Apple may refer to some of its employees as “geniuses,” but a very high IQ is not a prerequisite for getting a job at the company.
For its CEO at least, there are more important qualities to look for in candidates seeking to join the team.
Tim Cook sat down with Dua Lipa for a wide-ranging interview released over the weekend, during which he revealed the type of people Apple is trying to hire.
On the Podcast “At your service”. Cook, who took up the senior position in 2011, explained that one of his favorite aspects of his role is the people he works with.
As such, hiring the right people is key, and they can come from “all walks of life,” according to your boss.
These include “people who have college degrees, people who don’t, people who code, and people who don’t.”
However, he encouraged job seekers in all fields to try learning some programming, explaining: “It’s a form of expressing yourself. It’s a universal language, it’s the only universal language that we all share. So I recommend it, but we hire people who don’t know how to programming.
“We employ a lot of people who don’t code on a daily basis but do other things.”
However, Cook said the trait that cannot be compromised is collaboration.
“Can [the candidate] Really cooperate? Do they strongly believe that one plus one equals three? He continued, referring to the team building idea that the results of individuals are greater than the sum of their parts.
Earlier in the conversation, Cook said collaboration also formed a key aspect of his leadership, and it was a trait he was keen to promote throughout the company: “I strongly believe that bouncing ideas off each other creates an idea bigger than any idea.” We are born ourselves.”
Curiosity is also a trait Cook — who is paid $49 million for his job in 2023 — would love to see on his team.
“People who ask questions are curious about how things work and how people think,” Cook continued. “All the ‘why?’ and ‘how’s it going?’ questions.”
The list also includes creativity, both in terms of problem solving and a broader approach to work, Cook said.
“We’re looking for people who can see around the corner,” the CEO said. “Ultimately, we want to create products that people can’t live without, but don’t know they need.
“All of these traits go into making a great team player.”
Big name bosses say degrees aren’t necessary
Cook, an Auburn alumnus, said he thoroughly enjoyed his college experience.
However, he is not the only one who believes that a college degree is not the ideal solution for an applicant trying to join the world’s first company to break the $3 trillion valuation ceiling.
Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and founder of global conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, has also previously said that he doesn’t care where people go to college — in fact, he told the Wall Street Journal that he wants to drop out himself.
Speaking to students at Western University in 2012, he added: “I don’t think college is for everyone. The best education you can get is investing in yourself. But that doesn’t always mean college or university.
A number of tech giants are also known to have dropped out of college. Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard’s computer science program in 2005 to focus on the then-nascent Meta.
He was following in the footsteps of Bill Gates, who similarly left Harvard after three semesters in 1975 to work full time at Microsoft. Likewise, Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College in the 1970s after only six months at the school.
“I ran out of money,” he later explained.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Shark Tank star Mark Cuban doesn’t have college degrees from elite universities.
in May 2019 wrote on X: “There’s not a lot of added value from big-name schools for freshmen or sophomore classes, especially when a motivated student can further their studies with free online courses from big names.”