Google Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jul 24, 2015
66 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (9)  

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Interview

I first had two technical interviews by phone that went quite well. Then I did an onsite (I live 10 miles away from their campus) that consisted of 6 sessions of interviews. Despite the claim that Google no longer uses puzzles in interviews, I found that 2 out of 6 interviews consisted of solving tedious puzzles. I would say that 4 of the 6 sets of interviewers were friendly, one fellow was outright cold, one was slightly negative. Interviewer 1 (solo): Friendly and enthusiastic. Interviewer 2 (solo): Friendly but not enthusiastic. Seemed to want to hire a different type of person more like himself. Interviewer 3 (solo): Rather cold. He did tell me he knew that I'd interviewed at Youtube earlier, which felt creepy especially because the more memorable interviewers at Youtube were creepy. Imagine being reminded of a BAD experience. Right after which, he presented a tedious puzzle! When I was solving his puzzle, I felt I was constantly interrupted and hounded. I wanted to ask him to please be quiet, but I judged from his attitude that could have ended the interview prematurely. In the Q&A part, it was revealed he had never heard of Google's Project Ara. Maybe he was having a bad day... at my expense. Interviewer 4 (lunchtime casual talk, solo): Friendly and enthusiastic. It was a relief to talk with him after the previous guy. A big relief... Interviewer 5 (solo): Moderately friendly, presented a puzzle. I solved it. I got a feeling he seemed to want to hire a different type of person more like himself. Interviewer 6 (solo): Someone quite like myself. Only person to ask intelligent/wise questions and took notes. To Google's credit, there were no team interviews (that I recall). Long after the interview, I got emails from Google asking me to help them improve their interview process. That's why I came to Glassdoor....

Interview Questions

  • Given some input data consisting of sets of increasing numbers, match patterns where the sequenc of deltas between the numbers match.   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (San Francisco, CA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    I got email from a Google recruiter after a brief talk with her I got a chance for the first phone interview. In the phone interview I was asked two questions and I need to code on Google Doc. After I passed the phone interview I was invited to Maintain View for a onsite interview. There was 5 rounds each round 1 to 2 interviewer (1 shadow interviewer he would not ask you questions). They would ask you technique questions and you need to code on whiteboard.

    Interview Questions

    • Find second largest number in a BST. Find peak element in an array using O(logn) method.   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Cambridge, MA) in March 2015.

    Interview

    1 phone screen, 45 minutes 5 hours on-site interview also includes a free lunch in Google, accompanies by an engineer introducing company culture and office tour. quite helpful to know more on the company from non-technical perspective.

    Interview Questions

    • your most proud project why you want to work for Google   Answer Question
  3.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Recruiters moved quickly. People usually say that they are the bottleneck but they scheduled the phone screen within a week. First off, the call quality was really bad. I stated that a few times so maybe we can switch to a landline or something but was ignored (maybe he didn't hear me). First round was basically a programming quiz for which the interviewer was not very prepared. I mean there is a difference between a mediocre response and a great response but if it doesn't match the expected response (which in that particular case was a common misconception) you can get laughed at (like I did). Sometimes I still re-read the technical papers just to reinforce my belief I shouldn't have been laughed at for that answer. This totally bummed me out and it all went straight downhill from there. Then the coding began and I wrote the solution. It was welcomed with a heavy sigh + 'make it better'. I pitched a lot of ideas from my algorithm 'toolset' that solved the problem but now within some constraints that were added on the fly when the ideas were shut down. I didn't get the 'a-ha' for the optimal solution with no hints (I was close at some point - saw the solution on geeksforgeeks later in the day) so the interviewer told me he had to be someplace and If I had any questions for him and that was that.

    Interview Questions

    • general programming quiz (what's a class, what's polymorphism, what's the difference between a process and a thread)   Answer Question
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  5.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Bruno, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (San Bruno, CA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    It was enjoyable. Not sure how exactly they score you or what criteria exactly the interviewers look for. Overall, all the employees I met seemed really passionate about staying up-to-date with all the latest languages/technologies.

    Interview Questions

  6. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in January 2015.

    Interview

    Flew me into NYC for interview. Quick meeting with HR & then five (or was it six?) 45 minute white board sessions with engineers with a lunch break with another one. I'm terrible at those things--in fact, I'd never done anything like it except for meetings on systems design--brain froze up in the middle of the first one and I never really recovered. If you're an older developer, the process can be quite alienating. First off, I'm not sure if you summed the ages of any of the two people I met up, it would equal mine. The guy they sent me to lunch with (my turn to ask questions, learn about the culture) was younger than my son! He was a great guy, but perhaps some senior person in HR with grown kids should try this sometime. Second, the brain-teaser at the whiteboard approach just wasn't the way we learned to tackle problems (I started coding in the early eighties). There are already enough criticisms of this hiring strategy, the irrelevance of these kinds of questions to the real requirements of getting systems running in production, and the "brogrammer" culture it fosters elsewhere, so I won't go into it. Criticism notwithstanding, you can't argue with their success. Only once all day was I asked to talk about something I had accomplished. Everybody I met was likable and nice. Much to their credit, the interviewers were understanding of the brain-freeze-at-whiteboard problem and I never got a smart-alecky smirk in five hours. The lunchroom was outrageous, and I would have stuffed myself if I hadn't three interviews left. This interview model is endemic in the industry. If you are over fifty, good luck out there.

    Interview Questions

    • The usual (I've since learned) careercup type interview questions, can't remember the particulars: brain-teasers painted with a coding question patina.   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (5)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Apply online and HR gets back to me with in one day. Interview is scheduled and pushed that out due to unavailability of interviewer. Finally date and time are set. Interviewer has strong accent and couldn't understand what he's asking most of the time. No introduction of who he is and what's his role in the team. Just start off with bunch of questions. Hear lot of keyboard strike noise. Interviewer must be typing during interview and also there is a lot of echo when ever interviewer puts phone on speaker. Interviewer has no knowledge about technology/role which is advertised.Not at all enjoy the interview.

  8.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Google in November 2014.

    Interview

    The interview process was really professional, after discussing the process with the recruiter over phone, I got a phone interview with a google engineer. I was asked two question during the phone interview, both about string parsing.

    Interview Questions

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

    Everyone at Google was easy to work with. The recruiters clearly explained the process as we went along. However, the hiring is done by committees. They have the local committee on-site which then makes a recommendation to a corporate committee. The various levels there make the process take a while and seem redundant.

    Interview Questions

    • Go through different combinations of numbers to compute what sums to a given number and analyze the runtime.   Answer Question
  10. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in September 2014.

    Interview

    I have two recruiters during the process. Both are nice, the interviewers are in general nice. Just take it as a collaboration effort to solve some interesting problems. I went through almost everything, somehow did not have the blessing from the final VP. The recruiter could not tell me why.

    Interview Questions

    • Basic stuff: relatively practical problems use stack, queue, binary search. None expected. For example, maximum points on a line given a list of coordinates, 3 sum variants: a+b+c<target integer for a given unsorted into array, RPN. Some design questions, touched consistent hashing.   Answer Question
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