How To Get Hired At The Apple Retail Store

Update: There is a follow-up to this article, with comments and questions via e-mail answered! It may interest you to read it after you finish this piece.

It’s not secret that a popular company like Apple has hundreds of people applying daily for work. If you’re one of those people, and happen to have that extra drive to be one of the few selected to join the team, this guide will serve you greatly. I was hired in September of 2009 as a ‘Specialist’ (essentially a glorified salesman) in one of their retail stores, and want to share the experience that it was, to go from nothing to hired.

First thing you need to do is create an Apple ID. You can go to myinfo.apple.com to do so. Once you’ve entered all relevant information (the more complete your profile, the better) you can login and search the job listings that are currently posted. Login with your Apple ID to cooljobs.apple.com. From here, you’ll be able to search through corporate, as well as retail positions that have been put up. Since I haven’t gone through the corporate process, I won’t touch on that, and will just stick to retail.

Apple Retail

Apple Retail

Once you’ve clicked the “Search Retail Jobs”, you’ll get a return of a long list, with all the job titles prefixed by a country code; CAN for Canada, US for the United States, GER for Germany, etc. Choose each position you think you’d be suited for, one by one, and go through the process. You’ll choose a state/province where you’d like to apply, and either apply for current or future openings. Once this is all done, you’ll be formally submitted as a candidate, and if by some miracle you get chosen out of the bunch, good for you, you lucked out.

Once you’ve finished all the applications, I would encourage you to drop into the store, and meet some of the managers; it’s usually very occupied in the Apple Store, so it’s a good idea to go early in the morning (I would call 11am the deadline to go in). Let them know that you’ve applied formally online, and are very interested in a job with Apple. Tell them why you want to work for Apple, why you’d be good at the positions you’ve applied for, and why they might want you on the team. You want to make sure you’re being cordial at all times, and not coming off too strongly. Let them know that you’re aware that they’re hiring (if they are) and if they’re not, let them know that you’ll be checking back, and that you’re serious about applying. Ask if there’s anything you can do (every store is different, every manager is different) that will sweeten your chances at an interview.

note: If you’re applying for numerous positions, you will want to know that once you’re hired, you have to wait until your three month probationary period is over before applying for what I can only assume would be a promotion. I was hired as a Specialist, and was eager to apply to the Genius position (the position I wanted initially, but wasn’t available at the time… or so I was told). Since I wanted to work immediately, and thought it would be a good idea to get my foot in the door, I took the job as a Specialist, before finding out it wasn’t ever going to happen; more on that later.

The Interview

There are a couple parts to the interview; typically it won’t be the store manager who does the interviewing, but he/she will join you later to talk to you a little bit; usually the assistant managers will be sitting down with you. During the interview they’ll ask the standard questions, which you should be prepared for. I’ll accompany my answers to these questions (as best as I can remember, paraphrased a little, of course).

Why do you want to work for Apple?

I’ve never pictured myself working retail, but I knew that if I ever did, I’d want to work for Apple. Things are done differently, and standards (products, customer service, work environment) are set much higher than any other company I know of. The end goal is just to make peoples lives better; I’m also just really pationate about Apple as a consumer, I have many of your products at home and genuinely enjoy them, and would love to share that excitement with others. I want people to see Apple as I see it. Apple’s products have enriched my life and I’d want to be part of a place that gets to showcase those products, and send people home with them.

What would make you a good (for me, Specialist)?

Like I said, I have many of your products at home. iPod, iPhone, Macbook, Airport Extreme – all products I’m extremely familiar with. I feel that I have a good base of knowledge that can only be furthered by working at Apple, that would in turn allow me to share that with customers, and show them why Apple really is better than the competition. One common misconception about Apple is that they’re overpriced or more expensive for no reason. I want to show people the true value of the equipment or service, and show them how much more they get out of purchasing an Apple, opposed to anyone else. I don’t want this to come out the wrong way, but I think that I’m a real people person too; I like talking to people, and I find that people get really engaged when I’m passionate about something. As a Specialist, I could go on for hours about all the different Apple products and services, and communicate that pseudo ‘love’ I have for Apple, and share it with customers effectively.

What would make you an asset to Apple?

Everything I’ve already said I think makes me an excellent candidate for this position; but as an employee generally, I’m punctual, energetic, have a good work ethic, and tremendous attention to detail. I’m always conscious about my customers needs and the needs of my co-workers, so I’m quick to pickup on queues that would be important in a setting such as a retail store. I’m a great independant, and a good leader, which I think makes me a good team player at the same time. I’m great with taking direction, and very receptive to feedback from peers.

What previous experience do you have that you’ll be able to apply to your job, should you be accepted?

Essentially every job I’ve had I’ve interacted with customers, in one way or another. The clients I service from my own firm, customers when I’m serving or bartending, teachers and parents at the schools where I’ve done I.T. support, and even kids at summer camps where I’ve been a science & technology specialist. Everywhere I’ve worked, performance has been the equivalent to how happy I keep my clientele, I have known no other way to ‘perform’. That’s to say that even when someone is sometimes (and not that I’d ever say it, but we both know it happens) being unreasonable, you have to adapt and maintain a professional attitude, and do whatever it takes to keep that person happy. Even if someone were to treat me poorly, I wouldn’t break or dip below that standard of excellence I’ve set for myself. I treat others the only way I would expect to be treated myself.


~

After this interview was done, I was left with a written test (one that exists for every position in the store) that asked me numerous remedial questions regarding computers. What’s a CPU? What’s the difference between ram and a hard-drive? Which of the following is not part of the iLife suite? Many static, simple questions that hardly test anything past basic understanding of components. It was maybe 15 simple questions along those lines, which you were given maybe 30 minutes to complete (probably took no more than 20 minutes). When I was done the test, I was greeted by the store manager, who went on a little schpeel about how much she loved Apple and how special they thought they were. This is where you’re listening a lot more than talking. You’re hearing about what a big deal Apple is and why it’s different and all this other stuff. At this point, you should be agreeing unconditionally and finding appropriate times to relate to what’s being said. It’s also at this point that you’re asked what you expect as compensation. You can throw a number out, but the reality is that a part-time Mac Specialist is going to be making anywhere from $12 to $15 an hour. You’re evaluated on your previous experience, your formal education, the impression you make on your manager, and made an offer based on how little he or she thinks you’ll accept. You leave the interview being told that you will be contacted further to see whether you’ll proceed or not.

When I received my initial offer, it was via a phone call a couple days after my interview. I accepted the compensation I was being offered right away (hourly wage of something between $13.40 and $13.60 an hour *wink* *wink*) not knowing what the norm was, or what caliber of people I was going to be working with. I also needed something quickly, and wasn’t in any position to be negotiating. I quickly realised that I was being underpaid for my capacity, and for the service that I provided in the store. I needed little to no training, and after a couple weeks, I was more informed on what I call the ‘importants’ than my colleagues who had been in the store for more than a year. I was already capable to do certain tasks that would require certain expertise, that few if not any other specialists had. I digress.

Apple Employees

Apple Employees

After receiving the phone call with my offer and wage, I was also contacted by email to see when would be a good time to do the ‘core training’. The base knowledge all Apple employees are expected to have; history of the company, the major dates, and the revolution that Apple products led, so on and so forth. During the training, you receive little to no product training what-so-ever. I found that many of the people I was training with, weren’t familiar with anything Apple. One girl at Core claims she had never even stepped foot in an Apple store prior to being hired; this was a little shocking. They had been hired because of the kind of person they were. This isn’t to say that mistakes were made, there were a couple in the group who were so dense, and showed everyone it was clear they didn’t belong. It’s at this point that I realized it had nothing to do with where you had been, with what you could do; it was more of the person you are and the potential that you hold. Your attitude, your demeanor, your composure, all traits that are heavily favoured when applying for a non-technical position at Apple. They want individuals who are passionate, driven, and born to interact and make people happy. They want friendly, personable, and professional; traits I believe you’re more or less born with; the rest can be trained, but your instinct and personality is pretty programmed, difficult to change.

notes:

1) Genius’ (technicians), Family Room Specialists (iPod/iPhone repairs), Creatives (trainers) are the three positions where your previous technical experience may come in handy, otherwise, it’s not of much use. Apple believes they can teach the blank slate anything, as long as they’ve got the right attitude and correct personality.

2) You should know that I was hired individually. I revisited the store a couple times and made myself known as a person as opposed to one of the masses applying online. Sometimes, seminars are held which do hiring/interviewing in bulk; I’m not familiar at this point in time so I won’t speculate until I have more facts.

I’ll update the post if I think of more, but as usual you may contact me if you have any additional questions, but before you do make sure you read this.

Update: There is a follow-up to this article, with comments and questions via e-mail answered! It may interest you to read it after you finish this piece.

If you really valued this guide or have 5 minutes to spend reading www.marccizravi.com/donate/, much appreciated.


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106 comments to How To Get Hired At The Apple Retail Store

  • cpkopa

    Thanks so much! I’m applying for work in Apple in another country and this is pretty useful for me :)

  • Hello Marc,

    This information that you provided was very insightful and informative. I’m hoping that it will help me to join Apple’s winning team! I strongly beleive that I am a people person and that I have great customer service skills. I’m applying for a speicalist postition at a Retail Store in Roosevelt Field in Long Island New York. This would just be a stepping stone of bigger things to come if I’m given a chance to build a promising career at Apple. Steve Jobs did a great job imporoving this company’s vision. I hope to add to this as well. Please let me know what else I could do regarding the aforementioned.

    Thank you in advance,
    Michael Baldeo
    917-301-0034

  • thanks for the kind words Michael, I appreciate that people are getting something out of my experience :)

    I’m actually trying to put together a second article with some more information, look for it within the next week or two.

  • Bob M

    Marc,
    Great article! Is it common for Apple to hire people 55 and over. I am looking into staying in corporate IT or trying to get into get into Apple retail but I have to admit I haven’t used a Mac for two years do you think this may hurt my chances?
    Is there any further advice you can give to a person 55 plus and has a disABILITY with the desire to succeed?
    Again thanks for the article.
    Bob

  • sean C.

    hey marc, i really want to work for apple but it seems no matter what i do i never get a call back. can you please describe your prior work experiance and if its no trouble a sample of your resume. you can email it to me at rasputin_sof@msn.com

  • Hey guys, sorry I’ve been really occupied, If you emailed me you’d get my attention quicker – I’ve been trying to keep up with everything and it’s been a real challenge.

    Bob – During my training at Apple there was a man who was well into his 60s training to be a specialist – Apple is all about the right person, it doesn’t matter how old you are if you’re the right fit for the job. As for your disability, we would need to speak privately for me to get any idea :)

  • 2 seminars, 2 meetings with business leader all within 1 month, 2 we think you’re great but we’re going with one of our other very qualified candidates, thought both went well, during the turn-down, both managers said you;re great a lot to offer then the Apple blow off but…………very dinscoerting most people think I represent Apple since I am a nerd but friendly and helpful and love technology I shined at both seminars and now this, almost want to scream! any advice, my city has 3 Apple stores not sure If the seminar encompassed all three stores or how that works when there are multiple stores in one city and how that whole cattle call seminar thing works…any advice wouold be appreciated!

  • William Christopher

    I was recently in a seminar with Apple, and it was so clear that with the exercises and the form they had us filled out that I knew what was required to flourish in Apple and I had the tools. Now given I may not have the Apple “look” (I’m a 6’5 black guy with tattoos) but still came to the seminar well dressed, smiled and all that razzmatazz but none the less I still got shafted the very next day via email. It just confirmed my feelings like I didn’t “belong” there no matter how tech-savvy or experienced I was/am

  • B

    William Christopher- I’m sorry to hear you feel that you wouldn’t fit in Apple store. I know a great guy who works at an Apple retail store and he’s a big guy with tattoos as well, so I think if you are to walk in with that kind of attitude then you’re going to attract the same kind of attitude back- law of attraction. It’s easier to get into Harvard than become an employee at Apple- true statistics- so don’t let it bother you and if Apple is somewhere you really see yourself than keep trying with a new attitude and you’ll get there.

    much love

    -B

  • booba

    how long does it take for apple to call you? I applied a week ago at the chinook apple store idk if they do it differently here in canada.

  • FromMars

    I attended a seminar a few days ago ( i’m in Canada )and it was with a small group of people, not the standard type of cattle call and this was my 3rd seminar , i’m still waiting for word on if i will be hired and i’m getting sick of them.
    I have everything they are looking for and i’m pretty disillusioned by them now… i think they are waaaaaaaayy too picky , it’s pretty stupid, that coupled with thier INTENSE SECRECY of how they ” hire” potential applicants.
    I did a cold call at a new store recently, and the staff there all looked like 15 or 16 yr olds and were really inept about retail procedures — haha ! .

  • FromMars

    Update: Just received a rejection email , it looked like a template email from them i’m sad about it but not entirely
    surprised.
    The wording of the rejection seemed like an attempt at sincerity and openness but it struck me as being shallow and rehearsed.
    Very tired of trying to make inroads into their company and their “culture” i’m moving on with bigger and better things.
    I will still continue to be a Mac user, but it’s clear to me now that working for Apple is not my destiny, their loss.
    I hope others can learn from my example and maybe not try to believe so much in a company that is so SECRETIVE.

    Good Luck everyone.

  • Dave

    What an eloquent and concise source of information you we’re able to muster up for us aspiring Apple employees! Thanks!

    I’ve recently applied for a specialist position here in Montreal, Canada and I’m hoping your advice will hit home with them as it has with me. I’ve been called in the past and offered a full-time creative position while I was still completing my studies full-time. At that time, my conscience gave me no other choice but to turn down that fantastic offer. Inasmuch as this was an unfortunate turn of events for me, I’m hoping it will have no bearing on my recent application if not to serve as positive premises for a second, and most assuredly welcome, job offer!

    In any case, you’ve got a great and informative website Marc and I wish you luck in all your future undertakings! Good luck to everyone else as well!

  • FromMars

    I hope you have better luck than I have been having Dave, i am thinking of “taking it to the next level” the conditions warrant that.
    Bye.

  • Brian Terstenyak

    Dear Marc,

    I have applied literally over 1000 times in multiple positions, have gone to eight one-on-one interviews, had four phone interviews, attended three group seminars, and even submitted multiple personal pleas to Apple managers. This all has been futile because in the end I simply have been rejected. The larger insult is that I was nominated by three current employees to their managers and still was ignored. I am an emotional guy and am starting to take this personally even though I know it’s wrong. I just really would love to work for them so bad, I’m willing to sell my soul for them. Not only do I use an iPhone 4 and a MacBook Pro 17″ (unibody), I have successfully converted my entire family to Mac Users and iPhone users with accessories and protection plans throughout the product line. And yet, somehow, this is all insufficient for employment at Apple. I am going to attempt in full force once again following your advice to the letter. (Don’t worry, I won’t hold you accountable or anything!) I will let you know how it goes. I am currently studying Management Of Information Systems at the University Of Phoenix! My e-mail is bzntt180@yahoo.com! Please e-mail me for more advice.

  • Ken

    Hi Marc,

    Thank you for the insightful article. Any tips on the dress code for these interviews? I ask because I see how the employees are dressed and it seems real laid back. I don’t imagine wearing a suit and tie to these interviews will help. It seems like jeans, a t-shirt and a comfortable pair of sneakers is the norm. Am I right?

  • Jason

    @Ken: I wore jeans and a button up shirt for both of my first two interviews and have yet to receive the rejection e-mail, so good luck! To the hiring seminar just wear dress pants, dress shoes, and a button up shirt. The tie will be over doing it in my opinion, just make sure to be outspoken and confident, but don’t overdo it and be annoying. Try to answer all the questions they ask as this will let them get to know you better. Most importantly, relax and be yourself, have fun its apple :)

  • Judy

    wow…
    I feel so bad for those who are giving it their 110% effect with no luck. Please, remember another door will open. YES Apples is a fantastic company, but their are humans and maybe making a mistake not to hire you. Don’t take it personal, it is time to move on and something better will come along. When I saw the salary scale, to be honest, I was shocked. The salary isn’t all that great. Thank goodness one would get benefits and an education from them.
    Yes, I hope I do get the job, but, after working for 40 years, I know the doors always open when you bust your fanny.
    Give them all you got and I wish all of you the very best. My interview is in March. “we will see”

  • Ryan

    I’m hoping my age (17) doesn’t entitle me to automatic rejection. I’ve been looking for a job since last year and have yet to find any luck. I’m hoping this guide will help me land a dream first job. Thanks for the help.

  • David

    FWIW, I made it to the second interview only to be turned down, over a year ago. Last week I was in one of my local stores picking up an Airport Express and decided to take a chance and asked to speak to the manager. I inquired if my previous rejection had anything to do with the lack of response to subsequent applications and he assured me that there was no “blacklist” or anything of the sort. After a brief discussion about my prior experience, he invited me to come in for an interview this week! Fingers crossed.

  • Amy

    Hey guys. All I can say is just be yourselves. Go in there, and have a good time! Smile, Nod, Acknowledge who is speaking to you, and get involved!!

    GOOD LUCK.

  • Josh

    As marc said, go in and talk to someone at the store after completing the online portion. They take your email and will send you an email with a seminar invite.

    This was at Rideau in Ottawa, CA, by the way,so I cant guarantee it’s the same in the states or in the uk, etc.

  • Jen

    I applied and then even received an opportunity to be part of a group interview within 2 weeks. I got there early. I have 15 years of hands on production experience using Apple products with large companies. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Arts Technology Management from a top school. I know PC as well and have converted PC users to Mac. I had submitted 3 technical references. I know the products. I nailed the 2 skits we were instructed to do. I was outgoing and was knowledgeable of the products. Though, they wanted us to write everything down as to what we knew, as apposed to actually demonstrated it. Anyone can take a written test. Before the interview I even spoke to one of the floor trainers who then passed my information on to the hiring manager. Sadly, I too received the canned rejection email that said that they have moved on with other candidates. I am a 35 year old female (yet look 25) even having recent sales experience too. After the interview I went to the store (the interview was held offsite) and walked in the store. I was not even greeted. The 2 greeters were too busy checking their iPhones. No kidding. I walked the entire store and not once was I acknowledged. It is a disappointment that when I have entered an Apple store recently, I am greeted generally by a 20 year old slapping gum. My technical references noted after I told them I did not move on in the hiring process that when they have gone to the store here (Chicagoland Area) to get products they actually wondered if “kids” there had even used the products in an actual production environment and not just to post pictures or text. None of my references were even called. Picky is not the word. Obnoxious is. What was Apple looking for? Experience must not be. Why did I want to work here? I love the products and helping people learn Apple. Oh well. I have moved on and have found something else. I still love my Apple products.

  • Dorje

    Apple seems to be changing things up a bit. Obviously, they read these things too.

    I applied online and went to a local hotel with 30 other people. It was the typical scene you’ve read about only we did not do the skits or interview our neighbor. There were lots of people trying VERY hard. Answering every question, trying to make an impression, etc. I didn’t see those people at the 2nd interview.

    That was held in another hotel conference room only this one was with 2 managers and you were with another applicant.

    Interesting observation: One of the ‘Frat Guy’ types made it there — he was still wearing his Preppy Handbook uniform (khakis, oxford cloth shirt and a pastel tie. Yellow this time, pink in 1st interview). Perhaps he had a Young republicans meeting to go to? The other person who was there was a guy I called ‘Stanky’. Besides that lip ring piercing and being dressed as a Geek, he made an olfactory impression that was difficult to forget. Cologne and perfume is an obvious no-no – perhaps bathing is too?

    I did very well in the interview process. Coming from a corporate world where I was a permanent member of the HIring Team made this really easy. But still, Apple hires the personality and what you can bring to the team. My co-applicant admitted that he didn’t own any Apple products currently and told them he sold his MBP because he needed the money. Not what I would’ve said but you never know.

    The following evening, I received an email asking me for authorization for a background check. I agreed and am now waiting for what I hope is good news.

  • RL

    I too am spinning my wheels getting a job with Apple. I like the challenge, but the latest is getting invited to a hiring event with not much more than 24 hours notice. It’s in a different state/city in which I’m relocating to. Even if I were settled in there, it’s still not much notice. I have yet to hear back regarding the issue of being able to attend. I’d be more than happy to do a telephone interview or fly out next week. The waiting game continues…

  • Stephanie G

    Just got an email last night from apple congratulating that i qualified and if i can come in for an invitation-only hiring event on April 15th i’m pretty nervous
    do you have any suggestions? thank you

  • Stephanie G

    Just got an email last night from apple congratulating me for qualifying to be a candidate for a hiring event seminar on April 15th Any suggestions? i work part time at petco and was looking to be a full time specialist at apple i feel that since i have a job already and i would need to put in my two week notice apple wont hire me :( this is seriously stressful

  • Chilled

    @Jen…
    It’s painfully obvious based on your posting why you didn’t get a job there.

  • Joseph

    I submitted my resume to apple.com without any expectation of a response. A week later I was invited to the Hiring Event held in Cincinnati. 4 Group interview sessions a day of over 20 applicants for only a few jobs were held throughout the first day. I got the call back to day 2 just hours after my interview. Day two went well and they requested a background check. I signed my papers today to begin working as a specialist for apple and am very excited. I am a communications major graduating college this year. I use apple products, ex. iphone, ipad, macbook, but have no technical experience. I think it is truly based on being comfortable in your own skin and not trying to boast your skills, but be yourself and talk to the interviewers like they are real people and not hiring robots.

    The first thing they say going into the interview is that being hired at apple is harder than harvard, stanford, or yale. ONLY 6 PERCENT OF APPLICANTS ACCEPTED. I am excited to be one of them!

  • Dasmin

    Hello,

    This has to be one of the best and most informal posts I’ve ever read and definitely will be using your insights to try and get hired. I’ve applied once before and had a group interview that did not work out. so now I will try this and re-post to update on if this was successful.

  • E.M.Pellingotn

    Question: do they give you a drug test?

  • John

    Hi Everybody,

    Being an Apple user and loving their products, I recently decided on a career change and applied for a specialist position at one of the London stores. I received an email today telling me I am being considered for a role at one of the stores and that I will be contacted again shortly with details of a recruitment event.

    Brilliant, apart from after reading some forums I discovered that Apple do a background check on successful applicants. Although I have nothing to hide, I have recently gone bankrupt and was once fined by a court for shoplifting in about 1995 when I was young and stupid. I’m sure this would now be classed as a spent conviction. However, would the bankruptcy be held against me if I were to be accepted for the position and what else would a background check involve?

    I’m really worried that mistakes I made many years ago might affect the chances I have of being hired even if I were to pass the interviews. Any of your views are welcome!

  • Morgan Genser

    I am trying to find out why I was not hired by apple IE why I was rejected. Every question they ask I answered not the technical ones but the ones considering customer service. Every answer I gave the questioners were nodding with approval but I did not make it past the second round. I would like to know why is there any way to find out

  • Xavier

    All these comments about how the world is going to end if you don’t get a job at Apple Retail. Get over it. It’s Apple Retail after all. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get an offer. Apple is looking for a specific type of person down to the store level, meaning you need to fit in to the particular store you are applying for. Someone who will work well in San Francisco may not fit in at all working in New Orleans. I did tons of research on Apple, learned the company history, learned the product line, learned why choose Apple over a PC, learned all the services, basically spent 1 week data mining and preparing for my interviews. Guess what? I was never asked anything about any of it. After all of my interviews, questions about my technical ability never came up. I actually think Apple prefers people who know less because then they can shape you and mold you how they want. They are looking for good, genuine, passionate people. It’s kind of funny because during my interviews they kept emphasizing how it’s all about the people you work with yet they couldn’t fathom why anyone would leave a job at Microsoft, Honeywell, or GE even though I told them it was all about the (lack of) working with good people. Apple is a huge company and there are no hard and fast rules as to how they choose who to hire.

  • PSW

    I applied for 3 positions at Apple. A Genius, Retail Associate and Stock. It was a company I wanted to work at for some time and I was really stoked when they called me in. I have years and years of Apple experience and I’m great with people, however I had no retail experience. I thought to myself, “Well, since I have good fundamentals for solving problems and taking ownership of customer issues AND managerial experience, they can teach me the rest, right?” WRONG! :-(
    I found out later from another store manager(Michigan Ave) that candidates have a 1% chance to get hired and the turnover rate is very low! I went to the Naperville store early one Sunday morning along with a dozen or so other people. We interviewed each other and we were given “role play” cards to read off of and act out a scenario. I screwed it up BAD! I knew I did the moment my 2 minutes was up. A couple days later I received that dreadful email saying “Sorry” and I was crushed. I applied for and interviewed at dozens of companies throughout 2009 and 2010 and Apple was the ONE PLACE, I didn’t want a rejection. My wife was standing there when I opened the email from my iPhone and I wanted to cry. I was choked up.

    Some things I learned though, Apple doesn’t really care how you dress or have tattoos or what color your hair is. They’re very diverse and they’re looking for people who fit PERFECTLY into their culture. They like a good clean resume and a good explanation as to why YOU want to work there and why THEY should hire you. They’ll put you on the spot and they observe your reaction.

    I ended up working at my second choice, the railroad as a conductor. Good Luck Candidates!

  • Daniel

    @Joseph, are you me? Or am I you? You’ve just described what happened to me perfectly word for word!

  • Ryan

    I applied at Apple today. If Apple wants someone who can sells products, and build long lasting customer relationships, then Apple will hire me. People act like this is the holy grail or some crap, it’s a retail position…Get over it. I think I have the skills and personality to do this job, but cry because they won’t hire you is sad.

  • Rachel

    I applied today for a retail position. I am not in school, and therefore I am not in the area. Any advice for me on how to make myself known to the staff there? I have electronic retail experience (I’ve worked at Best Buy). I know I have the personality for it.

  • REALLY

    Apple retail???? Is that the highest you all are reaching, I am 29 years old and I have been a trauma/ E.R nurse for 5 years, people, don’t shed tears over retail, let the high school and college kids have those jobs, we need more medical staff, reach to be a doctor, that’s what I’m reaching for, not Apple retail store…hahaha…

  • Nat-Lee

    Hey there, funny question, but what did you WEAR. I got official invite-only to Apple recruiting seminar, and I realize you didn’t go to one, it says “biz casual NO SUITS PLEASE THIS IS APPLE”, and the apple employees picture shows people in jeans. Jeans I’m guessing are OUT. I barely have any even biz casual clothes, so I’m going to do my best (i’m a performer also so I know how to pull off the understated/clean/useful look). LOL It’s at 10am tomorrow, hope you can answer before then, if not, I think I’ve got it, but just wanted opinions.

  • John

    So I’ve done the hiring seminar twice. Once on my own, with rejection letter to follow several days later, and the other…well, it’s a different story.

    Hiring seminar 1. Showed video, asked getting to know you questions, grouped us into 5 people a group, then did a mock run of what it would be like during hell in the store. I felt I did well, but alas, I was given the letter several days later.

    Hiring seminar 2. About 20 in this group. Everything was the same, except instead of the mock run, we sat down and passed an iPad 2 around. On it, was a button that was pressed and it asked us a question. We had to answer it, and then anyone else in the group that would like to share was given the chance. It was a very chill mood, and a lot less stressful than the first seminar.

    Two days later I was asked to come in for a second interview. Again, I was with several other people. Interviewed by different people than before, however. It was a lot of the same questions, “Why do you want to work for Apple” “Give us a time when…customer service scenario.” “Please describe a time when work related scenario….” and the like.

    Later that day, I was emailed and asked to come to another interview a few days later. I agreed and this time there were only two of us. Same questions, but this time there was only one interviewer, yet another different person (Though I knew her from the hiring seminar 2.). When asked if we had any questions, I asked what the next step was. We were told that if we moved on, we would have one last interview with the main branch leader (His actual title escapes me, but he’s the one that does the main hiring and oversees the open(ing) stores in a region.). We were also told by the interviewer that they wanted to talk with us one to one. The other person being interviewed opted to leave first. Once gone, my interviewer explained to me that they would like me to go on to the last interview (My guess was the other person wasn’t, which was why we were given the bit about the email.). I accepted, but my interview wouldn’t be for a couple weeks.

    So the final interview has come and gone and again, there were two of us being interviewed by the branch leader. He said that this was the final step. The next thing we would hear is hired or not. He also said he had a good feeling about us, and that everything was pending the background check.

    I got a call several days ago and I was not told I was hired. Nor was I told I was NOT hired. Now I’m being told I have to visit a certain store manager. I’m told this is a good thing, so we’ll find out. :) I hope so considering I was told there would be no more interviews (Although they called this a meeting, not an interview like the rest have been called.).

  • Jimi

    I have my interview (1) today! Wish me luck, (it’s ok if you don’t, I won’t need it!)

  • hotmusiq12

    I went to a 3 hour hiring seminar on the 1st of July, about 40 people attended. A bit of role playing and Q & A. After which we were asked to fill out a form and be on our way. We were told that they would contact us via email within 2 days with a yea or nay. less than 48hrs later I received a phone call from a manager requesting a second interview for just a few days later.

    Interview # 2 was with one manager in a small back office. It lasted about 30 min and we tackled a very difficult list of behavioral analysis questions. We talked about family and apple products. It was a very casual interview, I wore very nice jeans and a dress shirt. I was told I would be contacted within a week. About 4 days later I get a call from a manager requesting that I come in “TODAY” ironically, I missed the call and I didn’t check my voicemail until two hrs later. By that time I had missed my opportunity to come in for that day and was scheduled for 1 whole very long week later.

    Interview # 3: was held at a Starbucks just around the plaza from the store, this time I dressed up just to let them know how serious I was. I wore a black dress and high heels. Again this was a very casual interview with 2 persons. I believe 1 was the recruiting manager and the other a store manager. We talked for about 25 min and they asked questions and I asked a few. Oddly, the recruiting manager asked what my availability was for the following day, I told him and then the said I was free to go and that they would be in touch (uh oh….no timeline for a call back). They stayed behind to discuss the interview. I headed for my car and before I could get my seat belt strapped they were already back at the entrance of the Apple Store. I thought….well, that’s either really good or really really bad. I believed it was the latter. 2 hours later I got a call! YIPEE…..they emailed me the link for the background check and said they would contact me for interview # 4. 15 min later I get a call to schedule interview # 4 for the following day at 3:45 pm……completely stoked.

    Interview # 4: This was a very short (10 min) friendly phone interview with the marketing director for the store nearest my home. He just wanted to get to know me and stated that “At this point if your talking o me, they’re very interested” he then told that they would be in touch….again no definite timeline for a call back.

    2 days later I got the call! They offered me a full time position and I start on July 30th.

    TIPS: Just be yourself!

  • Rob

    I got an email for an invitation-only recruiting seminar coming up on July 31, it is being held at the store after closing, it states it will be from 7-930 and to be ready to be there for the entire time, it is for a part time specialist and part time back of house specialist, I am hoping that it will be a good experience, I am just looking for part time work right now, I love Apple products, I am not the skinny nerdy guy that they may look for, I don’t have that alternative look nor am I 19 years old, so who knows, it is what it is, if I get rejected it is ok, I still love Apple products.

  • Alexander

    I would like to know what the Genuis Bar is all about just incase. I actually have an interview coming up.

  • Nosirah

    My experience with Apple was quite exhausting at first. I had applied in December of 2010 and didn’t hear anything back until about March/April of 2011. I recieved an invitation to the Apple Hiring Seminar. I sent my RSVP. I had goofed up and attended the seminar late, because of reasons which I will never duplicate.

    So I ended up standing outside of the seminar for all of the event. Not fun. After the conclusion of the event came near I was able to squeeze in and speak to a couple of guys. I then was approached by the store manager and this was my chance to make myself known. I stood out in a way of not being early. This chance to speak to the store manager was very advantageous being that I could conduct my own on-the-spot interview with her in the two minutes I had. I took her card. She and I corresponded for about 2 months to orchestrate a meeting after she came back from leave. After a while I felt I hit a dead end because essentially I was getting nowhere. Then I applied again.

    Weeks later I received another invite to the Hiring Seminar. I nearly dropped to my knees because I was so grateful. I attended and there were also about 30 of us that attended. It was very fun and informative. I was called the next day for a second interview. Of course I confirmed the appointment. I met with the interviewer things started off pretty well. Then midway through the interview I noticed that I couldn’t break the ice with this guy. I made jokes and made a concious effort to warm up to the guy. Nothing still. Even at times hewould crack a smile and suddenly go back to the stone face as if he remembered he was getting paid to show no emotion for whatever reason. I gather my thoughts back and tried to finish as best I could regardless of what he did or didn’t want at this point. He asked if I had any questions and I replied, “no.” We separated and went our ways. I have never left an interview so nervous in my life thus far. A week after I was sent background information requests so I complied and sent them back. a week and a half later I was called by the same manager for a final interview. This was more of a group type thing nothing of what I prepared myself for. Laid back and actually fun. A day later I was called and offered a full-time specialist position.

    Really this has been the most nerve-wrecking experience only because I wanted it so bad and tried for months and even contemplated Apple for almost a year. I say in the group settings let your personality shine and do most of the talking. Don’t try to be outspoken in every sense because at times its just plain obnoxious if done the wrong way. I saw a lot of people trying wayyyy too hard and it shows, In a bad way. Someone had done research about building plans that Apple had in the works for the Cupertino facility, and brought it up in the seminar. Again trying too hard IMO. Nobody cares that you googled an article the night before and used it to try and show off. This is an opportunity to show yourself and ask informative questions about the position. BE YOURSELF and if you find that you don’t get in then it would be better for you to realize Apple isn’t for you at that time or ever. Don’t beat yourself up over it or get overly upset. Just Relax.

  • Valerie

    I’ve actually had to go to the Genius Bar at my local Apple store a few times in the past couple weeks (everything is working now though!). While there, I really got a feel for the place and realized that I would love to work there. I was always friendly with the employees and quite a few of them recognize me on sight now. Do you think this will influence my chances one way or the other? I’m not sure how involved current employees are in the hiring process, since it sounds like such an upper level management decision, but I’m curious.

    Alternatively, would it look bad that I had to take my computer in to the Genius Bar, and that I couldn’t figure it out on my own? (turns out I needed replacement parts, but it took about 5 trips to figure it out). I’m applying to be a Specialist so hopefully none of that will matter.

    I have my Apple Seminar in a little over a week and I’m very excited! Thanks for the great article! :)

  • George Ridionski

    I went to a hiring seminar for Apple in NJ. I was invited along with about 80 other people for a pretty strange experience. I had never gone into an Apple store nor used their products much if at all. I just had a lot of retail and sales background, and thought Apple was pretty cool from seeing the products in movies and online.

    My experience was strange and somewhat negative. It seemed like they were trying to pull the wool over your eyes with extremely vague ‘high-fiving’ and adolescent type jokes. The meeting had nothing to do with the exact nature of the products, or even the ups and downs of the jobs available. It was about championing the brand mostly, and goofy sales 101 stuff like looking at pics on an Ipad, and going around the group individually to state a made up feature and benefit about say a pencil. It was pretty silly, and it was understandable since everyone in attendance pretty much was about 5 jk lol, like 18.

    I am not saying it wasn’t well done exactly or the store didn’t look great. There was some “wow” factor to it, but not what I truly cared about. I was there to show at least initially a reason to call me in for an interview. As much as they were super positive with the group, the bottom line is that they’re not quite as nice at actually getting to the point of why you would waste your time and money being there. It’s really not about the “Applicant” as they might lead you to believe. I know it’s a cold process, and they try to make it more painless since they get so many applicants.

    For me, at this level to be hired, would be completely out of the question even if they called. I am much too “detail” and reality driven, and I don’t buy much into hype or glossy brand pitches. I guess I’ve been selling too long. If Apple truly believes this is the future of retail, I hope they’re not right. It is absolutely mindless and childish, and more importantly, insulting to average intelligence. I felt a little like the Eloi in the Time Machine from the 1960 movie, where these fair-haired mindless utopian people were being led to slaughter by a horribly ugly malefactor just under the surface.

    Good luck folks with Apple retail. It may certainly the right choice for some because in many ways I’m sure the community and products are great.

  • Ditto

    George, if your seminar was in northern Jersey, we were probably at the same one.

    I applied about a year ago and got an invite to a seminar in August. Long wait for sure. I too wasn’t really impressed by the presentation; although the recruiter was a really good speaker, the Keynote reminded me more of a Powerpoint (sorry). The one thing that was particularly apparent was that they were screening for a certain personality type. I couldn’t put my finger on it, and couldn’t figure out whether they’d call back all the over-achievers that spoke at every chance they got, or if they’d go for the middle 50% that were more timid but easier to mold.

    I was in the group of people that stood out and was called back. I had a couple of interviews, each with more than one person at a time. I ended up with a Business Specialist position. For me, I’m thrilled to be working there, even though the initial seminar threw me off. I think they’ve really fine tuned their hiring event; it is scripted and it is probably very effective in screening for the personality types they are looking for. If you don’t make it past the initial screening, either try again or, if you felt you accurately portrayed yourself, count your blessings. They clearly want a certain personality type and if you’re not it, it’s not worth it banging your head against a wall to try to conform. Take it from someone who’s worked at companies that have been the antithesis of Apple – you won’t be happy if it’s not a good cultural fit.

    Good luck to everyone who’s applying and nervously waiting for interviews! Be yourself; whichever way it turns out, you’ll be fine. They are clearly a well-oiled machine when it comes to picking the candidates they want.

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