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Apple Asks This Jarring Interview Question as a Secret Way to Evaluate a Candidate The tech company has unique strategies they employ when evaluating potential candidates. Here's a look at three.

By Emily Rella

Getty Images
Getty Images

For such a highly desirable company to work for, Apple has a rather unorthodox way of conducting interviews with potential employees, according to Inc.

If you've ever interviewed at Apple, then you'd know that many of the company's interviews are done in a group format, where one employee will interview multiple candidates at the same time.

During these interviews, Apple uses three strategies to gauge all they can about a candidate before moving forward to the next round — and none of these strategies have anything to do with how well a candidate answers questions about the job.

Candidates are asked to participate in an icebreaker

Though it might seem silly asking job candidates (nonetheless ones that are competing for the same position) to participate in getting-to-know-you games, but according to Inc., it shows how candidates will act in a typical office dynamic and interact with people in other departments to collaborate on projects.

For the recruiters, seeing how a potential employee handles conversations that don't pertain to their specific role is something that may be important when choosing a candidate, as it might show whether or not an employee is a good culture fit for a company.

One anonymous user on Glassdoor said that when interviewing for Apple, the icebreaker question happened "a few minutes before" the scheduled interview. The question? "What is your favorite Apple product?"

Candidates are not called out one by one to answer questions

In group interviews, the Apple employee will ask open-ended questions and let the pool of interviewees decide who answers what and when. It's an easy way to see what role each candidate plays in a group setting — are they a natural leader? More reserved? Too abrasive?

It's also a good way to pick up on how well candidates can think on their feet and craft a unique response that tells about their experience in a way that positions them as someone well-suited for Apple.

Candidates may be asked this infamous out-of-the-box question

Though many questions in an Apple interview can be standard, there is one outlier that has made its rounds, according to one employee: "Is coconut a fruit?"

If you don't know how you would answer that question, that's the point.

Asking a question that is likely to throw candidates off shows how well potential employees can react to a curveball, something that's likely to happen throughout their time at Apple.

It also helps showcase critical thinking skills, logic, and a bit of the candidate's personality.

As of the end of 2021, it was estimated that Apple had around 154,000 employees worldwide.

Apple was up around 4.26% as of Thursday afternoon.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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