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Google Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 19, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

54%
34%
10%

Interview Experience  

48%
22%
28%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
47 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Pittsburgh, PA

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

Interview Details – Get the interview for SDE intern, not an phone but an on-site interview.
I think it's mainly because I'm living close to their office.

The interviewers are nice, but they can't move forward on me.
Seems they have one year cool down if you've failed an on-site, I've try to apply again, but no response.

Interview Questions

  • How would you desgin facebook, use the data struct to show the social network and find out the people that close to you but your relation are stranger (white board coding)   Answer Question
  • We have m slots for ads and n ads, each ads will have different revenue on differnet slot, design an algorithm to find out the best fit (find m ads in n ads and order them so that they can make max money, white board coding) .   View Answers (2)


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

The process took a day - interviewed at Google in September 2010.

Interview Details – Interviewed with five senior level engineers and a director level manager. Most of them asked senior level questions, i.e. design questions. One asked junior algorithms. Be careful about Google policy, if one interviewer said something bad about you, it's hard to you to get an offer, even though all others want you badly. Take simple algorithm questions seriously, explain to the interviewer like you are tutoring him, otherwise he may think you are missing some key points.

Interview Question – Design a system to analyze huge log files   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

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

Interview Details – Got a Linkedin message from a recruiter that followed with one phone interview.
Then got invited to an interview on site.
Was interview by 5-6 engineers about various subjects matching the rating I gave in an e-mail from HR.

Interview was very long and exhausting, each engineer has different demands and you kind of have to figure them out and work them, didnt work for me!

Interview Questions


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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Google in August 2010.

Interview Details – After I passed phone interview I had 6 on site interviews in 2 days. 45 minutes each. My former co-workers described all the favorite topics. It is mostly questions on Algorithms, Data Structures. Coding is an integral part of an interview at Google. Be ready to write code on whiteboard. A few questions were rather difficult.

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 (7)
  • How to select a random sample of size K from a stream of numbers.   View Answer

Reason for Declining – Have other offer.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

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

Interview Details – They were very prepared to ask thought-challenging questions both in the phone interviews, and in person. Writing code for them (whiteboard) during the in-person interview is a key part of their process.

The people were friendly, very professional, and wasted little time in the meetings.

Interview Question – Write an algorithm to sort and merge 2 LARGE data streams on a system where storage is essentially unlimited (but slow) and RAM is limited.   View Answer


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

The process took 1+ week - interviewed at Google in April 2010.

Interview Details – Phone interview was nice with one simple question about hashing and one nice math tricky question

The on-site interview was based on 5 robotp-engineers activating running a pre-programmed interview sessions they received from HR/their manager. I felt they were there just as a input/output port to/from the hiring manager. In two of the interviews The interviewer showed some basic lack of understanding of the stuff related to the question he asked. In one case, the interviewer didn't really understand what's the pivot in quick select and in other he didn't know to find complexity of a recursive algorithm by the regression of the T() .

I think I have very good interviews in 4 sessions though I missed few opportunities to knock them down . I feel I should have been more aggressive to take over the interview flow and thus be able to demonstrate thinking skills . They in general pull you to the lower level of get the solution and then you might miss the real thing which is the skills you should prove in the way. Who cares how many golf balls you can put inside a buss or ho good how you in estimating the size of the buss.
 One interview I screw up and I guess that's what failed me. Friends told me you must get all the interviewers vote for you. .

Interview Question – what's wrong with the following code :

<template type T >
T accumulate ( vector<T> in)
{
   T total = in[0];

   for (int i =0; i < in.length() ; i++) {
      total = total + in[i];
   }

  return T
}
  View Answers (7)


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Boulder, CO

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Google in January 2010.

Interview Details – The interviewer over the phone asked me to describe an algorithm to find intersection of two arrays of integers. Also asked me to write pseudo code in a shared google docs session. I got the algorithm right the first time, may be not the most efficient right away. But with more prompts from the interviewer I nailed all his questions and gave improved algorithm. I was then asked couple things about what are the hardest things to test. And some other OOP questions. Thats it. He said 'thats good' couple of times. And at the end I felt I would at least get called for on site. But was told within 2 days that they did have anything that fit my profile currently. Not sure what ticks Google !

Interview Questions


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

The process took 1 week - interviewed at Google in March 2010.

Interview Details – Overall process was well organized.
First a recruitment specialist of some sort called me to know more about my area of expertise and i think this was used to pick the folks who would interview me. Their interview process is aimed at selecting a new employee for the company ..and not for a particular group

First there were two technical interviews on the phone. each interview was 45 or 50 mins. First part of each interview were technical questions to gauge my understanding in my areas of expertise. the second part of each interview was problem solving.

The on-site interviews : There were 4 interviews totally on the same day.. each about 45 or 50 mins. First there are two interviews, then lunch and then another two interviews. Someone will take you to lunch at their cafeteria after the 2nd interview.

The on-site interviews were focused more on problem solving... so back to back problem solving i felt was a bit strenuos. i was somewhat mentally drained by the last interview.

Interview Questions

  • Difference between arithmetic and logical shift   View Answers (2)
  • talk about 1s complement and 2s complement representation   View Answer
  • Implement a base 3 adder which takes two strings as input and returns a string   View Answers (6)
  • Write algorithm to compute a Log to the base 2 of a number (integral results no need for floating point). Solution should not assume a particular size of integer   View Answers (4)
  • - maximum sum of any continuous subsequence in an array of signed integers
    whats the complexity.

    - program to compute fibonacci sequence..standard recursive and more efficent iterative one.. algorithmic complexity of both.
      View Answer


2 people found this helpful

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
New York, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Google in May 2008.

Interview Details – I was able to skip phone interview due to friend recommendation but typically you will be screened by phone. Your on site interview will be a full day and you will be quizzed by 4-5 developers. You will be asked technical questions and be asked to write some programs on a white board. These will tend to be computer science type problems: Convex Hull, String manipulation, List manipulation, and so on.

Interview Question – Develop a solution to convex hull and state its complexity.   View Answer

Reason for Declining – Salary too little


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Senior Software Engineer Interview

Senior Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

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

Interview Details – One screening phone interview with recruiter, on-site interview thereafter with 6 engineers at Googleplex. All the engineers looked very smart but the interview questions were somewhat consistent (Big O notation and hash table) and not practical in real scenarios. They definitely look for particular engineers and they basically have no interest in your past experience. Not recommended for career development.

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