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Google Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 16, 2014
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Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Google in September 2013.

Interview Details – Round 1:

1. Explain and Write KnapSack Algo with Memorization
2. Given a undirected graph, clone it. Now if the undirected graph has the neighbors with the nodes as same data - how do you make sure you create the exact same branches and also how do you make sure you don't run into loops for the exact node. He gave a empty directed graph and asked me write code after that.
3. Given two Btrees. these trees "may" have right and left branches swapped. Now compare it.

Round 2:
1. Given a N different open and close braces in a string "( { [ } ] )". How do you check whether the string has matching braces.
2. Given a unsorted array. Create a balanced BTREE
3. Print a tree like (Parent ( leftchild (leftchild, rightchild), rightchild(leftchild,rightchild) ) )

Round 3:
Given a kernal code in "0"th machine. How soon you can replicate the kernal across N machines. Now if the machines has upload and download bandwidth constraints, how can you impove the copy time.

Round 4:
1. Design Short URL.
2. Given a List with duplicate Strings, how do you remove duplicate Strings

Round 5:
1. How do you design a Maze and what kind of data structures you use for Maze.
2. Now print the shorted path from start to end point.

Interview Question – For future applicants, you need to get all rounds straight. I kind of flunked 3rd round.   View Answers (5)

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9 people found this helpful

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
Los Angeles, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 7 weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – I was first contacted by a recruiter. He emailed me out of the blue, and said he really liked my github profile.

Honestly, at first, I didn't believe it was real. We emailed back and forth a few times, but I wasn't really looking to moving to the Bay Area, so I never actually sent in my CV.

About a month goes by, and he emails me back. He just wanted to follow up. Said that he never received the resume, and hoped I would get back in touch. So I told him about my situation, and he mentioned that they had an LA office. This was news to me, and much closer to home. So I sent in my resume, and he connected me to a recruiter who was closer to me.

All in all, I talked with about 4 different people in recruiting. All of them were incredibly nice and helpful. My first "interview" was with the second recruiter. It was really just getting to know me, what my interests were, and trying to get a feel for my fit with the company.

After that interview, we scheduled a technical phone interview. Gave me to weeks to study up. Lots of review material was sent my way, which was awesome. Ended up reading my algorithms text book again, it was quite a nice read, but I don't believe I would have done poorly on the phone interview, even had I not read it. The tips/references they sent to me were extremely helpful. They sent me Titles/Authors of some amazing books, I recommend reading them even if you aren't interviewing with Google.

After passing the phone interview, we had an on-site scheduled about a week later. This was much harder than the phone interview. I get the idea that the phone was just to weed out the weaker candidates. The on-site consisted of 5 one-on-one interviews, plus one lunch "interview" where I was able to ask all of my questions. All of them were about 45 minutes each.

Every interviewer I talked to was very interesting, and we always had something in common to talk about. The questions were all very interesting problems. There was one point in one of the questions where one of the interviewers put a star next to a line I wrote to remind him to go back and follow up on a comment I made that sounded interesting. I enjoyed the interviews, because it felt like I was back in college, talking to my peers about fascinating problems.

There were one or two interviews that I feel I didn't do so hot on. I only managed to get through one of the questions on two of the interviews. However, I figured they really just wanted to see how I approached the problems, so I made sure to explain myself very thoroughly.

Interview Question – I can't go into details about the problems. But I wish I had studied my graph algorithms a little more closely.

Make sure you know your big-O algorithm classifications. Almost every interviewer asked me something to do with that.
  View Answers (2)

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1 person found this helpful

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Bruno, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – 4 rounds technical interviews plus lunch.
They are very nice and almost agree with you on everything. When your write the code on the board they always say "great", "perfect"... I think this is the trap. They make me less nervous which is great but I also started thinking that the problems are not hard and I can definitely get the job. Here is when things goes wrong.

Interview Question – How to protect data when you transfer it online. e.g. You need to submit your username and password from your client to the server and there is people who is listening to the information.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – First, a person will contact you to arrange time for the interview. For internship, I have two 1-hour phone interviews in the same day. It'd better to have at least 2 weeks to prepare after you get the contact from Google. Also the phone signal might be bad so be prepared to have alternative way to contact. The first question is about bitwise operation. Study from Cracking the Interviews might help.

Interview Question – Design a class where you can add elements, and return the mean of the latest N elements.   View Answer

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter from Google. We then arranged a time for a phone interview. Basically talked about my background and he then introduced google working environment and advantages. He then arranged a phone screen for me after half a month. The questions on the phone screen are not difficult, but very tricky. You need to be very familiar with algorithms and data structure, and also be very experienced to code with your most preferred language. The materials sent by the recruiter is very helpful. I was graduating during the time, so I didn't have enough time to practice coding. I didn't pass it.

Interview Question – Design a cache with O(1) search time and delete time.   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

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Positive Experience

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Had initial contact from a recruiter over email, had a short 20 minute phone conversation where recruiter asked about my professional background and asked me to rate myself in a few technical areas, then asked some trivia questions. We scheduled a phone interview a few weeks later. Interview took about 45 minutes with 10 minutes at the end to clean up code and then ask questions to the interviewer. Interview was a success, scheduled a second phone interview in another couple weeks.

Interview Question – Code was done in Python on a Google Docs document. First weeder question was implementing binary search. Next question was about text processing and after the initial solution was given, additional constraints were added to encourage me to make a better solution.   View Answer

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No Offer

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Boston, MA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in January 2013.

Interview Details – Applied through employee referral. They responded in 24 hours, by which I was quite surprised.

Interview Question – Question was to be implemented in a shared document and I missed out on some edge cases but got the algorithm right for the most part.   Answer Question

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2014.

Interview Details – I applied online at the Google jobs website. I was contacted by a recruiter and was invited to do a back to back interviews at Google. I initially had a phone conversation with the recruiter about the Google interview process. I heard back from the recruiter about a week after the back to back interview.

Interview Question – Build a pseudorandom maze. Write a method to deep copy a graph. Given an n x n matrix of numbers, how do I find a number?   Answer Question

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Got an phone interview from Google. The interviewer was very good, and the question was not that hard. However, I took too many time to figure out the first question, and not remaining much time for the 2nd question. The interview takes 45 minutes. For each interviewee, it should take 20~25 minutes to tackle the problem and during the process, discuss with the interviewer.

Interview Questions

  • Merge sorted, non-overlapping list of intervals with another interval [(1,3), (5,10), (12,30)] + (9,31) = [(1,3), (5,31)]   View Answer
  • Implement a system so that the billionth search query at Google each day wins a car.   Answer Question

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No Offer

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Interview process was very expedited. I was in touch with the recruiter for a few months before I interviewed. Within a couple of weeks of expressing my interest in the job, I interviewed onsite. The overall experience was positive and I enjoyed solving the interview problems. And yeah, the offices were amazing.

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