Google Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Oct 23, 2014
Updated Oct 23, 2014
965 Interview Reviews

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5 people found this helpful  

Software Engineering Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Google.

Interview Details

First step was to submit an application through Google's online system, which included a resume and (optional) cover letter. I was contacted by a recruiter within 3 days (including the weekend) and set up an interview for 2 weeks from that date. It was two back to back technical phone interviews. The interviewers let you choose what language you wish to demonstrate your knowledge in. I chose Java for both.

My first interviewer was great. He introduced himself and throughout the interview, was very proactive on trying to guide me through a difficult part of the problem or hinted if he wanted more to the solution. I had to constantly verbalize my thought process, as it was a phone interview, so he mainly responded to that.

My second interviewer was not so great. He was 10 minutes late and seemed like he didn't want to help at all. Even after his "explanation" of the problem, including a confusion-inducing analogy, I was still a bit uncertain about the problem, so I just went with what I thought was right. It ended up being mostly correct until he literally started to yell at me over the phone for the last line, which was parsing an object to an int, then back to an object when there was another method that did what I was trying to do already (which he didn't explain, so I didn't know what it was, go figure). He seemed to not be paying attention at all, as there were multiple times where I asked a question, only to be answered with silence.

After that, I received a follow up email from the recruiter, stating I would know the results in a week or so. I ended up not getting the position (most likely due to that second interviewer), but am not deterred from applying again. I will admit my Java was definitely not up to par, considering that wasn't the dominant language I programmed in for the past half year and only really "studied" for two weeks before the interview.

No Offer
Neutral Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Google in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    Submit a resume, after submission IF selected you then have to take a survey to let them know a little bit more about yourself and complete a coding exam. After coding exam no results are shown however you're contacted in roughly a week as to whether or not you'll have an in person interview.

    Interview Questions
    • The coding exam. Be prepared for anything. Two questions in an hour isn't the easiest. The first is easy but the second is far more challenging.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Jose, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Jose, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Google in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    it took about 2 weeks to process phone interview from submitting my resume. most of question were regarding my status and basic concept of data structure and algorithm. they asked me about only BASIC CONCEPT which are written in textbooks and looked like they wanted me to answer exactly the same answer in textbooks. when I tried to explain using examples, they asked me to usel very specific wording.

    Interview Questions
    • nothing special, just typical interview questions which are more likely be in midterm exams   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Google in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied online, and received an interview request within a couple of days.

    Did a 45 minute interview which stretched to be an hour. The interviewer was kind of nice, talked about what they did, and their experience at Google. They also asked me about my previous experiences in school and work. We jumped into the technical question. Ended up getting a reply a week after the interview stating that they going forward with me in the job interview process.

    I didn't study enough for the interview... make sure you are prepared.

    Interview Questions
    • NDA.

      But, it was an algorithmic problem involving arrays.
        Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review
  5. 15 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 8+ weeksinterviewed at Google in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Day 0 — I apply to seven different Software Engineer positions in the Bay Area simultaneously via their website.
    Day 0 — 38 minutes later, I receive an email from a Recruiter (call him R1), who's also an Engineering Manager (?). He asks when we can talk over the phone about "matching me up with the right opportunities at Google." I send a timestamp back.
    Day 2 — Phone call with R1, about ten minutes. He asks to tell him about myself, what my background is, what I'm interested in, why I want to work for Google, etc. He ends by telling me we'll set up a phone interview, which I intentionally schedule for a couple weeks later. (R1 asks me to choose a programming language for the interview, and mentions that he'll be sending me a syllabus to prepare.) Recruiting Coordinator 1 (RC1) emails me the details of the phone interview, which we confirm.
    Day 9 — Still no syllabus. I email R1. He sends me a verbatim excerpt from the Steve Yegge blog post you've already read.
    Day 15 — Phone interview day. 25 minutes into the schedule time slot, no call. I email RC1. Auto-reply: that account no longer exists. Great. I wait a bit longer. I give R1 a call; no answer, leave a voicemail. He replies within the hour, says he's sorry, asks for availability to reschedule. I reply.
    Day 23 — Phone interview finally rescheduled for day 28, by new Recruiting Coordinator (RC2).
    Day 28 — Phone interview, take two. Interviewer (a Software Engineer) asks me a little about myself, then moves on to the questions (I won't go into details, due to the NDA). About twenty minutes of basic Q&A about my language of choice (nothing remotely advanced). Then he asks me to describe (just out loud) the 'find' method of a common data structure. Then he modifies the problem definition slightly, and asks me how I would change the 'find' method. This seems fairly straightforward to me. He asks me to implement it in Java in a shared Google Doc. I do. I step through it with some examples. That's about it. I hang up: I think I nailed it.
    Day 36 — I email RC2 to check for any feedback. She defers to R1, who within minutes invites me on site to interview. I send my availabilities. I receive confirmation of my interview from RC2. I confirm, and send back two filled out forms (application + NDA; travel form).
    Day 37 — I make my travel arrangements through their travel agency. They pay for my flight, lodging for the night before and night after, rental car for the duration, transportation to the airport, and food for the duration. (I easily add two more days at my own expense.)
    Day 37 — R1 emails me to tell me he's leaving Google. R1 introduces R2 (not an engineer, this one).
    Day 38 — R2 emails introductions and asks when we can talk by phone.
    Day 42 — Introductory email from RC3, with two documents which are, again, verbatim excerpts of Steve Yegge's famous blog article.
    Day 43 — Phone call with R2, describes the on-site interview; nothing I didn't already know, except (fairly useless) one-line bios of my four interviewers. Eventually I start wondering why I'm seeing and hearing "Google/YouTube" when it used to be "Google," so I ask. I find out I'm apparently applying for YouTube now and no one bothered to tell me. R2 also tells me she won't be able to make it to greet me on the day of my interviews, so R3 (also not an engineer) will be replacing her.
    Day 54 — On-site interviews. I show up to the wrong lobby, having assumed there was only one. (Pro-tip: check your email from the Recruiting Coordinator for the exact building and address.) Luckily, I was early enough to make it to the right building on time. Interview, interview, lunch, interview, interview. No breaks at all between interviews. Interviewers either give you a blank expression with no feedback as you talk or else hold your hand all the way to the solution. No middle ground. Half the interviewers didn't seem to want to be there. Thought I did kind of okayish in three, badly in one. Very hard to tell over all, but I was pretty sure I wasn't getting an offer.
    Day 57 — Within three minutes of each other, emails from both R2 and R3, asking to talk over the phone. I sort out the disorganization, get a call from R3, and am informed I will not be moving on. The only feedback I can get is that my "coding" is lacking, which doesn't make much sense to me.
    Day 58 — On to other companies.
    (Day 73 — Still no reimbursement of expenses...)

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Google is remarkably quick at getting back to applicants when applying through directly on Google's employment opportunities page. I received an email two days after submitting my resume and was asked to schedule two back to back 45 minute interviews the following week. Each interview was technical in nature and I was asked to solve two coding questions by typing code into a shared Google document with my interviewer. After asking questions and coding my solutions, the interviewer and I went over my solution and discussed aspects of it such as the running time, security and readability of the code. I did not get past the first round but was pleased by the swiftness of the process.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Received email for interview & scheduled a interview date. The employer was very precise & called the date of the interview at the scheduled time slot. However during the interview when a question was being asked the interviewer gave very little time to answer or even think about the question or answer. The interviewer basically rushed me through the 2 questions. The interviewer also, didn't give me any feedback as to how the interview went or what else I need to work and practice more concepts on.

    Interview Questions
    • Answering the questions correctly within a timely order.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Google in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    Recruiter was very helpful, but the whole process can take a few weeks. Usually 4-5 technical interviews about algorithms and data structures. Each one gave a problem with a specific question but it develops several concepts. Be sure to think outloud and start from something simpler if you are stuck. Pretend the interviewer is your colleague. Spend some time beforehand practicing code on a site like hackerrank.com so that you are comfortable writing code on command.

    Interview Questions
    • One of the reviewers was a bit cocky. Stay calm in situations like that, ignore whatever is bothering you, and just address the question at hand.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Couple of emails exchanged with the HR, followed by the phone interview with a software engineer. Did not make it through the first round, should have prepared better. The wiggle problem, given an array of integers arrange them such that alternate elements are large and small.(2,5,3,6,...)

    Interview Questions
    • The wiggle problem, given an array of integers arrange them such that alternate elements are large and small.(2,5,3,6,...)   View Answers (4)
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    I was emailed about an opportunity to work at Google. The email asked me to set up a phone interview where they asked about my interests and background. They they set up another phone interview, this time a technical one. The technical interview involved coding and asking the interviewer questions about his role at Google. After the first interview, I received another phone call from my recruiter. My recruiter said I needed one more technical phone interview before an on-site interview, so we scheduled one. The second interview was similar to the first.

    Interview Questions
    • Write code to determine if a given input string contains balanced parentheses.   View Answers (3)
    No Offer

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