Apple Inc.’s hiring managers are required to answer three unusual questions on each candidate referral form in order to determine whether the potential employee will provide the high standard of customer service Apple is known for.
Forbes’ Carmine Gallo, the author of “The Apple Experience: Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty,” reports that the first question is: “Do they display grit?”
In other words, does the candidate demonstrate courage and confidence, but without arrogance? “A person displays grit when they acknowledge that they don’t know but are determined to learn,” says Gallo.
The second of the three questions is: “Can the candidate offer a Ritz-Carlton level of customer service?”
To answer this, an Apple hiring manager might ask: “Has there ever been a time when a customer asked for something you could not provide at that moment? How did you handle it?” says Gallo’s report. In order to be successful, the candidate should reply with an example in which they use some of Gallo’s “Five Steps of Service”: approach customers; probe politely; present a solution; listen for and resolve issues or concerns; end with a fond farewell and an invitation to return, he claims.
The third and final question is: “Could the candidate have gone toe-to-toe with Steve Jobs?”
What hiring managers are looking for in order to be able to answer the last question is whether the candidate knows a bit about Apple’s products, and whether they “have an opinion, can articulate it, and are willing to fight for it.”
Overall, these three questions mean that Apple can ensure a good customer experience in its retail stores, says Gallo. “Companies that hire friendly, confident employees will be rewarded with a team of empowered individuals who voice their opinions, feel comfortable offering feedback, and offer an exceptionally high level of customer service,” he concludes.