Apple
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Apple Engineering Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 10, 2014
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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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No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Cupertino, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Apple in February 2014.

Interview Details – Flew in for an interview after being contacted by a recruiter. Flown in. The selection process for flights and hotels is great, it's kinda like they are running their own kayak. Regular silicon valley interview other than that.

Interview Question – Why do you want to work here? (Really thing that stuff through)   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Mechanical Engineer Interview

Senior Mechanical Engineer
Cupertino, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Apple in May 2014.

Interview Details – I went on not one but two roller-coaster rides with Apple as a candidate for Sr. Mechanical Engineer.
The process went as follows, normalized from three weeks before my first onsite interview:
- 3 weeks: Received a strong recommendation from an Apple employee who had been a colleague of mine at a previous company.
Day 0: Met with hiring manager. I had previously worked with him as well at another company, and he thought highly of my skills and passed me on for a full day onsite interview.
Day 28: A full day of technical interviews from 9:15 AM to 5 PM. Each was basically 15 minutes of chitchat and 30 minutes of in-depth technical grilling. Mostly problem solving hypothetical engineering situations and technical brain-teasers. AT the end of the day I was told by the recruiter that if I passed this round, there would be several interviews with Upper Management to ascertain technical fit. Usually the next step is likely an offer. Did well on tech interviews.
Day 47: After being invited back, Met with two Upper level managers and - surprisingly, two additional engineers. Latter two interviews were also technical grilling similar to above. Did well on tech interviews.
Day 55: Hadn't heard back from recruiter or anybody, so I called them.
Day 60: Recruiter called back, apologetically, and asked if I would come in for ANOTHER round of interviews. I said sure, thinking this must surely be a prefunctory final interview prior to an offer.
Day 70: Deja vu - Met with two Upper level managers and again, two additional engineers. Latter two interviews were also technical grilling similar to above. Did well on tech interviews.
Day 82: Received a final call from recruiter: You did really well on tech interviews, but upper managers not sure there is a cultural fit. Very sorry to say we will pass on making an offer. However, there is another group that may be interested, would you like to interview? I reluctantly said yes.
Day 91: A full day of technical interviews from 8:30 AM to 5:45 PM. Many were more cultural/situational interviews, only a few were technical grilling. Sure I did well on those tech interviews, at least.
Day 101: Received a message from the recruiter saying Very sorry to say we will pass on making an offer, don't think there is a technical match. Uh Huh. Wait...what?

In summation, a very opaque, disrespectful and unsatisfying experience. In truth, I was a more senior candidate in terms of experience and position than most of the folks I met, and very much senior in terms of age. My time in the cafeteria was instructive - at Apple there appear to be very few employees pushing much past 40-45. lots of nice folks though and I enjoyed all of my discussions.

Interview Question – Know your beam theory, beam bending and strength of materials stuff if you are an M.E. They beat this stuff to death in the interview quizzes.   View Answer

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Data Engineer Interview

Data Engineer
Cupertino, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Apple in April 2014.

Interview Details – Process started when I applied to the position online. Received an email from a recruiter followed by a call. She demanded to know my current salary which I wasn't crazy about revealing. Maybe they can post the salary range on the job description and not waste everyone's time? Either way, she scheduled a call with a hiring manager. The call was the typical, tell me about yourself, etc. Then went into some trivial database questions. Turning into a barrage of questions being pulled out of thin air. Then halfway between answering one of the questions (how do you do market basket in sql, something only mysql has natively) the guy says 'thanks, take care' and hangs up.

This was followed by utter silence from the recruiter or anyone else. So if you like being treated rudely and have your time wasted, go ahead and apply here. They probably won't care either way.

Interview Question – create market basket output from sql.   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

IOS Telephony QA Engineer Interview

IOS Telephony QA Engineer
Cupertino, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Apple in June 2014.

Interview Details – 2 Phone Screen Followed by 5 hour Onsite discussion with several peoples + director

Phone Screen 1: looking at my resume basic questions :
how will you troubleshoot if CSFB call fails
Test cases for Toaster
seems positive with my skill set

Phone Screen 2:
Call Flow starting from mobile switch ON
How wil you troubleshoot MMS/Data throughput
what to look in wireshark logs

Got schedule for onsite a week later

Onsite
Round 1
Explain overall LTE network architecture
which enitity involved in CSFB call
what all elements are involved in VOLTE/IMS Call
Effect of Latency on throughput
basic troubleshoot cases
one guys start putting fantasy situations and other started laughing (should have been professional here)

Round 2
Developer trying to ask if you know programing
have you development any tool
Knowledge of automation - tool usage

Round 3
How will you trouble shoot Data
basic cellular questions
looks stressed and in hurry

Round 4
Lunch round (No time given for you to eat properly kept asking questions)
Call flow
Troubleshoot Data/MMS etc
Test/QA project management situations
i was informed that work load is high, need to work extra hours and many times on weekend

Round 5
Different team under same department
not prepared to take interview hence random vague questions,
showing attitude working for apple

Round 6
LTE Call Flow
how to test data - think of some quick test cases
Director jumped in between, in hurry giving focus on education and experience working in US
later got confused if my skills set can be fit in other team instead of the one for which i was scheduled onsite (not in sync before sorting resume)

Round 7
Mix of above rounds

I answered most of the questions and few days later got rejection

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1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Solutions Engineer Interview

Solutions Engineer
New York, NY

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Apple in July 2013.

Interview Details – The interview/hiring process was more steps than I expected. I went through three phone calls and four on-site interviews with different associates each time. I wouldn't call the interviews tough. It seemed to me the interviewers were essentially making it up as they went, with little to know structure. I mean that in a positive way; I felt like I was simply having a conversation with the interviewers (one interviewer took me on a walk where we stopped in a nearby park and carried on the interview while sitting in the grass). I think their methods allow both interviewer and interviewee to gain a good understanding of each other.

Interview Question – They throw together mock scenarios to test your critical thinking about solution generation. My questions revolved around Apple devices in an education setting. You just have to know the best device for the job and how to best implement. Go in knowing the current production line back and forth and little bit about the networking side and you won't have any trouble.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Senior Hardware Engineer Interview

Senior Hardware Engineer
Cupertino, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 days - interviewed at Apple in March 2014.

Interview Details – Recruiter contacted me. Had a phone interview with another recruiter. After that had two technical phone interviews, one with the hiring manager and one with one of the senior hardware engineers on the team.

The on site interview was pretty grueling. 8 people back to back 1 hour each. Bone up on your college level electrical engineering questions, because they will make you solve equations and draw circuits on the white board. One interviewer gave me a test to complete.

Interview Questions

  • Unexpected to be able to rehearse college level circuit questions (from flip flops to electromagnetism) for a senior level design position. I thought the interview would have been more about practical engineering experience versus academia.   Answer Question
  • Why do you want to work for Apple?   View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Verification Engineer Interview

Verification Engineer

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details – five 1: 1 onsite interview... asked questions on previous experiences,some brain teaser questions .most challenging project, some questions on the projects I did.Solve few algortihms and program codes.was asked to wite code for a clock .

Interview Question – fairly simple questions on algorithms, Perl strings   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Hardware Engineer Interview

Hardware Engineer

I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details – Applied online and HR reached me out. First interview was with HR to see where I stand. Then an engineer from the department interviewed asking more technical questions related to resume. It was followed by a more technical interview where I was asked to write down circuit questions and solve/explain. I was then given a 24-hour assignment which included a design/business questions and 4 pretty difficult circuit questions. It was followed by 2 more phone interviews by s different engineer and engineering manager.

Interview Question – I was given a 24-hour assignment for opamps. Questions are confidential.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software QA Engineer Interview

Software QA Engineer
Cupertino, CA

I applied through college or university and interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details – I was contacted by a university recruiter after applying through my university job board and was set up with a preliminary phone call. The interviewer called me and asked a few questions about my previous experience and projects but didn't seem to excited or interested in talking with me. I guess my previous experience didn't really line up with what the job required.

Interview Question – Describe your computer mouse and what you like / dislike about it and how would you improve it.   Answer Question

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