Google Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Apr 13, 2017
90 Interview Reviews

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Senior Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Google (Los Angeles, CA) in June 2016.

Interview

Recruiter call, then a phone interview on one coding question in google doc. advice is to concentrate on the solving the question, ignore what the interviewer would think meanwhile. if this round is thru then there will be onsite intereviews back to back on same day

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. Helpful (4)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    There were a number of separate interviews with separate developers through the day with a lunch-time non-counting interview.

    The questions were all about puzzles that you could easily look up (I had seen them all before in the various books), and only one interviewer at the end of the day in the last five minutes of that interview even bothered to quiz me about my unique skills, a specialty that I was told Google was looking for and why I even chose to accept the interview in the first place.

    I went through the puzzles, writing my answers using brute force solutions rather than jumping to the conclusion not only because I felt it fair but also because I began to see the whole day as a waste of my time since it became apparent they were more interested in playing games than testing my skills.

    Interview Questions

    • Actual puzzles are in the Cracking the Coding Interview book. Based on NDA cannot say which ones, though.   1 Answer

  2. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    A Google recruiter contacted me and asked me to interview.

    A few weeks later I was called for a telephone screen. The interviewer was pleasant. He did a very brief introduction and then quickly launched into the question. He did not give any guidance.

    Interview Questions

    • Q. Infinite stream of numbers. How do you predict what will be the next number.   2 Answers
  3.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 8+ months. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in November 2015.

    Interview

    Extremely length interview process with several recruiters, that can be considerably better managed. I went trough the stages of phone, interview and on-site interviews. Questions are in the area of design and coding.

    Interview Questions


  4. Helpful (9)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA
    Declined 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 September 2015.

    Interview

    After the initial phone screen, which includes technical questions and a peer coding exercise, I was invited for an on campus interview. This includes multiple technical rounds which include system design, and white board coding. What is most important, especially if you are an experienced engineer who has not interviewed for some time, is to study core data structures and algorithms, and to practice coding on a white board. I used the Algorithm Design Manual and the CLRS Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms as study guides. Its Google, the team was great and super intelligent, but I ultimately selected a start up for my next, and current opportunity. I won't go into offer details, but I will say that turning down a Google offer is very difficult.

    Interview Questions

    • You should never disclose interview questions. If you do, they will end up on a banned list, and the interviewers who know how to use those questions as discriminators for hiring will be forced to find new questions that they are less comfortable with. This will make it more difficult for future candidates to interview well. Also you should be honest and respect any NDAs you sign.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (8)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kirkland, WA
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Google (Kirkland, WA) in August 2015.

    Interview

    Asked a friend to refer me internally. Was contacted by recruiter within two days. Since I was local and had a referral, phone screen was waived and I went straight to the on-site interview. Google offers an interview preparation class. Although it doesn't cover anything groundbreaking, it is still worthwhile to attend.

    On-site loop consisted of five 1:1 interviews and a lunch. Lunch is your chance to ask questions about the company and environment. You are not graded on it. The actual interviews had algorithms/data-structure questions and system design questions.

    I also got the feeling that questions about your past experience weren't that important either. They were just a way to help you relax before the real questions.

    Sharing specific questions is against the NDA is kind of pointless. Google question pool is large. There are many specific questions already posted here on glassdoor. I went though roughtly 100 interview descriptions here with specific questions and didn't get any of these questions during the interviews. Doesn't mean that that time was wasted - this was very good practice. For the algo questions - just know your data structures and basic algorithms, practice solving problems for a few weeks and you should do just fine.

    System design questions focus on designs Google-scale distributed systems. I suggest reading up on MapReduce and similar things. Study or practice with modern NoSQL distributed storage engines, know where usual bottlenecks are and you should do fine.

    Also read up on the materials that Google recruiters recommend - they are relevant. The "anti-loop" thing can be real and you can fail the interview even if you are well qualified. I was told that people really interested in working at Google should plan on interviewing 2-3 times.

    Then came the awkward part - negotiating the compensation... For whatever reason Google wanted me to commit to joining before sharing the numbers. While this was going on I got offers from some other companies in the area and this has finally forced Google's hand and compensation numbers were shared with me. The numbers were extremely good (having a few competing offers surely helped). But in the end I decided to accept an offer from another company.

    It was a very tough call since, based on a lot of data, Google is a great place to work at. Unfortunately one can only work in one place at a time.

    Interview Questions


  6. Helpful (7)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (San Francisco, CA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    I got email from a Google recruiter after a brief talk with her I got a chance for the first phone interview.
    In the phone interview I was asked two questions and I need to code on Google Doc. After I passed the phone interview I was invited to Maintain View for a onsite interview. There was 5 rounds each round 1 to 2 interviewer (1 shadow interviewer he would not ask you questions). They would ask you technique questions and you need to code on whiteboard.

    Interview Questions

    • Find second largest number in a BST.
      Find peak element in an array using O(logn) method.   1 Answer

  7. Helpful (12)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    I first had two technical interviews by phone that went quite well.

    Then I did an onsite (I live 10 miles away from their campus) that consisted of 6 sessions of interviews.

    Despite the claim that Google no longer uses puzzles in interviews, I found that 2 out of 6 interviews consisted of solving tedious puzzles. I would say that 4 of the 6 sets of interviewers were friendly, one fellow was outright cold, one was slightly negative.

    Interviewer 1 (solo): Friendly and enthusiastic.

    Interviewer 2 (solo): Friendly but not enthusiastic. Seemed to want to hire a different type of person more like himself.

    Interviewer 3 (solo): Rather cold. He did tell me he knew that I'd interviewed at Youtube earlier, which felt creepy especially because the more memorable interviewers at Youtube were creepy. Imagine being reminded of a BAD experience. Right after which, he presented a tedious puzzle! When I was solving his puzzle, I felt I was constantly interrupted and hounded. I wanted to ask him to please be quiet, but I judged from his attitude that could have ended the interview prematurely. In the Q&A part, it was revealed he had never heard of Google's Project Ara. Maybe he was having a bad day... at my expense.

    Interviewer 4 (lunchtime casual talk, solo): Friendly and enthusiastic. It was a relief to talk with him after the previous guy. A big relief...

    Interviewer 5 (solo): Moderately friendly, presented a puzzle. I solved it. I got a feeling he seemed to want to hire a different type of person more like himself.

    Interviewer 6 (solo): Someone quite like myself. Only person to ask intelligent/wise questions and took notes.

    To Google's credit, there were no team interviews (that I recall).

    Long after the interview, I got emails from Google asking me to help them improve their interview process. That's why I came to Glassdoor....

    Interview Questions

    • Given some input data consisting of sets of increasing numbers, match patterns where the sequenc of deltas between the numbers match.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Cambridge, MA) in March 2015.

    Interview

    1 phone screen, 45 minutes
    5 hours on-site interview
    also includes a free lunch in Google, accompanies by an engineer introducing company culture and office tour. quite helpful to know more on the company from non-technical perspective.

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Recruiters moved quickly. People usually say that they are the bottleneck but they scheduled the phone screen within a week.

    First off, the call quality was really bad. I stated that a few times so maybe we can switch to a landline or something but was ignored (maybe he didn't hear me). First round was basically a programming quiz for which the interviewer was not very prepared. I mean there is a difference between a mediocre response and a great response but if it doesn't match the expected response (which in that particular case was a common misconception) you can get laughed at (like I did). Sometimes I still re-read the technical papers just to reinforce my belief I shouldn't have been laughed at for that answer. This totally bummed me out and it all went straight downhill from there.

    Then the coding began and I wrote the solution. It was welcomed with a heavy sigh + 'make it better'. I pitched a lot of ideas from my algorithm 'toolset' that solved the problem but now within some constraints that were added on the fly when the ideas were shut down. I didn't get the 'a-ha' for the optimal solution with no hints (I was close at some point - saw the solution on geeksforgeeks later in the day) so the interviewer told me he had to be someplace and If I had any questions for him and that was that.

    Interview Questions

    • general programming quiz (what's a class, what's polymorphism, what's the difference between a process and a thread)   Answer Question

See What Google Employees Are Saying

StarStarStarStarStar   Current Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL

Pros: “Good growth perspectives. Interesting work. Good pay in many offices.”“Good growth perspectives. Interesting work. Good pay in many offices.” – Full Review

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