Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Apple Technical Program Manager Interview

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The Initial Recruiter Screen

Interview With an Apple Engineering Project Manager (CoreOS)

This is the first stage of the process where a recruiter from human resources will contact you. The recruiter will ask you basic questions on your experience, compensation expectations, skills, and why you want to switch companies.

If your profile satisfies the expectations of the role, youâll be called for the technical phone screen round.

Walk Me Through A Challenging Program That You Owned And Managed

Successful program managers take ownership of their work, know how to get results, and lead others even without formal authority. They also know how to impress a hiring manager with their storytelling skills. How do they do it?

Tips: Set the stage by providing an overview of the scope and complexity of the project, then describe the challenges you encountered around risk, conflict, lack of trust and so forth. Finally, show that youre not only capable but a cultural fit by describing how you used integrity, persuasion and negotiation to unblock obstacles, support the team, and deliver outcomes.

Learn A Consistent Method For Answering Pm Interview Questions

As mentioned previously, Apple will ask you questions that fall into certain categories like behavioral, design, strategy, estimation, and metric questions. Approaching each question with a predefined method will enable you to build strong interview habits.

Then, when it comes time for your interviews, these habits will reduce your stress and help you to make a great impression.

If youre just looking for a jumping-off point, you can start learning about the different question types youll need to master in the following blog articles:

Alternatively, if youre looking for more guidance on what to focus on for TikTok interviews, then we recommend signing up to the product manager interview course. Youll learn the relevant methods over the course of six detailed lessons, each with its own actionable to-do list to keep you on track.

Once you understand how to answer each question type, you also need to be able to communicate your answers clearly, under the pressure of interview conditions. Thats where practice comes into play.

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Walk Me Through The Steps You Would Take To Implement A Program Successfully

Most candidates are familiar with the best practices and control processes to bring a program to fruition, explained Kumar Saurabh, senior engineering program manager, instructor and author of 27 Program Management Interview Techniques.

But to Saurabh, the greatest predictor of success in the role is structure, flow and clarity of thought in a candidates response. As you prepare for your interview, make sure to review your previous jobs and projects, and make sure youve crafted a compelling story that puts your experience and skills in the best possible light.

Tips: In addition to succinctly summarizing their process, top candidates also describe their previous work and link their actions and behaviors to outcomes, Saurabh added. Out of a hundred interviews, he estimates that only one or two candidates describe how they drive projects to meet company objectives, so taking that extra step can definitely set you apart.

Interview Questions And Answers For Technical Program Managers

Technical Program Management Interview

Technical program management , or the management of IT-related projects, is a hybrid career field that requires a unique blend of art, science and craft. Given the complexity of managing multiple interdependent projects, candidates must possess not only sufficient technical knowledge but also the ability to communicate clearly, solve problems and embrace ambiguity. During any job interview, recruiters and hiring managers will ask questions designed to evaluate the candidates aptitude in all these areas.

Below, weve assembled a list of commonly asked interview questions for TPMs, along with some tips for formulating great responses.

Also Check: How To Do A Phone Screen Interview

Tell Me About X Project Or Program Youve Managed

A classic behavioral question targeting your past experience in program management, this question and others like it made up nearly 11% of the 500+ questions we collected. Here, interviewers are looking for an idea of your working style as what impact youve made in past positions.

Below is a high-level example of how a candidate could answer this question, using our signature framework for answering behavioral questions .

Sample answer: Tell me about a past project youve managed


In my past position, I was the lead TPM working on a new feature for a ride-share app, with which users would be able to share the profile and license plate number of their driver, as well as their live location, with a friend for safety.


This was a key feature, as we had begun to receive reports of some users feeling unsafe using the app. We needed to act fast, both to make sure our users were safe and to get ahead of any PR issues.


Our goal was to roll out the feature in a month and a half. We had never developed a feature that quickly before. So I put together four teams and briefed them on the urgency.

I implemented an agile methodology to move things along, encouraging the engineering teams to shorten their development cycles down from 2-week sprints to 1-week sprints, continuously checking in and giving feedback.



Generic Agile Questions For Tpms

Recommended Reading: Cloud

  • Cloud Architecture: A Guide To Design & Architect Your Cloud Gives a great overview of all you need to know about the cloud. . Must read for TPMs. Probably the best material out there! Use coupon CLOUD-30-OFF for a 30% discount, this is a limited-time promotion.
  • Gives an in-depth overview of detailed architecture on how a TPM would use the various AWS Services. This would layer on top of all the system design prep. Use coupon AWS-30-off for a 30% discount, this is a limited-time promotion.

Most interviews today ask for how you would do X on the cloud and the above two courses would help with that.

Recommended Reading: For People Managers

Recommended Reading: Agile / Scrum / Project Management

Questions To Ask Your Interviewer

Finally one of the most important aspects, in every interview either on the phone or on-site you will be given a chance to ask questions. This is very important, it shows the interviewer how well you are prepared and also puts forward things that you care about.

Here are some of my favorite questions to ask :

Please feel free to add your thoughts & comments below and add me to your LinkedIn Network! I love connecting with my readers. And dont forget to check out my TPM 101 course!

Also Check: How To Prepare For A Phone Interview With A Recruiter

Pure Project Management Interview Questions For Tpms

  • How would you handle non-productive developers?
  • If you do not get traction from a fellow TPM on another Team what would you do?
  • How do you motivate your team of developers?
  • What are the main things you would look for when you are running a cross-team Program?
  • Was your loyalty ever challenged? Give an example of such a scenario and what you did about it.
  • An example of a win-win situation you have negotiated.
  • Give an example of a challenging situation you had and how you handled it
  • Describe a situation where you were the voice of the customer.
  • Give an example when you took ownership of a program.give an example where you insisted on the highest standards and at the same time focused on iterative development
  • How do you earn the trust of your team members
  • How did you use your analytical to solve a problem
  • Example of getting by in from Stakeholders?
  • A situation where you think target where unachievable and how you overcame it
  • How do you add value to an already high-performance team
  • What is the thing you are most proud of?
  • An example of a stressful/tough situation you encountered. How did you handle it? If you had to do it over again, would you do it any differently?
  • How do you plan for a project or program?
  • What in your opinion are the three constraints of a project or program?
  • What are the tell-tale signs that your project or program is going to fail?
  • How have you contributed to the success of your programs?
  • How would you increase the efficiency of your development team?
  • You Work In Food Service And Notice That Dishes Adorned With Onions Are Being Sent Back How Would You Go About Solving This Problem

    Amazon Prep Video – Technical Program Manager (TPM)

    When senior TPM Rion Angeles asks the onion question, hes looking for hybrid skills and a multi-level approach to problem solving. I like to see where they go with it, how they pick the problem apart, and how flexible they are in considering an array of solutions, Angeles explained.

    Tips: The ideal candidate will approach any such problem in a customer-centric, process-centric, behavior-centric and a product-centric wayplus they will consider change management in developing a solution.

    Read Also: How To Thank You For An Interview

    What Is Your Favorite Apple Device Why

    On the surface, this question is straightforward. However, your response not only provides insight into how familiar you are with Apple products, but it also lets the interviewer know your level of enthusiasm for Apple and its products. Your answer can also provide insight into your knowledge of tech and how products function and work.

    I do love all of my Apple products. I love their functionality and privacy capability when compared to other tech products and software. Though, when asked to choose, I would have to say my favorite Apple device is my Apple Watch.

    It functions as my lifeline to my Mac and iPhone by letting me know when I might need to pull them out based on the real-time messages I receive without having to actually pull them out to check. I’m able to stay connected to my work and personal life with my watch, which also increases my efficiency and ability to effectively manage my time.

    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.

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    Top 3 Apple Interview Questions

    Now that you have a solid strategy by your side, its time to take the next step. By reviewing Apple interview questions and answers, you can put your new knowledge to work.

    Like we mentioned before, there are tons of kinds of professionals working at Apple. Every job is going to have a unique interview experience. After all, it takes different types of skills and traits to shine in each position, so its doesnt make sense to use the same questions across the board.

    However, that doesnt mean Apple interviews cant have a lot in common. There are going to be some questions that nearly any candidate might face. With that in mind, heres a look at the top three Apple interview questions, as well as example answers.

    Salary Negotiations After A Job Offer

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  • Read Also: How To Do Well In A Job Interview

    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?
  • Technical Program Manager And Quality Engineer

  • Apple Inc.Information Technology Project Manager Job in Austin, TXApple’s Strategic Data Solutions team leads efforts to mitigate fraud, optimize business processes, and improve the customer journey through automation & analytics. Our team applies data science and machine learning to drive strategic impact across multiple lines of business at Apple. Technical Program Managers deliver process and analytic solutions that have a strategic impact for Apple. They drive decision automation/machine learning projects that allow Apple to execute with greater speed, control, efficiency, and scale. Most importantly, they allow Apple to provide exceptional service to each and every one of its customers.Mid Level
  • Recommended Reading: Cracking The Coding Interview 150 Programming Questions And Solutions

    Questions To Ask The Interviewers

    It is crucial that the candidate shows interest in the company and position during a job interview. Have your list of company-specific questions ready to ask the Apple interviewer. For example:

  • What do you love about working for Apple?

  • What is a typical day like at Apple?

  • What qualities are required to succeed in this position?

  • Where do you see Apple in five and ten years?

  • Are there any new or unique products the company is currently working on?

  • Who Is The Instructor

    Google Engineering Program Manager (TPM) Behavioral Interview: Technical and People Challenges

    Mahesh Thakur is the Vice President of Product, ex- Amazon & Microsoft, and a former engineer with extensive background in high-growth B2B SaaS and B2C product portfolios. He has 20+ years of experience leading product, engineering, operations, design, and data teams in high-impact roles. He is the former CEO of PhotoWeaver. He teaches at Columbia, NYU, and is part of MG100 coaches.

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    The Role Of An Apple Technical Program Manager

    A Technical Program Manager organizes technical initiatives in collaboration with stakeholders and engineering teams. TPMs use their management, leadership, and communication abilities to assist teams in making, communicating, and executing strategic choices. To design complex project plans and perform efficient project management, you’ll need to employ problem-solving skills.

    Apple Inc. is a multinational technology firm headquartered in Cupertino, California, that specializes in consumer devices, software, and online services. It is the most valuable corporation on the planet, as well as the fourth-largest personal computer seller by unit sales and the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer. Along with Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft, it is one of the Big Five American information technology corporations.

    Role of a technical program manager at Apple

    • Establish workstreams.
    • Measure and create a dashboard.
    • Analyze datasets.
    • Take notes and schedule meetings.
    • Keep track of action items and projects.

    Preferred Skills/Qualifications

    • 3 to 5 years of experience developing software .
    • 1-2 years of experience delivering products to customers.
    • 1-2 years of experience in IT operations or risk assessment.
    • Strong communication skills.
    • Strong organizational and scheduling skills.
    • Leadership experience.

    The average salary of Apple TPM

    The technical program manager’s salary at Apple ranges from 13.8 Lakhs to 20.7 Lakhs.

    How Do You Handle Dependencies In Cross

    Dependency management is one of the most crucial and complicated processes for program managers, because if a piece is missing, you cant launch a product on time.

    Tips: Saurabh says that program management is about getting ordinary people to come together to build extraordinary things. In addition to mentioning tracking, documentation or other practices for managing dependencies, make sure to explain how you go about understanding and balancing differing perspectives and goals. Its key to use communication, empathy and negotiation to get stakeholders to unite and complete tasks on time.

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    Apple Technical Program Manager Interview Questions

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    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 months. I interviewed at Apple in Sep 2022


    If the hiring manager or senior hiring manager is Indian, forget about getting the job unless you’re Indian. Apple has a huge problem. Diversity isn’t diversity of only some people of “color” have real opportunities. The other issue with Apple is that most people don’t know how to conduct interviews. They spent too much time on “gotcha” questions instead of asking questions to get a genuine answer. You spend months going through the entire process only to be disrespected by the interviewers when they already know they won’t give you an honest opportunity. So many games unfortunately.

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cupertino, CA


    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Apple in Feb 2022

    InterviewInterview Questions

    • Describe an example of multiple workstreams you’ve managed. Talk about a technical blocker and what you did to remediate.

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