Skip to content

Cook shares five traits the company seeks

Spread the love

If you have the dream of working for Apple, you can’t get much more help than the company’s CEO telling you exactly what the company looks for when hiring.

Tim Cook says that they seek out five traits, and have found that a very good formula when it comes to new hires …

Cook shared his criteria at a ceremony in which he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Naples Federico II in Italy.

Fortune reports that he opened by telling students it was important to care about the world, and about making a difference in it.


“We have a group of people in the company that really want to change the world, that want to enrich people’s lives, that want to leave the world better than they found it,” he said. “It’s that kind of feeling that drives people to do their best work and I’ve seen it happen again and again, and the results are just unbelievable.”


“We believe that strong individual contributors are really key, but two strong individuals that work together can do amazing work, and small teams can do incredible things.

So we look for the ability to collaborate with people – the fundamental feeling that if I share my idea with you, that that idea will grow and get bigger and be better.

It’s not that somebody goes in a corner or a closet and figures out something about themselves, it’s a collaborative effort.”


“We look for people that think differently, that can look at a problem and not be caught up in the dogma of how that problem has always been viewed. Somebody that will kind of walk around the problem and look at it from different angles and use their creative juices to come up with solutions.”


“It’s a cliché, but there are no dumb questions. Curiosity is about being curious about something to ask lots of questions, whether you think they’re smart questions or dumb questions. It’s amazing when somebody starts to ask questions as a kid would, how it puts pressure on the person to think through the answers really deeply. And so, we look for this innate curiosity in people.”


“If we’re doing something in industrial design, we need somebody that knows industrial design and has a skillset in it either from their college days or through their work days.” 

Cook added that it was a two-way fit: Apple needed to be the right company for an individual, as well as the reverse. While he of course didn’t say so, many corporate employees report that no matter how much the Cupertino company might talk about work-life balance, working for Apple involves an always-on attitude.

Sunday is a work night for everybody at Apple because it’s the exec meeting the next day. So you had your phone out there, you were sitting in front of your computer, it didn’t matter if your favorite show was on […] You were basically on until, like, 2 o’clock in the morning […]

When you hear the so-called apocryphal stories about Tim Cook coming to work in the wee hours and staying late, it’s not just some PR person telling you stories to make you think that Apple executives work really hard like that. They really do that. I mean, these people are nuts. They’re just, they are there all the time.

Photo: Travis Wise/CC 2.0 (cropped, flipped, shadows and saturation boosted)

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *