Tags: , , | Posted by Admin on 10/26/2012 8:37 AM | Comments (0)
There is nothing like the feeling of elation after you know you ace'd your interview.   Or, maybe you gave it your best shot but fell short.   Either way or in between, this is the perfect place, to share your experience.  Take a few minutes to answer any or all of the questions below in the comments section.   All comments will be reviewed for appropriateness before being posted and your name/user id will not appear anywhere in website.  This is your chance to give real and honest feedback in a completely anonymous way! 1.  What company were you interviewed by and which location? 2.  What position were you being considered for? 3.  What kind of interview was it?  i.e., phone, first round in person, final, etc.? 4.  How were you treated by the company before, during, and after the interview? 5.  What was your general impression of the company? 6.  Please share some of the interview questions. 7.  Do you think you'll get an offer and if so, do you think you'll accept?      
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 6/27/2012 9:55 AM | Comments (0)
When you are preparing for an interview, you think about what you'll wear, the people you'll meet, and what they'll expect of you when you arrive. As an ambitious student trying to get that "dream job" out of college, I was faced with these questions. IT is competitive for the job seeker, and for someone who is fresh out of school with little experience, the job search process was daunting. My previous interview experience was non-existent, and prior to this, I had worked at my father's small business accounting firm which, fortunately for me, never required an interview. So here I was, a week before my senior year of college, getting ready for my first real interview ever. What made this experience even scarier was that I was interviewing with one of the most sought-after tech companies in the business -- Google. I had found the job online while perusing Google's careers page. I never expected a response. I mean come on now, Google? They must get hundreds of thousands of applications a year. I was a needle in the haystack. After a few follow-up emails and a technical phone screen, I was given the opportunity to fly out to its Mountain View campus for an interview. I really had no idea what to expect, or how to prepare. I was so overwhelmed at the time that it was pretty much a blur. My day consisted of three interviews with Google's famous free, on-campus lunch in between the last two. While I won't go into any of the specifics of what I was asked, I can say that from the moment I walked into the room I was grilled about everything -- from nitty-gritty technical whiteboard drawings to logical problem solving. I did my best to keep up, but half the time, I didn't even know whether my answers were correct. I constantly dug through my head, hoping that my education up to that point was sufficient. I walked away feeling somewhat skeptical about my performance. Did they like my problem solving and rationalization skills? More importantly, had my education prepared me enough for this? Granted, at the time I still had another year left of school, but it was still something to consider. A few weeks later, I got the call informing me that I didn't get the job. Was I disappointed? Yes, but it was certainly an unforgettable learning experience. Over the course of the next few months, I had the opportunity to interview with other companies. I was provided with a list of jobs that matched my degree via my school's online career site, making it easy for me to apply. This, along with my own research, helped me gather as much information as I could about the types of jobs that were available for new graduates -- from small, high-tech financial trading firms to Fortune 500 IT shops -- and I tailored my skill set to become more comfortable in the interview room. When it came time to interview with Microsoft, I was more prepared and knew what to expect. Unlike Google, however, I had an initial interview on campus prior to being selected to fly out to Redmond. In similar fashion, I was given questions of varying degrees of difficulty. The position I was applying for required an analytical thinking style with a stronger emphasis on the business aspect of IT. For example, I was asked to explain what cloud computing is to someone with limited knowledge in technology. Communication skills are critical to the consulting trade. Rather than being doused with technical questioning, the interviewers looked to see how well I could communicate complex topics. Overall, I felt much more relaxed and in my element. One of the unique aspects of my time in Redmond was the interview environment. In between interviews, I was in a room filled with music, video games, and movies. While it may sound unheard of, it actually worked in my favor helping to keep my mind off things for a bit. Not to mention that it was an awesome way to spend a day of interviewing! That same day, I was offered the position as an Associate Consultant. The first and probably most challenging leg of my journey had been complete -- nailing the interview. I want to reflect on all of this for a moment. Expectations play a mind-consuming role in the process. During each interview, I couldn't help but think about what the person in front of me expected of my performance. Despite the intensive coursework that comes with a degree, I found that it's just as important to anticipate a whole new learning experience. Interviewing taught me just that. Regardless of whether or not my answers were right, I learned that what matters most to Microsoft will be the experiences I encounter on the job itself. You won't know everything when you graduate, nor are you expected to. Besides, if you think you do, you're going to have a tough time getting a job. In fact, this is what the "real world" is all about. The best part about technology is how quickly it changes. No matter what role you hold in IT, you will find cool things you didn't know before. This is why I can't wait to start my job -- every day will be a new adventure!
Tags: | Posted by Admin on 6/19/2012 9:42 AM | Comments (0)
When shooting in NYC you have to make the most of small spaces. Luckily Google’s offices are extremely creative and the background is always fun. Here I had to spread out on a small table to achieve the optimal distance from the subject.
Tags: | Posted by Admin on 5/29/2012 7:29 AM | Comments (0)
Interview questions asked by Google Recruitment team after qualifying the first on-campus round comprising a written exam:Round 1:1) Given a database, a query returns correct output 99% of the time, however 1% of the time, it returns wrong output. What could be the possible reasons?2) On a 2-D grid, the positions (x,y) of 3 persons are given. Find the meeting point such that sum of distances of each person from meeting point is minimized.Now generalize this to N persons and solve.3) A very long question related to hashing. I don't remember it.Round 2:1) Given a string of parantheses, check if the string is valid. ex: [[]] is valid, ][][ is not valid. How would you solve if the parantheses could be of different types like {,[,(2) Given a layout like a b c d ef g h i jk l m n op q r s tu v w x yzYour initial point is a. You want to form a string like "movie". WAP to find the sequence of moves consisting of letters 'U','D','L','R' ( normal conventions) that would form the movie. for example: for string "afg" sequence would be DR.Round 3:1) Given a number N, form all possible paranthesizations. like for N=3, there would be 5 possible parathesizations (catalan numbers ). Kept on asking to optimize time and space.2) Given a 8X8 chess-board, there is a bishop placed on a square (i,j). You have to move to any square (x,y). In how many moves you could do it ?Find the intemediate point.3) Given an array of integers, where each element of array represents height of a building. Width of each building is 1. [ Think of it as histogram].It starts raining, so water will get accumulated between some buildings. Find the amount of water that will be accumulated.Round 4:1) Given a rod of length L, there are some positions marked on rod at which the rod can be cut. The cost of cutting at any position is the current length of rod you are cutting. Like if the rod length is 10 and you can cut it at 4,9, cost of cutting at any position would be 10.Find the minimum cost of cutting the rod.2) What features would you suggest that should be added in Google+ to attract more users.What signals would you use to determine any particular interest of a user.More on similar topics, like suppose you have to design a page where top 100 posts by random users on Google+. What signals would you use to determine that. How would you rank the posts on that page.Round 5:1) Questions on final year project.2) Design an interface on cache. Then I was asked incremental questions of the code that I have written. Pointed some issues and I was asked to correct them.
Tags: , , | Posted by Admin on 5/7/2012 10:48 AM | Comments (0)
  Background: I'm a hiring manager for sysadmins, tech support people, and the occasional front-line manager thereof, and have worked in and interviewed for those positions most of my career, except for a brief stint driving trains -- of which the interview phase was surprisingly valuable in giving me an alternate view of how interviewing can be done. Whilst I have restructured my company's hiring practices (for the roles I'm involved in) to include MT-inspired behavioural questions, I firmly believe that they are not enough, on their own, to be able to sufficiently determine a candidate's suitability for the role.  Historically, my company's interview process was centered around a written technical quiz, and I haven't removed it from the interview process (and I have no intention of ever doing so). The problem is that the candidate gets to pick the stories they tell, and while you can (and must!) interject to get more information about the candidate's thought processes, if I'm getting a bunch of stories about tracking down performance problems, and I need my candidate to be able to fix performance problems *and* write some scripts, I can't tell if I'm getting a certain set of stories because they're the most appropriate ones or because they're the *only* ones. My guess as to why you perhaps don't do a big "technical" interview (where I define that as "assessing the candidate's ability to recall and apply the industry-specific body-of-knowledge", rather than firm-specific "fit", or other "soft" skills) in the legal profession is that you've got to pass an (as I understand it) strong technical assessment (a bar exam or equivalent) before you can even hope to get a job *anywhere* in the industry.  As such, you can be fairly sure that any candidate who comes to you having passed the bar exam will know the basics of the law. No such qualifying exam exists in IT, and so we've essentially got to do the equivalent of a bar exam to every candidate who comes through the door, just to make sure they've got the slightest hope of being able to do the job.  (Before you ask: no, a degree is *not* sufficient -- I taught some classes at a University, I know what goes on, and there are no shortage of graduates of "reputable" CS programs who I wouldn't trust to plug in my toaster, let alone administer systems).  I suspect that the lack of a baseline industry-wide certification, and a very different focus on what makes a "good" employee, pretty much explains the difference in interview structure between the two professions. As an aside, I've actually been through (and passed) the Google interview process - in many ways, it has elements of behavioural and roleplay interviewing as part of the lengthy technical interview you go through.  The pre-qualifying phone screens were in effect "tech quizzes", or "bar exams", and the in-person interviews were, for all intents and purposes, role-plays of various aspects of the day-to-day work in the job I was interviewing for.  There wasn't a formal "behavioural questioning" part, and no interviews with "the hiring manager" (I think you get assigned to a team after you join the company -- in my case, the team I was interviewing for hadn't been formed yet, and they didn't have a manager at all yet), and that might be hurting them a little bit, but it's not a million miles away from the spirit of what MT recommends, in my opinion.  
Tags: , , , | Posted by Admin on 3/1/2012 12:04 PM | Comments (1)
There were 3 rounds of interview.In the first round they asked s string related question.1. Given a string and set of characters, find the shortest substring which contains all the characters in the string.In the 2nd round2.Given a 2d sorted matrix (known as tableau) . where rows and cols are sorted, write an algo to find an element.In the 3rd round they asked about garbage collection in java, about my projects and a question related to graphs I dont remeber exactly at this point. 
Tags: , , | Posted by Admin on 2/10/2012 12:49 PM | Comments (0)
  Many individuals dream of working in Google, experiencing the helpful and also wide open functioning habitat and also a number of large benefits. As a reason of this, folks had written many stories about several tangible Google interview questions and google choosing process. A few of the reports may be genuine, while many different tend to be fully preposterous and only try and frighten the job hunters ahead of the interview. But wait, how am I going to recognize? Google is absolutely regarded as among the best areas to function. Not only that the corporation is definitely, and likely might be, one of the extremely productive organizations in the world. Additionally this has a quite positive popularity amongst the community. Not to imply, possessing within your CV written you have worked for Yahoo and Google features a seem inside the ears of just about any recruiter of the business around the world. Thus, what in fact can you anticipate during Google occupation interview?Folks working in Google, especially the Hr department, obtains in standard more than single million position applications per year. And right now picture, that the variety of staff leaving Google is quite minimal – there is just no purpose to leave. Hence how may they seek the services of even a fragment of the applicants? Google, as any different prominent company, desires to prevent the excellent posture on the market it’s. To achieve this, they desire staff members that posses the somewhat uncommon mix of soft skills, computer abilities and of course, high level of natural cleverness. But exactly how to identify such people? Clearly, inquiries testing your conversation abilities, social abilities, authority abilities, clearing up difficulty capabilities, and so forth are going to be the very first section of Google employment interview inquiries. Ideally you would enjoy it. Once a person successfully pass that aspect, the other form of questions can come. Nevertheless to actually reach that, it will always be the second round, you’ll need to go through this questions, role play workouts and various hugely clinical mental assessments. Nevertheless, when you cross that part, then the assessment of one’s established thinking ability and also job connected technological skills occurs. You can anticipate various imaginative concerns, evaluating your brightness, thinking ability, systematic but in addition presentation expertise. Prepare to consentrate, do math and work along with the computer (or sheet of paper) a lot. Yahoo or Google is pretty much a functional company any time looking at the solution and also merchandise it provides to shoppers. Thus, the actual Google occupation interview inquiries will be essentially realistic . For any place you will apply for inside Google, all these subsequent piece will deviate. They may have an endless database of basic questions utilised there. Consequently, overlook concrete Msn employment interview questions you’ll find somewhere. To carry out along with them have only a tiny impression, if any. You may most likely obtain an entirely diverse record. When you obviously actually obtain a possibility to be right now there in the employment interview.Do not forget to operate on the emotional knowledge as well as emotional intelligence. It can be strengthened having guidance, and also it could make a big difference not only in Google interviews. Getting yourself ready for sort of Google interview questions to raise your current odds in Google interview. Points a person did not know regarding inquiries in Google occupation interview and in addition alternative areas.  
Tags: , , | Posted by Admin on 7/21/2010 10:59 AM | Comments (0)
So I’ve now completed the interview process twice with Google (once in 2007 and once in 2010), and while I’m not sure advice from someone not hired after two run-throughs is all that useful, I figured that the more information out there for those undergoing pre-Google-Interview stress, the better, so here’s how it went. In both cases, I was contacted out of the blue by a Google recruiter. The first time I had been considering looking for a new role and pursued it immediately; the second time I hadn’t been and put off the recruitment process for several months, during which the same recruiter contacted me again twice to follow up. If nothing else, that’s a nice ego boost, but a more cynical mind might be considering the shotgun approach to a narrow recruiting filter and commissions First, a quick data point, I was applying for an SRE(SA) position on both occasions – Site Reliability Engineer (System Administration), because in most of my roles to date, I’ve been doing both sysadmin and development work and I’ve never seemed to drift towards one pigeonhole or another. SRE(SA) seemed optimal – interesting sysadmin work on large-scale systems and quite a bit of tool-writing to boot. This was decided on between myself and the recruiter, based on the self-assessment form you are given to fill out. I would love to know how they get around illusory superiority and the Dunning-Kruger effect with those forms, especially given the wierd bias they’d have in the dataset from having so many of the best in their fields working there. Both times, the process proceeded in the same way: the recruiter themselves carried out the initial phone screening, an idiot test of basic knowledge. The questions at this level are more broad than deep, and you really are talking about easy things like basic unix commands and the like. The second phone screen was more demanding technically, and was of the same mould as the famous “why is the sky blue?” physics exam question, with an initial simple answer and then drilling more and more into that answer. In my case, both were focussed on the level where user-level unix meets the underlying systems, the sort of thing you’d encounter in writing any kind of sysadmin tool. If I had to give hints here, it would be to know the underlying systems, their APIs, and the unix philosophy for writing tools to work with them. I’m not sure hints are of much use for Google interviews though – there are many sites saying they have questions used in Google interviews, but I’ve not yet encountered one of those examples after fourteen interviews. Knowing how to tackle Fermi questions (back-of-the-envelope estimates using what seem to be reasonable assumptions, such as “how many golf balls fit in a bus”) is probably a good idea, though I’ve only encountered them in passing; and big O notation has never come up. However, I think that SRE(SA) questions probably lean far more heavily towards the practical workaday stuff than towards application-level design fundamentals. Presumably there’s a different balance for developers. Certainly, practicing fault diagnosis in networked systems would be a good idea, and having your internal process for diagnosing faults well defined in your own head would be an even better one – that’s what the interviews are looking for and if you don’t have it clear for yourself, they can’t spot that. I would also suggest practicing writing code longhand, in one of the Google languages (C++, Python and shell script seemed to be the most popular). And I don’t mean coding on a machine, I mean writing the code longhand into a notebook and then typing it verbatim into a machine to test it. For a nice side effect, this’ll improve your penmanship and that may prove useful because you will be working a lot with a whiteboard. Incidentally, one of the better tips I’ve come across was to bring your own whiteboard markers (thin ones); it effectively gives you more room to work with, and whiteboards are never big enough, no matter how big they are… On both occasions, I then went on to do the on-site interviews. In my case, this was logistically easy as I was very close to the Dublin office, which is currently the second-largest Google office worldwide, so I didn’t have to fly to California or anything so onerous, but all five on-site interviews were held on one day, back-to-back, which is a bit exhausting. And on both occasions, the experience was about the same; initially you notice very Californian decor, with even the temp receptionist surrounded by a dozen or so lava lamps in alternating colours, with everything nice and brightly lit, and with swiss balls everywhere acting as seats and so forth. It does sound very Dr.Seuss, and it is in a way, but it’s a lot nicer than that sounds to be honest (if a bit… young), and there’s definitely an element of creating a culture through a particular physical appearance. The entire office complex is self-contained for the most part, with its own on-site canteen (which, by the way, is quite impressive – any canteen that can cook cous-cous properly for a thousand or so servings, while serving up at least four other lunch menus, is showing off very competent catering skills indeed, even if noone’s noticing most of the time), gyms and so on. In fact, walking around the streets you’d never know how many people are working in the offices from a casual glance. Again, on both occasions, the procedure was the same – I was met in reception after checking in by the recruiter, who’d booked an interview room and who walks you around the office a bit on the way there. Take a look around at this point; it’s an interesting office setup. Once there, the recruiter introduces the first interviewer and leaves you to the interview process and retrieves you at the end of the day to walk you out (after which point, the interviewers write up their reports and the hiring committee makes a decision. Start to finish, it’s been three to four weeks each time from initial contact to final decision). There were five interviews back-to-back each time, and the technical areas covered for me were those you’d expect for such a role: Design and Coding approaches; Unix/Linux sysadmin stuff; Networking; Scripting; Troubleshooting and problem-solving; Disk and storage systems. One google expert in each area, with the brief to start light and then push and push until you’re out of your comfort zone and well into your sweaty, stressed, exploding-head zone. If nothing else, you do wind up learning things from Google interviews, which is reason enough to undergo them to be honest. I didn’t know about isatty() until this round of interviews, for example. I don’t know of any other interview process that could be counted as a continuing professional development activity I’ve read accounts of Google interviewers being uninterested in the interviews they’re carrying out and being borderline rude in some cases; I have to say, I never encountered anything like that in any of the fourteen interviews I did over the two occasions, and never encountered anyone doing an interview who was less than professional about it; and most, if not all, were quite happy people during the interviews. Honestly, I never picked up on any personal or professional issues towards me, there was nothing but buy-in to their way of doing things. Which was quite impressive – I’ve interviewed with companies before where the interview felt more like a test of how much abuse you could tolerate, or where the company was simply wasting my time and theirs (for example, calling me in for an onsite interview that ate half a day, only to announce that they couldn’t pay me more than 60% of the expected salary). There’s not much feedback in the interviews though. That’s about the only real criticism I have of them. I can understand the hyping of the interviews – as much as you try to null it out, it does create mental stress and some think that gives greater insights into your real abilities (although frankly, it’s not the same kind of stress as you get during your daily work, so I don’t think it’s as useful as you’d imagine). I can understand the mythologising of the Google workplace (and given the professional and personal advantages that workplace offers, I can accept it as the cost of doing business). Actually, to digress for a moment on the workplace, I should point out that one of my main concerns while interviewing was how Google and professionals with families get along. Famously, Google is a young work environment, and while an eighty-hour work week, all-nighters and completely obsessive behaviour around your job is something you can manage to do in your early twenties, I don’t think you should do it – I think it’s one of our industry’s worst cases of macho-driven work practices, and a main reason for the high instance of IT project failures. Beside that opinion however, there’s the very real point that by the time you hit your thirties, you have to worry about wives, children, and other family things outside of work; and often you are faced with a choice between being a good employee and being a good person (and yes, I count letting obsession with work take over time that belongs to your family as a character failing; and no, that’s not the same thing as having to work long hours, that’s a different thing entirely). Google, however, seems to have taken this on-board, and everyone I spoke to about it had similar experiences – the mean age of the work force in Google is increasing, and more and more now have young families and work practices and facilities are changing to match the new demands. Childcare is the new free food, being family-friendly is now part of doing no evil. Feedback, however, is still a verboten topic. Interviewers don’t (and one told me they’re not allowed to) give feedback; nor are you given any if the hiring committee decides not to go with you as a candidate (which is what happened in both cases for me). That is rather fustrating – there’s no way to tell if you flunked a particular area, or if it was just that it wasn’t thought that you’d fit in with the Google environment. So you can wind up going through a process taking a few weeks, bringing a lot of stress, go through seven (or more) interviews, and not learn at the end if the problem was your technical proficiency or your popularity. Which is… suboptimal, at least from the interviewee’s point of view. From the interviewing company’s point of view, I suppose it could be said that every minute spent on a candidate after a decision to not hire them is a wasted minute; but the fact that you could be coming back to that person in a year or three does somewhat argue against that view. In short, it’s pretty tough, you will have to study hard for it (well, that’s to be expected), you may find your brain stalls because of the stress on things you fully grok day-to-day (that happened to me several times), and at the end of it all, you might be turned down purely on social reasons without ever being told it was because of workplace fit instead of technical competence. It’s still worth doing though, if only for the experience. Good luck!
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 5/12/2010 3:25 PM | Comments (0)
Yesterday, word broke that Google is looking for a new "head of social." A couple months back, Google reached out to a source of ours in the industry for the job.  Curious "to see what the famous Google interview process was like," our guy told Google he'd talk to them about the job. In the end, he says the interview process "was not handled well at all." Our source's account: It started with a 2-hour breakfast interview at a fancy restaurant. Then a 1-hour recorded interview for playback to "the committee." Then a phone interview, after which they said they'd probably want to fly me out next. After that, another phone interview (of course weeks are going by in between each of these steps). Then they said great, OK now we definitely want to fly you out. Let's talk dates. We talked on the phone, upon which they said "cool, now let's schedule some video interviews" I was like WTF? "Oh... you mean the whole thing where we said let's fly you out? Well we decided that since you're near a major office, we'd do some video interviews first so that while we schedule your interviews at HQ we can line up the right people to interview you. So let's have an engineer talk with you, and a person from the social group." Surprise, neither of those two people materialized, instead it was a video interview with a different person. These were all very, very smart people, but that process just was not handled well at all. Of course, our source is not the first applicant to be left dumbfounded by Google's interview process. Remember those 15 Google Interview Questions That Will Make You Feel Stupid? (Side thought: If Google really needs a "head of social," maybe it could have skipped its painful hiring process and just done more to hang on to Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley? Or Twitter CEO Ev Williams? Or Facebook ex Paul Buchheit?)
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 11/23/2009 10:27 AM | Comments (0)
Google strives to hire “the world’s best engineers,“and has crafted an “interminable” interview process dotted with puzzles and brainteasers to do so.That’s according to Peter Norvig Google’s director of research.What Google interview process also involves is a set of  crazy questions and asking those sorts of questions in a job interview is essentially a way of giving a prospective employee a de facto IQ test. Some of the best known google interview questions are given below. Why do you want to join Google? What would you say during an AdWords or AdSense product seminar? Have you ever used Google’s products? Gmail? What’s a creative way of marketing Google’s brand name and product? If you are the product marketing manager for Google’s Gmail product, how do you plan to market it so as to achieve 100 million customers in 6 months? How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do? How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle? You have to get from point A to point B. You don’t know if you can get there. What would you do? Imagine you have a closet full of shirts. It’s very hard to find a shirt. So what can you do to organize your shirts for easy retrieval? Every man in a village of 100 married couples has cheated on his wife. Every wife in the village instantly knows when a man other than her husband has cheated, but does not know when her own husband has. The village has a law that does not allow for adultery. Any wife who can prove that her husband is unfaithful must kill him that very day. The women of the village would never disobey this law. One day, the queen of the village visits and announces that at least one husband has been unfaithful. What happens? In a country in which people only want boys, every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country? If the probability of observing a car in 30 minutes on a highway is 0.95, what is the probability of observing a car in 10 minutes (assuming constant default probability)? If you look at a clock and the time is 3:15, what is the angle between the hour and the minute hands? (The answer to this is not zero!) How many piano tuners are there in the entire world? How many resumes does Google receive each year for software engineering? Anywhere in the world, where would you open up a new Google office and how would you figure out compensation for all the employees at this new office? These questions clearly show that apart from from being able to solve puzzles and create complex algorithms, employers also look in for people with a good sense of humour. This clearly explains why google turned down thousands of application because they couldn’t get the “answer” to the question-’ How to design a perfect toaster’….
Tags: , , , | Posted by Admin on 11/17/2009 10:42 AM | Comments (0)
How can you go wrong with a jacket and tie, or a nice suit? Be well groomed, look your best, and dont think that its old fashioned and out of style. first impressions are the most lasting ones. you may be the most qualified, but if you show up looking like Smeagle from the Lord of the Rings or one of those orcs, i dont think you are gong to get the job. Cover the tats, get rid of the nose rings, piercings etc. get a nice haircut. Be well groomed and go for it. remember, once you are in your work environment you can take your cue from your fellow workers to see whats appropriate dress. good luck and let me know how it goes. and be a little bit early.! Try to look smart, but be casual at the same time. Don’t look like you’re trying too hard to impress them though!!
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 11/16/2009 10:41 AM | Comments (0)
OK, I’ve had enough. People, seriously. If you are retarded, then Google doesn’t want you to work for them. Duh. I just read this poor girl’s account of an interview: The Interview Well, they asked her a question (according to her). About how much money AdWords pulls in a day. Hmmm. It’s Google. What do you think, they want a number? Like, oh yeah I think they make $70,000 a day. WTF?! That’s my first response. Apparently, Google thought the same. I also was interviewed by Google. They flew me to Trondheim a while back. Holy. Shit. Not because I thought their interview process was madness. Because it’s not. Actually it is. But compared to everyone else’s idea of an interview process, it’s pretty damn good. I think they could learn a bit from Semco – but that’s a personal bias. My interview was a fail because of something else. I was treated. I do thank Google for this, they put me in front of some really great people – they gave me 4 hours of some top talent’s time to pretty much have my way with. Wow, thanks! But! Fail. Not fail for me. Fail for Google. The 1st guy was, well, junior. He asked some questions about stats (the math kind), and basically didn’t know enough about the subject to hold his own. 2nd guy up asked me some questions about graphics algorithms, which I knew nothing about. But, I wasn’t completely clueless – I was able to come up with the recursive flood fills and other basic crap he was after. All was OK (not great, I had some reservations already, but still was possible…). Then, #3 came out. He had another guy with him, they both EMPHATICALLY denied this 2nd guy’s role in the interview (he was there to review the interviewer…). Before it started, I already knew: I could never, ever, in a million billion years, work at Google. Know why? Because, they have guys like that working there. Fuck those people!!! This guy was droning on about Mars rovers and convergent series and I was like “WTF?!”. No, you don’t understand. Really, I was close to just telling this guy he could take his 1/2 autistic, Mars roving questions and shove them up his ass. BUT. There is something about intelligence that I respect. And this guy wasn’t retarded. He was smart. Really, he’s the kind of guy I would be friends with. But my boss? This guy? I was ANGRY by the time I got into the interview with him, forget a job – I was ready to tell him where to shove it. But, but, this was being paid for by Google. It was a privlege. I set aside whatever differences I felt like I was experiencing and followed through. Next guy up was even worse. Anything about packets – happy face. Anything else, angry face. OK, seriously, there’s more to life than knowing how to thwart a SYN flood. I never let on anything. I played dumb, and I dropped off the Google grid. Well, until maybe now who knows. But really, who is Google? Who are these people? In my experience, the Google mold is one of trees. As in, can’t see the forest for the trees. As in, oblivious. Smart? Sure. But it takes more than smart to forge a decent life. You digg? You have to understand, I flew from South Africa to come to this interview (don’t even bother with the shit I had to go through to get a decent phone connection to Norway from inner Siberia during screening). At the 12-hour layover in Windhoek (I’m pretty sure it was here…) I picked up a viral infection of some sort. That’s right, shitting liquid nastiness, barfing, fever – I wasn’t in top form anyway. However, I was in good enough form to understand rovers and stats. The guy that interviewed me who allegedly would’ve been my boss couldn’t even detect that I was feigning ignorance of the basic maths we were going over. Nor did he know that I was really sick. Not like butterflies sick mind you, like I-caught-a-virus-in-Namibia-and-now-I’m-shitting-my-pants-sick. I should’ve cancelled, but I was pretty damn sure I wasn’t contagious by the time I got to Norway and I didn’t have a lot of time to fuck around there, so I went for it. Granted, this was after the whole Cox Communications thing which put me off of having a proper job ever again. But, really, after this experience there are 2 things that are clear for me: If you are truly good, you don’t belong at Google. If you are truly good, you are smart enough to transcend nations, companies, technologies, languages (human, computer, otherwise…), etc. Hell, if I can then damn near anyone can. Google is a company. Forget the “do no evil” bullshit. Google has agendas, ultimatums, politics, and retardedness like everyone else. For now, their leadership thinks more than just about today’s 1/4 earnings. For now. You don’t need Google. And most importantly, Google doesn’t need you. This poor girl in the article, I’ll bet she’s working for Yahoo…you don’t even want me to get started on their mediocrity. My interview was almost 2 years ago, and I have circled the globe twice since then. Now I am in Novosibirsk, where I study various languages, learn how to cook, ski, have fun at the banya, etc. Forget a dayjob, it’s too much fun to live without one – Google or otherwise!
Tags: , , | Posted by Admin on 10/30/2009 1:22 PM | Comments (0)
Ryan Tate of Silicon Valley Insider quotes Google's director of research Peter Norvig: One of the interesting things we've found, when trying to predict how well somebody we've hired is going to perform when we evaluate them a year or two later, is one of the best indicators of success within the company was getting the worst possible score on one of your interviews. We rank people from one to four [one being the worst], and if you got a one on one of your interviews, that was a really good indicator of success. Tate notes elsewhere in his piece that the Google interview process involves crazy questions. Tate doesn't connect the dots, but asking those sorts of questions in a job interview is essentially a way of giving a prospective employee a de facto IQ test (giving actual IQ tests to prospective employees has been legally problematic since Griggs v. Duke Power). Back to Googler Peter Norvig: Ninety-nine percent of the people who got a one in one of their interviews we didn't hire. But the rest of them, in order for us to hire them somebody else had to be so passionate that they pounded on the table and said, "I have to hire this person because I see something in him..." My guess at what's going on here: creativity probably increases directly with IQ up to a certain point, at which it peaks and then declines. So if you are looking for an employee who's going to come up with the next killer app or new line of business for your company, and you hire only the candidates with the highest IQs, you are probably overshooting the IQ sweet spot where you'd find the smart, creative types.
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 7/22/2009 10:35 PM | Comments (1)
I have an interview with Google senior management in London in the following weeks and I was wondering what is the dress code on such an interview at the most fancy company nowadays. Please understand that the role I'm interviewing for is NOT a development role so I can't afford to go in a mistake that only developers can. It is a business role that is considered pretty senior as well within the company. Tips ? Suggestions ?
Tags: , , | Posted by Admin on 7/21/2009 10:33 PM | Comments (0)
Tomorrow at noon I’ll have my interview with Google. I went through a great deal of effort to be as prepared for this interview as I could be. I poured over my resume, I researched practice questions, I had friends and family run me through mock interviews. Let me share some of the things I learned, and tell you about some of the things I did.   I proofread my resume about a million times. When I printed it, I found that I spelled “laptop” as “laptpo”. Ouch! Whatever, I made it this far into the process with a typo, on my resume. On this plus side I did rig up this resume custom just for Google. Just goes to show that you cannot proofread or double check your work too many times.   I have a long document with all my skills in it, formatted the way I wanted my resume to look. When I want to apply somewhere I copy this document and delete out skills until it fits on one page. This only leaves the skills that the prospective employer cares about most. This is great because I can proofread the big document and benefit from it on all the resume I create later. Each employer I deem worth an hour of my time can get a custom version of my resume. It usually takes me about 15 minutes to snip the chaff, then about 45 minutes to put in company names and copiously proofread. I also made a generic PC Technician and Software Engineer Resume, for businesses that aren’t worth an hour of my time.   When printing my resume I always use some special kind of paper. I have been told that this make it stick out in the pile from other resumes. For this I purchased some 100% cotton 32# paper, it is thick, has a rich color and feels sturdy. Then I just printed it on photo paper. The photo paper is thicker, harder to rip, and this ink/paper combination is completely waterproof. I do not know if this works, but it can’t really hurt. I will post my interviewers reaction to a glossy waterproof resume later.   Next, I wanted to brush up on Linux and PC hardware skills. Not that I have let them lapse in any particular way, but I do not know everything. I started looking into Comptia’s practice tests and their Certification Objectives. I have taken countless A+ tests and passed them all, but judging by my knowledge of the objectives I am a little surprised I scored as well as I did. I studied the best I could in the few short days I had. Despite the objectives list, I feel that my real world experience will pull me through. For some scope on my experience, right now, in my house I have four computers I am fixing for other people. I will diagnose them all successfully, and suggest solutions to all the people who own them. I guess actually fixing computers is the best kind of study I can do.   I also searched for A+ practice tests, even though there are plenty out there I feel I came up empty handed. Most of what is out there is old and not worth studying. I stuck with Comptia as my guide, they had enough to fill my time well.   I asked three other people to ask me technical interview type questions. There where tons of technical questions, and there were Crazy Google interview questions. Many people have told me that an interviewer may throw crazy stuff at you just to see how you react. If this is true I think the worst things you can do is give up or say things like “I don’t know”.   I think the best way to respond to crazy questions is to give the kind of answer they are looking for and a creative answer. If a question relates to real world behavior then it may be wise to point out what could be done better to improve teamwork or leadership or one of those other key skills that all businesses are looking for. For example, on the bridge crossing question couple question from the crazy interview question page: I would start by explaining how I would carry the 10 minute guy because I would be the 2 minute guy or if he refused I would toss him the flashlight once I crossed. Then I would explain the ‘Proper solution’ which involves the fast people ferrying the flashlight back and forth so both the slowpokes can cross together to save time. Then finally. I would state that if the bridge is so unsafe that if a flashlight is mandatory to cross it and our flashlight has exactly the amount of time that we we need it, then it would be safer to wait until morning. My rationale is, if it is too dangerous to cross without the flashlight then it is too dangerous to mount a rescue mission when something goes wrong.   I will follow this up tomorrow with as much as I can say. I am sure that there will be mistakes, highlights and an amazing story about how I got my new job with Google. Original  story
Tags: , , , | Posted by Admin on 7/19/2009 10:28 PM | Comments (0)
If you’ve gotten through the first job interview and you’re moving on toward the second one, the odds of being hired have just gone up. With that in mind, you really want to be prepared for that second job interview. The questions will be tougher and things will be more complex in a second interview. Make sure that you dress appropriately and that you are on time. You probably did that for the first interview, too, but make sure you do it for the second one, since that’s likely going to be where the final decision is made about hiring you or hiring someone else who presented himself or herself better. If you find that you’ll be late for your interview for any reason, call ahead. Let someone know. That’s much more responsible than breezing in the door fifteen minutes after your scheduled appointment time and saying you’re sorry you’re late but traffic was bad, etc. Another thing you should do is make sure you know about the company before you go to that second interview. You can’t know everything, but you can Google the company and read what is said about it. You can visit its Website if it has one. You can also see if it has a Wikipedia entry. If it’s a big company, it probably does - and some smaller companies do, too. While it’s never wise to believe everything you read on the Internet, this kind of information will give you a lot of knowledge about the company overall, and you’ll notice things that don’t match up properly. If you’ve done anything very important in between a first and second interview, such as received an award or completed your degree, be sure to update your resume and bring the new one to your interview. There’s no shame in letting your potential employer know that you’re still moving forward with your goals. It shows your desire to work, and that’s important. Ultimately, relax and be honest at a second interview. Think about what kind of salary you’re really looking for, and know what’s common for that position. You might be asked about it. Honest answers are very important for success. This article was written by Tom Sangers on behalf of Martin Ward Anderson who offer recruitment services for finance jobs Original story
Tags: , , , | Posted by Admin on 4/9/2009 1:14 AM | Comments (0)
Google telephonic Interview 1. Asked about my project. Prepare well to answer any type of questions that may arise in your project.They will just ask to explain about any one of the projects listed in your resume. 2. In a plane, n points are given i.e. the input is (x1,y1), (x2,y2)… (xn,yn). Now given these n points.Find the maximum number of collinear points. Solution: The duality algorithm would work. Find the point of intersection with maximum no of lines incident on it in the dual plane. It works in O(n^2). 3. Write the code for finding the min of n number. for(i=0;i{ if( a[i] { min = a[i] —- eq(i) } } Given that n numbers are from random sampling how many times (probability) does the line (i) be executed Solution: min=a[0]; for(i=1;i{ if( a[i]{ min = a[i]; ——-eq(i) } } Once the variable min is initialized,the probability of a[i] =k) { count+=n/k; k*=5; } return count; } this count is the number of o’s in n!. Google Interview Round 3 : 1. Write C++ class for the game Connect Four. [Connect Four (also known as Plot Four, Four In A Row, and Four In A Line) is a two-player board game in which the players take turns in dropping discs into a seven column grid with the objective of getting four of one's own discs in a line.] 2. Given a stack and an input string of 1234.At any point you can do anyone of the follow i. take the next input symbol and Enque. ii. you can pop as many as you can. When ever you pop an element it will be printed (you cannot pop from an empty stack) How many such permutations are possible on an input of size N? Solution: It is Nth catalan number.For a detailed solution look at question5 of Stacks and Queues 3. Give an example of one permutation that this data structure cannot generate. For Example: 1234 is input. First push all 1,2,3,4 on to stack and pop all. output will be 4321. It means that this data structure can generate 4321. Solution: 3124 for a detailed solution please look at question7 of the post Stacks and Queues 4. Question 2 was pretty easy right? Now do again the same question but the data structure this time around is a Deque. Input: 12345 Data Structure: Deque ( Doubly Que ) Note: Deque is a data structure into which you can do enque and deque from both sides.Some thing like this __________________________________ enque —> <—-enque dequeue dequeue __________________________________ Solution: It is N!. Guess why?(no constraints).Convince yourself by proving that every permutation can be generated by a set of valid operations.This prove can be using the principle of strong mathematical induction.So for this specific input the answer is 120. 5. Classic Egg Puzzle Problem You are given 2 eggs.You have access to a 100-store building. Eggs can be very hard or very fragile means it may break if dropped from the first floor or may not even break if dropped from 100 th floor.Both eggs are identical.You need to figure out the highest floor of a 100-store building an egg can be dropped without breaking. Now the question is how many drops you need to make. You are allowed to break 2 eggs in the process. Solution: Let “d” be the number of drops required to find out the max floor.we need to get the value of d. let’s say if we drop from height d then if it breaks then we have d-1 floors to check for the second egg . so max of “d” drops, so first we will drop it from height “d” if it doesn’t break at a height “d” then we are left with “d-1″ drops,so lets drop it from d + ‘d-2′ + 1 height suppose if it break there then you are left with ‘d-2′ drops. and so on until that sum is less than 100, it’s like a linear search, in equations, (1+(d-1))+ (1+(d-2)) + …. >= 100 here we need to find out d from the above equation d(d + 1)/2 >= 100 from above d is 14 Google Interview Round 4 : 1. Given n non overlapping intervals and an element. Find the interval into which this element falls. Solution: we can extend binary search to intervals.(Assuming the intervals are sorted) consider interval [a,b]. if (a-x)(b-x) a element can be present only in the intervals to its right. so select the middle interval among them to it’s right and repeat the procedure. else element can be present only in the intervals to its left. so select the middle interval among them to it’s left and repeat the procedure. The complexity of this problem is log(N) where N is the number of sorted non-overlapping intervals. 2. Worst case is take all intervals one at a time and see whether the element lies in the interval or not.It will take O(n). So please give a solution that will do better than O(n). 3. Now given that the n intervals are overlapping then how do you solve? The interviewer was concentrating more on the complexities (running, memory ..) Solution: If the above intervals are overlapping ,then they can be merged in O(N) and then the exact intervals can be resolved later.Otherwise ,we can identify one correct interval and then linear search on its left and right neighbourhood to find the other solutions. 4. Write code for Random Sort? Algorithm is explained: Given an input array of size n. Random sort is sampling a new array from the given array and check whether the sampled array is sorted or not. If sorted return else sample again. The stress was on the code. Google Interview Round 5: This is Manager Round 1. Tell me an achievement that you have done in your non academics 2. Tell me about one of your project 3. Take a feature of C++ and tell me how you have implemented it in one of your project 4. By taking one of your project as example tell me how you have taken care of software engineering where you would have handled more data 5. There is a routine already written to find the subtraction of two sets ( set A - set B) . Write test cases for testing it.Tell me how do you test the test cases you have written? 6. There is a printed book. The page numbers are not printed. Now the printing of page numbers is being done separately. If the total number of digits printed is 1095 then how many pages does the book have? Solution: Well people,this is too simple a question ..so do give it a try..(no malice,too simple).Any queries then do shoot a comment.
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 12/31/2008 9:45 AM | Comments (0)
A couple years ago, there were some HR trolls or maybe some some resume bots that figured out that I went to MIT and that I was a software engineer from my blog (yes, this one). A recruiter from Google emailed me asking me whether I'd be interested in a position at Google. Um yes, isn't that every software developer's dream? That initial contact didn't amount to anything as there was no local office, but they called again recently when an office opened in Cambridge, MA. My initial phone interviews went great where I kibitzed with the HR recruiter. But they sniffed me out as a faker during the technical phone interview. It's not that I don't know how to program, but having no formal education (let's just say MIT's first programming class 6.001 made me swear never to be a SW engineer), I sometimes leave some of the nitty gritty technical details to magic. Since the software application I'm currently developing for work looks great and works beautifully, this is all I need! I have Google for the rest. I had heard many about many interesting recruiting techniques that Google uses to get the best and the brightest. One of them is the billboard for Solve the Equation, Get an Interview. Yup, way over my head too. Another is the Google Labs Aptitude Test which is a half-serious spoof with questions like "In your opinion, what is the most beautiful math equation ever derived?" Geek alert! Most of my technical interview went pretty well as we got along fabulously. The coding sample wasn't too bad, although I was not extremely creative with my answer (reverse the order of the elements of a array in place). Luckily, I dodged questions about pointers since I've only done C# in the last two years and feigned forgetfulness (nothing the feign there, it was never my strong suit). But then I got tougher questions like how would you design a smart pointer interface. Yikes! She seemed happy with my answer, although she corrected me in that the interface must track the number of instances (seems obvious after the fact). I was encouraged when she asked if I could go extra time beyond our allotted hour. The she asked how I would design an assertion class, to which I responded that I use exceptions and not assertions in .NET. I think that was the WRONG answer. I could hear the BZZT! buzzer going off in her head. Since we got along so well, near the end of the interview I confided in her that I have had really tough technical interviews in the past such as with SolidWorks, where they asked questions about vector geometry as well as programming. She responded that at Google, they need people able to solve those kinds problems as well. Oops (reminder to self, never be so chatty and self-deprecating during interviews in an attempt to be funny). Suddenly the interview was rushing to a close and I knew I had flunked. Needless to say, I received the email with "After carefully reviewing your experience and qualifications, we have determined that there is not a fit for a position," a few days later. I kicked myself for weeks afterwards on some of my answers during the interview. The one thing that I did get out of this experience was a glimpse into the life of a Google employee. I had been fascinated by their culture (and gourmet meals) ever since seeing the Time magazine photo essay Life in the Googleplex. My interviewer was a woman who has worked at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA for 18 months and previously worked at AOL in Virginia. She was a technical leader and seemed quite ambitious. She lived very close to the office and worked long hours although not everyone is expected to (obviously no kids). The group sizes at Google are small, around 2-3 people, and the reporting structure is very flat. They use Agile, Extreme, Scrum and/or Test-driven processes depending on the group's preference. They test their own programs against the Google framework, which is like NUnit, and release products whenever they are ready. It sounded like a really cool, flexible environment, but I'm not sure how this old fogey would stand up to all the young whipper snappers who can name the first 10 digit prime found in consecutive digits of e. Original story
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 12/27/2008 10:27 AM | Comments (0)
I had a recent opportunity to do an interview with Google India! While preparing for the interview, the one thing that i would constantly look for, on the internet, was blogs on Google Interview Experiences so that i could learn about the pattern of the interview and the questions. Well, now that i have an experience of my own, i suppose its my turn to create a blog on it, too. Before i start with the details, i'd rather mention some dates - Oct 29th, 2008 - Day of 1st intimation from Google Nov 3rd, 2008 - 1st Phone Screen Nov 12th, 2008 - 2nd Phone Screen Dec 1st, 2008 - 3rd Phone Screen Dec 22nd, 2008 - Onsite Interview @ Google, Hyderabad First Intimation from Google! How did I apply? There was an opening for 'Software Engineer New Grad' post at Google Job Site. I added it to my job cart and applied. Additionally, i had got an email address of a Google recruiter from a friend. Few days after applying on the Google Job site, i sent an email to the recruiter too. That was around mid-october or something. Oct 29th, 12:15 pm. Previous day was Diwali. I was sleeping (since an hour only) when i got a call on my cell phone. It was from a Google Recruiter. She said that they had received my resume and got it reviewed with a couple of engineers @ Google. And they think that Google has openings for roles that suit my qualifications. So she wanted to set up a phone interview. It was scheduled to be held on Nov 3rd..   Oct 29th, 2008 - Day of 1st intimation from Google Nov 3rd, 2008 - 1st Phone Screen Nov 12th, 2008 - 2nd Phone Screen Dec 1st, 2008 - 3rd Phone Screen Dec 22nd, 2008 - Onsite Interview @ Google, Hyderabad First Intimation from Google! How did I apply? There was an opening for 'Software Engineer New Grad' post at Google Job Site. I added it to my job cart and applied. Additionally, i had got an email address of a Google recruiter from a friend. Few days after applying on the Google Job site, i sent an email to the recruiter too. That was around mid-october or something. Oct 29th, 12:15 pm. Previous day was Diwali. I was sleeping (since an hour only) when i got a call on my cell phone. It was from a Google Recruiter. She said that they had received my resume and got it reviewed with a couple of engineers @ Google. And they think that Google has openings for roles that suit my qualifications. So she wanted to set up a phone interview. It was scheduled to be held on Nov 3rd.. To be continued... Original story...
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 12/1/2008 10:41 AM | Comments (0)
I'm considering applying for the AdWords Account Associate position for Google, Singapore. I actually saw this position posted a while back (possible >2mth) as a friend (not a Googler) had recommended me to apply. Things at my current job were in overdrive at the time so I didn't apply. I'm pleased they're still hiring, but then I'm also wondering why it's still available. Though I suppose there's no harm to still apply eh? I know the Google website claims a "diverse working environment" with people from different backgrounds. But how open are they really to an applicant coming from a non-IT/Internet related background for the AdWords position? I have customer service/account servicing experience, coming from the hospitality industry (currently doing catering sales; no advertising sales experience). I'm very tech savvy/proficient though admittedly AdWords is one of the lesser used Google application for me. For AdWords positions, Google will send you an online worksheet to complete in 1 hour after one has passed their initial phone interview. It has you list reasons why pornography is ok to advertise and why tobacco products are not advertised by Google just in case you are asked by a Tobacco distributor to advertise for them (completely subjective). They will have you look at a list of email subject headings and ask you to identify which are important and which order you should respond to the important ones and the reasons why. They will also ask if you are ok handling pornography and its advertising. Their online worksheet test has both grammar and logic problems. The grammar problems can be easily bypassed by typing or pasting the questions in word to find the grammatical errors. They are highly secretive and I believe they interview engineers and other techies to simply get cheap R&D without any real intentions of hiring. Another questions I've been asked on this interview were: Give me a runthrough of your resume? What do you know about Google? What do you know about Adwords? What do you understand about your job profile? How you fit into that role? Are you willing to give up the role of a team leader and creative writer to be an Adword Representative? How do you think this position can help your job profile? If Adwords was not associated with Google, would you have accepted the position? Yahoo and Microsoft has similar positions, why do you want to join Google only? You say you want a change in your career and use more of your skills, what other job profiles do you think would have suited you? What is your biggest failure in life? Have you been in a position when one of your colleagues did not do his share of work? How did you handle the situation? Suppose there is a project going on in full swing and two of your colleagues just fall sick, how will you handle the position? If you had to sell the job of Adwords Representative to a friend, what would you say to them? Tell me about a situation where just couldn't get along with one of your team members. What did you do? Have you ever faced a situation you didn't like at job? How did you face it? Do you have any questions to ask? Besides what HR sent you, what did you do to research about the position? What Google services you have used till date? Choose one of them and tell what change would you like to make in it? Your company generates revenue through Adsense. What kind of ads show up on your webpage? Why do you think Indian ads do not show up on your website's page? Do you know any of the Google terms and policies regarding Adwords? What did you liked about Google? Do you like the peole here? Which interviewer you liked the best? Why? Google has a flat system with not much vertical hierarchy system. It is based on meritocracy. If a person joins 6 months after you and becomes your mentor in a year, how would you handle the situation? Are you comfortable not having a vertical ladder to move on? At Google, you may have to deal with people who are freshers and ones who are much more qualified than you are. How will you balance out the situation and maintain relationships with all of them? You say you are flexible, adaptable and client-friendly. How? Give examples. What do you mean by people skills? Prepare for the interview as you would for any other interview. Part of that process is knowing the company well, too, and there is a lot of information that Google placed online so you could know the company and their philosophies. That way, you'll know if you and Google are a good match, and also somewhat what they're looking for in your answers. Good luck!
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 11/30/2008 9:32 AM | Comments (13)
Google's director of online sales and operations gives Google Watch some insight into the search and advertising company's hiring practices. Think you've got what it takes to work on Google's AdWords sales team? Well, be prepared to do some homework, because you won't get your foot in the Googleplex door without first completing the AdWords Worksheet. The worksheet, given to those who successfully pass a screening interview, helps Google judge a candidate's level of interest and preparation for an AdWords-related job. According to David Fisher, director of online sales and operations at Google, the worksheet helps the company in its goal to hire the best and the brightest people. "We believe our No. 1 advantage is our employees," Fisher said. "In our hiring process we look at a number of factors and ask candidates to do a number of things, like this [AdWords] worksheet. You have to know about AdWords and have an understanding of how it works." Think you've got what it takes? Try this problem, taken from an actual Google AdWords worksheet: Google�s policy is to not allow ads for tobacco products. An AdWords advertiser�s ad is reviewed and rejected for selling tobacco products.  The advertiser writes the following email response: Dear Google AdWords, I am outraged by your decision!  You allow pornography to be advertised on Google and not tobacco?  Your policy is hypocritical, and you are practicing discrimination. My products are legal, and I have been selling tobacco products online for years.  I demand you reconsider your decision and run my ad immediately! From, Jamie Young a.    Please discuss at least three reasons you believe Google would make the decision not to allow the advertisement of tobacco or tobacco products while allowing ads for pornography.  These might not be what you tell the advertiser, but rather internal reasons for this policy. b.   Below, draft an email response you would send to the advertiser The worksheet contains other problems as well, such as judging how well certain ads and keywords would perform and suggesting ways to improve ad performance. According to Fisher, Google has been using the AdWords Worksheet for much of the product's existence. The worksheet has changed over time as Google learns from the information that candidates give them. Once a candidate completes the worksheet, the company uses a qualitative and quantitative scoring method that judges the applicant's thoughtfulness, intelligence and ability to communicate difficult issues. "We're trying to look at your ability to think like an advertiser and give them info that's going to help them succeeed," Fisher said. Of course, Google gives different job candidates different worksheets or problems to solve. Engineers, for example, are asked to solve quantitative and logic problems, such as the blender prison and birthday bet scenarios. And successfully completing the AdWords Worksheet doesn't guarantee you'll get a job at Google. Candidates should expect a thorough interview process that may include multiple visits to Google's offices. For customer-facing jobs, Fisher said, the company looks at a lot of things you would expect: work and resume history; how candidates have performed at previous jobs; how they've progressed in their careers; the level of interest they show; and general aptitude. "We aim to to run a process that will help us hire the best employees we possibly can and create a good experience for the candidate," said Fisher. It's a fair but rigorous process, he said, and the company invests a lot of time and energy trying to make candidates feel comfortable, regardless of whether they're hired. "We want them to walk away feeling good either way," Fisher said.
Tags: | Posted by Admin on 11/28/2008 9:43 AM | Comments (3)
My name is John Welth, I'm a manager in Google Inc. I will be the first to admit that it is my soft skills, and only partially my programming skills, that has got me to where I am today at the manager level. I am a good "architect", problem solver, and researcher, and I am very good at designing an application's business rules. However, when it comes down to things like design patterns, measuring performance, algorithms, unit testing and the like, there are a lot of programmers smarter than me. We are getting to a point where I need to hire these programmers. I need them on staff to be a compliment, but what sorts of questions should I be asking... when they should probably be the ones asking the questions. I'm not an idiot, but I'm also not going to whiteboard some complicated Java code off hand by memory, and expect someone to optimize it off hand by memory. I'd suggest first and foremost posing some questions that test whether they could take your direction in terms of architecture, spec, etc. and run with it in terms of implementation. Make sure they can bridge that gap between your high-level analysis and the code. Your working relationship is going to be very important (at least with the lead developer) since you're relying on trust. As for testing their capability code-wise: Have a look on SO, google, and ask any developers you respect for good interview questions for programmers. This is more of a sanity check so keep it quite basic. Perhaps you know a programmer who would sit in on the interview for you? Ask for specific examples of production work they've done. If they can show you the source this is a good sign, but often they won't be able to, so you'll have to read between the lines of what they say they did. I'd advise first hiring one lead developer and spending a lot of time getting the recruitment process right. If you get that right, they can help you hire the rest of the team. Another methodology is to ask them to sit down and write some code and solve a problem next to some of your smartest (and nicest) developers. Seeing how people code and talk about code is better than any interview questions you could ever ask. If I were hiring now I would start with Steve Yegge's phone screen questions because most people who apply for jobs appear to be clueless liggers. If someone came back with "hey, you're just repeating Steve Yegge's phone screen questions" that would pretty much guarantee them an interview because it would indicate they had read something from that direction. Finding things like what books, blogs and websites on programming they used a lot would be a good start. If they read any that might indicate that they are in the in the top percentile of programmers who are still working to improve their craft. If the books or sites they favour are more along the lines of The Pragmatic Programmer than SQL Server For Dummies you are probably on the right track again. Better still if they have their own blog, or other public profile to indicate their expertise. If, for example, they had a profile on this site that showed a trail of insightful or accurate responses that would be another good sign. None of these things guarantee expertise, but they do indicate the kind of mindset that I would like to see in a programmer I work with. There are also warning signs I look for- this is purely personal belief, but I don't think a programmer who only uses one language can be as good as someone with equivalent experience who has used several. Each programming language you use gives you new insights and techniques that you can apply to all the others you are utilising and the type of person who is not interested in trying new languages or experimenting with new technologies may not be ideal for you if you are creating a new application. I think if someone is really passionate about what they do it that will come across when you talk to them about it and someone who is passionate is going to be more motivated and probably do a better job as a result. Do you want to come to my office for interview?
Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 11/26/2008 10:52 AM | Comments (1)
What’s the best way to drive traffic to your blog these days? … Write an entry about your Google job interview. Recently I’ve found yet another one of those. This one is actually well written and quite interesting, so go read it first. Today, I wanted to focus on another issue, though — if you read comments for this article on Reddit, 90% of them seem to be from people complaining about the number of interviews he had to take. This is counterintuitive. You do NOT want to work for company that hires people after 30 minute chat, simply because there’ll be lots of bad apples there. Google’s process may seem long, but it’s not that bad actually (first you have phone interviews which take maybe 40-50 minutes max, then there’s an on-site visit, which takes one day and consists of several interviews). (Sidenote: This is a first-hand experience, actually, I wasted my chance to pimp this blog and didn’t write a detailed report, but I had Google interviews as well some years ago… 2 days after the third one, I got hit by a car, self preservation instinct says I shouldn’t apply again). Why is Google’s process so careful? Because they can. I’d love to have possibility of performing recruitment in similar fashion, but it just doesn’t seem possible in gamedev, not to this extent at least. Companies struggle to get experienced folks as it is. After 50 talks with people, who rate their C++ knowledge at 9, then fail to solve the most basic tasks, someone who actually coded a game before is a Godsend. Dragging him through 8 interviews and risking he’ll go somewhere else doesn’t sound smart. It’s my experience only, but it seems like interviews in mainstream companies are 2 leagues above anything you can encounter in gamedev. Google’s interview is hard, but also interesting and challenging, definitelly something different than the usual: “what have you done before? Oh, nice… Mmm, oh, right, what’s 101011 in decimal? Good. When can you start?”. Beggars cant be choosers. If you’ve more candidates than you can shake your stick at — it’s your right to be extra picky (see old Steve Yegge’s essay how it works for Google [yeah, again]). It mostly boils down to one simple factor: how many people want to work for your company and see it as a privilege, some kind of industry Holy Grail. There are probably GD companies in this kind of luxury situation, but it’s very rare. Ironically, in certain aspects, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re picky about your candidates and only employ the best of the best, word will get around and smart people will treat your company as some kind of a “benchmark” (”they only get super smart folks, so if I get there, I’m super smart as well”). Just having an interview, even when you’re not hired (well, especially if you’re not hired, it seems) will become something that’s worth writing a report about. Sure, it will take time and sacrifices, but may pay off in a long term. Original story
Tags: , , | Posted by Admin on 11/25/2008 9:24 AM | Comments (0)
Was removed by author's request. But you can still read original story of BadMagicNumber experience in google interview.
Tags: , , , , | Posted by Admin on 11/24/2008 9:44 AM | Comments (20)
A little more than two weeks ago I had an on-site interview at Google in Mountain View, California! The job interview with Google was an interesting experience and I want to tell you about it. (I got the green light from Google to publish this article). The position I was interviewing for was a Google SRE. SRE stands for Site Reliability Engineering. Site reliability engineers (SREs) are both software engineers and systems administrators, responsible for Google’s production services from end-to-end. There were eight separate interviews total. The first three were over the phone (phone interviews) and the remaining five were on-site. The first interview was with the recruiter and was not very technical but the other seven were very technical. All interviews went very well but I just got to know that I did not get hired! Oh well… I personally think that I did really well. I answered all the questions but it seems they were not satisfied! The recruiter told me that I did not have enough experience to work in a mission critical team and that I should get more experience and try again. Here is how it all happened. Shortly after I published the “Code Reuse in Google Chrome” post I was contacted by a recruiter at Google. The email said: I recruit top notch Software Engineering talent at Google. I recently came across your name as a possible world class Engineer and am intrigued to know more about you. I promise to exchange some detailed info about us as well. Interested to hear more? Want to be an impact player at Google? Then please respond with a current (English) copy of your resume and I’ll be happy to call you and discuss. At first I thought I would be applying for a software developer position, but after we went through my skillset, the recruiter concluded that I would better fit as an SRE. I agreed with him. This seemed like a perfect position for me. I love systems administration as much as I love programming. First Interview (phone) The first interview was on the 10th of September with the recruiter. He explained the Google recruitment process to me and we went through my skill set. I had to rank myself from 0 - 10 in a bunch of areas such as C programming, C++ programming, Python programming, networking, algorithms and data structures, distributed systems, Linux systems administration, and others. As I said, based on my answers we concluded that SRE was the best position for me. An SRE basically has to know everything: algorithms, data structures, programming, networking, distributed systems, scalable architecture, troubleshooting. It’s a great hacker position! After these questions he asked me where I would like to work - Google office in Ireland, Zurich, Mountain View or Australia. I said Mountain View as it’s the Googleplex! He explained that if the interviews went OK, I’d have to get an H-1B visa that allows non-US citizens to work in the US. The second half of the interview had some basic technical questions, just to make sure I knew something. The questions were about Linux systems administration, algorithms, computer architecture and C programming. I can’t go into any details because I signed a non-disclosure agreement and my recruiter kindly asked me not to post the questions! I made some factual mistakes but he was satisfied and we scheduled the next phone interview. He warned me that it will be very technical and I should do really good preps. I asked him to give me a plenty of time for the preparation and we scheduled the next interview on 22nd of September. He also told me that each phone interview is going to be 45 minutes to 1 hour long. I started preparing like crazy. I found three presentations on what SRE is all about: Engineering Reliability into Web Sites: Google SRE Google SRE: That Couldn’t Happen to US… Could It? Google SRE: Chasing Uptime Then I found all the other blog posts about interviews and interview questions at Google: Corey Trager’s Google Interview Rod Hilton’s Google Interview Ben Watson’s Google Interview Shaun Boyd’s Google Interview How I Blew My Google Interview by Henry Blodget Get That Job at Google by Steve Yegge Tales from the Google’s interview room Google Interview Questions Google Interview Questions — Fun Brain Teasers! And some others… I printed and read four Google research papers: The Google File System Bigtable: A Distributed Storage System for Structured Data MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters and just for fun Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population I also went through several books: the best book on basics of networking “TCP/IP Illustrated“ the best book on algorithms “MIT’s Introduction to Algorithms” + my notes on algorithms a book on scalability “Building Scalable Web Sites“ As I did not know if I might get specific programming language questions, I went through a few tens of receipts in C++ Cookbook, Python Cookbook, and Perl Cookbook. Second Interview (phone) The second phone interview was with an engineer from Google. He worked on the Ads team which is responsible for running AdSense, AdWords and other advertisement stuff. The interview was very technical and started with an algorithmic problem which was too large to fit in computer memory. I had to tell him precisely how I would get around this problem and what data structures and algorithms I would use. He also asked me to think out loudly. The interview continued with questions about data structures, DNS, TCP protocol, a security vulnerability associated with TCP, networking in general, and Google itself. Sorry, but I can’t disclose anything in more details. After the interview the engineer had to write feedback on me. It was positive and I could move on with the interviews. Third Interview (phone) I gave myself more time to prepare and the third interview was on the 1st of October. It was with an engineer from the Google traffic team. In this interview I had a very simple programming question and I had to do coding over phone. I was free to choose the language and I chose Perl as it is my most favorite programming language. It was impossible to dictate Perl syntax over phone “for my dollar sign element open paren at data close paren open curly brace … close curly brace” so I submitted my Perl program over the email. Then the same problem was taken to the next level, what if the data we are working on is gigabytes in size, terabytes in size. How would my program/solution change? Finally I had a question about DNS again, then HTTP protocol, routing, and TCP data transfer. The feedback was positive and I could prepare for the on-site interviews. In my conversation with my recruiter I got to know that there will be five on-site interviews, each exactly 45 minutes long. One on my previous work experience, one on algorithms and data structures, one on troubleshooting and networking, and two on software development with focus on C and C++. My recruiter suggested that I read a few more documents: Google C++ Style Guide Web Search for a Planet: The Google Cluster Architecture Algorithm Tutorials on TopCoder I flew out to USA on 24th of October at 1pm from Latvia and arrived in California at 8pm. The flight was actually 14 hours but it was nice that I flew in the same direction as the time flows. This saved me 7 hours. The on-site interview was scheduled on 27th of October so I had a good rest before the interview. It was also nice that Google paid for my trip, hotel, cab and food. I had zero expenses! Fourth Interview (on-site) The fourth interview was finally at Googleplex! At 10am I met my recruiter and we had a 15 minute discussion about the interviews. He told me I would have two interviews now, then one of Google engineers would take me to lunch to one of Google’s restaurants and then I would have three other interviews. At 10:15am the first on-site interview began. It was about my previous job experience. I have had a lot of job experience in the past and I decided to tell about a physical security notification system that I coded in C on Linux a few years ago. The system would receive messages through the serial port and send out emails and SMS’es. In the last minutes of the interview he asked me some basic Unix filesystem questions. In all the on-site interviews I was writing and drawing on two big whiteboards. Fun! Fifth Interview (on-site) The fifth interview began at 11am. It was a coding session and began with a trick question and not a real coding problem. I was asked to implement the solution in C. The solution was a mathematical expression that was a one-line return statement. No big coding there. Then I was asked to write an implementation of a very well known data structure. While coding I made a mistake and forgot to initialize part of a data structure that I had malloc()’ed! The program would have segfault’ed in real life and I would have noticed the error, but Google engineers are very serious about it! If you have an interview don’t ever make any mistakes! After this interview I was taken to lunch by the engineer who interviewed me on the second (phone) interview. She told me she was working at Google for two years and was very happy about it. We went to Asian food restaurant (located in Googleplex) and I had all kinds of delicious foods. All free! Then she showed me around Googleplex. It was all amazing. Free drinks and candy everywhere, some arcade machines, a beach volleyball outside, and many other surprising things. Sixth Interview (on-site) The sixth interview began at 12:45pm. It was a troubleshooting and networking interview. The interviewer drew a network diagram on the whiteboard and had imagined a problem in there. I had to ask a bunch of specific networking questions to locate the problem. He was satisfied and in the last few minutes of the interview he asked me some specific networking device questions. Seventh Interview (on-site) The seventh interview began at 1:30pm. It was a coding session. I was asked to implement a simple string manipulation subroutine in either C or C++. I chose C. Unfortunately I made an off-by-one mistake there - the most common programming mistake in the history of mankind. The whole interview focused on this one problem. Eighth Interview (on-site) The last, eight, interview began at 2:15pm. It was algorithms and data structures interview. The problem presented here was similar to the problem in the 2nd interview. Not only was it a problem too large to fit in computer memory but it also was distributed. So I had to do all kinds of trickery to solve it. The interview was very free-style and we talked back and forth about the problem. I arrived at the correct solution near the end of the interview and he said that not many candidates get that far in the solution. I was happy. After the interview the engineer escorted me out to the lobby and I took a cab back to my hotel. That’s it! FIN Overall the Google interviews were pure fun for me. The interview questions were technical but not very challenging or difficult. Thanks for the opportunity Google! Original story
Tags: | Posted by Admin on 10/25/2008 8:52 AM | Comments (1)
“We don't just want you to have a great job. We want you to have a great life. We provide you with everything you need to be productive and happy on and off the clock.” Larry Page, Google Co-founder Stanford University Hiring process Job search The process begins with searching for a job opening that interests you by job department, location or even by key word. Applying at Google Once you apply for a job by submitting your resume, you will be contacted by the recruiting team who will tell you what to expect and what it's like to work at Google. Phone interview You've applied for the position and your skills fit the job. The phone interview assesses your technical skills and proficiency, to the level of determining whether you should be brought in for in-person interviews. Typically phone interviews are conducted by someone in a similar role and last about 30-40 minutes. Onsite interview Our interview process for technical positions evaluates your core software engineering skills including: coding, algorithm development, data structures, design patterns, analytical thinking skills.  During your interview, you'll meet with several engineers across different teams who will give a cross-section view of Google Engineering. Interviewers will ask you questions related to your area of interest and ask you to solve them in real time. Our interview process for business and general positions evaluate your problem solving and behavioral abilities. Remember, it's not a question of getting the answer right or wrong, but the process in which you use to solve it. Creativity is important. Hire by committee Virtually every person who interviews at Google talks to at least four interviewers, drawn from both management and potential colleagues. Everyone's opinion counts, ensuring our hiring process is fair while maintaining high standards as we grow. Yes, it takes longer, but we believe it's worth it. If you hire great people and involve them intensively in the hiring process, you'll get more great people. We started building this positive feedback loop when the company was founded, and it has had a huge payoff. What happens next  Following your interviews, we will decide if you are suitable for the job opening. We take hiring very seriously and like to make consensus based decisions. To that end, it can take up to two weeks for us to make a definitive decision as to whether we'd like to have you join the team. Please be patient with us – your recruiter will keep in touch with you when feedback has been received and decisions made. Also feel free to get in touch with your recruiter at any time.
Tags: | Posted by Admin on 10/17/2008 8:39 AM | Comments (0)
Interesting digg on Google's messed up hiring process. Can't help but sympathize with some of those guys, especially after hearing the tale of a friend (from school): This guy goes through the the usual process (for a developer's position) - lotsa prepping, anxiety, sweating, mental stress, and tons & tons of tricky questions that made up the grilling technical interviews. He does reasonably well and is told ,"You're through with the tech rounds. Your profile's being reviewed". As is the case with most people, he begins to dream. Then... days & weeks pass... blank. No response. Then one day, he's told (something to the effect of), "Sorry, but your college background isn't good enough. You're not from an "elite" college. Besides, you could've scored better in your theoritical papers". The question to ask is, what were the technical interviews for? What was the resume submitted for? Couldn't those guys look at the college name/marks right then and figure out that his "pedigree" was "good enough" for them? Why waste his time, effort and mental energy on this futile exercise and shut the door in my face? Moral: Don't dream of goog unless you're from an elite college and you've maxed all your exams in college. You'd be wasting your time.
Tags: | Posted by Admin on 3/24/2008 12:53 PM | Comments (2)
For all their virtues Google is known to be very protective of many of their secrets. The Google interview process, with test questions that can include riddles and rhymes, is almost legendarily unique among job interviews. Thanks to several blog posts from people turned down by Google we have a bit more insight into the process: Corey Trager, perhaps suffering from a bit of sour grapes, writes: I would have felt more at home in a humble Amish household than I did in the pseudo-hip, purchased-cool, energy-profligate, global-warming-contributing lobby of Google’s Chicago office. I knew these judgments were being fueled by my unsettled emotional state. I knew that if Google were to make me an offer, I would accept it. I mean, hey, it’s Google, the Angelina Jolie of tech employers. Trager also lists some other Google interviewees that failed to make the Google grade, but gifted us with some insight on the process of trying to get a job with what many would suggest is clearly the world’s most prestigious technology company: My Interview with Google (How I Blew My Google Interview) Ben's experience Arch Wyatt's interview experience with Google NY One more google interview
Tags: , , | Posted by Admin on 3/12/2008 2:25 PM | Comments (0)
I've been meaning to write up some tips on interviewing at Google for a good long time now. I keep putting it off, though, because it's going to make you mad. Probably. For some statistical definition of "you", it's very likely to upset you. Why? Because... well, here, I wrote a little ditty about it: Hey man, I don't know that stuff Stevey's talking aboooooout If my boss thinks it's important I'm gonna get fiiiiiiiiiired Oooh yeah baaaby baaaay-beeeeee.... I didn't realize this was such a typical reaction back when I first started writing about interviewing, way back at other companies. Boy-o-howdy did I find out in a hurry. See, it goes like this: Me: blah blah blah, I like asking question X in interviews, blah blah blah... You: Question X? Oh man, I haven't heard about X since college! I've never needed it for my job! He asks that in interviews? But that means someone out there thinks it's important to know, and, and... I don't know it! If they detect my ignorance, not only will I be summarily fired for incompetence without so much as a thank-you, I will also be unemployable by people who ask question X! If people listen to Stevey, that will be everyone! I will become homeless and destitute! For not knowing something I've never needed before! This is horrible! I would attack X itself, except that I do not want to pick up a book and figure enough out about it to discredit it. Clearly I must yell a lot about how stupid Stevey is so that nobody will listen to him! Me: So in conclusion, blah blah... huh? Did you say "fired"? "Destitute?" What are you talking about? You: Aaaaaaauuuggh!!! *stab* *stab* *stab* Me: That's it. I'm never talking about interviewing again. It doesn't matter what X is, either. It's arbitrary. I could say: "I really enjoy asking the candidate (their name) in interviews", and people would still freak out, on account of insecurity about either interviewing in general or their knowledge of their own name, hopefully the former. But THEN, time passes, and interview candidates come and go, and we always wind up saying: "Gosh, we sure wish that obviously smart person had prepared a little better for his or her interviews. Is there any way we can help future candidates out with some tips?" And then nobody actually does anything, because we're all afraid of getting stabbed violently by People Who Don't Know X. I considered giving out a set of tips in which I actually use variable names like X, rather than real subjects, but decided that in the resultant vacuum, everyone would get upset. Otherwise that approach seemed pretty good, as long as I published under a pseudonym. In the end, people really need the tips, regardless of how many feelings get hurt along the way. So rather than skirt around the issues, I'm going to give you a few mandatory substitutions for X along with a fair amount of general interview-prep information. Caveats and Disclaimers This blog is not endorsed by Google. Google doesn't know I'm publishing these tips. It's just between you and me, OK? Don't tell them I prepped you. Just go kick ass on your interviews and we'll be square. I'm only talking about general software engineering positions, and interviews for those positions. These tips are actually generic; there's nothing specific to Google vs. any other software company. I could have been writing these tips about my first software job 20 years ago. That implies that these tips are also timeless, at least for the span of our careers. These tips obviously won't get you a job on their own. My hope is that by following them you will perform your very best during the interviews. Oh, and um, why Google? Oho! Why Google, you ask? Well let's just have that dialog right up front, shall we? You: Should I work at Google? Is it all they say it is, and more? Will I be serenely happy there? Should I apply immediately? Me: Yes. You: To which ques... wait, what do you mean by "Yes?" I didn't even say who I am! Me: Dude, the answer is Yes. (You may be a woman, but I'm still calling you Dude.) You: But... but... I am paralyzed by inertia! And I feel a certain comfort level at my current company, or at least I have become relatively inured to the discomfort. I know people here and nobody at Google! I would have to learn Google's build system and technology and stuff! I have no credibility, no reputation there – I would have to start over virtually from scratch! I waited too long, there's no upside! I'm afraaaaaaid! Me: DUDE. The answer is Yes already, OK? It's an invariant. Everyone else who came to Google was in the exact same position as you are, modulo a handful of famous people with beards that put Gandalf's to shame, but they're a very tiny minority. Everyone who applied had the same reasons for not applying as you do. And everyone here says: "GOSH, I SURE AM HAPPY I CAME HERE!" So just apply already. But prep first. You: But what if I get a mistrial? I might be smart and qualified, but for some random reason I may do poorly in the interviews and not get an offer! That would be a huge blow to my ego! I would rather pass up the opportunity altogether than have a chance of failure! Me: Yeah, that's at least partly true. Heck, I kinda didn't make it in on my first attempt, but I begged like a street dog until they gave me a second round of interviews. I caught them in a weak moment. And the second time around, I prepared, and did much better. The thing is, Google has a well-known false negative rate, which means we sometimes turn away qualified people, because that's considered better than sometimes hiring unqualified people. This is actually an industry-wide thing, but the dial gets turned differently at different companies. At Google the false-negative rate is pretty high. I don't know what it is, but I do know a lot of smart, qualified people who've not made it through our interviews. It's a bummer. But the really important takeaway is this: if you don't get an offer, you may still be qualified to work here. So it needn't be a blow to your ego at all! As far as anyone I know can tell, false negatives are completely random, and are unrelated to your skills or qualifications. They can happen from a variety of factors, including but not limited to: you're having an off day one or more of your interviewers is having an off day there were communication issues invisible to you and/or one or more of the interviewers you got unlucky and got an Interview Anti-Loop Oh no, not the Interview Anti-Loop! Yes, I'm afraid you have to worry about this. What is it, you ask? Well, back when I was at Amazon, we did (and they undoubtedly still do) a LOT of soul-searching about this exact problem. We eventually concluded that every single employee E at Amazon has at least one "Interview Anti-Loop": a set of other employees S who would not hire E. The root cause is important for you to understand when you're going into interviews, so I'll tell you a little about what I've found over the years. First, you can't tell interviewers what's important. Not at any company. Not unless they're specifically asking you for advice. You have a very narrow window of perhaps one year after an engineer graduates from college to inculcate them in the art of interviewing, after which the window closes and they believe they are a "good interviewer" and they don't need to change their questions, their question styles, their interviewing style, or their feedback style, ever again. It's a problem. But I've had my hand bitten enough times that I just don't try anymore. Second problem: every "experienced" interviewer has a set of pet subjects and possibly specific questions that he or she feels is an accurate gauge of a candidate's abilities. The question sets for any two interviewers can be widely different and even entirely non-overlapping. A classic example found everywhere is: Interviewer A always asks about C++ trivia, filesystems, network protocols and discrete math. Interviewer B always asks about Java trivia, design patterns, unit testing, web frameworks, and software project management. For any given candidate with both A and B on the interview loop, A and B are likely to give very different votes. A and B would probably not even hire each other, given a chance, but they both happened to go through interviewer C, who asked them both about data structures, unix utilities, and processes versus threads, and A and B both happened to squeak by. That's almost always what happens when you get an offer from a tech company. You just happened to squeak by. Because of the inherently flawed nature of the interviewing process, it's highly likely that someone on the loop will be unimpressed with you, even if you are Alan Turing. Especially if you're Alan Turing, in fact, since it means you obviously don't know C++. The bottom line is, if you go to an interview at any software company, you should plan for the contingency that you might get genuinely unlucky, and wind up with one or more people from your Interview Anti-Loop on your interview loop. If this happens, you will struggle, then be told that you were not a fit at this time, and then you will feel bad. Just as long as you don't feel meta-bad, everything is OK. You should feel good that you feel bad after this happens, because hey, it means you're human. And then you should wait 6-12 months and re-apply. That's pretty much the best solution we (or anyone else I know of) could come up with for the false-negative problem. We wipe the slate clean and start over again. There are lots of people here who got in on their second or third attempt, and they're kicking butt. You can too. OK, I feel better about potentially not getting hired Good! So let's get on to those tips, then. If you've been following along very closely, you'll have realized that I'm interviewer D. Meaning that my personal set of pet questions and topics is just my own, and it's no better or worse than anyone else's. So I can't tell you what it is, no matter how much I'd like to, because I'll offend interviewers A through X who have slightly different working sets. Instead, I want to prep you for some general topics that I believe are shared by the majority of tech interviewers at Google-like companies. Roughly speaking, this means the company builds a lot of their own software and does a lot of distributed computing. There are other tech-company footprints, the opposite end of the spectrum being companies that outsource everything to consultants and try to use as much third-party software as possible. My tips will be useful only to the extent that the company resembles Google. So you might as well make it Google, eh? First, let's talk about non-technical prep. The Warm-Up Nobody goes into a boxing match cold. Lesson: you should bring your boxing gloves to the interview. No, wait, sorry, I mean: warm up beforehand! How do you warm up? Basically there is short-term and long-term warming up, and you should do both. Long-term warming up means: study and practice for a week or two before the interview. You want your mind to be in the general "mode" of problem solving on whiteboards. If you can do it on a whiteboard, every other medium (laptop, shared network document, whatever) is a cakewalk. So plan for the whiteboard. Short-term warming up means: get lots of rest the night before, and then do intense, fast-paced warm-ups the morning of the interview. The two best long-term warm-ups I know of are: 1) Study a data-structures and algorithms book. Why? Because it is the most likely to help you beef up on problem identification. Many interviewers are happy when you understand the broad class of question they're asking without explanation. For instance, if they ask you about coloring U.S. states in different colors, you get major bonus points if you recognize it as a graph-coloring problem, even if you don't actually remember exactly how graph-coloring works. And if you do remember how it works, then you can probably whip through the answer pretty quickly. So your best bet, interview-prep wise, is to practice the art of recognizing that certain problem classes are best solved with certain algorithms and data structures. My absolute favorite for this kind of interview preparation is Steven Skiena's The Algorithm Design Manual. More than any other book it helped me understand just how astonishingly commonplace (and important) graph problems are – they should be part of every working programmer's toolkit. The book also covers basic data structures and sorting algorithms, which is a nice bonus. But the gold mine is the second half of the book, which is a sort of encyclopedia of 1-pagers on zillions of useful problems and various ways to solve them, without too much detail. Almost every 1-pager has a simple picture, making it easy to remember. This is a great way to learn how to identify hundreds of problem types. Other interviewers I know recommend Introduction to Algorithms. It's a true classic and an invaluable resource, but it will probably take you more than 2 weeks to get through it. But if you want to come into your interviews prepped, then consider deferring your application until you've made your way through that book. 2) Have a friend interview you. The friend should ask you a random interview question, and you should go write it on the board. You should keep going until it is complete, no matter how tired or lazy you feel. Do this as much as you can possibly tolerate. I didn't do these two types of preparation before my first Google interview, and I was absolutely shocked at how bad at whiteboard coding I had become since I had last interviewed seven years prior. It's hard! And I also had forgotten a bunch of algorithms and data structures that I used to know, or at least had heard of. Going through these exercises for a week prepped me mightily for my second round of Google interviews, and I did way, way better. It made all the difference. As for short-term preparation, all you can really do is make sure you are as alert and warmed up as possible. Don't go in cold. Solve a few problems and read through your study books. Drink some coffee: it actually helps you think faster, believe it or not. Make sure you spend at least an hour practicing immediately before you walk into the interview. Treat it like a sports game or a music recital, or heck, an exam: if you go in warmed up you'll give your best performance. Mental Prep So! You're a hotshot programmer with a long list of accomplishments. Time to forget about all that and focus on interview survival. You should go in humble, open-minded, and focused. If you come across as arrogant, then people will question whether they want to work with you. The best way to appear arrogant is to question the validity of the interviewer's question – it really ticks them off, as I pointed out earlier on. Remember how I said you can't tell an interviewer how to interview? Well, that's especially true if you're a candidate. So don't ask: "gosh, are algorithms really all that important? do you ever need to do that kind of thing in real life? I've never had to do that kind of stuff." You'll just get rejected, so don't say that kind of thing. Treat every question as legitimate, even if you are frustrated that you don't know the answer. Feel free to ask for help or hints if you're stuck. Some interviewers take points off for that, but occasionally it will get you past some hurdle and give you a good performance on what would have otherwise been a horrible stony half-hour silence. Don't say "choo choo choo" when you're "thinking". Don't try to change the subject and answer a different question. Don't try to divert the interviewer from asking you a question by telling war stories. Don't try to bluff your interviewer. You should focus on each problem they're giving you and make your best effort to answer it fully. Some interviewers will not ask you to write code, but they will expect you to start writing code on the whiteboard at some point during your answer. They will give you hints but won't necessarily come right out and say: "I want you to write some code on the board now." If in doubt, you should ask them if they would like to see code. Interviewers have vastly different expectations about code. I personally don't care about syntax (unless you write something that could obviously never work in any programming language, at which point I will dive in and verify that you are not, in fact, a circus clown and that it was an honest mistake). But some interviewers are really picky about syntax, and some will even silently mark you down for missing a semicolon or a curly brace, without telling you. I think of these interviewers as – well, it's a technical term that rhymes with "bass soles", but they think of themselves as brilliant technical evaluators, and there's no way to tell them otherwise. So ask. Ask if they care about syntax, and if they do, try to get it right. Look over your code carefully from different angles and distances. Pretend it's someone else's code and you're tasked with finding bugs in it. You'd be amazed at what you can miss when you're standing 2 feet from a whiteboard with an interviewer staring at your shoulder blades. It's OK (and highly encouraged) to ask a few clarifying questions, and occasionally verify with the interviewer that you're on the track they want you to be on. Some interviewers will mark you down if you just jump up and start coding, even if you get the code right. They'll say you didn't think carefully first, and you're one of those "let's not do any design" type cowboys. So even if you think you know the answer to the problem, ask some questions and talk about the approach you'll take a little before diving in. On the flip side, don't take too long before actually solving the problem, or some interviewers will give you a delay-of-game penalty. Try to move (and write) quickly, since often interviewers want to get through more than one question during the interview, and if you solve the first one too slowly then they'll be out of time. They'll mark you down because they couldn't get a full picture of your skills. The benefit of the doubt is rarely given in interviewing. One last non-technical tip: bring your own whiteboard dry-erase markers. They sell pencil-thin ones at office supply stores, whereas most companies (including Google) tend to stock the fat kind. The thin ones turn your whiteboard from a 480i standard-definition tube into a 58-inch 1080p HD plasma screen. You need all the help you can get, and free whiteboard space is a real blessing. You should also practice whiteboard space-management skills, such as not starting on the right and coding down into the lower-right corner in Teeny Unreadable Font. Your interviewer will not be impressed. Amusingly, although it always irks me when people do this, I did it during my interviews, too. Just be aware of it! Oh, and don't let the marker dry out while you're standing there waving it. I'm tellin' ya: you want minimal distractions during the interview, and that one is surprisingly common. OK, that should be good for non-tech tips. On to X, for some value of X! Don't stab me! Tech Prep Tips The best tip is: go get a computer science degree. The more computer science you have, the better. You don't have to have a CS degree, but it helps. It doesn't have to be an advanced degree, but that helps too. However, you're probably thinking of applying to Google a little sooner than 2 to 8 years from now, so here are some shorter-term tips for you. Algorithm Complexity: you need to know Big-O. It's a must. If you struggle with basic big-O complexity analysis, then you are almost guaranteed not to get hired. It's, like, one chapter in the beginning of one theory of computation book, so just go read it. You can do it. Sorting: know how to sort. Don't do bubble-sort. You should know the details of at least one n*log(n) sorting algorithm, preferably two (say, quicksort and merge sort). Merge sort can be highly useful in situations where quicksort is impractical, so take a look at it. For God's sake, don't try sorting a linked list during the interview. Hashtables: hashtables are arguably the single most important data structure known to mankind. You absolutely have to know how they work. Again, it's like one chapter in one data structures book, so just go read about them. You should be able to implement one using only arrays in your favorite language, in about the space of one interview. Trees: you should know about trees. I'm tellin' ya: this is basic stuff, and it's embarrassing to bring it up, but some of you out there don't know basic tree construction, traversal and manipulation algorithms. You should be familiar with binary trees, n-ary trees, and trie-trees at the very very least. Trees are probably the best source of practice problems for your long-term warmup exercises. You should be familiar with at least one flavor of balanced binary tree, whether it's a red/black tree, a splay tree or an AVL tree. You should actually know how it's implemented. You should know about tree traversal algorithms: BFS and DFS, and know the difference between inorder, postorder and preorder. You might not use trees much day-to-day, but if so, it's because you're avoiding tree problems. You won't need to do that anymore once you know how they work. Study up! Graphs Graphs are, like, really really important. More than you think. Even if you already think they're important, it's probably more than you think. There are three basic ways to represent a graph in memory (objects and pointers, matrix, and adjacency list), and you should familiarize yourself with each representation and its pros and cons. You should know the basic graph traversal algorithms: breadth-first search and depth-first search. You should know their computational complexity, their tradeoffs, and how to implement them in real code. You should try to study up on fancier algorithms, such as Dijkstra and A*, if you get a chance. They're really great for just about anything, from game programming to distributed computing to you name it. You should know them. Whenever someone gives you a problem, think graphs. They are the most fundamental and flexible way of representing any kind of a relationship, so it's about a 50-50 shot that any interesting design problem has a graph involved in it. Make absolutely sure you can't think of a way to solve it using graphs before moving on to other solution types. This tip is important! Other data structures You should study up on as many other data structures and algorithms as you can fit in that big noggin of yours. You should especially know about the most famous classes of NP-complete problems, such as traveling salesman and the knapsack problem, and be able to recognize them when an interviewer asks you them in disguise. You should find out what NP-complete means. Basically, hit that data structures book hard, and try to retain as much of it as you can, and you can't go wrong. Math Some interviewers ask basic discrete math questions. This is more prevalent at Google than at other places I've been, and I consider it a Good Thing, even though I'm not particularly good at discrete math. We're surrounded by counting problems, probability problems, and other Discrete Math 101 situations, and those innumerate among us blithely hack around them without knowing what we're doing. Don't get mad if the interviewer asks math questions. Do your best. Your best will be a heck of a lot better if you spend some time before the interview refreshing your memory on (or teaching yourself) the essentials of combinatorics and probability. You should be familiar with n-choose-k problems and their ilk – the more the better. I know, I know, you're short on time. But this tip can really help make the difference between a "we're not sure" and a "let's hire her". And it's actually not all that bad – discrete math doesn't use much of the high-school math you studied and forgot. It starts back with elementary-school math and builds up from there, so you can probably pick up what you need for interviews in a couple of days of intense study. Sadly, I don't have a good recommendation for a Discrete Math book, so if you do, please mention it in the comments. Thanks. Operating Systems This is just a plug, from me, for you to know about processes, threads and concurrency issues. A lot of interviewers ask about that stuff, and it's pretty fundamental, so you should know it. Know about locks and mutexes and semaphores and monitors and how they work. Know about deadlock and livelock and how to avoid them. Know what resources a processes needs, and a thread needs, and how context switching works, and how it's initiated by the operating system and underlying hardware. Know a little about scheduling. The world is rapidly moving towards multi-core, and you'll be a dinosaur in a real hurry if you don't understand the fundamentals of "modern" (which is to say, "kinda broken") concurrency constructs. The best, most practical book I've ever personally read on the subject is Doug Lea's Concurrent Programming in Java. It got me the most bang per page. There are obviously lots of other books on concurrency. I'd avoid the academic ones and focus on the practical stuff, since it's most likely to get asked in interviews. Coding You should know at least one programming language really well, and it should preferably be C++ or Java. C# is OK too, since it's pretty similar to Java. You will be expected to write some code in at least some of your interviews. You will be expected to know a fair amount of detail about your favorite programming language. Other Stuff Because of the rules I outlined above, it's still possible that you'll get Interviewer A, and none of the stuff you've studied from these tips will be directly useful (except being warmed up.) If so, just do your best. Worst case, you can always come back in 6-12 months, right? Might seem like a long time, but I assure you it will go by in a flash. The stuff I've covered is actually mostly red-flags: stuff that really worries people if you don't know it. The discrete math is potentially optional, but somewhat risky if you don't know the first thing about it. Everything else I've mentioned you should know cold, and then you'll at least be prepped for the baseline interview level. It could be a lot harder than that, depending on the interviewer, or it could be easy. It just depends on how lucky you are. Are you feeling lucky? Then give it a try! Send me your resume I'll probably batch up any resume submissions people send me and submit them weekly. In the meantime, study up! You have a lot of warming up to do. Real-world work makes you rusty. I hope this was helpful. Let the flames begin, etc. Yawn. Original story
Tags: | Posted by Admin on 8/26/2007 1:03 AM | Comments (0)
Google conducts interviews that are different from other American and European companies (Google Interview: What to Expect). The best way for a prospective employee to prepare is to become familiar with the interview format before sitting down in the interviewee's seat. The interview day lasted from 10am to 4pm and consisted of 5 interviews, each lasting 45 minutes. Each interview was in-depth and demanding, not like other kinds of interview where the employer is more interested in knowing what you have done in the past. Google are interested in learning about how you approach problem-solving so the interview day focused on a number of problems. The Google interview is more a discussion between colleagues than a formal interviewer/interviewee exchange. There were two interviews in the morning and three in the afternoon. Each interview was algorithmically focused and these problem areas discussed were: how to fairly sample k items from a (possibly) arbitrarily long stream of data. how can you determine the number of elements between two arbitrary nodes in a tree. outline an algorithm to control a user's access to a resource that may be accessed 1000 times in 5 minutes. write the C for the multiplication of two arbitrarily large integers. outline an architecture for the search for a single Google-whack (two words that only appear on a single page) assuming that the index can all be stored on a single machine and then assuming that the index is distributed. Space and time considerations were emphasized and there was a focus on discussing the design choices, with the interviewer suggesting possible issues given the Google run-time environment. The web-page above states that you will be expected to discuss the technical details of your past designs and implementations. This was not the case at my interview which focused on solutions to the problems. Google provided lunch, accompanied by a non-interviewing Google engineer, and this is your chance to find out more about the company, how it works day-to-day, and what life is like in that part of Switzerland. Zurich has one of the highest standards of living in Europe and English is widely spoken in the city. Google, Zurich are a major recruiter of engineers throughout Europe. If you submit your resume, please be patient as they receives 1,000s of resumes a week and it can take time to organise a face-to-face interview as five engineers have to make time for it. Google is famous for encouraging its engineers to work 20% of their time on a project that interests them and many of Google's recent services, such as AdSense and GMail, have come from this programme. You can best prepare by quizzing those that have attended a Google engineer interview, remain calm, treat the interview as a discussion and relate your answers to work you have done in the past. But most of all, enjoy it. It's a great experience. Good luck with your Google interview. The copyright of the article Google Engineer Interview Process in Tech Jobs/Training is owned by James Huw Evans. Permission to republish Google Engineer Interview Process in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.   Original story