Google Engineering Manager Interview Questions

Updated Sep 22, 2014
Updated Sep 22, 2014
11 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Engineering Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    A recruiter reached out to me via LinkedIn - Apparently somebody I used to work with is now at Google and recommended me to the hiring committee. After initial phone screen with the recruiter, I realized the class of questions was going to be quite high, so I started hitting the books before the phone interview. Really, this was the most stressful part - you've got a week or two to refresh your knowledge on algorithms and data structures along with potential interview questions - that's a really wide range to cram for.

    Phone interview went ok (read: "just ok"). One programming question and a few low-level OS questions. My one suggestion to interviewees would be to not just study algorithms/data structures, but UNIX internals as well.

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Engineering Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Google in April 2013.

    Interview Details

    Very dysfunctional, took weeks to actually get an interview and then it seemed that their HR department had no idea what was happening, lots of turn over or responsibility shifts

    Interview Questions
    • An esoteric question about the internal rendering engine of Chrome. This job had nothing to do with chrome of html rendering, it was a server role.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Engineering Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Google in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    Got contacted by a recruiter for an EM role. Setup a 30 phone screen with the hiring manager. It was a general conversation about my background etc. No technical questions. Got inviited to a full day onsite. The onsite started with a 30 minute meeting with the recruiter during which he gave me the list of interviewers and told me about their backgrounds. This was followed by lunch with the hiring manager. The lunch conversation was very informal -- generally talking about Google, the challenges in their teams etc.
    After lunch the ":real" interview started with a project manager, the hiring managers manager, 2 developers from the team and one developer from an other group. Got asked a mix of management/technical questions. One of the developers and the project manager were pretty arrogant and seemed like they didn't want to be there. The other guys were great! After the interview, got a call back from the recruiter to get feedback about the interview process. A week later, got a call from the recruiter telling me that they were not going to make me an offer.

    Some of the questions that I remember:

    - Design an in memory cache for webpages.
    - Given a pattern and a string, write a function to determine if the string matches the pattern.
    - How do you deal with low performers? High performers?
    - Describe how you deal with change management.
    - Describe in detail a project that failed.
    - Describe a project in the past that was behind schedule. Provide concrete to steps that you took to remedy the siuation.
    - Design a distributed id generation system.

    Interview Questions
    • They were standard interview questions -- nothing really unexpected.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Engineering Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a dayinterviewed at Google in February 2012.

    Interview Details

    R&D Leadership experience - went well
    R&D experience - went well
    product management experience - went well
    program management experience - went well
    technical question: hmmm, provided a time efficient answer, but not the most space efficient answer

    Interview Questions
    • Why are you an effective R&D leader? How do you handle people who are not team players?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Engineering Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Google in March 2010.

    Interview Details

    I was interviewing for an Engineering Manager position but what be came quite clear early on was that Google thinks that a manager is a technical lead. The interview was very challenging as I was prepared to discuss items like resource allocation, mentoring, schedule estimating, and other things that managers tend to do. The questions I was asked were purely technical and even included a coding exercise. While I read a great deal of code in my job, I do not write much. Needless to say, the interview did not go well especially when I confronted my interviewer on this discrepancy.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Engineering Project Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Google in January 2010.

    Interview Details

    I applied for the job on Google Jobs, it is a particular niche field. I received an email from a Google recruiter, followed by a phone interview with the recruiter, then a couple of days later a phone interview with the hiring manager, then a week or so later a phone interview with someone else on the team. This individual could not speak English well enough for me to understand him. Afterward I contacted the recruiter for feedback and they promised to get back to me, but I never heard from them again. All the interview questions were pertinent to the specific position, no trick questions whatsoever. It would have been sporting to have gotten a call or email from the recruiter.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Engineering Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Google in December 2009.

    Interview Details

    Landed interview with friend's referral. Waived phone interview, and called me for on-site interview. Basic programming and algorithm questions -- read CLR, and Bentley Programming Pearls books. Interviewers follow a formula, and use little imagination., want to know little about the background of applicant. No sense of manager/group who you will work with.

    Interview Questions
    • Fastest way to count number of bits in a 32-bit or 64-bit integer.   View Answer
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Google.com Engineering Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Google in August 2008.

    Interview Details

    I was first contacted with a recruiter. She went through a basic (to my mind) skills test as a sort of front-end filter to make sure that my qualifications really were in line with what was being looked for. This was done over the phone. After this, an actual phone interview was scheduled with an engineer.

    The phone interview got very technical, very quickly, with the interviewer feeding me many scenarios relevant to Google's situation as a provider of massively distributed services. He was not looking for me to guess how they did it or give any particular "correct" answer, but was looking to see how I arrived at *workable* answers. I liked this approach.

    I was then flown out to the Googleplex for a one-day, all-day interview with about 6 different people, each of whom got about an hour of my time, with a lunch hour in the middle. The interviews covered algorithms, software engineering, project management, team management, and so on. All of them were, in their own way, quite technical, and all of them focused heavily on questions that posed a problem and asked you to solve it. Again, they were looking for *how* you solved problems as much as for solutions themselves.

    I'd read many interviews of this process ahead of time, so I knew pretty much to expect all of this. I was glad I had done so, however. Some past reviewers had really not expected this sort of academic-oral-exam style of interview, and didn't like it much at all. I was fine with it, despite the outcome, because I knew it was coming and because I actually liked the approach.

    In the end, I was not hired. I was not told exactly why not, only that the group of people who had interviewed me had chosen not to proceed. My speculation is that either I did not have enough actual management experience in my background for what they were looking for, or that one or more of the interviewers simply didn't think I was up to the job. I bear no grudges, as I knew the job was a bit of a stretch for me. It would have been cool to get, but as it is, I got a glimpse into one of the cooler companies making things happen on the web.

    Interview Questions
    • You're the captain of a pirate ship, and your crew gets to vote on how the gold is divided up. If fewer than half of the pirates agree with you, you die. How do you recommend apportioning the gold in such a way that you get a good share of the booty, but still survive?   View Answers (4)
    • Implement the a program that works like "tail".   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Engineering Manager/Director, Site Reliability Engineering Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Google in September 2013.

    Interview Details

    Back in 2007 I was approached to interview at Google and went through about 20 phone interviews and was flown quarter of the way around the planet for a day of interviews, but in the end there was no offer.

    In early 2012 they contacted me again, but my wife had just been diagnosed with breast cancer so I told them no.

    In July 2013 I was contacted again as "you've previously interviewed" and would I like to attend an "SRE Classroom" event in Dublin.

    I said yes, at which point they pulled a "bait and switch" and I got passed over to a recruiter who would arrange a phone interview to check my technical skills - in this case it was "Java Coding", which had not been previously assessed because I only started learning Java in 2010.

    Unfortunately I was unable to do the interview as I was travelling and the hotel internet failed just when I needed it most. It was rescheduled for a couple of weeks later when I was back home.

    Even more unfortunately, after I passed the coding interview there was only about 4 days to arrange travel halfway around the world, so I didn't make it to the "SRE Classroom" event after all. Later in the month I was travelling to Prague anyway though, so I extended that trip to Europe and allowed Google to fly me to Dublin from Prague for a day of interviews.

    Then the day of interviews:
     1x Project management (Focused on a scenario)
     1x Troubleshooting and Problem Solving
     1x Practical Coding in (Java)
     1x Lunch with a Google SRE Engineer
     1x Non Abstract Large System Design
     1x Leadership and Past Work Experience

    I also mentioned to the recruiter that I had a very good friend who worked for Google, previously in Dublin and now in New York. The recruiter asked me to get my friend to chime in with his opinions on the process - it turns out his recommendation was probably the clincher.

    I returned home and a few weeks later the process proceeded to the hiring committee. They declared one of the interviews a write-off, and that there would need to be a repeat (Large Systems Design) which occurred over the telephone. I think I nailed it that time, and the hiring committee approved things.

    I then needed to provide a bunch of information, including anticipated availability, expected salary, current remuneration, references from two people who had managed me previously, ...

    A week later they made an offer.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    I was required to set an expectation before they made an offer, and also to describe my current income in detail. When the offer came it was higher than my expectation, but I did further negotiate some aspects of health care to ensure we would be covered to 100% the equivalent of a government run health system.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11.  

    Engineering General Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google in September 2011.

    Interview Details

    The process was long and arduous. Lots of random questions that in the end didn't matter how I answered them since they wouldn't affect my day to day job. It felt more like a quiz rather a real interview that would measure my effectiveness.

    Interview Questions
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

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