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Apple Product Design Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Dec 1, 2014
Updated Dec 1, 2014
27 Interview Reviews

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Product Design Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

I applied through college or university – interviewed at Apple.

Interview Details

It's a campus interview and the interviewer asked me some questions about my major and some basic high school physics questions. It took 25 minutes and the interviewer asked me whether I could do a coop for the position

Interview Questions
  • Asked me about some materials properties that we seldom use in college   Answer Question
No Offer
Average Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Apple

  1.  

    Product Design Engineer, Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Austin, TX
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Austin, TX
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at Apple in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    I'm a mechanical engineering senior graduating in May 2015. Met Apple at a career fair at my university and they told me to drop off my resume at a separate event they would be holding on campus that Friday, which was essentially open interviews for anyone. They catered food and the event was completely casual, with three product design managers interviewing candidates. I saw a sophomore get interrupted mid-sentence and turned because he simply wasn't qualified and there was a massive line. After opening up with my own questions, making some small talk asking me about design experience and my hobbies, and bringing up relevant anecdotes from research experience, he asked me three technical questions which were extremely straightforward, answered them using knowledge taught to us about two years before in standard coursework and reiterated over the years. After nailing everything he was looking for, he wrote all over my resume, initialed HP at the top of my resume (I was told high-performer by my peers), shook my hands, and told me straight up to expect a call back. It's been over a week and a half with no contact, but I'm still hopeful for a follow-up.

    Interview Questions
    • What is the deflection in a cantilever beam loaded at the end?   View Answer
    • Do you do personal design work as a hobby?   Answer Question
    • After drawing a spring tightly wound with the ends extending away and forming a ~30 degree angle, was asked how I would measure the force exerted if the two ends were released (assuming preloaded)   View Answer
    No Offer
    Easy Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    I received an enthusiastic reply from Apple about my application, submitted three months earlier. I was asked to provide dates/time available for an interview which I did. After that, I did not hear from Apple. They did not reply to my emails as if the company did not exist.

    No Offer
  3.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    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 Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Apple in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was first contacted by a junior recruiter at Apple via LinkedIn. A few days later, we arranged a phone interview, which consisted of simple background questions. I followed up the next day with a "Thank You" email, expressing my excitement for the opportunity (who wouldn't want to work for Apple... says the guy from small town Wisconsin).

    My recruiter indicated that she had passed my resume on to the senior recruiter. Three weeks later, I was informed by the senior recruiter that the hiring manager would like to conduct a 30 minute phone screen. The phone screen with the hiring manager was off to a rocky start because they did not have my correct phone number (...long story). However, once we got in touch, things went smoothly. After brief introductions (about 1 minute), we dove into technical questions. These questions included stresses in a simply supported beam, manufacturing processes used to remove material from a metal work piece (know at least 6...), and at a very high level explain how a printed circuit board works (board material, layers, traces, basic components, connectors). There were also additional ad lib questions that popped up through conversation, such as what material property is responsible for the stiffness of a given metal.

    At the end of the phone interview, the hiring manager explained that the next step in the interview process was to complete a design project. The next day, I received the prompt and had roughly 2 weeks to complete the assignment. The prompt, dated from 2008, was to design a battery door mechanism, which would include a door, release button, and door latching features to house 2 AA batteries in a standard Apple iPod. The door was to open or actuate with a single force from the user, normal to the plane of the door. The assignment asked for two separate battery door mechanism designs or ideas. Each design required a bill of materials, which listed the description, material, and cost estimate for each part, 2D and 3D CAD files where appropriate, a list of any assumptions, and any analysis (do some FEA!!) conducted.

    I presented my two designs by submitting a PowerPoint (about 12 total slides). My presentation, above all, told a story... 1) Establish the design requirements 2) Ideation and brainstorming (I came up with about 8 sketch ideas) 3) Engineering decision matrix (showed which were my top 2 ideas) 4) Explained design #1 and any analysis 5) Explained design #2 and any analysis 6) In the end, which design came out on top.

    The following week and half was filled with emails back and forth between myself and the hiring manager, who asked me to clarify parts of my presentation. For example, "On slide #5, you stated that you neglected friction, please include friction in your calculation and redo your analysis."

    About two weeks after I first submitted my Apple design project, the senior recruiter informed me that the hiring manager would like to bring me onsite for an in-person interview. About 3 weeks later, I traveled to beautiful Cupertino, CA for an onsite interview. I arrived on Monday at 9:00 AM and was greeted by the hiring manager around 9:15 or 9:30 AM (tardiness seemed to be a common theme of the day). I met with 2 engineering managers (one being the hiring manager) in the morning, ate lunch with 3 current Product Design Engineers (my potential peers/co-workers) from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, and met with 5 other engineering managers in the afternoon. Keep in mind, that your lunch time is also an interview! Each interview with the engineering managers lasted about 30 minutes, and about 25 of the 30 minutes were technical in nature. Again, I got to Apple at 9:00 AM, and I left at 5:30 PM. I ate lunch for 1 hour and had 7 half hour interviews (3.5 total hours). That means I spent 4 hours doing nothing but waiting for the next interviewer and thumbing my iPhone 4S in the 10 foot by 10 foot interview room.

    After an exhausting first day, I was invited back for the second day, in which I presented my Apple Design Project to the group of engineers and engineering managers who I had interviewed with the day before. The presentation last exactly 1 hour and most of my time was spent at the white board fielding different questions about my design. Again, similar to prior interviews with this group, the focus was on free body diagrams, force and moment calculations, material properties, and manufacturing processes.

    I followed up with the appropriate "Thank You's" in the days following. After two weeks, I still had not heard anything, so I reached out to my senior recruiter, who informed me that I did not get an offer. I believe my short-comings were the one-on-one 30 minute technical interview questions (see below), and I am not sure I convinced the interviewers that I was fit for the Apple culture.

    Interview Questions
    • The interviewer set the rear cover of an old iPod Touch on the table and asked me to identify the materials. If you had designed this rear cover, what are 5 tests that you would conduct on the completed iPod Touch assembly to ensure that your rear cover design met all applicable requirements? Why?   Answer Question
    • The interviewer drew a picture of an adjustable Crescent wrench on the white board. Is there an optimal orientation or direction when using the wrench to torque a hex head bolt? Why?   Answer Question
    • The interviewer set their iPhone on the table and asked me how I would design the Sound On/Silent toggle switch on the side of the phone. Why?   Answer Question
    • What material property is related to the bendability of a given metal?   Answer Question
    • The interviewer drew a top and side view of the "home screen", circular button on the front of an iPhone. If the critical features of the button are the diameter and the position/width of an anti-rotational feature (which was drawn in one of the views), where would you place your datums and critical dimensions. Why?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    first had an in person interview, then a design challenge. I was local so they brought me in instead of doing a phone interview. My design was not "satisfactory" so I did not make it to the next round of presentations. make sure you are very familiar with solidworks and have regular access to it before applying for this job.

    Interview Questions
    • A lot of material properties and buoyancy questions. I couldn't remember a lot of material properties and that's very important to them.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    I had an initial phone interview with a recruiter, who talked to me for about 10 minutes about my resume and the open position, making sure I was a good fit. After that, he scheduled a phone interview with the hiring manager. He told me to be ready for some technical questions.

    A few days later I had the call with the hiring manager, and it was mostly focused on explaining my previous experience and how I would fit in with the job requirements. We talked about some technical aspects of the job, but not very in depth. Most of the interview was actually a back-and-forth where I was asking questions about their engineering process, work culture, etc. It was a good discussion and I left it feeling pretty good about my prospects. The manager said he would be talking to a few more candidates and I would here back in about a week. He said the next steps would be to have me do a "design challenge", present it, and then take a trip to Cupertino to do a series of interviews.

    However, two weeks went by and I did not hear anything. I contacted the recruiter to ask him about it, and he told me they had decided to hire someone with more experience.

    Interview Questions
    • No difficult questions in the two phone interviews I had.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    HR communication was good.

    Interview Questions
    • Asked me about the frequency representation of a square wave. I think it is extremely ridiculous to ask an 8 year experienced person a direct text book question. These kind of questions are reserved for new graduates.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Submitted application through university website. Got three phone interviews for different departments. I was then flown out for day of interviews about three weeks later.. Was scheduled to have 10 that day. Questions ranged from knowledge of the design process, brain teasers based on averages and displacement and basic physics.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
  10.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    Phone interview-40 minutes. All the questions are about the details of my resume. The hire manager also asked some basic mechanical questions for example how to design a gear. If you change the speed of the gears will the power transmitted to the next gear change. At first I don't answer some of the questions but the hire manager inspired me a lot.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

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