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Google Software Engineering Interview Questions

Updated Jan 19, 2015
Updated Jan 19, 2015
1,105 Interview Reviews

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310 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 through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Google in April 2014.

Interview Details

Direct onsite because I interviewed in the past and did well that time. From the time I sent my resume to interview day: 2 weeks. From interview day to offer over the phone: 2 weeks.

The syllabus for the interviews is very clear and simple:
1) Dynamic Programming
2) Super recursion (permutation, combination,...2^n, m^n, n!...etc. type of program. (NP hard, NP programs)
3) Probability related programs
4) Graphs: BFS/DFS are usually enough
5) All basic data structures from Arrays/Lists to circular queues, BSTs, Hash tables, B-Trees, and Red-Black trees, and all basic algorithms like sorting, binary search, median,...
6) Problem solving ability at a level similar to TopCoder Division 1, 250 points. If you can consistently solve these, then you are almost sure to get in with 2-weeks brush up.
7) Review all old interview questions in Glassdoor to get a feel. If you can solve 95% of them at home (including coding them up quickly and testing them out in a debugger + editor setup), you are in good shape.
8) Practice coding--write often and write a lot. If you can think of a solution, you should be able to code it easily...without much thought.
9) Very good to have for design interview: distributed systems knowledge and practical experience.
10) Good understanding of basic discrete math, computer architecture, basic math.
11) Coursera courses and assignments give a lot of what you need to know.
12) Note that all the above except the first 2 are useful in "real life" programming too!

Interview 1:
Graph related question and super recursion

Interview 2:
Design discussion involving a distributed system with writes/reads going on at different sites in parallel.

Interview 3:
Array and Tree related questions

Interview 4:
Designing a simple class to do something. Not hard, but not easy either. You need to know basic data structures very well to consider different designs and trade-offs.

Interview 5:
Dynamic programming,
Computer architecture and low level perf. enhancement question which requires knowledge of Trees, binary search, etc.

At the end, I wasn't tired and rather enjoyed the discussions. I think the key was long term preparation and time spent doing topcoder for several years (on and off as I enjoy solving the problems).

Conclusion: "It's not the best who win the race; it's the best prepared who win it."

Negotiation Details
You can and should negotiate politely. You are in a stronger position if you have another offer, but even otherwise, you should ask for more of every type of payment!
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    The interview itself went pretty well, all of the interviewers were extremely nice and police, although no one came across as super amped or stoked about Google.

    I think about two weeks had passed before someone called me to tell me that I did really well and that an offer was coming.

    From there, it went really downhill from my perspective. It's 6 months later, and I'm still waiting for that offer. I took about 2 months to slot me for a team that they thought would be a good fit, and since then I get a call on average every 2 weeks that goes something like:

    "We're really sorry this process is taking so long, we'll have an offer out to you at the latest by Friday."

    I lost count of how many times I've gotten a call like that. It's been "any day" for months on end, which makes my current job mostly kind of awkward from my perspective.

    Interview Questions
    • Most difficult question was a recursive pathing algorithm.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    For each intern application, there are 3 rounds of phone interview. I got the phone call from NY office which focuses on distributed system and infrastructure. I expected no design problem, however, I was impeded by a design problem. This is probably unfair for a student without any work experience.

    No Offer
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a university recruiter via email. She asked some information and arranged a phone screen for me. Phone screen was easy, DFS and BFS questions. After that, it's on-site interview, which covered 4 45 minutes 1 to 1 interviews. Questions mainly covers data structure, algorithm and oop design.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    I applied online, instead of through school website. I applied for Data Analyst positions, but they gave me a coding/tech interview. I assumed that all the interns had to be SWE before they were assigned to any specific positions.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Cordial and polite. Found me online through linkedin. Coordinated to have a phone screen and after that to have a phone interview which was technical. The interview preparation was laid out well and I was given preparation tools.
    The interviewer seemed like a great guy.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    I submitted my resume to apply a software engineer position at google, and I received an email the second day after I applied. The email says they want to schedule a technical/coding interview with me and asked me to apply with information, such as available time for interview, expected started date. I replied with those information but I did not get any further email from them.

    Interview Questions
    • The initial email says they will test my background on algorithms, data structures, testing, etc. But I did not actually do the interview since they did not respond to my email.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
  8.  

    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 through their website. A recruiter contacted me. They wanted me to give them five dates for interview. There were three phone interviews, lasted from 40-60 minutes. One was on, one on algorithms, another on both the coding and algorithms. Coding questions were not that difficult, I found the algorithms part difficult, though.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Got asked about the job at Google by a Google's recruiter.

    Did a technical phone screen with 2 coding problems about string and passed.

    Did another technical phone screen with 1 coding problems about finding a path given a matrix of characters and a word. I could not finished this problem and finally got rejected.

    The all process took around 3 weeks and coding problems are not difficult as I expected.

    Interview Questions
    • As a coding problem in second technical phone screen, it took me long time to understand the problem, that's why I did not have enough time to finish it.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Phone call interview. The interview was difficult for me because voice quality was bad. The questions I got all about algorithms. They like problems on these. The experience was pretty tough because the interviews were challenging. Two phone interviews and there are five onsite interviews. There are many other descriptions of their interviews so I guess my description here is just for simple reference. Good luck.

    Interview Questions
    • There are questions on algorithms that are pretty tough.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience

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