Apple Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Mar 11, 2015
Updated Mar 11, 2015
124 Interview Reviews

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Interview Experience

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Helpful (2)  

Software Engineer Interview

No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview
No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

The process took a dayinterviewed 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

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – 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 (12)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed 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. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed 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
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  5. Helpful (9)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed 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?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Very well organized and thought out. Excellent package.

  6. Helpful (24)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview
    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.

  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed 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
  8.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Apple in October 2014.

    Interview

    - I submitted my resume to the Grace Hopper Celebration database, and it was forwarded to multiple Apple recruiters who were looking for New Grad candidates.
    - Each team at Apple has its own designated recruiter, and because my resume was distributed to many teams, I ended up doing a number of phone screens. The phone screens usually were not difficult because they were only 30 minutes long. They mostly tested knowledge based trivia questions along with asking about your past work experiences and projects. It was pretty overwhelming because multiple recruiters were trying to contact me, all from Apple, but it felt ridiculous having to do so many phone screens that all essentially looked for the same skill sets. They even had a recruiter that just started her job, who contacted me by the wrong name and wrote down the wrong information about me, which I felt was fairly unprofessional and disorganized.
    - Because there were many teams in contact with me, they hired a single POC recruiter to manage my onsite, which really helped. Scheduling an onsite during the fall is a bit difficult because Apple gives their employees the entire Thanksgiving week off, and many people go on vacation during December. Anyways, I ended up scheduling it and was told I would have 4 2-on-1 interviews. It turned out to be 8 45-min interviews for 4 different teams and I didn't find out until I had a "break" when a hiring manager came to talk to me. Thinking back, it was probably the most mentally stressful day of my life. Note that I probably could have split it up into two days, but because I had other obligations, I asked for a single day interview.
    - In terms of question style, most teams liked to focus on problem solving and algorithmic questions, covering data structures, trees, graph search, etc. one of the teams asked me to find bugs in a piece of code. Another team really focused on class design and asked me to describe the architecture one of my past projects.
    - Although I was offered breaks in between the interviews, I felt pressured not to take them to keep everyone on schedule. It was also really tough doing so much talking throughout the day (literally met with 16 people that day). My performance was likely diminishing as the day went on, and I knew I didn't do too well on some of the interviews.
    - The overall feel of the Cupertino office: the building I was placed in was beautiful. The cafes serve extraordinary food and the people I talked to were very smart and sounded like they were doing exciting work. As often noted, Apple is pretty secretive even internally. Some teams I talked to say they do code review through email, which I found pretty strange.
    - In the end I did not move on to the next round (which would be another onsite for whichever teams were still interested). Overall, I wish that Apple had a more generalized interviewing process for New Grads. The disorganization really displays how segregated Apple is as a company.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe the architecture and class structure of a component in one of your side projects.   Answer Question
  9.  

    Software Engineering Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Apple.

    Interview

    I received and email from the recruiter asking me for my availability dates for a phone interview, once i gave them the dates, an interview was set up approximately a week after i received the email. The interview went on for approximately 60 minutes. It was included both technical questions and a coding problem. It was a very good experience and the interviewer was very patient and helpful.

    Interview Questions

    • Questions were all technical in nature, and mostly concentrated on the Operating System Concepts.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Still awaitng their call for the next step in the process.

  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a weekinterviewed at Apple in March 2013.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a Recruiter who set up a phone interview. They told me that it would be with the iCal / FaceTime team. They also mentioned that the internship would be focused around building prototypes of future versions of software.

    Interview Questions

    • Lots of OS type of questions. Explain semaphores, difference between thread/process, 64 vs 32 bit addressing.   1 Answer

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