Google Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Software Engineer (847)
- Product Manager (128)
- Intern (86)
- Software Engineer Intern (84)
- Software Developer (65)
- Senior Software Engineer (47)
- Software Development Engineer (42)
- Account Strategist (40)
- Associate Product Manager (39)
- Software Engineering Intern (38)
- Account Manager (35)
- Associate Account Strategist (35)
- Software Engineer In Test (31)
- Site Reliability Engineer (31)
- Engineering (31)
- Administrative Assistant (30)
- Adwords Associate (29)
- Program Manager (23)
- Engineer (22)
- Analyst (20)
- Software Engineering (18)
- Product Quality Analyst (18)
- Business Analyst (17)
- AdWords Representative (17)
- Technical Account Manager (17)
- Systems Engineer (17)
- Financial Analyst (17)
- Senior Product Manager (16)
- Technical Program Manager (16)
- Test Engineer (13)
Very Difficult Interview
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at Google in July 2014.
Interview Details Applied in November 2013
HR got in touch in March 2014
First phone interview in April 2014
Second in May 2014
5 On-site interviews in July 2014
HR was super nice.
One out of the 5 on-site interviewers was super unfriendly (and just came out of the shower w/ wet hair). She presented a graph problem which I considered my speciality. It had one tweak which she explained very badly. I asked her to reexplain the tweak twice. Then I was like "I understood it that way. So I'd do it this way. What do you think?". She then told me to "just implement it". I implemented it very fast. In the meantime, she read my CV. When I concluded, she looked at the code (which was probably 15-20 LoC). She then noticed that the way I handled the tweak was different to what she said. So she was like: "I told you to do it that way. What did you do there?". While I felt a little offended because if she had put a little more effort in explaining it I would have gotten it right away. Her version would have been even easier to implement.
Interview Question – Cannot disclose Answer Question
Benefits Specialist Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through another source and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in September 2013.
Interview Details I was approached by a Google headhunter in 2013 with whom I had a telephone interview to discuss a current Benefits Specialist vacancy. The next stage was a telephone interview with a recruiter based in Ireland. The recruiter sounded bored on the phone, did not ask any questions about my experience and could not answer basic questions about Google. About a week later I received a standard email saying thank you but we do not have a vacancy that matches your skills. How they knew this I don't know and I was very unimpressed given that they contacted me in the first place.
Interview Question – What would you change about a google product? (asked in a bored and unenthusiastic way) Answer Question
Internship Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Google in January 2014.
Interview Details Phone interview using Google doc, they ask me to solve a numerical problem using my own programming language. I can not remember exactly but is too detailed. They gave a set of graph point and edges and ask to process.
Interview Question – The question is too detail for the implementation. It is like undergrad question and need to be very well prepared instead of using solid professional experience and creative mind (mind opinion) Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Google in May 2014.
Interview Details A classic Google process - two phone interviews, then five 1:1 on-site interviews.
The hiring process is well documented and you know what to expect. A few personal tips :
- Think loud. Brainstorm.
- Don't overcomplicate your solutions. It's better to have working O(N^2) than buggy O(N log N). You can describe the better solution during the discussion later.
- If you don't see the solution, try to write down a few examples or corner cases. You can observe the solutions from these.
- Although it's more than recommended to know a wide range of algorithms or data structures, you'll rarely use these during the actual coding. Arrays, conditions and cycles are usually enough.
- Practice. TopCoder, CodefForces, HackerRank, Codechef... These are the tasks you should expect.
- Be positive. You've got nothing to lose.
Interview Question – All questions were from the expected area. Answer Question
Account Strategist Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Google.
Interview Details I had a lot of calls from the hiring manager based out of UK. They asked a lot of information about my grades in university / college. They also wanted to know if I blog, so its best to have a blog done before you apply.
As a lot of emphasis is put on grades, its best to position your strong academic skills before them.
Interview Question – No tough question, never went for a F2F interview. Answer Question
Grant Manager, Google Org Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Google
Interview Details They have a very well designed job application system, with all of their jobs listed clearly on their site with clear descriptions. As you would expect from Google, the user experience of submitting an application is very good.
Interview Question – Did not get a call back. Answer Question
Technical Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at Google in April 2011.
Interview Details The interview happened in 3 steps.
1. A phone interview for screening
2. An on-site series of interview in London
3. A VC interview with someone in Google US
The first interview was probably the most challenging. I had to answer questions over the phone, some of them very open. Technical questions were simple. The interview was a tiny bit unsettling because it was over the phone, and not in my native language. I passed obviously, because I was invited for a second round of interviews on site in Google’s offices in London.
The second round of interviews was easier than what I had expected. I literally felt I could turn my brains off most of the time. I only had to switch them back on a couple of times. The first time was when I was asked a computer algorithm question (taken from Knuth’s Art of Computer Programming) and the second when I was asked an open question on "what is a cache".
The interaction with the various engineers interviewing me was nice. They were nice and warm people. I noticed they always felt obliged to look ueber-enthusiastic, so they repeatedly made comments such as “great”, “fantastic”, "terrific" even when I was saying something fairly simple or ordinary.
The third round was a VC interview with someone more senior in the US.
What I really did not enjoy was the interaction with the recruiter when discussing about compensation. I was expecting a supposedly global company like Google to able to compare salaries across different countries (something called income equalization). No way.
When I applied, I had a job in Paris that offered me and my family very good living standards. I had done my own research (taxes, rents, school tuition, etc) and found that to get similar living standard for me and my family in London, the pay would have to be substantially higher than what I getting in Paris.
The recruiter made me a first offer, trumpeting that it had been approved and signed by Larry Page himself (wow), and warning me that I should sit down because I would be blown away. What a joke. They were offering me almost the exact same gross, which was in real terms a downgrade from what I had in Paris. They failed or refused to recognise that living expenses might be different between Paris and London.
I patiently tried to explain all this to the recruiter: rents much higher in London than in Paris, very high school tuition instead of free school, even taxes happened to be really higher for me than in France. He tried to get me to settle in some remote area of London, where my commute would have been massively longer, and the taking of my children to school a nightmare for my wife. It only made sense to take my children to a French school, because I was not sure whether I would be staying in London forever. The recruiter found that what was too good for me was probably good enough for him though: when asked, he reluctantly confessed that he was living in a super expensive area in London.
The recruiter also insisted that I would have free lunches (wow) and free massages (triple wow). I found this a bit ridiculous because it was so second order.
The recruiter came back with a second offer which was a bit better, but still unattractive. When I explained him that was also discussing with a hedge fund, he tried to entice me by saying that work in finance institutions was boring and dull, while at Google I would be able to do “geeky stuff”. I really hated this expression. Surely he saw his hires as nerds sitting 24/7 in front of their beloved computer on which they were hacking programs. And those nerds did not need to be paid really as long as they were fed with pizza on their desk day and night. Completely out of touch.
I still answered I was unhappy with the offer. The recruiter then said: “Look, I will do my very best to get you a fan-tas-tic offer. Do you want me to try this for you?” I was so tired with the nonsense that I answered. “No thanks. I think you tried hard enough. Do not bother.”
I took the job with the hedge fund. The contrast in style was really amazing. They were so much more down to earth, and no nonsense. This was an absolute no brainer.
Interview Question – A question about listing permutations with a particular property (a problem taken from Knuth's Art of Computer Programming). View Answer
Reason for Declining – Offer too low.
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google.
Interview Details I was firstly contacted by a recruiter via linkedin. I answered that I am interested in the job, so a first phone conversation was arranged with the recruiter. We discussed some stuff including where I would prefer to go, how to prepare for the interview etc. The recruiter shared a list of books to help me prepare. A phone screening was arranged for a week later. They shared a google doc with me and asked me to write some code there. There were two questions, both simple and easy but examined in great depth. I was asked to give detailed explanations of all test cases and possible failures, time and space complexity.
Interview Question – Questions were fairly easy but required a fair amount of general knowledge to answer all the questions around them. Answer Question
Software Engineer Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Google in March 2014.
Interview Details I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.
The process had two stages, interviews, followed by project assignment. The process was comfortable. All questions are framed to your personality and your CV, focus was on programming languages and algorithms. That was the trend for both. I was unsuccessful at the interview stage, I waited for a month to hear back from them after I had finished my both technical interviews. In my case the interviewers never asked any personal questions and we moved straight to coding so I found it difficult to blend in.
The first interviewer was a bit unenthusiastic and intimidating which also threw me off a bit but the second interviewer I had was really nice and helpful in describing what we had to do properly.
Interview Question – How would you gather input from users (name, dob, address) and reprocate the same as output? View Answer
Software Engineering Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.
Interview Details Applied online through their job portal and got contacted by a recruiter about 3 weeks later and was scheduled two technical phone interview. The first round went well but the 2nd one with a different interview was much more difficult. He asked me something about databases and I said I haven't learned that yet(i think it's reasonable considering I am only a freshmen at college) then he changed to another question about bit manipulation, which is also unfamiliar to me.
Interview Question – Count the number of bits set in an integer. What is your favorite language and what you don't like about that language. View Answers (2)
Interviews for Top Jobs at Google