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Google Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 25, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

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16%

Interview Experience  

47%
34%
17%

Interview Difficulty  

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

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Google in July 2014.

Interview Details – Standard: 1 phone screen + 5 on-site technical rounds. Overall the interviewers were pleasant and they look for coherent solutions with bug-free code. Prepare for computer science fundamentals especially algos and data structures. I was lucky that they did not ask any system design questions.

Interview Questions

  • Find the local minima in an array. A local minima is defined as a number whose left and right indices are greater than it in value.   Answer Question
  • An array contains integers with the property that a particular number, called the majority element, appears more than 50% of the time. Give an algo to find this majority number   View Answers (3)
  • Implement std::vector's push_back()

    Also asked for maximum contiguous subarray problem
      Answer Question
  • There are n points in a plane. Find the max number of points that lie on a line   Answer Question
  • In a given binary tree, find the number of elements that lie in a given range.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Google in June 2014.

Interview Details – Contacted by the recruiter, interview was scheduled around 3 weeks later. I had 2 back-to-back interviews, each for ~50 mins. I will not disclose the questions because I respect the NDA, but generally the Google interviewers like to start with a question and make it more and more difficult as the interview proceeds.
The first interviewer was not as friendly. In fact he was a little intimidating. The question that he asked, I hadn't even heard of it despite the fact that I always over-prepare, and in the first 2 mins I really thought I am gonna screw this up since I had no clue where to start from, but I anyways started and was surprised by my own performance. They are not looking for people who have crammed the code line by line and just write it perfectly. They are looking for people who can think and implement on the fly.
The second interviewer was pretty cool and when he asked the question, it was a piece of cake, but I was amazed to see how difficult he made it as the interview proceeded. At a couple of points, he even told me that he just expected a verbal solution since there was not much time left to write the code, but I told him I will write the code instead, which I did. Needless to say, he was very impressed by my enthusiasm all throughout the interview.
I was contacted by the recruiter in less than 4 business days that I qualified for the 2nd round, and after 3 weeks I had a host-matching interview with a team. I took the offer.
The best tip I ever got - Always review your code before you say 'I am done'. Walk through code, see that you have covered all the edge cases and say you are done when you are done.

Interview Question – None were easy, but won't disclose any because of the NDA.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Initially emailed by HR to set up an initial screening. Phone screening was just background questions and questions about my education. Technical interview came about a week later. It was a bit strange because the person who originally contacted me (HR) ended up either moving to another position or got left for some reason, so I got passed around a lot and had 3 HR people throughout the process.

Interview Question – Write a function with integer input which returns an integer having been flipped around in the binary sense. Example:
Given 3, it should be turned into 0000 0011, then flipped 1100 0000, then return 64+128 = 192. I commented that this was easily done via bitwise manipulations, but I have not done those in a while so I wrote a program out in C to do it manually.
  View Answer


No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

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

Interview Details – Was contacted by a recruiter before graduation. Had a phone interview which went well and was then brought on site. I regret that this was my first on-site interview, and I wasn't as prepared as I needed to be. The technical questions were very hard - harder than the other companies I've subsequently interviewed at - and I wasn't able to give satisfactory answers to several.

Interview Question – The technical questions   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Boulder, CO

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 8+ weeks - interviewed at Google in May 2014.

Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter, waited several weeks, passed a technical phone screen, waited several weeks, had an on-site interview with 5 technical sessions and an informal lunch in the cafeteria. After another week I was called with my results. Interviews ranged from a thought provoking discussion of "What features and issues would you watch for if you implemented [a given mobile app]?" to processing streams of ints and traversing tree structures efficiently.

Interview Question – Describe how you would design a fully automated continuous build/test/configure/deploy system for arbitrary applications and software packages. Feel free to dive into any piece of this problem that is of interest to you.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in October 2012.

Interview Details – I had my interview in late 2012. The first round was a 45 minutes phone interview. Then I was brought onsite to meet 5 interviewers. The questions consist of whiteboard coding, algorithms and design questions. The interviewers are all nice and professional. Some people care about bug-free coding. Got my offer about one week later.

Interview Question – some algorithm questions can be very hard, due to NDA I won't be able to share.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I had offers from other companies (fb). Google beat their offers.


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – 2 Phone interview, 45 min for each. Using google doc to type codes. Most questions are coding problems. Not hard, but need to be careful not to make silly mistakes. After that it tooks very long to tell me the final result

Interview Question – in order traversal of a binary tree,
next element in inorder traversal
  View Answer


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – I got an email from the recruiter within 45 minutes of submitting an application, but the whole process of the interview took nearly a month. The first interview was a phone interview, which wasn't too tricky. The interviewer was very kind and help with any questions I had. After passing the phone interview I moved to an onsite interview. I had a series of 4 interviews. None of the questions I got asked where too challenging, but all of the interviewers pressed me for more or to expand on what I had after I had worked out a problem. All but one of the interviews were kind and helped me with any questions, but the last one was tight lipped throughout the interview, and just expected me to figure it all out and write it on the board.

Interview Question – The one that tripped me up asked me to write code to return all words in a dictionary that can be formed from a string of numbers (e.g. 34556), where the numbers map the same why they do on a phone (e.g. 1->A, B, or C).   View Answers (3)


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Google in July 2014.

Interview Details – Going for first technical this Monday! Applied online a long time ago, more then a few months ago but less then a year? maybe. So the first phone call was a basic screening, see if your a candidate for the process, you set a date and your left to study for that, which I am currently doing. Will keep this upto date.

Interview Question – Study, Study, Study. I'm reading Gayle Laakmann McDowell's Cracking the Coding Interview 5th edition to prep.   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Cambridge, MA

I applied through a recruiter and interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – I initiated the process by responding to an email message from a sourcer and was handed off to a recruiting coordinator. I spoke several times with the recruiting coordinator, who was my primary contact point throughout the proces. After an intial phone screen, I was invited onsite to speak with 5 engineers (with a break for lunch mid-day).

Folowing the interviews, I received a tentative "not officially an offer" congradulatory call at which point we discussed teams that would be a good match for my skill set. Once one was selected, I received a formal offer, which I had 5 business days to accept.

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