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Apple Software Engineer Interview Guide

Interview Guide Jan 14

Detailed, specific guidance on the Apple Software Engineer interview process - with a breakdown of different stages and interview questions asked at each stage

The role of an Apple Software Engineer

Software Engineers hold the responsibility of designing, developing, testing, deploying, maintaining, and improving the company’s software. As a software engineer at Apple, you will work with multiple business and technical teams to build next gen software services. 

The requirements of a Software Engineer at Apple are - 

  • Experience in dealing with databases such as Oracle, NoSQL, MongoDB, Couchbase, Elasticsearch.
  • Experience in software engineering using Agile methods and working knowledge of Cloud systems
  • Strong programming skills in Java/J2EE and knowledge of microservices architecture with web services including Spring, Spring Boot, Hibernate and SOA.
  • Experience in Streaming Frameworks such as Apache Kafka, Spark or Flink.
Apple Software Engineer Interview Process - Infographic
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Apple SWE - Hiring Manager Phone Screen


The Hiring Manager phone screen is the first round of the Apple Software Engineer interview. In this round, the hiring manager will get a general idea about your experiences and resume. There will also be a discussion about the role you’re applying for. The hiring manager will also schedule your first technical phone screen. 

Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What do you like best about Apple?
  3. Why do you think you would be a good fit for Apple?
  4. Why Apple?
  5. What do you like best about Apple?
  6. How did you learn about this position?
  7. Talk about a project you led. What challenges did you face?
  8. How did you learn about this position?
  9. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Apple SWE - Technical Phone Screen


The technical phone screens are the second round of the Apple Software Engineer interview. This is a 45 minute technical round with engineers from the company who will test your technical knowledge and coding skills. You will also be asked questions about your experiences on your resume, and you can expect some technical questions related to the same. The topics tested in this round are - 

  • Data Structures
  • Dynamic Programming
  • Algorithms

Generally, there are 2 technical phone screens.


  • You will be required to whiteboard your algorithms, so it’s a good idea to get enough practice so that you’re comfortable in the interview.

You can practice whiteboarding on the following website -

  • Make the interview as interactive as possible. Walk the interviewer through the solution and keep them involved at every step.

Interview Questions

Apple Coding Interview Questions - 

  1. Write an optimal solution to invert the binary tree.
  2. Write a code to rotate a square matrix by 90 degrees.
  3. Implement a compound iterator in Java.
  4. What is the difference between Big-Endian and Little-Endian?
  5. What is a hashcode in Java?

Take-home assignment

After the technical rounds, you may also be given a take-home assignment. A question that has been previously given as a take-home assignment is - Implement a thread pool in Java. You are expected to provide a solution in the form of a code.

Some tips for the take-home assignment are -

  • Get the requirements right. To do so, ask a lot of clarifying questions so that you know exactly what the interviewer expects from the assignment.
  • Provide a clean working solution and insert comments to increase the readability of the code.
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Apple SWE - Onsite Round


The onsite round consists of 4-5 interview rounds with various team members of the company. Each interview lasts for 60 minutes. Generally, three of these interviews are technical interviews, one is a system design interview, and one is a behavioural round with the hiring manager. The system design interview usually takes place if the interviewee has 3-5 years of experience; an entry level position will have a technical interview instead. 

For the technical rounds, you will be tested on the following topics - 

  • Trees
  • Data Structures
  • Graphs
  • Dynamic Programming

In the technical interview rounds, you will be required to solve an algorithm by providing a whiteboard solution to it. 

Interview Questions

Sample Apple Coding interview questions - 

  1. Using mutex and atomic for synchronisation, transfer data between reader and writer thread.
  2. How do we remove random noise from sensor data?
  3. Write a code to reverse a byte.
  4. Use a single hardware timer to implement a software based list of timers.
  5. Write a program to compute change in quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies for a cents value.
  6. Write a code to implement memmove().
  7. How can we implement a DMA driver?
  8. Write a code to find the K highest numbers in a list.
  9. Write a code to implement a spinlock. 
  10. Describe the memory management framework in iOS?
  11. Given an array of integers [4, 5, -2, 3, 6, 1, 5, 7], return the indices of two numbers such that they add up to 5. 

Note - System design questions may be followed by a discussion about tradeoff decisions. Additionally, you may also be asked questions based on fundamentals of mobile diagnostics.

Sample system design questions -

  1. Design a social network service like Quora.
  2. Design a global video streaming service like Netflix. 

Sample behavioural questions - 

  1. Tell me about a time you failed. 
  2. Tell me about a time you mentored a team member and helped them resolve a problem.


An entry-level Apple Software Engineer gets a total compensation of 176,000 USD. A senior software engineer earns around 318,000 USD. An ICT6 level employee at Apply earns a total compensation of 719,000 USD, which consists of 269,000 USD as base salary, 383,000 USD in stocks, and 66,000 USD as bonus.

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