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How to Get a Job at Apple

By Anna Bradley-Smith

Last updated: Apr 5, 2023

Apple is not only the world's most valuable company, but it has one of the most innovative and forward-thinking teams in the tech industry. And no wonder, it gets thousands of resumes each day. If you're thinking of a future at Apple, read on for tips on how to get a foot in the door.

Apple store located at the International Finance Center. Image courtesy of Chalie Chulapornsiri via Shutterstock.
Apple store located at the International Finance Center. Image courtesy of Chalie Chulapornsiri via Shutterstock.

Apple is the world’s most valuable company and one of the biggest based on its market capitalization of more than $2.6 trillion.

As a world leader in technological advancements, communication and electronics, the company employs more than 80,000 people in the US and is responsible for creating two million jobs in all 50 states.

Due to its success, compensation packages and perks and benefits, it has thousands of hopefuls wanting to join the team. And, unsurprisingly, landing a job at Apple is not an easy feat. It has been said it has an acceptance rate comparable to UCLA, at around 3%, with a retention rate of 80%.

But armed with the right knowledge and technique, whether you’re looking for a position in hardware, software, design, operations, or any other field, the opportunity to work at Apple is yours for the taking.


Read on for our tips on how to get a start at the tech giant.

Apple’s history and culture

To get into Apple it’s imperative to know the company’s backstory so you fully understand its culture and are able to draw on the right information while networking.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, both college dropouts, founded Apple in 1976 seeking to create a user-friendly home computer. Since its creation, Apple has grown into one of the most successful and well-known companies in the world based on an empire of consumer electronics, computers, software, and a range of other technologies. In 2021, it would be more difficult to find someone who didn’t own an Apple product than did. And much of the company’s success and growth has been rightfully attributed to Jobs.

In 1997, Job’s turned Apple’s organizational structure on its head; what had been running as a typical large company was changed almost overnight to one functional organization where everything ultimately came together under the CEO.

Jobs laid off all the GMs and restructured Apple around areas of expertise rather than products, meaning to this day a number of teams work on the same product and are led by experts in their area of expertise rather than managers. In 2011, Jobs passed away but Apple continued to grow as a company.

Because of its strong focus on trusting in and following technological experts, Apple understandably has a strong focus on cultivating technological expertise. To get a shot at the company, you must have determination, motivation and a strong tech background.

Apple’s seven central values are built into every part of the company, including its careers, so be sure to remember and link back to them throughout any interactions with the company.

They are: a focus on accessibility for everyone; education as the equalizer and a source of opportunity for all; valuing the environment; a commitment to making Apple more inclusive and the world more just through inclusion and diversity; designing Apple products to protect privacy and give users control over their information; a long-term racial equity and justice initiative to help ensure more positive outcomes for communities of color; and maintaining supplier responsibility to ensure a safe, respectful and supportive workplace for everyone. The company culture also has a strong focus on creativity, collaboration and innovation.

How to get a foot in the door

Due to the steep competition at Apple, it’s critical you make yourself and your application stand out from the crowd.

An employee referral is an extremely powerful tool for any Apple hopeful, so really tap into your personal networks both in-person and online and try to set up some meetings.

Attending tech networking events can also be very helpful for expanding a professional network, and they can give you a deeper insight into the people and culture behind the Apple brand. Have an elevator pitch to show off your most desirable skills and qualifications and be sure to highlight your leadership chops, curiosity, creativity and ability to think outside the box.

In terms of Apple’s recruitment process, it starts with the usual step of looking over applicants’ resumes, so make sure your resume highlights all the qualification criteria specified in the job listing and your skills, experience and ability to fit the culture. Importantly, try to keep it as brief as possible; a concise resume is always best at a company that gets an influx of thousands of them daily.

How to prepare for Apple’s interview process

To make sure you don’t get tangled up in Apple’s application process, preparation is key. You can expect to get hit with some hard questions that really test your knowledge in the field you're applying for, be it software, sales or anything else.

On top of really making sure you’re ready for those, and questions about Apple, its technology, the challenges it faces and how you would tackle them, be ready to talk about why you want to work for the company, and what you love about it and its products. Then, of course, be ready to talk about yourself. It’s likely you’ll be asked about previous professional failures and how you learnt from and overcame them.

Try to be as honest and true to yourself and your character as you can, generic responses will set you back in this interview process — Apple wants people that think differently and show their personalities.

It is also looking for candidates that are eager to learn and grow, and have a strong passion for innovation and sustainability. Most of all, show you believe in yourself and your future at the company.

As Apple CEO Tim Cook said, on top of tech skills, Apple is looking for "wicked smart people who have a point of view and want to debate that point of view, and people that want to change something. People that want to make things better."

Apple’s hiring process

The hiring process at Apple is long, competitive, and rigorous. Applicants are first pre-qualified. Recruiters assess they have the minimum qualifications required for the role they’re applying for. Those who pass the pre-qualifying stage will be invited to a hiring event for their first interview.

Senior staff will ask more questions about their skills and experiences during the first interview. During this round, applicants must convince the interviewers why they’re a good fit for the position.

Each interview stage will have its own goal. For each level, applicants who don’t meet the required skills or attributes won’t be asked to continue. For this reason, applicants need to prepare well for each round. Interviewers will ask hard, technical questions. They’ll also ask questions meant to test your presence of mind and ability to make decisions under pressure.

Apple has designed the interview questions to highlight specific attributes from applicants. These attributes are decision-making skills, curiosity, creativity, conflict resolution, and interpersonal skills. When answering, it’s also a good idea to let the interviewer know that you value teamwork.

Candidates who pass the interviews will have their background information checked. Those who have no issues during this stage will likely receive an employment offer. Those who don’t make it will still be informed of the company’s decision.

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