Apple Product Design Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Apple Product Design Engineer Interview Questions

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77 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (1)  

Product Design Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Detroit, MI
No Offer
Neutral Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through college or university. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Apple (Detroit, MI) in October 2017.

Interview

Applied through a campus visit, and got an on-campus interview at the next day. He was not interested to go over the design and he talked directly about questions. I didn't have enough preparation for that one so that I didn't get it.

Interview Questions

  • What are possible mechanical tests that you can do in order to measure a battery synthesized state?   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Apple

  1. Helpful (2)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in September 2011.

    Interview

    Applied online, contacted a couple of weeks later by recruiter. Had a phone interview with the hiring manager consisting of some basic technical questions and talked about my experience. Then had about a week to complete a design project and presentation. Once that was submitted I was invited to interview in person.

    In person interview consisted of about 7 1:1 or 2:1 interviews. In each case we talked about 1/3 of the time on past projects I had worked on, and spent a bit of the time with technical questions and then each interviewer would present a component and ask how it was made. Definitely be able to justify and explain each material and design decisions on past projects that you talk about. Also should be very familiar with casting and other metal manufacturing processes. The day also included lunch with several members of their team conducting an informal group interview.

    My interview ended after this stage but if it had continued there would have been additional day to present the design project to a group of their engineers.

    Interview Questions

    • What are the different ways you can you tell if this part is steel or aluminium.   4 Answers

  2. Helpful (3)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in April 2011.

    Interview

    Started with two phone interviews about 30-40min, mostly technical in nature with a lot of logic based questions. Followed up with a request to complete a design project (mechanical design of mechanism with 2 solutions with analysis) and a powerpoint presentation and a in-person interview in Cupertino. Day one of in-person interview consisted of about six 1:1 or 2:1 interviews. Day 2 consisted of presenting design project in front of previous day interviewers. Very well organized travel arrangements and communication.

    Interview Questions

    • If you and a large brick are in a boat floating in a pool, will the water level rise or fall when the brick is tossed into the water? What if the brick is a large piece of Styrofoam and thrown into the water?   6 Answers
  3. Helpful (4)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in September 2012.

    Interview

    Met with manager and a handful of project leads and interviewed for most of the morning and afternoon. The technical questions weren't necessarily hard (what is this made out of? how did we make it? name 5 other ways we can make this, etc.), but I wasn't confident in my answers. I wasn't great at talking through the problems, and I was underprepared and to an extent unprepared for the interview, not only in terms of technical foundation, but also a solid design portfolio that I could present and defend when asked to go into greater detail. Nothing gets passed by these guys, and I have a ton of respect for everyone in the PD groups. I was grilled pretty hard, and it was hard not to take personally, but they were just making sure they're getting the absolute best people. Overall, a tough experience but a lot of great takeaways moving forward.

    Interview Questions

    • General technical questions about manufacturing and materials   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (1)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    phone interview, by sending resume to hr

    Interview Questions


  5. Helpful (11)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in May 2012.

    Interview

    Apple contacted me about an internship position after finding my resume on file. I had a phone interview scheduled where he gave me some information about the position, asked me to describe some of my previous projects, and then gave me two technical word problems. I was able to answer the questions very quickly, and was offered the position that same day after he finished interviewing other applicants.

    Interview Questions

    • You have a sign hanging at the end of a straight aluminum beam with a square cross-section. You notice that there is significant deflection in the beam. What are some design modifications you can make to reduce the deflection? If you were then asked to change the beam's cross-sectional, would you increase the vertical or horizontal dimension and why?   2 Answers

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Apple (Cupertino, CA) in August 2012.

    Interview

    Roughly one dozen one-on-one interviews, including one all-day marathon session. Interviews were with team members, members of associated groups, and several layers of leads and management. Most folks were very polite but, as with any social interaction, there is the chance you you may not mesh with with one or more of the interviewers.

    Interview Questions

    • Combination of basic statics, dynamics, material properties, and manufacturing technique questions, as well as brain teasers as mentioned previously.   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (76)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Apple in August 2014.

    Interview

    I was first contacted by a junior recruiter at Apple via LinkedIn. A few days later, we arranged a phone interview, which consisted of simple background questions. I followed up the next day with a "Thank You" email, expressing my excitement for the opportunity (who wouldn't want to work for Apple... says the guy from small town Wisconsin).

    My recruiter indicated that she had passed my resume on to the senior recruiter. Three weeks later, I was informed by the senior recruiter that the hiring manager would like to conduct a 30 minute phone screen. The phone screen with the hiring manager was off to a rocky start because they did not have my correct phone number (...long story). However, once we got in touch, things went smoothly. After brief introductions (about 1 minute), we dove into technical questions. These questions included stresses in a simply supported beam, manufacturing processes used to remove material from a metal work piece (know at least 6...), and at a very high level explain how a printed circuit board works (board material, layers, traces, basic components, connectors). There were also additional ad lib questions that popped up through conversation, such as what material property is responsible for the stiffness of a given metal.

    At the end of the phone interview, the hiring manager explained that the next step in the interview process was to complete a design project. The next day, I received the prompt and had roughly 2 weeks to complete the assignment. The prompt, dated from 2008, was to design a battery door mechanism, which would include a door, release button, and door latching features to house 2 AA batteries in a standard Apple iPod. The door was to open or actuate with a single force from the user, normal to the plane of the door. The assignment asked for two separate battery door mechanism designs or ideas. Each design required a bill of materials, which listed the description, material, and cost estimate for each part, 2D and 3D CAD files where appropriate, a list of any assumptions, and any analysis (do some FEA!!) conducted.

    I presented my two designs by submitting a PowerPoint (about 12 total slides). My presentation, above all, told a story... 1) Establish the design requirements 2) Ideation and brainstorming (I came up with about 8 sketch ideas) 3) Engineering decision matrix (showed which were my top 2 ideas) 4) Explained design #1 and any analysis 5) Explained design #2 and any analysis 6) In the end, which design came out on top.

    The following week and half was filled with emails back and forth between myself and the hiring manager, who asked me to clarify parts of my presentation. For example, "On slide #5, you stated that you neglected friction, please include friction in your calculation and redo your analysis."

    About two weeks after I first submitted my Apple design project, the senior recruiter informed me that the hiring manager would like to bring me onsite for an in-person interview. About 3 weeks later, I traveled to beautiful Cupertino, CA for an onsite interview. I arrived on Monday at 9:00 AM and was greeted by the hiring manager around 9:15 or 9:30 AM (tardiness seemed to be a common theme of the day). I met with 2 engineering managers (one being the hiring manager) in the morning, ate lunch with 3 current Product Design Engineers (my potential peers/co-workers) from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, and met with 5 other engineering managers in the afternoon. Keep in mind, that your lunch time is also an interview! Each interview with the engineering managers lasted about 30 minutes, and about 25 of the 30 minutes were technical in nature. Again, I got to Apple at 9:00 AM, and I left at 5:30 PM. I ate lunch for 1 hour and had 7 half hour interviews (3.5 total hours). That means I spent 4 hours doing nothing but waiting for the next interviewer and thumbing my iPhone 4S in the 10 foot by 10 foot interview room.

    After an exhausting first day, I was invited back for the second day, in which I presented my Apple Design Project to the group of engineers and engineering managers who I had interviewed with the day before. The presentation last exactly 1 hour and most of my time was spent at the white board fielding different questions about my design. Again, similar to prior interviews with this group, the focus was on free body diagrams, force and moment calculations, material properties, and manufacturing processes.

    I followed up with the appropriate "Thank You's" in the days following. After two weeks, I still had not heard anything, so I reached out to my senior recruiter, who informed me that I did not get an offer. I believe my short-comings were the one-on-one 30 minute technical interview questions (see below), and I am not sure I convinced the interviewers that I was fit for the Apple culture.

    Interview Questions

    • The interviewer set the rear cover of an old iPod Touch on the table and asked me to identify the materials. If you had designed this rear cover, what are 5 tests that you would conduct on the completed iPod Touch assembly to ensure that your rear cover design met all applicable requirements? Why?   1 Answer
    • The interviewer drew a picture of an adjustable Crescent wrench on the white board. Is there an optimal orientation or direction when using the wrench to torque a hex head bolt? Why?   2 Answers
    • The interviewer set their iPhone on the table and asked me how I would design the Sound On/Silent toggle switch on the side of the phone. Why?   1 Answer
    • What material property is related to the bendability of a given metal?   2 Answers
    • The interviewer drew a top and side view of the "home screen", circular button on the front of an iPhone. If the critical features of the button are the diameter and the position/width of an anti-rotational feature (which was drawn in one of the views), where would you place your datums and critical dimensions. Why?   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (3)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    I received an enthusiastic reply from Apple about my application, submitted three months earlier. I was asked to provide dates/time available for an interview which I did. After that, I did not hear from Apple. They did not reply to my emails as if the company did not exist.


  9. Helpful (2)  

    Product Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Applied via some reference. Got the phone interview. It was very pleasant but technical. Questions about my research experience in detail. My PhD experience, industry sponsored work, my previous job experience, can i travel, how i came into chemistry after having Physics background.
    Waiting for the response.

    Interview Questions


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