Apple Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jun 30, 2015
131 Interview Reviews

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA).

Interview

On site interview from 10 AM to 5 PM. In total there were about 6 interviews for an hour each, and an hour lunch at 1 infinite loop. Interviewers were very fair and had a conversational demeanor. Apple paid to fly me out to CA and covered all of my expenses.

Interview Questions

  • What is polymorphism?
    How could you approximate a non-linear function with only multiplication and additions.
    Techniques for allocating static and dynamic memory.
     
    Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Apple

  1.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in June 2015.

    Interview

    Pros:

    Recruiters get in touch almost immediately.

    You can interview with multiple teams at once ..independently ..uh well, read cons below.

    Response time is almost always good.

    Cons - welcome to reality:

    I had couple of phone interviews with 2 of the teams and one with the third.

    Both interviews with the first 2 teams went way beyond excellent, with me answering every single question and having a good and engaging discussion with the interviewer. I am baffled at the outcome - rejected by both teams with no feedback. If they say background is not a fit after 2 rounds of interviews, I do not see why they even had to hold the 2 interviews.

    One team got back after first interview saying they want me to come onsite. After giving my availability and almost after 3 weeks, they get back saying they want another phone interview. I agreed. Almost immediately after the phone interview, I was rejected. It is not hard to connect the dots and see that they had made the decision already. Moreover, they asked for another round of interview after the first 2 team rejects. It is again not hard to see that, well, the process of multiple team interviewing is not independent.

    One team asked me to code in coderpad.io. The code I wrote was right but the interviewer only used c++ compiler. The same code worked perfect on C compiler. I sent a note after the interview. But guess what, reject anyway.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA).

    Interview

    I was expedited through the process as Apple acquired the company I was going to work for. Apple flew me out for one day of on-site interviews, and I had three 2-1 interviews. There was no effort to get to know me in any of them. Each interview was an hour spent entirely on technical questions covering algorithms and system design.

    The first two interviews were not great, but not terrible. I asked a lot of clarifying questions, which seemed to annoy the interviewers more than anything. Weird.

    The worst interview I've ever had was the 3rd one, with the two team leads. One of them wrote up a problem on the whiteboard, and then spent the rest of the interview looking bored out of his mind at his phone. His problem was very vague and incomplete as he first asked it, and when I asked questions about it he got frustrated and talked down to me. He would occasionally glance up at my progress (it wasn't a hard problem once the details were worked out) and make a snide remark about what I had written. He expected syntactically perfect whiteboard code, and threw in some expletives for an added bonus. The other interviewer would snicker whenever the first criticized my code. At the end they asked if I had any questions, but every question I asked was met with, "That's confidential." It was definitely the most unprofessional interview I've ever been a part of, and I almost walked out of it because it was clear it was wasting all of our time.

    Unfortunately the misery didn't quite end there, as it took Apple three full months (and 13 reminder emails) to reimburse me for the costs I had to pay for cab rides and per diem expenses. I was also never reimbursed for a flight I had to cancel because of the interview timing, but at this point I'm just tired of dealing with them. If possible, try to get Apple to pay up front for as much stuff as possible, because the reimbursement process is a nightmare. My (senior) recruiter had no idea where to even begin with it, which I still don't quite understand.

    Interview Questions

    • The skyline problem

      Given a set of interval tuples, find the longest overlapping interval

      Given a huge log file of a web server, find the IP addresses that had exactly 1 request

      A network is connected in a line, so that servers can talk only to the servers to their left or right. Servers know if they are the leftmost or rightmost servers. What's a protocol for every server to learn the full topology? How long does it take?
       
      Answer Question
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed 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.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    One HR interview, Two technical interviews (all by phone)
    On the content :
    HR:
    Basic stuff (availability, motivations)
    Technical
    On the technical side, they are not specific at all and try to make you lead the discussion. they ask very general questions and hope you to understand what they mean. They are also waiting for you to say something inaccurate, so be sure not to say anything wrong or they will push on that.

    Interview Questions

    • describe the process of an interaction on a web page button from the click to the response   1 Answer
  6. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Singapore (Singapore)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Apple (Singapore (Singapore)) in May 2015.

    Interview

    I was interviewed for Software Engineer in Singapore for Emerging Technologies team.

    Phone interview as first engagement, which was more like background check and some technical proficiency assesment. To see where you're good at. Then moving on to onsite interview, I have 4 rounds back-to-back.

    First meeting with the recruiter - to get your current career view and asking about salary. Then second round, interviewer was late for half an hour so i had to call the recruiter again. They are asking about Java, security (PKI, authentication, encryption) concepts, and Linux commands to check cpu stat, search open port remotely, etc. At this round, the interviewer demands lots of answers for exact filenames (e.g to configure tomcat, sysctl file name) which gets very frustrating. I think some people who works more on other technologies will find it very hard even though they understand the how-tos. They also dont answer questions related to the roles and impose secrecy and "you will know if you join" notion, rude. Third interview is more to understand on the networking and core java, sql knowledge. I find it very helpful if you prepare for reviewing tcp udp concepts, read java books for basics. Fourth interview, is again a general question regarding many topics like Java, shell scripting, sql.

    Second onsite interview, i am faced with the hiring manager. In here we spoke more about the work i've done, explain some server architectural concepts and design. I guess they want to access your knowledge vs their setup and see if things match. He said it will be another interview for final round.

    Then finally 3rd and final round is with engineering director (hiring manager's boss). Here it is more to speak your background and why you want to leave your job, he is accompanied by one technical person in my case. I guess he is there to assess and help if there is some technical concepts to verify. The director then speaks more about the vision for the team and assess your knowledge on scaling your deployment.

    BUT after last interview, NO NEWS whether i'm accepted or not, nada zilch. The recruiter have contacted me once to checkup for the expected details, buy no news after even with follow up several times. I'm terribly disappointed with this kind of behavior from Apple. Really. At least information of the outcome if its bad news/problems with some requirements. This is the least courtesy you can do. I'm not sure what is held back for, this is true even for poor candidate.

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Apple (San Jose, CA) in May 2015.

    Interview

    Recruiter invited onsite directly for a recruiting event. No phone screen. Meet 6~7 interviewer. The most impressive are the coordination of the seamless process. The recruiters make sure that you have a bathroom or water break between sessions. As a candidate I felt I was well taken care of. The hiring managers and engineers are also very well prepared, and they are all very passionate about what they are doing. It was a great experience for me although no offer in the end.

    Interview Questions

    • Coding questions, design questions. No much behavioral question. All the coding questions are not algorithmically challenging, but they are not easy to write bug free.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 5 daysinterviewed at Apple in April 2015.

    Interview

    I went trough 4 interviews: 1 over phone, 3 onsite, all of them were one-to-one interviews. Interviewers were very competent but helpful the same time
    1) Algorithms and data structures
    2) Software architecture
    3) Domain specific

    Interview Questions

    • I signed NDA, which doesn't allow me to publish questions.   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (5)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source – interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in March 2015.

    Interview

    I had two interview sessions in the morning -- I am not a morning person.

    One question pertained to tree traversal so it was basic CS. Not difficult but if you haven't memorized the routine you have to work it out on the fly. A decent question.

    Another question pertained to keeping a table of custom table view cells fully updated with images. Again not difficult as I've done this.

    Before arriving I was asked to write an app similar to what they produce, which was not difficult and took 6 hours. I'll be putting that a variant thereof in the App Store.

    Very little phone screening was required before the interview was set up, which was irksome as it suggests a "culture fit" is what they're really trying to assess. I'm a dude but if they don't hire me, I hope they'll hire a female programmer to add some diversity.

    Areas for improvement for Apple:
    1. Don't assume everyone is a morning person :)
    2. Do a couple technical interviews over the phone beforehand like Google does.

    Interview Questions

    • Given an iTunes type of app that pulls down lots of images that get stale over time, what strategy would you use to flush disused images over time?   1 Answer
  10.  

    Software Engineering Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in March 2014.

    Interview

    They were quick to interview me and I even made it to the second round but no one got back to me after that second round. The recruiter who was in touch with me for this interview process went on leave and I couldn't get in touch with her after that. Weeks later, I found out on LinkedIn that she switched to another company.
    Very unprofessional. They could have at least referred me to another recruiter or gotten in touch with me about the results of the interview. It's been a year now and I haven't heard back from them.

    Interview Questions

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