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13th Aug 2023

Steve Jobs had a ‘beer test’ he used for Apple job interviews

Charlie Herbert

Steve Jobs beer test

Jobs wanted to break the trend of candidates giving prepared answers.

Steve Jobs apparently had a ‘beer test’ that he would use during interviews for potential new employees.

Going slightly against the idea that job interviews should be pretty formal affairs, the late Apple CEO wanted to buck the trend of people turning up to interviews with pre-planned answers and scripted responses.

A key question for Jobs when interviewing someone was: “Would I have a beer with this person? Would I talk to him or her in a relaxed way while taking a walk?”

So, that’s exactly what he did.

AS reports that Jobs would get the interviewee out of the office, going on a walk with them and taking them for a drink to decide whether or not this was a person he could see himself working with.

This would help the prospective employee to open up and relax, removing them from the rigid environment of a one-on-one office interview.

Steve Jobs would take interviewees out for a drink to get to know them better and work out if they’d be a good person to work with (Getty)

Steve Jobs took a more casual approach to job interviews

AS reports that Jobs would ask them questions ranging from traditional interview ones such as “When was the last time you accomplished something?” to a simple and more casual, “What did you do last summer?”

There were rarely any right or wrong answers to these questions, with Jobs simply trying to get to know them a bit better and decide whether they’d be a good person to work with.

But, make no mistake, he was still only looking for the best of the best. Jobs openly spoke about how he was always looking for the ‘A-Players’ for roles. This was his term for those he saw as the highest class of their game – the crème de la crème.

He previously explained: “I found that when you get enough A-players together, when you go through the incredible job of finding these A-players, they really like working with each other.

“Because they’ve never had the chance to do it before.”

Well, considering Apple’s place in the world and our lives today, it seems like his interviewing process and ‘beer test’ was pretty successful.

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