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Steve Jobs used 'beer test' to interview people at Apple

Callum Jones

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Steve Jobs used 'beer test' to interview people at Apple

Featured Image Credit: Tony Avelar/AFP via Getty Images/Kenzo Triboillard/AFP via Getty Images

Late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs used a 'beer test' to interview candidates for the tech giant.

When you think about a job interview, sweaty hands, a newly-bought suit and some tricky questions come to mind.

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However, if you've ever had the privilege of being interviewed by Jobs for a role at Apple, you'll know that his way of doing things was a little different.

As the majority of us can contest with, job interviews are very formal, so going through that process for such a major company is an even more daunting prospect.

Jobs was very much aware of this, so wanted to make a change.

As reported by as.com, Jobs wanted to ‘break’ the trend of interviewees showing up with a memorized list of answers in their head, like they were just reading off a script.

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Steve Jobs wanted to 'break' the trend. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Steve Jobs wanted to 'break' the trend. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

So, Jobs decided to drop the traditional job interview questions and keep it casual.

When meeting a new colleague for the first time you may be thinking about whether you 'would have a beer with this person' or if you'd talk to them 'in a relaxed way while taking a walk'.

Well, rather than just imagining that, Jobs apparently did just that as he took candidates out for a walk and a cheeky pint to see if they would may a good fit for Apple.

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Essentially this was known as the 'beer test'.

Taking potential employees on a walk would help to loosen them up a bit, hopefully removing all of the nerves that would usually be present in a traditional job interview.

However, I think if I was sat in a pub having a pint with the Apple CEO I'd feel a little starstruck.

When Jobs got interviewees in the pub, he would reportedly ask them questions such as: “When was the last time you accomplished something?”

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And a more simple and talkative: “What did you do last summer?”

Jobs reportedly used the 'beer test' when interviewing candidates. Credit: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images
Jobs reportedly used the 'beer test' when interviewing candidates. Credit: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

We've heard from a lot of managers in the past that they tend to look for particular right and wrong answers when interviewing candidates for a job.

However, this was apparently not the case with Jobs as he was simply trying to get to know the individual better.

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Jobs’ aim in interviewing candidates was to find the very best of the best, the 'A-Players' as the Apple co-founder once put it.

"I found that when you get enough A-players together, when you go through the incredible job of finding these A-players, they really like working with each other," he previously explained.

"Because they’ve never had the chance to do it before."

Topics: Technology, Apple, Life

Callum Jones
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