The beer test: this is how Steve Jobs managed to hire the best employees
Steve Jobs was a very peculiar person and had a real gift for choosing the best: “the beer test”.
Steve Jobs was a true genius, but one of his main faculties was to surround himself with really good people at his job. From good old Steve Wozniak with whom he founded Apple to Jony Ive, in charge of designing Apple’s most iconic devices.
However, finding these people is not easy. but Jobs had a gift for it. The Apple co-founder managed to attract the best thanks to some very peculiar interviews, later dubbed “the beer test”.
I’ve built a lot of my success on finding truly talented people, and not settling for ‘B’ and ‘C’ players, but really looking for the ‘A’ players.” I found that when you gather enough ‘A’ players, when you go through the incredible work of finding these ‘A’ players, they really like working with each other. Steve Jobs.
The beer test, more than just a job interview
Each master has his booklet and, just like Tim Cook values 5 functions above all else to work at Apple, Steve Jobs had his own technique. Job interviews are often boring and relatively easy to prepare for, which is why Steve Jobs didn’t like them.
For that reason, devised a new way of interviewing that consisted of getting to know the person in a deeper way and appreciating that he truly had the potential to create something great. And for this, he took them for a walk or to have a drink to simply chat.
I take them out to eat, take a walk with them or just hang out. I ask questions like ‘Tell me what you did last summer?’ or ‘When was the last time you accomplished something?’ There is no right or wrong answer. It’s all about doing everything you can to get them talking about an experience and getting them to show you their genuine personalities. Steve Jobs.
Now, to carry out this test it is essential that the interviewer, in this case Steve Jobs, knows what he is looking for and if that person is going to fit in, beyond their academic or professional skills.
We do not know if Apple continues to use this system, we know some of the questions they often ask in their interviews, but the company’s hiring method has always been pretty secret. Especially the most important people.
Steve Jobs was a most peculiar character, capable of almost everything and with great and funny stories. Throughout his life he laughed at Windows in full swing, mercilessly criticized the latest Marvel movie by calling out the director, presented a device in a small pocket and threw an iPod into a fish tank, and there are many more interesting stories.