Landing a job with Apple, one of the world’s top five tech giants, is the ultimate career move for some. With great pay, excellent work culture, employee benefits and the prestige of working for a company that is literally changing the face of technology, it goes without saying that there is going to be some competition.
Securing work for a FAANG company — that’s Facebook (now Meta), Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (now Alphabet) — is notoriously difficult, with rigorous application and interview processes, not to mention extreme competition with Apple hiring an average of 2% of applicants.
Don’t let that deter you though, because with the right research, preparation and skills and experience, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be part of the successful 2%. Let us guide you through some tips on how to get a job at Apple in 2022.
1. Do your research
Step one, as with when you are applying to any company, is to do your research. If you are going to be able to answer questions about why you want to work for Apple, give examples referring to their products and services, and demonstrate how you fit into their company culture, you need to have conducted some thorough research.
Applications need to be tailored to the role you’re applying for and also aligned with the company you’re applying to. There are certain things Apple requires, certain personas that they look out for and there will be essential skills and experience needed for each position. It’s up to you to understand these fully so you are able to demonstrate exactly how you meet Apple’s standards and the needs of the role.
2. Know Apple’s values
Your research will no doubt help you to understand Apple’s mission and values. It’s important that when you are demonstrating why you think you are an excellent candidate, that you address how aligned you are with what is the core of the company.
Apple’s mission is to make the best products in the world and to leave the world better than we found it. Refer back to this when answering questions to show that you really understand and align with the company vision.
Here are just some of Apple’s core values:
- Accessibility: Apple wants technology to be accessible to everyone.
- Education: The company believes education is a “great equalizer”.
- Environment: Apple’s goal is to “leave the planet better than we found it”.
- Inclusion and diversity: They want to make Apple more inclusive and bring justice to the world.
- Privacy: Apple products are created to protect customers’ privacy and give them control over their information.
3. Check your credentials
Each role will come with a set of requirements in terms of experience, education and skills. It is vital that you meet these essential criteria. With thousands of applications per position, you will not be shortlisted if you fail to meet the requirements set.
Determine the level you should be applying for by carefully checking your skills and experience against the requirements. If you have no experience in the field you’re applying for, there’s still hope. If you are lacking in some experience or training, make it your goal to upskill in order to be eligible for the next round of applications, rather than being deterred.
4. Build a strong résumé
Whether you’re applying for a role you’ve found using a job search app, on LinkedIn, through a job site, or if you have been approached by an Apple recruiter directly, if you meet the criteria outlined in the role, it is absolutely vital that you evidence it clearly by writing a great résumé. A recruiter for Apple is going to be inundated with applications and résumés and you need yours to be read, not rejected.
These days, applications and résumés are generally first screened by applicant tracking software (ATS) which scores résumés on keywords used. In order to make sure your résumé makes it through this process and into the hands of a recruiter, you need to make sure you use relevant keywords, and evidence how you meet the criteria outlined. You also need a strong summary and clear, easy-to-read structure, so that when it does pass screening, it gets the read it deserves.
You are up against some stiff competition so it’s important you don’t get lost in the crowd. Think about what makes you unique. Have you won an award for anything related to what Apple deem important? Have you been trained in any relevant products? Have you had an internship with a FAANG company? These are examples of the sorts of things you can highlight, even if they aren’t asked for directly.
When it comes to the design of your résumé, Apple are built on innovation and so they are not looking for a run-of-the-mill applicant. They want someone with a bit of flair and creativity. As such, your résumé can be a bit more design-led, and your tone can be more informal (although still professional and ATS compliant).
5. Be innovative
Apple are an innovative company. Not just innovative, they are leading the way in tech innovation and so this is a quality that they not only admire, but deem essential. It is essential that you stand out as someone who possesses this quality. Depending on the role, you can evidence this in different ways, but even non-tech roles are going to require someone who is forward thinking, a problem solver and innovative in approach. Weave it into your application and résumé where you can.
6. Be passionate and curious
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated in an interview with CNBC that Apple are looking for people who “think different’ (calling on the innovation we’ve mentioned above) and who work with passion and curiosity. This is an important factor to consider as Apple seem to have a personality type that they prefer — someone who will fit into their work culture and teams.
Some of the qualities he mentions are:
- Brilliance: Cook says that being smart on its own isn’t enough. They want more.
- Determination: You need to have the ability to continue in uncertainty and when you come across obstacles.
- Obsessive curiosity: Your curiosity needs to push you through when you’re not sure what to do next.
- A team focus: Apple wants applicants who can work collaboratively, because nobody can do everything alone.
- Agitated idealism: They don’t want someone who just accepts the status quo. They don’t want people who are satisfied with the way things have always been. They want people who want to change the world.
Keep these qualities in mind and make sure you demonstrate these qualities in your résumé, application and interview to really emphasize how well you align to the organization.
7. Build a network
As they say sometimes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” Networking is a great way of getting in front of the right people at the right time. If you know people who work for Apple, or you can connect with a dedicated Apple recruiter, you can make yourself some inroads. Now this isn’t going to mean you will be given a job, but it might get you noticed, allow you to gain an insight into the company, give you a name to mention, or even some shadowing work.
Networking in person and online can be very powerful. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and impressive, go to networking events, tech events, trade shows, conferences, or anywhere that can help you meet valuable contacts.
8. Research past and common questions
As positions for Apple are so competitive, there is a wealth of information available online to browse, from articles in well-known publications, to forums about people’s personal experience that can be very useful to gleam tips and information. A topic that’s covered quite often is interview questions. With some research, it’s possible to find out common and past interview questions that candidates have been asked. Obviously, this will vary depending on the position, but you will find that Apple have some unusual questions that appear frequently in various forms, across the board.
If you’re looking into ways to get hired, here are some example questions to consider:
- What’s your favorite Apple device and why?
- Tell me about a time you failed. How did you come back from it?
- Why do you want to work for Apple?
- What is your favorite food?
- If you were to get this job, what would you miss most about your current role?
9. Understand the recruitment process
When searching for common interview questions, you will be wise to also search for information regarding Apple’s recruitment process. Apple’s recruitment process is rigorous to say the least! Providing your résumé passes the screening process and you are shortlisted, there are three or four rounds of interviews.
The first is a group interview covering a social aspect, with role play and informal questioning. It’s important here to remember the values Apple hold and the type of persona they are looking for. The next stage is a screening call asking about their reasons behind wanting the role and why they are suited, before a more formal interview that’s completed in person. The last stage is a final interview with a more senior panel.
10. Prepare and practice
You’ve done your research; you know the essential criteria; you have a list of useful keywords; you know the type of person Apple is looking to employ, and you even have a list of common interview questions. Now, it is essential that you prepare.
Even if you don’t yet know if you’ve made it to interview, there is no harm preparing answers to some questions at the very least, or better still, having a full interview practice. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel and the more practice you do, the easier you will find answers come to you.
You can practice alone, or with a helpful friend, but however you do it, practicing is key.
Points to remember
A position with Apple is highly coveted and extremely competitive, but that just means you have to work extra hard to make sure you’re in the running. Leave nothing to chance, make sure you know exactly what is required of you, what Apple are looking, for and familiarize yourself with their products and mission.
Personality and intrinsic qualities are important to a company like Apple, so remember it isn’t all about your qualifications and experience, although these are very important. To stand out against the sea of applicants, you have to bring something extra to the table so really drill down into what Apple want and find your unique selling point.
Apple hire a very low percentage of people, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t land your dream job straight away. Learn from the experience and don’t give up. Each time you try, you will learn something to help you with the next application you submit. Tailor your résumé, hone your skills and keep on going.
Are you preparing to go through the Apple application process? Is there anything you're struggling with? Let us know in the comments below!