CEO Tim Cook Names Four Qualities Apple Looks For in Potential Employees

Why is it important: Do you have aspirations to work for the most valuable company in the world? With a market capitalization of $2.35 trillion, Apple offers many employee benefits, but it’s not easy to get on the payroll. According to boss Tim Cook, there are four qualities that Cupertino looks for in his potential employees.

Speaking at the Federico II University of Naples in Italy (via Luck), Cook stressed how important it is for new Apple employees to take care of the world, as he believes it helps people do better jobs.

The CEO then outlined four key qualities that he says people need to work at Apple. The first of these, and given the company’s controversial mandate to return to work, perhaps the most relevant to date, is the ability to collaborate with colleagues.

“… we are looking for opportunities to collaborate with people — the fundamental feeling is that if I share my idea with you, that idea will grow and get bigger and get better,” he said, noting that Apple’s ability to create new products comes from collaborative, and not individual effort.

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Unsurprisingly, Cook named creativity as another trait Apple looks for in potential employees: “[we look for] someone who will sort of get around the problem, look at it from different angles and use their creativity to come up with solutions.”

Curiosity was next. Cook said that having enough curiosity to ask a lot of questions, whether smart or stupid, puts pressure on a person to actually think deeply about the answers.

The last and probably most obvious thing Apple wants from employees is a high level of professionalism. “If we’re doing something in industrial design, we need someone who understands industrial design and has the skills to do it either from college or from work,” he said.

Cook said that Apple employees who have these four skills perform well in the company, so they look for the same qualities when hiring. He added that big money won’t make someone happy if the job isn’t fulfilling. “People have to work for a reason bigger than themselves,” he said. “So you want to have a vision for a company that will serve customers and improve their lives in some way. You want to do it ethically.”

It’s interesting to hear how Cook was the first to name the collaborative skill. The CEO has long said that in-person teams are essential to Apple’s culture, which is why the company is working harder than most to get its employees back in the office. This led to an employee petition in August against a return-to-work mandate that required flexible location work.

Something else Cook might have mentioned as a trait Apple is looking for is that employees don’t make rash comments on TikTok videos. Tony Blevins, Apple’s vice president of purchasing, recently made this mistake that cost him his job.

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