How to Ace the App Academy Interview

By Jess Feldman
Last updated on January 7, 2021

App academy interview guide

Thinking about applying to App Academy? App Academy was the first coding bootcamp to offer deferred tuition (students don’t pay tuition until they get a job). And with locations in San Francisco, New York, and online, App Academy is a great option for future bootcampers. But the App Academy acceptance rate is less than 5%, so applicants need to ace the coding challenges to be admitted. How do you get into App Academy? We're covering the App Academy interview and application process with input from our interviews with App Academy alumni and founder, Kush Patel.

App Academy's Advice

Bottom Line: You don’t need to be an expert coder, but you’ll have to pass a coding challenge!

From founder Kush Patel:

"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

What to Expect during the App Academy Interview

Bottom Line: App Academy’s application process takes 2-6 weeks to complete, and includes a technical interview (with timed coding challenges) and a non-technical interview.

Applicants to both the 16-week Software Engineering Immersive and 24-week Online Software Engineering Immersive should be prepared for App Academy’s technical and non-technical interview. 

How long does the App Academy interview process take?

App Academy's website says:

"The length of time from application to enrollment varies by student. Some factors include general availability to complete our pre-course work and prior coding experience (though not necessary). The admissions process can take anywhere from 1 week to several months, depending on the applicant. Students should be in contact with their admissions specialist to discuss a recommended timeline to complete this process in time for their preferred cohort.​​​​​​​"

According to App Academy alum Sarah, the entire application process, from start-to-acceptance, took about 2 months. App Academy says to plan for 1 month to complete the process, but can be longer or shorter than that depending on the applicants prior coding experience.

App Academy says that you'll have a decision within 2 days of the final interview, but this can vary. Coding Challenges are timed — you have up to 45 minutes to complete these!

Technical Interview

The technical interview consists of solo timed coding challenges and pair programming, and applicants may use Ruby, JavaScript, or Python. "After filling out the application, I received an invitation for a coding assessment. They sent me a second assessment shortly after I completed the first one, followed by a 15-question problem set. I spent about 20 hours on those exercises. I then had two live coding exercises." says Sarah, an App Academy Alum. 

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

Non-Technical Interview

Remember that in a code school interview, you should be asking a lot of questions too! Here are 10 questions we suggest asking in a coding bootcamp interview. The non-technical interview includes logic questions, a quick typing test, and a personality test that helps App Academy get to know their applicants better.

"The second [coding challenge] included a mini-interview with Kush, the founder of App Academy." Sarah, App Academy Alum

"After the coding challenges I went on to interview with one of the cofounders and had a final live coding challenge. We did all of that over Skype." TJ, App Academy Alum

How to Prepare for App Academy Interviews

Bottom Line: The easiest way to prep for App Academy seems to be their proprietary prep programs lille App Academy Open (these are all free)!

The App Academy Coding Challenge should be no mystery to applicants, because App Academy publishes all of their Coding Challenges and Prep Work on Github! The more prep work you can complete before starting the application, the better. Rejected applicants can re-apply, but App Academy typically requests that they wait about 6 months prior to doing so to give them time to practice on their own. If candidates are interested in reapplying more quickly, App Academy allows them to re-apply without a waiting period if they complete the Bootcamp Prep program, which will boost their ability to succeed at App Academy.  

App Academy recommends that anyone considering applying to an upcoming cohort, complete Intro to Programming I and II because many of these concepts could come up in the technical interview. Applicants can also get access to App Academy’s prep work and their entire 16-week immersive curriculum for free on App Academy Open without applying to App Academy. This is another great way to prepare for and ace App Academy’s Coding Challenge and Technical Interview.

Start Here:

From App Academy students:

"After I applied, App Academy sent me a list of resources to help me prepare for the first coding challenge. They suggested Codecademy and Ruby Monk, but I also searched for beginning Ruby tutorials. There’s a lot of good material out there." Sarah, App Academy Alum

"I was used to the concepts already because I had been teaching myself. I studied to program video games at DigiPen so when I dropped out, I continued coding for fun. I made lots of very simple games like Bejeweled and little shoot-em-ups." TJ, App Academy Alum

While the App Academy curriculum teaches Ruby on Rails, applicants have been known to complete the coding challenge in JavaScript or Python

Good luck and let us know your experience in the comments!

About The Author

Jess is the Content Manager for Course Report as well as a writer and poet. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education, and loves learning and sharing content about tech bootcamps. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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