Apple is one of the largest companies in the consumer electronics space and attracts a wellspring of talent from across the globe. Its technical interview process is significantly demanding — only 2% of engineers who apply make it past its strenuous interview rounds.
To land an offer from Apple, you must prepare yourself extensively — spend at least 2-3 months to become well-versed with data structures, algorithms, and design. That won’t completely cut it though! Several other aspects, such as creating a strong profile, building your programmer portfolio, professional experience, and your exposure to projects in the past, determine your success at the interview.
In this article, we’ll look at what makes getting into Apple hard, and what exactly you must do to get over those obstacles.
- Meeting Apple's Expectations
- Landing an Interview at Apple
- Cracking Apple's Tech Interview
Let’s jump to it.
Meeting Apple’s Expectations
Apple is focused on building cutting-edge hardware and software products that employ the most advanced technologies to deliver seamless consumer experience. Its novel products and services seek to open-up access to smart and innovative technology, stimulating the life of the average consumer.
Apple looks for refined and perceptive problem solvers who can contribute to Apple’s innovative vision. Ideal candidates have the ability to work-up solutions to modern tech challenges in the consumer and business landscapes.
Accordingly, the interview process at Apple is essentially built to test:
- Your approach to problem solving: How you analyze problems and go about solving them
- Your past projects: Their extent and scope, and how they impacted your learning curve
- Your programmer portfolio: This is another aspect you must consider if you wish to tide-over the rather stiff competition. We cover this in detail in the next section
Landing an Interview at Apple
Landing an interview with Apple isn’t really a cinch. A lot of aspects need to fall in place to get contacted by recruiters. Let’s look at what these aspects are:
Having the Required Educational Qualifications
Recruiters at Apple expect candidates to have a graduate or master’s degree in computer science or a related field. Freshers can apply to entry-level and junior developer positions soon after they graduate from college. Senior positions usually carry additional experience and domain-proficiency requirements.
Apple typically prefers hiring engineers from top universities in the USA and around the world. So technically, your chances of bagging an offer are higher if you’ve graduated from one of America’s top colleges.
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume
Your Linkedin profile needs to be adequately optimized to catch the attention of recruiters. FAANG recruiters use bullion algorithms to shortlist the right profiles. These bullion algorithms scan profiles for the right keywords for appropriate roles. Optimizing your profile with the right keyword distribution will help you land interviews with FAANG and tier-1 companies.
Your resume is another area that you should devote adequate time to. Writing a good resume that neatly highlights your professional experience, skills, and past projects will help you make a significant impact. Ideally, you should work on your LinkedIn profile and resume before you decide to start applying to positions at Apple.
Building a Programmer Portfolio
Building a strong programmer portfolio is a great way to showcase your professional skills and appetite for coding. For challenging roles, a good portfolio isn’t just an added advantage, it’s a necessity to stand out from the pack.
To do this, participate in coding challenges conducted by companies and build a good profile on Github by completing challenges and making coder connections. You might also want to consider building a portfolio website that typifies what type of a coder you are and your coding acumen in general.
Staying Active Within Your Networks
Another option to land an interview with Apple or other FAANG and tier-1 firms is to stay connected with fellow programmers and ex-colleagues. By actively staying connected with your network, you can get a referral for open positions and get contacted by recruiters.
Interview Kickstart has a robust alumni network that actively helps programmers enrolled in the program to land interviews at big tech. Join our webinar to know more about our program.
Cracking Apple's Tech Interview
The interview process at Apple comprises three main rounds — the technical phone screen round, the coding round, and the on-site round.
- Technical phone screen interview: A recruiter from Apple will get in touch with you and explain the requirements of the role. You’ll be asked questions about your experience, your profile, and skill set to understand if you’re the right person for the role. Once you’re deemed a right fit, your initial coding interview is scheduled.
- Coding interview:The coding interview is conducted by a technical lead or hiring manager. It involves solving 1-2 problems, where recruiters seek to understand your approach to problem solving. Besides In addition to solving problems, you’re also asked questions about your experience and skills in general.
- On-site interview: The on-site is where your real mettle as a programmer is tested. You’re tested on algorithms, core data structures, concepts in design, behavioral attributes, and soft skills. It typically comprises 3-4 interview rounds, each with a different hiring manager. Your performance in each round is numerically graded, following which a final hiring decision is made.
Tips to Crack the Apple Tech Interview
Below are some proven tips to nail the Apple coding interview and land your dream job.
Prepare According to the Position
Whether you’re applying to a senior, junior, or managerial position, your prep should be planned accordingly.
Interviews for senior developer roles lean more on the design side, and less on the coding side. It’s vice versa for junior positions. Your programmer portfolio and project exposure are also crucial aspects that recruiters weigh-in while making hiring decisions for senior positions.
Interviews for managerial roles are inclined more toward the behavioral side, professional experience, and the extent of project exposure. Also, design rounds are given more weightage than coding rounds in managerial interviews.
If you’re applying to positions that demand domain-specific experience, you will be tested on your corresponding domain (along with the other aspects) during the on-site.
Become Well-versed With Core DS and Algorithms
Knowing how to code up algorithms is a key attribute that’s tested in tech interviews.
If you wish to make it past the demanding technical rounds, you must strive to be a polished problem solver with the ability to approach solutions from different angles and arrive at the most optimal one.
Practicing 2-3 coding problems a day is a must if you want to stand up to the stiff competition. Moreover, by consistently solving problems with multiple solution angles and patterns, you can build your problem solving skills considerably.
Get Adequately Familiar With Design Concepts
Systems design is another important area that you must address. Design rounds usually happen during the on-site, and engineers are mostly evaluated on their ability to build scalable systems. Finding a good resource to help you master design concepts for the interview is a good way to get started.
Practice Mock Interviews
Mock interviews are an excellent means to get interview-ready.
If you practice with the right professionals, you'll know exactly where you're lacking and what areas need improvement. If you want to practice mock interviews with expert instructors who're actively employed as hiring managers and technical leads at FAANG companies, enrol for IK's program.
Interview Kickstart's Masterclass spans 2 months, with an 8-month support period that is focused on improving your problem solving skills and getting you interview-ready. During the support period, you can practice 15 Live Mock Interviews with hiring managers and technical leads from FAANG companies, along with dedicated 1-on-1 mentorship with expert professionals.
If you’re all geared up to ace your next technical interview, register for our free webinar today!