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Google Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

34%
21%
16%

Interview Experience 

45%
35%
18%

Interview Difficulty 

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Kirkland, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2014.

Interview Details – Recruiter contacted me via linkedin and started the process. He was responsive and helpful in figuring out the logistics. Did two phone interviews initially and then a full day of interviews at the google campus. Everyone I spoke to was cordial and patient as I was working through the solutions.

Interview Question – Most questions were related to general data structures and graph algorithms.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
New York, NY

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – I applied online and 1 week later a HR contacted me by email and we skipped the phone interview, scheduled a onsite interview three weeks later and later there are 5 onsites interviews in one day. Offices there are awesome, a little bit crowded. Interviewers are friendly. nice company worth visiting.

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Google in March 2012.

Interview Details – Got referred by a colleague. Recruiter contacted me and I responded positively. Technical phone interview follows. Then I was called for an onsite. They told me I did really well (and I believe so) but in the end I didn't get an offer. The recruiter kept "searching for a fit with a team" for a month after the interview. In all their communication, the recruiters were very professional and polite.

Interview Question – Given two sorted arrays with N elements each, find the median of their union in O(log n).   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Mountain View, CA

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

Interview Details – I was first contacted by Google in 2012 a couple months after I took up current employment. This recruiter was energetic, interesting and seemed genuinely interested in finding the right spot for me at Google. Unfortunately, I had just started my new job and have a personal policy of staying at a place of work for at least a year. That, and the project was interesting and exciting so I did not follow up and let him know why.

Time passed and eventually he moved on from Google. About a year later another recruiter contacted me. She seemed nice but nowhere near as enthusiastic. We setup a time to talk over a Hangout but unfortunately she cancelled at the last minute. Not good, I'd changed my plans around to fit. So I agreed to her request to setup a new Hangout the next week. Nothing happened. After about two weeks (I waited due to work commitments) I got back in contact with her and we worked out a new time and the interview went ahead. She was courteous and seemed reasonably enthusiastic, but nothing like the previous guy who had a specific position in mind. No, this was now very open ended, non-specific and I started to feel like just another candidate. Despite this I decided to see where it went.

So a technical phone interview was setup and it was possible one of the worst phone interviews of my career. I could not hear a thing. The call quality was terrible. This made it extremely hard to hear what I was even supposed to be doing. Fortunately, the Googler on the other end was very helpful, polite and understanding. We eventually nutted out what he wanted me to do via Google Docs.

Then I waited over two weeks for feedback. I passed the interview but then I was transferred unceremoniously to recruiter the 3rd. This guy was even less enthusiastic but communication was clear and to the point. He ignored my request to talk to him over Hangout. But, the second interview got organised with a team I was interested in.

The second interview however was far worse than the first. Call quality was better but still not great. Worse still however was the interviewer who, seemingly, had zero interest in being there. He explained what he was looking for, a basic problem, and for the rest of the interview ignored most of my questions. I was trying to talk through the problem, explain what I was doing and also try and see how he would work with me. From what I heard I'd expected this from a Google interview. And indeed, the last interviewer was great. However, this guy did not answer my questions - aside from some grunts - and seemed more worried that I wasn't using STL. I told him I just wanted to keep it simple as it was a simple question.

Did I forget to mention that he was a full 15 minutes late to the interview? I cannot stand this and it is disrespectful and very tardy. Also, the question asked had nothing to do with the specific position I was interviewing for.

In the end, I've no doubt I gave a sub-optimal impression on my second interview. But what do you expect from a sub-optimal interview? Garbage in, garbage out. So in the end I did not get an offer.

While I understand that I am perhaps in the minority here as far as Google interviews go I can see from the stats that I am certainly not alone. From my experience I can only conclude that Google does not take its recruitment seriously and it has big issues with process.

Interview Question – They were only of average difficulty.   Answer Question

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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee
Mountain View, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3+ weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2014.

Interview Details – I had been contacted by a couple of Google recruiters in the past but I wasn't interested at that point. When I decided to pursue an opportunity with Google last month, I just contacted them back and they set me up for a loop.
Since I was interviewing for a role in MV, there was one phone screen. The question itself wasn't very interesting but I had to write code in a shared Google doc.
The next day, I was told that the phone screen had gone well and was invited for the onsite rounds. There were 5 technical rounds (and an hour around noon for lunch) - each had 2 questions and some time for my questions. While I won't discuss the actual questions here, I'll say that it wasn't 'difficult' (Basic data structures and algorithms). There were no questions involving fancy data structures (Binomial heaps / skip lists etc) either.
Two days after the onsite interview, I was told that the hiring committee had approved it, a week after that, I got the final offer.

Interview Question – The NDA prevents me from discussing the actual questions I was asked.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Compensation - I asked for more stock (I had a competing offer) and they came back and offered even more than I had asked for - there was nothing further to negotiate.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Google in March 2011.

Interview Details – Very responsive and on time.

Interview Question – Nothing too special. Just some general software engineer questions.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – I register on their website. When they want to hire people they just ask you if you are interested in applying. Then I have 2 rounds of interview on campus. They may ask you to write code on a piece of paper or using a google doc. The interviews are very nice. They will lead you to correct answer, very professional.

Interview Question – All the questions are easy at first. But they may ask you to step into it further and further. The most common questions are : now you have this answer how can we improve it ?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Google in February 2014.

Interview Details – 2 rounds back-to-back
first round: coding problems. wiggle property + graph
second round: String manipulation
The problems are not that hard, but you need to write real codes which makes this not that easy. The interviewees are good, except the first one, who did not give you so many instructions when you are stuck

Interview Question – They asked coding problems and letted me write code on paper, only coding   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Google in February 2014.

Interview Details – Applied through the school career website. Got phone interviewed. quite hard programming and algorithm questions and some brain teaser questions. The phone interview lasted 40 mins . I was not able to answer all the questions. :(. The overall process is fast and tough.

Interview Question – programming and algorithm questions and some brain teaser questions.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – phone interview.

(1) I have a linked-list and a node has a digit.
For example, 1->2->4->6->8.
1 is a head and 8 is a tail.
It means the number 12,468.
I want to add 1.
Then, it should be 1->2->4->6->9.
Implement it.
what is the time complexity.

(2) explain abstract and interface.
what are they different?
give me an example.

(3) Bill has a fifty billion dollar.
you have a dollar.
your money become 2 times larger than a year before. (ex: 1->2->4->8->...)
How long year does it take that yours is more than Bill's.
give me an answer without calculator.

Interview Question – I think it is just typical questions.   View Answers (2)

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