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Google Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 28, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

34%
25%
24%

Interview Experience  

51%
28%
19%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
3,049 candidate interviews
in

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Patent Docketing Specialist Interview

Patent Docketing Specialist
Mountain View, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in September 2011.

Interview Details – I applied online and was interviewed on the phone twice. The first interview consisted of 1 question. The woman who interviewed me was 20 minutes late calling in and then was rude and short on the call. The second interview lasted about an hour. Again, the man interviewing was late calling in and VERY rude and short. The interview was very difficult and they make you feel very stupid.

Interview Questions

  • Describe the different ways prosecution of a patent can end.   Answer Question
  • You have 7 balls. One weighs more than the others (not significantly). You have a scale, like the scales of justice. Describe how to find the weighted ball only using the scale twice.   View Answers (2)
  • What is the patent litigation process.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Associate Mechanical Engineer Interview

Associate Mechanical Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in April 2010.

Interview Details – There were two phone interviews, the first was a general resume interview, and the second was a technical oral exam. The oral exam was very tricky, and I was totally unprepared for it.

Interview Question – Why are there two high tides in one day?   View Answer


No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Santa Monica, CA

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

Interview Details – This was the second phone interview, the first being with a recruiter. I spoke with an engineer at google and he asked me some general c++ questions (malloc/polymorphism/virtual functions/etc) and then gave me a problem to write an algorithm for (find the next in a sequence of numbers). The interviewer gave me some hints along the way, but unfortunately I was stuck for a good 10 minutes on one of his hints that turned out to be a misunderstanding between us. I verbalized everything I was doing along the way to try to make things as clear as possible. I didn't get the answer correct in the end. He told me how to see where the sequence goes, but I don't understand how he would decide to use that approach. I feel like i would have no problem writing the algorithm but i don't know how he arrived at the solution. It wasn't a very positive experience overall.

i don't expect to be asked for an in-person interview.

Interview Question – you have a sequence where each number is a multiple of 2 or 5 (so: 2^i * 5^j). he gave the beginning of the sequence as 1,2,3,4,5,8,10,16... and asked me to find an algorithm to calculate the next number in the sequence.   View Answers (15)


5 people found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Santa Monica, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Google in February 2010.

Interview Details – Recruiter started off professional. Originally contacted by someone in Mtn View and then transferred to someone in Santa Monica.

Phone interview was intense, but I did my best. I felt like I got most of the questions wrong. My interviewer walked me through any incorrect answers and overall it was a pleasant experience. The interviewer was very good. Most of my questions were about searching and sorting, about half of them were the stupid questions from their database. He asked a good 10-15 questions during our phone call but most were short. Unlike most people, for some reason I was not asked any coding questions.

The on-site interview was a disaster.

1. It started with a discussion of my thesis topic which was fine. Expect them to understand your topic no matter how esoteric or specific it is.
2. A second interviewer asked about my thesis. He did not like my topic at all claiming that it doesn't scale well. Well, excuse me for not having access to Google's data! Then proceeded to ask some dumb questions (specific to Java) from their database. Finally, I started coding on the board. If I did something wrong, he was very misleading in the "hints" that he was trying to give; he could not articulate what the problem was with my code.
3. I had lunch with my phone interviewer. It went fine, but Google food is not all it is cracked up to be. The others that I met during lunch seemed stressed out, but friendly.
4. No comments on next interviewer as he was pretty good.
5. HORRIBLE interviewer. Very arrogant, very condescending, very intimidating. He asked a very esoteric question that was very confusing and required me to read a manual before attempting to answer the question.
He was very rude and mean to me and made it clear that he did not want to be there. I really just wanted to walk out of the room.
6. At this point I was shot. This interviewer asked me a question and while I was coding, I did something wrong. She said the problem was giving her a "headache" so we would move on to something else, just like that. The next question was better and was more pleasant.

My recruiter told me to use whatever language I was most comfortable with. I specifically asked if I could use Python and she said "yes". I know Java, C and C++ but they are not my everyday languages. To my dismay, most of the questions were phrased "Used Java" or "Use C, C++ or Java" or "use C or C++". One of my interviewers did not even know Python. My first recruiter KNEW point blank that Python was my everyday language and said that was perfect for this interview. Apparently, I should have never even been recruited since I do not program in Java/C/C++ as an everyday thing. I was also told that the interview is about how you "think" which is not at all true. You need to know very specific things about algorithms, design patterns, and object-oriented programming, so read books before the interview.

I was told that I would hear within a week. I never did. I had to call the recruiter and she pretended that she was going to tell me my result that day anyway.

The recruiting process is wrought with bad information and too much power is given to the recruiters. Until they get this right, they will continue to hire the mediocre people that I have read so much about.

Interview Questions


No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Sydney (Australia)

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Google in April 2008.

Interview Details – Phone interview asked standard code related questions, about object oriented code, defensive
programming, etc. did well at that. one to one interview was similar but more in-depth

Interview Question – how many golf balls could you fit into that building?   View Answers (2)


6 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Los Angeles, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in November 2012.

Interview Details – Contacted by a recruiter, first passed a challenging 45 min phone screen, and then had then on site with 5 interviewers. It was about 60% algorithm questions, 30% design questions and 10% math. Not a single question was asked about my previous experience or knowledge. My feeling is that Google designs their interviews for Computer Science grad students, ie advanced courses or knowledge in algorithms will be far more helpful than 15 years of being an expert in your working field to get you a job at Google.

Interview Question – Beware that Google will ask random math questions during interviews. I got hit by a tricky algebra question that I had trouble with. I even got a calculus question. Again, this just shows that they're targeting people from academia who still remember all their advanced math.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 6 months - interviewed at Google in April 2011.

Interview Details – Was contacted by a recruiter, which asked basic technical screening questions. A couple of phone interviews with on-site engineers, and then a whole day on-site for some intense interviews.

Overall, a very fun and challenging experience. Wouldn't mind doing it again. Staff was very professional.

Interview Questions


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Zürich (Switzerland)

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in January 2011.

Interview Details – Had 2 interview:
- First with recruiter very friendly and was asking mainly about my background
- Second was a technical one with a developer working at Dublin

Basic algorithm complexity analysis, and some basic algorithm design questions.

Was mainly array sorting in Java (was language of choice of the interviewer)

Miserably failed on complexity analysis and didn't go further.

Interview Question – What's the complexity of insert in hashtable ?   View Answers (3)


No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Hyderābād (India)

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Google in December 2012.

Interview Details – First of all you need to have a reference in Google wihout reference you are not even in for first round

Interview Question – You cannot expect what questions they will ask and you   Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2013.

Interview Details – They are very, very thorough. Be prepared to pull out your old data-structures and algorithms book for this one. Some of the interviewers are cool, some are hard-lined dicks. But you'll get to interview with 4 different people so it'll run the gamut. Even if you're really good there's no guarantee as they have so much churn.

Interview Question – Writing a binary search tree. Have to remember all the details of things like that which I haven't touched in 10 years. Study, study, study...   Answer Question

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