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Google Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jan 29, 2015
Updated Jan 29, 2015
1,122 Interview Reviews

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Google in December 2014.

Interview Details

Contacted by a recruiter after a former co-worker from another company that is now in Google recommended me.

First screening interview was on site since I live close to Google's offices in Tel-Aviv.
Small algorithm/data-structure question with coding in C++ and a bit of STL.
The interviewer was not very nice, snobish and condescending, yet I passed without any issues and was invited to a full on-site interviews day at a later date.

The on-site interviews included 3 interviews focusing on algorithm/data-structures including a bit of coding. Nothing very difficult, but requiring good knowledge of topics like trees/lists traversal, dynamic programming, binary search, etc.

One interview was on C++ knowledge, basic stuff like virtual functions, multiple inheritance, etc. with a small algorithm and coding question.

Last interview was a design interview - design an image sharing system in which users can upload images, then get a short URL unique for their image and use it in forum messages, social networks posts, emails, etc.

I was told by the recruiter that the feedback was mixed but with enough support for passing to the hiring committee.

Then I was rejected and told by recruiter that the design interview is the cause. I find this decision very wrong, considering what I accomplished in my career and am sure 100% that any former colleague of mine would testify very positively on my design skills, but think back on the design interview I'm not surprised:

The interviewer gave me a pen and papers so I could draw and write my design, but as soon as he finished asking the question he picked a pen and paper and started solving it himself, he seemed to be in a hurry to reach exactly the solution that he expects. He was not nice, arrogant and unpleasant to talk to and have an open discussion.

In total 3 of the 6 interviewers were not people I would like to work with, while the other 3 were very nice and were fun to talk to and think together.

I wasn't asked even once on my work experience or any of my past projects, no single "behavior" question like "describe a scenario in which you had a conflict", etc. and wasn't asked why I would like to join Google or what I'm looking for in a work place.

It seems the entire process revolves around solving technical questions and nothing beyond that, so it's not surprising to me that 3 of 6 interviewers (in my opinion of course) had such bad people skills.
I constantly had the feeling that the interviewers (all of them) prefer meek and inexperienced candidates, that can be shaped and trained to think exactly like them and would not show independent or out-of-the-box thinking.

*** It actually felt to me like my experience and knowledge is an obstacle or a disadvantage instead of an asset that the company would and should appreciate !!! ***

Other than that - I enjoyed solving the questions, food was great (and the engineer that escorted me was very nice and friendly, we had interesting discussions), the offices look and feel great. The recruiter was super friendly, always kept me informed and did his best to speed up the process, I have only good words to say about him.

I later passed successfully interviews in other companies (including Google's competitors), some of which were more difficult, and received excellent offers from great work places, and I definitely think the process in Google leads to bad decisions.

I was offered by the recruiter to try again in 12 months, but I have no such intention, nor would I recommend it to talented people that I know.

Interview Questions
  • I wouldn't describe any question as "difficult", but they definitely require you to be practiced on data structures and basic algorithms. The design question requires different skills - breaking down a very "open" question, clearly defining components in a system, interfaces between them, flow, etc.   Answer Question
No Offer
Neutral Experience
Average Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    I only had two phone interviews. First one was fairly easy: What is the time complexity of quick sort? Inserting into a binary tree? The second one was a coding problem.

    Interview Questions
    • You are given an n by n array filled with '0's, and you have to set randomly X number of '1's in that array. Looping and generating x random number doesn't work as you might get the same random number (especially as X gets closer to n*n, collisions will become more likely in which case you'll loop for a very long time before filling all the '1's). All positions must have the same probability to get selected, and the array might be huge.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a dayinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Submitted the resume and got email from HR, arrange phone interview. The interview has two part, with each one 45 min. The first part, they went through my resume and asked some coding problems, the second part, directly asked the coding problems.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    One recruiter found me on LinkedIn. And then she ask me to send my resume to her. Here are the procedure of interviews.
    First comes one phone interview.Then after that comes to one on-campus interview. And finally one onsite interview.

    Interview Questions
    • What's your favorite product in Google? Do you have any feedback?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    The interview was over the phone, and I was interviewed by three software engineers, 45min each. They all asked coding problems. Only the first interviewer asked about my work, why I wanted to work at Google, what can I do at Google, etc. All three interviewers, at the end, asked me whether if I had a question for them. I coded on Google Doc, which the recruiter sent the link via email. The interview time is on each Google Doc.

    Interview Questions
    • Write a code that returns the deepest node in a binary tree. If the tree is complete, having two same depth of node, return the rightmost node.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 7 weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Two phonescreens before to onsite interviews. Each phone interview with a single algorithm problem, you must prepare with common algorightms with your prefered language. A Google doc is used to write code during interview.

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing hard, mostly basic computer science and algorightm questions   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    I submitted my resume online and got an email to set up a phone interview about 2 weeks later. The phone interview was a simple technical interview that i had to write xode on a shared google doc. I got an email the next day for setting up anoyher phone interview with another engineer. The second phone interview was also a 45 min long technical interview. Then I was inviited to fly to Mountain View for a one-day interview. There were 4 rounds of 45 min technical interview each.

    Interview Questions
    • Search and modify elements in a 2D array.
      Reverse linked list problems.
       
      Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    2 phone interviews :

    first one was easy - normal data structure questions and bit manipulation problems
    count number of bits in +/- int values , implement a data Structure that support insertion - find min - find most frequently inserted

    second one was unfair and hard

    Interview Questions
    • implement URL hashing to convert long URLS to short Ones and retrieve the longOnes from the short !   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied online and scheduled 3 phone interviews in a day. Two of the interviewers were pretty into it but the third one just sounded board. Very quick turnaround time. Some standard questions about run times of certain data structures and algorithms. Should know your graph and tree search algorithms and their implementation. Also some brain teasers and mth questions.

    Interview Questions
    • Given a natural number how do you find the smallest (multi)set of perfect squares that sum to it?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google in January 2015.

    Interview Details

    A recruiter contacted me by mail saying that my profile would suit with some software engineering positions at the GooglePlex. He then set up a phone interview with me to discuss about my academic projects, and asked me one simple technical question about QuickSort (What's the best and worst case in Quicksort ?). But the interview wasn't really technical since he was from HR (and a very cool guy). Afterwards, he set me up for a 45 minutes phone interview with a Google software engineer: The interviewer was not nice. He introduced himself and directly started with tech questions without even trying making conversation. So I wasn't very confident while answering.

    Interview Questions
    • Finding the next element in a sequence of number.
      What is the word static in C++ ?
       
      Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

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