What does it take to work at the Apple Store besides a love of all-things-Apple and a willingness to work for a low hourly wage? Three things: great customer service, true grit and the ability to tell Steve Jobs himself that he’s being a total idiot.
Over at Forbes, Carmine Gallo, who has been writing a series of posts about the secrets behind Apple’s retail successes, and his last one is a doozy: the three questions every Apple Store manager asks themselves about new hires.
The first question they ask about hires is whether or not they display “grit,” which Gallo explains like this:
Grit is the ability to perform under pressure, especially in “ambiguous” situations where clear answers might be elusive. Grit is courage and confidence. There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance. An arrogant job candidate says, “I know everything about the MacBook Pro.” A confident candidate says, ‘There are a lot of things I don’t know but I can find the answer.’ A person displays grit when they acknowledge what they don’t know but are determined to learn.
In addition, getting hired at the Apple Store takes an insane committment to customer service, but the criteria I really like is the ability to go head-to-head with Steve Jobs and shout him down if he’s wrong.
Few employees ever met Jobs in person but, if they had, would they have be able to hold their own with Steve—really go toe-to-toe with him—or would they have cowered and wilted into a blubbering mess? Jobs’ top executives understood that they had to treat Jobs with respect but that they were also expected to push back on his ideas and argue their points. “I realized very early that if you didn’t voice your opinion, he would mow you down,” Apple CEO Tim Cook once said. Yes, the Apple Store hires friendly and passionate employees. But Apple also looks for people who confidently express their opinion and have a fearless attitude about offering feedback.
- Source Forbes