Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall Shares Intriguing Story of His Interview With Steve Jobs at NeXT

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Former Apple executive and iOS chief Scott Forstall made a rare public appearance this week at Code.org's virtual Code Break event, and in between classes, Forstall shared the intriguing story of how he was hired by Steve Jobs.

Forstall revealed that he had been considering working at Microsoft when he went to interview at NexT, the company started by Jobs after he had left Apple. Forstall described the NexT interview as "intense," involving seventeen people over the course of the day.

However, ten minutes into the first interview, Jobs burst into the room and grabbed the interviewer and took him out into the hallway. The two had an animated discussion as Forstall waited. Eventually, Jobs came back into the room to personally conduct the interview with him.
"He just started peppering me with question after question, and after about 15 minutes we really clicked - on design, philosophy, and a bunch of other things," Forstall recalled.

"Eventually he stopped, and said, 'I know you have to interview for the rest of the day. I don't care what anyone says, at the end of the day, I'm giving you an offer. But please, pretend you're interested in everyone's questions throughout the rest of the day.' Then he looked at me and said, 'I'm sure you're going to accept this offer.' So this was his way to convince me."
Forstall went on to reveal that he'd also had an offer from Microsoft, which he subsequently turned down that day. The next morning, he found a dead fish in a box on his doorstep.

Reminded of the mafia's use of a dead fish delivery as a threat, Forstall checked the box for a return address: It was from Microsoft. So Forstall called up his contact there, but it turned out the company had sent him a fresh king salmon from Seattle's Pike Place fish market, implying that he wouldn't be able to buy fish like that if he moved to the Bay Area.

Forstall said he ended up cooking the fish and eating it that evening, and then went on to work with Steve Jobs at NeXT and then Apple for the next 20 years, before departing the company in 2013.


The video is embedded above. You can watch the part where Forstall's shares his experience of joining NeXT and working with Jobs from around the 34-minute mark.

Article Link: Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall Shares Intriguing Story of His Interview With Steve Jobs at NeXT
 
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hagar

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2008
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its stories like the ones he relates in this article that brings it all back why i don't like this man.
at all.
heir apparent.
and a failure.
and still trying to live off steve job's memory.
no talent.
and still self-serving.
The very first sentence in the article states he made a very rare public appearance. So your statement about trying to live off steve’s memory is wrong. And if you can work with Steve Jobs for 20 years, you must have some talent.
 
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K. Bayquoi

macrumors newbie
Sep 8, 2016
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Well I think he is enjoying all the money he made back then. He was the prime sponsor/investor in "Fun Home", a broadway show that won a Tony and ran for a couple years. Probably has put his technology days behind him and moved on to other interests. You don't see or hear that he has continued to work anywhere in another tech company. Why? Because he doesn't have to. Can you imagine how much stock in Apple he accumulated in his positions there, over 20 years?
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2014
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It is funny as something similar happened to me, it was a smaller company (about 2000 people) but still I had the seal of approval of one of the VP before interviewing with other people. He had a strong technical background, so he basically asked me everything. He didn't tell me to pretend to be interested in other people's questions, but told me he was going to make an offer and expected me to accept, I eventually did.
My best boss so far, it will be hard to top :)
 
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tyranne201

macrumors member
Apr 1, 2020
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"Eventually he stopped, and said, 'I know you have to interview for the rest of the day. I don't care what anyone says, at the end of the day, I'm giving you an offer. But please, pretend you're interested in everyone's questions throughout the rest of the day.' Then he looked at me and said, 'I'm sure you're going to accept this offer.' So this was his way to convince me."
And that is why interviews suck, sometimes they already know who to hire and you wasted your time.

Imagine having to talk to 17 people at the company in one day just to get a no.

-----

It is interesting to see that it could go all different for Apple, if Scott just turned down that offer. They would hire a different person, maybe iOS 6 failure would never had happened. Or iOS 7 would not have Johnny Ive's ideias.
 
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yaxomoxay

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Mar 3, 2010
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Imagine having to talk to 17 people at the company in one day just to get a no.
In all fairness, it was for a high-paying, high skilled job. I'd expect a serious level of scrutiny, although I'd also expect it to be bypassed by whoever is the ultimate decider.
To be at the top of my organization (ok, I am public sector) an individual has to go through a grueling 3 to 6 months long process, with tens of interviews and panels with people inside and outside the organization.

In addition, please note what Jobs said. I think he made the interviewers be under review, that is he probably looked if those he entrusted so far were able to work with Forstall.
 
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