Apple Product Design Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Apr 14, 2015
Updated Apr 14, 2015
34 Interview Reviews

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Product Design Engineer Interview

No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through college or university – interviewed at Apple.

Interview

Met with a Product Design Engineer at a University event, and after a conversation asked to see me again the next day. The next day we spoke about what I would like to do in the company and what I brought to the table, and the second half of the interview was technical.

Interview Questions

  • If you are in a boat in the middle of the pond and drop an anchor, how does the water level vary with respect to shore?   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Apple

  1.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Apple (Atlanta, GA).

    Interview

    There was a social networking event at my campus with apple. The recruiters came to my campus and had an interview. However, there were so many people who wanted for this internship position so I had not much time to get evaluated by recruiters. Additionally, they were focusing more on your technical experiences rather than your personality or behavioral things. It's very realistic and practical. If you have many experiences like internships and research, you will be fine and will be going well with interviews.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe your technical experiences (like school projects, internship, or other experiences).   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (2)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Apple.

    Interview

    Phone screening. The interviewer called 20 minutes late and was rushed for the next call he would undoubtedly be late for as well. Asked about one specific experience on my resume then jumped right into a technical question. Not once did he ask about my interest in the company. He was very short and did not seem to care about me as a person at all. Not a pleasant experience.

    Interview Questions

  3.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Apple in December 2014.

    Interview

    Apple received my resume through a networking event at my college campus. About a month following the event I was contacted by a recruiter informing me that the hiring manager wanted to conduct a quick 30 minute phone interview with me.
    The recruiter was very kind and timely and the interviewer also made for a comfortable environment. I initially was asked to go over my resume real briefly and the hiring manager proceeded to ask questions to get more information on things he wanted to learn more about. This portion took no more than 10 minutes. Following this was technical questions. They were basic beam bending and material property questions. Nothing too intense, but some studying before hand would be necessary to answer everything sufficiently.
    The interview actually lasted only 30 minutes and was overall an average experience.

    Interview Questions

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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Apple in November 2014.

    Interview

    First there was an initial phone screen interview with the hiring manager. The manager talked about the position and asked my previous internship and project experiences. Then there was another phone interview with an engineer in the team. He asked some basic engineering problems.

    Interview Questions

    • Give me five ways to decrease the deflection of a cantilever beam   Answer Question
  6.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Apple.

    Interview

    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
  7. Helpful (14)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    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
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Product Design Engineer, Interview

    No Offer
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at Apple (Austin, TX) in September 2014.

    Interview

    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?   1 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)   1 Answer
  9. Helpful (1)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    No Offer

    Interview

    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.

  10.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    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

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