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Google Software Development Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 16, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

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Interview Experience  

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Interview Difficulty  

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Cambridge, MA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in November 2012.

Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter from Google over a year ago when I wasn't in the job market. This year, when I entered the job market, I got back in touch with him, and he set things up for me.
Since I work right next to the Google office in Cambridge, they skipped phone interviews and I was invited for an onsite interview directly. There were five technical interviews that covered coding, algorithm design and analysis, software design, and system design

Interview Question – My most difficult question was on system design. I have been in academia until now, and so thinking about enterprise-style system-design and scalability issues was very difficult for me.   Answer Question


No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Mountain View, CA

The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2012.

Interview Details – Phone interview included using Google Docs as an electronic white board, on which I had to write a JavaScript function and some pseudo code for a simple algorithm. That went well.
The on site interview was the opposite, except for the nice HR person who sounded supportive and encouraging. She reminded me to talk about order of complexity for each piece of code. There were six interviews, 45 minutes each.
First interview, I was asked to write a recusive function to print all the possible words from the characters the user just typed. It was simple enough, but I missed one step and did not have enough time to recover.
The second interview was another programming exercise and I nailed it.
The third was more about doing dynamic layouts using CSS and how different browsers render them.
The fourth interviewer was suppose to be the hiring manager. He took me to the cafeteria to get food and led me to our meeting room, which was hijacked by another group. We found another room which was half filled with broken furniture, not very appetizing. To top it off, he was busy looking at his cell phone and told me to just eat! I ate quickly and tried to engage him in a conversion, but was not very successful.
The fifth person told me he was a substitute, cause his boss was pulled off at the last minute. Obviously he was not prepared so he spent all the time asking me how to improve web page performance, which was his specialty so there was no way I could impress him.
I was so discouraged by this time that I just wanted to go home.

Interview Question – Browsers running javascript is single threaded, how can we make AJAX calls in the backgroung?   View Answers (2)


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Chantilly, VA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Google in September 2011.

Interview Details – Professional, four people interviewed, very professional, and as expected whole process went smooth

Interview Question – Why do you want to work with this company   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Google in September 2011.

Interview Details – I met the company's representative on campus and applied through their website and I received an email soon after asking me to select my preferences for the on-campus interview. The interview was tough, but if someone is thorough with the topics and has practiced quite a few problems then it should be manageable.

Interview Question – Given a a new dictionary of words in English alphabets but the ordering of the alphabets are not necessarily as the English alphabets, that is, say c comes a in the new alphabet series. Hence, the dictionary would also contain words in a different ordering than the usual dictionary. If you are given enough words in this new dictionary so that you can find enough relationships between the new series, find the new series.   View Answer


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Cambridge, MA

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in December 2010.

Interview Details – Had a pre screening phone interview with the HR who described the different teams working the Cambridge office, then had a technical phone interview with one of the developers in the team. Finally I was called in for a full day of technical interviews.

Interview Question – How would you design and develop a URL shorting service   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
New York, NY

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Google in July 2011.

Interview Details – 2 Initial Phone Interviews followed by 3 day schedule of on-site interviews with interview on 1 day at the Port Authority of New York office.

Interview Questions

Reason for Declining – Salary


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Mountain View, CA

The process took 2 days - interviewed at Google in June 2010.

Interview Details – 2 phone interviews (one with programming questions) followed by an on-site interview with 6 different folks.
These interviews mostly consisted of problem solving (math or programming, some algorithm understanding, etc.). Lunch was good. Apparently I scored really well on the interview, but they declined to make me an offer because there were no relevant openings at that time. Then why bother interviewing me???

Interview Questions

  • How would you analyze a video clip to determine if it was shot by an amateur or a professional?   View Answer
  • Find the optimal map route between two points on a grid (maze) with some areas blocked out.   View Answers (3)


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2010.

Interview Details – Sent a mail to Google recruiter who was prompt to call me. After initial screening, she setup a phone screen with someone in engineering team. At the last moment, the person who was supposed to interview was not available and someone else called me.
Questions were fairly straight forward.

What happens when you type www.google.com in your browser?
What are the things part of HTTP request?
How are headers and body seperated in a HTTP request?

Given a URL which has url-encoded name-values and a variable, return the value for it.
Now modify the function to handle when the name appears multiple times.

Interview Questions

  • What happens when you type www.google.com in your browser?   View Answers (2)
  • What are the things part of HTTP request?   Answer Question
  • How are headers and body seperated in a HTTP request?   Answer Question
  • Write a function for -- Given a URL which has url-encoded name-values and a variable, return the value for it.
    Now modify the function to handle when the name appears multiple times.
      Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at Google in February 2010.

Interview Details – I had 1 technical screen with a Sr developer at Google. First 30 minutes were discussing software development methodologies, which went well. Second half was spent doing technical design over the phone. Mainly it was a discussion of how to solve problems and what data structures I'd use. I didn't think the questions were very difficult, and I'm pretty sure my solutions were correct, but I guess I didn't do well enough because I was told I wasn't a fit.

Interview Question – Describe an in-order binary search tree traversal.   View Answer


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Google in February 2010.

Interview Details – Was great Phone interview, really liked the interviewer - In person interview was not very impressive. If only they could stress on what exactly they were looking in my skills vs. keep on agreeing with me with what I was talking that would be helpful.

Interview Question – Really can not disclose any questions due to NDA. But a hint! Heap DataStructure is more important than most of us think of!   Answer Question

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