Google Interview Questions & Reviews in New York City, NY
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Enterprise Product Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google in April 2010.
Interview Details – Has initial phone interview with HR. Scheduled a phone interview with a product manager in the Google NY office. The interviewer asked me general questions about my background and about how I think Google makes money from ads. I was also asked why I want the PM role (as I have a technical background). I was asked why I want to work at Google and which Google products are my favorite. I mentioned that I like the Google search engine. Overall I got the impression that Google gets many applicants and they are really looking for candidates with MBAs and exceptional backgrounds for their PM roles.
Interview Question – Why don't you use Google Scholar for searching for publications? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Personal reasons - did not want to relocate to NY.
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Google in April 2014.
Interview Details – My resume was referred by a current employee. I got a call from a recruiter a couple weeks later and had a 10 minute conversation with her about the whole process, bit on my background, and what I'm looking for. She sent me an email with all of the content that is considered fair game for an interview. I asked for a month to study before the phone interview.
The phone interview was 45 minutes, with maybe 35 of it being technical questions and coding in a Google Doc. The recruiter called me later that day saying they wanted to bring me in for on-site interviews. I asked for them to be scheduled as soon as possible (already been studying, didn't want to forget anything). The on-site interviews were scheduled for almost 3 weeks later.
My round of interviews on-site wasn't as smooth as the recruiter claims they usually are. I was taken to a small conference that was to be my "home" for the day and the recruiter wrote the schedule of who and when on the white board. The first guy that showed up was not the one listed. Second guy was 15 minutes late. Last guy of the day turned out to be working at home and they had to substitute on the fly (15 minute delay again). Not really a big deal, but I think worth noting.
The interviews themselves were 45 minutes each, again about 35 - 40 minutes of which were technical questions and coding on the white board. All questions fell within the review content suggested by the email. One interview was more of a design/approach interview and np-complete did come up once. In general the questions were designed to be challenging, but solvable in the time-frame.
To study, I read Wikipedia pages and took notes for the topics mentioned in the email. I used a couple other materials for design and integration patterns. This worked as sufficient review for me.
My final comment is regarding how I think they determine level. I was out of undergrad for four years when I interviewed. My experience in the field is longer than that. The recruiter said for their purposes my level was "four years", which I think worked in my favor because they expected less.
Interview Question – The design/approach interview was the hardest simply because it's far more open ended. View Answer
Negotiation Details – I chose not to negotiate as the offer was more than acceptable for me.
Software Development Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google in January 2014.
Interview Details – The interview process was pretty direct. I was introduced from one of my friend working at Google. From there on I was fully on my own. I had to go through drug tests, skills test, personally tests, and the awkward interview questions that i have never ever heard of.
Interview Question – Personally I did use The Impossible Interview App for iOS to learn and prepare for the Google Interview Process, and most of the questions where in the app. For me it was very helpful to see the questions and from then on I prepared my answers in my head so they would be more unique and original. I would say to anyone that applies at Google just stay calm and try to answers all the questions no matter what in your original and unique way. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – For me it was direct considering that I had insight information what should i expect.
Software Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Google in April 2014.
Interview Details – One in person interviewer openly told me that he hates his job and that he would not recommend anyone work at Google...when he first walked into the room! He didn't even say hello, it was just the first thing he said! Overall after speaking with 6+ people only 2 introduced themselves or told me what teams they work on.
My phone interviewer called 1.5 hours early and apologized for being 30 minutes late. He told me either get to a computer or the interview is off. He never introduced himself, he hung up during the call for 10 minutes while I coded and called back after I was done. He looked at my answer, asked a few questions for 10 minutes, and then just hung up without a goodbye- I never even got his name! Apparently he was happy with my answer though because I got a call back from a recruiter only 20 minutes later.
My onsite timing was very poor. My first interviewer went on for over 1.5 hours The next interviewer was upset that he had to wait outside for over 45 minutes and not only didn't introduce himself, but was also happy to take his frustration out during the interview. He took his interview over in time, leaving me only 15 minutes until the cafeterias closed for lunch. Therefore we went to a smaller cafeteria which had nothing to drink but water. This would have been fine except after rushing through a meal and desperately needing caffeine (and bathroom) I was not in great shape for the next interview. The first 15 minutes were fine as I wrote 6 different tree algorithms for pre, post, and in order traversals in both iterative and recursive forms. The interviewer then asked me if I likes sudoku to which I replied that I didn't actually know the rules of how it worked. At that point he immediately ended the interview saying he wouldn't have time to explain it before asking his interview question. I was surprised that he didn't want to explain his interview question, but more surprised that he didn't have a backup question either. Since we were over an hour over schedule anyway the next person was already at the door and this is likely why he ended after only 15 minutes. I never got his name, team, or had an opportunity to ask a single question- which was also true for the next interviewer. He asked me a classical question that is common in universities. I already knew some of the possible answers and was upfront with him about this. He responded by taking the white board markers and saying he would like to discuss possible answers instead of coding them. After an hour of good discussion we had not written any code at all and he ended his interview. I assume that for the committee this probably did not reflect well since they like to see code. My system design question was interesting and went on for over 3 hours. The interviewer asked me "As a team lead- what do you do when an [expletive] pm is trying to make your team death march, saying he will just replace employees as they burn out." Having been through similar situations at Microsoft I was very good about handling this sort of thing in a way that is beneficial for all parties involved. I have to say that I was (and am still) surprised by the question though! By the end of my last interview the recruiter had left so I didn't say good bye to anyone. I was just escorted out.
Interview Question – NDA prohibits me from sharing these, but of the 10 or so questions I was asked 6 of them were graphing algorithm related, and 2 of them were discrete math related. Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Google in May 2014.
Interview Details – I applied and was contacted by a recruiter within 2 days. I was given a long checklist of things to review and told I would be given a phone interview in about 10 days. I prepared quite a bit, but there's only so much you can do. You have to be a little lucky with who you get and hope you both find the same topics important.
That said, I've been told the interview process at Google is a bit silly and I have to agree. It did not feel very kind, at least. My interviewer started with "Hi I'm an Engineer at Google and you have an interview schedule for this time. Is this still a good time? Okay good. Let's start with the following question: ". Very little small talk, straight into a coding question. Okay, no prob. Except I could hear him typing away on his keyboard the whole time. There was basically zero commentary while I was coding, and nothing to say about my "thinking out loud".
I completed the question, perhaps it took a bit longer than it should have, but it's an interview....nerves are gonna play a part. Anyway, I was definitely being scored on a timer. There is little doubt about that in my mind. If I wasn't given a timed score, then I lost points for there not being enough time to get around to other questions.
He did go through it line by line, and I fixed all the little mistakes (which of course never would have happened in an IDE) and wound up with some decent code. It wasn't the best thing in the world, but it was fast and it worked.
After the weekend I was told they would be going with some more experienced candidates. So again, little doubt in my mind that my score was somehow lessened due to the amount of time I took on the problem. I didn't sit and do nothing, I just wrote out code, then replaced it with something cleaner or better. Moved some sloppy stuff into a new function, etc.
Interview Question – Google asks that we do not share their questions, so I won't share the entire thing. I will however say that it was a common question (Think along the lines of reverse a string, calculate fib sequence, etc) with a little twist thrown in which should just cause you to hesitate and think a bit, even if you've seen the core of this problem before. It was by all means a fair question. Answer Question
Enterprise Google Applications Technical Specialist Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Google in May 2013.
Interview Details – I was referred internally by someone who knew me well, I had previous internship experience with Google with great internship reviews, and applied online for this particular position with a cover letter. Overall, Enterprise is very disorganized about their hiring process, unlike the rest of Google which seems to be pretty diligent and thorough.
I received an email from the hiring manager in Mountain View the day after I submitted my application. I then had a call with that person and it went great. The questions during the call focused on why I wanted to work with that particular team, background, etc. After about a week or so of going back and forth with the recruiter, they flew me to the closest Google office for onsite interviews with the members of the team at that location. I had 4 interviews and the questions ranged from troubleshooting skills, behavioral questions, internet/networking/email basics, nothing I wasn't prepared for given my technical background and extensive experience with technical troubleshooting.
3 days after the interviews, I get an email from the recruiter saying they want to move forward and that the next step is to prepare a 'packet' for the hiring committee. Enterprise has very few recruiters, and the few recruiters they have are not very responsive. I waited 2 months to hear back from the hiring committee, and the only reason I heard back was because I pressured them to make a decision on my 'packet' because I had another offer waiting. When I pressured them to make a decision, they all of the sudden needed to put me through one more interview to cover some concerns that the hiring committee had regarding my 'packet'. The interview was rushed, the interviewer was not very interested in the conversation, and it didn't go well. Hours later (More like 2 and a half months later), they finally told me they weren't going to extend an offer. Don't expect feedback or explanations on the hiring decisions.
Interview Question – Explain Hadoop Map Reduce to me as if I was a 5 year old Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google in April 2014.
Interview Details – It took more than a month for the HR manager to arrange me an interview. An engineer called and asked questions regarding to only memory processing, not much algorithmic.
Interview Question – In c++ what happens if an int value overflow? Answer Question
Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Google in February 2014.
Interview Details – Recruiter got in touch with me in Dec 2013. Interview scheduled for Feb 2014.
Interview Question – The question was on n-ary tree data stream. Not unexpected, but there was a misunderstanding between myself and the interviewer. The question is to find the head of the tree given a data stream of key value pairs. View Answer
Product Manager Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
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
Product Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in January 2014.
Interview Details – I was referred for the position from someone inside Google and received an email from a Google recruiter. After 15 minutes of chit chat about my resume and interests, he told me he would email me if I was to have an interview with a product manager. It was obvious to me that I was going to have one by the way he spoke and 2 minutes later I received an email from him asking me for interview times.
A week later I had the phone interview.
The interviewer was very sweet and friendly and she obviously had a lot of experience as she had been at Google for I think 4 years. She asked me about myself, so I gave her my resume pitch. She then asked me if I wanted to talk hardware or software. I said software. She asked me about an internet / software service that I used and liked OTHER THAN GOOGLE OR A GOOGLE PRODUCT. I said Netflix. Questions asked -
What are the things Netflix should measure/analyze on a daily basis?
What is their business model?
How can Netflix change its product without causing an uproar?
How can Netflix change its pricing without causing an uproar?
She then asked me about a piece of hardware that I liked to use and to explain why I liked it.
I talked about my bicycle.
Interview Question – What are the things Netflix should measure/analyze on a daily basis? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – They wanted me to fly to Mountain View for the onsite interview, however I received a raise at my company and decided to stay
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