Google System Administrative Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google System Administrative Interview Questions

16 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Unix/Linux Systems Administrator Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in February 2016.

    Interview

    I was contacted by email for a position I applied online. The 30 minutes phone screen interview was scheduled.

    When I answered the phone, this person started talking and I could barely understand because of a background noise that sounded like someone squeezing a paper bag. I told the person about the noise, and it suddenly stopped like a miracle. The person asked me if it was better and I said yes.

    The person who interviewed me was young and with very little experience. He never told me what he does at Google. So, I don't know if he was an HR person. His emails don't have signature. He poorly described the interview process and the position. He started going through a list of technical questions, and even with my 12+ years of experience as Unix / Linux Systems Administration I thought some of the questions were very weird and totally pointless. I asked him if one of my answer was correct. He responded he doesn't know the answers to any of the questions he was asking me. He was going to send my answers to another person to check. I find very inappropriate that someone is asking you questions that they have no idea off. I felt that my answers were going to a blackhole with no feedback what so ever. This interview was a waste of my time and a terrible experience.

    I have a lot of experience doing interviews, and I just had interviews with Facebook and Amazon. The point I'm trying to make is that if you get a person like I did with little experience and not knowing how to conduct an interview, it really doesn't matter how good you are and if you have the skills for the job. This person will be between you and the company you want to work for, and they will be responsible for your failure, not you.

    Interview Questions

    • How many bytes there is in a MAC address?   1 Answer

  2. Helpful (7)  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Application

    I applied through other source. I interviewed at Google in March 2015.

    Interview

    Asked memory regurgitation questions of things that would generally be looked up if needed. I guess this is an improvement from asking riddles, but not by much. Would have loved to talk about projects I had completed or answered any actual technical problem solving questions related to the job, but instead was asked to recite Jeopardy-style facts about networking back at them.

    Interview Questions

    • How many bits in a mac address   2 Answers
    • What does it mean when a Linux system process is in a D state   1 Answer
    • how many addresses are in a /23   4 Answers
  3. Helpful (4)  

    Systems Administrator Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in December 2014.

    Interview

    Contacted by a recruiter, did a screen, then a technical screen and then a day of onsite interviews.

    The phone screens were about Linux system internals (syscalls, inodes, etc) and the technical screen was about more Linux stuff and some Python questions, very basic.

    There were 4 onsite interviews each about 45 minutes long, and a lunch somewhere in the middle.

    This was for a fairly new team and I got the feeling that some of the interviewers were still sort of getting settled in their roles, but everyone was super friendly and had a very positive attitude about the company and their role. Also the free food is pretty good :)

    After the day of interviews I gave myself a 80% success rate on my answers to the questions I was asked (after looking up the answers when I got home), and about a week later I was given the rejection letter, but they encouraged to try again in the future. It was a great learning experience :)

    Interview Questions

    • What is the system call sent by the kill command?   3 Answers

  4.  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kirkland, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Kirkland, WA) in November 2013.

    Interview

    I was referred in by an external recruiting firm. A week or so later, they informed me that Google wanted me to come in for an approximately 4-hour interview. The position was in Washington, within a lab-like group which may be inappropriate to specify here. It would have drawn on background experience in combined areas of system, network and security administration.

    The interview consisted of three one-on-one interviews with potential team-mates, with lead-in and follow-up conversations with the hiring manager. As far as one can tell in that sort of time-frame, all of them seemed like they'd be great to work with (or for). The interview spanned lunch, and four of us ate in one of the on-site (free) cafeterias. The discernible corporate culture at that location included some fairly open floor-plans with various motifs and/or amenities seemingly aimed at stimulating creative minds.

    Though they opted not to bring me on board, I'd certainly apply again if another position in that group opened up in the future and if I'd gained relevant experience in the meantime.

    From notification of interview to notification of "non-selection", the entire process took exactly three weeks.

    Interview Questions

    • A great question that I simply went brain-dead on involved ball-parking the transfer rate on a specific category of network traffic traversing a relevant path.   Answer Question

  5.  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    Phone screen is as far as I got.

    Interview Questions

    • Wanted detailed description of smtp commands, not just the basic helo, rcpt stuff.   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (2)  

    Systems Administrator Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in June 2011.

    Interview

    I had three phone interviews. The first one which consisted of general skills to allow me into phase two. It was basic questions, but very computer science oriented. The questions had zero basis for any job I can think of, however, it was stuff covered in a basic computer science curriculum. Such has network topology, TCP/UDP uses, what the sticky bit is used for. After a few days I get an email from the recruiter (Google's own in California) emailed me asking when I will call him. I stated we spoke already so he apologized, called me back, and asked me a second set of six questions.

    These were all Linux based (with one or two networking again). This set was actually much easier (still CS based questions one might see in a theory test). Afterwords, he once again said, you qualify for the second round, then he scheduled a phone call with an actual Google Engineer who asked me basic IT related questions.

    Actually, since I had no idea what position I was being a candidate for, so he asked general questions. He seemed to be really interested in printing problems. Like really interrogating me asking how to diagnose it, what actions I take, then said assume it works for all but one, then none, just a variety of scenarios all regarding printers. I kept focusing more on the Linux aspects, but he seemed to be rather satisfied.

    While they didn't ask me to meet them in person (it seems to me there was no actual position available), they said they will call me back in six months.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe how you would diagnose and repair a printing problem?   1 Answer

  7.  

    Senior Systems Administrator Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in August 2010.

    Interview

    The interview process was pretty straightforward and I enjoyed meeting with everyone. Everyone was friendly and professional and treated me respectfully. I passed the 1:1 onsite and then even passed the notorious hiring committee only to get shot down later without a good reason. Recruiter seemed to know the reason but was unable or unwilling to share.

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Systems Administrator Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in July 2010.

    Interview

    Well... it was... how do I say this... it was a no sense interview... briefly we talked about my background and what the position was about, after this the recruiter ask me 4 questions. I only answered one right. The questions were related to the LS command, the Kill command, the /etc/passwd file and the Sticky Bit... bear in mind, it looks easy I use those commands everyday... but you better memorize the whole manual pages and all the different variables to actually get a correct answer and a real interview with a real Engineer!!! well... I'm guessing that I'll do this again later and see how it goes... maybe I'm not cut to work at Google who knows...

    Interview Questions

    • What is the default kill behavior?   1 Answer
    • How to see the inodes of a file?   3 Answers
    • Which fields are not supposed to be in a /etc/passwd entry?   2 Answers
    • Which one is the bit of the Sticky Bit?   4 Answers

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Systems Administration Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in January 2010.

    Interview

    The process consistent of two phone interviews and an offline skills test. The first phone interview was clearly conducted by a recruiter not a technical person who was basically checking off bullet points from a list to ensure that I "met the requirements" (each requirement being a three letter acronym, preceded by the words, "have you ever used...?" FTP, DNS, etc. and followed by "Please rate your expertise with..." SSL, SQL, etc. "on a scale of one to five".

    Then I was emailed a bunch of MySQL database questions, all of which I knew the answers to, and mailed back.

    Then I had a second interview with a more clued database developer in Californina (The position is here in NYC) who reviewed my test answers with me (to be sure I actually understood the material, and didnt just, well -- heheh -- google the answers (get it? it's a google interview? i kill me) :-) ). He kept asking me about my (lack of) a college degree, despite the job reqs stating that a degree was not required, and he was obviously looking down at me for not having one, asking questions like, "why didn't you complete your bachelors", "do you think not having a degree is holding you back in your career" and "do you plan to go back to school and get a degree in the near future?".

    He said I would be contacted for a third interview, but later I received an email saying that the position had been filled, and thanking me for my interest, yadda, yadda, yadda :-(

    Whatever. Edu-snobs :-)

    Interview Questions

    • There were some very obscure MySQL questions on the written skills test, asking about mysql-specific auto-increment SQL syntax and update commands with joins.   Answer Question

  10. Helpful (2)  

    Systems Administrator Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in March 2008.

    Interview

    Three phone interviews, the first was non-technical, just a recruiter checking off bullet-point requirements. The second was a long q & a about my past experience, and the third a few dozen very technical questions. I guess I flunked...

    Interview Questions


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