Apple Interview Questions & Reviews in San Jose, CA
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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.
Apple At Home Advisor Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Apple in March 2014.
Interview Details – I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks.
The recruiter contacted me the day after my resume was internally referred. Set up a call a couple of days later for a short chat (15 mins) about the nature of the job, my general qualifications and backgrounds, and continued interest in the position. I was immediately notified I'd be moved to the next interview, a 45 minute phone interview with the head of the team. The recruiter was very informative about the subject of the call (statistics, statistical methods/concepts) and background of the interviewer. Interview went well.
Fifteen minutes after that interview concluded, the recruiter called me, asked me how I felt it went, and informed me I'd be moving toward a second (45-minute) phone interview. The call was scheduled for the following week and again, I was informed on the subject of the interview (advanced stats, probability, and live syntax for data management) as well as the background of the interviewer (quantitative engineer). The call went well, though I did stumble a little bit over the syntax (I'd just taught myself over the weekend), but not because it was difficult.
I did take my time to prepare and I was right. It is a difficult test. I did use apps like ‘the impossible interview’ and ‘the aptitude interview’ from iTunes app store to prepare. They were a help.
A week later I was informed my interviews went well, and I did make it to the next round.
Interview Question – Advanced stats questions regarding HLM. Explain in layman's terms. Answer Question
Software Engineer - Core OS Networking Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Apple in May 2014.
Interview Details – I had applied online and was contacted by an Apple recruiter within a week over email. She gave me details about the position and the name of the team that was interested in my profile. After that, I had a 45-minute telephonic interview with a member of the hiring team. I was asked primarily about my PhD/postdoc research work and was also told about the privacy and confidentiality of Apple about the work done there. The interviewer was very pleasant to talk with and respected my position and what I was looking for.
After the first round of phone interview, Apple scheduled an onsite interview within two weeks in their head office in Cupertino. The pre-interview process was very smooth - they flew me over and arranged a nice hotel for a night stay. My onsite interview lasted for about 5-6 hours, during which I met ten people from the Core OS team, including the hiring manager and the VP. I was asked a variety of questions in the areas of computer networking, wireless communications, and my research work, and also was asked to solve problems on paper and code on the white board. I was able to answer 90% of the questions. Some of the questions required thinking on the spot, and the interviewers were very helpful in giving me hints if I got stuck.
To sum up, Apple has a very smooth overall hiring process and takes care of their potential hires in a nice way. My whole trip was covered by Apple and reimbursed on time. Apple's culture was pleasant and so was the working environment. I was impressed with their Cupertino office environment.
They extended me an offer within two weeks of the onsite interview.
Interview Question – I was asked about some non-trivial design questions about a software app that I had developed in grad school. Also, there was a question about designing the interface for storing the number of bytes in a file from an online application, and also reading it by another application. View Answer
Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate for a package that was pretty good. Apple's relocation benefits are awesome (probably one of the best in the Silicon valley)! I would suggest aspiring candidates to do some background research about the position and also to know their worth. You got to ask that will make you happy. I had read a ton of online articles about salary negotiation tips that had helped me quite a bit. I did have another offer in hand which was perhaps the reason I was able to negotiate my way, but I'm pretty sure anybody can do a reasonable negotiation regardless of his/her position so long as Apple wants to hire.
Very Difficult Interview
WW Supply Demand Planner Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at Apple in June 2014.
Interview Details – I was contacted through Linked In and it was a 10 week process. There were two HR phone interviews, the first was a get to know you and the second was a screening interview. The next two calls were with managers. These are 30 mins, get to the point, intense interviews. They want specifics, down to examples of models you have created. If you pass all the phone interviews, you will be invited for an in person interview. Three days before, I received a case study to prepare. The day of the interview, I met with 5 - 6 people, individually, 30 mins each and at the end of the day had 30 mins to present and defend the case study to this group of people. Note that the hiring process is a team process and majority rules. When you interview with the managers on the phone, these may not be the people with whom you will work. If you are hired, they decide where you are needed most and where you will fit in best.
Interview Question – It was one of the most difficult interview processes I have experienced. Answer Question
Senior Hardware Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Apple in November 2013.
Interview Details – I approached the company via a friend. Two different groups approached me for two different positions. I was on a timeline, as within a few weeks I was on my way abroad for a long period of time. The recruiters worked well with me and scheduled interviews on short notice. Essentially this consisted of 1 phone screen. Then followed by first round of 4-5 interviewers for each position. I was rejected for one position, and went on to another 2nd round of 4-5 interviewers.
The interviews were easy-moderate. This was probably because there was a lot of overlap between what my background was and what they were looking for. Most questions were based around describing my previous work and cross-questions. A few questions about design fundamentals. There were two interviewers who asked me about release mechanisms and understanding large design flows. Every interviewers was polite and professional.
Then I left to India, and a few weeks later, I heard back from the recruiter. They were going ahead with an offer .
Interview Question – Across the design stack, list a few low-power design ideas. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I had another offer and used it to negotiate up a tiny bit. I wish I had been more aggressive. It was a big move up from my previous job, and I accepted.
Senior Mechanical Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Apple in May 2014.
Interview Details – I went on not one but two roller-coaster rides with Apple as a candidate for Sr. Mechanical Engineer.
The process went as follows, normalized from three weeks before my first onsite interview:
- 3 weeks: Received a strong recommendation from an Apple employee who had been a colleague of mine at a previous company.
Day 0: Met with hiring manager. I had previously worked with him as well at another company, and he thought highly of my skills and passed me on for a full day onsite interview.
Day 28: A full day of technical interviews from 9:15 AM to 5 PM. Each was basically 15 minutes of chitchat and 30 minutes of in-depth technical grilling. Mostly problem solving hypothetical engineering situations and technical brain-teasers. AT the end of the day I was told by the recruiter that if I passed this round, there would be several interviews with Upper Management to ascertain technical fit. Usually the next step is likely an offer. Did well on tech interviews.
Day 47: After being invited back, Met with two Upper level managers and - surprisingly, two additional engineers. Latter two interviews were also technical grilling similar to above. Did well on tech interviews.
Day 55: Hadn't heard back from recruiter or anybody, so I called them.
Day 60: Recruiter called back, apologetically, and asked if I would come in for ANOTHER round of interviews. I said sure, thinking this must surely be a prefunctory final interview prior to an offer.
Day 70: Deja vu - Met with two Upper level managers and again, two additional engineers. Latter two interviews were also technical grilling similar to above. Did well on tech interviews.
Day 82: Received a final call from recruiter: You did really well on tech interviews, but upper managers not sure there is a cultural fit. Very sorry to say we will pass on making an offer. However, there is another group that may be interested, would you like to interview? I reluctantly said yes.
Day 91: A full day of technical interviews from 8:30 AM to 5:45 PM. Many were more cultural/situational interviews, only a few were technical grilling. Sure I did well on those tech interviews, at least.
Day 101: Received a message from the recruiter saying Very sorry to say we will pass on making an offer, don't think there is a technical match. Uh Huh. Wait...what?
In summation, a very opaque, disrespectful and unsatisfying experience. In truth, I was a more senior candidate in terms of experience and position than most of the folks I met, and very much senior in terms of age. My time in the cafeteria was instructive - at Apple there appear to be very few employees pushing much past 40-45. lots of nice folks though and I enjoyed all of my discussions.
Interview Question – Know your beam theory, beam bending and strength of materials stuff if you are an M.E. They beat this stuff to death in the interview quizzes. View Answer
Program Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Apple in December 2012.
Interview Details – Initial contact was from a recruiter who viewed my LinkedIn Profile. I had an initial phone screen with the hiring manager, and then was contacted for an in-person interview. They flew me to Cupertino and I had 5 interview sessions: 4 individual and one group with 4 people. A few weeks later they asked me back for another round, which was 4 more individual sessions. They called me the next day and offered. The total process took approximately 3 months from initial contact to offer, mostly around scheduling difficulties on their side.
Interview Question – None of the interview questions were difficult or unexpected. They were very standard for the position. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I was very honest about my current salary and expectations from the beginning - they ended up revising the position slightly to better match my experience.
Very Difficult Interview
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Apple in February 2014.
Interview Details – Flew in for an interview after being contacted by a recruiter. Flown in. The selection process for flights and hotels is great, it's kinda like they are running their own kayak. Regular silicon valley interview other than that.
Interview Question – Why do you want to work here? (Really thing that stuff through) Answer Question
Data Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Apple in April 2014.
Interview Details – Process started when I applied to the position online. Received an email from a recruiter followed by a call. She demanded to know my current salary which I wasn't crazy about revealing. Maybe they can post the salary range on the job description and not waste everyone's time? Either way, she scheduled a call with a hiring manager. The call was the typical, tell me about yourself, etc. Then went into some trivial database questions. Turning into a barrage of questions being pulled out of thin air. Then halfway between answering one of the questions (how do you do market basket in sql, something only mysql has natively) the guy says 'thanks, take care' and hangs up.
This was followed by utter silence from the recruiter or anyone else. So if you like being treated rudely and have your time wasted, go ahead and apply here. They probably won't care either way.
Interview Question – create market basket output from sql. View Answer
IOS Telephony QA Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Apple in June 2014.
Interview Details – 2 Phone Screen Followed by 5 hour Onsite discussion with several peoples + director
Phone Screen 1: looking at my resume basic questions :
how will you troubleshoot if CSFB call fails
Test cases for Toaster
seems positive with my skill set
Phone Screen 2:
Call Flow starting from mobile switch ON
How wil you troubleshoot MMS/Data throughput
what to look in wireshark logs
Got schedule for onsite a week later
Explain overall LTE network architecture
which enitity involved in CSFB call
what all elements are involved in VOLTE/IMS Call
Effect of Latency on throughput
basic troubleshoot cases
one guys start putting fantasy situations and other started laughing (should have been professional here)
Developer trying to ask if you know programing
have you development any tool
Knowledge of automation - tool usage
How will you trouble shoot Data
basic cellular questions
looks stressed and in hurry
Lunch round (No time given for you to eat properly kept asking questions)
Troubleshoot Data/MMS etc
Test/QA project management situations
i was informed that work load is high, need to work extra hours and many times on weekend
Different team under same department
not prepared to take interview hence random vague questions,
showing attitude working for apple
LTE Call Flow
how to test data - think of some quick test cases
Director jumped in between, in hurry giving focus on education and experience working in US
later got confused if my skills set can be fit in other team instead of the one for which i was scheduled onsite (not in sync before sorting resume)
Mix of above rounds
I answered most of the questions and few days later got rejection
Interviews for Top Jobs at Apple