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Apple Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jan 8, 2015
Updated Jan 8, 2015
31 Interview Reviews

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Interview Details

Around 2 months after I submitted my resume for Apple software engineer position, I got a call from the hiring manager. He asked me what was the good day for the interview. It took half day for meeting 5 people. It was long hour interview for me. Each interviewer spent ~ 30 minutes and asked ~ 4 questions. Each interviewer asked questions in the different areas.

Accepted Offer
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Apple

  1. 22 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    One phone interview, one on-site interview. On-site consisted of two 2-1 interviews, one with two managers, one with two team leads. Then two 1-1 interviews with engineers from external teams. Got an offer the following week.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Easy Interview
  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    Applied through a reference. Was contacted two to four weeks later. They set up a first interview with recruiter and hiring manager. Then an interview with an engineer mainly going over my resume and simple Java questions.

    Interview Questions
    • Questions I got asked were what does the final keyword do in Java and how I would go through a list of country music words and track the frequency of common words.   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    One of the worst interview experiences I have ever had.

    The setup and actual interviews was fine. The recruiter was quick to turnaround and give me the positive news and asked for a bunch of details to put together the offer.

    Then I waited for weeks, and every week there would be some excuse about the delay. Finally I had made up my mind that I would decline because this is poor ethic, but I did not want to give them the satisfaction of just losing me and not having to explain themselves so I kept at contacting the recruiter asking for status updates. Finally got one last excuse with a decline.

    I am glad I did not mention to anyone that I had a successful interview because it would have been really embarrassing to explain this. I guess the recruiter/team/Apple does not care about future employees/customers.

    Interview Questions
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Apple in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    Recruiter initial contacted me through LinkedIn. I had an initial phone screen with the recruiter. Then a technical phone interview with an engineer. I then had a phone interview with the hiring manager to talk more about the position and the surround group. After that they flew me out to California for several in-person interviews. I was in interviews from 1-6, each interview last about an hour and had 2 people in each. After that they decided that I would be a better fit for a different group so I had 1 more technical phone interview with an engineer, and one more phone interview with the new hiring manager.

    Interview Questions
    • There weren't any questions that stood out as difficult. All were pretty standard software engineer problems.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Apple in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    The interview process was what you'd expect from a company like this. I have about three phone screens (all of them were technical and the last one included a code snippet), followed by an all day on-site interview.

    The on-site consisted of one hour interviews every hour (11-5), and we're all very technical. I was asked to solve various problems (your typical algorithm and data structure subjects), as well as explain the various projects I worked on in my most recent position.

    The questions involved a lot of thinking, but I was able to find my way to the solutions after some time.

    All in all, I'd say it was too bad as I had prepared by practicing algorithms (searching, sorting, etc), and brushing up on some objective-c (I had to teach myself it in the two weeks leading up to the on-site).

    A good topcoder browse is a good resource for preparing to interview with this company.

    Interview Questions
    • How would you speed up your typical bit reversal algorithm?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    Very well organized and thought out. Excellent package.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    Got a phone call from the recruiter and then followed by 2 phone interviews. They flew my in to cupertino for onsite interview, which was pretty professional and smooth. Interviewers were super friendly and helpful.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
  8.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    1 Telephonic interview with recruiter and 1 with hiring manager,then onsite interview for a day with 5 people.

    Interview Questions
    • based on resume and couple of in depth technical questions   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    do we really need to negotiate at Apple? do not think so.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 34 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by an Apple recruiter asking if I'd be interested in a specific engineering position. After a technical phone interview with the hiring manager, I was invited on-site for a full day of interviews.

    A trip coordinator at Apple sent me a link to their booking intranet that allowed me to book my flights, hotel, and rental car. This was great because it allowed me to tweak the travel exactly how I liked it.

    On the day of the interview, the recruiter met with me to give me an overview of the process and explain the benefits.

    The on-site interviews consisted of six back-to-back technical interviews that involved whiteboard coding exercises ranging from traversing binary search trees to software architecture and everything in between.

    The interviewers were all very bright and courteous. They asked great questions and when I got stuck, they gave me small bits of information that helped me get to the final solution. Though there were a couple questions that I really struggled with, I was able to arrive at a solution for every problem.

    Lunch was with my future manager and in the Apple cafeteria---paid for by Apple. The cafeteria is really impressive. They have several ethnicities represented with food served just as beautifully as their products. The lunch interview consisted mainly of resume clarifications, general behavioral questions, and a chance for me to ask the questions that I had.

    After the final interview, I said goodbye to the recruiter and the hiring manager and left for home.

    I was contacted the next day by the recruiter letting me know that the interview feedback was very positive and that they'd like to send me an offer. Once the details were ironed out, I accepted immediately.

    Here are some pointers to potential interviewees:

    1. Make sure you know basic algorithms and data structures. You should be familiar with hash tables, linked lists, binary search trees, etc. You should also know how to search and traverse each data structure.

    2. You should know Apple. Show your love and enthusiasm for the brand.

    3. Don't spout off about things that you aren't fully knowledgeable about. You'll get asked clarifying questions and will look like a fool if you were just talking to look good. Make sure you can back any opinions you give with factual evidence.

    4. Rehearse the typical behavioral questions. You should be prepared to answer things like "why do you want to work for Apple?" or "Have you ever had an experience where x happened?".

    5. Your attitude should be one of humility and eagerness to learn. You'll quickly realize that you're not the smartest person in the room. Be polite and humble.

    Interview Questions
    • Implement an iterator for a binary search tree that will iterate the nodes by value in ascending order.   View Answers (3)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 26 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Apple in February 2013.

    Interview Details

    I interviewed for multiple positions over a span of an year before we settled on a position. The "process took" timeframe below is for the latest interview cycle which resulted in an offer being made. Without identifying the group / team by name, all I can say is that this division deals within a specific domain and as such, the talent pool is limited to recruit from.
    Mid-'12. The first interview (on phone), as always with Apple, was with the Hiring Manager. The interviewer was very pleasant and the questioning mainly revolved around my background and skills. Even though the interview as scheduled for 30 minutes, the Manager cut it short and told me he will follow up with me within a day. The second interview (on site) ran for about five hours and consisted 1:1 interview sessions with various Managers, Senior Analysts & Engineers and the Recruiter. The Managers, Analysts and Engineers who interviewed me were pretty professional and represented different departments. The questioning, like the phone interview, focused on problem solving abilities and approach rather than the solution itself. The Hiring Manager hosted a Lunch Interview. The last session for the day was with the Recruiter who asked me about my salary expectations and the usual HR stuff.
    The following day the Recruiter reached out to me and let me know that they were not interested in considering me further at that point of time. The whole process took about three weeks.
    Late-'12. The Recruiter reached out to me about a new position that would be a good fit to my skill sets. The first interview (on phone) was the customary Hiring Manager interview. The second interview (on site) was slightly shorter (four hours) than my last visit to Apple Campus. The interview consisted 1:1 interview sessions with various Managers and Analysts & Engineers. The questions were domain specific and revolved around problems and challenges that are typically encountered by someone working in these areas of expertise. The next day, I was told that the feedback was extremely positive and I was scheduled to speak with the Director. Since this was around the Holidays, my 1:1 with the Group Director got delayed. The third and last interview (on phone) was with the Director and mainly revolved around why I wanted to work for Apple and how do I think that I am good position. The Director had considerable domain knowledge. Unlike most Director-level interviews, this interview was fairly technical.
    Within couple of days, the Recruiter reached back to me to let me know that, as of then, they would not be able to make an offer and they would have to hold off on hiring me. While no specific reason was attributed, I was let known that the group was impressed with my skills and the process would resume soon. This time around the whole process took about six weeks.
    Early-'13. After waiting for couple of months, I reached back to Apple about resuming the previous process. I also let them know my keen interest in couple of positions that had opened up recently. The Recruiter followed up with a Coding Homework to regauge my technical skills. Once I was done solving, the Recruiter promptly scheduled an 1:1 interview with the Hiring Manager. The first interview (on phone) was soon followed second and last interview (on site). The on site Lunch Interview was just with the Hiring Manager. They skipped over technical rounds based on the homework solutions and my past interview feedbacks. By the time the final interview was scheduled, the group had, more or less, made up their minds about hiring me. The final session was basically about what they envisioned for the position they were hiring and if I am truly interested in joining them.
    The Recruiter emailed me the following business day and let me know that they were ready to make an offer. This was followed couple of email and phone calls to finalize the offer & package.
    Here are couple of tips based on my experience and from what I have heard from folks who have undergone the same process.
    * Never "wing" it. I realized it the hard way. Engineers questioning you know their stuff and can easily make out if you know things or if you are just guessing.
    * The on site interviews are exhausting. Make sure you are hydrated and well rested. Interviewers, as a matter of process, will not offer you a water / restroom break unless you ask for it.
    * For a technology giant, some of the processes are still "old-style". No t-shirts or jeans for the interviews. Candidates are expected to show up in business casuals.
    * Like most things Apple, the Managers, Analysts and Engineers are very secretive. They'll never tell you what they are working on and the expectation is for you to illustrate solutions based on your current job.
    * On a lighter note, the food available in Caffe Macs are gourmet, personalized and highly economical. Apple will provide you with a "Food Coupon" which will be more than sufficient to cover your lunch, twice over.

    Interview Questions
    • Tell me about an interesting research project that you conducted or were involved with.   View Answer
    • What brings you here today?   View Answer
    • Can you optimize this code?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    Standard negotiation practice. I was offered a base + benefits + RSU package that was, overall, above the market / industry level. Even though the base was slightly below my expectation, they were willing provide generous stock bonus. Base salary, vacations and other benefits are not negotiable. If you are walking away from substantial financial incentives like Retention Bonuses and Stock Grants, then the company will match it in form of Sign-on Bonus.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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