Google Interview Questions & Reviews in Washington State

Updated Aug 25, 2014
Updated Aug 25, 2014
68 interviews

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Interview Experience

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68 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all interviews

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  1.  

    Technical Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Kirkland, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Kirkland, WA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeks - interviewed 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
  2.  

    Staff Software Engineer Interview

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

    I interviewed 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.   Answer Question
    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
  3.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in September 2010.

    Interview Details

    Google contacted me and told me that they were looking for developers in the Bay Area and New York City. Their internal recruiter set up an interview with one of their developers.

    The interview was on the phone, as well as via a google docs. The interviewer did not know how to start the interview, so I asked "do you want me to tell you about projects I am currently working?" He said that was a good idea, but I could tell he was not listening because he was eating. I'm serious. Turns out he was 23 years old, and it was obvious he did not want to be doing the interview.

    He asked a couple of puzzle-type coding questions, which I kind of flubbed, but I talked through the problems and data-structures. I didn't find the cute coding "trick" he was looking for obviously and told me I should interview for a tester position -- because Google is looking for "hard-core" programmers.

    While I've been writing software for over 17 years, I have never tested software -- but he didn't know that because, well, he never looked at my resume.

    I thanked him for his time, and asked him what product he worked on: Google Chat.I do not think that product exists anymore.

    Overall: Unprofessional, rude, condescending, slightly humiliating, irritating.

    Interview Questions
    • It was unexpected that he didn't actually ask any real questions --they just want puzzle-solvers.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeks - interviewed 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
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    User Experience Researcher Interview

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

    I interviewed online. The process took 7+ weeks - interviewed 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
  7.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through other source. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed 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
  8.  

    Visual Data Specialist Interview

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

    I interviewed through a staffing agency. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Google in June 2012.

    Interview Details

    This Visual Data Specialist position was a contract role in Bothell, WA. The staffing agency that first screened me put my name in for this position. About a week later the on-site recruiter interviewed me wanting to know more about my background. I was contacted after that and was asked to come back a week later for another interview with Google management. Both interviews were at their office in Bothell, and this second interview with Google management was with other candidates. We were selected one at a time and interviewed with various members on management.

    Interview Questions
    • Tell us how you were able to work successfully in a diverse environment in your work or personal experience.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation.
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. 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 Questions
    • 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
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Staff Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I interviewed 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. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Kirkland, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Kirkland, WA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Google in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    Recruiter contacted me via linkedin and started the process. He was responsive and helpful in figuring out the logistics. Did two phone interviews initially and then a full day of interviews at the google campus. Everyone I spoke to was cordial and patient as I was working through the solutions.

    Interview Questions
    • Most questions were related to general data structures and graph algorithms.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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