Apple was ranked seventh in LinkedIn’s 2019 list of top companies to work for in the US. While it is said that Apple employees work long hours, the unique work culture there welcomes innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. As a software engineer working for Apple, you’ll be well-compensated for your efforts. According to levels.fyi, as a software engineer, you get close to $215,000-$218,000/year, and upon getting promoted to senior software engineer, you get $315,000-318,000/year.
Apple has a robust hiring process to scout the creme-de-la-creme of the industry to work on new technologies with them. You can’t deny the relevance of iPads, Macbooks, and Airpods in today’s world. So if you want to work somewhere where you’re constantly challenged to bring new and original ideas to the table while working alongside some of the top dogs in the industry, getting placed at Apple might be something to look into. Not only is software engineering at Apple one of the most enviable positions, if you’re employed there, you’ll also get great benefits while working at the top of your game. It’ll be the peak of your career.
Read on to learn how to get a software engineer job at Apple and work at one of the biggest tech companies in the world. In this article, we’ll be focusing on:
- How to apply to Apple
- Apple's selection rounds
- The onsite interviews at Apple
- Tips to prepare for Apple software engineer interviews
How to apply for software engineering job at Apple
Whether you’re interested in developing iOS apps, or front-end solutions, or game development, or you want to go into software QA engineering, Apple probably has room for you due to its versatile approach to innovation. Of course, you need strong coding skills and a thorough understanding of software engineering techniques and optimization algorithms. A CS degree wouldn’t go amiss, but if you have work experience, a great portfolio of projects, and you’re a creative thinker, it might not be necessary. With over 147K workers employed worldwide as of the 2020 financial year, Apple often lists jobs for the software engineering roles on the career page of their website, so send in your résumé through their career portal. Knowing an employee at Apple might also come in handy because an employee referral can also score you an interview.
Once you’ve made it past the first stage (congratulations!), you’ll be required to go through several rounds to qualify for the final onsite software engineer interviews. The whole process should take about two months, and hopefully, the interviews with the recruiter, the hiring manager, and the technical tests should be a piece of cake if you’re a competent coder. These phone screen interviews will probably ask you to solve algorithms and data structures. For example, they might ask you to implement the popular toy problem- executing a queue with two stacks. They could also ask you to describe your past projects, so be well-prepared with your employment history and study up on your coding.
Once you qualify for the final interviews, you’re pretty close to getting the job.
The onsite interviews at Apple
The final stage of the Apple interview process usually takes place onsite(currently on hold due to the global COVID-19 pandemic), and you can expect this to last a couple of hours. This is your final test, and if you pass, you’ll be a software engineer at Apple. You’ll have a round of interviews each with the core teams at Apple, and you can expect technical questions on data structures, algorithms, and systems design. Also, expect questions on chessboard problems, software theory, OS concepts, systems design, REST, functions, and all the other stuff (make sure you’ve prepped well, so you don’t trip up here).
However, you’ll also go through behavioral interviews, where you’ll specifically be tested to see how you fit into the existing work culture. Expect questions on leadership skills, on your sense of initiative and dynamic work approach, on how you perform under pressure, on your work ethic, and so on. You may be given specific situations and asked how you’re expected to navigate them as well. This might be a harder round to prepare for, but keeping Apple’s values in mind when you answer might be of help.
Technical interview boot camps like Interview Kickstart can help you ace the Apple interview rounds. With our 2-months Coding and System Design Masterclass, you will get access to 70+ experts in our cohort, one-to-one feedback on your weak areas, and rigorous training sessions that will prepare you for anything on D-Day.
If you make it through Apple's grueling round, you’re in! If, for some reason, you fail at any of these rounds, don’t be discouraged. You can always reapply in the future when you have a stronger base in software engineering and a more extensive portfolio.
Tips for preparing for the Apple software engineering interviews
Software engineer jobs at Apple are hard to snag. But it’s not far from impossible. Here are some tips that might make the path to success smoother.
Get your résumé perfect
Your résumé is the first major step in your application, and that’s the thing that will get you that first interview. Catch any minor mistakes early, and proofread it as many times as you can. Hand it over to friends, colleagues, and professionals who work in software engineering, and listen to their feedback.
Read up about Apple
It’s vital to understand Apple’s principles and their work culture. First of all, you need to decide that you’re well-suited to working there. Second, gain a good grasp of their values and their products as relevant to your field, and cater your application to their innovative vision. Also, read up on the latest projects they’re working on.
Practice your coding and problem-solving skills. Sign up for professional courses, if necessary, practice mock interviews as well, perhaps with your colleagues or friends who are experts in the field. Have them go over technical and behavioral questions with you. Also, get yourself up to date on the subject at hand; catch up on new developments in the field of software engineering.
Work on projects
Make sure you’re devoting time to major projects in software engineering where you make a significant contribution. These will be crucial discussion points in your interviews.
In the interview rounds, don’t just answer the questions. Ask your own, and be confident, even if you’re not feeling it. If you slip up in the technical rounds, admit your error and ask where you went wrong. That proves you’re eager to learn from your mistakes. 65% of people have recorded positive interviews with Apple on Glassdoor, which is a pretty high statistic when you consider that there are several rounds of rigorous interviews. Just approach it as though you’ve already got the job, and even if you don’t make it this time, you’ll have a great learning experience to show for it and a good idea of what things will look like next time you apply.
So now you know everything there is to know about applying to be a software engineer at Apple. It might seem daunting at first, but if you believe that you deserve to work at one of the top tech companies in the world, nothing can stop you. If you have the unique mindset that Apple invests in, you might be its next hire!