Google University Grad Software Engineer
Google University Grad Software Engineer – Google coding questions are very difficult. The questions are very difficult, especially for Google and cover many topics.
The good news is that good planning can make a big difference. We analyzed over 170 software engineering interview questions reported by candidates to Google to determine the most common types of questions asked. Below we have provided a structured list of basic sample questions including free solutions.
Google University Grad Software Engineer
You’ll also find planning tips and links to the best resources so you can prepare strategically and increase your chances of landing a Google software engineering job.
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Note that we have separate guides for Google Engineering Managers, Data Engineers, and Software Engineers Learning Engineering, so check out those articles if they’re more relevant to you.
What is the Google software engineer interview process and schedule? It usually lasts more than eight weeks and follows these steps:
Note that the exact process varies slightly from post to post. The recruiter will send you a PDF early in the process explaining what questions to expect. Here are sample PDFs that you can find: Software Engineering, Engineering Manager, and Mobile Backend Engineering.
First, recruiters will review your resume and determine if your skills match the open position. This is the most competitive level in the process – we’ve found that ~90% of applicants fail this level.
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If you’re looking for an expert opinion, hear from our panel of veteran FAANG recruiters who will explain what accomplishments to focus on (or ignore), how to up your game, and more.
If you’re looking for a new graduate degree or internship, your process will begin with a coding sample exam to take online. The sample code consists of two questions that you must answer in less than 90 minutes in total.
The questions are similar to what you will be asked in your interview (ie data structures and algorithms). Note that you will need to write your own test case because you won’t be given any. You can do this in your IDE before launching your solution. To advance to the next round, you usually have to get both questions right.
Check out the competitive code archive that Google hosts to get an idea of the type of questions you’ll encounter. We recommend you check out the Code Jam contest in particular. Leetcode also takes care of what questions to expect on the Google Coding Product Test. You can also find a list of program recommendations in the Google Assessment online guide.
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If you’re an experienced employee, or if you’re a recent graduate who passed the preview exam, you’ll be invited to one or two technical phone screens. This step is called “phone screen”, but it is usually done via Google Hangouts / Google Meet video chat. Each interview will be from 30 to 60 minutes. You will talk to a partner or possibly a manager and they will ask you to solve questions about data structures and algorithms.
You’ll share a Google Doc with your interviewer, write your solution directly into the document, and you won’t be able to markup or autocomplete like you would in a regular IDE. That’s why it’s a good idea to practice coding in Google Docs before the interview.
Finally, in addition to quantitative questions, you should be ready to answer a few behavioral questions, including “Tell me about yourself,” “Why Google?” or “Tell me about a recent project you worked on.” These questions are less common than Facebook or Amazon engineering questions, but it’s still good to consider the main ones ahead of time.
The on-site quiz is the real test. Typically, you’ll spend a day at Google’s office and ask a total of four to six questions. Each interview will last approximately 45 minutes and will cover one of the following topics:
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You will usually have three coding questions with questions about data structures and algorithms, and one or two system design questions. All applicants are expected to do well in the program questions. If you are a junior (L4 or below) then the bar will be lower in your system design questions than for intermediate or senior engineers (eg L5 or above). For more information on Google Design Questions, check out our comprehensive guide.
You will use a whiteboard to write your code in most of the questions asked on Google. But the company has also started offering Chromebooks for interviews in other areas. These computers come with chat applications that allow you to choose the coding language you want to use.
Additionally, if you are applying for a management position (eg Engineering Manager) then you will also have leadership questions where you will be asked ethical questions about leading teams and projects.
Finally, in addition to the quiz, you will also have lunch with an engineer while you are there. The lunch interview is meant to be your time to ask questions about what it’s like to work at Google. The company won’t rate you at this point, but we encourage you to pretend they do.
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At the end of each interview, your interviewer will evaluate your performance using a standardized response format that summarizes the characteristics Google is looking for in a candidate. This form is still under development, but below we’ve listed the main things we know about this script.
In the first part of the form, the interviewer fills in the questions they asked you. These questions are shared with your future interviewers so they don’t ask you the same questions twice.
Depending on the exact job you’re looking for, these features can be further broken down. For example, “Related Knowledge and Experience” can be categorized into “Security Architecture” or “Disaster Preparedness” for a Demolition Safety Engineering project. But the total number of features usually does not exceed six or seven.
In this middle section, Google interviewers usually repeat the questions they asked you, write down your answers in detail, and give you a score for each attribute (eg Poor, Mixed, Good, Excellent).
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Finally, the interviewers will write a summary of your work and give a general recommendation about whether they think Google should hire you (eg “Strong no hire”, “No hire”, “Lean no hire”, “Love to do rent” ” , “Rent”, “Employee Rent Incentive”).
If things went well in your questions on the site, here’s what the final stages of the process look like:
Once you are on the site, your interviewers will send their feedback usually within two to three days. The hiring committee will review this proposal, along with your resume, internal references, and any other work you have submitted. At this point, the hiring committee will recommend whether Google should hire you or not.
If the hiring committee recommends that you be hired, you will usually begin the process of selecting your team. In other words, you will talk to hiring managers, and one or more of them will be willing to take you on their team to get an offer from the company.
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Similarly, the general manager and the compensation committee will review and confirm the decision of the hiring committee, which will decide how much you are paid. Finally, if you are interviewing for a senior position, a Google executive will review your application summary and compensation before sending you an offer.
As you may have already discovered, Google does its best to avoid hiring the wrong candidates. This recruitment process with multiple verification steps helps them grow their teams while retaining high quality employees. But this also means that the normal process can be spread over several months.
We believe in interview preparation and data used from Glassdoor to identify the types of questions that are most frequently asked at Google.
For questions, we have divided the questions you will be asked into small groups (eg arrays / strings, graphs / trees, etc.) so you can prioritize what to study and start working on. For questions about design and behavior, we have listed questions that are frequently reported on Glassdoor and other resources.
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Google software engineers solve some of the most pressing problems the company faces with code. Therefore, it is important that they have strong problem solving skills. This is the part of the interview where you want to show that you think in a structured way and write code correctly, without mistakes, and quickly.
Here are the types of questions commonly asked in Google coding questions and their frequency. Note that the list below contains system design and behavior issues that we will cover later in this article.
Below we have listed common Google examples for each of these different types of queries. To make these study questions easier, we have changed the sentence to match the closest problem on Leetcode or another method and included a free solution.
Finally, we recommend reading our guide on how to answer coding questions to learn more about the step-by-step process you should follow to solve these questions.
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