Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Google
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Helpful (552)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in April 2014.
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."
- None. 3 Answers
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!
Helpful (22)No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ months – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).
They warn you ahead of time that the interview process will take months but it was surprising nonetheless. The interviews were fun, I went through a pretty light phone screen with a recruiter, a more rigorous screening with an existing PM, and then three rounds of onsite interviews for one day. After about a week, I heard back from the company saying they would pass on me for now and re-apply, but they refused to give any feedback, which would have been helpful for upcoming interviews and to understand what I could work on if I should re-apply.
- The NBA championships are about to happen and you produce merchandise showcasing the winning team--but, you don't know which team that will be. What do you produce and how much do you produce to dress the stadium visitors with merchandise? Answer Question
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 7 weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).
1 interview w/recruiter, 5 interviews with team members. 3 first interviews were on the phone, 1 in person, 2 vc. The first interview went so well that we spoke for double the allocated time. The second interview was extremely intense, with questions flying in about every detail and I was unsure if I made the next round. The remaining interviews were straightforward with standard problem solving and team fit questions.
- If you were a director at Google, would you partner or purchase [example] company? 1 Answer
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).
Applied online (no reference), got an email asking to schedule a phone screen two weeks later. Phone screen was very casual and enjoyable. Two weeks later got a call to schedule onsite interviews. Flew out to Mt. View, CA. A week after that. Met with 6 people total of three interviews.
- How would you lead a team thru a difficult situation? Answer Question
Helpful (9)No OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in June 2015.
The conversation was halting and not fluid. I couldn't really get comfortable with the interviewer. His tone was a little distant and calculated. He asked questions and he took a lot of notes. I was told that note taking is normal, but it made it feel like I was talking to a distracted doctor versus having a conversation with someone.
- If you were Product Manager of (unnamed product), how would you improve the functionality 10x of what it is now. 1 Answer
Helpful (1)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in July 2015.
I was contacted by a Google recruiter based on an internal referral from an ex-colleague. Since I already lived in the Bay Area and (apparently) my referrer did a great job talking me up, I was allowed to skip the phone screen stage and proceed directly to the on-site interviews. I went through 5 interviews (45 minutes each) on site, divided as follows: 3 on coding and algorithms, 1 on object-oriented design, and 1 on high-level system design. I also had lunch (1 hour) with an engineer, where I got to sample their famous free food and talk informally about life at Google. Like many other folks, I came in expecting very difficult and brain-warping questions. But to my pleasant surprise, none of the questions were particularly hard at all. The whiteboard coding and object-oriented design problems were really straightforward, very similar to the types of questions you'll get asked at most other major Silicon Valley tech firms. The system design question was a bit trickier, but it was ultimately just an open-ended discussion which felt pretty similar to real-life engineering design discussions that I do frequently at work. I definitely got the feeling that they don't care so much whether you "solve" the problem per se, but rather they focus more about how you analyze and approach the problem and how effectively you engage the interviewer in communicating your ideas. Personally, I really enjoyed all my interactions, and felt very engaged and energetic throughout the entire on-site interview day. After the on-site interviews, I received a call the next day from my recruiter, who told me that the feedback looked good and that I would be moved to the hiring committee stage. Within another three days, I was told the good news that I'd cleared the hiring committee (supposedly with flying colors, although perhaps the recruiter was just trying to flatter me!). They then checked my references and asked for details about my current compensation and competing offers. Finally, it took another week after that to do the team matching and receive the formal offer.
- Can't disclose due to NDA. But as mentioned above, I did 3 coding interviews, 1 object-oriented design interview, and 1 high-level system design interview. The coding questions were of just average difficulty; I would say they are no harder than the types of questions asked at most other major Silicon Valley tech firms. Also, one of the coding interviews involved a few knowledge-based questions on Java (which I'd told my recruiter was my most familiar programming language--so they do seem to do some verification of your claimed expertise). Answer Question
- No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in July 2015.
The interview went seemingly smoothly, except for a couple quirks in the code on the whiteboard. The questions were way easier than I expected. The interviewers were not intimidating at all and did not try to make the process stressful. I felt like I passed and according to HR, the overall feedback was positive. My application went to the hiring committee which, in turn, rejected the offer.
- No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Google (Sunnyvale, CA) in July 2015.
Applied through Google career site and I was contacted by one of the recruiters. I had a phone interview first and then went to their Sunnyvale office for next round of interviews.
- Questions were on data structures, Dynamic programming, some SQL concepts, query optimization, system integration, previous experience related to the interviewed role. The interviewers will test how much you can optimize your solution and how well you are familiar with the concepts. So PRACTICE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. If you clear the first round, take it serious and spend as much as time you can for the preparation. only 1 out 10 people clear the onsite interview. 1 Answer
Helpful (4)No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).
HR Screen followed by a Google Hangouts video call with the hiring manager. Not a real conversation, just a rapid fire of pre-scripted questions. Varied between case and behavioral. It was important to think about the business vertical that you are applying to and thinking ahead about what challenges they may be facing.
- Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult co-worker Answer Question
Helpful (6)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Google (Sunnyvale, CA) in June 2015.
I was contacted by a recruiter for this role. The interview started with a phone screen that included questions about my background and recruiting experience. There were some tough hypothetical questions, but if they like you, you get invited to an onsite with two other interviewers. The first onsite interviewer was sweet, relaxed, and asked you questions on your background that weren't relevant to recruiting. The second interviewer, however, asked many difficult hypothetical questions.
- Q: How would you take on a project you're unfamiliar with - and the rest of your team are senior with this project. Q: Tell me a time you faced challenge and how did you overcome it? Q: What is your biggest accomplishment? Answer Question
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