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Apple Specialist Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 21, 2014
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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist
Columbia, MD

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Apple in September 2011.

Interview Details – I attended the hiring event at the mall. It occurred from 7 PM to approximately 10 PM. There were at least 50 applicants. Employees dressed casually. Some employees wore sandals and shorts. Two of the women employees were very attractive. We were asked to complete a form and name tags. The first thing that transpired were introductions. Everyone had to say their name, why he/she would be a good fit for the company, and a fun fact about themselves. The man sitting adjacent to me actually wrote on a card what he was going to say. When I saw this, I almost burst out laughing. The next thing was a presentation about the company that entailed a video, information about each position, and various Apple products. Then, there were role play scenarios. This was the arduous aspect of the hiring event. You are given multiple situations, and you had to act the role of an Apple employee. For example, one scenario was when a customer wanted to know about upcoming items. Another example is when a customer wants to know why the wait in line was too long. You had to react to those situations. On the Apple site, it conspicuously states, "You don’t necessarily have to be an Apple expert" in order to be hired. That is a fabrication. You must know about the products in order to proceed to the next step in the hiring process. I was misled into thinking this was a casual interview because the email I received from the manager was aloof. If you want advice, I would advocate you make yourself unique and distinguishable from the other applicants. You absolutely must prepare for various customer service scenarios. That is your interview. Moreover, you should go to an Apple store to see the different customer service scenarios. The final part was a Q and A session. A woman actually asked about the flexibility with the schedule. When she asked that asinine question, everyone in the room laughed at her (including myself). One employee admitted he only one took one semester of college; thus, education is something the company has absolutely no interest in. The one thing that stood out was that people were arbitrarily clapping. Someone would say their name, and people would start clapping and yelling. It was vexing and painful to hear. After the hiring event, it was fairly odd trying to exit. Since the mall closed prior to the hiring event, all applicants were escorted through the back emergency exit. Many of the applicants has to walk 3 miles just to get back to their cars because we had to take convoluted exits that led elsewhere. There are ways to be professional and casual simultaneously (Google has done this to perfection). The next day, I received a rejection email from the manager. I am a PC and proud of it.

Interview Question – Role play scenarios   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details – I applied online because I knew it was going to be holiday season and every retailer needs help. After I had applied online I got an email to attend an "invite only hiring seminar." Here we had about 50 people show up. It started off with them pairing you up with another candidate and learning about each other then presenting what you learned about each other in front of the management panel. After some silly getting to know you / breaking the ice questions they paired everyone up in a group of 5-7 people and kept asking hard questions. Unfortunately I do not remember them. After this they told all of us to leave our resumes there and expect an email. Fortunately I did get a second email. =)

"Good afternoon!
We enjoyed meeting you today at our hiring seminar and would like to invite you to return for a second interview. They will be held tomorrow, Wednesday XXXXXXXXXXXXX at XXXXXXXXX. You will be interviewing with one other candidate and meeting with a leadership panel. Expect to be with us for a half hour. Attire is business casual and please bring with several hard copies of your resume. Allow time to check-in before your scheduled interview time. Please reply back ASAP with your preferred time--interview slots are available every half hour begining at 9am-11:30am and again from 1pm-3pm.
Congratulations!"

Then they made me update the job profile interests if anything had changed. There were only half the amount of candidates that were invited back. This was the first time I saw my Store Manager. Here I had to impress him/her. This was a 3:3 interview and got competitive. You just have to hit it off with one of the managers and make them want to "adopt" you. Impress them just being yourself, being super social, and showing interest in the products that they sell ect.

If you then get an email to approve of the background check then just wait.
Expect a call afterwards. Accept or decline. Go in fill out employment papers and BAM! You're in.

Interview Question – They always change. Mostly focused on "high stress" situations.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No room for negotiations. Accept or decline.
Started 11.95 but almost a year in and Apple getting bad press, they made starting 14.50/hr.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist
Sugar Land, TX

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details – First was a group hiring event, then it was 4 solo interviews with different levels of management.


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist
Jackson, MS

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Apple in June 2011.

Interview Details – So I applied for a job at the Apple Store in my area. I applied on April 28 and got an email for a hiring seminar on May 31. It took place at the store on June 5 at 7PM. So I got there around 30 minutes early and they had me sit at one of the training tables towards the Genius Bar. After all the other candidates settled in as well, the employees handed us our name tags and questionnaire sheets. I filled out the entire sheet with all the necessary information and stuff that I feel makes me stand out above the rest of candidates. Afterwards, they gave a presentation about the company and showed a video afterwards. Next, we all introduced ourselves (the candidates and the employees) and went through the role playing portion of the seminar. Our role was the create the next big Apple product and present it. The last portion of the seminar was to basically describe why should we be considered for a job at Apple and at least one "fun fact" about us, and that was it.

Unfortunately, that about as far as I could go. I got an email saying that they decided to move on with the other candidates. It was shame because I thought I could really benefit from the experience by working there. Although, they did say it was literally more difficult to get a job with Apple than to get an acceptance letter for Stanford so I don't feel that bad. Plus the environment felt amazing so I couldn't go wrong. However, I did have fun during the process and I hope that could reapply as soon as possible and possibly get another crack at it because I really feel like the company could really benefit from my own experience and expertise in electronics.

Update: Looking back I thought I really made myself stand out as much as I could. I'm not gonna go into details. I guess the only advice I can give is to make yourself as available as possible. I think one of the reasons they decided to skip me was because of the schedule I made during the seminar. I am planning to start a new semester in college and I decided to make a schedule that will adjust to that. I planned to take all morning classes and then work in the afternoons. That was probably the biggest mistake that I ever made. I should had thought about all the possibilities before I thought of a schedule. First, I should have explained my situation and why I made the decision to make such a schedule. They would've understood. Second, I should have just made myself more available by just simply writing down "anytime." If I did get job, they would've understood and created a schedule that fit around my classes. Again, I hope to apply once again and possibly get another chance at it.

Interview Question – What makes you perfect for Apple and what are some fun facts about you?   View Answer


13 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist
Las Vegas, NV

The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Apple in January 2011.

Interview Details – 1.The first thing you do is post your profile and resume on their apple jobs website.
When you do, you'll get a confirmation email saying, "Thank you for your interest in the Apple Store"
(Basically if they are interested a recruiter will contact you)

2. If they are interested, 9-10 days later, a recruiter will call you for an on the spot phone interview. This is the first part of the screening process. They will ask you interview questions such as: Why apple? Tell me about a time where you were the first to have a technology and how you convinced others to follow? What would you do if you had to find the answer to a question you didn't know the answer to right away for a customer? What is in iWorks?, What is in iLife?, What is a time machine?, What is spotlight?, What is mobileme?

3. If you do well to pass, you will get an email within a month inviting you to an apple career seminar which will likely be held at a hotel. Here in Las Vegas, it is the Microtel Inn and Suites and their will be 2 interview times you can choose from: 8:30-10:30am or 2:30-4:30pm and you must rsvp your time slot in advance.
This is the one you must be ready for. There will be about 30 people at this group seminar with you and you will all be ushered into a presentation room where the apple guys will clap as you walk in the room. Yes, this will take 2 hours because you will be watching a video about people working at apple then taking a written test of your basic knowledge of apple. The questions are easy and not that hard to get correct if you know about their products. (Advice: know what syncs calendars and contacts, iphone4's features, iworks, ilife, spotlight, apple tv) Then you will be split up into groups of 6 based on the cards you were given at the door. And you will ROLE PLAY!!! Yes, this is what you need to be ready for. The team leader will ask one member of the group to pick a customer card and will delegate another person to be the role of an apple specialist. You will have to act out a solution for the customer as if it were happening in the store. This is the interaction they are watching closely and taking notes on. (Advice: channel that nervous energy into a charming personality that can definitely make that recommendation or provide that solution) They will give you a booklet with all their products and features listed so you don't have to remember everything. However, I recommend knowing at least a few basic points such as Applecare, education discounts, software, etc. Since there are many scenarios I can't list them all but here are some: (Specialist must sell a college student a macbook or macbook pro what are the comparisons? how would you go about selling this item?, Specialist has a customer who wants to know if they can get their computer fixed immediately at the genius bar but everyone is busy, Customer is asking about a software no one knows about and you need to provide the solution immediately, Customer is a celebrity who wants to order a bunch of things on the down low.)
Being prepared to do the role play is important. I had a group member that just froze and fell apart during the role play and it looked very bad. (Within a week, If you don't pass, you will get an email /if you do pass you will get a call)

4 If you're lucky enough to pass, then you will be called to attend a group interview that will be with the 3 store managers from different locations in your state. You will likely meet at one of the stores and meet up with around 6-8 candidates one of which you'll be paired up with and interviewed alongside with a store manager. This interview is like speed dating. You and another candidate are interviewed by one store manager for 20 minutes on a round table then you and your partner switch to the next manager sitting on the next table for 20 minutes and then the next one for another 20 minutes. Yes, they are timing themselves, and the questions here are a bit harder especially if you don't have the experience they are asking about. All the questions they ask are experience based questions such as: (Tell me about a time where you resolved conflict, Tell me about a time where you went above and beyond, tell me about a time where you hit a wall and pushed past your limits, tell me about a time where everyone seemed to pick up a skill but you, why apple?, Tell me about a time you had to lead a bunch of people who didn't know anything under you, tell me about a time you demonstrated great customer service, tell me about a time you had to find out about something and no one could help you, what do you think of the interview process so far?)

5. If you pass you will get a call within a week and then your on to the final interview with the Market Leader which usually by this time you will most likely be hired. You will have more scenario based questions but by now you're kind of used to it. If you pass you will get an offer.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time where you had to resolve conflict and how you went about it.   View Answer
  • Tell me about a time where you had to find the answer to something for a customer and no one could help you.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I don't think you can negotiate just yet. However, being that this is a retail job, don't expect to make alot. That being said, the pay is better than most other retail stores and is definitely not minimum wage so be grateful. Give yourself a pat on the back if you even make it this far because out of maybe a hundred people they screened to this point you were of the few worthy of considering. Also, after starting don't make any plans for the next 3 months. They usually hire when they have a product launch coming and that means they'll need you alot. After 3 months, ask for whatever schedule changes or time off in writing and be considerate.

ADVICE: If you really want to work at apple you need to be the kind of person they're looking for:
They want someone passionate, outgoing, knowledgeable, a people person, energetic, and cool. It doesn't matter to them what your resume looks like if you aren't this type of personality. They want people who aren't shy and represent their brand in a cool way. That being said, don't show up to any of the interviews in a suit or tie...just come in with some nice casual attire like gap and you're fine in jeans and tee shirt if you want. Personally, I think their interview process is too long and drawn out. I think it's a little unfair that in this world if you want to get a job you have to say the right things and act out the whole song and dance of interviewing when all you really need is a little extra money. However, this whole process may be worth it if you end up loving where you work a little more than your last job.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist
Las Vegas, NV

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Apple in March 2011.

Interview Details – I went in to Apple to receive information on whether or not they were hiring and spoke with a specialist who gave me a few pointers and gave me an email to send my resume and also the website to apply for the job. about a week later I received a pone call with an unexpected interview on customer service, personality, and technology of course. I asked her after the interview how i did and she said that she was going to invite me to the hiring event and then sent the email for me to finish the application and with the date of the interview following that. I unfortunately missed the event due to health issues but i emailed the original email i received previously and explained my situation. I didn't hear from them for two weeks and i assumed i was just s##t out of luck. but last night i got another email with the date to another hiring event in two weeks which i can assure you i will not be missing.

Interview Question – What is the system used by Apple Mac's that allow the user to multi task easier?   View Answers (2)


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist

The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Apple in May 2010.

Interview Details – 1) Phone Interview w/ tech questions
2) Group interview (social test)
3) 1 on 1 interview with a store manager
4) 1 on 1 with the market leader

Interview Questions


16 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Apple in July 2010.

Interview Details – The first part of the hiring process, the group interview, is more or less a personality test. Apple uses it mainly to observe the prospective employees and gauge their attitudes in a teamwork setting -- the company's retail business model involves heavy teamwork. Apple isn't looking to hire an 'employee', they're looking to hire a 'person' who can work as one. Personality is key. Anyone can answer questions about Apple's products with proper training, but it takes the right kind of person to make the conversation flow smoothly and address concerns with the right tone. Be passionate, be friendly to those who you are seated with, and it doesn't hurt to have a good sense of humor. Throw the dress code out the door -- just be yourself. I recommend not dressing all "Business Casual" as they ask, but a simple pair of jeans (non-destroyed), clean shoes (I wore sneakers), and button-up shirt (untucked) can do it as long as you have the right personality. Again, Apple values personality over what you show up in.

If you're liked, you should be receiving an email or phone call within the next three days or so asking you to come in for a second interview. In my case, the second interview was a one-on-one with the Store Manager of the place I wanted to work at. Even though they asked a few specific questions (tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult employee at a previous workplace, what's your greatest weakness, would you recommend an iPad or MacBook to someone and why, etc.) what I feel is their biggest question in the interview is at the end when they ask "Do you have any questions for me?". The goal of this question, in my opinion, is to gauge whether or not you can ask open-ended questions and not just modal ones. A modal question is one that can be answered easily, especially with a yes or no answer. Do not ask these. Ask specific questions that can only be answered with a detailed explanation, this way it shows that you can not only hold your own ground with the company but that you can also perform on-the-go with customers. Remember, this second interview is a test on your quick-thinking and also focuses on your personality. Again, dress code is not a big issue. A simple button up shirt with clean denim and nice shoes will do the trick. Be confident, look everyone in the eye when addressing them, and do not be afraid to socialize with the person who's interviewing you.

If they like you after this, you should be receiving yet another email or phone call asking you to come in for a third interview. The third interview is very different from the other one. It's a one-on-one interview with who is, in essence, the regional manager of the area you are applying for. The interview takes anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour and is mainly an assessment of your personality. The regional manager does not look at your resume beforehand nor do they ask your previous interviewers about their assessment of you. If you've made it this far, it's safe to say that you have a pretty high chance of obtaining a job offer. Be yourself, ask open-ended questions, and most of all have confidence. If you're at stage three, you must have been landing the right impressions during your past interviews to get there. I received a job offer after this interview and accepted. I won't be disclosing pay, benefits, nor any operations details.

I hope this insight into the interview process has been helpful for all aspiring candidates.

Interview Questions


No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist
Tampa, FL

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Apple in October 2009.

Interview Details – Well it started off as someone spreading the job oportunity at the apple store, so I made aquaintance with her which put me one foot In the door. Then I applied online and later decided to give the a hard copy to insure I was really interested. Later that week, I got an email stating that I was invite to an invitation-only hiring event. So of course I felt good, being that I had almost nothing on my resume other then volenteer work and pretty words. So I attented and it was rather interesting. They start with an inspiring video which also introduce the company at a general level. It was a group based interview that consisted of, presenting a product as if you were am employee, building a space ship out of toys, and a round table with a series of questions. It seemed as I did well to move on the the next step of the hiring process and acquired an 1 on 1 interview. I aswered everything well and he seemed interested, as for right now, I'm waiting for either a rejection email, or an additional interview. I will post later if that is the additional interview takes place.

Interview Question – What can you offer to our company that will make us choose you rather then any other applicant?   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Specialist Interview

Specialist
Saint Louis, MO

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Apple in April 2011.

Interview Details – I interviewed with a friend for the first of three interviews. It involved watching videos talking about how great Apple is, asking everyone what they liked most about Apple and what products they had, and role playing based on cards describing certain scenarios. I made it through to the next round, but my friend unfortunately didn't. I was surprised, especially considering her retail experience.

The second interview was a 2:1 interview with the Senior Managers. It was honestly really laid back and I was just being myself. Having a sense of humor helps, too! They asked what Apple products I had and each had one question, which were typical textbook interview questions.

I then made it to the third interview, which was basically the same as the second, but with the Store Leaders and Market Leader (3:1). Again, what Apple products I have, etc. Then a question from each member. Textbook interview questions again, but I think the key to answering these are to relate it to the Apple environment. One of my questions was: Name a time where you felt you were right about something while everybody else was wrong. Not sure if that's what got me crossed off their list, but I could have answered that better. I hesitated and thought hard, and actually came up with a situation, even though I'm really the type of person to hear out people if there's a majority of people who think they're right and I'm wrong. The psychology and nerves got to me.

We also talked about full-time/part-time opportunities, and it seems that they mainly hire part-time and you gradually move into full-time. A lot of work for a part-time job, but they do treat you well, as seen from my brother working there.

I really think the key is just being yourself and don't exaggerate too much when it comes to your Apple products, except maybe in the first interview. You can wear jeans, as long as they're dressy. Look in an Apple store before you interview and dress maybe a notch higher than what you see there. I also think it simply comes down to luck in the end, seeing that my very-similar-in-personality brother got in, and I sold him on Macs. It's a competitive and great company to work for from what I've seen him go through, but they simply had to cut someone.

Interview Question – Describe a situation where you felt you were right about something and everybody else was wrong.   View Answer

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