Apple interview questions range from the technical to the philosophical

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An article on how to land a job at the world’s most desirable tech company provides some great examples of Apple interview questions.

It outlines the soft skills the company is looking for, warns you about what not to do on your resume, walks you through the interview steps, explains the STAR method for discussing your accomplishments, and provides examples of the type of questions you may be asked…

ZDNet says that Apple of course wants to hire people with top-notch technical abilities, but also looks for a number of soft skills:

  • Glow
  • Determination and grit
  • Obsessive curiosity
  • team focus
  • Idealism

As a first step in filtering, Apple uses automated software to search your resume for keywords, which means you need to make sure it’s fully machine-readable.

Resist showing your creative side with graphic design elements or colors. This can make your CV unreadable by Applicant Tracking System software.

For coding jobs, Apple expects to see a curated coding portfolio of up to 10 projects on sites like GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket.

The interview process involves three steps:

  • 15 minute phone interview
  • six-hour skill test or problem-solving session
  • Final interviews with different team members, which can last for a whole day

Asked about your accomplishments, Hannah Riley of the site recommends using the STAR structure:

  • Ssituation: Describe the situation in which you found yourself.
  • Jask: What was your responsibility in the situation?
  • Action: Explain the steps you have taken to address it.
  • Rresult: Share the result of your actions. Be sure to take credit for your accomplishments.

It also provides examples of Apple interview questions – which can be extremely varied:

  • Tell me about an innovative project you led.
  • If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
  • How does tokenization work?
  • How are payment credentials stored on a device?
  • Explain a router to an 8 year old.
  • How do you rank competing priorities?
  • What kind of failure have you encountered in the past and how did you get out of it?
  • What makes Apple different from other companies?
  • Which Apple product is your least favorite and why?

(Presumably you fail the interview if you don’t answer “M2 MacBook Pro” to the last question.)

Of course, we’ve seen other tips for finding a job at Apple, including not being afraid to admit mistakes.

There’s a reason Apple engineer Sabrina Paseman thinks her interview probably stood out from the rest: It provided concrete evidence of her ability to reflect on mistakes and fix problems.

Instead of just referencing past experiences, Paseman brought up prototypes of a medical device she had been working on the previous summer and explained what she would have done differently. It was this choice that Paseman said she believed “blew them away” and landed her the job.

“I said, ‘Those are the things I did, and that’s what I would do differently,'” Paseman said. [and] iterations. And I think the fact that I brought them tangible things and was able to elaborate on what was good and bad about them, that made them want to hire me. […]

“I’m just showing that any time you have a problem that you don’t necessarily know how to solve, you have a very open mindset of, ‘Okay, there’s something wrong here. Let’s try to dive into the details and figure out what’s wrong,” Paseman said.

Full ZDNet piece is definitely worth reading if you have ambitions to work for Apple.

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