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Google Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 18, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

36%
21%
16%

Interview Experience  

47%
34%
18%

Interview Difficulty  

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

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – 4 interviews on one day in Pittsburgh. Nothing difficult, and interviewer said that small bugs are accepted. The questions involve typical strings, BFS and coding skill (to solve a problem, no algorithm involved.).

Interview Question – Just in the final interview, the interviewer give me a question that he made 2 days ago. He said there is no best answer, but I told him that the question could be solved by BFS.   Answer Question


Accepted 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 April 2014.

Interview Details – Algorithm and design a ranking system

Interview Question – Design a ping-pong ranking system   View Answers (5)


5 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
San Bruno, CA

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

Interview Details – 4 rounds technical interviews plus lunch.
They are very nice and almost agree with you on everything. When your write the code on the board they always say "great", "perfect"... I think this is the trap. They make me less nervous which is great but I also started thinking that the problems are not hard and I can definitely get the job. Here is when things goes wrong.

Interview Question – How to protect data when you transfer it online. e.g. You need to submit your username and password from your client to the server and there is people who is listening to the information.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
New York, NY

I applied online - interviewed at Google in February 2014.

Interview Details – Recruiter got in touch with me in Dec 2013. Interview scheduled for Feb 2014.

Interview Question – The question was on n-ary tree data stream. Not unexpected, but there was a misunderstanding between myself and the interviewer. The question is to find the head of the tree given a data stream of key value pairs.   View Answer


5 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Google.

Interview Details – First, a person will contact you to arrange time for the interview. For internship, I have two 1-hour phone interviews in the same day. It'd better to have at least 2 weeks to prepare after you get the contact from Google. Also the phone signal might be bad so be prepared to have alternative way to contact. The first question is about bitwise operation. Study from Cracking the Interviews might help.

Interview Question – Design a class where you can add elements, and return the mean of the latest N elements.   View Answers (3)


13 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Los Angeles, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 7 weeks - interviewed at Google in March 2014.

Interview Details – I was first contacted by a recruiter. He emailed me out of the blue, and said he really liked my github profile.

Honestly, at first, I didn't believe it was real. We emailed back and forth a few times, but I wasn't really looking to moving to the Bay Area, so I never actually sent in my CV.

About a month goes by, and he emails me back. He just wanted to follow up. Said that he never received the resume, and hoped I would get back in touch. So I told him about my situation, and he mentioned that they had an LA office. This was news to me, and much closer to home. So I sent in my resume, and he connected me to a recruiter who was closer to me.

All in all, I talked with about 4 different people in recruiting. All of them were incredibly nice and helpful. My first "interview" was with the second recruiter. It was really just getting to know me, what my interests were, and trying to get a feel for my fit with the company.

After that interview, we scheduled a technical phone interview. Gave me to weeks to study up. Lots of review material was sent my way, which was awesome. Ended up reading my algorithms text book again, it was quite a nice read, but I don't believe I would have done poorly on the phone interview, even had I not read it. The tips/references they sent to me were extremely helpful. They sent me Titles/Authors of some amazing books, I recommend reading them even if you aren't interviewing with Google.

After passing the phone interview, we had an on-site scheduled about a week later. This was much harder than the phone interview. I get the idea that the phone was just to weed out the weaker candidates. The on-site consisted of 5 one-on-one interviews, plus one lunch "interview" where I was able to ask all of my questions. All of them were about 45 minutes each.

Every interviewer I talked to was very interesting, and we always had something in common to talk about. The questions were all very interesting problems. There was one point in one of the questions where one of the interviewers put a star next to a line I wrote to remind him to go back and follow up on a comment I made that sounded interesting. I enjoyed the interviews, because it felt like I was back in college, talking to my peers about fascinating problems.

There were one or two interviews that I feel I didn't do so hot on. I only managed to get through one of the questions on two of the interviews. However, I figured they really just wanted to see how I approached the problems, so I made sure to explain myself very thoroughly.

Interview Question – I can't go into details about the problems. But I wish I had studied my graph algorithms a little more closely.

Make sure you know your big-O algorithm classifications. Almost every interviewer asked me something to do with that.
  View Answers (2)


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Things move quickly around here. At Internet speed. That means we have to be nimble, both in how we work and how we hire. We look for people who are great at lots of things, love big challenges and welcome big changes. We can’t have too many specialists in just one particular area. We’re looking for people who are good for Google—and not just for right now, but for the long term.

Interview Question – Algorithms   Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2014.

Interview Details – I applied online at the Google jobs website. I was contacted by a recruiter and was invited to do a back to back interviews at Google. I initially had a phone conversation with the recruiter about the Google interview process. I heard back from the recruiter about a week after the back to back interview.

Interview Question – Build a pseudorandom maze. Write a method to deep copy a graph. Given an n x n matrix of numbers, how do I find a number?   Answer Question


5 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

Interviewed at Google

Interview Details – Got an phone interview from Google. The interviewer was very good, and the question was not that hard. However, I took too many time to figure out the first question, and not remaining much time for the 2nd question. The interview takes 45 minutes. For each interviewee, it should take 20~25 minutes to tackle the problem and during the process, discuss with the interviewer.

Interview Questions

  • Merge sorted, non-overlapping list of intervals with another interval [(1,3), (5,10), (12,30)] + (9,31) = [(1,3), (5,31)]   View Answers (2)
  • Implement a system so that the billionth search query at Google each day wins a car.   Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer

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

Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter from Google. We then arranged a time for a phone interview. Basically talked about my background and he then introduced google working environment and advantages. He then arranged a phone screen for me after half a month. The questions on the phone screen are not difficult, but very tricky. You need to be very familiar with algorithms and data structure, and also be very experienced to code with your most preferred language. The materials sent by the recruiter is very helpful. I was graduating during the time, so I didn't have enough time to practice coding. I didn't pass it.

Interview Question – Design a cache with O(1) search time and delete time.   View Answer

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3 people found this helpful

 Current Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA

Pros: “Intelligent people, fantastic management, incredible foresight.” Full Review

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