff room. Let's just say it was 20 degrees celcius outside and there was no air conditioning - it was "cosy".

To start off the staff introduced themselves and commented that we were the quietest group they had ever interviewed, maybe because it was still 11am. To break the ice we had to turn to person on our right and learn 4 facts about them then introduce them to the group. This was easy and fun; I learnt a bit about a 21 year old girl. As there were ten candidates and three staff members, we were split up into 2 groups of 3 people and one group of 4. I was in the group of four.

The apple store group interview questions were:
Why do you want to work at apple?
When have you recieved good customer service?
If you were a vegetable which would you be?
When did you last make someone's day? How?
If you were on a desert island who and what would you take with you?

The third and fifth question were to keep the interview fun.

When asked about good customer service I had received I struggled and said that the only real time was the Sunday before at the same Apple Store where staff were friendly. This never happened. I was first to answer, I then thought of the time when lexmark replaced my printer and gave me new cartridges after a quick live chat session and a few emails - taking less than 20 minutes. I expected to have to send by printer back but no, I got a newer refurb model in the post 2 days later.... This is true and would have made a much better story.

My answer to when I last made someone's day was also pretty lame. I made up a time when I apparently saved my friends dad hundreds of pounds by telling him where there was a better pc deal. I should have said something along the lines of: I am told daily by people that I make their day every day, as I love to make people laugh and smile every day and cheer people up.

In response to what I'd take with me onto a desert island I said a book, maybe I should have said a video camera - although the batteries would run out after a few days.

We then rejoined into a large group again and we had 25 minutes to ask any questions we wanted. They once again commented on how much quieter we were than other groups (not a good sign probably - I did try to talk when it was appropriate). Questions asked were:
  • Probation period - 3 months
  • The pay - £7.70 an hour (not bad for retail)
  • Training - we were told that we'd be taught initially with classroom style training where we would learn the ins and outs of the whole Mac OS X operating system and the other apple products.
  • Worst thing about the job - apparently it is how people come into the store asking about the tablet and iPod camera rumours. They claim they only find out when the shipment arrives and even then they can't tell anyone. She did mention the table and ipod camera rumours - so maybe they do know something
  • Further training in the company - one hour of training with a 'creative' so you can learn about new skills on a mac - I'm assuming its stuff like imovie/final cut pro/garageband/etc.
  • Staff discounts - she says they are very generous and it's hard to use them up but couldn't say what they were. I had read on-line that the discounts are 25% off a full system for yourself (once a year), 15% off a system for your friends (three times a year) and 10% off any apple products in-store. I knew this at the time but didn't say anything in-case it would stop me getting them job - I know confidentiality is very important to apple.
  • Opportunities to move up into different roles - they say that you can progress to do anything you want in apple and you can switch from one job to another with training.
Questions I should have asked: number of job vacancies? (it wasn't clear - if there's more than one then i think there's a much better chance i'll get through) and how much training do staff get before a new product is launched?

Questions I did ask: I asked about overtime when a new product launches, they mentioned that it was very fun and you'll want to stay longer. Usually it will be normal work hours even on product launches.

It was made very clear that they don't care at all how much knowledge we have of the products or apple but instead only care about how we are as people. They also all commented on how they had never even used macs before they were working there but now are senior members of staff. All the staff seemed under 30 and most were under 25 so it's good to know young people may get good opportunities at apple. It became clear that even if you wanted to become a "Genuis" you wouldn't have to do much training which is not comforting being the owner of a Mac, it seemed that there wasn't much knowledge by the staff about the products themselves and all they knew was purely to sell you things.

Overall it was a very fun, relaxed interview - I doubt I'll get through as I didn't make myself out to be amazing but it's always worth a shot and having the experience of a job interview, albeit a bit more relaxed than most, is always great.

Random notes: Apparently there is even an instore football team. and they had a Microsoft XBOX in the staffroom hooked up to an apple monitor...ironic or what.

UPDATE: Didn't get the job.
UPDATE 2: One year later I was invited to interview for a different store so Does being rejected by Apple mean you can't work for them again? Probably not.

6 comments

  1. Hey!
    Thank you for this post, very helpful!
    How much time did they take to give you an answer?
    And the whole process, from the time scheduled, took how much time?
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The whole thing took about 45 minutes. They said that they'd give answers out within 2 weeks but didn't get back to me personally.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey,

    This is a brilliant post mate. I've been looking for a UK based blog for a insight into Apple interviews and what really happens.

    I was just wondering what was the dress code, and what did you wear to the interview?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You're welcome

    The dress code was wear whatever you want and everyone came casual. Jeans were fine. i wore a T-shirt and jeans.

    Looking back on it maybe they did want a shirt and trousers but no-one wore it. I would say smart casual. Maybe a shirt instead of a t-shirt would be better. They told us casual though when I emailed them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ive been told that they make you sign a disclosure form at the beginning of the interview as they don't want people to know about how they interview people...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can I ask you how long have you wait between the telephone interview and the group one? Because I have received a telephone interview yesterday but I forget to ask how long can I get the result.

    ReplyDelete

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