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Apple Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Nov 24, 2014
Updated Nov 24, 2014
25 Interview Reviews

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Senior Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Clara, CA
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Clara, CA
Application Details

I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Apple in November 2014.

Interview Details

The posting was for a skilled Objective-C engineer with experience developing SDKs and frameworks.

Had a few phone interviews with the in-house recruiter and the hiring manager, these went well. I was scheduled to have a follow-up phone interview with one of the lead engineers, however an emergency conflict came up and he needed to reschedule. I was coincidentally scheduled to travel to Apple for an on-side interview with another group in a few days so we coopted the trip, splitting the interviews with the two groups over two days. This interview review is related to the first day/group only. I'll post a separate review for the second day/group later.

The engineers, the manager, and the recruiter were all very friendly, easy to converse with. The knowledge-based programming questions were difficult but manageable -- several pertained to nonatomic/atomic properties, retain cycles, some bitwise operations, and delegates vs. blocks vs. notifications. The coding questions primarily related to data structures and optimization, with a little UI coding towards the end.

By the end of the day I was exhausted and more than a little demoralized. I should've performed better. I had a few shining moments, but these were overshadowed by some glaring gaps in my memory on some of the early basics of data structures and algorithms. I left them with the impression that I was really more of a framework *consumer* than a competent framework *author*, and that I wasn't really ready for the challenges that this posting entails.

Nevertheless, the engineers and the manager were stellar. They were friendly, not dismissive, and helpful particularly when I was flailing. I would've been honored to work with all of them.

Interview Questions
  • Given a histogram data representation, how would you find the adjacent bars/columns that collectively yield a rectangle with the largest coverage area.   Answer Question
  • Given a string of words and a maxWidth, write a method that inserts new lines where appropriate to perform a word-wrap. (Wrap on word boundaries, assume " " is fine). Now, how does your implementation handle string with multiple spaces between words ... Are those extra spaces lost or preserved?   Answer Question
  • "What is the one question you wish I would've asked? What question are you sure to nail if I ask it right now?"   Answer Question
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Apple

  1.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 8 weeksinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    I got interviewed for 12 positions at Apple (for over 6 months), all were very easy - - interviews were cake walk - I was always told I was not selected (no reason - even though I asked them) - people there want to spend some time so they give you call - conduct interviews & take their salary & you wouldn't be selected........ I myself corrected their questions on couple of occasions - there are many dumb & in-secured people who wouldn't want to select more competent people into the team.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a recruiter who discussed the requirements of the team. The project was top secret so they could not disclose what I would be working on.

    I had two rounds of phone interviews which involved discussions on concepts in machine learning and natural language processing. I was then invited for a series of on site interview which lasted 3.5 hours. These were similar to the phone interview but were more detailed and probing.

    Overall, I found the engineers to be of top quality and extremely devoted to the success of the project. I was also impressed by the hiring experience. The entire process took less than two weeks and I was continually updated (by email) of my status even late one Friday evening.

    Reasons for Declining

    I got a better offer elsewhere.

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    One phone and One Face to Face interview. Went in details of binary search algorithms and Core Java fundamentals such as internals of HashMap, String intern etc. The interview was 3 hour long and included 3 panelists who interviewed for one hour each.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
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  5.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a dayinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    Got call from recruiter to setup interview. Recruiter called me from employee referral.

    Went onsite for all day interview. People were friendly. Asked programming questions about in-place sorting, NSViewController and then a find out what is wrong in about ten functions that you hope you'd never see in production code.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Apple.

    Interview Details

    Nice experience. Asked questions on C++ and from resume. Asked to write program after two phone interviews. Which i have done after one week, got feedback saying they had couple of people with better coding skills and proceeding with them.
    Interviewers and recruiters are nice.

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Apple in October 2013.

    Interview Details

    Recruiter emailed me and asked me if I was interested in talking to the core os team. Once I said yes, she setup a phone screen with the hiring manager. The phone screen was mostly a behavioral type of interview. Questions like, what do you want to do after 5 years, why do you want to work for apple etc. After that phone screen, they went cold turkey on me and I had to probe them to check if they are still interested. Two days later(after sending an email asking for status), they setup a on-site interview. Initially it was supposed to be a 3 hr interview, but later cut short to 2 hrs. I thought the interview went well because mostly they asked me about my previous projects and patents and there wasn't really any hard technical question.
                 After the on-site interview, there was no response, and upon probing them further, I was told that they went ahead with another candidate without really giving me feedback as to what exactly they didn't like about me(not very uncommon I guess).
                The people (recruiter, hiring manager and the team) were very nice and polite, but they were very slow in communicating. It's quite possible that they were overloaded. However, it was very frustrating to deal with them because of that. It was also not clear what exactly were they expecting from the candidate since they didn't seem articulate it well. It's really confusing when the interviewers agree to every answer you give them saying, that's a good point, but still you don't make the cut. I agree that they are not required to provide detailed feedback, but still some pointers would have really helped me prepare better for the next time(if there is one). Now, I have no clue what I need to correct if I were to interview again in apple next time.
                My negative feedback has to do with this aspect more than any

    Interview Questions
    • What is the difference between designing a product for enterprise market compared to consumer product.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Had an on-site interview. HORRIBLE experience. They told me the schedule will be from 9:30am - 2:45pm. So, I took the whole day off work.

    But after the 3rd interviewer, I was asked to leave. I was doing pretty well in the interviews in my opinion. They asked me to leave right at 12pm. So, no lunch. And I already took the whole day off work. Apple is VERY rude, at least this team was.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
  9. 14 people found this helpful  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Apple in May 2013.

    Interview Details

    How I got the interview:
    1- throw linkedin I got a message from a recruiter that there is a job conference in my area if I want to join
    2- I went there and they were conducting simple interviews (2 interviews per candidate)
    3- I wasn't well prepared but I passed the first short interview and I did horribly in the second.
    4- Week after they contacted me to schedule a phone interview and they called me 30 minutes before interview time but I was driving so it was cancelled.
    5- I got another call after two days for a full day onsite interview after two weeks.
    6- Nine interviews with two different teams each one will last 45 minutes including an interview during launch time with HR lady(I don't remember her position title)
    7- After the forth interview. the recruiter who contacted me came before launch and told me that i'm doing very well and the first team wanted to hire me as soon as possible.
    8- I finished all the interviews and left then he contacted me 30 minutes later saying that he will be sending the offer to me by today.
    9- Unfortunately, I had visa issues(No H1B) and they decided that they can't sponsor an H1b for me because they want to hire someone as soon as possible. they cancelled the offer.

    Interview Questions
    • The question will be about the following topics:
      1- Software Design and patterns
      2- Clustering techniques and solution (software point of view)
      3- Clustered Caching and concurrency issues
      4- System integration problems and technologies.
      5- extensive transaction processing systems and its performance
      6- SQL coding (inner select - ranking - partition by )
      7- Advanced Java basics (concurrency - I/O - Collections & hashmaps - algorithms)
      8- No-SQL DB concepts
      9- Concepts about (EJB, Web Services(Restful & SOAP) - JMS)
      10- I got two puzzles that requires (algorithms- mathematics formulas - recursive functions)
      11- Questions about your previous projects (technical point of questions)
        Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    I don't have H1B and they didn't want to sponsor any, I got the offer but it was cancelled

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Multi-step process, took two months from initial contact throgh three technical interviews. I was at the end turned down after the executive-level interview. The interviewers were mostly very smart, asking very good questions. The interviews were 30 minutes long, so I got totalk to a lot of people. Overall, an enjoyable experience.

    Interview Questions
    Declined Offer

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