Apple Engineering Interview Questions & Reviews
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Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Apple
Interview Details – Some behavioral questions were unexpected, list three adjectives that your colleague might describe you.
Interview Question – Some behavioral questions were unexpected Answer Question
Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Apple in August 2013.
Interview Details – Had a friend submit my resume. Was brought in for in person interview. Hiring manager was supposed to spend 30-45 minutes with me spend 10 minutes then excused himself. Thought interview went very well aside from being asked questions that the interviewer admitted were trick questions. Got form letter few days later that I was not a match for them with no reason given.
Interview Question – Compare and Contrast Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
The process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Apple in January 2012.
Interview Details – The interview process consisted of 3 phone screens followed by a 6 hour in person interview. Questions were a mix of technical as well as problem solving related.
Interview Question – how would you sort out issues you have with co-workers Answer Question
Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Apple in February 2012.
Interview Details – I got to the group interview where I was able to meet all the team members in the department that I applied to. 25 mins per person, total around 5 hours. My interview went well according to the recruiter, she quickly set me up for the final interviews with other departments. Few days before the interview, the recruiter notified me that the interview got canceled without giving any explanation. I spend a lot time to find out the reason from insider at Apple, turn out that the other department did not think I am quality for the position; I also have a similar background as the other department which could imperil them...according to the insider.
Even though I want to try again and prove myself, after a second thought I think there is no reason to bargain for a job in a company where one department can easily Interference the rest of the department's business. Such political matters will definitely effect my loyalty if I actually work inside that company.
Interview Question – Critic on existing product's design. Answer Question
Engineering Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Apple in January 2010.
Interview Details – Was surprised Apple reached out to recruit me at the old age of 37!
Negotiation Details – Indicated I would take a $10,000 decrease in salary only after they indicated I would allowed to participate in their Employee Stock Purchase Plan!
Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Apple in November 2011.
Interview Details – I got an interview with an HR specialist through an employee referral. The interview was more like a screening and mostly focused on how my background and skills matched their current open positions in that particular department. There were a few technical questions, but very high level, and the rest was just a discussion on the job responsibilities and how my background could be a fit or not.
The whole process was very well organized and the recruiter I spoke to was very friendly. Overall it was a very good and professional experience, even though it seemed that there was not a good fit at the time for either party involved.
Interview Question – Have you previously worked on projects related to the description for this position? Answer Question
Engineering Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Apple in September 2011.
Interview Details – An Apple HR representative contacted me and told me the Touch Screen group was interested in hiring new grads with a strong background in EE. The position was an Analog EE position; I told her my background was in Digital EE. She informed me that this was not a problem. I was then sent a pre-interview exam to complete within 24 hours. On the exam were analog circuit analysis questions (RLC and op-amps), a probability question, and an open ended economics question. I felt good about the exam and a few days later Apple contacted me saying they’d like to proceed with an onsite interview. We scheduled a date.
Four days before the interview I received an email disclosing what I should study to prepare for the interview. On the list: tranistors/resistors. Transistors had not been on the pretest. Enter full on study mode.
The day of: My first interview starts with “So why do you want to work at Apple.” I’m tempted to say “Actually, you guys want me,” but I start off on a good note and talk about the exciting technology, the chance to work with brilliant people, and my potential to really grow and excel in such an engineer-friendly environment – pretty good I think. Next he says “Your background is DSP, so why are you interviewing for this job.” Again, I’m tempted to say “Well, I don’t have a job yet, I am really smart and I could do well – I think – doing just about anything so I figure why not check out my options.” Instead I go on to talk about my passion for EE and my general obsession with science and engineering (honest) and that it was difficult for me in grad school to choose an area at all because everything excited me. Again, true and tactful. He understands. We talk about my background. I describe my research and go over some coursework. Then, on to the “technical” part.
My first technical question is to solve an Op-Amp circuit. I tell him I have to solve the circuit. He steps back and lets me go. I solve it slowly but surely. We move on to discussing touch screens; we have a nice technical discussion about it. Ends well and he gives me a business card.
Next, my second interviewer arrives. He again asks me why I want to work at Apple and why I am applying to this job. I bite my tongue about clarifying that I didn’t apply for the job. We discuss background and research and then move on to the technical questions. He puts up a slightly more complicated Op-Amp circuit. Sheesh, I think. I solve it, but the whole thing has taken awhile. He decides to ask me something that “I should be really familiar with.” He then goes on to ask the most ill-posed question I have ever heard. It came with a correspondingly bad block diagram.
I have thought long and hard on the discussion that followed and have decided that he didn’t know enough to ask a good question. I think he skimmed a wiki article on DSP and thought he knew enough to interview me well.
My next interview is with HR. They gush over how smart I am, how much “Apple” wants me, etc. It is over all pleasant and a nice break, thought I wonder who "Apple" is and when I get to meet him...
An engineer comes to interview me over lunch. He fixates on my background and how this position is not a good match. I try to stay positive but he is relentless. I think he hates me. I guess he gets tired of reminding me that I am a poor match for this position and moves on to asking about my research. I tell him what I did, etc. His exact words are then “Well, I am skeptical about that.” How do you politely say “Sorry you don’t understand it; maybe you’d like me to teach you something for the next 4 hours?” I know what I did, the conferences that published my work know what I did, and the team of doctorates that passed me on my M.S. defense knows what I did. I really don’t care if this guy thinks it’s legit. I feel very uncomfortable, very defensive, and starting to wonder how I even got there. I thought these people wanted to hire me; I didn’t come here to beg for a job.
He draws an op-amp circuit. He doesn’t like how I am solving it – which isn’t wrong it’s just not how he prefers. He interrupts my train of thought, but I manage to get the correct answer. He then moves on to stats questions. I did poorly here. This man was not nice and I didn’t want to be near him.
Finally, a new interviewer. He asks me another (you guessed it!) op-amp circuit.
He tries to meet me half way by asking a DSP question, but I really wish these guys would stop doing that. He receives a text message, and then asks me a question about the seasons. Meeting on more neutral ground is comfortable. This guy is nice, and I wouldn’t mind working with him.
Interview ends and he graciously tells me that we are done interviewing, but HR will be in touch with me about DSP positions.
We politely say goodbye; then I get the hell out of there.
Overall, it was weird. I am glad I did it, glad I didn’t get the job, and glad to be interviewing with other companies.
Interview Question – Use DSP to improve the output of a noisy DAC. Answer Question
Engineering Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Apple in June 2011.
Interview Details – contacted via LinkedIn. two semi technical phone screens followed. travel was required and arranged very promptly -- flexibility and decent arrangements. next day interview consisted of a 8 1:1s with potential peers and management. it lasted about 7 hours and included lunch at the main cafeteria. really know your resume, which is where most technical questions originated from. obsessive brand loyalty is par for the course and is why you're interviewing with them.
overall experience was positive and a good barometer of where you are on the totem pole.
Engineering Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Apple in February 2011.
Interview Details – 2 full days of interviews spread across 2 weeks. The position is fairly senior and cross-functional in nature, interfacing between two major groups. The position required wide range of technical knowledge as well as management experience. I blew the process by not answering in enough detail about team building and management experience. I was concentrating too much on being technical and mis-read the importance of questions from one of the key interviewers.
Apple has many disciplines of talent, make sure your understand the discipline of the interviewer as they look for different traits. An industrial designer make ask the same questions as an electrical engineer, but they don't always expect the same answer.
Interview Question – I would you investigate a technology with-out letting anyone know you were investigating it? View Answer
Engineering Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Apple in October 2010.
Interview Details – The Apple Team was in fact more focused towards to the wireless communication and how the Cells in the mobile network are oriented and organized. There were no questions on the software development side. They also asked questions on DSP and Fourier analysis.
Interviews for Top Jobs at Apple