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Google Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Jan 29, 2015
Updated Jan 29, 2015
1,122 Interview Reviews

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Google.

Interview Details

Applied online. My recruiter contacted me few days after. I had 2 phone interview with algorithmic questions. The questions were pretty straightforward and reviewing data structure will help you. They ask you to think about what kind of inputs you would use to test your code.

No Offer

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 7+ weeksinterviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    I got contacted by a recruiter through linked in. After a behavioral interview and a phone screen (topic: input sorting - see the interview question below) I was flown out to Kirkland to interview in person.

    The interview process there was pretty typical compared to what you see here - several interviews over the course of a day, each about an hour long along with an hour for lunch, and each covering one or two questions.

    The people were all pretty nice - I enjoyed talking with both my recruiters (the first recruiter, who did recruiting for multiple offices, and the second recruiter, who dealt only with the Washington area) although the salary negotiations were pretty annoying - be prepared to deal with tactics meant to push your salary lower than you would want otherwise (although the offer was pretty damn reasonable to begin with, so I can't complain).

    I'm not sharing any questions from the interview process here, as per the frequently mentioned NDA, suffice to say that you will receive ample information on what you need to prepare ahead of time. See other reviews for what your interview will look like - they're all pretty much on the ball.

    After the interview, you're run past a hiring committee, then submitted to VPs for approval, then salary negotiations, followed by the final offer.

    Interview Questions
    • (from the phone screen) given a set of inputs, sort them such that the proceeding digit alternates higher, then lower than the preceding digit (i.e. 1, 5, 2, 8, 5, 10, 1, 6, 2, 3, 1, 3, 2, 10)   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I was able to negotiate salary & a stock bonus. The overall experience was pretty terrible - I received an only-ok (for Google) offer, and it was pretty arduous to push that number up any higher. Read Programming Interviews Exposed's section before you get to this stage (i.e. after you successfully complete interviews) for some good tips, although the most important tips I've seen are: 1. have a 3 numbers going in; what you'll accept at worst, what you want, and what you're going to present as your goal salary, and 2. make sure you don't consider anything non-negotiable during negotiations (i.e. potential bonuses, promotions, health benefits, peer salaries, etc) unless it's beneficial to you negotiating a higher salary.

    All in all, though, it's a pretty nice offer for the industry and even the region (94th percentile plus 120k-ish in equity over 4 years) so I can't be too mad.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    I applied to the general new graduate Software Engineer position online via the jobs website. I was asked to take an online coding assessment that was timed to 60 minutes. It was unscheduled, and they requested I complete it within 6 days.

    A recruiter got in touch about 1.5 weeks later to schedule a phone interview. The recruiter asked about my GPA, who I knew at Google (for a reference), and my transcripts. They also asked normal questions about my other interviews or deadlines, visa sponsorship, etc.

    The phone interview was about 35-45 minutes long. The interviewer called me late and did not introduce themselves, they just jumped immediately into the first question. They also asked me to type my thoughts and responses into the provided Google Doc instead of speaking out loud too much, so that they could have a record. The question asked was related to summed area tables for 2d matrices of integers. The interviewer did not seem impressed or friendly and immediately hung up after we discussed the single question.

    The recruiter got back to me one day after the phone interview to let me know that Google wanted me to fly to the Bay Area and interview in person. The travel setup was easy and they paid for flights, hotel, meals, etc.

    The in-person interview was made up of 4 hour-long interviews with a lunch interview in the middle. It took place in Mountain View on the Google main campus. The interviews were mostly one-on-one and I was asked coding questions on the whiteboard, questions about my resume, and questions that required analysis of existing/provided source code. Some of the topics were parallel execution, algorithms / tree data structures, image processing, and C and C++.

    About 2 weeks after the in-person interview my recruiter got back to me again to let me know that the team was ready to make an offer. The offer was good and the position was located in the Bay Area. I negotiated the signing bonus and stock grant upwards by a fairly significant amount using several other offers I had in hand.

    Interview Questions
    • Analyze parallel counting code to determine what possible sequences can be output.   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    I decided that another team/company was a better fit for me. Google's offer was very high and I was able to negotiate using other offers on everything except base salary (signing bonus, stock grants, etc.)

    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Telephone interview: It was little weird - the first question had to do with topological sorting, which I was able to solve and code. The second question was about max length pairs of words in a dictionary, which I was able to answer too. The problem - the interviewer didn't understand what I was talking! He made me explain things again and again, even though I had written them down on the shared doc. He was satisfied with my answer at last, the same answer that I was telling him from the beginning, and asked me to code it. He also mentioned at the end of the interview that I will be getting a call for the next interview soon. However, they called in a couple of days to tell me that they won't be moving forward with the process.

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing very difficult, though the graph question was good.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    1. I contacted my Google recruiter, who has been reaching out to me for several months.
    2. I was invited to an onsite interview, which took ~6 hours total. There were 5-6 sessions, each of which lasted ~45 minutes. I was asked to write code on the whiteboard. Questions were pretty difficult, and assessed understanding of data structures, algorithmic problem-solving skills, communication skills, runtime analysis, system design, and programming languages. Overall, the interview questions were fair and tested my software engineering skill-set.

    Interview Questions
    • Write code that does X, with a good error-handling mechanism, fast runtime, and good decomposition.   Answer Question
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a dayinterviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    A university recruiter reached out to me in mid-fall to schedule an onsite interview (I was previously an engineering intern at Google). I had a short non-technical phone call with the recruiter during which she asked me about my technical interests, what I was looking for in a full-time role, and what products at Google I wanted to work on. After that, she connected me with a recruiting coordinator to set up my flight, hotel, and interview day logistics.

    The interview day was alright but felt a little rushed and impersonal to me. I was told that my interviews would begin at 10am. My interview host for the day greeted me in the lobby a few minutes after 10 and rushed me to my first interview at 10:15am. The room was tiny (I could barely write my code on the whiteboard) and not very sound-proof. The day consisted of four 45-minute coding interviews in total. The first two were in the morning, after which I had lunch with a different Google engineer than my interviewers. I then had two more interviews after lunch.

    The questions weren't too difficult overall - mostly standard questions on algorithms and data structures on a white board. I got two on manipulating strings and arrays, one on binary trees, and one recursive problem simulating a board game.

    Interview Questions
    • Given a list of Strings, how do you split it into lists of anagrams?   View Answer
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    There were a series of emails exchanged and I was passed through three different recruiters.
    I proceeded to an initial phone interview to discuss skills, background, and next steps. The recruiter I spoke with on the phone was curt. She asked a few broad questions, including why I would want to work at Google. I replied that I enjoy fast development with a small, agile team. She misunderstood me and suggested that I should apply to Facebook instead because they have a more constant release cycle. This question and her generally haughty tone left me feeling pretty defensive and not trilled about continuing. Nevertheless, I was given a technical phone interview a week and a half later.
    I did not know what to expect from the technical phone interview. I was sent an email detailing a long list of potential subjects, which I studied broadly. Instead, I should have been practicing coding problems. The technical interview consisted entirely of two programming questions. I coded on a Google Document along with the interviewer. I could only partially complete both questions. The first question was, "Given a binary search tree populated with numbers, find the closest match to an incoming number." The other question was, "Given an array of strings, find the common prefix."
    I left the interview knowing I had very little chance of continuing. Despite this, the recruiter called about a week and a half later to decline, but invited me to try again in "12-15 months". The call left a sour taste in my mouth as I again experienced a condescending attitude in a scripted call, especially when a simple email would have sufficed.

    Interview Questions
    • Given an array of strings, find the common prefix.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was first given a phone screening where they asked questions about my resume and interests. Next was the first phone interview. The phone interview was all technical questions on algorithm design. I coded on a shared Google Doc and the interviewer first explained the questions and then would give me a series of test cases before letting me get to solving the problem. I answered all of the questions but didn't make it past the phone interview with the reason being I needed more experience writing professional code.

    Interview Questions
    • None of the questions were particularly difficult. There were some questions about optimizing my code using dynamic programming but all of the algorithms were relatively simple if you use all of the test cases given.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Google in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    I submitted my resume online and got an email to set up a phone interview about 2 weeks later. The phone interview was a simple technical interview that i had to write xode on a shared google doc. I got an email the next day for setting up anoyher phone interview with another engineer. The second phone interview was also a 45 min long technical interview. Then I was inviited to fly to Mountain View for a one-day interview. There were 4 rounds of 45 min technical interview each.

    Interview Questions
    • Search and modify elements in a 2D array.
      Reverse linked list problems.
       
      Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Applied online. Two phone interviews and onsite interview. Phone interviews jumped directly to the coding problems but not very hard. Just basic algorithms. Four rounds onsite interview, not very hard. The atmosphere in google in really good.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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