Apple Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Manufacturing Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
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.
Mac Specialist (Apple Store) Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Apple in July 2014.
Interview Details – I submitted my resume online roughly two months before I heard anything back. I was first contacted by an Apple recruiter (who turned out to be one of the store managers) and did a really easy phone interview with him. I was then asked to come in for three in-person interviews (first with that same initial store manager, then another store manager, and then the final one was with the store lead and the regional sales manager). From there I was asked to fill out an application online, and from there I was called with an offer at $16/hour, conditional on a background check. The biggest thing I found prior to interviewing was to stay positive when talking to them. They asked about what Apple products I own, why Apple, my own customer service experiences and how they'd relate to Apple, what I do for personal development. I read prior to my interviews to not be afraid to use the same scenarios with each separate interviewer - and I found that extremely helpful since I felt like I could basically put my story on repeat when I kept going back for more in-person interviews. I've heard from a current employee that Apple as a company does not hire people quickly based off one interview, and I think that's a good sign that they know the people they're getting in their stores! Hope this info helps, and good luck!
Interview Question – What do you do for personal development? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation phase, they offered $16 per hour. No other talk about benefits yet though.
At-Home Advisor Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Apple.
Interview Details – --Applied online
--Received a phone call for an informal phone interview/basic questions (5 minutes)
--Scheduled a second, more detailed interview to be conducted via FaceTime/Skype (your preference) with an HR rep.
--Second interview via FaceTime lasted about 45 minutes, including role playing scenarios
--Received e-mail to schedule a third interview to be conducted via FaceTime/Skype with a Team Manager
--Third interview with Team Manager via FaceTime lasted about 30 minutes included more detailed technical questions and role playing
--Once the interview process is completed, you will be called about the background check process and given an offer contingent upon the successful background check
--The background check took about 5 days (criminal, employment, and education)
--Once the background check is completed, you will again be notified via phone that you will receive an official offer letter via mail
--Offer packet contains tons of information and paperwork to be completed
--Upon receipt of your completed paperwork you are scheduled for training and your equipment is shipped
--The culture is very, very relaxed. It's Apple. Some people call it a cult, but it really does help if you're truly passionate about the products of the company.
- What is CPU? View Answer
- What is RAM? View Answer
- How would you respond to a college student who dropped her MacBook Pro and broke it during finals week? View Answer
Negotiation Details – Not much negotiation. The starting salary is set in stone based on your region.
Sales Specialist Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Apple.
Interview Details – The interview process was very long and drawn out. Numerous "group interviews" and round table style outings. Many of the same questions are asked by the leadership implying that they either aren't in touch with each other or are seeking different answers each time. They staff is friendly, upbeat, and into Apple. You must demonstrate 100% commitment to the Apple mindset. It is kind of off putting, the whole brainwashed drone mentality. It works, but it's weird and tiresome.
Interview Question – Why Apple? I got asked this every interview. The more they asked the more I started to wonder, indeed, why Apple? View Answer
Core OS - Lab Administrator Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Apple in August 2014.
Interview Details – Applied online and was contacted by email a week later. Had two phone interviews: first one was with hiring manager and second one was with a member of manager's team. Interviews were a week apart. After both interviews Apple paid to fly me out to Cupertino for a day of on-site interviews. The onsite interviews were all 2-on-1 style with varying members of the team and others that heavily work with the team. Each onsite interviewer seemed unprepared, disinterested, or both. It felt like I was interviewing for a different position than what was described to me over the phone interviews. Having interviewed with Apple five years previous to this, it was dismaying to see their recruitment process largely unchanged despite numerous flaws that eat into Apple's manpower and finances. If you do not get an interview with the VP of the organization, you do not get the job. It was noted on my itinerary before flying out that I was going to interview with someone high up at the Infinite Loop campus, but that did not happen as the recruiter said it was due to scheduling conflicts, which I did not believe. Despite the white lie, the recruiter was otherwise friendly and encouraging.
Interview Question – How do you design a REST API in Django to manage multiple labs full of Mac and iOS devices? Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Apple in July 2014.
Interview Details – The phone interview wasn't exactly technical, I just spoke to the hiring manager and then was invited to an on-site interview. The on-site was a full day of about 5-6 technical interviews, with a few behavioral questions here and there. The technical questions related directly to the team's work
and were not the typical general CS questions. I will not share the exact questions (integrity and all that...)
Interview Question – What would you do if you were stuck on a problem? How would you formulate the question to your co-workers? Answer Question
Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Apple in June 2014.
Interview Details – An employee submitted a referral for me with my resume many months ago. I got a call in early June for an interview, which totally surprised me! The interview was at my local Apple store and there was a group of about 10 applicants. There were two employees who explained everything about the process, talked about the company and roles and basically just discussed how everything would go. We were given a sheet of paper where you put availability, store preference, roles, and any other comments. They divided us into 2 groups for the actual interview part. The interviewer had an iPad and she just chose random questions and we answered by raising our hands in no particular order. Questions were about customer service experience, how you handled difficult situations, how you handled criticism from a boss, etc. Typical questions. We turned in the papers and they said they would contact us soon. I got a call the next day for another interview the following day. This interview was one-on-one and he asked the same kind of questions as before. Nothing difficult at all. It was extremely casual, we were just sitting outside talking. He told me to come back in a couple days for another interview with his boss. That interview was supposed to be a group interview, but the other applicant was late, so he started without them. It was the same customer service questions, really easy. Make sure you have questions to ask your interviewers at the end. After this interview, he told me his boss was out of town, but I'd get a call the following week to schedule it. This was where the process kind of stalled. About a week later, I got a call to schedule the interview, but the time didn't work for me. I played phone tag with the scheduler until she finally called me back a few days later with a time that worked for everyone and the interview was for the next week. The final interview was with the store leader, essentially the district manager, who gives the final say. It was me and one other candidate at this interview. He talked about himself and asked the usual questions. At the end, he said we could hear from that coming Monday. I waited until Monday and heard nothing. I got an e-mail on Sunday evening asking me to apply for the position online (I never did because I got an employee referral). About a week after this e-mail, I finally got a call with an offer! They asked me about my salary history, which was small because I had only 2 jobs before. They made a verbal offer and I accepted! You will get an e-mail to do a background check after this before you go any further. I think my interview process took longer because of managers being out-of-town and some employees were being changed around, but overall it was easy and fun.
Interview Question – Most questions were about handling difficult customers, receiving feedback from managers, and just general customer service experience. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Asked my salary history and offered me something similar to my last job. Very good pay.
Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Apple in July 2014.
Interview Details – I applied at the Apple's career website using my Apple's id and following instructions such as: answering questions, submitting resumes, adding skills and experiences... Nevertheless, I received an e-mail; giving me the opportunity to follow up for an interview. The interview was hosted with a group of 5 candidates. Therefore, we were all asked a couple of easy questions to determine how we would handle our customers; how can we help our customers; and how our personality reflect to all of that; how Apple products changes our lives.
Interview Question – What would be the biggest challenge working with a customer/or at Apple? Answer Question
Specialist Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Apple in August 2014.
Interview Details – Store manager called me on my cell phone and we had a 10 minute chat regarding why work for Apple, scheduled an interview for the following week. It was me and some other applicant, some other manager took us outside and asked questions from his list of questions, I guess. I could tell he was not interested because interview was short and seems like he didn't care what I had to say. I could of said "I want to work for Apple so I can rob apple of all the secrets they have and sell them online or to Samsung"- it would really make no difference.As expected two days later I got an email saying they will go forward with other candidates.
The manager told us every week 1500-2000 people apply for that only ONE location, I am sorry but I have to challenge that. I live in San Diego- 1.3 million people population. According to him, around 100000 people (2000 applicants X52 weeks in one year) apply to work for THAT only one location. That makes every 13th person in San Diego applies to work for that only ONE store (UTC, La Jolla). Young, old, pregnant - every 13th person in San Diego. We also have 2 other stores in San Diego area. So, now every 4th person- young or old applies to work at Apple in San Diego ? Each year ? Please.
Interview Question – Tell me of an example of a situation where you advised your manager to improve on something. Answer Question
Product Design Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
Interviewed at Apple
Interview Details – Applied via some reference. Got the phone interview. It was very pleasant but technical. Questions about my research experience in detail. My PhD experience, industry sponsored work, my previous job experience, can i travel, how i came into chemistry after having Physics background.
Waiting for the response.
Interview Question – Question about my industry experience Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Apple