Top Apple Interview Questions You Need to Prepare
Apple is the world's largest tech company by market cap. A major driver of Apple’s success is its carefully assembled team of world-class engineering talent. Apple interview questions are specially designed to find and hire only the best software engineers. This is why Apple’s technical interviews are considered the hardest and the most unique among all FAANG interviews.
Infamous for its secrecy, Apple keeps its hiring and interviewing process under tight wraps, making it hard to know what type of Apple interview questions to expect at an Apple technical interview. Employees are dissuaded from revealing details about the interview process, even under total anonymity on popular review portals. This allows Apple to assess candidates on the basis of their actual skills and knowledge as opposed to candidates who try to game the interview process by preparing only on expected Apple interview questions.
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Strategic practice is the key to cracking tech interviews. In this article, we’ll list Apple interview questions and cover some important information to help you with your prep, including:
- What Is the Apple Interview Process Like?
- Most Common Apple Interview Questions
- Apple Interview Questions by Roles
- Apple Coding Interview Questions
- Behavioral Apple Interview Questions
- How to Crack the Apple Interview?
- FAQs on Apple Interview Questions
What Is the Apple Interview Process Like?
Before we look at apple interview questions, let’s first understand the Apple interview process. You can expect up to 9-12 rounds of interviews before bagging an offer. Here’s a breakdown of the Apple interview process:
There can be up to 2 phone screen rounds. It will be a 30-minute informal conversation with a recruiter, who will assess your interest in Apple and the role and how well you will fit in the team. The first call will be with an internal recruiter, but the second call might be with a team lead since all the openings at Apple are team-specific. You will be asked questions about your academic qualifications, professional achievements, and past projects.
Recommended reading: Apple Phone Interview Questions
This is a unique round that takes place in an Apple interview process. There can be up to 5 FaceTime interviews. These will be one-on-one interviews, which last roughly 30 minutes each. In this round, you will be asked Apple interview questions to assess your technical as well as behavioral skills. Few of these questions will require a lot of introspection.
The technical phone screen will be with a hiring manager or a team lead from the team you will be joining. In this interview, you will be judged on your resume and a few questions around data structure and algorithms. You will have to use a tool called Codility, a shared editor, to solve the coding questions. These take 45-60 minutes, and you will have 30 minutes to code.
Recommended reading: Apple Interview Questions to Crack the Technical Interview
After the two phone screens, you will face the on-site or virtual on-site interview. The invitation for this interview might take up to 2 weeks. Here, you will be judged on your domain knowledge and other skills like passion and patience. It can last up to 6 hours, where around 8-12 people will interview you. In some cases, the number also might go up to 15. The on-site interviews will be a combination of Apple interview questions on behavioral skills, domain knowledge, and coding.
These interviews will last up to 45-60 minutes each. You can also have two people interviewing you at the same time. So, be prepared to be cross-questioned by the second interviewer while you are still writing the code. They might also bomb you with many Apple interview questions like a rapid-fire round to judge your patience and focus. Stay calm and understand the question well before answering.
Check out The Ultimate Guide to Crack Apple’s On-site Interview for more.
Most Common Apple Interview Questions
Below are three of the most commonly asked Apple interview questions that you should prepare and suggested ways to answer these questions.
1. Explain your favorite Apple product or device.
Objective: To uncover your knowledge of Apple’s products and devices.
In answering this Apple interview question, mention different Apple products that you use or like but zero in on a product that you like the most. Elaborate on its key features, the technology used, and product benefits. Also, mention advantages over similar competing products and what makes it such a big draw in innovation, functionality, or design.
Try to draw a connection between your interest in Apple products and your own tech skills. Highlight how you can contribute to developing products at Apple.
2. How would you resolve a disagreement with your manager about a key decision?
Objective: To uncover key behavioral skills — conflict resolution, teamwork, communication.
To answer this Apple interview question, draw on a similar situation that you faced in your past roles or describe a situation where a decision can be approached from multiple perspectives. Highlight conflict resolution skills by explaining an understanding of your manager’s stance and how you communicated an alternative data-backed approach that would result in greater benefits and help achieve goals more effectively.
3. How would you recover from a situation of total failure?
Objective: To uncover key personality traits — resilience, integrity.
To answer this Apple interview question, describe a situation in which you could not fulfill expectations. Showcase self-awareness by explaining the reasons for your lapse. Explain activities you undertook to rectify the situation and how you worked at improving yourself to attain the required levels of competence. Highlight how you converted failure into a learning opportunity to achieve a positive outcome.
Apple Interview Questions by Roles
Apple interview questions vary as per your role, level, and expertise. Let’s take a look at the top interview questions asked for software engineers, program managers, and more.
Apple Software Engineer Interview Questions:
- You are given an array of strings; now determine if there are any three integers whose sum equals the given value.
- Merge the overlapping intervals of an array and return a new output array.
- Clone a directed graph by creating a deep copy.
- Merge two sorted linked lists so that the resulting linked list is also sorted.
- Determine whether two binary trees are identical when you are given the roots of both.
Check out Apple Software Engineer Interview Questions for more.
Apple Engineering Program Manager Interview Questions:
- Why do you want to work for Apple?
- How would you deal with an angry customer?
- How would you fulfill an unexpected or unrealistic expectation of a customer?
- Tell us about when you were given some task, and you had no clue how to do it; how did you learn it quickly?
- When it comes to app listings on the App Store, Apple has a reputation for being picky. Is this a competitive advantage or disadvantage for you, and why?
Apple Front-End Engineer Interview Questions:
- What do you mean by a composting layer in CSS3?
- How do you implement your past learning experiences in your future role?
- Why do you want to work for Apple?
Apple Coding Interview Questions
Let’s look at some of the Apple interview questions on coding that assess your skillsets:
Apple Java Interview Questions:
- Define the final keyword in Java?
- Is Java pass by value or pass by reference?
- Differentiate between swap and compare algorithm?
- Can you have an empty catch block while programming in Java?
- What are the key elements of the Java programming language?
Apple QA Interview Questions:
- How would you test a Vending Machine?
- What is the Leetcode medium problem?
- How do you deal with scalability issues?
Apple iOS Interview Questions:
- What do you know about Cocoa and Cocoa Touch?
- Which JSON framework is supported by iOS?
- Differentiate between atomic and nonatomic properties.
- How is app ID different from bundle ID?
- How to achieve concurrency in iOS?
Apple SQL Interview Questions:
- What is inner join in SQL?
- What is left join in SQL?
- What is a full join or full outer join in SQL?
- Can we roll back after using the ALTER command?
- Difference between the Truncate and Drop command?
Behavioral Apple Interview Questions
Preparing for behavioral or situational Apple interview questions should be a significant part of your interview prep. Let’s take a look at some of these questions:
- Why Apple?
- Have you dealt with a difficult customer? How did you handle it?
- What is more important - creating a great customer experience or customer’s problem? Which one would you prioritize?
- Explain an achievement you are particularly proud of?
- How have you overcome failure, and what were your learnings from it?
- Are you a positive person? What brings you down?
- Tell us about an instance when you went the extra mile for a customer.
- When you enter into an Apple store, what is the first thing you notice?
- Apple Inc. replaces Apple Computers Incorporated as the company's name. What do you think prompted the change?
Other Tricky Questions that can be asked at an Apple Interview:
- What is the best solution to figure out the highest floor from which an egg can be dropped without breaking it?
- How many children are born daily?
- If you are in a river, in a boat with a boulder, and the boulder falls into the river, how does the water level of the river change?
- If, by chance, you get in the elevator with the CEO and you have 2 minutes to convince him to hire you, how would you do it?
- How many rounds would it take to choose the winner among the 25 teams in a single-elimination tournament?
How to Crack the Apple Interview?
Apple is a dream company for many tech aspirants throughout the world. That dream can only be achieved by nailing their hardest ever interviews. You could prepare answers to all the Apple interview questions covered here and more but still may not be able to make it. This is because, more than the answer to the question, Apple looks at how you answer. One of the core principles of Apple is to hire attitude and train for skills.
Here are some tips you can use to answer the Apple interview questions and get your dream job:
- Check the job description thoroughly: Hoards of candidates apply for new roles at Apple. You will have to stand out from the crowd. For every role, there are specific interview questions. Apple does not hire centrally; they hire for team-specific roles. So review your job description well, and watch out for the must-have skills and traits for the job. If some skills are repetitive in the JD, then it is clear that those are extremely important.
- Learn about Apple’s values: Learn about Apple’s core values and mission. You can check Apple’s website for this information. You can also read Steve Job’s vision for the company over the internet. Also, go through Tim Cook’s ideas, which will give you a more recent and modern take on the core values.
- Learn about Apple’s products: Become well-versed with their products and unique features. Also, read blogs to check out their recent accomplishments, media coverages, and major priorities.
- Highlight your strengths: Position yourself as a strong match by translating your past work experience to how they can be used in the future for your job role at Apple.
- Get your basics right: Brush up on your programming language of choice and data structures and algorithms concepts.
- Use the STAR method: This is a great approach to respond to behavioral Apple interview questions. To use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach effectively, you should begin by explaining the situation, the task, the actions you did to achieve the task, and finally, the results you obtained.
Read How to Get a Software Engineer Job at Apple for more.
FAQs on Apple Interview Questions
Q1. How long does the software engineer interview process take at Apple?
Typically, Apple’s software engineering interview process lasts for a month or two. Apple interview questions vary at every stage. Initial rounds feature basic coding questions, while the main coding interviews focus on the depth of skills.
Q2. What are Apple recruiters looking for in a candidate?
Apple interview questions are designed to focus on a candidate’s attitude and approach to work in addition to depth of skills. Apple looks for candidates with the ability to learn quickly and apply new concepts on the job.
Q3. What are the top Apple interview questions asked at Apple’s technical interview?
Apple interview questions will center around fundamental computer science concepts and key behavioral skills during the technical interview. You can expect questions on Apple devices and conflict resolution.
Q4. What are some common Apple interview questions on coding?
You can expect Apple coding interview questions on algorithms and data structures, arrays, dynamic programming, graphs, linked lists, search, sort, strings, trees, and other such fundamental coding concepts.
Q5. Is it difficult to get hired by Apple?
Apple’s hiring process is very competitive and exacting. However, with the right interview preparation, focusing on technical expertise and behavioral skills, you can answer even the toughest Apple interview questions effectively to land a job at the tech giant.
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