Apple
3.9 of 5 3,133 reviews
www.apple.com Cupertino, CA 5000+ Employees

Apple Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 19, 2014
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47 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Manufacturing Engineer Interview

Manufacturing Engineer
Cupertino, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details – I was contacted by an Apple recruiter who had come across my resume on Monster or some other site that I had it on. The position was for the manufacturing group for mobile devices. It wasn't my typical area of expertise as I'm more design focused, but I have an extensive background in manufacturing and machining, so It seemed like a good time to make a change. I had a quick phone call with the recruiter and was asked the standard questions regarding why I was looking for a job, was I willing to relocate, etc. After this brief (10 minute) phone interview, I received an email and scheduled another brief phone interview with another recruiter, then again with a hiring manager.

The conversation with the hiring manager was very technically focused on manufacturing processes, plastics, metals, composites, tooling, machine tools, inspection, surface finishing, treatments, etc. This was about 30 minutes and the manager was a pleasure to talk to. He had a great sense of humor and the conversation although technical, was enjoyable and relaxed.

Following this I received an email and was invited for an on site interview. The Apple travel site takes care of your airfare, hotel, and rental car and is very efficient.

The on site interview was about 5 hours, meeting with someone every 30 minutes. The bulk of the interviews consisted of a bunch of Apple products and pieces being placed in front of me and discussions on how they were produced, tooling to manipulate them, ensuring accuracy, how surface finishes were produced, why things were done a certain way, how I would do them, and so on.

Everyone I met with was light hearted and seemed to have a sense of humor. All incredibly bright individuals and seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. All in all it was pretty intense, but if you know your stuff there shouldn't be anything unexpected. I was pleased that they didn't give me any brain teasers or abstract stuff like that. It was all straight to the point and was a good test of my manufacturing knowledge.

My advice to anyone in any interview situation is that if you don't know something, admit it. Don't try and BS your way through, especially in a group like I was in, as they will see through it. If you don't know something, just say so. My plastics experience is limited, so when technical questions about plastics and over molding came into the equation, I was up front and told them I knew about the process and could describe it to them, but had no hands on experience in it.

Also, make sure you can back up every single thing you put on your resume. If you have a lot of fluff in there it's going to come out in the interview process.

Lastly, don't show up empty handed. Bring examples of your work and show them how diverse your skill set is and why they should hire you. It's also a great for you to be able to talk intelligently about all the things you've done and explain your thought process behind them. This is what a lot of people you interview with are looking for.

Interview Question – This was a very 'hands on' interview. No BS questions, but know every manufacturing process you can, regardless how abstract. Same goes for surface finishing, treatments, and manufacturing automation. Also Apple does things very differently, cost is second to quality, So where other manufacturers are stamping sheet metal and molding things out of cheap pot metal, Apple is CNC'ing components, has incredibly tight tolerances, and is highly automated.   View Answers (2)

Negotiation Details – I initially received an offer from the recruiter verbally outlining my base salary, sign on bonus, relocation package, stock options, etc. They called me a few days later notifying me that the official offer was in the mail via FedEx next day air, and they had increased the base salary and sign on bonus that he had initially given me. It wasn't a massive increase in pay compared to what I was currently making, but it was enough to get me to accept, and was what I expected the job to pay. Certain things seem pretty set from a corporate standpoint (vacation days, stock vesting period, etc.) so I'm not sure how much negotiation room there actually is. Either way, I was happy with the offer they made me, and I accepted.

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3 people found this helpful

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Operations Engineering Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Cupertino, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Apple in January 2014.

Interview Details – First phone interview, about just 15 mins with HR, just basic personal information, checking on interest in apple and specific jobs. later on, 1 phone interview with Hiring Manager, and then brought onsite to meet 8 peoples consisting of hiring manger, team members and counterpart from Engineering team.

Apple travel coordinate takes care of hotel, flight most everything for you, which is nice.

When onsite, I was basically told by everyone except for HM, that the Operations Engineering (including Technical Program Manger, Ops Program Manger, and Manufacturing design and quality engineers) are incredibly demanding. I was told that you basically have to devoted yourself to Apple, working 6 days a week, working EVERY night 9-11pm concalling with Asian team. They absolutely expect you to respond emails Sunday night since it would be Monday morning in Asia. You also have to travel to Asia very frequently, spending roughly 30% about 90 days per year in Asia, maybe more in some roles or some groups. work/life would be a joke here.
That also explains that some groups in operations have more than 50% turnover rate. That is also probably part of reason that they keep hiring tons of new positions for operation side.

Most of interviewers I spoke to look like they do understand in depth what they are doing. They are mostly 20s-early 30s. Genuinely nice and light-heart. I did enjoyed most of the conversation,and also had some good technical exchange/discussion with them.
however, there was only one guy with huge ego. I almost wanted to tell him"come on! you did not invent iPhone. just chill up..".

Questions are very details oriented, ranging from manufacturing process, tolerance stack up, process control, and also some soft skills question. Nothing too difficult if you have the experience you claimed on the resume. They wanted you to give examples, not just walking through general approach or concept.

Overall, i felt that if you are young, no family, no kids, love traveling, and have the talent Apple is looking for, the operations engineering might be a good fit for you. otherwise, be aware the huge workload is simply no comparison to any other jobs you may have done in the past.

Interview Question – describe how you fix or improve a manufacturing process with the supplier? how to handle supplier's push-back?   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – The pay is slightly higher, but considering the time you have invested, it would be a seriously under-pay.

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Apple

Interview Details – Phone Interview

Interview Question – The recruiter forwarded my resume to the wrong team and the both the manager and I realized this as soon the interview started. What a waste of time   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Apple

Interview Details – Recruiter contacted me for phone interview. Phone screen took 20 min and they flew me over the next week for interviews with 8-10 people.

Interview Question – The technical interviews weren't hard but I got nixed by a top decision maker for lack of experience in one area.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

GPU Build Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Cupertino, CA

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details – Applied to a job posted on Linkedin. Recruiter asked for phone screen the very next day! Phone screen with hiring manager went very well...mostly general background question and was called in for an onsite interview. I freed up my whole week for Apple! But the onsite interview was cancelled and recruiter asked me details for the following week.

No worries. Anything for Apple! The onsite was setup a week after the first scheduled one. I was at Apple! The interview lasted for a few hours and 4 people interviewed me. it was not overly technical - nothing like write a script to do this or write code for this. It was mostly about branching strategies and other general SCM questions. I was very happy and very confident I will be called in for the second round.

In hindsight, there is a reason why the interview was so simple! They had made up their mind they were not going to hire me. After a few unreplied emails from recruiter, I finally called and she said that they have decided to hire an internal candidate.

Interview Question – Every single one asked this question - Why Apple?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Verification Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Cupertino, CA

I applied online - interviewed at Apple in April 2014.

Interview Details – For GPU team
Contacted by HR followed by two phone screens
first: manager
general questions from resume, experience, various verification environments, functional coverage, SV constraint solver
2nd: team member
uvm questions: TLM? Phases -> build is top down?
coverage ?
GPU pipe overview
How scoreboard implemented
UVM monitors
UVM TLM fifo's implementation
SV knowledge?

I did very good in both the interviews, but management chose to hire an internal candidate who has better experience

Interview Question – is run phase top down/bottom up   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Wireless Telephony Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Remote, OR

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Apple in October 2013.

Interview Details – There were two rounds of interviews for this this position. First round was a technical interview about LTE signaling and the second round (so called technical interview) was more of management related questions. I answered about 80% of the questions in the first round which i felt was relatively easier but second round was tricky and the hiring manager was just stuck on why I wanted a change. Felt a little wierd Not sure why I was not considered for the next round....

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Design Verification Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Cupertino, CA

I applied online and interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details – I was contacted through e-mail for an opportunity with Apple. The phone interview was scheduled in a week after the initial contact by the recruiter. The phone interview went well however I had to wait two weeks for a response. I was selected for an onsite interview and was interviewed by five very bright verification engineers.
Design questions - setup and hold time, aptitude based questions(apples and oranges), perl scripting and programming based questions were asked. There were other challenging open ended questions too - designing an electrical circuit etc.
Pro: There is a lot of horizontal movement and opportunities to grow within teams in apple. I got a feeling that they take good care of their employees and take steps to make sure employees remain excited about work
Cons: Nothing major. Just a personal opinion. There was a one hour wait after the technical interviews. While I was waiting at the lobby for round 2 , the recruiter called me on my cel to inform me that I wasn't selected and I could leave.I was disappointed of course. Also it's my opinion that the least a company can do is break the news to it's candidates F2F while they're still on the campus rather than over the phone like that. Candidates usually put in a lot of effort and take days off from work so they can get their dream job.
Overall the experience was good.

Interview Question – design an electrical circuit with switches, voltage source for a particular application- wasn't expecting one since my area of expertise is mostly digital   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

OS Triage Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Cupertino, CA

I applied online - interviewed at Apple in March 2014.

Interview Details – First time I got a manager talking to me, I passed on the phone.
They sent me someone else talking to me, I got network disconnect on Feb 1st.
He never connected again.
I had to talk to the recruiter, and the recruiter "convinced" him to set another appointment.
I received a "voicemail" without a missed call, and I tried to call back, no response.
Last week he contacted me and passed me again.
I just finished the onsite interview again.
I am supposed to be interviewed for 6-7 hours.
I found that they had my resume of 5 years ago, given that I updated my resume and gave the recruiter the newest resume

Complying with the senior engineer below, who claims they were rude (below)

Jun 1, 2013

No Offer
Senior Software Engineer Interview
Senior Software Engineer

Same thing, I interviewed onsite for two hours, then the recruiter told me "no more interviews", because you are not a good fit.
Given that I interviewed for the same job that I am doing now.
Same thing, they cancel the remaining 5 interviews, and the decision is made by 1 or 2, why would they make a 7 hour interview??
Why didn't they call me by phone and tell me "no dont come" earlier?

Interview Question – The questions were "gentle" and "nothing" was bad.
What I didn't expect is they have a 4year old resume of mine?!
I found difficulties telling them that I am another person now.
  Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Engineering Program Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details – Was contacted by a recruiter. He arranged for a 1 hour phone interview with a hiring manager. After that I was invited to the corporate campus for an interview consisting of 8 30-minute long interviews with various engineers and managers. A week after the interview, I was informed that they had selected another candidate, which I do appreciate. I was also given feedback by the recruiter.

Interview Question – Part of the problem with Apple's interview style is that you tend to get asked the same questions over and over by different people who didn't have a chance to hear you answer previously. Also 30 minutes per person isn't really enough time to get to know one another.   Answer Question

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