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Google Software Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at Google

3,275 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 5+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY (US)) in July 2010.

Interview

Applied online. Contacted by recruiter, set up telco. After that, set up telco for technical interview on phone with detailed instructions on what to prepare. Technical telco went fine, invited to onsite interview. Onsite interview standard - 5 sessions with one additional for lunch. Questions mostly coding on whiteboard. Interviewers nice. Office space large and nice. Heard back after 1 week that no offer will be made.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Google

  1. Helpful (7)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA (US)) in July 2010.

    Interview

    I first did a phone interview, in which I was asked to design the file system behind their index.

    Then, in my first in-person interview, I was asked various typical Interview 2.0 style questions. It seemed very focused on 'how fast can you find the clever solution to this problem'. I answered questions in c and java, mostly very basic data structure manipulations questions (implement a stack using a queue, collection of collections, etc). The most interesting question I got asked was how to do the backend for facebook.

    A second call back interview was supposed to focus on design, but wound up asking me very similar data structure questions because the senior interviewers I was supposed to meet with were not available, and I got junior engineers instead.

    Interview Questions

    • Design the back-end for facebook.   1 Answer
    • Design an iterator for a collection of collections in java. The iterator should hide the nesting, allowing you to iterate all of the elements belonging to all of the collections as if you were working with a single collection.   2 Answers

    Reasons for Declining

    All in all, I was disappointed. I had heard a lot of positive things about Google, but the reality didn't live up to the sales pitch. The free food was terrible, everyone seemed overworked and tired, and the lack of consideration for my time was irritating. Only one of the interviewers seemed at all enthusiastic about being at Google. The people weren't any brighter than at other places I've been, and not one could answer my question about how you could stand out at a place as big as Google. Frankly, had the interviewers been brighter, I'd probably have tried recruiting them given their apparent job dissatisfaction.


  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA (US)
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA (US)) in October 2008.

    Interview

    I had just finished a summer internship and was interviewed for a full time position. I had two separate interviews with other engineers. The interviews consisted of programming questions, logic and math puzzles, and a brief discussion of previous experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Imagine dropping a Rubik's Cube into a bucket of paint. How many of the cubes will get paint on them?   7 Answers

    Reasons for Declining

    A competing offer gave me the opportunity to work on what for me were more interesting topics.

  3. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, MA (US)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (Cambridge, MA (US)) in October 2009.

    Interview

    Two 1.5 hour long interviews. Mostly asked technical questions on simple algorithms (sorting, search, etc.). Asked to write code. Didn't ask about previous experiences at all. All in all, felt more like a school exam.

    One interviewer was friendly, the other seemed bored or tired. Luck of the draw, I suppose.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you find the most searched for phrase in Google, assuming that you could use 10000 computer in parallel?   2 Answers

  4. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kirkland, WA (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Google (Kirkland, WA (US)) in November 2009.

    Interview

    I applied online and got a 45 minute phone interview. They asked me to fill out a questionnaire that consisted of scale of 1 - 10 expertise type questions for programming languages, areas of computer science, etc. The phone interviewer was asked me two questions and had to code on paper and read it out for the first question. Got an email the following week inviting me to kirkland for an on-site interview. Google reimburses any of your expenses during the on-site interview trip. Be sure to retain all receipts and send them scanned copies *within 15 days of your on-site interview.*

    Interview Questions

    • I am playing a card game called 24. Cards ace to king are numbered 1 to 13. During a given round, I am provided four cards to play with from the shuffled pack. If the numbers from the four cards result in 24 then I win the round if I shout '24' first. How would you code a function for this?   4 Answers
    • A quad tree is used to represent a black/white image. If you are provided with two such image representations, write a function to create a third tree that represents the merged image. (Black overrides white, mixed; mixed overrides white)   1 Answer

  5. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Mountain View, CA (US)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA (US)) in October 2009.

    Interview

    I got an email from my school's career center about the opportunity. I uploaded my resume on Google's hiring web page. I got an email from the company's recruiter within 2 days. The interview questions were not too difficult although I screwed up one of them out of stress. I had two 45-minute interviews. The down side was that the interviewers gave no feedback, and I just got a boilerplate email from the recruiter. That was really bad.

    Interview Questions

    • Given the list of points of the skyline of a city in order (from East to West) Find the maximal rectangle contained in this skyline. I was asked to write the code. I managed to find the algorithm but was not sufficient.   21 Answers
    • find the intersection of two integer arrays in increasing order.   1 Answer

  6. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a week. I interviewed at Google (New York, NY (US)) in October 2009.

    Interview

    I was contacted by the recruiter the same day my friend referred my resume. Since I had previously applied, the recruiter let me skip the phone interview. They brought me on-site one week later and I met with six different interviewers (two of them were a joint interview). Most of the questions were pretty standard - I had prepared from the book "Programming Pearls" by Jon Bentley as well as www.careercup.com. There were strictly technical questions - no annoying brainteasers (thankfully). A few interviewers asked me to analyze my own algorithms I came up with and suggest any better possible things. Heaps and trees stood out as the most important data structures. The design question was open ended, and it was one of the questions from the CareerCup site so I wasn't caught off guard.

    Afterwards it took about 2 weeks to receive an offer, but the recruiter was good about keeping in touch and kept me updated as my application passed through the local hiring committee then the executive committee. Given Google's reputation for bad hiring process, I was surprised that it took only 3 weeks from beginning to end.

    Interview Questions

    • -Object-oriented Design question
      -Binary tree coding question
      -Sorting question
      -STL vector question
      -A few others (cannot reveal due to NDA)   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Not able to negotiate much - managed to get a little bit more on the stock grant, but they seemed pretty rigid once the offer was on the table.


  7.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Google in October 2009.

    Interview

    I was interviewed by two google employees, for an hour each. I was in a small room with a white board and was asked to write the solutions to various coding question. The second interviewer also left some time for me to ask her about what it was like to work at google.

    Interview Questions

    • Write a program the generates the power set of a set of numbers   10 Answers
  8.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Google (Mountain View, CA (US)) in January 2010.

    Interview

    First interview was organized by one recruiter which i did during holiday season and i did well. I was hoping that next step would be a on site interview but got a mail from other recruiter that the first one has left so he will take over and reschedule another phone interview. it was not clear to me if the second interview was due to the recruiter change or ph interview result . Anyways i could not clear second phone screen as i could not wrap up one binary tree puzzle on time

    Interview Questions

    • Find the lowest common ancestor for BST   4 Answers

  9.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Google in September 2009.

    Interview

    I interviewed at Google for a full-time Software Engineering position after graduation.

    As I informed the recruiter that I had a pending offer already, they skipped the initial interview and brought me in for a full-day interview.

    I met with 5 engineers: two 45 minute interviews, an hour lunch, and two more 45 minute interviews.

    There was very little discussion about past experiences and my resume. All 3 out of the 4 interviews involved a programming question that I had to solve on the white board.

    The last interview was an abstract systems design question.

    Interview Questions

    • Given an array whose elements are sorted, return the index of a the first occurrence of a specific integer. Do this in sub-linear time. I.e. do not just go through each element searching for that element.   4 Answers
    • Given two linked lists, return the intersection of the two lists: i.e. return a list containing only the elements that occur in both of the input lists.   3 Answers

See What Google Employees Are Saying

1 person found this helpful

StarStarStarStarStar   Current Product Manager in Sydney

Pros: “Very inspiring workplace, fantastic colleagues, mission driven and culturally pretty good for its size”“Very inspiring workplace, fantastic colleagues, mission driven and culturally pretty good for its size” – Full Review

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