I read a recent article about rethinking how you manage that really piqued my interest. When there are issues to be resolved and decisions to be made in the workplace, it takes a certain level of effort to get the job done. I’ve been on both sides of the equation here — as an employee who has reported to a superior and as a manager with direct reports. And because of this, I know that there can be different solutions taken that arrive at the same answer. However, some solutions may be more or less efficient or effective than others. Knowing how to effectively communicate, either employee to boss or vice versa, is important here. The key to resolution is ownership — if one feels they are vested in the project or the issue at hand, they’ll take on responsibility and see the task to completion. On the flip side, if there are always questions but no proposed solutions, or if one’s solutions are always discounted, there can be no real ownership. It’s all about the appropriate level of employee empowerment!
Monthly Archives: May 2017
What’s Your Take?
A recent article about Apple’s interview questions was really interesting which got me thinking — as a manager, I’ve never been asked questions like this before during an interview. I ask the typical questions about who you are, where you’ve been and what are you up to now. I’ll usually ask a few questions to make the interviewee think, such as what is your favorite excel formula and why? Or ask them to describe a situation that had conflict and see how they resolved it. But it dawned on me that there is a whole other creative way to glean information from a candidate and Apple seems to have it down pat. There are some pretty challenging questions in this article. How would you answer them?
Following are some of them:
“A man calls in and has an older computer that is essentially a brick. What do you do?” — Apple Care At-Home Consultant candidate
“Are you smart?” — Build Engineer candidate
“Have you ever disagreed with a manager’s decision, and how did you approach the disagreement? Give a specific example and explain how you rectified this disagreement, what the final outcome was, and how that individual would describe you today.” — Software Engineer candidate
“You put a glass of water on a record turntable and begin slowly increasing the speed. What happens first — does the glass slide off, tip over, or does the water splash out?” — Mechanical Engineer candidate
“Tell me something that you have done in your life which you are particularly proud of.” — Software Engineering Manager candidate
“Are you creative? What’s something creative that you can think of?” — Software Engineer candidate
“Describe a humbling experience.” — Apple Retail Specialist candidate
“What’s more important, fixing the customer’s problem or creating a good customer experience?” — Apple At Home Advisor candidate
“Why did Apple change its name from Apple Computers Incorporated to Apple Inc.?” — Specialist candidate
“You seem pretty positive, what types of things bring you down?” — Family Room Specialist candidate
“Show me (role play) how you would show a customer you’re willing to help them by only using your voice.” — College At-Home Advisor candidate
“What brings you here today?” — Software Engineer candidate
“Given an iTunes type of app that pulls down lots of images that get stale over time, what strategy would you use to flush disused images over time?” — Software Engineer candidate
“If you’re given a jar with a mix of fair and unfair coins, and you pull one out and flip it 3 times, and get the specific sequence heads heads tails, what are the chances that you pulled out a fair or an unfair coin?” — Lead Analyst candidate