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How Apple’s Retail Guru Hires People

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Apple's head of retail operations (and former Burberry CEO) Angela Ahrendts is letting the internet in on her tried-and-true job interviewing techniques. In a LinkedIn post titled "How I Hire: My Guiding Principals," she boils her process down to four fundamental points that outlines how to make interviewees feel comfortable and show their truest selves.

1. Find out if the interviewee is a team player. "I ask simple questions about their family, friends, peers, personal interests, sports, spirituality, and community to glean a better understanding of their true motivation and leadership attributes," Ahrendts writes. "This is usually the easy part, because people love to talk about themselves."

2. Test emotional vs. intellectual intelligence. "I ask a few business questions about how they handle challenging situations and optimize opportunities. I usually ask what their team and peers would say about them to gain deeper perspective on how balanced they are intellectually and emotionally."

3. See if the interviewee identifies as a right-brain or left-brain thinker. "I then go back to asking more personal questions, as I find I can better assess their left brain-right brain balance by understanding what they studied, what they do in their spare time," she writes.

4. Get a sense of what shapes their thinking. "How much do they look to the past for trends, and how aware are they of the underlying influences impacting their business today? Do they have an opinion on the future and how their organization and strategies will need to evolve to keep pace?"

At the end of the interview, Ahrendts says she tries to not leave the candidate guessing as to whether it went well or not. "If they are not right for the position, I think it is best to be honest while we are together so they don't get their hopes up," she writes. "I always treat them as I want to be treated, and make sure they leave feeling positive even though they are not right for the current position. It is important we both sleep at night and that they leave with respect for themselves and the company."