Google Linux Kernel Engineering Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google Linux Kernel Engineering Interview Questions

Interviews at Google

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Linux Kernel Engineering 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 2007.

Interview

Initial phone interview was pretty normal - I expected the trick logic/mind questions and one guy actually knew quite a bit about my current research area. I was happy when they decided to fly me out to Mountain View - from a country about as far away from the USA as you can get.

The face-to-face interview was quite a let down. Not one (!) of the 5-6 interviewers asked me in any detail about my grad school research work I'd just spent the last X years on. I thought I was going for a kernel position, and we never talked about any kernel or systems issues, let alone what my actual job would be. I found the whole thing very confrontational, where they knew all the answers and were just waiting to see how I'd screw up. I think some of these guys had forgotten that the interview is a two-way process, where I'm considering if I'd like to work with you too! I left quite bemused. On the plus side, the hotel was very nice and lunch was fun.

They said they didn't want me for the kernel job, and shuffled me off to some more phone interviews with other teams. A bizarre self-assessment process with some HR rep was close to the final straw for me, and I did another phone interview just to see what would happen, which was probably a bit rude as I'm sure they could tell my heart wasn't in it.

To contrast what I think was a good experience; at another large Valley company I interviewed with the actual engineers I would be working with, their canned questions turned into chatting about my research and general systems topics and I've been happily employed there for over a year now.

Google clearly wants a specific type of person. Of my peers, I know some enjoyed the process and some were more like myself, finding the whole thing a bit bizarre. I think their interview process probably works to get the type of people they are looking for. To be totally honest, Google rejecting me made me cast my net a bit wider, and now I'm working on challenging problems with great engineers and couldn't be happier. So thank you Google!

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