Google Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google Interview Questions

Updated Sep 22, 2017
7,553 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1616)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in April 2014.

    Interview

    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

    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!


  2. Helpful (1214)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Google in April 2015.

    Interview

    Phone interview:
    The Interviewer was late for 20 mins... Ask nothing on my resume.
    Tow questions:
    1) A string consists of ‘0’, ‘1’ and '?'. The question mark can be either '0' or '1'. Find all possible combinations for a string.
    2) Give you a text file, remove duplicated lines.
        Follow up: If the file is very large, general hash map takes too much spaces, come up with a better solution.

  3. Helpful (653)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    I first had a phone screen interview. After this, I was asked to come onsite for further interviews. I had 4 whiteboard and 1 lunch interview with the Youtube team. After this, I was told that my application is going through the Hiring Committee.

    Hiring committee asked my HR to find a team for me before giving any decision. I then had two phone interviews with different teams in Android. I informed my HR that I am interested in the first team. Next day, HR emailed me and said that this team no longer has an open position. I again went through the same process. This time, platform team was interested in talking to me. I gave 2 phone interviews wherein they made me write code. After their feedback, I was put through the Hiring committee again and this time I got a thumbs up from them. 1 week after that I was put through executive committee and got my offer.

    I had 7 other offers and my HR asked me about all of them before putting me through executive review. They gave me more than any other company I had offer from.


  4. Helpful (543)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    The interview went seemingly smoothly, except for a couple quirks in the code on the whiteboard. The questions were way easier than I expected. The interviewers were not intimidating at all and did not try to make the process stressful. I felt like I passed and according to HR, the overall feedback was positive. My application went to the hiring committee which, in turn, rejected the offer.


  5. Helpful (288)  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    The first round was with the HR and then with the hiring manager.The phone interview with the hiring manager was basically questions from my resume, hypothetical situations, case studies.Was told during the interview that I was selected for the next round.


  6. Helpful (290)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in September 2015.

    Interview

    Awesome process. Very simple questions. Keep your nerves cool. Don't worry about very complex questions on the Internet. Do basics and you should be good. I screwed up two simple questions and not expecting offer. I will apply again next year .


  7. Helpful (11)  

    Associate Account Strategist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).

    Interview

    After you're contacted by a recruiter he/she will set up an initial call that's about 15-20 minutes. That first discussion is really just to get to know you a bit and make sure you're qualified to move forward. Be prepared to answer why you're interested in this job specifically (not just because it's google) and why google (the perks alone probably isn't the best answer).

    Round 2 is 2 30 minute phone interviews with a manager and current Associate Account Strategist that involve behavioral and hypothetical questions. You're given info on what that means and how to prepare but basically behavioral is "tell me about a time when..." and hypothetical is "what would you do in xyz scenario?" Preparing for the behavioral is time consuming if you're really looking to nail them but not difficult. What I recommend is looking at the job posting and writing down all the traits/skills they're looking for, then turn those into potential questions to prepare for. For example, if the job says they're looking for someone who's creative, then be prepared to answer, "tell me about a time when you came up with a creative solution to a problem." Prepare for about 10-15 of these and eventually you'll realize you have a handful of practiced stories that can be applied to multiple types of these questions. Definitely practice these out loud before your interviews and don't expect to be able to read a story pre written on the spot. For the hypotheticals it's more about your thought process than your answer. Just try to be natural, confident and enthusiastic.

    For me the more prepared I was the more relaxed I felt and the more I was able to have fun with the interviews while still conveying my relevant qualifications and competence. You'll also be expected to have a basic knowledge of adwords (also look up Adsense just because you should know the difference) but I didn't get any direct questions about these. It's just good to know beforehand. Remember, this is about getting to know you not whether or not you're an expert in their topics yet so don't go nuts studying this. You're not expected to be an adwords expert. After round 2, you go to the office and have 2 30 minute onsite interviews (same question types and prep as the previous round). Make sure you have good questions ready for all rounds, and consider asking something that gets the interviewer to open up a bit. For example, "what's the coolest project you've gotten to work on at google?" Or "what do you think is the toughest thing about this job?" Try to get them thinking, sharing, and seeing you as someone interesting to speak with. After that round, you're info goes to the hiring committee, which objectively reviews all your interviewed feedback and resume. That takes about a week. The whole process start to finish is about 6 weeks but my recruiter was incredible in speeding up the process because I had other interviews simultaneously. I told her right away that because google was my first choice I wanted to move through the process as quickly as possible before getting an offer from someone else. She absolutely could of have been better about that. I cannot say enough good things about googles recruitment process. From start to finish, they work with you and give you all the info you need right away. Also, my recruiter was so great about answering all my questions and acting as a supportive cheerleader throughout the process. Such a strong recruitment team and I am so grateful!

  8. Helpful (436)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    I had a recruiter contact so applied directly. The entire process took 3 months.

    Round1: HR
    Questions: Why Google, what do you bring to the table etc. Most people clear this. Honestly if you did not or cannot then consider another career

    Round2: Phone screen with a Senior Product Manager
    Very professional, punctual and courteous
    Questions: Resume review, projects, product I like and what I will change about it

    Round3: Onsite
    Interviewer 1 (I-1): Seasoned PM
    Questions: Took one project on my resume and discussed it for 45 minutes. Standard PM framework approach to answering questions

    I-2: Seasoned GPM from YouTube
    Questions: Market sizing, opportunity assessment, why Google, how will you improve product X

    I-3 Junior PM in Search and was previously at Microsoft
    Questions: Annoying as hell and the only value add was he/she corrected me that it's Orange is the new black. I said Orange is the new Red. Mid 20's, annoying and arrogant as hell. We discussed about Netflix model and what can be improved. He/She just kept on saying.. What else.. what else.. what else... I think he/she said that at least 30 times.

    I-4: Seasoned GPM
    Questions: None as it was lunch interview. General talk about soccer world cup, etc. Guy was jaded and I think waiting for his stocks to vest. Overall nothing much to report here

    I-5: HR
    I thought I was done but she asked me to stay back. Hopes up... LOL

    I-6: Seasoned PM from Identity Management team
    Questions: SSO, OAuth, improving checkout etc. Nothing crazy

    I-7: Engineer from YouTube
    Questions: Professional and very very nice. Asked me to design a load balancer using data structures. I told him I can write in VB or SQL. He said does not care about language. Wants to see how I use data structures

    I-8: Junior PM from Google+
    Questions: Mostly around improve X, improve Y. What non tech product I like? I told I love my Canon Mark III. Discussed it to death and since I know it in an out it was easy to talk about what I would love to change in it

    Overall, if you know frameworks you are good to go. They don't asking anything earth shattering.

    HR called in a week and said team loved you.. no questions there but felt that you would be a better fit elsewhere. I was offered a position in Google Tech Services as a Senior Manager. I am a Senior PM in a top company in the Bay area. It did not make sense for me to move into a Tech role. I declined and moved on.

    In hindsight I thank Google for saying no to me. I'm nearing 40. It does not make sense for me to hang out with 20 year olds PM's. There is only so much I have in common with them. I'm more of a PBS kind of guy. Orange could be the new Blue for all I care.

    Interview Questions

    • I have been a PM for over 5 years and in marketing and management consulting all my career. Nothing was unexpected. Irksome? yes. But then again I said to myself, a decade ago I was as arrogant as that 20+ kid.   3 Answers

    Reasons for Declining

    Not a PM position but a position in Google Tech Services


  9. Helpful (5)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    There was a pretty short phone screen that involved a Fermi estimation (eg, how many golf bus can you fit in a school bus?), and then a full day onsite scheduled.

    The onsite interview was literally nothing but 6 hours of Fermi estimations with 5 different people. It was the worst interview I've ever been in, there was basically no discussion of the job, no "warming up" socializing, nothing but building models for Fermi estimations. Awful.

    No discussion at any point about product design, analysis (outside of Fermi estimations), no questions about estimating market sizes or ROIs on product features, etc. Basically no discussion or questions about products or the product manager role.

    By the end of the onsite I was pretty annoyed and told them this was the worst interview I'd ever been in, I suspect that had something to do with no getting an offer.

    Interview Questions

    • How many cars are on 101 between San Francisco and Mountain View? How many piano repairmen are there in the United States? How many golf balls can you fit inside of a school bus? How many people work for Google worldwide? How many computers does Google own?   3 Answers

  10.  

    PM Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    It was difficult but fair. I would suggest preparing significantly using online resources. Study the case interviews aspect more in depth if that's unfamiliar to you. The way the interview its possible to study hard but still stumble due to the broad set of possible questions.

    Interview Questions

    • What are 7 ways to estimate the size of the global fishing industry.   Answer Question

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