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Google Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 22, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

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Interview Experience 

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19%

Interview Difficulty 

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89 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Google in September 2013.

Interview Details – Round 1:

1. Explain and Write KnapSack Algo with Memorization
2. Given a undirected graph, clone it. Now if the undirected graph has the neighbors with the nodes as same data - how do you make sure you create the exact same branches and also how do you make sure you don't run into loops for the exact node. He gave a empty directed graph and asked me write code after that.
3. Given two Btrees. these trees "may" have right and left branches swapped. Now compare it.

Round 2:
1. Given a N different open and close braces in a string "( { [ } ] )". How do you check whether the string has matching braces.
2. Given a unsorted array. Create a balanced BTREE
3. Print a tree like (Parent ( leftchild (leftchild, rightchild), rightchild(leftchild,rightchild) ) )

Round 3:
Given a kernal code in "0"th machine. How soon you can replicate the kernal across N machines. Now if the machines has upload and download bandwidth constraints, how can you impove the copy time.

Round 4:
1. Design Short URL.
2. Given a List with duplicate Strings, how do you remove duplicate Strings

Round 5:
1. How do you design a Maze and what kind of data structures you use for Maze.
2. Now print the shorted path from start to end point.

Interview Question – For future applicants, you need to get all rounds straight. I kind of flunked 3rd round.   View Answers (5)

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72 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Account Strategist Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed 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 Question – 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 (2)

Negotiation Details – Their offer was firm, no negotiations.

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10 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
Los Angeles, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 7 weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – I was first contacted by a recruiter. He emailed me out of the blue, and said he really liked my github profile.

Honestly, at first, I didn't believe it was real. We emailed back and forth a few times, but I wasn't really looking to moving to the Bay Area, so I never actually sent in my CV.

About a month goes by, and he emails me back. He just wanted to follow up. Said that he never received the resume, and hoped I would get back in touch. So I told him about my situation, and he mentioned that they had an LA office. This was news to me, and much closer to home. So I sent in my resume, and he connected me to a recruiter who was closer to me.

All in all, I talked with about 4 different people in recruiting. All of them were incredibly nice and helpful. My first "interview" was with the second recruiter. It was really just getting to know me, what my interests were, and trying to get a feel for my fit with the company.

After that interview, we scheduled a technical phone interview. Gave me to weeks to study up. Lots of review material was sent my way, which was awesome. Ended up reading my algorithms text book again, it was quite a nice read, but I don't believe I would have done poorly on the phone interview, even had I not read it. The tips/references they sent to me were extremely helpful. They sent me Titles/Authors of some amazing books, I recommend reading them even if you aren't interviewing with Google.

After passing the phone interview, we had an on-site scheduled about a week later. This was much harder than the phone interview. I get the idea that the phone was just to weed out the weaker candidates. The on-site consisted of 5 one-on-one interviews, plus one lunch "interview" where I was able to ask all of my questions. All of them were about 45 minutes each.

Every interviewer I talked to was very interesting, and we always had something in common to talk about. The questions were all very interesting problems. There was one point in one of the questions where one of the interviewers put a star next to a line I wrote to remind him to go back and follow up on a comment I made that sounded interesting. I enjoyed the interviews, because it felt like I was back in college, talking to my peers about fascinating problems.

There were one or two interviews that I feel I didn't do so hot on. I only managed to get through one of the questions on two of the interviews. However, I figured they really just wanted to see how I approached the problems, so I made sure to explain myself very thoroughly.

Interview Question – I can't go into details about the problems. But I wish I had studied my graph algorithms a little more closely.

Make sure you know your big-O algorithm classifications. Almost every interviewer asked me something to do with that.
  View Answers (2)

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3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – First, a person will contact you to arrange time for the interview. For internship, I have two 1-hour phone interviews in the same day. It'd better to have at least 2 weeks to prepare after you get the contact from Google. Also the phone signal might be bad so be prepared to have alternative way to contact. The first question is about bitwise operation. Study from Cracking the Interviews might help.

Interview Question – Design a class where you can add elements, and return the mean of the latest N elements.   View Answer

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Bruno, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – 4 rounds technical interviews plus lunch.
They are very nice and almost agree with you on everything. When your write the code on the board they always say "great", "perfect"... I think this is the trap. They make me less nervous which is great but I also started thinking that the problems are not hard and I can definitely get the job. Here is when things goes wrong.

Interview Question – How to protect data when you transfer it online. e.g. You need to submit your username and password from your client to the server and there is people who is listening to the information.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – Contacted by recruiter through LinkedIn. Phone screen scheduled with recruiter about a week later where we covered my work history, and discussed particular areas of Google that might be of interest. Scheduled a phone interview that occurred about 2 weeks later. During phone interview we covered my background and work history, then was asked two questions. First was estimating, second was brainstorming for NPD.

Interview Question – Estimate the required bandwidth for a college campus.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
New York, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Google in April 2014.

Interview Details – Was introduced to a few positions through a friend that works at Google. Was contacted by HR to schedule a phone interview. Interviewer called a few minutes late and we started the interview right away. He was a PM from China, working at Google for 4 years already. He asked me what Google three google products do i like. When i said one of them was gmail, he asked me to say what i like about it. Then, when i said the free aspect and the large storage amount, he asked me how can i estimate the amount of gmail users in the world. Further questions were on which features would i add to gmail.

Interview Question – Nothing much, they just want to see how your way of thinking is   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Product Manager Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – Good experiemce

Interview Question – Concentrate on the topics sent by the HR in the email   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

SMB Service Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – First round with recruiter was straight forward resume and experience explanation. Second round was with an SMB manager and an associate separately over the phone. Asked question like how I would handle an impatient customer or a fight between team members.

Interview Question – Name 3 things you're most proud of accomplishing during your collegiate career.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2014.

Interview Details – I applied online at the Google jobs website. I was contacted by a recruiter and was invited to do a back to back interviews at Google. I initially had a phone conversation with the recruiter about the Google interview process. I heard back from the recruiter about a week after the back to back interview.

Interview Question – Build a pseudorandom maze. Write a method to deep copy a graph. Given an n x n matrix of numbers, how do I find a number?   Answer Question

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