Steve Jobs Had ‘Beer Test’ He Used To Hire People At Apple

Steve Jobs Beer
Credit: Alamy

The Apple founder had a certain ‘beer test’ he would use to hire people.

Steve Jobs is arguably one of the most influential people when it comes to modern technology.

From the original Macintosh computer to the iPhone – the late Apple CEO was involved in some of the biggest tech creations that we use today.

It’s no surprise that Jobs would look to hire the best minds in the industry, but he didn’t use conventional interview techniques when looking to employ someone.

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While you’d think the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world would put potential employees through a rigorous interview process, the tech genius actually opted for something much more simple.

According to, he would simply use the ‘beer test’.

Jobs wanted to break the stigma of sitting someone down in a room and asking them a series of questions – but instead wanted to get to know them on a personal level.

So every time the Apple founder ever considered hiring someone he always asked himself: “Would I have a beer with this person? Would I talk to him or her in a relaxed way while taking a walk?”

This idea would lead to how he conducted his interviews as he would invite them for a walk and a beer.

Waiting room
Steve Jobs used the test when hiring for the tech giant Apple. Credit: Alamy

According to, Jobs believed that taking someone out for a walk and a drink would loosen them up and they would be more likely to open up about their personal lives.

He would ask them questions such as ‘What did you do last summer?’, or ‘When was the last time you accomplished something?’, just to get to know the candidate better.

There were no right or wrong answers, but that was where Jobs’ decision to hire them or not came from.

This what part of the process to find what he called ‘A-players’ – referring to the best in class when it comes to hiring people.

As per, the Apple founder explained: “I found that when you get enough A-players together, when you go through the incredible job of finding these A-players, they really like working with each other. Because they’ve never had the chance to do it before.”

Apple iPhone
Steve Jobs was known best for being behind the creation of the iPhone. Credit: Alamy

Jobs wasn’t the only high-profile CEO who used an interesting interview technique, as Elon Musk has previously spoken about the same question he always asks when speaking to potential hires.

Speaking to the German automotive magazine Auto Bild, the Tesla CEO said he wasn’t interested in someone’s education but rather wants to see ‘evidence of exceptional ability’ in potential employees.

The X, previously known as Twitter, owner has a special method of spotting lies in interviews.

Musk asks each candidate: “Tell me about some of the most difficult problems you worked on and how you solve them.”

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The billionaire cares less about whether the person gets the answer right, and more about how they try to solve the problem. 

To spot someone who is bending the truth, he says he pays close attention to whether they can describe their solution in detail.

He continued: “And of course, you want to make sure if there was some significant accomplishment, were they really responsible, or was someone else more responsible?

“Usually, someone who really had to struggle with a problem, they really understand [the details], and they don’t forget.”

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.