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Prepare for Your Apple Software Engineer Interview in 2 Months!

Apple conducts one of the most difficult technical interviews for software engineers. Given the 1% acceptance rate, even experienced engineers who excel in their current roles struggle to get an Apple interview. The only true way to crack the Apple interview by overcoming the stiff competition, not to mention the grueling interview rounds, is to have a solid prep strategy that addresses all of the important elements required to succeed.

If you’re a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! 

Having trained over 9,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest-ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies. Our reviews will tell you how we’ve shaped the careers of thousands of professionals aspiring to take their careers to new heights. 

Want to nail your next tech interview? Sign up for our FREE Webinar.

If you want to nail the Apple interview, our comprehensive 2-month Apple interview prep plan is everything you’ll ever need. Here’s what you'll learn in the article:

  • The Apple Interview Process for Software Engineers
  • Apple Phone Interview Questions
  • Apple Interview Questions on Coding
  • Apple Interview Questions on Systems Design
  • Apple Behavioral Interview Questions
  • The Ideal 2-month Apple Interview Prep Plan
  • Tips to Crack The Apple Interview

The Apple Interview Process for Software Engineers

The interview process at Apple is similar to that at other FAANG companies. It mainly focuses on evaluating your ability to solve tough coding problems and build arbitrary software systems. If you want to stand out in the Apple interview, spending as many as 6-8 weeks practicing core DSA coding problems is highly recommended. 

The Apple interview consists of three main rounds.

The Initial Phone Screen

In this round, you’re contacted by a recruiter from Apple’s HR department. Updating your LinkedIn profile with the proper keywords. Distribution of keywords is key to capturing recruiters' attention who widely use LinkedIn’s Boolean algorithms. 

Recruiters in this round will ask you basic questions about your professional experience, expectations from the role, skillset, and compensation expectations. If your profile satisfies the requirements of the role, you’ll be invited to the remote coding interview, also known as the Technical Phone Screen round.

The Technical Phone Screen

In this round, your coding abilities are evaluated. You’re given one or two problems to solve in core data structures and algorithms. The Technical Phone Screen is a remote interview round and typically spans 30minutes. You’re asked to articulate your approach, brute-force the problem solution, and write error-free code.

Preparing core concepts in data structures and algorithms is key to getting past the Technical Phone Screen interview. 

The Apple On-site Interview

Apple’s On-site interview is structured to assess your coding and design abilities. You’re also required to appear for a behavioral interview where your personality characteristics, questions around your professional experience, and response to work-related situations are evaluated. 

Take a look at this Apple Interview Guide to learn more.

The Ideal 2-Month Apple Interview Preparation Plan

In order to ace Apple’s technical interview, you must make sure to have a solid prep plan and stick to it. In this section, we’ll look at the ideal 2-month Apple interview preparation plan that will help you nail the technical interview at Apple. 

Week 1 and 2

  • Spend the first two weeks going over concepts in core data structures. Start off with Arrays, Strings, and Linked Lists.
  • Aim to solve at least 1-2 coding problems every day and identify patterns in problems. Use existing patterns in problems you've solved to approach new problems.

Week 3 and 4

  • Move onto Trees, Graphs, and Greedy algorithms.
  • Continue practicing at least 1 or 2 coding problems every day and stick to the pattern-identification exercise. Remember, this is the best way to build your problem-solving skills.

Week 5 and 6

  • Begin prepping for the systems design interview. Cover the important concepts in design, namely Sharding techniques, Caching, Loading, Online processing systems, API modeling, and Concurrency.
  • Go over the remaining concepts in data structures, including hash tables, recursion, and dynamic programming.
  • Continue solving 1-2 coding problems a day and take timed tests or timed assignments to expose yourself to an interview environment.

Week 7 and 8

  • Practice mock interviews with hiring managers from FAANG companies. Interview Kickstart gives you the opportunity to practice mocks with instructors who are members of the hiring committee at tech companies.
  • Practice domain-specific mock interviews.
  • Spend Week 8 preparing answers to commonly asked behavioral interview questions. Check out common behavioral interview questions for software engineers and developers to understand more about what to expect in behavioral interviews.

Week 9

  • Spend the final week revising important concepts in core DSA.
  • Work on your LinkedIn profile and resume. Updating your LinkedIn profile with the right keywords, distributed in the right places, is supremely important to land FAANG+ interviews.

Apple Phone Interview Questions

Apple phone interview questions are mostly around past professional experience, your interest in the position, and your professional skillset. 

Apple phone interview questions are mostly asked during the Initial recruiter screen. Let’s go ahead and look at some common Apple phone interview questions to help you get an idea of what to expect at the interview. 

  1. How many years of experience do you have?
  2. Why do you wish to change your current job?
  3. What are your expectations from this role?
  4. What is your expected compensation?
  5. Why do you want to work at Apple?

The above Apple phone interview questions will help you get an idea about the type of questions to expect at Apple’s Initial Recruiter Screen. 

Apple Interview Questions on Coding

As already mentioned, coding is a crucial part of the assessment process for software engineers. While it is recommended that you practice problems in all core DSA concepts, Apple’s coding interviews mainly test your knowledge in Graphs, Trees, Greedy Algorithms, and Dynamic programming. That said, the important coding concepts to prepare for the Apple interview include:

Below are some Apple coding interview questions in coding asked at the Apple interview. Let’s go ahead and take a look. 

  1. Write a code to find the kth largest element in a given Binary Search Tree.
  2. Explain some popular Greedy Graph algorithms with examples. 
  3. Write a code to convert an Array into a Binary Search Tree.
  4. Write a program to determine if two given trees are identical or not.
  5. Write a code to find the missing element in a given Array A.
  6. Write a code to check if a given String is a Palindrome or not. 
  7. Write a code to traverse a given Binary Tree in Postorder Traversal.
  8. Write a program to count the total number of leaf nodes in a given binary tree.
  9. Give us an instant where Huzkarl’s Greedy algorithm is employed. 
  10. Write a program function to Print Floyd’s Triangle.

Want to practice more coding questions for the Apple interview? Visit our Problems Page to find out more.

Apple Interview Questions on Distributed Systems Design

Systems design is a crucial component in the Apple interview process for software engineers. Let’s look at the important design concepts you should prepare to ace Apple’s design interview.

  • Sharding Techniques
  • Network Protocols
  • Database Management
  • SErvers and Maintenance
  • API modeling
  • Concurrency
  • Caching and Loading
  • Systems Design case Studies

 Below are some sample systems design interview questions asked at the Apple interview.

  1. What aspects would you consider while building a scalable iOS application?
  2. What security features would you consider while building a mobile application for the i Store?
  3. What features will you consider while designing an e-commerce website?
  4. How would you maintain security while integrating payment gateways with websites and mobile applications?
  5. How will you design a proximity server?
  6. What aspects will you consider while designing a platform like Instagram?
  7. What do you understand by API modeling? Elaborate with an example.

Practice some more Apple Interview Questions here.

Apple Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral and leadership interviews often put even experienced engineers in the spot. Practicing answers to behavioral questions should be a key part of your prep strategy. 

We’ve listed some common Apple behavioral interview questions to give you an idea about the type of questions to expect.

  1. Tell us about a time when you found it difficult to meet the expectations of a complex project.
  2. Tell us about a time when you had to adapt to a new time.
  3. Tell us about the most challenging project you worked on in the past. 
  4. Tell us about a time when you disagreed with a superior. 
  5. How do you ensure to have a good work-life balance?
  6. How do you manage stress at work?
  7. What about working with Apple excites you the most?

The above Apple interview questions will give you a good idea about what topics to prepare. Practicing these Apple interview questions for software engineers will help your problem-solving skills and ace your tech interview.

 Tips to Crack The Apple Interview

As we discussed earlier, cracking the Apple interview requires a dedicated and comprehensive prep strategy. These effective tips to ace your Apple interview are all you need to beat the competition. 

  • Begin your preparation for the interview early. Start at least 8-9 weeks before your interview.
  • Practice problem-solving through pattern recognition. This is the best way to improve your problem-solving skills. 
  • Think out your solution aloud in the interview. This way, the hiring manager will know your thorough process and solution angle and perhaps guide you if you take a misstep. 
  • Discuss the solution with the interviewer, especially while solving design problems.
  • Create a good project portfolio. List out all your important projects in the STAR format.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume are crisp and concise.
  • Practice mock interviews with industry experts and FAANG hiring managers. 
  • Find a good interview prep course that will provide you with the right insight and guidance to ace technical interviews.

FAQs on Apple Interview Preparation

Q1. How many weeks are required to prepare for Apple’s technical interview?

To give yourself the best chance at acing Apple’s technical interview, you should ideally begin your preparation at least 9-10 weeks before your interview. 

Q2. What important coding concepts should you prepare to solve Apple interview questions on coding?

The important coding concepts that are important for Apple’s technical interview are - Strings, Arrays, Linked Lists, Recursions, Graphs, Trees, Sorting Algorithms, and Dynamic Programming.

Q3. What are the most important topics to study in order to answer Apple interview questions about system design?

The important systems design topics for Apple’s design interviews are - Caching, Loading, Network Protocols, Sharding Techniques, Concurrency, Servers, Databases, and API Modelling.

Q4. How long should you prepare for Apple’s behavioral interview?

Ideally, you should dedicate at least a week of your prep time to ready yourself for Apple’s behavioral interview.

Q5. How much time should you spend preparing for Apple’s systems design interview?

Ideally, you should spend at least two weeks preparing yourself for Apple’s systems design interview.

Gear Up for Your Next Technical Interview

Are you getting ready for an upcoming technical interview? Register for our technical interview webinar.

At Interview Kickstart, we’ve trained over 9,000 engineers to land lucrative offers at the biggest tech companies. Our instructors, who are FAANG hiring managers, know what it takes to nail tough tech interviews at top technology companies.

Register for our FREE webinar to learn more.

Interview Preparation
Last updated on: 
August 10, 2021

Utkarsh Sahu

Director, Category Management @ Interview Kickstart || IIM Bangalore || NITW.

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