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Java Developer Interview

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

I applied through college or university. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Apple in January 2011.

Interview Details

The hiring process is long. I applied for a summer internship at the fall career fair in September of 2010. They said I would hear back in 2-4 weeks. Long story short, I never heard back....
I was a little bummed but got over it and by this time it was January. I got an email from a recruiter at Apple *telling me* that my 30-minute phone interview was the next day with a PM of the group I was assigned (you don't really get a choice in what group you get; they pick you).
So I took the interview and had a great time with it actually. It was extremely pleasant and easy to talk/interview with this guy. We ended up chatting for about 90 minutes. Most of it was about my past experiences and projects (from *updated* resume I emailed the recruiter the previous day). I am very passionate so that came across which got him excited too, causing us to go off on tangents. I also knew my stuff (hint hint). The other bit of the call was focused on my ideas/visions for the product (I worked in iTunes developing iTunes Match). Coincidently they were either similar or outside-the-box to my interviewer's ideas (remember this is before iCloud, etc). Ultimately this was a screener interview to get a feel for me: asking about my life, experience, future goals, and ideas. Straightforward and easy.

I got an email 3 hours later from the recruiter telling me I did very well and they wanted to bring me out to meet the team and do an on-site interview. This one was supposed to take an hour. It was scheduled a week from that same day. I was working in SF at the time so they put me on their Wi-Fi & Leather-Seated Coach bus down to Cupertino for the interview (first time at Apple!) and went to meet the team. I met everyone and it was social for 20 minutes and then myself, the team leader, and his senior developer went to his office for the "technical" interview. There were two simple algorithm questions about efficient tree traversal and then the remaining time we chatted about what I wanted to work on which was "Music in the Cloud" (I didn't know they were already beginning to implement it :P). Then they had a meeting so I left, still kind of dazed about how sudden all this was....

That same night of my on-site interview, I got an email from the recruiter asking to talk for 15 minutes the next day about my summer plans, etc. which ultimately became Internship Offer - working on iTunes Match --- yeah baby!!

-- Applied at career fair for apple internship in September; didn't hear anything until January 3rd... ~4 months
-- They scheduled a phone interview for next day; focus on my past projects, etc (including details!!). Also talked about my ideas/thoughts for the groups' product... 1 day to schedule phone interview; interview took about 60-90 minutes (supposed to only be 30 minutes tho).
-- They scheduled an on-site interview and meet&greet for one week later. Took a little over an hour: ~20min w/ team; ~40min w/ team leader (20min algorithm questions, 20min on "what I want to do in the group and why")... this interview was scheduled 3 hours after my phone interview; took a little over an hour on site at Apple's campus in cupertino
-- I received an email that same night to talk to my recruiter the next day; got offer... this phone call was scheduled few hours after my on-site interview; phone call w/ recruiter took 15 minutes and got offer; they gave me a month and a half to accept or decline offer.
-- Accepted and interned at apple that summer

Interview process is VERY fast. From first them first contacting me to my getting an offer was less than two weeks. That being said, I didn't hear a word from them for 4 months and they were impossible to get a hold of to ask about progress.
I've worked for three "big" tech companies and a halfdozen startups and Apples hiring technique was the most efficient, straightforward, no b*ll-sh*t process I've gone through.

Other notes:
-- Interns are paid hourly wages; they pay overtime at time&half
-- Interns do get a monthly housing stipend
-- Interns get relocation assistance(flights, etc); My buddies and I drove from MIT to MountainView and Apple paid for ALL of it (hotel, food, gas, oil, etc).
-- There is a profit-sharing/stock-purchase-system for non-intern employees
-- LIVE IN THE CITY; S. Bay is very suburban and residential. Apple has shuttles all over Bay Area that run all day. The city coaches are leather seats, wi-fi, etc and are about 1 hour drive (worth it! you can wake up, read some hackernews, tackle some email, and then you're at work and ready to go.

Interview Questions
  • In general this process was anything but difficult; it wasn't easy but they didn't drill you on ridiculous, unrelated questions. I guess I was really surprised by how deep in discussion we got regarding my past projects, thinking of new or better features, alternative use-cases, all my decisions (why I used java, or arduino, or the color blue). I was definitely surprised by what should have been a 30 minute phone call turning into a 90 minute call - focusing mostly on the details, implementations, and future potential of my past projects and work. So make sure you know what you did AND why you did it!!! Good luck ;)   Answer Question
Negotiation Details
Apple does not negotiate with mean interns. It's a fixed rate and that's what you get. Only two instances I know of where the intern was able to get an extra $5 or $10 per hour. But that's it. Negotiation phase was "We would like to give you a job at Apple. Here is the offer package with all the information. You have a month to sign it or decline the offer. Hope to see you at orientation. Bye" And that was pretty much it ;)

****NOTE: Full-Time hires (non-intern) can AND SHOULD negotiate the hell out of them....Statistically, Apple will offer $12K-$15K less than what you can ask heads up.
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
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