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Apple Operations Program Manager Interview Questions

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Questions About Experience And Background

Interview With an Apple Engineering Project Manager (CoreOS)

These questions help the interviewer better understand a candidates experience and how it aligns with the qualifications theyre looking for:

  • Tell me about a time that you failed in your position as a manager. What did you learn from that experience?

  • Tell me about a time that you used your initiative to solve a problem.

  • Have you ever had a team struggle to meet their business goals? What did you do to address the situation?

  • Tell me about the types of information systems youve used.

  • What do you know about managing budgets?

  • What skills do you have that help you succeed as an operations manager?

  • When you have a new employee starting, what steps do you take to establish rapport with them?

  • What tasks did you handle daily in a prior role as an operations manager?

  • How do you motivate members of your team?

  • Think back on the previous management positions youve held. In which areas of those roles did you most excel?

  • How would people you managed describe your management style?

  • Tell me about the experience you have delivering presentations.

  • What statistical tools do you have experience working with?

  • What logistics management experience do you have?

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How To Answer Apple Interview Questions

Now, we know what youre really excited about are the Apple interview questions and example answers. We promise we are going to get to them. But before we do, lets take a second to talk about something else thats critical important how to answer those Apple interview questions.

Why the detour? Well, there are two reasons. First, working at Apple is a dream for a lot of people. What does that mean for you? That youre going to face a ton of competition, thats what. Standing out from the crowd is essential, and youll need a winning interview strategy to make that happen.

Second, do you have any idea how many different kinds of jobs Apple has? Its not just tech positions, thats for sure.

There are retail, accounts payable, , operations, administrative, and a slew of other kinds of professionals working at Apple. The company is huge, so it has a wide range of needs.

Why does that matter?

Because each kind of role comes with its own Apple interview questions. Think about it does it make sense to ask a programmer the same questions as a receptionist? No, no, it doesnt.

Thats why knowing how to answer the questions is so important.

Alright, so lets talk approach. First, research is your friend. It ensures you can answer a broad selection of job interview questions like a boss.


Alright, but what about those challenging Apple behavioral interview questions? Isnt Apple known for asking some doozies?

When Youre Overseeing Multiple Projects How Do You Determine Which Is A Priority

Since program managers are responsible for several projects at once, they have to set priorities. This allows them to allocate funding appropriately, as well as direct their energy in the best possible way.

The hiring manager wants insights into your strategy. You need to clue them in to how you think, so provide details into what you assess when making a decision.


If I need to set a priority, my first step is to examine any dependencies. In some cases, certain projects have to reach specific stages before another can move forward, making this a critical factor. Beyond that, I examine several project facets, including the goals, budget requirements, level of risk, resource constraints, and potential strategic value. Additionally, Ill speak with the various sponsors and stakeholders to get their perspective. Typically, that process allows me to prioritize the projects in a way that yields the most benefit for the company.

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Systems Design Interview Questions

Systems design is an integral part of engineering manager interviews, not just at Apple but other big tech companies as well. Below are some sample systems design interview questions for your Apple EM interview:

  • How would you design a URL shortening service?
  • How would you design a file-sharing service like dropbox?
  • How would you go about defining security features for your database?
  • What are some network protocols you must follow while building a scalable system?
  • How would you design a cab-hailing service like Uber?
  • How would you design a scalable music streaming service?
  • What are some crucial security requirements while designing an operating system like iOS?
  • Program Manager Interview Questions For Operations Management:

    How to Get a Tech Strategy (BizOps) Job
    • What are the most common reasons why projects fail?
    • Tell me about a time where you managed a project that didnt go as planned. What happened? What would you do differently if given the chance?
    • When managing multiple projects, how do you determine which are the highest priority?
    • If you were assigned a program with a 6-month deadline, what steps would you take to plan and deliver the project successfully?

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    Behavioral Based Program Manager Interview Questions:

    Anytime assessing a program manager that will impact others across the organization, its important to dive into that individuals core motivators and behavior.

    • Describe the most recent program you managed. What was your contribution?
    • Tell me about a time where you were asked to develop a budget and allocate resources to a past program.
    • Tell me about a time where you were managing a program that was falling behind schedule. What would you do differently now, if given the chance?
    • Tell me about the biggest challenge youve faced while managing a team of project managers.
    • Have you ever faced a communication problem while managing a program? Who with and how did you resolve it?

    Operations Managers Work Closely With The Hr Manager Financial Manager Facilities Manager S& lp Manager It Manager And Other Senior Ops Managers What Do You Believe Will Be Your Unique Contribution To This Leadership Team

      How to Answer

      This particular question presents two thoughts. First, as an Operations Manager with Amazon, you will be working in a cross-functional/cross-departmental environment where you must be ready to collaborate. Second, the interviewer wants to know exactly how hiring you will positively impact the team and Amazon as a whole. In essence, the interviewer is asking why they should hire you. When it comes to hiring decisions, Amazon will choose the person they believe can help them solve a pain point, grow the business, and generate positive results. Be prepared to highlight the unique value that you bring to this position.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 13th, 2021

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    What Was Your Most Successful Project

    This question gives you the opportunity to talk about a project where you were able to achieve success. There can be various reasons why a project was successful and can be measured based on the end goal, budget, deadlines, and more. You can demonstrate your strengths, dont undersell yourself. This is an opportunity to showcase what you have worked on and a project you are proud of. Talk about the key elements that made the project a success.

    Resume Cover Letter And Referrals

    How to answer 36 Questions Asked in 97% Apple Interviews

    First, recruiters will look at your resume and assess if your experience matches the open position. This is the most competitive step in the process, as millions of candidates do not make it past this stage.

    You can use this free guide to help tailor your resume to the position youre targeting.

    And if youre looking for expert feedback, you can also get input from our team of ex-FAANG recruiters, who will cover what achievements to focus on , how to fine tune your bullet points, and more.

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    How To Prepare For The Apple Engineering Manager Interview

    If you have an upcoming engineering manager interview at Apple, implementing the following tips will help you give your best shot at landing that coveted offer.

    • Commence your prep at least 10 weeks before the interview. That way, youâll have sufficient time to cover all the important topics.
    • Solve at least one coding problem a day, understand patterns in problems and use analogous power patterns to solve new problems.
    • Allocate more time to prepare for the systems design and behavioral rounds as these interviews carry higher importance for engineering management positions.
    • Practice mock interviews with expert instructors who are employed as hiring managers and technical leads at FAANG companies to hone your interviewing skills and overhaul areas that need improvement.
    • Prepare a good project portfolio that highlights the important projects youâve worked on in the STAR format to give interviewers context and clarity. A good project portfolio can make a great impact at the interview.
    • Think out loud during the interview and discuss solution paths with the interviewer to give them a window into your thoughts.

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    The Technical Phone Screen Interview

    The technical phone screen round is a test of your coding skills. Your ability to analytically approach coding problems and write error-free code is evaluated. The interview is remote and mostly happens via an interviewing tool or a shared document.

    A hiring manager who is driving the recruitment for EMs usually interviews you during this round. If your performance in this round is satisfactory, youâll be invited to the Apple onsite interview.

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    Do You Take Any Steps To Enhance Your Skills Outside Of Work

    When it comes to change, the tech industry is notorious. In many cases, employees do have access to some training options through work. However, most companies cant take care of it all.

    Hiring managers want to know that you are willing to keep your skills up to date on your own. Not only does that ensure you remain an asset, but its an indication that youre passionate about your field.


    Yes, I do take steps to ensure my skills remain current, if not on the cutting-edge. I take advantage of a variety of online learning resources and sign up for industry publications to ensure I remain aware of emerging trends. Additionally, I enjoy doing my own side projects, giving me a chance to put new skills to work or keep my existing ones sharp.

    Tell Me About A Time You Disagreed With Your Manager How Did You Handle It What Was The Outcome

    How to disable Apple Music

    Your answer to this question can highlight your level of professionalism, conflict resolution skills, and creativity.

    I was working with my manager to select a new supply chain vendor for transporting our goods to and from our warehouses. We had narrowed our options down to three possible providers. My manager was largely focused on cost-cutting due to the pressure she was receiving from her manager. Thus, the lowest-priced vendor was her top pick.

    The vendor was a reputable vendor, but they had slower delivery times and a lower reliability rating compared to the other two vendors. My choice was to go with the vendor that had the fastest delivery times and highest reliability rating, though it was the most costly vendor when considering up-front costs.

    Based on delivery times and reliability, I worked up some numbers that highlighted how reliability and shorter delivery times actually increased our bottom line over a 24-month period when compared to slower delivery times. The higher reliability-rating also meant a lower risk of disgruntled or lost customers due to issues with timing and lost orders.

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    Supply Demand Management And Npi Readiness

    Join the team that forecasts demand and drives supply. These are the people who help achieve financial and sales goals while ensuring great customer experiences. They develop demand forecasts that support numerous key activities at Apple, ranging from corporate P& L forecasting and planning to daily factory builds and customer-level allocation. The supply plans drive manufacturing capacity and materials purchase requirements for this week through next year. In preparing for a new product introduction , this team also ensures that customers receive our products when promised through all channels of sales. Areas of work include Supply and Demand Management, Reseller Operations Management, and New Product Readiness.

    Final Thoughts: Program Manager Interview Questions

    Its important that as you interview and meet with program manager candidates that you think about the impact theyll have on your overall team. During the interview, use the above program manager interview questions to determine if theyll mesh with their direct reports, and be able to get the most from the resources they have available.

    To simplify the process at your company, download our Definitive Guide: 101+ Interview Questions to Hire Quality Candidates Faster to streamline your interview process today!

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    How Do You Delegate Responsibilities

    Put forward relevant examples of how youve done it in the past whether its by conducting brief meetings, using project management tool, and so on or your great ideas to do it in future. Of course, delegation is an important part of every project and knowing how to delegate effectively will help the team feel empowered.

    As An Operations Manager You Will Be Responsible For At Least 100 Employees Do You Have Experience Leading A Large Team

    Top 20 Operations Manager Interview Questions and Answers for 2022

      How to Answer

      Larger teams require different leadership approaches. As an Amazon Operations Manager, you will be accountable for a significant number of employees, and the interviewer wants assurance that you are up for the challenge. If you have led a team of this size in the past, tell the interviewer how many people you have managed and include their job titles to provide a snapshot of the level of teams you are accustomed to leading. If you have leadership experience but not at this scale, talk about the teams you have led and why you believe these experiences have prepared you for this greater responsibility. Then, be prepared to discuss how you will adapt your approach to ensure ultimate effectiveness in this Amazon Operations Manager role.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on May 13th, 2021

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    What Are The Steps To Consider When Your Project Is Off Track

    Once you have determined that your project is going to exceed the limit of budget, time, or fails to meet the goals, you need to execute the following steps.

    • Do a root cause analysis
    • Return to the original plan or goal
    • Engage in resource optimization
    • Communicate with stakeholders and clients

    To answer this question, you can give an example of a past experience where you were handling a project and things started to go off track. You use the opportunity to talk about how you along with your team were able to bring the project back on track eventually.

    Which Is Your Preferred Project Management Methodology In Your Projects

    A Project Manager must wear many hats and apply various management techniques and methodologies to ensure that the project is successful. To select the apt methodology for a project, you need to consider various factors, including the goal of the project, stakeholders, risks, cost, resources, complexity, and constraints.

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    What Kind Of Bid Documents Would You Use For Procurement Management And What Kind Of Contract Types Should Be Used For Engaging With Contractors And Suppliers

    This is one of the frequently asked project manager interview questions.

    The bid documents that can be sued for procurement management include:

    • Procurement Statement of Work
    • Request for Information

    The types of contracts used for engaging with contractors and suppliers are:

    • Time and Materials Contract
    • Cost Reimbursable Contract

    Virtual Or Onsite Interview Round

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    This stage of the interview is well-known for being lengthy. The hiring manager will normally conduct 3-5 rounds of technical or behavioral interviews during this stage. The technical round will include a variety of technical questions ranging from system design to coding to technical explanation. Your ability to enable communication amongst product, design, QA and engineering teams will be assessed throughout the behavioral phase of the interview. You’ll want to show that you can work effectively with others and lead a team in this phase of the interview.


    Expect to go even deeper into the three focus areas of the interview: program management, technical, and behavioral. Youll be tested on your program management skills, your knowledge of and understanding of system design, coding, and other various technical concepts, and your ability to lead cross-functional teams.

    Interview Questions

    System design

    • You open your favorite rideshare app and you dont see any available cars. What could the issue be?
    • Design a meal delivery app.
    • Design a streaming data processing pipeline that can reliably process data in near real-time.
    • Design a web cache.
    • Write a program to find out if an integer is a palindrome.
    • Write a program to reverse a string using no built-in functions.
    • Parse all lines in a CSV file with a given string.

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    Business Intelligence And Analytics

    The decisions made at Apple have a significant impact, often well beyond the company itself, which is why the detailed contributions of this group are so critical. Their timely and actionable insights help solve complex business problems across multiple areas of operations. Their methods include critical reporting, ad hoc analytics, and advanced analytics/machine learning. Areas of work include Customer Engagement, Supply Chain Optimization, Product Quality, Operations Execution and Fraud Detection, and Sales Channel Program Analytics.

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