Google Interview Questions

Updated 20 Oct 2014
Updated 20 Oct 2014
3,269 Interview Reviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Administrative Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Possibly the worst internally managed recruitment experience I've ever had. I applied through referral, as a close friend worked as an SRE (Site Reliability Engineer). The first three interviews were by phone - the first through what sounded like a phone company call-centre in the Philippines. Although the interviewer spoke conversational English, it was difficult being cut off from a poor line multiple times whilst interviewing. After only 20 minutes of seemingly random Q&A, I was told to wait up to a week to see if I had reached the next interview.

    Two and a half weeks later, I underwent a 40 minute conversation, 90% of which was responding to hypothetical situations involving massive-scale event planning, opening new Google branches in foreign countries, and a smattering of other seemingly unrelated tasks to the job (this was an Admin Assistant role based in Sydney - I'm not sure how my personal approach to opening a Google office in India has any relevance whatsoever?).

    A week later (now almost a month since my first interview), I get another call, this time to interview with someone who's actually at the Sydney office. It's worth mentioning that up until this point, not a single interviewer was able (that's able, not willing, they said they didn't even have the information) to tell me:

    - The exact salary or even salary range of the position
    - Who, or even what department I would be assisting
    - In what capacity I would be assisting them at all - nothing but very vague, standard responsibilities were mentioned - i.e. Diary management, travel coordination, minute taking, etc
    - On what basis I would be employed, whether it be contract, permanent, or otherwise
    - Anything about the person who was in the role at that time, their reason for leaving, strengths appreciated by management, ideal working styles of the team, etc

    A few days later, I get another email, asking me to finally come in for a real interview. I'm told to expect a 90 minute session, to bring Kenexa testing, permanent residency documentation, references, my CV and to prepare thoroughly for one of Google's infamous gruelling interview sessions. With a position description a first year recruitment agent could write whilst asleep, all I could do was ensure I was mentally prepared and knew the names of their senior personnel from LinkedIn and was familiar with Google AU's greater portfolio of marketing projects.

    After taking the afternoon off work and spending time, effort and money making my way to Pyrmont for the interview, I'm met by a lovely receptionist who asks me to wait in the lobby for my interviewer. This is now 6 weeks after my first interview. *Half an hour later*, a bored looking woman appears and escorts me to one of their interview rooms. She does not shake my hand. She makes no attempt at conversation or to tell me a little bit about their offices or department on the five minute walk to the room. Here's all you need to know about the interview:

    - She asked three questions: Why do you think you're the right fit for the job? What's your background? How would you approach a stressful, fast-paced situation in an office environment?
    I'm not joking.
    - She failed to make eye contact for almost the entirety of the session, only barely acknowledging my existence after I finished my answers
    - She asked zero (0) follow-up questions
    - The first 5 minutes of the 25 whole ones, was spent listening to her complain about how devastating it was that her current staff member was leaving, how perfect she was for the job and for Google, and what a hassle it was having to interview and get a new person (I swear, I'm not having a laugh here).

    I have several years of C-suite executive assistant experience on three countries, numerous relevant qualifications, dual-citizenship and generally enjoy interviews. We discussed none of that.

    Google is a company that is routinely rated as or near the 'Best Place to Work'. They pay better than most employers, have better benefits, and treat their people with some degree of respect. It's for these reasons, I've come to find out after much research, that they can treat people like garbage up until they hire you. They know that since people clamour towards their HR department in droves, they can afford to waste your time, lie to your face, fail to provide basic information regarding roles, and just generally take advantage of people's desperation and hope.

    Needless to say, I emailed India whilst still on the train home to let them know I wouldn't be interested in a position with them.

    I'd rather be unemployed.

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Technical Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Google in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied on Google website in March 2014. Got an email from a recruiter in June asking to set up a date for a technical phone interview with an Engineer. Managed to set a date for the interview about one month later. The interview lasted around 45 min and was very Technical. Got a reply a week later that they will not proceed to the next stage. Recruiter didn't give any specific information about the nature of the interview and didn't mention any specific areas to focus on. Everything was a bit vague and I spent nearly a month studying everything - Data structures, Algorithms, Coding, Systems, Networking etc.

    Interview Questions
    • What happens in Linux Shell when trying to run ls command, Describe TCP protocol, how is TCP different from UDP and when to use each one, DNS uses UDP or TCP protocol, What is the size of UDP packet, Describe what is a struct, enum and union in C, describe the memory structure on the operating system (heap,data and stack)   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Perth, Western Australia
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Perth, Western Australia
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at Google in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    After i applied online for junior sysadmin, i received an email from a hiring manager asking for a suitable time to arrange a techinical pre screen. The person forgot to call the first time, and i emailed him again to remind and reschedule it for the next day. As we were in different time zones, i agreed to an interview in the early hours of the morning, which was a big mistake.

    On receiving the call, a short introduction followed by a series of technical questions which i was totally unprepared for. Add early morning dizziness to the equation and needless to say, it was a total failure of an interview.

    Maybe it was my mistake but i didn't expect it to be that "Technical" and way above the level of a junior.

    Interview Questions
    • Something on the "awk" command arguments   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5.  

    Product Marketing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Five case based interviews. The cases were very informal and unstructured for 3 of the interviews. The other two interviews had structured, consulting type, cases. I think it depends on the interviewer. I was unsuccessful to convert this opportunity. The most disappointing part was, they didn't give me any (absolutely none) feedback.

    Interview Questions
    • No surprise questions, I expected most behavioural questions. The cases made the most difference.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Senior Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    One of the best hiring processes I've been through, it'll help a lot if you have an internal recommendation. In Australia the response time is pretty slow for most roles but the person I dealt with was quick, kept me informed and really tried to help

    Interview Questions
    • Technical skill is a must for this role. You're leading a team of dev's and you have to be able to not just keep up on a technical level but you need to be out ahead of them in terms of vision and to do that you need to have the technical base. Even though I have a Software Dev. degree, the fact that I hadn't worked in the field in a technical capacity meant that I ended up pulling out of the process once I understood the detail because I don't have the technical chops. Credit to Google for looking at me in the first place and for making it a pleasant process even though I didn't get there...   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Google in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    The first phone interview consists of making the interviewee comfortable with some banter.
    Then Some technical questions which lead into a coding question in a google doc.
    Once finished you should walk through one or two sample questions.

    Don't fret if you don't know a library name, but get the syntax of your language correct.
    Make sure you have a solid knowledge of basic data structures and algorithms.
    Always cater for corner cases.
    Knowing about how threadding and distributed computing is always a benefit, but it depends largely upon your interviewer.

    Interview Questions
    • Code a hashmap which you would be happy to place into a production environment.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Account Strategist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    The hiring and interview process in Google is long. Like seriously long, depends on the job. You have to go through at least 5 - 6 interviews.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Software Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    After submitting resume, got a phone call from SG.

    Interview Questions
    • Questions about time complexity, sorting, worst case...   Answer Question
    No Offer
  10.  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Google in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    The whole process took around 4 weeks. Got an phone interview from their recruiter first and then went for a onsite interview. Phone interview was easy, just a quick chat about your relevant experience and background, but the onsite interview was challenge which took around 2 hours.

    Interview Questions
    • Although in essence, this is a engineering role, but they did ask a lot about the sales which could be challenge to answer. However, they did ask any tricky questions for this role. So my suggestion is to focus on the responsibilities of this role if you proceed to the onsite interview stage   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer (New Grad) Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Google.

    Interview Details

    Recruiter reached out to me in August, asking if I was still interested in the process (I had gotten to the host-matching process last year, when applying for an internship). I was handed off to two more recruiters, who finally scheduled a first phone interview. It took a week to get back feedback for the phone interview, after which an on-site consisting of 4 rounds was set up. After the on-site, it took about a month to get the final decision, even though I had a few expiring deadlines. In the end, the offer was good, and I accepted. It would be better if it didn't take so much time.

    Interview Questions
    • General OS stuff about locks/threads. Asked about how to implement a lock at the kernel level. Also asked some questions related to Java synchronized.   Answer Question
    • Given an n x m grid and a robot starting in the top left corner, how many ways can it get to the bottom right corner, if it can only go down or to the right? Can you come up with a closed form solution?   View Answers (3)
    • Describe how you improve the performance of a service for a region where there is a dial-up connection.   Answer Question
    • Given a binary tree, determine if it is a valid binary search tree.   View Answers (2)
    • Compute the h-index of a list of papers, given their citation count. Can you do it in linear time? How about a distributed algorithm for the task?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    Gave them details of my other offers, but they didn't negotiate. The offer was pretty good though.
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview

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