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Google Interview Questions in Washington State

Updated Nov 26, 2014
Updated Nov 26, 2014
73 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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  1.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 7 weeksinterviewed at Google in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    After a career fair at my school I talked to the Google recruiter, who suggested I apply online within the next few days to be eligible for an on-campus interview in a few weeks. A recruiter contacted me 10 days later for a technical phone screen--seems I didn't make the on-campus interview. I arranged a for a phone interview, to take place in 5 days' time.

    The phone interview stretched on for >45 minutes. Connection wasn't very good. I was asked about experience, general knowledge, and two coding problems, one easier, one harder. On the easier problem I had to re-imagine the algorithm twice to get a time complexity the interviewer was satisfied with. On the second problem I got stuck for a few minutes on an off-by-one error.

    Recruiter called me later offering an onsite interview. I asked to be interviewed for the Seattle/Kirkland office so she transferred me to a different recruiter who handles that location. I scheduled the onsite as soon as I could (in about 2 weeks' time) because I had a deadline for another offer. Both recruiters were understanding and gave me prompt responses.

    The onsite was four technical interviews, each an hour long, with an hour-long lunch break in between. All five interviewers asked if I had questions, so by the end of the day I was grasping at straws for any new questions to ask.

    Each technical interview had two whiteboard coding questions of about equal difficulty. (On interviewer asked three coding questions, but the first was just a warm-up.) On two interviews I answered all questions before time ran out. On one interview, the interviewer made me realize the function I had just coded up wouldn't solve the problem, right as time ran out. I held him back for a few seconds as I drew out the correct solution on the board for him. On the last interview, the time ran out before I could code up the answer to the problem. It was all data structures and algorithms with no architecture questions, but that's probably because I was a new grad.

    One interviewer was friendly and enthusiastic. Two of them were pretty withdrawn, so I had no idea whether they liked what I was doing or not. The last one was blunt and quick to tell me when I was doing something wrong, but he also never brushed off my questions or weird algorithm ideas. Two weeks after the onsite interview, I got an offer for after graduation.

    I feel like coding interviews are just as much psychological as they are technical. You have to keep a cool head during a stressful situation and accept criticism with good grace. You also have to be able to communicate your ideas really quickly and effectively. I drew out diagrams on the whiteboard as I was brainstorming--having visual aids really helps.

    Interview Questions
    • I was surprised when the first thing they asked about was the prior experience on my resume. I was expecting only technical questions and hadn't brushed up on my past projects.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    My offer was the standard package for new grads. I tried to negotiate a signing bonus and learned those were normally only offered to new grads in the Mountain View office. I didn't have competitive offers to negotiate with so I accepted as-is.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Product Manager Interview

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

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

    Interview Details

    Went through recruiter screening. Basic questions about my how technical ability as well as my resume. Then had PM screening. Asked about resume and a design question. Very conversational. Nothing tricky. They just want to see my fit for the role.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  3. 16 people found this helpful  

    Technical Program Manager Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at Google in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted via email from an in-house Google recruiter working out of Mountain View. He was very interested in my breadth of experience and felt I'd be a strong fit for a technical program manager role in their Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) group.

    This process took a LONG time. To save space I'll just outline the timeline:

    Day 0 - recruiter email, I reply same day giving my availability to talk

    Day 1 - I have a 20 minute chat and recruiter asks me some classic computer science trivia.

    Day 2 - I have another 20 minute call with a different recruiter who specializes in the program management space. This again was a solid conversation. He seemed really pleased that I could gives the pros/cons of agile, and could cite numerous real world examples for successful and failed projects (15 years of experience will see all kinds of projects). So this ended well and the next step was a series of "real" phone screens.

    Day 16 - I had 2 separate 45 minute calls scheduled with a 15 minute break between. The initial recruiter had sent me some study suggestions in advance, which was really nice of him. So for the 2 weeks leading up I practiced various academic programming exercises. Stuff like implementing Hashmaps from scratch in java, various sorting algorithms, traversing trees and other tedious stuff I hadn't done since college.

    Tech interview: linux system internals. The questions started with easy stuff like run levels, permissions and some file system stuff that was a bit harder. Then we got into low level CPU/arch stuff involving context switching etc. We concluded with a java coding exercise, that I didn't ace, but I did get working before the time was up. Overall I'd say I scored a 75% or so. Not awesome, but for a TPM role I thought this proved I had a clue and could interact with engineers well.

    TPM interview: I can't even remember all the questions, but I was able to address each question with a real world example. The guy absolutely loved my anecdotes. He was very quiet and spent a lot of time typing, so I wasn't sure how we was receiving me until the end.

    Day 20 - Orig. recruiter contacts me and says TPM interview was "the best they had ever seen". Bad news was I didn't cut the mustard with the technical. However he said it wasn't fair to have asked me all those linux internal questions, and they would like to re-do the technical interview AGAIN with more of a traditional CS/programming focus. Well, I agreed because that was better than getting rejected outright.

    Day 34 - Technical phone interview part II. Audio quality was rough at first. Speaker phone in apparently an open environment, as I could overhear folks walking and talking. Interviewer had a strong eastern European accent, which I'm used to now, but it didn't help with the background noise, echos and other interference. I will say this interviewer was very encouraging and friendly. He never called me out for being a goof, he would say instead "is there a better way?".

    In hindsight my implementation was a little bit sloppy, but it functionally got the job done before the time was up. I felt I did better than the first time, so was content.

    Day 35 - Recruiter says he has sent all feedback to hiring manager(s) and will have feedback early next week.

    Day 38 - Recruiter calls me.

    I'm still the best technical program manager google has ever seen (tell that to by current boss), but even though I clearly know how to code and work through technical problems my coding is not of the rock star level they require. This is a little discouraging, as I'm interviewing for a role where I'm not programmer on a regular basis, though I would do design, architecture and code reviews.

    Then he dropped a weird suggestion - while I wasn't smart (my word), enough to work on the SRE team in Seattle, he suggested that there may be many other roles at the Mountain View, CA headquarters. Perhaps one of the various teams back at HQ had lower standards where I guy like me who didn't actually major in Computer Science would be accepted. I politely declined that, but asked to be contacted for future local positions.

    I realize this may sound like sour grapes (it could be a little), but I spent nearly 6 weeks JUST to get through the phone interview process. I also dislike the mixed messages along the way. I'm awesome, but there's a technical requirement that I absolutely must meet and that's there policy.

    Now I can empathize with excellent waitresses that don't get hired because they are attractive enough.

    Interview Questions
    • I had no brain teasers. No fluff like estimating the number of gas stations, round manhole covers, or grains of rice in China. They expect excellent CS fundamentals: algorithms, data structures and solid coding ability.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5.  

    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
  6.  

    Software Engineer In Test Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was initially contacted by a recruiter via email. I replied and we set up a phone call. The recruiter was pushing me towards a Software Engineer in Test role, even though that's not what I currently do - in hindsight I think that was probably a major reason why I didn't get an offer.

    Throughout the recruitment experience I kept getting handed off from one recruiter to the next - I think in total there were 5 different people I had to deal with before the interview. It all seemed very disorganized.

    One of the recruiters set up a phone screen with an engineer which I passed without issues - there weren't really any challenging questions.

    For the onsite interview they were trying to make me travel to Mountain View but I wasn't interested in that so they eventually set up an interview in Seattle for me. The interview was a whole day, I think it was 5 or 6 technical interviews each lasting 45 minutes, and a lunch break with an employee who they claim doesn't submit any feedback. When I first arrived there in the morning the receptionist had a list of people interviewing that day but I wasn't on that list - further disorganization. She eventually worked out who was supposed to meet me.

    After the interview I didn't receive any communication from Google for 2 weeks so I decided to email one of the many recruiters and ask if there was any updated. They told me the engineers were busy with peer reviews at the moment so not all feedback was in yet. Another 2.5 weeks went by and I finally got an email that the recruiter wanted to set up a phone call. He called me the next day to inform me that I hadn't passed the interview which I was quite surprised by.

    Interview Questions
    • Had to sign an NDA so won't break that here. Overall there wasn't anything too challenging, I've come across more difficult questions in interviews. The more difficult ones were open ended questions about how to test a google service.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

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

    Interview Details

    A recruiter contacted me, mentioning he is following up with past CodeJam participants. While I am not really intending to change jobs at this point, I decided to take an interview. I talked with him on the phone and he asked simple questions (e.g., experience in developing mobile apps, intention to move to California, etc.). He introduced me another recruiter who is in Seattle. I talked with her on the phone and she scheduled an onsite interview at the Seattle office. I didn't have phone interviews, possibly because I have passed through ones in the past (rejected at onsite), or possibly because I'm currently working in Seattle and they don't need to reimburse for transportation and lodging.

    I had interviews with 5 engineers (+1 engineer for lunch). Questions were rather simple and with moderate difficulty. While I thought I did well on the questions, the recruiter called me a week after the interview and told me that the hiring committee decided not make an offer. As other people also say, they don't give me any feedback, but the recruiter mentioned it was "close", though I don't know if she actually had detailed information about my interview.

    What's frustrating and made me feel negative about the process is that they do not give me any feedback. I don't even know if it was because of my performance at the interview or because of my past experience (I'm not a software engineer right now and coding is not my main job responsibility). I explicitly asked this point to the recruiter but she didn't clarify. I'm suspecting it's the latter and if that's the case, this whole process was totally a waste of time, but I never know.

    Another reason for my negative feeling is that the recruiter left a message on my home phone saying that she needs to follow-up about the interview. The fact I was taking an interview was secret to my family and I've repeatedly asked the recruiter not to call my home phone, but she didn't care about that. This has brought a situation in my family, even bigger than the fact that I was rejected. Recruiters should be more careful about each candidate's privacy, though failed candidates may not be important to them.

    Interview Questions
    • I signed an NDA and cannot disclose questions. However in my case, there were no complicated questions. I could choose to code either on a Chromebook or on the whiteboard.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Staff Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through other source – interviewed at Google in May 2014.

    Interview Details

    Sent my resume to a few Google employees. Heard back from the recruiter the next day. Phone screen was very straightforward (basics in computer security, some programming etc.) Had a day-long interview in Kirkland (five 1HR interviews). I cannot really go into the details of the questions due to non-disclosure agreement. However, focus on data structures and algorithms. Hash, heap, graphs, and depth-first-search seem to be the favorites.

    Interview Questions
    • None of the questions were what I had seen before. But none of them were very difficult either.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    Initially they offered me a Senior Software Engineer position. I declined the offer. The hiring manager called me, and I told him that the offered position and salary is below my expectations. They came back with Staff Software Engineer, and increased the comp by about 20%. I accepted it at that time.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    User Experience Researcher Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 7+ weeksinterviewed at Google in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    I applied via the website and received a call from HR within 5 days. The next step was a phone interview with a person in a similar job role. We discussed different methodologies in use at Google. Next HR called back to schedule an onsite interview in Mt View - this took about 10 days. On site interview began with a portfolio presentation and 5 45-minute 1:1 interviews. I also met with another researcher for lunch.

    I had to wait 1 week to get feedback from the onsite. Lastly I had a phone call with the hiring manager in Seattle. After I indicated I was interested in moving forward. They checked my references and put together a packet for executive review. I had a job offer 1 week later. They were kind enough to call me at 10pm on a Thursday to let me know - rather than make me sweat it out another day.

    Interview Questions
    • They asked me to define some metrics for measuring fun and satisfaction for a mobile maps product. How would I collect the data etc...   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation. Quite frankly I was blown away by the offer and happy to accept.
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Staff Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Initial contact with recruiter via email; I had been contacted in the past and finally replied to a follow-up. I was able to skip the phone screen due to experience level and internal Google references. I had five on-site hour long interviews and a lunch interview/chat. The recruiter was good at follow-up and keeping me up to date on the status of everything. I highly recommend their "practice" sessions that are offered periodically to those scheduled for on-site interviews.

    Interview Questions
    • Most difficult: a question involving deep knowledge of map-reduce infrastructure; my background clearly showed that I did not have experience in that area.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  11.  

    Consultant Interview

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

    I applied through other source. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Google in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    Google called me to see if I was interested in part time remote consulting, 3-5 hour per week in a vertical market with which I have expertise. They requested interviews. I inquired as to the feasibility of conducting the interview over teleconference. They preferred me fly to Seattle (I live in Eastern time zone). They made me pay for all travel expenses up front out of my pocket. I interviewed with Sven people, 30 minutes each. Four of the seven were not in Seattle and I interviewed using a video link.

    Then they took twice as long as promised to give me an answer. They chose not to hire me and would not disclose a reason. My interview was two and a half months ago, expenses were submitted eight days after the interviews. I am still waiting to be reimbursed despite weekly apologies and more empty promises.

    All in all a very unsatisfying experience

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

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