Apple’s Grueling Job Interview Process Revealed

After three screenings, five FaceTimes and a trip to California, you still might not get the job.

"Apple Headquarters Sign AtNight" by en:User:Nishant12 - photographed by en:User:Nishant12 and uploaded to the English Wikipedia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

(“Apple Headquarters Sign AtNight” by Nishant12 – photographed by Nishant12 and uploaded to the English Wikipedia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.)

Want to work for the hottest tech company in the world? Be prepared for a seriously grueling interview process. Just ask Luis Abreu, a user-experience designer who got pretty darn close to getting hired at Apple.

Abreu’s job-interview journey is chronicled on his blog (and found in an Information Age story. It’s pretty eye-opening.

“Three screening calls, five FaceTime interviews, a trip to Cupertino for five, two-person interviews lasting a whole day and a lunch at the newest Café Macs,” he wrote. “In the end, I got a shallow ‘no.’ ”

The process started after he wrote this blog post about iOS 8 privacy updates and was contacted by an Apple recruiter.

” ‘I wanted to reach out to see if you might be open to exploring career opportunities at Apple as a member of our Developer Publications team…’ My reply was an obvious: ‘Absolutely!’ ” he said.

First came the screening phone calls (“calls are 30 minute-long, informal, you’re explained how the process works and what to expect next) then came FaceTime (“interviews were 30 minute-long and 1-1. I was essentially being asked questions about what I do as a designer, how do I go about writing my articles, ups and downs of my experience doing so. At the end there was always a 5-minute question time.”)

Then came the trip to Apple HQ in Cupertino, Calif.

“The interviews took six hours and involved 12 people,” Abreu wrote. “The tone was casual and everyone was friendly. I wouldn’t say the interviews themselves were hard despite the barrage of questions aimed at understanding who I am as an employee, writer and developer.”

In the end, he didn’t get the job and cited three main negatives:

  1. The process was extremely long, especially considering the outcome. More than a dozen people and their time, >$2000 worth of travel expenses, spanning across 4 months.
  2. “We don’t waste time with the dumb.” (referring to the ones who don’t make it to the interview) wasn’t something I wanted to hear during an interview.
  3. The interviews seemed based on indirect questioning, this leaves too much room for bad judgements and assumptions in my opinion.