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Google Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 15, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

35%
23%
15%

Interview Experience  

47%
34%
18%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
883 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

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.


Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

I applied online and interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – Applied online.
Screened with two phone interviews each an hour long. Extremely technical.
Then I had to wait until second round for a hiring manager to be interested in my profile.
Had another interview with hiring manager. It was technical but less formal than the screen. More like telling him about some stuff that I had done in previous jobs.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Los Angeles, CA

I interviewed at Google in April 2014.

Interview Details – Applied online. New grad. Had a phone interview about a week later for LA Google. The interviewer is very nice. It is a 45 minutes phone call. First of all, the interviewer introduced himself and his team a little bit and so did I. Then some basic technique questions such as TCP vs UDP, stack vs queue. At last, a programming question. Nice experience. I think I failed because of bad English and not very well prepared.

Interview Question – Nothing unexpected   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Google in April 2014.

Interview Details – Extremely competent, friendly and respectful human resources. We get personalized emails, they reply to their emails and calls. The vast majority of employees I met were extremely friendly.

Interview Question – All questions are challenging. Best to prepare well by reviewing the material they send us before the interview. Ideally review the Algorithms courses given at Coursera..   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at Google in June 2014.

Interview Details – refered by a friend, then quickly got a phone interview one week after. First I described my current work and project and experience on my resume. Then was asked difference btw interface inheritance and implementation inheritance. coding problem is simple: binary search.

Interview Question – follow up with this: someone modified your binary search code and the result is bad(modified version may not be binary search any more). create a test case to find out whether the code is binary search without source code on hand.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
New York, NY

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Google in April 2014.

Interview Details – My resume was referred by a current employee. I got a call from a recruiter a couple weeks later and had a 10 minute conversation with her about the whole process, bit on my background, and what I'm looking for. She sent me an email with all of the content that is considered fair game for an interview. I asked for a month to study before the phone interview.

The phone interview was 45 minutes, with maybe 35 of it being technical questions and coding in a Google Doc. The recruiter called me later that day saying they wanted to bring me in for on-site interviews. I asked for them to be scheduled as soon as possible (already been studying, didn't want to forget anything). The on-site interviews were scheduled for almost 3 weeks later.

My round of interviews on-site wasn't as smooth as the recruiter claims they usually are. I was taken to a small conference that was to be my "home" for the day and the recruiter wrote the schedule of who and when on the white board. The first guy that showed up was not the one listed. Second guy was 15 minutes late. Last guy of the day turned out to be working at home and they had to substitute on the fly (15 minute delay again). Not really a big deal, but I think worth noting.

The interviews themselves were 45 minutes each, again about 35 - 40 minutes of which were technical questions and coding on the white board. All questions fell within the review content suggested by the email. One interview was more of a design/approach interview and np-complete did come up once. In general the questions were designed to be challenging, but solvable in the time-frame.

To study, I read Wikipedia pages and took notes for the topics mentioned in the email. I used a couple other materials for design and integration patterns. This worked as sufficient review for me.

My final comment is regarding how I think they determine level. I was out of undergrad for four years when I interviewed. My experience in the field is longer than that. The recruiter said for their purposes my level was "four years", which I think worked in my favor because they expected less.

Interview Question – The design/approach interview was the hardest simply because it's far more open ended.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I chose not to negotiate as the offer was more than acceptable for me.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

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

Interview Details – I was contacted by a Google recruiter over Linkedin. He then proceeded to schedule a phone interview (which was a month later as I knew it would be tough). The interviewer was pretty knowledgeable but had a heavy Chinese accent. He asked me about my background and what I would like to do at Google. When I said I would like to work in applications like gmail, earth or youtube he asked me why not in infrastructure or devops ? He then proceeded to give an algorithmic question (over Google docs) for finding the local minimum value in an array. Although I wrote the correct algorithm in Java with time complexity O(n) , he then proceeded to give me hints to optimize it. Here I was found wanting and hence did not receive an offer.

Interview Question – What type of queries/use cases would a column-oriented database be most useful for ?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I interviewed at Google in June 2013.

Interview Details – I had an intern at Google, so they took another two interviews at the end to decide for full time position. They also took 3 references from my mentors. The interviews were typical of a company sized as Google. They included algorithmic and system design questions. After two months waiting time I was hired.


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Seattle, WA

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

Interview Details – A recruiter contacted me, mentioning he is following up with past CodeJam participants. While I am not really intending to change jobs at this point, I decided to take an interview. I talked with him on the phone and he asked simple questions (e.g., experience in developing mobile apps, intention to move to California, etc.). He introduced me another recruiter who is in Seattle. I talked with her on the phone and she scheduled an onsite interview at the Seattle office. I didn't have phone interviews, possibly because I have passed through ones in the past (rejected at onsite), or possibly because I'm currently working in Seattle and they don't need to reimburse for transportation and lodging.

I had interviews with 5 engineers (+1 engineer for lunch). Questions were rather simple and with moderate difficulty. While I thought I did well on the questions, the recruiter called me a week after the interview and told me that the hiring committee decided not make an offer. As other people also say, they don't give me any feedback, but the recruiter mentioned it was "close", though I don't know if she actually had detailed information about my interview.

What's frustrating and made me feel negative about the process is that they do not give me any feedback. I don't even know if it was because of my performance at the interview or because of my past experience (I'm not a software engineer right now and coding is not my main job responsibility). I explicitly asked this point to the recruiter but she didn't clarify. I'm suspecting it's the latter and if that's the case, this whole process was totally a waste of time, but I never know.

Another reason for my negative feeling is that the recruiter left a message on my home phone saying that she needs to follow-up about the interview. The fact I was taking an interview was secret to my family and I've repeatedly asked the recruiter not to call my home phone, but she didn't care about that. This has brought a situation in my family, even bigger than the fact that I was rejected. Recruiters should be more careful about each candidate's privacy, though failed candidates may not be important to them.

Interview Question – I signed an NDA and cannot disclose questions. However in my case, there were no complicated questions. I could choose to code either on a Chromebook or on the whiteboard.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Cambridge, MA

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

Interview Details – The process was pretty straight-forward. A recruiter got in touch with me and scheduled an HR round. This was followed by a technical phone screen. I was then invited on-site (Cambridge, MA) for a full day of interviews. The whole process took a little more than 10 weeks.

I personally thought the on-site interviews went very well. Did everything recommended by the Google recruiting teams. But in the end (after a painful wait of more than two weeks!) I was told that they've decided not to make an offer. I wasn't given feedback on what went wrong, even though the decision-making process took forever. I was told "it is Google's policy" not to elaborate on the reasons behind the decision!!!

Interview Question – I would not say any of the questions were particularly difficult, but they were a bit tricky. Make sure you test your code for boundary conditions and with different inputs. And always, THINK OUT LOUD!   Answer Question

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 Current Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA

Pros: “Fantastic and super smart co-workers, great culture, perks and compensation package. Generous to new parents. Work hard play hard. Leadership committed to a long term growth of the company.” Full Review

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