How a Top Apple Exec Hires


As senior vice president of Apple’s retail arm, Angela Ahrendts needs to do a lot of hiring, often for mission-critical positions. That places a lot of pressure on her interviewing technique: If she asks the wrong questions, she might end up with employees who don’t fit well within an organization that prides itself on operating like a well-oiled machine.

In a new LinkedIn posting, Ahrendts walks the reader through a typical job interview, in which she tries to judge the candidate’s personality across three axes:

  • Me vs. We
  • IQ vs. EQ
  • Left Brain vs. Right Brain

The first axis, “Me vs. We,” involves Ahrendts judging the candidate’s aptitude for collaboration with colleagues. “I ask simple questions about their family, friends, peers, personal interests, sports, spirituality, and community to glean a better understanding of their true motivation and leadership attributes,” she wrote. “This is usually the easy part, because people love to talk about themselves.”

The next, “IQ vs. EQ,” involves a series of questions designed to evaluate the candidate’s emotional and intellectual balance, and if they “truly care about the impact they make on people.”

The last part, “Left Brain vs. Right Brain,” delves into whether the candidate prefers to rely on intellect or instinct when making decisions. Questions about how the candidate uses his or her spare time, and what they studied in school, are particularly helpful in this context.

The posting also features some of the specific questions that Ahrendts likes to ask. If you’re interested in seeing how one of the tech world’s most prominent executives judges potential hires, it’s well worth the read.

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