Google Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Google Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Dec 13, 2017
2,641 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (1712)  

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
Accepted 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 April 2014.

Interview

Direct onsite because I interviewed in the past and did well that time. From the time I sent my resume to interview day: 2 weeks. From interview day to offer over the phone: 2 weeks.

The syllabus for the interviews is very clear and simple:
1) Dynamic Programming
2) Super recursion (permutation, combination,...2^n, m^n, n!...etc. type of program. (NP hard, NP programs)
3) Probability related programs
4) Graphs: BFS/DFS are usually enough
5) All basic data structures from Arrays/Lists to circular queues, BSTs, Hash tables, B-Trees, and Red-Black trees, and all basic algorithms like sorting, binary search, median,...
6) Problem solving ability at a level similar to TopCoder Division 1, 250 points. If you can consistently solve these, then you are almost sure to get in with 2-weeks brush up.
7) Review all old interview questions in Glassdoor to get a feel. If you can solve 95% of them at home (including coding them up quickly and testing them out in a debugger + editor setup), you are in good shape.
8) Practice coding--write often and write a lot. If you can think of a solution, you should be able to code it easily...without much thought.
9) Very good to have for design interview: distributed systems knowledge and practical experience.
10) Good understanding of basic discrete math, computer architecture, basic math.
11) Coursera courses and assignments give a lot of what you need to know.
12) Note that all the above except the first 2 are useful in "real life" programming too!

Interview 1:
Graph related question and super recursion

Interview 2:
Design discussion involving a distributed system with writes/reads going on at different sites in parallel.

Interview 3:
Array and Tree related questions

Interview 4:
Designing a simple class to do something. Not hard, but not easy either. You need to know basic data structures very well to consider different designs and trade-offs.

Interview 5:
Dynamic programming,
Computer architecture and low level perf. enhancement question which requires knowledge of Trees, binary search, etc.

At the end, I wasn't tired and rather enjoyed the discussions. I think the key was long term preparation and time spent doing topcoder for several years (on and off as I enjoy solving the problems).

Conclusion: "It's not the best who win the race; it's the best prepared who win it."

Negotiation

You can and should negotiate politely. You are in a stronger position if you have another offer, but even otherwise, you should ask for more of every type of payment!

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. Helpful (677)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    I first had a phone screen interview. After this, I was asked to come onsite for further interviews. I had 4 whiteboard and 1 lunch interview with the Youtube team. After this, I was told that my application is going through the Hiring Committee.

    Hiring committee asked my HR to find a team for me before giving any decision. I then had two phone interviews with different teams in Android. I informed my HR that I am interested in the first team. Next day, HR emailed me and said that this team no longer has an open position. I again went through the same process. This time, platform team was interested in talking to me. I gave 2 phone interviews wherein they made me write code. After their feedback, I was put through the Hiring committee again and this time I got a thumbs up from them. 1 week after that I was put through executive committee and got my offer.

    I had 7 other offers and my HR asked me about all of them before putting me through executive review. They gave me more than any other company I had offer from.


  2. Helpful (559)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    The interview went seemingly smoothly, except for a couple quirks in the code on the whiteboard. The questions were way easier than I expected. The interviewers were not intimidating at all and did not try to make the process stressful. I felt like I passed and according to HR, the overall feedback was positive. My application went to the hiring committee which, in turn, rejected the offer.

  3. Helpful (9)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    I had a hard time deciding between neutral and negative. Let’s be real, Google is amazing at showing off, throwing great parties and having a good public image. But once you go on-site as a woman the reality is very different.

    Having been on-site twice, I can report that I met 11 men and 1 woman during my interviews. Communication with the interviewers was strained. I finished interviews feeling so deflated I almost didn’t want to continue, but pushed through. In fact, after each interview, all I could think is: I don’t want to work here.

    Most telling is my ONE female interviewer, when asked how she liked working at Google, in so many words said she was stressed and had trouble finding a team she belonged on.

    Google, you should know stereotype threat is real. You should know that your interview is exhausting, and plain hazing. You should know that the diverse candidates will continue to be punished in tech interviews until you change your practices, as you’re considered the gold standard.

    Interview Questions


  4.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Recruiter reached out to me.

    Single phone screen and then onsite. Recruiter called within an hour of phone screen to inform me of progression to onsite.

    Onsite consisted of 5 45 minute technical interviews and 1 lunch interview.

    Took three weeks from onsite to offer. Recruiter communicated with me twice a week during this time period.

    Very pleased with the professionalism of everyone involved in the process.

    Interview Questions


  5.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    This is the first interview of an internship at Google. I've got the interview through an employee referral. The interviewer is very friendly and helpful. However, I misunderstood the question at the very beginning and provided another algorithm. In the end, I solved the problem.

    Interview Questions

    • The question is to find the number of connected components for an input of double linked list.
      Given an input of cycled double linked list, please describe an algorithm to find the number of connected components.   1 Answer

  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA).

    Interview

    The whole process was good! From online assessment to phone interview to onsite. An HR assist you all the time with the arrangements. The problems they give you are flexible and comprehensive. Feel free to talk to the interviewers, just like you are working together to solve the problems. It was cool to have a lunch round at Google's cafe.

    Interview Questions


  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    Initial online question was relatively straight forward, although I was not able to complete all the code required for one of the two. I was treated well during the on-site.

    Interview Questions

    • A question about bit manipulation.   1 Answer
  8. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google.

    Interview

    Was asked to complete a 1 hour and 30 minute coding challenge. I heard back 1 week later and was asked to do 2 phone interviews that were 45 minutes each.

    Interview Questions

    • 2 dynamic programming questions, 1 recursion problem, and 1 string manipulation problem   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 8 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA) in November 2017.

    Interview

    Phone calls with recruiter at every stage before and after, first phone coding interview on Google Docs then onsite. The interview scheduling was really inefficient and slow, but at least they were nice.

    The phone interview was a pretty simple question I had to code up on a Google doc, after which I was asked some followup about how to generalize it to a harder problem. The guy had a very difficult to understand Indian accent and wasn't getting helpful responses to my clarifying questions so I actually solved the wrong problem, but either the phone interview bar is really low or he went back and looked at the GDoc later (I fixed the code afterward) and noticed my corrections.

    I was invited onsite to my surprise, which was 5 45-minute interviews. Since I'm pretty junior it was all algorithms/coding/data structures and no systems design. Frankly, I found the questions easy and came up with a fast algorithm for all of them very quickly and wrote down code that should be correct, with the exception of one little syntax error I left on the board, and another minor mistake that I caught and corrected. I did a lot of practice coding questions before the interview and had done a close variant of basically everything I was asked.

    Got a call from the recruiter saying they won't be moving forward because "coding ability not strong enough", but she pointed out that some of the interviewers had very positive feedback. Having read about how the applicant scoring process works, I'm having a hard time figuring out what went wrong but I suppose there could have been a number of interviewers who didn't like something and gave me a bad score.

    Oh well, I thought the lack of behavioral questions meant if I got all the coding right I should pass, guess there's more to it.

    Interview Questions

    • A bunch of fairly simple questions with string manipulations you can probably find on leetcode and such, some tree questions, etc. If you do a bunch of review questions covering the usual data structures that should be good enough.   1 Answer

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