Google Interview Questions

Updated Apr 13, 2015
Updated Apr 13, 2015
825 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (419)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in April 2014.

    Interview

    Direct onsite because I interviewed in the past and did well that time. From the time I sent my resume to interview day: 2 weeks. From interview day to offer over the phone: 2 weeks.

    The syllabus for the interviews is very clear and simple:
    1) Dynamic Programming
    2) Super recursion (permutation, combination,...2^n, m^n, n!...etc. type of program. (NP hard, NP programs)
    3) Probability related programs
    4) Graphs: BFS/DFS are usually enough
    5) All basic data structures from Arrays/Lists to circular queues, BSTs, Hash tables, B-Trees, and Red-Black trees, and all basic algorithms like sorting, binary search, median,...
    6) Problem solving ability at a level similar to TopCoder Division 1, 250 points. If you can consistently solve these, then you are almost sure to get in with 2-weeks brush up.
    7) Review all old interview questions in Glassdoor to get a feel. If you can solve 95% of them at home (including coding them up quickly and testing them out in a debugger + editor setup), you are in good shape.
    8) Practice coding--write often and write a lot. If you can think of a solution, you should be able to code it easily...without much thought.
    9) Very good to have for design interview: distributed systems knowledge and practical experience.
    10) Good understanding of basic discrete math, computer architecture, basic math.
    11) Coursera courses and assignments give a lot of what you need to know.
    12) Note that all the above except the first 2 are useful in "real life" programming too!

    Interview 1:
    Graph related question and super recursion

    Interview 2:
    Design discussion involving a distributed system with writes/reads going on at different sites in parallel.

    Interview 3:
    Array and Tree related questions

    Interview 4:
    Designing a simple class to do something. Not hard, but not easy either. You need to know basic data structures very well to consider different designs and trade-offs.

    Interview 5:
    Dynamic programming,
    Computer architecture and low level perf. enhancement question which requires knowledge of Trees, binary search, etc.

    At the end, I wasn't tired and rather enjoyed the discussions. I think the key was long term preparation and time spent doing topcoder for several years (on and off as I enjoy solving the problems).

    Conclusion: "It's not the best who win the race; it's the best prepared who win it."

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    You can and should negotiate politely. You are in a stronger position if you have another offer, but even otherwise, you should ask for more of every type of payment!

  2. Helpful (88)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

    Interview

    I had a recruiter contact so applied directly. The entire process took 3 months.

    Round1: HR
    Questions: Why Google, what do you bring to the table etc. Most people clear this. Honestly if you did not or cannot then consider another career

    Round2: Phone screen with a Senior Product Manager
    Very professional, punctual and courteous
    Questions: Resume review, projects, product I like and what I will change about it

    Round3: Onsite
    Interviewer 1 (I-1): Seasoned PM
    Questions: Took one project on my resume and discussed it for 45 minutes. Standard PM framework approach to answering questions

    I-2: Seasoned GPM from YouTube
    Questions: Market sizing, opportunity assessment, why Google, how will you improve product X

    I-3 Junior PM in Search and was previously at Microsoft
    Questions: Annoying as hell and the only value add was he/she corrected me that it's Orange is the new black. I said Orange is the new Red. Mid 20's, annoying and arrogant as hell. We discussed about Netflix model and what can be improved. He/She just kept on saying.. What else.. what else.. what else... I think he/she said that at least 30 times.

    I-4: Seasoned GPM
    Questions: None as it was lunch interview. General talk about soccer world cup, etc. Guy was jaded and I think waiting for his stocks to vest. Overall nothing much to report here

    I-5: HR
    I thought I was done but she asked me to stay back. Hopes up... LOL

    I-6: Seasoned PM from Identity Management team
    Questions: SSO, OAuth, improving checkout etc. Nothing crazy

    I-7: Engineer from YouTube
    Questions: Professional and very very nice. Asked me to design a load balancer using data structures. I told him I can write in VB or SQL. He said does not care about language. Wants to see how I use data structures

    I-8: Junior PM from Google+
    Questions: Mostly around improve X, improve Y. What non tech product I like? I told I love my Canon Mark III. Discussed it to death and since I know it in an out it was easy to talk about what I would love to change in it

    Overall, if you know frameworks you are good to go. They don't asking anything earth shattering.

    HR called in a week and said team loved you.. no questions there but felt that you would be a better fit elsewhere. I was offered a position in Google Tech Services as a Senior Manager. I am a Senior PM in a top company in the Bay area. It did not make sense for me to move into a Tech role. I declined and moved on.

    In hindsight I thank Google for saying no to me. I'm nearing 40. It does not make sense for me to hang out with 20 year olds PM's. There is only so much I have in common with them. I'm more of a PBS kind of guy. Orange could be the new Blue for all I care.

    Interview Questions

    • I have been a PM for over 5 years and in marketing and management consulting all my career. Nothing was unexpected. Irksome? yes. But then again I said to myself, a decade ago I was as arrogant as that 20+ kid.   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    Not a PM position but a position in Google Tech Services

  3. Helpful (238)  

    Associate Account Strategist Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5+ weeksinterviewed at Google in September 2013.

    Interview

    A little over 2 weeks after I submitted my application, I was contacted by a recruiter via e-mail. She asked if we could arrange a time to speak over the phone. We scheduled some time for later that week. During that initial phone screening we discussed my interest in the position, my current job, and established a deeper understanding of the role I was applying for.

    After about 25 minutes, the recruiter said she'd like to arrange a time for me to speak with someone else who was actually in a similar position to the Associate Account Strategist role. A few days later, this call took place. There were a lot of situational questions.

    - Tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge in the workplace
    - How have you improved a certain process at work?
    - Why Google?
    - Tell me about a time when you spoke with a dissatisfied client and what did you do to appease them?
    - Name 3 advantages of AdWords
    - Have you ever improved the efficiency of a process/task at work?

    Despite a lot of nerves, I got a call back and was asked to do an 'onsite' interview with 3 Googlers. I did this via a Google hangout since I was interviewing for a position in another country. Prior to the onsite interviews, the recruiter kindly walked me through how these interviews would be. She gave me lots of details including resources for how to prepare. They were right on point and helped to set a realistic expectation of what these interviews would entail.

    The first interview was with the manager of the team. She asked questions about AdWords/Google products and my familiarity with role relevant skills like data analysis and client interaction. Example Questions:

    -improvements you would make to your favourite Google product.
    -Experence pulling and analysing data.

    The second interview was with someone from another language team but in a similar role. She asked a lot of questions that started with, "Tell me about a time when..." or "Have you ever..." Example Questions:

    - What accomplishment are you most proud of?
    - A time when you took the initiative and led a project

    Final interview was with someone else on the team I was applying for. He was friendly and asked situational questions as well as questions related to my personal interests. Example questions:

    -What would you bring to the team?
    -Why this particular position?
    -How do you show creativity?

    Overall, everyone I interviewed with was very professional and kind. I liked that everyone was polite, approachable but also to the point. I spent a lot of time preparing and used the following resources:

    Glassdoor interview feedback
    Google jobs website
    Actual job posting description (read this many times so that I could have a firm understanding of the role)
    Recruiter--Make sure to ask questions if you're unsure of anything. The lady I worked with was great about letting me know what to expect. It was incredibly helpful in planning on how to prepare.

    Interview Questions

    • If Google decided to charge g-mail users, how would you recommend implementing this? Would it be sustainable and what would be the advantages and disadvantages?   8 Answers

    Negotiation

    Their offer was firm, no negotiations.

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  5. Helpful (14)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    I first had a phone screen interview. After this, I was asked to come onsite for further interviews. I had 4 whiteboard and 1 lunch interview with the Youtube team. After this, I was told that my application is going through the Hiring Committee.

    Hiring committee asked my HR to find a team for me before giving any decision. I then had two phone interviews with different teams in Android. I informed my HR that I am interested in the first team. Next day, HR emailed me and said that this team no longer has an open position. I again went through the same process. This time, platform team was interested in talking to me. I gave 2 phone interviews wherein they made me write code. After their feedback, I was put through the Hiring committee again and this time I got a thumbs up from them. 1 week after that I was put through executive committee and got my offer.

    I had 7 other offers and my HR asked me about all of them before putting me through executive review. They gave me more than any other company I had offer from.

  6. Helpful (10)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

    Interview

    2 Hangout interviews. First, DS question (sliding window) and second, couple of Java and OO questions. Interviewers were very helpful and caring. They also asked about the projects I did in the past. Overall, very positive experience!

    Interview Questions

  7.  

    Sales Coordinator Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google (San Jose, CA).

    Interview

    The interview was via phone, so it was only a phone screening.
    The questions were easy and very straight forward. Talked briefly regarding the position and expectations. Nothing was unexpected. Honestly thought it was too easy that they'd put me off but they offered on site interview. Everything was just smooth sailing.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about yourself.
      How would you go about talking to business owners about Google product?
       
      Answer Question
  8.  

    Intern Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    I Applied online through their website. heard back from them in 1 week (or 2), which was quite surprising. the guy who schedules my interviews was very nice and answered all my questions regarding the interviews. I had 3 phone interviews each with a different Googler. the first two were really good and the interviewers helped me to get the correct answers and were quite nice and patient. the third one was not so good though as I had difficulty understanding the guy (he had a very strong accent).

    Interview Questions

    • no can do. The questions were quite straightforward though, just need to know how to code in C++ and have a bit of experience in solving routine questions (like string proccesing).   Answer Question
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    phone interview recruter found my resume in Hackthon resume bank and sent me an email.interviewer is nice but we had a bad signal and its really hard to hear clearly.

    Interview Questions

    • given a string write a function to return the index of the first elememt which is non-alphabat ordered   4 Answers
  10.  

    Software Engineer In Research Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Three 45-minute technical interviews + host match interviews. I had several host match interviews and one (but not the first) of them is very interesting. So it is better to wait and choose a job which is interesting instead of committing early.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (1)  

    Counsel Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).

    Interview

    At Google I was able to tell if I was going to get the job or not based on how long the process took. I say this because I was interviewed twice by Google 3 and a half months apart- both times a recruiter reached out to me to apply.

    The first time, I was interviewed over a 6-7 week period. I had an initial screen with a recruiter, then a follow-up screen with a recruiter (they asked about my undergrad GPA, in addition to asking about my job history!) and then had an in-person Mountain View interview where I met with 5 people, some of them via video conference (which I had never done before and it felt weird then - now it's so natural). Then the next week I had a phone interview with a guy who was the head of a parallel group that my group would be working with. He called me 1/2 hour late, was rushed, apologized profusely, and while I felt good about that phone interview, I felt it would have been far better in person and the phone guy seemed rushed and didn't have it all together - I had a feeling he might be a bit biased against me because he felt chagrined about being late and he associated that discomfiture feeling to my interview. After that final interview I didn't hear back for two weeks so I suspected maybe I didn't get the job. And no, I didn't get the job. But it was a really successful set of interviews overall and I had a good feeling about it throughout the process. I was sad when I didn't get the offer, but I was working somewhere I really liked already, and was just flattered that Google had reached out at all. At least their call made me put together a resume, something I hadn't done in some years.

    The second time I was interviewed, the same recruiter called back 3 months later, and said the group that had really liked me the first time but had given the job to someone else really wanted me to apply for this position again and would I consider interviewing for the same position but now it was in a different group and I'd have to interview with different people. I said sure. That time around, I again had another phone interview (after the initial phone consult), then another day of interviews with 6 people. I again felt good about the interview -the difference is this time I got an offer within a few days of the final interview. Yay!

    It's amazing how much validation even getting an interview with Google gives you internally (how you view yourself I mean) - to get the job offer was something beyond my wildest dreams.

    Now that I'm at Google, I really love my job. It took some time to get to know my job well, especially that first year, and the legal department can sometimes seem a little cliquely when you first join it but that will go away with time (there are people who have worked together for years there and it's hard to break in sometimes)- but I don't think there is another workplace that comes close to it in terms of how it looks out for its employees, and in terms of the intellectual challenges that my job gives me, and I highly recommend it.

    Interview Questions

    • I don't remember the interview questions at all - and these differed anyway depending on whether you're seeking a product counsel or commercial counsel position.

      But I would encourage you to be yourself, don't worry about dressing to fit in, just wear what makes you comfortable (since that is going to help you think better anyway), and answer questions thoughtfully.
       
      Answer Question

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