Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Google
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Helpful (1)No OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 6 weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in October 2014.
I found a position listed on the Google web site that looked like a perfect fit given that it was very similar to my existing position. I proceeded to apply via the web site, and a recruiter reached out to me. I was quizzed on various topics and eventually moved to the next step -- a phone screen. The phone screen went well, and a few more weeks passed before I received a request for an in-person interview. The in-person interview was several hours long, and I had the opportunity to meet with various senior ranking individuals as well as a technical engineer who asked me the critical problem-solving question. I am confident that the question was answered correctly. Despite hearing positive results for a majority of the interviewers, I did not get an offer. The position has been up for 8 months since I first saw it and is still there today as I write this review. The position may have been up even longer before I found it. In other companies if you leave a requisition open this long, you lose the req because you can function so long without it.
- The question was an algorithm question where the task was to find the optimum way to achieve the results. 1 Answer
Helpful (1)No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Google (San Francisco, CA).
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 OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in April 2013.
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
- 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. 1 Answer
Helpful (5)No OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in October 2012.
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.
- They were standard interview questions -- nothing really unexpected. Answer Question
- No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in February 2012.
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
- Why are you an effective R&D leader? How do you handle people who are not team players? Answer Question
Helpful (3)No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ week – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in March 2010.
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.
- I was asked a fairly involved Objective C question. Answer Question
- No OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in January 2010.
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.
Helpful (2)Declined OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 days – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in December 2009.
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.
- Fastest way to count number of bits in a 32-bit or 64-bit integer. 1 Answer
- No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Google in August 2008.
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.
- 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? 4 Answers
- Implement the a program that works like "tail". 1 Answer
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Google.
Very slow / complicated process. Well organized though but takes weeks if not months. You will get 5 phone interviews + calls with the HR following you between every calls. Then you go onsite for a day of interviews, mainly management skills, technical skills interviews. Interesting anyway, very good experience. After a week you get the results, if the HR is kind enough he will let you know why you've not been chosen for the role.
- How would you count the # of words in a text ? 2 Answers
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