A Googler: The Google Interview Process Uncovered


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A Google engineer who's interviewed 120+ people uncovers Google's interview process. Tons of valuable insights and tips about how to pass the technical interview at Google.

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A Googler: The Google Interview Process Uncovered

  1. 1. THE GOOGLE INTERVIEW PROCESS UNCOVERED A Googler describes Google’s interview process Date: March 2014 1Sunday, April 6, 14
  2. 2. Source A software engineer at Google Has been working there for 6 years Has interviewed over 120 people at Google http://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquestions/comments/ 1z97rx/from_a_googler_the_google_interview_process 2Sunday, April 6, 14
  3. 3. Step 1: You apply for a job You apply directly through the website, or A recruiter contacts you (they found you on LinkedIn), or Someone refers you 3Sunday, April 6, 14
  4. 4. Step 2: Looking at your resume Your resume needs to be relevant. Either: You’ve got a BS in CS / EE / Math / Physics You’ve got a few years of experience You’re a contributor to some well-known open-source project 4Sunday, April 6, 14
  5. 5. Step 3: Interviews Round 1 A Google recruiter calls you They ask a few simple questions E.g. “What’s faster - Quicksort or Bubblesort?” If you answer these correctly, you go to the next round of the Google interviews If you fail, don’t give up: start improving your skills 5Sunday, April 6, 14
  6. 6. Step 4: Interviews Round 2 A Google engineer calls you & interviews you for 45 minutes Only about 1 in 10 candidates passes this step Be prepared to talk to an engineer who expects you to fail, and would rather be doing something else Different people at Google have different interview styles Two main interview styles 6Sunday, April 6, 14
  7. 7. Google Interview Style 1 “Cover as much ground as possible” 5-10 different questions spread across your areas of expertise E.g. if you’re interviewing for sysadmin or system engineering, you may be asked questions about networking, unix, coding, security, etc. 7Sunday, April 6, 14
  8. 8. Google Interview Style 2 One hard problem split into two subproblems: easy “warmup” question followed by a “real” question “Warmup”: “Reverse a string in place” or “Implement atoi()” A good candidate should be able to solve it in about 5 minutes If it takes you too long: “no hire” “Real”: can barely be finished it in 35 minutes 8Sunday, April 6, 14
  9. 9. Interview Style 2 Examples: “Remove duplicates from a list of strings that doesn’t fit in memory” “Count the number of disjoint objects in a bitmap” “Implement a program that plays Tic Tac Toe” Most candidates can’t finish it in 35 mins, but that is OK. 9Sunday, April 6, 14
  10. 10. Step 5: Interview feedback The Google interviewer writes an internal report that includes a score Don’t ask how you did - you won’t be told (due to legal reasons) The report goes to the recruiter, who will decide what the next step should be 10Sunday, April 6, 14
  11. 11. Step 6: Interviews Round 3 Same as round 2, but with a different Google engineer Second round candidates are much better than first round candidates If you pass again: onsite interviews at Google! 11Sunday, April 6, 14
  12. 12. Step 7: Onsite Interviews Google flies you to one of their offices 3 interviews. 45 minutes each Lunch Then 2 more interviews Same as the phone screens, but face to face If you fail the first 3 interviews, you may be walked out after lunch 12Sunday, April 6, 14
  13. 13. Step 7: Onsite Interviews The collected feedback goes to a committee of senior Google engineers They look at the feedback for 3-5 minutes In exceptional cases, they may decide there is not enough information, which leads to more interviews If they decide to hire you, the recruiter will call you to make an offer Google pays very, very, very well. 13Sunday, April 6, 14
  14. 14. Tips Make your CV short and sweet. Never more than 2 pages Put your skills on your CV DO NOT START WRITING CODE IMMEDIATELY Ask questions if something is not clear Do not be shy to call your recruiter if you don’t hear from them for a week in the middle of the interview process 14Sunday, April 6, 14
  15. 15. Free Resources http://www.hiredintech.com: Free course to prepare you for the interviews. By ex-Google, Microsoft, Nvidia engineers. http://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquestions/: The CS Career Questions subreddit. http://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquestions/comments/ 1z97rx/from_a_googler_the_google_interview_process: The original thread on Reddit. 15Sunday, April 6, 14
  16. 16. FREE RESOURCES http://www.hiredintech.com 16Sunday, April 6, 14
  17. 17. FREE RESOURCES http://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquestions/ 17Sunday, April 6, 14
  18. 18. GOOD LUCK! 18Sunday, April 6, 14