After being criticized earlier this week for laying off many recent new hires, Apple
(AAPL) has now decided to reverse its decision and start hiring again. According to a Dow Jones Report,
the company had been using a new staffing formula to reorganize its staff in an effort to increase the retail division’s profit margin. The changes came from Apple’s new Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett who now admits that the company “messed up” implementing the changes in the first place, and is hiring new staff to keep stores prepared for the flood of customers expected for the upcoming iPhone 5.
Apple may be going back to its previous staff levels, but a good percentage of those laid off might not be coming back. Apparently, some of the firings were due to staff members taking advantage of the store’s free upgrade policies by upgrading their own iPhone 4s for iPhone 4Ss, as Apple has been quietly been phasing the iPhone 4s out of its stores. As a result, these employees will not be returning, creating more room for new staff to be hired.
On the positive side, if you've ever been interested in a career in Apple retail, now is the time. With the iPhone 5 on the horizon, Apple will be looking to hire across the board within each store. If you're looking for a job, be sure to rush to Apple's site and apply. Apple’s hiring practice is a bit unconventional and highly competitive, so here are a few tips to help you get in. These all come from my personal experience, having applied to be a "specialist" at the Apple Store two years ago.
1. Expect a Group Interview
Apple initially interviews its potential candidates in group settings where they will likely be searching to fill a variety of positions. This might seem uncomfortable, but it’s important that you try to stand out and seem the most excited for the opportunity. If you make it past the first stage, you’ll be set up with a few more interviews where you'll meet with different managers who will assess your capabilities traditionally, but the group interview will where you can really prove yourself.
2. Be Early
According to my sources (okay, friends) who work at various Apple stores, Apple has very strict policies on timeliness since tardiness is one of its most common reasons for firing employees. The first interview will be a perfect chance to show that you are aware of the importance of keeping good time.
3. Be Personable
The retail stores have their own culture, and a big part of the interview will consist of how well you fit in to it. Be sure to ask plenty of questions and wear business casual. Wearing a business suit could be a costly misstep.
4. Learn About Apple’s Products
Even if you don’t own any Apple products, it will definitely be worth it to study what Apple sells and how to use its interface. Knowing the little differences between a MacBook and a MacBook Pro will really knock their socks off.
5. Know Apple's Competitors
Apple has rivals -- and lots of them. Know who they are, what they produce, and the methods Apple has used to try and stay ahead. Be able to explain the difference between a Mac and a PC, or the iPhone and Android
(GOOG), and have all the talking points memorized.
6. Have Someone That Works for Apple Recommend You
As mentioned earlier, Apple Stores have their own retail culture, and knowing someone already in it will greatly increase your chances of being accepted. Having a friend or a relative talk you up. Mentioning that you know an existing employee creates a sense of familiarity that the hiring manager will take into consideration. You probably know someone who already works at an Apple store, so now is a good time to reach out to them.
Follow these tips and you'll have a definite edge over the competition. Good luck!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.