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How to land an Apple career: Inside secrets

Starting a career at Apple doesn't need to be intimidating. Our guide assists you through Apple's phone interview, skill test, and final interview process.
Written by Hannah Riley, Contributor
The Apple Computers Store in Sydney Australia
Phillip Danze / Getty Images

Whether you're making a career change or a recent college grad new to the workforce, applying for jobs can be overwhelming. Knowing what hiring managers want can get you one step closer to landing your dream job. 

Apple boasts 12 days of paid time off, paid maternity leave, and discounts on Apple products and services. These benefits make Apple careers competitive. 

Preparing yourself for your Apple interview makes the process much easier. This guide outlines exactly what to expect in Apple's one- to four-month hiring process.

What types of careers does Apple offer?

There are hundreds of job postings on the Apple Careers page. 

Positions are available in design, machine learning and AI, operations and supply chain, software and services, hardware, marketing, corporate functions, sales and business development, and support. 

Earlier this year, Apple announced plans to return to the office for their corporate campuses with a hybrid model. Working from home is now limited to a few roles, including working as a home advisor

Apple retail locations hire for specialist, business expert, technical specialist, Genius, and manager roles. 

 Apple offers tech internships for undergraduate and graduate college students. These internships allow students to work on critical projects, get an insider's perspective, and trial Apple careers.

Apple also offers the Apple Support College Program. This tech support role for full-time students is designed to work around class schedules. It pays an average of $16 per hour, according to Glassdoor

Where to apply for Apple careers

When you're ready to fill out your job application, skip the job board posting site and head to the Apple website. It lists hundreds of entry-level, mid-level, and senior management positions. 

Competition is fierce, so your application needs to stand out. 

One way to do so is by networking and having a referral. If you already know someone who works at Apple, asking them for a referral can increase your odds of being interviewed. 

If you lack connections, review our networking tips and find a networking event in your area. Many college campuses hold recruitment events for students to connect with hiring managers and internship opportunities.

What does Apple look for in an ideal candidate?

Apple's online job form asks for the applicant's motivations and aspirations within the company. The company values collaboration, creative innovation, and challenging standards. 

When answering questions, remain positive, emphasize valued soft skills, and stay true to the company's core values.

Soft skills Apple seeks

  • Brilliance
  • Determination and grit
  • Obsessive curiosity
  • Team focus
  • Idealism

Apple's core values

  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Education
  • Accessibility
  • Environment
  • Supplier responsibility
  • Privacy

How many years of experience do you need to work at Apple?

Positions like software engineer, database engineer, network security engineer, or data science manager need four to seven years of relevant experience. 

The more senior the position you're applying to, the more experience you need.

How to meet Apple's expectations when applying for a role

Apple's hiring managers look for problem solvers and innovators for prospective hires. Screeners review your education and work history, LinkedIn profile, resume, and cover letter

An impressive and organized coding portfolio sets you apart from other applicants for programming roles at big tech companies.

Education background

For many roles, Apple does not require a bachelor's degree. Positions like design verification engineer and engineering project manager are now open to all with the needed skills.

If you don't have your degree, consider enrolling in a coding bootcamp to gain experience. Like other Big Five tech companies, Apple has a history of hiring coding bootcamp graduates.

Senior positions may require a master's degree in a related field, such as a computer science master's.

LinkedIn profile

Recruiters use software to filter candidates' LinkedIn profiles by job titles, skills, school, and graduation year. 

Prepare your profile by editing your past job descriptions to highlight skills demanded by positions you want. Enable LinkedIn's Open To Work feature and reach out to Apple recruiters to help your chances. 


Keep your resume simple. Applicant tracking system software scans resumes for keywords and sorts them before hiring managers see them. 

While this software makes life easier for hiring managers, it affects how your resume should look.

Resist showing off your creative side with graphic design elements or colors. This may make your resume unreadable by the ATS software. 

It's important to tailor your resume for your desired position. A software engineering resume should be completely different from, say, an HR role application. 

Use keywords from the job description when summarizing your experience and remove irrelevant information. 

Use your cover letter to give examples of your soft skills and discuss specific projects you want to expand on. 

Online portfolio (if applicable)

If it's relevant to the role you're applying for, building an online portfolio is a professional way to showcase your skills and stand out from other applicants. 

A great coding portfolio should contain 4-10 projects either completed in school or links to any web pages you've worked on. Some of the most popular and highly-rated portfolio sites are GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket.

A coding portfolio is essential for positions such as data scientist, web developer, software engineer, or any other coding job. Update your portfolio regularly.

Apple's interview stages

Phone interview

The phone interview, often called the screener, is the first step of the interview process. 

This competency-based interview is only around 15 minutes. The interviewer may ask about your favorite Apple product, how you enhance your skills outside of work, and how you solved problems at work in the past. 

Don't talk too much about one role or project — you want the interviewer to get a complete, high-level picture of what you offer.

You can prepare for this first step by answering practice questions found in our phone interview tips. 

Skill test portion (if applicable)

The next interview may be in person. Applicants report it lasts around six hours. 

If you're applying for a position requiring coding, you will need to complete a skill test. Like Microsoft, Apple doesn't require you to know a specific coding language — they just need to know you are proficient in at least one. 

Be prepared to solve coding problems while recruiters review your approach to problem-solving.

If not a skill test, then a second-round interview

Candidates complete a group exercise, a written exercise, and a roleplay exercise that allows you to network with Apple employees and learn more about the company while being evaluated. 

Questions at this stage will be specific and technical. Behavioral interview questions focus on time management and project prioritization. 

To prepare for this stage, try to fill in any gaps in your technical knowledge and practice answering problem-solving questions. Even if you don't know the exact answer to a question, Apple wants to hear you reason through it. 

Final interviews

In your final interview, you'll meet a senior director in the team you applied for. 

This stage involves back-to-back interviews with two people at a time. Lunch is an extension of the interview process. 

Interviewers ask technical questions and expect candidates to show their understanding of system design. 

How to prepare for Apple's interview questions

While Apple's interview process is challenging, a helpful interview tip is to prepare for interview questions. 

Conducting a mock interview with a friend is a great way to practice basic interview questions, skills for the skills test, and unique questions to ask your interviewer. Research questions interviewees get asked on sites such as Glassdoor.

Use the STAR method to structure your answers. 

  • Situation: Describe the situation you were in. 
  • Task: What was your responsibility in the situation? 
  • Action: Explain the actions you took to address it.
  • Result: Share the outcome of your actions. Be sure to take credit for your accomplishments.

Unique questions that Apple may ask

  • 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 saved on a device?
  • Explain a router to an eight-year-old. 

Behavioral interview questions that Apple may ask

  • How do you prioritize competing priorities?
  • What type of failure have you encountered in the past, and how did you get over it?
  • What makes Apple different from other companies?
  • Which Apple product is your least favorite and why? 
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