Going into a big job interview can be an incredibly nerve-wracking experience, but when Steve Jobs is doing the questioning, the tension ramps up to an all-new level.
The Apple co-founder was notoriously difficult to work for, thanks to his intense demands. Being interviewed by Steve for a job was even worse, because as one former Pixar employee explains, the Apple CEO pretty much wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
James Green recounts the incredible experience of being interviewed by Steve Jobs in 1997 for a position at Pixar. Green was working for Disney in Asia at the time, while Jobs was looking to hire someone to serve as a liaison between Disney and Pixar’s producers, according to Fast Company.
Rather than meeting at Pixar headquarters, Green says he was invited to Jobs’ home for what felt like more of a casual conversation than a job interview. Then Jobs hit Green with the important questions.
“He asked me if I was interested in being a liaison, and I can’t believe it, but I said ‘no,’” Green said. “All my life Steve Jobs had been an idol of mine, but I told him that it was not a job I would recommend anyone doing; having middlemen never works.”
Jobs then pulled a brilliant hiring maneuver on Green. Instead of selling Green on the benefits of becoming Pixar’s middleman, he offered him a different job — marketing manager of Pixar’s short films. Green enthusiastically responded that he would “love to to do that.”
Within his first week of work, Green realized Jobs actually hired him for the exact same roll he had originally turned down, just with a different title.
“You can’t say ‘no’ to Steve Jobs. I did and I still got that goddamn job I didn’t want to do,” said Green.
A few months later, Green resigned from Pixar.