This review is a tad difficult to write, as you may know Apple has you sign a pretty strict non-disclosure agreement along with a confidentiality agreement. I decided to write the basics about the hiring process and a bit about the environment working there. There may be some things that I can’t elaborate on, but if you have questions at the end comment below!
The Hiring Process
The hiring process is a pretty long and tedious experience. I filled out an application on Apple.com
The next day I received an email asking me to fill out a questionnaire. A few hours after filling out the application I received a phone call from a recruiter. I was amazed, and thought to myself how fast this process was going. The questions asked were very simple, they look for basic computer knowledge and how you handle the questions.
The main thing to know is that Apple believes that you can always teach someone the technology part of the job, but you can’t teach someone how to have a personality. Customer service and being personable is the #1 way that you can get hired at Apple. If you are too focused on showing off how well you know every Apple product and that you have 20+ yrs. experience in the tech world they may pass you over for a peppy 18-year-old who only knows the basics, but has a good customer service attitude.
Don’t think that you are getting a tech support job so that whole smile while you talk, customer service thing doesn’t apply to you because, guess what? You are doing customer service! Dun Dun Duuuuuuun. I was surprised by the amount of people who didn’t realize that anytime you are in a customer facing position, whether fixing a software issue or selling magazine subscriptions, you are going to have to be good at customer service.
Anyway, back to the phone call. This was a preliminary interview, like a qualifying round, after I answered some basic questions like:
“What does CPU stand for?”
“Have you ever had to deal with an irate customer, and how did you handle it?”
I was told that I would be scheduled for a Skype interview with a team manager. YAY! I was very excited/nervous.
I’d only used Skype about 4 times before my interview and I HATE being on video. I researched Apple and studied up on EVERYTHING before the interview. I also had no clue how to dress. When the interview started the guy was wearing an Apple t-shirt and earbuds.
The first thing that he said to me was “Why are you so dressed up? This isn’t Microsoft.” (I was wearing a sweater and jeans, I didn’t think I looked too business like, but apparently I did.)
This interview was kind of tough, mainly because he grilled me and made me second guess everything. I kept a smile on my face though and kept going. I was asked questions like:
“How to send an email?”
“What is Bluetooth?”
“A customer deleted all of their contacts, how can you get them back?”
He also went through my resume and asked me questions about every job that I had.
After that was the waiting game. Everything had gone so fast in the beginning but waiting for my next email took weeks. I was praying that I wouldn’t get the dreaded “Thanks for playing” email that so many people get. I really wanted this job!
A few weeks later, I got an email scheduling me for a final interview with the hiring manager. It was going to be another Skype interview. I was still nervous, but the first interview kind of got me over the fear of Skype (maybe there was a reason for the first guy uncomfortably grilling and questioning everything I said; it made me less afraid for the final round).
My final interview was with a man who was very friendly and not rushed (The phone and my first Skype interview felt very rushed like I was on a timer) He made small talk and then asked me a few questions. He also did some role playing. He was a customer who fell and smashed his MacBook into pieces and wanted it repaired. This is kind of a trick, he didn’t want me to focus on AppleCare and what we can or cannot do at Apple for the situation, he wanted empathy.
“I hope you’re ok. I know how frustrating it is to break your MacBook, and I’ve done the same thing before. I’ll do my best to get you taken care of.”
That kind of statement, but in a way that doesn’t sound so robotic. The key to doing tech support for Apple is empathy.
After the final interview I received an email to do a background check, an extremely thorough background check that took weeks to finish. This was definitely the longest part of the whole experience.
Once the background check was finished, I waited for the phone call saying either “congratulations” or the email saying “thanks for playing.” I didn’t receive either until a week before my original start date. I got kind of worried that it’d been so long, so I contacted the team manager from my first Skype interview through email. Later that day I got a call that he somehow missed me, but hey I was in! I got some instructions on what to do next, my new start date, and my pay range.
A lot of people want to know how much Apple pays, that depends entirely on where you are located. For more information about it check out Glassdoor.com
Next to pay, the perks are the second biggest question from people who are interested in working for Apple. Apple does offer a pretty awesome benefits package.
And for the equipment you get an iMac for work purposes only, landline phone, and headset. I worked for iOS and got an iPod touch and some other goodies including a surprise gift, iTunes credits, and iCloud storage.
After you get hired you are asked to call in on a conference call. The purpose of the call is to let you know what to do next, where to send your paperwork, who to contact with questions, what to expect in the next few weeks, etc. This is by far the most frustrating part.
It may come as a shock to some of you, but people DO NOT know how a conference call works. The first 10 min is everyone talking at once and nobody being able to understand anything. After the conference call leader reminds everyone for the 25th time to put your phone on mute and ask questions at the end, there’s still people breathing heavy, yelling in the background, and talking to other people. The person leading the conference call gets frustrated and again asks that everyone mutes their phone.
Then there’s people who keep coming off mute to ask the person to repeat what they are saying, asking questions about stuff that was said 10 times already, and, of course, people asking totally unrelated questions like when they will get their stuff, is it true that…, and a dozen other questions.
At the end you are more confused than when you started and if you do hang around to ask a question, more than likely you won’t be heard over everyone else on their phones.
The work environment at Apple is pretty awesome; I had a great manager who was laid back and fun. You get paid training, although the training process can get pretty exhausting. The trainers try and get you involved as much as possible, but for anyone who’s gone through mass training online before knows there’s a lot of staring at a screen and trying not to scream at the people who are asking a million and one questions about the same things over and over holding everyone up.
The training is pretty thorough and you get a lot of information that you might not need the entire time you are working there, but it’s good to know if you get that one call that the information was meant for.
Before you go officially live you get to take live calls with your trainer and a team listening in and helping out in a conference call type environment.
Going live is nerve wracking, but for the first few weeks the trainers stay on a team chat with you in case you need help. They will also remote in if you need help with the system.
Once training is completely over, you still aren’t alone. I had an awesome team with a great manager and we helped each other a lot. You have access to a team chat and can ask any questions you have while on the phone with the customer. On top of chat you have a huge amount of resources to resolve an issue and you can always send your caller to a higher tier if you can’t figure it out or don’t have the resources to resolve the issue.
Apple is a great company to work for with awesome perks and a huge support system. I worked in a few departments including live chat and every department has an awesome group of people and a lot of great resources.
I have had a lot of different managers and will say the majority are awesome people. There’s always a few who you just don’t understand how they became managers, but overall managers are generally helpful people who have been where you’ve been.
If you are a know-it-all, who gets annoyed by people asking questions and you can’t relate to people who don’t know everything about the newest iPhone, then this job isn’t for you. I’ve noticed that the people who usually don’t make it are the typical Apple fan-boys (although you will most likely become a fan-boy after a year of working at Apple.)
If you are down to earth, compassionate, don’t mind getting blamed for everything under the sun by customers, and can walk an 80-year-old woman through emailing a picture, then you should definitely apply at Apple.
Hopefully this helps some of you that are thinking of applying for Apple. If you want to apply, good luck! If you don’t get hired right away, don’t give up; they have a lot of hiring waves, so keep trying!
Image taken by Amanda Davenport copyright of wahtips.com