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Google Interview Questions

Updated Mar 3, 2015
Updated Mar 3, 2015
3,817 Interview Reviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1. 362 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. 220 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. 63 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. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    There are 3 phone calls, each for about 45 min, which are made in the same day. All three phone calls are very technical. One question on system design, one on data structure, and one on algorithm. Google docs is used to write code. The reviewer will ask you write some tests and intentionally leave sth unspecified.

    Interview Questions
    • Implement a data structure to support dynamic insertion, deletion of intervals. Overlapping intervals should be merged.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 8 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    I only had two phone interviews. First one was fairly easy: What is the time complexity of quick sort? Inserting into a binary tree? The second one was a coding problem.

    Interview Questions
    • You are given an n by n array filled with '0's, and you have to set randomly X number of '1's in that array. Looping and generating x random number doesn't work as you might get the same random number (especially as X gets closer to n*n, collisions will become more likely in which case you'll loop for a very long time before filling all the '1's). All positions must have the same probability to get selected, and the array might be huge.   View Answers (11)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Two round phone interview, the second one is kind of wired, I cannot hear the engineer clearly and he had heavy accent. Also he called very late, much later than the scheduling time. The two questions were not about data structure or algorithms. If you know the answer, you get it, if not, you are screwed (basically means there is no progress to the solution). I spend 30 minutes understand the first question, I told him to clarify again and again but he just told me that is all you have. I didn't know what should I do or what should I write. So after 30 minutes we skipped the first question. Overall the interviewer is not very good at English and remain silent most of time during interview, not so helpful.

    Interview Questions
    • Implement a function using two existing functions, but in the end I still didn't know what I know about these functions and what should I add. Second one is more like brain teaser. Questions were not about any hard algorithms or data structures, so I ranked easy; they are just tricky. I personally think the questions are not suitable for a software engineer position.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  8.  

    BOLD Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    First submitted an online application to the Careers website and then received an invitation for two 30 minute back to back Google+ Hangout interviews with employees in the department at Google.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    I received an email from a recruiter requesting a recent resume. I sent her the resume and she gave me some tips on how to improve it. I sent to her the updated resume and she scheduled a phone interview. I passed that one and she scheduled another phone interview, which I didn't pass.

    Interview Questions
    • They asked two standard CS questions on my first phone interview and a harder one on my second phone interview.
      1- dictionary manipulation / handling of duplicates
       
      View Answer
    • 2- Reverse linked list (first phone interview)   View Answer
    • 3- Non-standard game strategy question (second phone interview)   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through other source – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    We talked on the phone and we mostly talked about coding which I wasn't all to good with but I told them that I would brush up on it and work at the best of my ability

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Applied online and received an email about setting up two technical interviews which were back to back. Scheduled the interviews and received questions about data structures and algorithms in my chosen language. Heard back a week or so later they were not moving forward.

    Interview Questions
    • Questions about data structures and algorithms in my preferred language.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

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