Google Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor.co.uk

Google Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated 18 Feb 2019
3,059 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (7)  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA (US)
No Offer
Neutral Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA (US)) in April 2014.

Interview

I was contacted by a recruiter for Google in February 2014 for a new graduate software developer position. The interviews were outlined as follows (but were punctuated with many conversations with my recruiter):

1) Phone interview with recruiter to assess goals and ideal company culture. I'm sure that other topics were discussed, but it felt more like I was being sold on the company than being interviewed.
2) 1 hour technical phone interview using a Google Doc. I was given a small problem that required a lot of thought and had multiple solutions. The problem itself only required basic computer science knowledge, but was heavily dependent on your problem solving abilities.
3) 4 on site interviews in one day. I can't discuss what transpired, but I can confidently say these were the toughest interview questions I've ever encountered. The day felt incredibly long, and by the time I got to my final interview I was already mentally exhausted.

Now in August, I'm still waiting to hear back from my recruiter.

Interview Questions

  • Can't say due to NDA. Sorry!   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. Helpful (31)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA (US)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA (US)) in August 2014.

    Interview

    5 in-house technical interviews. 4 algo/coding and 1 design.

    - strtok implementation
    - given set of characters duplicates possible, and given dictionary (list of words). Find longest word from dictionary that can be made from given characters. How will you do it if '*' (matches one wild character) is also included?
    - Access card system design
    - Implement a stack with find_min api as well.
    - Given set of points, find line with max points on it.
    - utf-8 byte stream verification and character extraction.

    Interview Questions

    • Most difficult part is judging what interviewers want who don't talk that much and just keep on scrribling stuff down.   3 Answers

  2. Helpful (5)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    The interview was an phone interview, mostly technical and lots about previous projects which i have done, and also work flow of projects, technical questions were also mostly.. Most of the questions are logical thinking and puzzles

  3. Helpful (12)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Contacted by HR at early July, asking whether I can have an phone interview in 3 weeks. Replied "not available until August". Contacted again in late July and scheduled a phone interview in late August.

    During the interview, I was asked to talk about my resume, including project and research experiences. Then asked to write a class to define a deck of cards, and write shuffle function for the cards.

    Interview Questions

    • was asked to write a class to define a deck of cards, and write shuffle function for the cards.   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA (US)) in September 2013.

    Interview

    I had 2 interviews on hang outs one day, and an extra interview a month later, on hang outs too.
    the first two were easy, I didn't do it super well though. The third and last one was really hard, my hardest interview ever. They asked me a lot of questions about design and coding, most of them really hard.

    Interview Questions

    • I was solving a problem with some design patterns, about a server receiving requests, and then the interviewer change the problem, now the server could have multiple requests at the same time, and instead of a design problem it was a concurrent programming problem.   2 Answers

  5. Helpful (6)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Applied online without referral. Recruiter reached out to me. I filled a questionnaire to indicate my interests. Got two phone interviews. They were not very hard. After the phone interviews, you learn in a few days if you have passed. Then, you are in a pool and wait for someone to be interested in you. If you know people at the company, definitely let them know so that they can inform their friends that you are looking for an intern host. If someone is interested, a host interview is set-up. This is usually non-technical and only to see if you are interested in the project. If no one comes up after some time, they defer your application to next internship season. Next time, you directly enter the pool without any additional interviews.

    Recruiter is also a key person. Sometimes, they look out for you, sometimes they don't care.

    Interview Questions

    • Nothing unexpected. Typical questions that you can find in "Cracking the coding interview" or "Programming interviews exposed".   1 Answer

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Referred by an employee in MTV. HR called me soon, and scheduled two 45-miniute online interviews for me. The HR was very nice, for I was in Beijing and applied for an internship in MTV that time, in order to help me perform well in the interview, she scheduled the engineers from Canada to interview me, that helped me a lot, because the time zone of Canada office was better for me to take the interview on form.
    The interviews went well, and the interviewers were nice and patient. The coding problems they asked were mainly about algorithm and data structure, and some of my project experiences were asked in detail two.
    I think the most challenging thing in the interviews was that I should describe my thought in English to the interviewers, it is very important to have a good communication with interviewers.

    Interview Questions

    • There were no questions particularly difficult, but what I did not expect was that the second interviewer asked me a problem of segment tree.   2 Answers

    Reasons for Declining

    I was matched to a test post, but I did not like it.


  7. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Received email for interview & scheduled a interview date. The employer was very precise & called the date of the interview at the scheduled time slot. However during the interview when a question was being asked the interviewer gave very little time to answer or even think about the question or answer. The interviewer basically rushed me through the 2 questions. The interviewer also, didn't give me any feedback as to how the interview went or what else I need to work and practice more concepts on.

    Interview Questions

    • Answering the questions correctly within a timely order.   1 Answer
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY (US)) in April 2014.

    Interview

    Each of the questions were designed such that you will never get the perfect answer, especially on the first try. The problems were specifically made to stump you, and so you can continuously improve your design and show that you're curious to learn and improve.

    Interview Questions

    • They asked about servers and how networks functioned and I have no background with that topic.   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (27)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA (US)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 8+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA (US)) in July 2014.

    Interview

    Day 0 — I apply to seven different Software Engineer positions in the Bay Area simultaneously via their website.
    Day 0 — 38 minutes later, I receive an email from a Recruiter (call him R1), who's also an Engineering Manager (?). He asks when we can talk over the phone about "matching me up with the right opportunities at Google." I send a timestamp back.
    Day 2 — Phone call with R1, about ten minutes. He asks to tell him about myself, what my background is, what I'm interested in, why I want to work for Google, etc. He ends by telling me we'll set up a phone interview, which I intentionally schedule for a couple weeks later. (R1 asks me to choose a programming language for the interview, and mentions that he'll be sending me a syllabus to prepare.) Recruiting Coordinator 1 (RC1) emails me the details of the phone interview, which we confirm.
    Day 9 — Still no syllabus. I email R1. He sends me a verbatim excerpt from the Steve Yegge blog post you've already read.
    Day 15 — Phone interview day. 25 minutes into the schedule time slot, no call. I email RC1. Auto-reply: that account no longer exists. Great. I wait a bit longer. I give R1 a call; no answer, leave a voicemail. He replies within the hour, says he's sorry, asks for availability to reschedule. I reply.
    Day 23 — Phone interview finally rescheduled for day 28, by new Recruiting Coordinator (RC2).
    Day 28 — Phone interview, take two. Interviewer (a Software Engineer) asks me a little about myself, then moves on to the questions (I won't go into details, due to the NDA). About twenty minutes of basic Q&A about my language of choice (nothing remotely advanced). Then he asks me to describe (just out loud) the 'find' method of a common data structure. Then he modifies the problem definition slightly, and asks me how I would change the 'find' method. This seems fairly straightforward to me. He asks me to implement it in Java in a shared Google Doc. I do. I step through it with some examples. That's about it. I hang up: I think I nailed it.
    Day 36 — I email RC2 to check for any feedback. She defers to R1, who within minutes invites me on site to interview. I send my availabilities. I receive confirmation of my interview from RC2. I confirm, and send back two filled out forms (application + NDA; travel form).
    Day 37 — I make my travel arrangements through their travel agency. They pay for my flight, lodging for the night before and night after, rental car for the duration, transportation to the airport, and food for the duration. (I easily add two more days at my own expense.)
    Day 37 — R1 emails me to tell me he's leaving Google. R1 introduces R2 (not an engineer, this one).
    Day 38 — R2 emails introductions and asks when we can talk by phone.
    Day 42 — Introductory email from RC3, with two documents which are, again, verbatim excerpts of Steve Yegge's famous blog article.
    Day 43 — Phone call with R2, describes the on-site interview; nothing I didn't already know, except (fairly useless) one-line bios of my four interviewers. Eventually I start wondering why I'm seeing and hearing "Google/YouTube" when it used to be "Google," so I ask. I find out I'm apparently applying for YouTube now and no one bothered to tell me. R2 also tells me she won't be able to make it to greet me on the day of my interviews, so R3 (also not an engineer) will be replacing her.
    Day 54 — On-site interviews. I show up to the wrong lobby, having assumed there was only one. (Pro-tip: check your email from the Recruiting Coordinator for the exact building and address.) Luckily, I was early enough to make it to the right building on time. Interview, interview, lunch, interview, interview. No breaks at all between interviews. Interviewers either give you a blank expression with no feedback as you talk or else hold your hand all the way to the solution. No middle ground. Half the interviewers didn't seem to want to be there. Thought I did kind of okayish in three, badly in one. Very hard to tell over all, but I was pretty sure I wasn't getting an offer.
    Day 57 — Within three minutes of each other, emails from both R2 and R3, asking to talk over the phone. I sort out the disorganization, get a call from R3, and am informed I will not be moving on. The only feedback I can get is that my "coding" is lacking, which doesn't make much sense to me.
    Day 58 — On to other companies.
    (Day 73 — Still no reimbursement of expenses...)

    Interview Questions


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