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Google Electrical Hardware Engineer, Camera Systems Interview Questions

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Electrical Hardware Engineer, Camera Systems Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in March 2014.

Interview

3 months from initial contact to final rejection. 3 weeks after submitting my resume through an employee referral, I got an e-mail from the first of MANY recruiters saying they wanted to do a phone interview.

The phone call went very well, and at the end the interviewer said something like, "You should hear back from us pretty soon, although I'm personally a bit behind on getting my feedback to HR." 1 month later, I was still e-mailing HR to find out status. My friend who initially referred me for the job said that such a long delay was "personally embarrassing" to him. He was able to check the Google internal website and could see that the position was still waiting on the phone interview feedback. So he started pushing on HR for me as well. Within a week I got an e-mail to set up an on-site interview, which we scheduled 2 weeks from then.

The interview was terrible. It could have been done over the phone. I met with 4 engineers for 1 hour each, and they pretty much went through laundry lists of my hard skills. Very few questions to test my problem solving abilities. 90% focused on specific knowledge and experience. In that kind of situation you either know all the answers or you don't, and there were too many gaps in my knowledge. BTW, none of the 4 interviewers were engineers from the group I was looking to join. I don't even know what to say about that. 2 of the guys worked peripherally with the camera systems group, but the other 2 were from entirely different departments.

2 weeks later, I got an e-mail from my primary recruiter saying she needed to call me to discuss the interview results. I got my hopes up, since I figured if it was a rejection, they would just tell me by e-mail since there's really nothing to discuss. I imagined she wanted to discuss next steps, or ask for references, or maybe tell me that they needed to do another round of interviews. We played phone tag over the weekend. I was sure at this point that I got the job because why else would a recruiter bother trying to call me at 9:30am on a Sunday? (I missed that call...) BTW, she never called again after Sunday, and I had to call and e-mail her several times on the following Monday.

When we finally connected, she informed me that the answer was "no for now" because my interview feedback was "mixed", and that some of the interviewers reports were "not as good as others". She said they would keep considering me as a candidate while they interviewed other people. Fair enough, although not the situation I wanted to be in. The very next day, I got another e-mail from her saying that I was no longer being considered for this job. And so ended a 3 month quest to work at Google.

The whole experience was disappointing. I felt like they never took the time to get to know me and my capabilities. They were only concerned about checking off a laundry list of specific skills. Also, I felt like there was a surprising lack of definition over the job responsibilities. If they were clear about what skills were absolutely necessary, then they could screened me for those, and ended the process much earlier at the phone interview stage. Instead they dragged out the process and pulled me in for a very strange type of interview that I seemed destined to fail at.

Interview Questions

  • How do you represent a real-world quantity in a digital system?   1 Answer
  • How do you prevent quantization errors from stacking up when reducing a number's precision by a divide or bit-shift operation?   1 Answer
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