Google
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www.google.com Mountain View, CA 5000+ Employees

Google Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

35%
25%
23%

Interview Experience 

50%
29%
19%

Interview Difficulty 

2,760 candidate interviews
in

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer In Test Interview

Software Engineer In Test
Mountain View, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2007.

Interview Details – Application online through Google's main job application page. I was contacted by a Google recruiter who gave me an initial phone interview and series of questions to assess my skills and experience in different areas. The first call took about 20 minutes. She then worked on my behalf to set up interviews with engineers in the departments which were the closest fit for my experience and skill set.

The first technical interview was with an engineer in team I was applying for. It consisted mainly of thinking puzzles which I was expected to work out a solution for in real time. The emphasis is on demonstrating critical thinking skills and problem solving, not necessarily getting the correct answer.

An interview for a different department was conducted online through Google Docs where I was asked to write code in response to a puzzle question. After completed I was asked to explain it's function and explain ways I could improve the efficiency.

Interview Questions

  • Implement a binary tree and explain it's function   View Answers (2)
  • Design a function which returns the number of set bits in a given number, when expressed in binary   View Answers (3)

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11 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Associate Product Manager Interview

Associate Product Manager
Mountain View, CA

The process took a day - interviewed at Google in February 2009.

Interview Details – I was referred by an employee and after my resume was sent in by my referral, I received an e-mail about a month later to schedule a phone interview with a Product Manager. Google is quite flexible in scheduling the phone interview so that was great.

Interview Questions

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3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

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Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
New York, NY

The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2009.

Interview Details – I was initially contacted by a Google recruiter through LinkedIn Inmail. I stated my preference to work in NYC on Google’s infrastructure software and a one-hour technical screening phone interview was scheduled. The phone interview covered Computer Science basics such as trees, hash tables, coding constructs, differences between Java and C++, and Design Patterns. At the end I was given a coding assignment to complete within 24 hours “to show my best work” and submit to Google.

The NYC on-site interview was scheduled 2 weeks later where I was interviewed by 5 different Engineers for 45-minutes each. Some asked me to design solutions to problems and code them (on a white board) in my preferred programming language. Others were open-ended problems where (I believe) I was expected to ask smart questions to define the problem and its solution.

Interview Questions

  • Create a fast cached storage mechanism that, given a limitation on the amount of cache memory, will ensure that only the least recently used items are discarded when the cache memory is reached when inserting a new item. It supports 2 functions: String get(T t) and void put(String k, T t).   View Answer
  • Create a cost model that allows Google to make purchasing decisions on to compare the cost of purchasing more RAM memory for their servers vs. buying more disk space.   View Answer
  • Design an algorithm to play a game of Frogger and then code the solution. The object of the game is to direct a frog to avoid cars while crossing a busy road. You may represent a road lane via an array. Generalize the solution for an N-lane road.   View Answers (2)

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Boulder, CO

I applied online and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Google in April 2008.

Interview Details – Initial stages of the interview were fairly routine. Phone interview was a little bit technical, but reasonable.
In person interview ended up with me failing to properly code an algorithm on the board, and the interviewer basically ending the interview at that point. Memorize your algorithms before this one, because merely knowing the algorithms properties and being able to look it up won't be good enough for this guy.

Startup got bought out by google and ended up with a bit of an attitude. Google thinks they walk on water.

Interview Questions

  • What sort would you use if you had a large data set on disk and a small amount of ram to work with?   View Answers (4)
  • What sort would you use if you required tight max time bounds and wanted highly regular performance.   View Answers (4)

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Associate Product Manager Interview

Associate Product Manager
Mountain View, CA

The process took 1 week - interviewed at Google in May 2009.

Interview Details – The onsite interview was with six people, each half an hour -- three before lunch, three after. Questions varied from person to person, ranging from personality interviews, to design questions, to brain teasers, to computer science questions.

The people were relaxed, dressed casually. The office reflected its people -- very casually designed and laid out, with lots of places to relax (pool, ping pong, arcade games, more).

Interview Question – What are three long term challenges facing google?   View Answers (2)

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4 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in July 2009.

Interview Details – The job was for a software development position. First a Google recruiter contacted me. Some initial questions to gauge fit and interest. Then a technical phone screen. If you have a solid CS background, this is pretty easy to pass. A couple general data structure and algorithm questions. And every Google interview asks about big-O notation. You need to know this or forget about working at Google.

Then the on-site interview. I interviewed with 4 engineers, 45 minutes each. They each spend about 5 minutes on my background or past projects. However, they are not really interested in this and didn't really pay attention to my answers. Next 35 minutes consists of technical grilling and about 5 minutes at the end for me to ask questions.

Each interviewer sets up a problem and asked you to solve it. Sometimes its hard to figure out what the interviewer is asking, but asking lots of clarifying questions helps. Some problems I solved and some I did with lots of hints. I was then asked the order of complexity of my solution and how I could improve the solution.

Then the real hard part, for me anyway. I was asked to write the code for the solution on the white board. Writing code in an IDE after thinking about it for a few minutes is one thing, but writing code on a white board in a short amount of time is another. I didn't do so well here.

After the interview and thinking about all the problems they asked, none of them were particularly hard and the coded solution is usually about 10 lines of code.

I found most of the engineer interviewers very polite and interesting to talk to. A couple of them were arrogant and came with an attitude that you had to prove that you were as smart as they are. But overall, I found the interview a positive experience and felt I learned something.

Interview Questions

  • Given an array of numbers, replace each number with the product of all the numbers in the array except the number itself *without* using division.   View Answers (13)
  • Create a stack of numbers where the maximum number is always known.   View Answers (6)
  • Create a cache with fast look up that only stores the N most recently accessed items.   View Answers (4)
  • Explain the difference between Array Lists, Linked Lists, Vectors, Hash Maps, (from Java's JDK) etc. and when one choice is better of another.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Senior Product Manager Interview

Senior Product Manager
New York, NY

The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Google in June 2009.

Interview Details – The interviewing process was very professional and thorough from the end to the beginning. However, what I was not told they were hiring for very specific position with a certain language requirement. It was just assumed on their part that I would be proficient in that language given my name. So it was disappointing after six weeks of interviewing that I was not being interviewed for just a "Senior Product Manager" but a "Senior Product Manager for language X".

Interview Question – why do you want to work for Google?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

The process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Google in June 2009.

Interview Details – The interviews were with 4 different Software Engineers. From what I gathered online and from the feedback I got from friends currently Software Engineers at Google, I though I had decent chances: strong knowledge of at least one current language, some knowledge about algorithms and data-structures as well as Big O notation. I was surprised to be asked non software questions like various network speed efficiency of various wireless technologies, solve math brainteaser in a language I specifically said I had not used in years, and being told that the code had to compile and run as is, regardless of potential typos.

It took several weeks for Google to come back to me but I got a quick offer from a competitor with a more realistic interview process. I'm glad I did not hold my breath, I think I should have left after the second person, it was pretty obvious the process was a plain waste of time.

Interview Question – Which wireless channel should you choose for you home wifi, considering there is no interference on any of them.   View Answers (2)

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
New York, NY

The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2007.

Interview Details – A Google recruiter contacted me (I never applied for any positions in Google). Within a week I had my phone interview which went very well. They decided to skip the second phone interview (at least that's what I was told) and invited me to the NY office for in person interview. In person interview lasted the whole day with me talking to 6 people and having a lunch with a team. I found the office to be super cool and fun atmosphere and people were very nice. They questions asked were fairly reasonable. What threw me off was recruiter stressing several times that Google's approach to interviews is very academic. I was more technical then academic (I thought) and spend the next week reviewing algorithms and data structures and such. I was told at the end that I have very strong professional qualifications, but my knowledge is more academic and were looking for somebody with more hands on experience (after me throwing theory at them left and right). At the end I think I overdid it. I think you need to find a good balance if you want to get hired.

Interview Questions

  • Most phones now have full keyboards. Before there there three letters mapped to a number button. Describe how you would go about implementing spelling and word suggestions as people type.   View Answers (3)
  • Implement on a board a shortest path algorithm when traveling from point A to point B on a board. Once you produce a solution, they throw modifications to an initial problem like what if you know that points x, y, z cannot be used in a path.   View Answers (2)

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

The process took a day - interviewed at Google in August 2009.

Interview Details – HR was a bit slow, and didn't get back to me with an answer until I followed up a few weeks later. Interviews were technical, very interesting, and challenging. They were computer science / software engineering problems that did not have obvious immediate answers. They want you to first state a naive algorithm, and then see if you can make it more efficient. Having a few of these interviews in a row was very draining, I definitely slowed down at the end.

Interview Question – If a person dials a sequence of numbers on the telephone, what possible words/strings can be formed from the letters associated with those numbers?   Answer Question

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