Google Engineering Manager Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google Engineering Manager Interview Questions

Updated May 4, 2017
21 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)  

    Engineering Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Long and systems questions open ended to the point where you don't really know what they are looking for. You really have to explore the problem with them to figure it out.

    Interview Questions


  2. Helpful (1)  

    Site Reliability Engineer Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in December 2016.

    Interview

    Amazing recruiters. Very friendly call with an initial recuiter who asked me to rate my abilities and then gave a "pop quiz" at the end. I got a few wrong but it was enough to get a phone interview.

    The phone interview was 45 minutes and was half programming/scripting and then 4 or 5 linux questions. I did okay, I didn't think I did excellent. I thought google would expect "excellent" and the process would end there. But to my surprise 2 days later they said they'd like to fly me out to Mountainview to interview.

    All accommodations were taken care of quickly and efficiently - flight, car, food, amazing hotel.

    There were 5 onsite interviews. 2 management interviews, 1 troubleshooting/linux/networking, 1 NALSD (non-abstract large scale system design) and 1 programming/scripting. Everyone was extremely friendly and nice. They all seemed like wonderful conversations. There were no "gotcha" questions. Because I was applying as an SE ("System Engineer") not SWE ("Software Engineer") there were no algorithms, sorting, graphs/trees, etc. The programming/scripting was practical, real world coding.

    It took 2 weeks to get everything finalized and to receive an offer letter.

    I can't stress enough how great the recruiters were - I felt like they were my advocates


  3. Helpful (7)  

    Engineering Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in February 2016.

    Interview

    Went through the initial phone screen, after which passing they'll set you up with a technical interview which includes a code challenge. I stopped the process at that point since they require you to take a step down if you come to Google. The recruiter I talked with could sense my hesitation there, so she brought in someone technical to answer some of the technical questions. While I'm sure it is a great place to work, the "Google is the best place to work and everywhere else sucks" vibe really turned me off.

    Interview Questions

    • A lot of text book questions out of a BS computer science program: "what's the complexity of this search", "what is [some data structure]", and so on. Rate yourself from 1 - 10 on the following categories: databases, distributed systems, ....   1 Answer

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  5. Helpful (5)  

    Engineering Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in November 2015.

    Interview

    Submitted resume through a friend. Had a phone screen interview, then an onsite interview. I was interviewed by, I think 6 people, which involved one junior engineer, a few senior engineers and a few managers. The questions they asked were generally reasonable, smart engineering questions. I had not prepared for a grueling technical interview, and since I am coming from a fairly demanding management position, I am less fluent with coding than I once was. Still I think I have a right to call myself an excellent developer, especially in the skills one gains with significant experience, such as architecture and systems optimization.

    I had an off day. I definitely did not nail all the technical algorithm writing parts of the interview, but to be totally frank, the reason (other than just being "off") is that I was rusty is that very few people DO that kind of coding anymore (ie "write logic to find a cycle in a linked list"), because it's abstracted away in modern languages. It's important that developers know how low level algorithms work, but to expect them to build highly optimized syntacticly accurate algorithms for weird problems is not interviewing for the skills that will really be needed in most of these jobs. I think what it does is find the super smart just-out-of school engineers, but does a disservice to those who have moved on to higher-level engineering problems. Forcing me to do it on a whiteboard rather than giving me a computer is also the sort of thing that I would expect a progressive company like Google to have done away with by now. Who composes real code on a whiteboard in real life? Anyhow, I got turned down for my technical performance, which I genuinely resent, as it's a misjudgement.

    Interview Questions

    • In a dir. name containing an arbitrary number of "/.." parts, like "/a/b/c/d/../../e" implement an algorithm that removes all instances of /.. along with the preceding directory, to reduce away all /.. syntactically. Now adapt the algorithm to be run on a VERY long string, which must be broken into pieces and solved using MapReduce.

      Yeah, not trivial.  
      1 Answer

  6. Helpful (10)  

    Engineering Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (San Francisco, CA).

    Interview

    A recruiter reached out to me via LinkedIn - Apparently somebody I used to work with is now at Google and recommended me to the hiring committee. After initial phone screen with the recruiter, I realized the class of questions was going to be quite high, so I started hitting the books before the phone interview. Really, this was the most stressful part - you've got a week or two to refresh your knowledge on algorithms and data structures along with potential interview questions - that's a really wide range to cram for.

    Phone interview went ok (read: "just ok"). One programming question and a few low-level OS questions. My one suggestion to interviewees would be to not just study algorithms/data structures, but UNIX internals as well.


  7. Helpful (4)  

    Engineering Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in October 2014.

    Interview

    I found a position listed on the Google web site that looked like a perfect fit given that it was very similar to my existing position. I proceeded to apply via the web site, and a recruiter reached out to me. I was quizzed on various topics and eventually moved to the next step -- a phone screen. The phone screen went well, and a few more weeks passed before I received a request for an in-person interview. The in-person interview was several hours long, and I had the opportunity to meet with various senior ranking individuals as well as a technical engineer who asked me the critical problem-solving question. I am confident that the question was answered correctly. Despite hearing positive results for a majority of the interviewers, I did not get an offer. The position has been up for 8 months since I first saw it and is still there today as I write this review. The position may have been up even longer before I found it. In other companies if you leave a requisition open this long, you lose the req because you can function so long without it.

    Interview Questions

    • The question was an algorithm question where the task was to find the optimum way to achieve the results.   1 Answer

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Engineering Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in April 2013.

    Interview

    Very dysfunctional, took weeks to actually get an interview and then it seemed that their HR department had no idea what was happening, lots of turn over or responsibility shifts

    Interview Questions

    • An esoteric question about the internal rendering engine of Chrome. This job had nothing to do with chrome of html rendering, it was a server role.   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (14)  

    Engineering Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in October 2012.

    Interview

    Got contacted by a recruiter for an EM role. Setup a 30 phone screen with the hiring manager. It was a general conversation about my background etc. No technical questions. Got inviited to a full day onsite. The onsite started with a 30 minute meeting with the recruiter during which he gave me the list of interviewers and told me about their backgrounds. This was followed by lunch with the hiring manager. The lunch conversation was very informal -- generally talking about Google, the challenges in their teams etc.
    After lunch the ":real" interview started with a project manager, the hiring managers manager, 2 developers from the team and one developer from an other group. Got asked a mix of management/technical questions. One of the developers and the project manager were pretty arrogant and seemed like they didn't want to be there. The other guys were great! After the interview, got a call back from the recruiter to get feedback about the interview process. A week later, got a call from the recruiter telling me that they were not going to make me an offer.

    Some of the questions that I remember:

    - Design an in memory cache for webpages.
    - Given a pattern and a string, write a function to determine if the string matches the pattern.
    - How do you deal with low performers? High performers?
    - Describe how you deal with change management.
    - Describe in detail a project that failed.
    - Describe a project in the past that was behind schedule. Provide concrete to steps that you took to remedy the siuation.
    - Design a distributed id generation system.

    Interview Questions

    • They were standard interview questions -- nothing really unexpected.   Answer Question

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Engineering Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in February 2012.

    Interview

    R&D Leadership experience - went well
    R&D experience - went well
    product management experience - went well
    program management experience - went well
    technical question: hmmm, provided a time efficient answer, but not the most space efficient answer

    Interview Questions

    • Why are you an effective R&D leader? How do you handle people who are not team players?   Answer Question

  11.  

    Engineering Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in February 2012.

    Interview

    A recruiter contacted me based on my LinkedIn profile. Following an initial interview with the recruiter, I had a phone interview with the hiring manager. This was followed by an all day onsite interview. Each interview was approximately an hour. The interviewer asked technical questions, and took detailed notes on everything I said. The interviews were with the hiring manager, three technical folks, and the recruiter.

    Interview Questions

    • Design a boggle solver. (The hidden catch was that the interviewer had not specified that the words were English. Unfortunately, I made that assumption)   Answer Question

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