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Apple UX Designer Interview Guide

Interview Guide Oct 31

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

The role of an Apple UX Designer Interview

Apple is where new ideas truly thrive and become remarkable products. Apple doesn't just make products; they create wonders that have transformed entire industries. What's truly inspiring is the diversity of people and ideas at Apple, which drives innovation in everything they do—from cutting-edge technology to their leading environmental initiatives.

Apple actively seeks UX designers to contribute to internal software applications for iOS and the web. If you're an avid problem solver, and self-starter, and have a keen eye for aesthetics and quality, UX design is an ideal fit for you. As a UX designer at Apple, Your role will be pivotal and influential, reshaping the way vital data flows within the organization.

In terms of compensation, Apple offers a competitive salary for UX designers. On average, UX designers at Apple earn between $142,000 and $225,000 per year, with a base pay ranging from $105,000 to $157,000 per year and additional pay falling between $37,000 and $68,000 per year.

Apple UX Designer Interview Interview Guide

There are three primary rounds to the UX Designer interview process at Apple, including—

  • 1 Phone Interview with a Recruiter
  • 1 Phone Screen with an Apple UX Designer
  • 6 Onsite Interviews
Relevant Guides

Apple UX Designer - Interview with a Recruiter

Overview

This initial step is primarily about ensuring that you meet the basic qualifications and work eligibility for the role. It's a brief 30-minute interview where the recruiter gauges your suitability for the position. Expect questions related to your background, work experience, and eligibility to work at Apple.

Apple UX Designer - Phone Screen with an Apple UX Designer

Overview

This is a more in-depth interview. An existing UX designer at Apple will conduct this interview, having already reviewed your portfolio. The conversation typically begins with a 5-10 minute introduction and information exchange. The major part of this interview is dedicated to your portfolio. 

You'll be asked to walk the interviewer through about two projects from your portfolio—the interviewer will have the projects on their end and will want you to explain the design process, challenges faced, and outcomes achieved for each project.

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Apple UX Designer - Onsite Rounds

Overview

The onsite round of the UX Designer interview process at Apple consists of six back-to-back interviews. These interviews are typically a day long, although they can also be conducted over video or phone. During these interviews, you'll have the opportunity to speak with designers and project managers from different teams and at various levels within the company.

  • Technical Rounds: The majority of the rounds will revolve around testing your UX skills and seeing what you have accomplished. So, this means, what's your design philosophy? Do you have design tool fluency? Do you have a grasp of and ability to distill complex systems? Can you perform usability testing? Can you synthesize actionable data and articulate a design challenge? Are you familiar with code? 

Here's an example question that's generally asked: "Can you provide an example of a mobile app that has successfully translated into a great desktop version, and explain why it succeeded?" Another frequently encountered question is, "Select a website you frequently use. What aspects of its design do you admire, and conversely, what elements do you find less appealing?" As you answer this, make sure you underpin your opinions by considering both the perspective of the average user and the business objectives at play.

Technical rounds also include design challenges where you are asked to, for instance, create an app that simplifies the grocery shopping experience for users. We'd suggest you practice design challenges beforehand. You can find mock design challenges online or with peers on platforms like Prepfully who can help you become more comfortable with the process.

  • Portfolio Presentation: A very commonly asked question is "Pick a project you have in your portfolio and walk me through your design process." This is where you are expected to take your interviewers through the intricacies of your design process, from inception to execution. Here, it's crucial to be ready for a bunch of follow-up questions and be prepared to defend your design choices. These are the types of inquiries that might arise when discussing your portfolio projects:
  • Why did you opt for an icon view instead of a list view? 
  • What was the rationale behind placing the text input box in the top right as opposed to the top left? 
  • Have you conducted user testing for your design, and if so, what methods did you employ? 
  • Could you share what you find most gratifying in the design process?

They want to evaluate your ability to apply a methodical approach to address design challenges and substantiate your assumptions.

  • Behavioural: Finally, there is the behavioral round—where the main focus is to establish a strong rapport with Apple's design team. This is your chance to discuss your passion for design, your motivations, and your career choices. While you may encounter specific design-related questions, the overarching theme of these interviews is to assess whether you are the right cultural fit for Apple. They want to ensure that your values and approach align with the company's ethos. Be ready to share your vision for your work and your insights into the future of the design industry.

Interview Questions

Interview Questions

  • Have you ever encountered a feature that you thought was not worth pursuing? How would you ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the product development process at Apple?
  • How would you ensure your design of a user interface for banks meets the needs of different user groups?
  • What is an achievement that you are most proud of and why do you consider it significant?
  • Have you ever faced a situation where the product owner did not agree with your product design decision?
  • What is an example of a design project you recently completed, and what metrics did you use to measure its performance? How did you track those metrics?
  • Can you share an experience where you had to challenge your teammate's approach?
  • Create an app that simplifies the grocery shopping experience for users.
  • In your opinion, what would be the most efficient and effective way to design an elevator system for a 1000-floor building?

Apple UX Designer Roles and Responsibilities

Following are the roles and responsibilities of a Apple UX Designer:

  • The core responsibility for this role is to distill highly complex business processes into clean, understandable solutions, working with members of the Tools Team as well as our multi-functional partners, program management, and executive sponsors to lead end-to-end internal software initiatives. 
  • This role will require a candidate to compassionately and persistently meet with users and partners to capture requirements and validate design decisions, deliver design assets and user stories to engineering teams within tight deadlines, and communicate with QA on expectations of final solutions. 
  • Team collaboration and agreement are essential to success — you must be able to galvanize a broad range of opinions around a shared and common goal as well as represent the Hardware Tools Team in presentations to partners and leadership.

Apple UX Designer Skills and Qualifications

Here are the skills and qualifications that a Apple UX Designer must have:

  • 3+ years of experience in design-related activities
  • Experience designing component-based web, mobile, or desktop applications
  • Able to work independently and excel in a dynamic, hands-on, multi-functional, and creative corporate environment
  • Must possess excellent communication and social skills, perseverance, attention and focus on pixel perfection
  • Expert knowledge of user-centered design principles and demonstrable proficiency with design tools including the ability to rapidly prototype designs
  • Ability to prioritize sophisticated software interactions into user stories and prototypes
  • Can distill business process and software logic with varied touch-points into clear, concise user flows
  • Can work collaboratively with a distributed team of interface designers, software engineers, and quality engineers to conceive, develop, and present design solutions
  • Proficiency in English
  • Degree in design, visual arts, communication, creative, or equivalent experience

Frequently Asked Questions