Apple Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Apple Interview Questions

Interviews at Apple

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  1. Helpful (34)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in February 2013.

    Interview

    I interviewed for multiple positions over a span of an year before we settled on a position. The "process took" timeframe below is for the latest interview cycle which resulted in an offer being made. Without identifying the group / team by name, all I can say is that this division deals within a specific domain and as such, the talent pool is limited to recruit from.
    Mid-'12. The first interview (on phone), as always with Apple, was with the Hiring Manager. The interviewer was very pleasant and the questioning mainly revolved around my background and skills. Even though the interview as scheduled for 30 minutes, the Manager cut it short and told me he will follow up with me within a day. The second interview (on site) ran for about five hours and consisted 1:1 interview sessions with various Managers, Senior Analysts & Engineers and the Recruiter. The Managers, Analysts and Engineers who interviewed me were pretty professional and represented different departments. The questioning, like the phone interview, focused on problem solving abilities and approach rather than the solution itself. The Hiring Manager hosted a Lunch Interview. The last session for the day was with the Recruiter who asked me about my salary expectations and the usual HR stuff.
    The following day the Recruiter reached out to me and let me know that they were not interested in considering me further at that point of time. The whole process took about three weeks.
    Late-'12. The Recruiter reached out to me about a new position that would be a good fit to my skill sets. The first interview (on phone) was the customary Hiring Manager interview. The second interview (on site) was slightly shorter (four hours) than my last visit to Apple Campus. The interview consisted 1:1 interview sessions with various Managers and Analysts & Engineers. The questions were domain specific and revolved around problems and challenges that are typically encountered by someone working in these areas of expertise. The next day, I was told that the feedback was extremely positive and I was scheduled to speak with the Director. Since this was around the Holidays, my 1:1 with the Group Director got delayed. The third and last interview (on phone) was with the Director and mainly revolved around why I wanted to work for Apple and how do I think that I am good position. The Director had considerable domain knowledge. Unlike most Director-level interviews, this interview was fairly technical.
    Within couple of days, the Recruiter reached back to me to let me know that, as of then, they would not be able to make an offer and they would have to hold off on hiring me. While no specific reason was attributed, I was let known that the group was impressed with my skills and the process would resume soon. This time around the whole process took about six weeks.
    Early-'13. After waiting for couple of months, I reached back to Apple about resuming the previous process. I also let them know my keen interest in couple of positions that had opened up recently. The Recruiter followed up with a Coding Homework to regauge my technical skills. Once I was done solving, the Recruiter promptly scheduled an 1:1 interview with the Hiring Manager. The first interview (on phone) was soon followed second and last interview (on site). The on site Lunch Interview was just with the Hiring Manager. They skipped over technical rounds based on the homework solutions and my past interview feedbacks. By the time the final interview was scheduled, the group had, more or less, made up their minds about hiring me. The final session was basically about what they envisioned for the position they were hiring and if I am truly interested in joining them.
    The Recruiter emailed me the following business day and let me know that they were ready to make an offer. This was followed couple of email and phone calls to finalize the offer & package.
    Here are couple of tips based on my experience and from what I have heard from folks who have undergone the same process.
    * Never "wing" it. I realized it the hard way. Engineers questioning you know their stuff and can easily make out if you know things or if you are just guessing.
    * The on site interviews are exhausting. Make sure you are hydrated and well rested. Interviewers, as a matter of process, will not offer you a water / restroom break unless you ask for it.
    * For a technology giant, some of the processes are still "old-style". No t-shirts or jeans for the interviews. Candidates are expected to show up in business casuals.
    * Like most things Apple, the Managers, Analysts and Engineers are very secretive. They'll never tell you what they are working on and the expectation is for you to illustrate solutions based on your current job.
    * On a lighter note, the food available in Caffe Macs are gourmet, personalized and highly economical. Apple will provide you with a "Food Coupon" which will be more than sufficient to cover your lunch, twice over.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about an interesting research project that you conducted or were involved with.   1 Answer
    • What brings you here today?   1 Answer
    • Can you optimize this code?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Standard negotiation practice. I was offered a base + benefits + RSU package that was, overall, above the market / industry level. Even though the base was slightly below my expectation, they were willing provide generous stock bonus. Base salary, vacations and other benefits are not negotiable. If you are walking away from substantial financial incentives like Retention Bonuses and Stock Grants, then the company will match it in form of Sign-on Bonus.


  2. Helpful (6)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in December 2012.

    Interview

    The phone interviews consisted of an initial screening that involved general OO design, then the phone interviews asked for more detailed technical tasks. They are often very interested in past projects, so be able to talk in length about things you've worked on. On site was long, from 9:45-4:30, consisting of 6 45 minute interviews. Questions ranged from debugging a toy program they had written to designing out an application I was planning on working on.

    Interview Questions

    • Reverse a C string that has a special character encoding. Special characters are two bytes and are preceded by a flag character represented by the highest bit being set to 1, then the following bits specifing how many special characters will follow. The special characters are be interspersed between normal characters.   1 Answer
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    You will receive an email notification before two rounds of phone interview, the first is about the project or research experience you included in your resume while the second is testing your understanding of the courses you have listed.


  4. Helpful (5)  

    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


  5. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Met recruiters at University Career Fair. Submitted my resume through Apple's website. I got a call saying they wanted to set up a phone interview. Got a call from a software engineer who works in their iOS Frameworks. Most of my experience and resume material came from the fact I write iPhone Applications. They were hiring for their frameworks division. It was a mismatch because I was one level above the software they write. They asked me two questions: 1 was a database question on why did I write my database tables the way that I did for a project I had listed on my resume. The second question was why do you write "assign" on the property declaration of a class. Overall it seemed like a pretty standard interview. I blew the second question but before I got off the phone the Apple Engineer told me I had more experience than he did when he was my age. I'm in college.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you write "assign" in a property declaration on an Objective-C class   1 Answer

  6. Helpful (5)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    Its was a 3 week process

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA).

    Interview

    telephone -1 : little endian to big conversion
                              number of words in a string

    Interview Questions

    • telephone -1 : little endian to big conversion
                                number of words in a string   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (52)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    I was contacted by an Apple recruiter asking if I'd be interested in a specific engineering position. After a technical phone interview with the hiring manager, I was invited on-site for a full day of interviews.

    A trip coordinator at Apple sent me a link to their booking intranet that allowed me to book my flights, hotel, and rental car. This was great because it allowed me to tweak the travel exactly how I liked it.

    On the day of the interview, the recruiter met with me to give me an overview of the process and explain the benefits.

    The on-site interviews consisted of six back-to-back technical interviews that involved whiteboard coding exercises ranging from traversing binary search trees to software architecture and everything in between.

    The interviewers were all very bright and courteous. They asked great questions and when I got stuck, they gave me small bits of information that helped me get to the final solution. Though there were a couple questions that I really struggled with, I was able to arrive at a solution for every problem.

    Lunch was with my future manager and in the Apple cafeteria---paid for by Apple. The cafeteria is really impressive. They have several ethnicities represented with food served just as beautifully as their products. The lunch interview consisted mainly of resume clarifications, general behavioral questions, and a chance for me to ask the questions that I had.

    After the final interview, I said goodbye to the recruiter and the hiring manager and left for home.

    I was contacted the next day by the recruiter letting me know that the interview feedback was very positive and that they'd like to send me an offer. Once the details were ironed out, I accepted immediately.

    Here are some pointers to potential interviewees:

    1. Make sure you know basic algorithms and data structures. You should be familiar with hash tables, linked lists, binary search trees, etc. You should also know how to search and traverse each data structure.

    2. You should know Apple. Show your love and enthusiasm for the brand.

    3. Don't spout off about things that you aren't fully knowledgeable about. You'll get asked clarifying questions and will look like a fool if you were just talking to look good. Make sure you can back any opinions you give with factual evidence.

    4. Rehearse the typical behavioral questions. You should be prepared to answer things like "why do you want to work for Apple?" or "Have you ever had an experience where x happened?".

    5. Your attitude should be one of humility and eagerness to learn. You'll quickly realize that you're not the smartest person in the room. Be polite and humble.

    Interview Questions

    • Implement an iterator for a binary search tree that will iterate the nodes by value in ascending order.   3 Answers

  9. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA
    No Offer
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in October 2012.

    Interview

    Contacted for phone interview and got scheduled within the next two days. Two people were phone interviewing me and asked mostly programming exercises. No algorithm, conceptual, or problem solving questions were asked. Questions like write a function for the given function prototypes.

    Interview Questions

    • The unexpected question was about reversing a singly linked list with the given prototype. But I was the one to be blamed as I wasn't well prepared.   7 Answers

  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Jose, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Apple (San Jose, CA) in June 2012.

    Interview

    Very friendly interview with questions about background and recent projects. No technical questions at all, he made the process very smooth. My experience was not suitable with what they are looking for so didn't go through second round, but very nice guy interviewed me, hope all interviews are like that.

    Interview Questions

    • details about projects you worked on, and tough moments going through them   Answer Question

See What Apple Employees Are Saying

StarStarStarStarStar   Current Technical Specialist in Birmingham, AL

Pros: “Great environment to work in”“Great environment to work in” – Full Review

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