Google Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google Interview Questions

Updated Jan 16, 2018
8,010 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1733)  

    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 (1259)  

    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 (683)  

    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 (563)  

    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 (319)  

    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 (52)  

    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!


  7. Helpful (7)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Contacted out of the blue by a recruiter based on my previous experience. The recruiter gave me info on what to expect in the interviews (no brain tears but estimation questions, product design, strategy, culture fit, technical). The phone screen however was just product design and brain teasers.

    This was interesting but I have years of prior experience at interesting companies that could be mined for questions 1) because this is the best predictor of future job success and 2) I was contacted for my specific prior experience at a specific company. Instead I get asked 'golf balls in a bus' and 'alarm clock for the blind' questions. Google, a forward thinking company, is still doing these questions? I could also be tested on how many pins I can juggle.

    Sure, you can answer these questions in a scripted way and talk through every step and be as mechanical as possible "First I will define my goal, then identify three personas... and in summary I would do....because..." but why not be a human being about it? I'm sure soon Google Home will be able to pass these interviews.

    In the end if feels like I actually prepared for the interview and took it seriously and the interviewer just plowed through a list of silly questions. It's a waste of time if you have any real world experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Q: What's the difference between a brain teaser (how many golf balls on a bus?) and an estimation question (how many dolphins are in the ocean?) ? A: nothing.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (17)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    I had a hard time deciding between neutral and negative. Let’s be real, Google is amazing at showing off, throwing great parties and having a good public image. But once you go on-site as a woman the reality is very different.

    Having been on-site twice, I can report that I met 11 men and 1 woman during my interviews. Communication with the interviewers was strained. I finished interviews feeling so deflated I almost didn’t want to continue, but pushed through. In fact, after each interview, all I could think is: I don’t want to work here.

    Most telling is my ONE female interviewer, when asked how she liked working at Google, in so many words said she was stressed and had trouble finding a team she belonged on.

    Google, you should know stereotype threat is real. You should know that your interview is exhausting, and plain hazing. You should know that the diverse candidates will continue to be punished in tech interviews until you change your practices, as you’re considered the gold standard.

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (3)  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in January 2018.

    Interview

    A very long process. Starts with an initial phone call with a technical recruiter. Afterwards you have the first hangsout interview and then 3 back to back interviews in their local campus.

    Interview Questions


  10.  

    Channels Staffing Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    I applied and got an email from a Sourcer in about 2 days asking to set up time with a Recruiter for a 30-minute phone call. I did 1 phone screen and was invited on-site a week later. The onsite consisted of 4 interviews and 1 informal lunch.

    Interview Questions

    • Do research on Google hiring practices; most of it is available online. Essentially, a combination of Behavioral and Hypothetical questions relevant to the job you are applying for. Be prepared to answer follow-up question after follow-up question; do not be afraid to take notes and ask questions of the interviewer to get more information. I believe the focus was to see how you go about solving complex problems that do not have one right answer. It was actually pretty fun! I haven't heard back yet, but regardless, I thought the interviews were unique and full of "googliness"   Answer Question

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