For many young students and graduates (especially the Apple Fanboys), an internship at Apple is the ultimate opportunity. It’s a place where they can thrive and have an experience of a lifetime. You have the chance to work on real projects and upcoming releases and develop skills working with some of the best developers in the world. So what does it take to bag this opportunity?
Continue reading below to find out what the internship involves, the requirements, the interview process and tips on moving one step closer to your ideal job:
Apple offers a variety of internships ranging from software engineers to product designers and marketers. It’s a perfect opportunity for current university students or graduates to spread their wings and get some experience under their belt. The program runs for a minimum of 12 weeks during the summer and winter, full-time, offering interns, housing, travel arrangements, social events and a decent salary too.
During the internship, you’ll get involved in projects and be in charge of building real-life tools and products. An ex-Apple intern said "you get put on a real project, with real responsibilities, and have a real impact on product outcomes. You interact with movers and shakers in the company on a fairly frequent basis, and your opinion is valued as if you were an employee."
If taking time off from classes is a no-no, you can apply to the AppleCare College Program offering support to Apple customers that are experiencing technical issues. You’ll be given an iMac and full training and support – but probably the most important benefit is that you get to reference Apple on your CV!
Internships at Apple are, as you can imagine, in high demand, so the key is to prepare correctly and apply early. The tips below should give you a lot of help with the application process:
- Search the Apple job board for internship opportunities: keep an eye out for a role you have the skill set for and apply once it’s posted. You don’t have to stick to one position; you can apply for a number of them. A former Apple intern described how he applied to two different roles and had simultaneous interviews.
- Start something: Launching a small project, company or website will demonstrate innovation, entrepreneurship, initiative and a passion for technology. It’s something that Apple take into great consideration when selecting their candidates.
- Create an online portfolio: If you’re applying for an internship at Apple, it should be no surprise that an online portfolio is key. Use it to showcase your accomplishments so far. Recruiters may stumble across your portfolio online and give you a call if it’s impressive.
- Make a short and sweet CV: a little secret is that recruiters don’t really read CVs. According to Forbes, “They glance at them, often for as little as fifteen seconds, before putting it in the ‘yes’ pile or the ‘no’ pile. For this reason, a short (usually one-page) CV is advantageous.” It highlights your accomplishments without the use of irrelevant words.
- Tap into your network: Do you know anybody at Apple? Or a contact who knows somebody at Apple? Having a connection to a current employee will help boost your application and ensure it gets looked at by the hiring manager.
- Practice: Practice coding, designing, building or reviewing - whatever it is you are applying for. Practice answering every question you can imagine being asked in an Apple internship interview. Go online and investigate what former applicants and interns have posted on Glassdoor about the interview process.
- Admit mistakes. You can’t BS your way through an Apple interview. If you don’t know the answer, say so. If you made a mistake, own up to it. There’s no chance of “fooling” anybody at Apple, they only recruit the best. And just because you can’t answer a question doesn’t mean you won’t get the internship. Not all their interns know every answer; sometimes it’s just about showing that you are able and willing to learn.
- Start your journey early: If you know you want an internship with Apple, start planning while you are in your first year of college. To do so, you could get another related internship that will look good on your CV and boost your chances.
- Do some relevant volunteer work. You don’t have to be paid for your efforts for Apple to stand up and take notice. You just have to do something that Apple cares about. There are a ton of non-profits that would fall all over themselves to get IT expertise – find one of them and offer your services.
To become a Software Engineering intern at Apple, we have listed a few basic requirements you will need. For a more exhaustive list and specific job requirements of other and less technical positions like marketing or sales look at the Job Descriptions on the Apple job search site.
An intern should have Software Development experience including but not limited to:
- Objective-C, Swift, XCode and Cocoa development experience for Mac OS X and iOS
- Experience with C, C++ Unix and Linux
- Excellent understanding of Computer Science concepts
- Excellent communication skills (able to communicate technical concepts to a non-technical audience)
- Hands-on, pro-active, self-motivated developer with strong initiative
- Desire to succeed in a challenging environment.
The interview process differs from position and department. But it generally goes a little something like this:
- You’ll first receive a call to arrange an interview (yay- that’s one foot in the door).
- Then you will most likely be given a task to complete in a certain amount of time to prove that you can actually perform the skills that you claim to have.
- Once you’ve successfully completed the task you’ll have a telephone interview. This will involve general questions and some technical areas (depending on the position) to look at before the next step. At the next interview you’ll need to discuss the solutions.
- A face-to-face interview will follow after maybe a few rounds of phone interviews.
- If you’ve passed all the above stages, you’ll have a video call with the HR department.
Landing an internship at Apple might seem like an impossible challenge, but with dedication, the right attitude and the work to show for it, you can be one of the hundreds of interns Apple hires each year. Make sure you do your homework, plan ahead, use of your contacts, and practice, practice, practice. If you’re lucky enough you might even receive a permanent job offer at the end of it like many other interns.
Have you applied for an Internship at Apple or another dream employer before? If so, share your experience with other students and graduates in the conversation below…
This article was originally published in 2014.