Want to know what it’s like to work at the Apple Store? How to get hired, what training you’ll receive, how much you’ll be paid, even the choice of words you’ll be forced to use when you let a customer down? A new subscriber only report from the Wall Street Journal has all the juicy details. Here’s the most interesting bits.
• To get a job at the Apple Store, you must go through at least two rounds of interviews. There’s no lack of applicants: each Apple Retail Store is flooded with applications of potential employees.
• Once you’re hired, you’ll go through extensive training through classes that teach reps about Apple’s principles of customer service.
• Your first few weeks as an Apple Store employee will be spent silently slinking around behind a more experienced employee, watching him work. Like a novice’s voew of silence, during this period, you will be totally forbidden to talk to customers.
• Apple sales staff make between $9 to $15 per hour. Geniuses earned up to $30 an hour.
• It is almost impossible to be promoted to corporate working at an Apple Store, although it has very occasionally happened.
• Steve Jobs picked the type of security locks that Apple Stores use personally. When he was in the hospital for a liver transplant two years ago, he reportedly spent much of his time poring over blueprints for future retail locations.
• As an Apple Genius, you must be positive at all times. This is true of Geniuses as well, who have been trained to use the phrase “as it turns out” rather than “unfortunately.”
I find the last factoid particularly interesting. I have often bristled that Geniuses can seem so patronizing and condescending, but as it turns out, I think it has to do with this so-called “positive” word choice. Apple may think that “as it turns out” is less negative than “unfortunately,” but in actuality, it’s infinitely more patronizing: saying “as it turns out” takes a corrective tone, where “unfortunately” is a commiserating one. If this is the kind of guidance Apple is giving its employees, no wonder arrogance and condescension are common criticisms leveled at Apple Store Geniuses!