Google Interview Questions

Updated Mar 25, 2015
Updated Mar 25, 2015
3,912 Interview Reviews

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  1. 387 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer 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 4 weeksinterviewed at Google in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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!
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 232 people found this helpful  

    Associate Account Strategist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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?   View Answers (7)
    Negotiation Details
    Their offer was firm, no negotiations.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 72 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    I participated in two phone interviews. I did not clear the second phone interview so I can't speak for the rest of the interview process. Each phone interview is accompanied with a google doc where you type in your code. In the first phone interview, I was asked to give an introduction of myself, then the interviewer asked me two technical questions. In the second phone interview, I was asked two technical questions. In three of the four questions I was asked to walk them through some test cases after writing the code.

    Interview Questions
    • Implement a class that can calculate the running average of a stream of input numbers up to a maximum of N numbers.   View Answers (5)
    • Implement string rotateString(string input, int amt)   View Answers (4)
    • Implement int strncmp(const char* s1, const char* s2, int n)   Answer Question
    • Implement a function that takes the set-wise subtraction of two sorted sets of integers. ie A = {1, 2, 3}, B = {3, 4, 5} => A - B = {1, 2}. There can be duplicates, in which case all duplicates should be removed should there be an occurrence in B. IE: {1, 2, 3, 3, 3} - {2, 3} = {1}.   View Answers (3)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    It took really long time, I went through 4 rounds interview. At last, they said they prepared to give me the offer, however, they needed one more round interview. The very last interview also went through smoothly. I completed every questions during interview. The interviewer also gave the positive feedback. But after two days waiting, they stopped my process. I really didn't get why this happened. If my performance was bad, I would feel better. But I solved every questions they give. It was a little bit unfair. I couldn't remind anything I did wrong. Really want to know why. Also they said I need to wait 12 month for reapply.

    Interview Questions
    • Some questions about deal with array. recursive, efficiency,   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  7.  

    Technical Writer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Bruno, CA
    Anonymous Employee in San Bruno, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Long, long, long 4 to 5-month process. I passed the initial recruiter screening with flying colors and then sent in some writing samples. Weeks and weeks go by with the recruiter being nice enough to check in with me, but still waiting. Finally, yes, I qualify for a phone interview with another writer. Takes a week or so to set that up, but that goes well, too.

    I'm asked to fly in for an in-person interview loop--the tech typical 4 to 5 people in 3 to 4 hours. The trip gets scheduled, but then pushed out for 2 months. I get a phone call 2 weeks prior and the position is no longer available. But they still want to interview me...wait for it...for Google. Well, okay, if this is how you do things, as I'm told it is by the recruiter. Maybe I can just "pick" my job then. Ha, ha. No.

    I then fly out, talk to 5 busy, uninterested people that don't really want to interview me in the first place, especially since there is no job, say thank you, and then fly back. I don't hear anything for another week. I check in and the recruiter says Google is not moving forward. No feedback other than the interviewers think I might make a good project manager.

    When I ask if I can apply again if anything opens up, I'm told that Google likes to wait 12-18 months before reconsidering candidates. What?!? But I didn't even interview for an open position? Can I get a refund on my time and stress? Search me.

    Interview Questions
    • Explain to me the scale of copywriter to technical writer.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Interaction Designer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Out of all the large tech companies I was applying for, Google was probably the one I was most interested in. It was overall an underwhelming experience. From the get go, there was a lack of organization in the initial recruiting efforts and some basic mistakes were made by the recruitment team in coordination. Once things got on their way I was screened by hiring managers and then scheduled for a phone interview with a senior designer. The conversation included your typical design questions and on-the-spot analysis, but somehow felt far less genuine or personal than any other interview I encountered, and left me with a bitter taste in my mouth about the bureaucratic nature of the company some employees speak of. I was glad I didn't need to waste any extra time with more steps interviewing.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    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.

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    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   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  11.  

    Site Reliability Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Referred by employee, had a quick tech screen with a recruiter and then a more in depth interview with an SRE. Didn't make it past the second call. Overall the experience was good.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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