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Google Software Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at Google

3,275 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (2)  

Software Engineer Interview

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

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in January 2010.

Interview

I was contacted by a recruiter after visiting Google at a career fair. Then I went through 2 phone interviews with live coding about algorithms, data structures, optimization. After that I was invited on-site for a full day interview (Google College Day) and had 3 interviews.

The 2 phone screen interviews were pretty basic. It was a while ago so I didn't remember everything. The 1st few questions were about Fibonacci sequence with optimization, also lowest common ancestor with optimization and find repeated number with optimization. I suggest u started out with a naive answer so that at least you can solve the problem, then think of a better way to do it.

The on-site interviews were really hard and intimidating. The 1st guy asked me about OO concepts with some trick questions. The 2nd guy was totally unprepared and just kinda thought of questions on the spot. He asked me about designing a server and how to prevent failure, how to reroute requests and make backup and such.

The 3rd guy was nice but tough. He asked me about Bloom Filter and techniques they used in URL whitelisting in Google Chrome. I had no idea as an undergrad.

Interview Questions

  • Find a repeated number in a list of numbers   2 Answers
  • Write a function the generate Fibonacci sequence   Answer Question
  • I have superclass A and subclass B of superclass A. B overrides a function foo() in A. I have an instance of class B. How do I call foo() but using class A's version   5 Answers
  • How do you check if a URL is bad really fast in Google server. The point is for the user not to notice the lag in the checking   2 Answers

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in March 2010.

    Interview

    I submitted my resume online, and about 3 weeks later got a call from a recruiter who asked me about my experience and the kind of role I would like. She then lined me up for a phone screening. I was asked 3 main questions, 2 coding related and one about how web pages are retrieved and displayed and how the process can be optimized.

    Interview Questions

    • Write an algorithm to calculate n factorial   1 Answer
    • Explain the steps involved from entering a web site address to the page being displayed on your browser. How can the process be speeded up.   Answer Question

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in May 2009.

    Interview

    A recruiter from Google found my profile on LinkedIn and contacted me.
    We discussed by phone my career interests relative to opportunities
    at the company. She transferred me to a different person in staffing
    who represented jobs that were a closer fit to my interest. The technical
    lead called me for a phone screen which consisted of describing
    what I did. That went well. I was excited to have an onsite interview in
     the renowned building 42. There were two 1:1 interviews in the morning,
    lunch at the acclaimed free Google cafeteria, and two more interviews
    in the afternoon. The questions were challenging and quite technical.
    The interviewers were great people who I felt I could work with. I
    enjoyed the chance to meet them. I got home and contemplated skip lists
    and spinlocks and algorithms I could not compose on the whiteboard,
     It was a great learning experience to better prepare me for the future.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a picture of a skip list data structure, implement the algorithm to maintain skip lists (add, search, delete).   Answer Question
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in April 2010.

    Interview

    I interviewed with the company before and came very closed to be hired, so they expedited the process and have me interviewed in their NY office without going through phone interviews. The question they asked are easier than I thought. You just need to make sure you remember all those basic data structures and algorithms, and be careful and not make dumb mistakes. There is only one hard problem, but if you know dynamic programming, you shouldn't have trouble solving it.

    Interview Questions

    • Giving n numbers, and one number s, find out whether there are two numbers form the n numbers sums up to the number s. Finding one solution is extremely easy, but what's required is to find out ALL solutions to the problem and analyse the run times.   6 Answers

  4.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Jose, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (San Jose, CA) in April 2010.

    Interview

    I uploaded my resume, got an email for a phone scree. The recruiter called me and after a few basic question set a time for a phone interciew. After I passed the first phone interview, there was a secon one, and after I passed the second one, there was an onsite interview. I was interviewed by 5 interviewers onsite. The questions were not really hard and I answered all of them and I found efficient algorithms as they wanted and they seemed satisfied, but I was rejected after the onsite interview. It seems to be really hard to get into, so my advice is do not focus on Google. Focis on another company. It is probably not worth the time you spend on all these interviews as the chances are low.

    Interview Questions

    • They were all C++ questions. find mean, find page rank, find intersection, then OO and design questions   Answer Question

  5.  

    Software Engineer 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 April 2010.

    Interview

    A friend got contacted by a recruiter, he forwarded the recruiter my resume since he wasn't interested in a new job. Got a message from the recruiter on LinkedIn: "Google invites you to explore Career Opportunities!", was followed up with an questionaire email asking about your skillset.
    Got a phone interview with an engineer a couple of weeks later. Lasted 40 min.
    The interview got right into the technical questions, the answers were to be written on a google shared document.

    Interview Questions

    • Quad tree bitmap: describe data structure and an algorithm   Answer Question
    • How to replace a string in a templatized string where each placeholder starts with a specific delimiter,
      you are given a map that maps the placeholders to associated values.   Answer Question
    • write a sql query to find all 2nd (and then 3rd) level manager from a tabel employee with name, id (pk) and managerid.   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Kirkland, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Kirkland, WA) in April 2010.

    Interview

    They contacted me quickly after submitting resume.
    One phone interview plus two trips out. First trip had 5 hour-long interviews
    with engineers. Second trip had two. All involved coding problems.

    Hard interview process, but fair. My only real complaint is I had to fly out two times.
    Better if I could've done it in one trip, perhaps a two day interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Find shortest substring in a string that contains all of a set of characters.   6 Answers

  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in April 2010.

    Interview

    I had two technical phone interview. Both of them were strictly limited to 45 min.
    On the first one, I was asked few technical questions and one brainteaser. Afterwords I need to write a small program and post it through Google docs.
    On the second interview, I was asked to DICTATE CODE, so that the person will write it down and estimate.
    One of the questions was terribly difficult. I spent about 20 min to resolve it but could not.
    Another one were much more simpler and doable. The guy did not test my language and technology knowledge and experience at all. He just wanted me to resolve terrible brainteasers, which hypothetically even student without any experience could do.

    Interview Questions

    • One independent survey showed that 70% on people asked like coffee.
      Another independent survey showed that 80% of people like tea.
      What is the upper and lower bound of peoples who likes both coffee and tea   14 Answers
    • Write a function Brackets(int n) that prints all combinations of well-formed brackets. For Brackets(3) the output would be

      ((())) (()()) (())() ()(()) ()()()   11 Answers
  8. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY) in April 2010.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a Google recruiter by phone. My resume was on file from a previous interview 3 years ago which did not result in an offer. We had a short conversation about what was available at Google and about what my experience was. The questions and information were very high level and it didn't seem like this was even a phone screen of any sort.

    She then passed me on to the HR person at the NY office. I was told that there would be a phone interview where I would need to be at a computer and would need to be able to code, but since I has already been onsite previously they decided to skip this. I was handed on to yet another person to actually schedule the interview and then back to the HR person.

    The onsite interview was from 10 to 3 and consisted of 5 interviews and a lunch conversation. Each interview was 45 minutes and they ran pretty much right on schedule. They were difficult, but pretty much what was expected. There almost no discussion of work history or anything other than technical questions. Most of the time was spent at the whiteboard working on and then refining the answer to a question. They mainly focused on data structures and algorithms around them. Things like BST, hash tables, tree traversals. The questions were not standard algorithm questions that you tend to see around, but a bit more involved. They were interested in your speaking about the algorithmic complexity of your solution and how to choose appropriate data structures. Hash vs. BST came up a bit. The coding that had to be done was a bit awkward for a whiteboard. The solutions were not necessarily short. One interview revolved around a higher level system design question that was refined throughout the discussion. There was very little to no time to ask questions or discuss working at google and the inteviewers did not seem interested in selling me on google. The lunch conversation was not an interview and did not contribute towards the assessment. The person I ate with was very nice and seemed honest about the way things are at google.

    Over 2 weeks after the interview I was contacted with the rejection.

    Overall the process was smooth and people were helpful and nice. Though I did not find anyone to be particularly interested in selling the company. The interviewers were hard but fair for the most part. One interviewer did not describe the problem particularly well and had me coding a solution to the wrong problem for a while.

    Interview Questions

    • General algorithm questions. particularly focused on algorithmic complexity. Know average and worst case time for operations on hash tables, trees, etc. The questions are not puzzles and if you know your data structures, algorithms, etc, they aren't too hard.   Answer Question

  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in October 2009.

    Interview

    one phone interview of 30 minutes, then fly me into the head office for one day on-site. 5 in-person interviews of 45 minutes each. All technical interviews. Very tough questions. Interviewers are randomly selected employees who are not mostly unlikely in the team/project that you will join. Rarely got asked questions related to my own experience.

    Interview Questions

    • design a complete system to function just like the twitter.   Answer Question

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