Google Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated 17 Oct 2014
Updated 17 Oct 2014
958 Interview Reviews

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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

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Google in October 2013.

    Interview Details

    Process was expedited due to another offer. I went from a single phone interview to an inhouse interview with potential future team members. Recruiters were all helpful, and the internal company paperwork took up the majority of the process.

    Negotiation Details
    Have competing offers.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at Google in September 2013.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a recruiter from google india. Had 2 phone interviews. But the recruitment process was really slow and the recruiter replied very late. i got the last reply after 4 months of the 2nd phone interview. It was really frustrating to wait for such a long period..

    Interview Questions
    • There are n integers in disk. Memory has m space. how to sort the data efficiently.   View Answers (2)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a dayinterviewed at Google in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    Contacted by recruiter for a initial phone interview. Later a week, i got a call from a person in Google sydney office. He was very polite and trying to get best out of me by giving hints. Interview went well. One puzzle and one simple problem. I used java to solve it. But later one week, they had mentioned, though interviewer were impressed with your accomplishments, they felt my experience was not strong match for current requirement.

    Interview Questions
    • Suppose that you earn 100% annual interest (APY) on $1 initial deposit. How long before you'll be as rich as Bill Gates ($63 billion)?

      Given a number, e.g., 314159, as an array [3,1,4,1,5,9], increment it: change it to [3,1,4,1,6,0].
        View Answers (11)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review
  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Google in April 2011.

    Interview Details

    The interview process usually consists of 2 phone interviews and 4 onsite interviews. Additionally I have done two post onsite phone interviews. The latter interviews were focused on scalability questions and coding skills. The process was quite good. Recruiters were responsive and supportive. Generally Google test three areas: Algorithms, Scalability and Coding. I have got positive feedback on Algorithms and Scalability. The negative part was the Coding skills part.

    Interview Questions
    • C++ versus Java.
      Reverse a singly lined list.
        View Answers (2)
    • How to add a counter to www.google.com to track the billionth user.   View Answers (4)
    • You have a 64bit interger counter set to 0. How long it will take to overflow the counter given that you are incrementing it at 4Ghz speed.   View Answers (7)
    • Comparisons of trees and hash tables.
      What are the tradeoffs of using one versus another.
        View Answers (2)
    • Quickly estimate 2^64 without using a pen/papar.   View Answers (7)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at Google in January 2011.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted in September via linkedin. I sent the recruiter my CV and haven't heard from them for a month. After contacting them again the recruiter scheduled me for a phone screening. Just a week after the first phone screening I was scheduled for another one which I took a month later. Both phone screenings lasted exactly 1 hour. On the phone I talked to junior/average Engineers, who asked quite simple questions about Data Structures. After the second interview I was invited for the 1:1 meeting. Again there were some delays in organising the interview and I ended up going to Sydney in January.

    I was interviewed by 4 people, with increasing difficulty. The questions weren't too hard, consisting of coding, estimation and design questions. I did struggle in understanding a simple question and ended up spending a lot of time discussing the task. The impression from the interview was good, but two weeks later I got a rejection. No information was provided.

    Generally, you need to prepare for the interview in overall. Don't just focus on learning algorithms. Rehearse behavioural parts before going to the 1:1.

    Interview Questions
    • Estimate the total storage size of GMAIL   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at Google in June 2008.

    Interview Details

    There were 3 interviews scheduled in the morning. The flight from Melbourne to Sydney was also booked for the same morning. The flight got delayed and I reached Sydney only at the time the interview was to start. I reached their office which was very difficult to locate as it was on the top floor of a building with IBM on it.
    Interviews were doable, but I was exhausted after having woken up really early and not having eaten much in the flight and having had to rush from the airport. First interview was really bad as I had a tough time concentrating. After lunch there were 2 more interviews and I did well in bot of them. But I knew I had blown it with the first one. I didn't know they had a policy of flying people in the previous evening for early morning interviews. Kinda felt cheated.

    Interview Questions
    • Reverse the bits in a 32 bit integer. Write C code for that.   View Answer
    • Non programming. The mouse in the maze problem. Shortest paths to reach outside.   Answer Question
    • Given a web system which gets disconnected, how would you debug it. Also where would you add resources to maximise throughput given some constraints.   Answer Question
    • Given a statement which took an integer, incremented it by 1 and then branched to another location which you provide, implement addition of two numbers multiplication, etc using just that statement (or command).   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Google in April 2008.

    Interview Details

    Phone interview asked standard code related questions, about object oriented code, defensive
    programming, etc. did well at that. one to one interview was similar but more in-depth

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 181 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA (US)
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Google in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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!
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 65 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    My interview and hiring process was extremely tiring but satisfactory. I dropped out of college and cancelled my plans to study in an university because I wasn't learning anything there. I studied and mastered computer science alone at home within 2 months. Although I am just 19, I decided to apply for Google and I wouldn't care if I got rejected really. I applied online and quite suprisingly; they replied back the next day to set-up an phone interview. They asked a few question and then told me "Alright, we'll call you again next week." And when they did that the next week, they invited me for an on-site interview. I met some interesting people there, and most of them were amazed due to the fact that I dropped out of college but had the abilities and in-depth knowledge of a Harvard-graduate software engineer, also because I am just 19. Some guy named Paul came to me and asked me a brain-teasing question about algorithms and I gave him back a cheesy, but informative answer and he told me "You're probably going to get accepted."

    During the on-site interview, they asked me long questions and gave me difficult tests/tasks on:
    1. Recursions
    2. Dynamic Programming
    3. Graphs
    4. Data Structures
    5. Problem-solving query test
    6. Array and Tree
    7. Computer architecture (binary search, low level enhancement...etc)

    They gave me some stuff related to graphs and recursion to build over, it was mind-boggling like hell. But that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I like challenges, and Google managed to give me those....a LOT of those.

    The interviewer's name was Caleb, and he said that I fulfill the criteria of a Google software engineer, and thus; they hired me immediately. Caleb was a fun person, I enjoyed being interviewed by him. He also said that I am the YOUNGEST software engineer in the history of Google, I felt really proud at that time. He gave me lots of compliments after the interview like "You're an exceptional person" - Google interviewers are extremely nice and respectful, you don't need to be nervous around them.

    Interview Questions
    • You dropped out of college, and you're just 19. Do you think you can handle Google at this age?   View Answers (6)
    Negotiation Details
    Tiring but satisfactory. I negotiated a $190,000 per-year salary and an $5k starter bonus.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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