Apple HW TPM interview tips

Infinera Unsalted15
Jul 16 15 Comments

How does HW TPM interview differ from SW TPM? The stuff online is very generic and mostly related to PM. I come from HW design and manufacturing background and the role in Apple is related to optical HW TPM. Anyone been through one lately? What should I expect?

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TOP 15 Comments
  • Google hmAT31
    Second to those ppl who said there are TPM in Apple. Personally I was from Apple HW and traveled to factory and worked with 2-3 TPMs.
    To help your interview, I can share some daily work I knew.
    You will be in charge of the factory flow from starting of the build to the end., basically managing the factory.
    The ultimate goal for you is yield.
    Being optical” I assume you will be a module side TPM. The question might arise: today your optical module is delayed, low yield and your counterpart system TPM is asking why on earth you have nothing for me to integrate. How will you solve that. That will be most likely the internal.
    Then being external, you will need to work with a whole bunch of vendor staff, some might be lazy, not knowledgeable, and have no clue when an issue happen. Question: How would you approach an issue if the incoming optical module has defects and the vendor is waiting order from you?
    I like how Blynded addresses those questions and they are spot on.
    Most of solving is not engineering, but more commanding/guiding and bringing “order” people skills, but in the interview you will have to give out examples. You will have a whole bunch of engineers you work with who don’t report to you, but you have to manage them in some way. If I’m a interviewer I would not like “slogan” but rather real-life examples.

    On the downside, the first TPM I worked with has never stayed in the US for more than half a year. You will probably need to get a working visa, depending on what group TPM.
    The good side, you will get very good food when you are in biz travel. He eventually quitted after 3yrs because he hasnt seen his wife and kids for a long time.

    Bottom line: not good for family guy unless you have teenagers and kids going to college. It’s more for young guys who like to explore the world, Asia specifically, or China or Korea to even more specifically.
    Jul 22 3
    • Google blah🤯
      Thanks for the detailed answer. Before joining Google I was looking for Apple TPM roles. No coffee chats have given me an honest info of this quality
      Jul 22
    • Infinera Unsalted15
      OP
      Great response, really appreciate your insights on the TPM work & personal life.
      Jul 23
    • Google blah🤯
      Yea,this shud go on Glassdoor
      Jul 23
  • New Zaqe78
    Have you checked slushie website as well? rooftopslushie.com I think I saw some Apple related posts there before.
    Jul 16 0
  • Apple Blynded
    Interview tip: be comfortable commanding a room/guiding a discussion, and whiteboarding out key takeaways and action items from said discussion. Bring order/structure out of chaos, and get people to focus on the right things.
    Jul 20 0
  • Lam Research gurubhai
    Dude your life will be miserable . I’m facing it
    Jul 19 3
    • HPE hskebp
      Why is that?
      Jul 19
    • Infinera Unsalted15
      OP
      Yes please please tell
      Jul 19
    • Lam Research gurubhai
      willing to work 10-12 plus hours a day including sundays? How about 35-50% travel on top of that?
      Jul 19
  • Apple Blynded
    There are no “TPM”s at Apple, per say. There are “EPM”s, Engineering Program Managers, and the role can vary widely based on Orgs and stage of project. I’m an EPM at SPG, and I’ve done mostly HW dev, sometimes it’s helping with designing prototypes from a concept to POC to Proto, sometimes it’s executing a more mature HW (factory bring up, design verification etc) and helping integration into a larger system and support of that system. A few times I’ve had to drive SW dev, not my favorite. All the time, I’m responsible for timeline, risks, and communication of both those things to execs. I have a PhD, so I don’t just create and update Jiras. I often get to influence a bit like an EM, where I actually scrutinize the technical merits of my teams’ deliverables, and help drive some technical decisions. But yes, I’m never doing the technical work myself... even though I’d like to, there’s just no time!
    Jul 20 2
    • Google blah🤯
      There are TPMs in hardware
      Jul 20
    • Lam Research gurubhai
      How much refresher per year for your team ?
      Jul 20
  • Google blah🤯
    Is this EPM or TPM? EPM are just program managers. The work is not technical but you need technical background to be considered. TPMs to my understanding are more on the quality side. They get sent to China to set up new lines. Interview is a mix of technical and behavioral exp. No matter how good you nail the interview, they will ultimately look at your previous experience and then decide the call. I suggest looking at Glassdoor, behavioral questions and basics of quality and manufacturing
    Jul 19 0
  • Lam Research gurubhai
    I am one. I like googles response. It’s not good for someone starting their family
    Jul 22 0