How to Ace the App Academy Interview

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on September 26, 2023

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Thinking about applying to App Academy? Although App Academy is very selective in its admissions process, the bottom line is that you don't need to be an expert coder to apply! Find out how App Academy helps total tech beginners and those with some coding experience prepare for its rigorous technical assessments and interviews, and the soft skills the admissions team is looking for in new students. Plus, we've got insights from actual App Academy bootcamp graduates on the admissions process, and the typical job titles and starting salaries that App Academy students land!

The App Academy Admissions Process: What to Expect

Bottom Line: App Academy’s application process takes 4-8 weeks to complete, and includes a technical interview (with timed coding challenges) and a non-technical interview.

The admissions process is different for our 16-week campus hybrid program and our online program.

The application process for the 16-week program (now online):

  1. Complete a 30-minute logic/typing test (Hire Select assessment)
  2. Coding test - App Academy gives you resources to prepare!
  3. 45-minute technical interview (2 chances to pass) - App Academy will share prep resources with you.
  4. 30-minute non-technical interview (2 chances to pass) - App Academy will share prep resources with you.
  5. Admissions decision
  6. Enrollment

The application process for the Online Programs (Part-Time Online & Full-Time Online):

  1. Complete a 30-minute logic/typing test (Hire Select assessment)
  2. 30-minute non-technical interview - App Academy gives you resources to prepare!
  3. Prep work with 3 technical assessments - App Academy will share prep resources with you.
  4. Enrollment

How long does the App Academy interview process take?

The admissions process for our online program takes about 4 weeks.

For our 16-week program, it takes around 6-8 weeks

Keep in mind that both courses are now online. 

App Academy’s Technical Interview

For our 16-week program, students have to complete a coding challenge and live tech interview. 

For our 24-week (full-time) and 48-week (part-time) programs, students are required to complete technical prep work, consisting of 3 assessments (an HTML/CSS assessment, Git assessment, and Boolean assessment). 

Do you need to know how to code in order to pass the technical challenge?

No, you do not! App Academy provides all of its own prep work on our App Academy Online platform.  

If an applicant doesn’t pass the challenge, are they allowed to try again?

Yes, definitely! 

For those applying to the 16-week program, you have 2 chances to pass the technical interview. Feedback is provided after the first tech interview

For those applying to the 24-week program, you have 4 total chances to pass the HTML/CSS and Git assessments and 2 separate chances to pass the Boolean assessment. 

What kinds of resources does App Academy supply to help applicants prepare for the challenge?

"There were a couple of coding challenges which they provided prep material to study for." TJ, App Academy Alum

For our 16-week program, App Academy provides Ruby materials for both the coding challenge and tech interviews. In preparation for the tech interview, App Academy provides two, free mock tech interviews with feedback. 

For our 24-week program, App Academy provides the prep materials needed to pass our HTML/CSS, Git, and Boolean assessments. HTML/CSS & Git assessments are project-based, while the Boolean assessment is multiple choice. 

App Academy’s Non-Technical Interview

Applicants for our 16-week program will receive a link to book their tech interview after they have passed the coding challenge. On the day of their interview, they will be invited to join the tech interview through a link to hacker rank code pair. The tech interview will be a total of 45 minutes. 

There will be three questions: an easy, medium, and hard prompt:

  • The first two prompts are solo prompts, and the third is a pairing prompt. Students will have 15 minutes to solve each prompt. Candidates are expected to walk the interviewer through their code line by line for all prompts so their understanding of the problem can be assessed. A prompt is considered successfully solved once the code runs and returns no errors within the timeframe given. The thought process and understanding of the prompt also contributes to the overall score to distinguish between understanding and blind memorization. 
  • The third prompt, or the pairing prompt, is mainly assessing communication and teamwork. We do a lot of paired programming at App Academy, and this gives us a good idea of how you’ll do in paired coding sessions during the course. 

Candidates will alternate between driver and navigator during the interview.

When the applicant is Navigating in the interview:

  • You are responsible for thinking through the overall strategy of how to solve the problem and communicating your strategy to your partner. You will provide high-level verbal instructions to your partner in order to guide them through the problem.
  • You should ensure your partner is on the same page as you at all times.

When the applicant is Driving in the interview:

  • You are responsible for listening to your partner and following their instructions. You will physically type out code in the CodePair text editor. You should make sure you understand the code that you are being asked to type - ask any clarifying questions and double check your understanding.
  • Avoid typing ahead of the instructions your partner is giving you. Be respectful and wait for instructions before typing.

Applying for a Scholarship at App Academy

All students go through the same admissions process for the program they apply to. App Academy takes a merit-based approach to the admissions process. With that being said, we do offer scholarships for various groups. 

These scholarships include:

  • The Access Scholarship, sponsored by Meta, provides 50% off tuition for students pursuing one of our immersive courses. This scholarship is reserved for women and minorities in tech residing in the San Jose, CA. 
  • Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship - This scholarship, sponsored by Lesbians Who Tech and Allies, is available to queer women and non binary techies. This scholarship is open for applications from mid-January to mid-February. It provides 50% off the tuition for one of our immersive courses and a full scholarship for our bootcamp prep courses. It can be awarded to up to 7 recipients. 
  • Inspiration Scholarship - This scholarship is offered bi-annually, and alumni nominate a prospective student for the  scholarship. The nominee then receives $1,000 off their tuition if they become a recipient. Recipients are only selected once they become accepted into one of our immersive programs.

The Skills You Need to Get Into App Academy

"We are cool with complete beginners, and have seen complete beginners be extremely successful in the course, and go on to work for fantastic companies and make crazy salaries. Our application process is customized to the applicant. If someone comes to us with no experience, we’ll assign them some introductory exercises and give them a coding test that would be appropriate for them. We do multiple coding tests and interviews to really get a sense of the applicant." Kush Patel, Founder of App Academy

There isn’t necessarily a “typical applicant” at App Academy. Students from all different backgrounds enter our program. We’ve had baristas, musicians, teachers, nurses, doctors, accountants, fresh university graduates, or those who just graduated high school doing a/A in place of college to fast track their way into the industry. 

An ideal a/A applicant is someone with grit, determination, and an aptitude for problem-solving

All applicants are required to have at least a high school diploma or GED. However, we do not require applicants to have a college degree. In fact, almost half of the students in our online program do not have a college degree!

Does an applicant need to have previous technical experience or basic coding understanding to get into App Academy? 

Applicants do not need to have previous technical or coding experience prior to getting accepted into a/A. We provide applicants with all prep materials needed to pass our admissions process.

What is the acceptance rate at App Academy?

App Academy is a selective program. That being said, there are plenty of resources needed to pass the admissions process. Currently, the acceptance rate for our campus-based programs is 10.4%, 6.7% for our Full-Time Online program, and 7.3% for our Online Part-Time Program.

What kinds of soft skills is App Academy looking for in applicants? 

At App Academy, we understand that soft skills are just as important as technical prowess. 

Here is a list of soft skills that we look for in applicants:

  • Strong communication
  • Empathy
  • Time management
  • Adaptability/resiliency
  • Time management
  • Work ethic
  • Curiosity
  • Self-awareness
  • Patience

What’s your advice for a complete beginner who wants to enroll at App Academy?

The biggest tip we have is to not let perfectionism stop you from pursuing your dream of becoming a software developer. We recommend jumping right into the admissions process and using our prep work to build the coding foundation, further honing your technical skills in the course itself. Being mentally prepared for the time commitment required is also very important. After all, we are essentially condensing a CS degree into a 3-12 month timeframe (depending on the course you choose). The sacrifice is worth it though when you come out with a full stack software engineering  job.

What’s your advice for someone with some tech or coding experience who wants to enroll at App Academy?

For students with previous technical experience, we recommend jumping right into the admissions process. Having technical experience plus the bootcamp with real world projects to showcase in your portfolio will make you even more marketable. If we can place students with no degree or technical background, we certainly can help this group of folks land a job in tech.

Which Tech Jobs do App Academy Graduates Land?

App Academy is designed to place students in software engineering roles. Since we have a comprehensive fullstack curriculum, this gives students the option to continue with full stack web development or specialize in a particular part of the stack. 

Here’s just a sample of reported job titles from App Academy grads: 

  • Application Integration Engineer
  • Applications Developer
  • Computer Consultant
  • Programmer Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Software Development Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Technical Consultant
  • Implementation Engineer
  • Support Engineer
  • Full Stack Software Engineer
  • Front-End Engineer
  • Back-End Engineer 

What kinds of salaries do App Academy graduates typically make?

For our online programs, students can expect an average salary of $80k. 

For our campus programs, the average salary is $90k. 

For some of our major hiring partners, such as Bloomberg, salaries for our grads start at $140k. 

Find out more and read App Academy reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with App Academy.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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