Apple Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Sep 1, 2015
143 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

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143 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

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Helpful (2)  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Apple in October 2010.

Interview

Fast response from HR in the beginning. Quick turnaround for interview scheduling. The interviewer called me 1 hour late but very nice once the interview began. Questions were tough and I was expected to be just as good as the employees that have already been working there for several years. After the interview, though, I never heard back from HR at all. Their hiring department only cares about people they want to hire, and even then are haphazard at best.

Interview Questions

  • If your browser crashes, how would you debug it only using the command line?   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Apple

  1. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Apple.

    Interview

    Full day of interviews, split into 5 one-hour-long sessions, plus lunch. Each session is with one or two engineers who ask very technical questions about programming, modeling, and other software engineering requirements. Lunch is with the hiring manager and some or all of the team.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (13)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in November 2013.

    Interview

    Met Apple recruiter through college fair. I've been applying online for ages without hearing anything back, so I guess Apple recruiters prefer candidates they've met in person. I had two phone screens next month. The first one was technical and pretty easy. The second was behavioral. I actually was really surprised, I had expected Apple's screening process to be a lot more difficult. I was asked to interview on-site next month. The on-site interview was way more challenging than the phone screens. I was still in college, so I knew a lot of things, but none in depth. The questions asked were directly related to the team's work, unlike most other companies -- where NCG's are usually asked questions based on what they've learned in school. I guess Apple's teams look for people they specifically need for a position even for college grads. I was able to hold my own for most of the first technical interview, but I started losing confidence and getting very nervous. By the third interview, I was a mess. It took me 5 minutes to actually understand what the interviewer was asking of me. The last two interviewers asked me about my experience and projects I had undertaken in college and at my internships. They were pretty impressed, but I knew it was too late by then. Sure enough, I was escorted out right after. I guess I was caught off guard by how much more difficult the on-site interview was than the phone interviews, and by how specific the questions were to the team.

    Interview Questions

    • Create a synchronization primitive for the operating system/kernel from scratch. I created a spinlock with test-and-set. Next, create a primitive that doesn't waste CPU cycles. (Essentially, how would you create a mutex inside the kernel?)   Answer Question
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in May 2012.

    Interview

    3 steps: 2 phone interviews, and then onsite interview (required trans-Atlantica flight in my case). The onsite interview took a whole day: about 5 or 6 rounds, each typically conducted by 2 engineers from the team to a position in which I applied. The common scenario was: mutual introduction, questions about my previous experience and why I want to work at Apple, then coding tasks on the whiteboard, and my questions to the interviewers.

    Interview Questions

    • Since it was more than 3 years ago, I don't remember the questions. Basically, it was mostly a mix of general Computer Science questions (algorithms and data structures) and Objective-C / Cocoa.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I didn't negotiate, even though what I was suggested was less than I could expect (and even less than I could earn at my previous company). I was just too excited about the chance to work at Apple.

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  5. Helpful (257)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    Around 2 months after I submitted my resume for Apple software engineer position, I got a call from the hiring manager. He asked me what was the good day for the interview. It took half day for meeting 5 people. It was long hour interview for me. Each interviewer spent ~ 30 minutes and asked ~ 4 questions. Each interviewer asked questions in the different areas.

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in September 2014.

    Interview

    Contacted by a recruiter, screened by manager and then a technical phone screen, then a take home coding test and then a day of onsite interviews. I will say this, every technical test prior to the onsite was easy, relatively. When the onsite interviews started, we jumped into the deep end right away and the questions were at least 3x more difficult than the technical phone screens or coding test. I was definitely not prepared :)

    Interview Questions

    • Reverse a string in Python without using str.reverse()   1 Answer
  7. Helpful (12)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Apple in August 2014.

    Interview

    The interview process was what you'd expect from a company like this. I have about three phone screens (all of them were technical and the last one included a code snippet), followed by an all day on-site interview. The on-site consisted of one hour interviews every hour (11-5), and we're all very technical. I was asked to solve various problems (your typical algorithm and data structure subjects), as well as explain the various projects I worked on in my most recent position. The questions involved a lot of thinking, but I was able to find my way to the solutions after some time. All in all, I'd say it was too bad as I had prepared by practicing algorithms (searching, sorting, etc), and brushing up on some objective-c (I had to teach myself it in the two weeks leading up to the on-site). A good topcoder browse is a good resource for preparing to interview with this company.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you speed up your typical bit reversal algorithm?   2 Answers

    Negotiation

    Very well organized and thought out. Excellent package.

  8. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in February 2014.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • Why do you want to work here? (Really thing that stuff through)   Answer Question
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Tel Aviv-Yafo (Israel)
    No Offer
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I interviewed at Apple (Tel Aviv-Yafo (Israel)) in November 2014.

    Interview

    interview with to different teams, 1 hour each, regular format: describe yourself, technical background, a short description about the job, and then technical questions. i was aiming for application layer and got matching questions.

    Interview Questions

    • How to detect stack overflow at runtime in C, when running a recursive Fibonacci functon   1 Answer
  10. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Apple in October 2014.

    Interview

    It started from a short HR talk, then go through an interview mainly focus on my background and past project. It takes more than three weeks to have the first technical interview. The interview checked many projects that are relevant to their interest. Questions are very detailed, it definitely needs for applicant to have a very clear idea to talk about. Since I have several research based projects listed on my resume. The questions are developed around my experiences. The process takes about 50 min.

    Interview Questions

    • The interviewer expected more than I've prepared. As I am not a native speaker, I feel some technical details are not explained as clear as it should be, even though I am quite familiar with what I did. Preparing stories might help.   Answer Question
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