Apple Product Design Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Apple Product Design Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Sep 12, 2017
64 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (63)  

Product Design Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Apple.

Interview

Had a phone interview and talked a lot about my portfolio projects. They were more interested in specific engineering challenges that I faced when building my projects. Asked some technical questions about manufacturing processes.

Interview Questions

  • Show me the back of an iPhone and asked me how it might have been manufactured.   5 Answers

Other Interview Reviews for Apple

  1. Helpful (3)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in August 2017.

    Interview

    I was looking at one of the positions in LinkedIn and I realized one of the recruiters had his email address in his profile. So, I emailed him my cover letter and my resume
    Step 1.- Interchanged few emails with the recruiter. Very general questions like: Why Apple?
    Step 2. I had an interview over the phone with the recruiter where he asked me very general questions like my immigration status and if I was willing to relocate to California. In this interview, he pointed out that Apple hires 50% personality 50% technical. He mentioned you could have a 4.0GPA and get all the technical answers right. But, if you don’t have the personality, they won’t hire you. He said they are looking for outgoing, energetic individuals.
    Step 3. I had a technical interview over the phone with the hiring director. Questions mainly related with beam theory and material properties. After I passed the technical interview he said if I was willing to do their design challenge.
    Step 4. The design challenge consisted in designing a mechanism to open a door for a hypothetical battery door. They give you a week to come up with an idea, 3D models, FEA, and cost of your design.
    Step 5. I sent the design challenge and I received feedback few days later. He wanted some extra calculations. I spent two more days on those calculations and send them back. He reviewed the revised presentation and requested the recruiter to bring me for an onsite interview. I was told out of 200 applications, only four make it to the onsite interview.
    In the meantime, another group at Apple showed interest. I had a technical interview over the phone and they ended up saying they wanted to interview me too.
    Step 6. The onsite interview consists of two days. First day full of interviews with hiring manager and teammates. Second day is conditional. If they like you, they are going to make present your design challenge on the second day.
    I arrived at the onsite interview. The first person I met was the recruiter. He restated the personality, energy part of the process. He said I should check my phone once in a while since he was going to give me feedback along the way.
    So, the first engineer comes with an example of a product he designed. He basically wanted me to come up with his solution in the 30 min we had for the interview. Something that he, I assumed, worked for at least a year. Anyways, I actually gave the answer he was looking for. The second engineer comes and same thing. He wanted me to come up with the solution he implemented in something he designed.
    Third engineer comes. He had such a low energy. It was hard to take a word out of his mouth. Anyways, I struggled with his question. But, at the end I ended up giving him the right answer.
    Fourth person comes, he was the actual hiring manager. I answered all the questions he asked. I answered them so fast that he ended up giving me extra. He gave me an extra problem where we disagreed in one piece. I googled that part later and I was right.
    Fifth and sixth engineers came and gave me some brainteasers.
    I had a break in between. The last three interviews were going to be with Director level individuals. Before I enter the building for the last three interviews, the HR guys calls me and said it didn’t work out. He gave me some of the feedback he received from the interviewers. He said the third engineer said I had a very low energy, and the hiring manager said I struggled a lot with the technical questions, which it was not true. My take on this is no matter if you have the technical skills. If they don’t like your personality. They are going to give you bad reviews and they are not going to hire you.
    Step 7. I interviewed with the second team. I got interviewed every 30 min from 10:45am to 5:15pm non-stop. It ended up being 10 people. All of them asked technical questions and brainteasers. It was mentally draining. But, they expect you to keep smiling and keep the energy up as if you just arrived.
    The recruiter kept texting me throughout the interview with some of the negative feedback, which it worked opposite on myself. I got discouraged. They added two Electrical Engineers as interviewers. We had nothing to talk about. I am a Mechanical Engineer. I felt like a stupid. One of them once he walked inside the room I knew he didn’t like me. So, it was hard to please him. He was drinking his bubble tea and he was making all type of noises. It was disrespectful.
    At the end of the day I was exhausted. The HR guy sent an email that evening saying I was not a match for that team either. So, I didn’t have a chance to present my design challenge.
    CONCLUSION. I didn’t feel welcome. If you are white or Asian you have a higher chance of getting hired. Apple’s website reports their tech employees are 55% white, 27% Asian and the rest is black, Hispanic, multiracial and others. Which it correlates with all the people that interviewed me. They were all white and Asians. I am Hispanic with a MS from MIT.

    Interview Questions

    • Difference between Stiffness and Strength   Answer Question
    • What is hardness?   1 Answer
    • If I have a solid rod and hollow rod with the same mass and I let them slide in a ramp. Which one reaches the bottom first and why?   3 Answers
    • Brainteaser about a man in a boat throwing a ball to the lake. Would the lake level rise or fall?   1 Answer
    • If I need to make a cantilever beam 1mm thick and I only have 0.5mm sheet stock. How can I make a beam that has the same properties as the 1mm.   2 Answers
    • If you plot a Stress-Strain curve on top of each other. How would Annealed, Aluminum and Hardened steel compared? Yield Strength, Modulus of Elasticity and Ultimate Strength   Answer Question
    • You have 5kg of Aluminum and 5kg of Steel. You can make whatever cross section beam you want with these materials. If you have to make a cantilever beam 1m long with a load at the end. And you want to minimize the deflection. What material would you use?   2 Answers
    • What is the best cross section to minimize deflection?   1 Answer
    • What is the difference in density between Aluminum and Steel? What is the difference in Modulus of Elasticity between Aluminum and Steel?   1 Answer

  2.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Apple.

    Interview

    I'm an engineer by training. Phone interview with a Senior Manager from Power Accessories. Did fairly well on technical but for some reason was "not a match". I asked how many hours per week were you expected to work as well as the energy level of the team and got PR answers for both. As a CEO of my own brand, my advice to executive management is to know your front line talent as well as the type of people you end up promoting to senior level management. After several interviews, I'm starting to see a pattern of the type of people who end up in management at Apple (your quintessential fraternity brother who literally all sound the same on the phone, big on diversity? I think not). Individual I interviewed with was not only unskilled at identifying talent but was clearly not transparent about the work environment as a Senior Manager. Disappointed in the lack of technical and behavioral depth at the management level at Apple and can guarantee two things: 1) either their tenure at Apple will be short lived if this continues or 2) the amount of real engineering talent at Apple will eventually reduce as the shareholders question their ROI and this will happen when the tech bubble bursts...

    Interview Questions

    • How to reduce beam deflection (6 ways)?   1 Answer
  3.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Apple in August 2017.

    Interview

    1st contacted by recruiter, brief job description, set up the second technical phone interview. 2nd interview was really fast and asked about the classic beam questions, the interviewer keep pushing the question to test your understanding of basic mechanical engineering knowledge. Then was given a design test for a week. If they like your design, they will bring you in for onsite.

    Interview Questions


  4.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA).

    Interview

    The process started with a non-technical phone screen with a recruiter. Then I spoke to a member of the team I was interviewing for. Then I was assigned a design challenge, which can be found online if you search for it. After that was submitted, someone gave me questions to answer about my challenge and areas to improve it, then I resubmitted it. After that, if they like your presentation, they will bring you in to present and interview in person. Overall, the process requires a lot of work, but they move very quickly, which I appreciated.

    Interview Questions

    • What kind of plastic would you use for an electronic housing?   2 Answers

  5.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in March 2017.

    Interview

    It was fast and straight forward. The hiring manager did not ask anything about my background and go directly to the technical questions. Very technical and very challenging. They just kept pushing you to think harder and harder and how well do you understand the fundamental ME principles

    Interview Questions

    • What is the transfer function of a spring mass system   1 Answer

  6. Helpful (2)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Apple in October 2016.

    Interview

    This was for the Soft Goods team. Had a quick chat with a recruiter then had a phone interview with an engineer. Got asked some weird questions about quality control even though that's not my area. Interview went well seeing how they gave me a design challenge for the next interview phase.

    Overall, Apple is very secretive and it seems like they keep you at arms length away from them. During the whole process it was difficult to gauge how I was doing during the entire process and they didn't provide very much feedback.

    Interview Questions

    • There is a refrigerator in a perfectly insulated room. The door is then opened. Is it an open or closed system? After a long time has passed, has the temperature in the room increased or decreased?   4 Answers

  7.  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Apple (Boston, MA) in October 2016.

    Interview

    The first round was a very casual phone pre-screen with HR. Next was a Facetime Interview with a senior member of the team, who asked various behavioral and technical questions.

    Interview Questions

    • What was a time when you had to perform an experiment to inform a design decision?   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in September 2016.

    Interview

    Two phone screens, two on-sites, the second on-site is a design challenge. The design challenge is to design a battery door for iPod. The position is for the Apple watch team.

    Interview Questions

    • Showed me a luxury watch, asked me what can cause the sapphire screen to crack   1 Answer
    • Drew me a wrench on a nut, asked me which way to apply force on the wrench is better, push or pull   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (8)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Had 2 rounds of phone interview. First with an HR and with project hiring manager. Interview with HR took about 20 minutes. She talked about the company and the position. Then did 30 minutes phone interview with the project manger and was asked about some project experiences.

    Interview Questions


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