Google Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Aug 27, 2015
1,435 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

54%
29%
15%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

45%
34%
12%
6
1
0
0

Interview Difficulty

3.5
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy

1,435 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty

 

Software Engineer Interview

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

Application

I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in August 2015.

Interview

Overall it was a great experience. I applied online and received a response from a recruiter two days later. The whole process took about 3 months and consisted of one phone interview and five on site interviews. The questions mostly covered algorithms and data structures with some design questions. I was also asked how I would test my solution the each problem.

Interview Questions

  • How would you test an application like the Unix cron utility?   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Interviewer was rude and condescending. I didn't like how he was drinking a beer during the interview and had his feet on the table. I think he didn't have much respect for me as a candidate and I disliked that a lot. I understand not everyone is professional, but respect is still important.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Phone Screen consisting of basic algorithm questions, and a few questions about your background and if you clear it --a invitation onsite. Onsite consists of back-to-back algorithm rounds (4-6), with a lunch Break. Lunch is a good time to ask about working at Google. The process was very smooth and Google was very prompt in their responses.

    Interview Questions

    • The questions were what you expect of a standard programming interviews (DP, trees and other data structures). Make sure you have extensively reviewed algorithms before you attempt the interview.   Answer Question
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    The process was just as I had read about. I was contacted by a recruiter through email. I had an initial phone screening with the recruiter. Then a technical phone interview with an engineer. I unfortunately didn't make it to an on-site interview.

    Interview Questions

    • What products would you want to work on? I wasn't expecting this and just babbled off a list of all of their products instead of picking out the ones that most interested me.   Answer Question
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5. Helpful (21)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    A 3rd party staffer contacted me after a Google coding challenge. After getting to know what I was interested him, he found an open position for me and forwarded me to a Google staffer. The Google staffer set me up with a phone technical interview with another one of the employees.

    Interview Questions

    • Return the max k numbers from an unsorted integer array. Each number in the array is in the range [0, 10000).   8 Answers
  6. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    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.

    Interview Questions

    • 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
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Los Angeles, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    I interviewed with the Google LA office in Venice. Process was fairly quick. Recruiter contacted me by email and set up a technical phone interview. Phone interview was with a software engineer and it was a data structure/algorithm question (basic question was to remove duplicates from a list of strings). It was about 45 minutes. Engineer sounded friendly and asked me to optimize the solution. I thought it went well. After a couple of days, recruiter called me to setup an onsite interview. You know the drill. Google Onsite consists of 5 interviews - 4 coding interviews and 1 design interview and a lunch session (you will need it to recharge between coding sessions). The onsite interviews were more difficult than the phone interview. My only tip if you really want a job at Google will be to practice data structure and algorithm questions... especially tress and graphs. 3 of my coding interviews were trees and graphs questions. The "Programming Interviews" book is pretty useful to brush up on these concepts and similar questions. I thought 3 of my interviews went well, the other two not so good. It all depends who you get to interview with also. One interviewer constantly interrupted me as i was writing code on the board, and repeatedly asking me to keep revising my solution. I ended up not having enough time to complete it.

    Interview Questions

    • You are given a set of unsorted strings to work with. Construct a program that will suggest autocorrect words as they are typed. (the unsorted strings are the valid words).   2 Answers
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineering Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google in July 2015.

    Interview

    I got contacted by Google through Google Foobar, then applied on their website for a Software Engineering Intern position. There was one phone call with a candidate review associate, and then 2 45 minute technical interviews over Google Hangouts. Both interviewers were nice, but the microphone quality varies between interviewers, which can interfere with communication. The process took roughly 8 weeks.

    Interview Questions

    • Under NDA so can't say, but having a solid CS foundation will help.   Answer Question
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    Interview process took a very long time, apparently there were issues moving data around on their end. Reading between the lines suggested that one phone interviewer either did not submit feedback or was delinquent in doing so. Overall accomodations were very nice, logistics, lodgings and transportation were taken care of extremely well and with a minimum of fuss. Interviews were 100% technical and basically asked nothing apart from coding questions. Interviewers (engineers) were a bit stand-offish and half were not too sociable.

    Interview Questions

    • Like many software-development-oriented interviews, I was asked about previous projects. As a recent graduate, I had only a handful of relatively small projects under my belt. If applying, try to make sure you have at least one major project that you can talk about and work in some details about what you learned from it.   Answer Question
  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    The whole process at Google was very enjoyable and moved pretty fast. I unfortunately did not move on, but my recruiter and interviewer were very polite and easy to work with. I reached out to Google going through the website in the summer for New Grad Software Engineering and was contacted by a recruiter a few days later. She set up an interview for that next week and then followed up about a week after my interview to let me know the feedback.

    Interview Questions

    • Something about reading from the disc and optimizing the latency of the data read/writes.   Answer Question

See What Google Employees Are Saying

  Current Senior Manufacturing Engineer in Mountain View, CA

Pros: “Autonomy, working with outstanding peers, work/life balance, great bonuses for high performers”“Autonomy, working with outstanding peers, work/life balance, great bonuses for high performers” – Full Review

Don't Miss Out On a Job You Love
Upload a resume to easily apply to jobs from anywhere. It's simple to set up.

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.