Google System Administrative Interview Questions

Updated Mar 16, 2015
Updated Mar 16, 2015
14 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through other source – interviewed at Google in March 2015.

    Interview Details

    Asked memory regurgitation questions of things that would generally be looked up if needed. I guess this is an improvement from asking riddles, but not by much. Would have loved to talk about projects I had completed or answered any actual technical problem solving questions related to the job, but instead was asked to recite Jeopardy-style facts about networking back at them.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    Contacted by a recruiter, did a screen, then a technical screen and then a day of onsite interviews.

    The phone screens were about Linux system internals (syscalls, inodes, etc) and the technical screen was about more Linux stuff and some Python questions, very basic.

    There were 4 onsite interviews each about 45 minutes long, and a lunch somewhere in the middle.

    This was for a fairly new team and I got the feeling that some of the interviewers were still sort of getting settled in their roles, but everyone was super friendly and had a very positive attitude about the company and their role. Also the free food is pretty good :)

    After the day of interviews I gave myself a 80% success rate on my answers to the questions I was asked (after looking up the answers when I got home), and about a week later I was given the rejection letter, but they encouraged to try again in the future. It was a great learning experience :)

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Kirkland, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Kirkland, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Google in November 2013.

    Interview Details

    I was referred in by an external recruiting firm. A week or so later, they informed me that Google wanted me to come in for an approximately 4-hour interview. The position was in Washington, within a lab-like group which may be inappropriate to specify here. It would have drawn on background experience in combined areas of system, network and security administration.

    The interview consisted of three one-on-one interviews with potential team-mates, with lead-in and follow-up conversations with the hiring manager. As far as one can tell in that sort of time-frame, all of them seemed like they'd be great to work with (or for). The interview spanned lunch, and four of us ate in one of the on-site (free) cafeterias. The discernible corporate culture at that location included some fairly open floor-plans with various motifs and/or amenities seemingly aimed at stimulating creative minds.

    Though they opted not to bring me on board, I'd certainly apply again if another position in that group opened up in the future and if I'd gained relevant experience in the meantime.

    From notification of interview to notification of "non-selection", the entire process took exactly three weeks.

    Interview Questions
    • A great question that I simply went brain-dead on involved ball-parking the transfer rate on a specific category of network traffic traversing a relevant path.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    Phone screen is as far as I got.

    Interview Questions
    • Wanted detailed description of smtp commands, not just the basic helo, rcpt stuff.   Answer Question
    No Offer
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Application Details

    The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Google in June 2011.

    Interview Details

    I had three phone interviews. The first one which consisted of general skills to allow me into phase two. It was basic questions, but very computer science oriented. The questions had zero basis for any job I can think of, however, it was stuff covered in a basic computer science curriculum. Such has network topology, TCP/UDP uses, what the sticky bit is used for. After a few days I get an email from the recruiter (Google's own in California) emailed me asking when I will call him. I stated we spoke already so he apologized, called me back, and asked me a second set of six questions.

    These were all Linux based (with one or two networking again). This set was actually much easier (still CS based questions one might see in a theory test). Afterwords, he once again said, you qualify for the second round, then he scheduled a phone call with an actual Google Engineer who asked me basic IT related questions.

    Actually, since I had no idea what position I was being a candidate for, so he asked general questions. He seemed to be really interested in printing problems. Like really interrogating me asking how to diagnose it, what actions I take, then said assume it works for all but one, then none, just a variety of scenarios all regarding printers. I kept focusing more on the Linux aspects, but he seemed to be rather satisfied.

    While they didn't ask me to meet them in person (it seems to me there was no actual position available), they said they will call me back in six months.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe how you would diagnose and repair a printing problem?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Senior Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Google in August 2010.

    Interview Details

    The interview process was pretty straightforward and I enjoyed meeting with everyone. Everyone was friendly and professional and treated me respectfully. I passed the 1:1 onsite and then even passed the notorious hiring committee only to get shot down later without a good reason. Recruiter seemed to know the reason but was unable or unwilling to share.

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

    Senior Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at Google in July 2010.

    Interview Details

    Well... it was... how do I say this... it was a no sense interview... briefly we talked about my background and what the position was about, after this the recruiter ask me 4 questions. I only answered one right. The questions were related to the LS command, the Kill command, the /etc/passwd file and the Sticky Bit... bear in mind, it looks easy I use those commands everyday... but you better memorize the whole manual pages and all the different variables to actually get a correct answer and a real interview with a real Engineer!!! well... I'm guessing that I'll do this again later and see how it goes... maybe I'm not cut to work at Google who knows...

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Systems Administration Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Google in January 2010.

    Interview Details

    The process consistent of two phone interviews and an offline skills test. The first phone interview was clearly conducted by a recruiter not a technical person who was basically checking off bullet points from a list to ensure that I "met the requirements" (each requirement being a three letter acronym, preceded by the words, "have you ever used...?" FTP, DNS, etc. and followed by "Please rate your expertise with..." SSL, SQL, etc. "on a scale of one to five".

    Then I was emailed a bunch of MySQL database questions, all of which I knew the answers to, and mailed back.

    Then I had a second interview with a more clued database developer in Californina (The position is here in NYC) who reviewed my test answers with me (to be sure I actually understood the material, and didnt just, well -- heheh -- google the answers (get it? it's a google interview? i kill me) :-) ). He kept asking me about my (lack of) a college degree, despite the job reqs stating that a degree was not required, and he was obviously looking down at me for not having one, asking questions like, "why didn't you complete your bachelors", "do you think not having a degree is holding you back in your career" and "do you plan to go back to school and get a degree in the near future?".

    He said I would be contacted for a third interview, but later I received an email saying that the position had been filled, and thanking me for my interest, yadda, yadda, yadda :-(

    Whatever. Edu-snobs :-)

    Interview Questions
    • There were some very obscure MySQL questions on the written skills test, asking about mysql-specific auto-increment SQL syntax and update commands with joins.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Google in March 2008.

    Interview Details

    Three phone interviews, the first was non-technical, just a recruiter checking off bullet-point requirements. The second was a long q & a about my past experience, and the third a few dozen very technical questions. I guess I flunked...

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Perth, Western Australia (Australia)
    Anonymous Employee in Perth, Western Australia (Australia)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at Google in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    After i applied online for junior sysadmin, i received an email from a hiring manager asking for a suitable time to arrange a techinical pre screen. The person forgot to call the first time, and i emailed him again to remind and reschedule it for the next day. As we were in different time zones, i agreed to an interview in the early hours of the morning, which was a big mistake.

    On receiving the call, a short introduction followed by a series of technical questions which i was totally unprepared for. Add early morning dizziness to the equation and needless to say, it was a total failure of an interview.

    Maybe it was my mistake but i didn't expect it to be that "Technical" and way above the level of a junior.

    Interview Questions
    • Something on the "awk" command arguments   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

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