Tags: , | Posted by Admin on 6/16/2005 1:05 AM | Comments (46)

Although I have not succeeded with the getting-hired-at-Google thing I have had my crack at it a few times and have survived to write about it. I occasionally hear from others about to try it, and they want to know if I have any advice. Here’s my modest wisdom on the subject of interviewing well at Google.

Question: I have an interview for an ops position at Google tomorrow, and I found your web page about interviewing at Google, can you give me any advice?

Answer: Really, just be at your best. Maybe brush up on some fundamentals the night before. They like to see that you know how things work at a low level, so like when they ask “tell me what happens when you type www.google.com into a web browser” and you get on to explaining that DNS operates via UDP, port 53, and so forth …

Take it like you would an exam. Get some sleep the night before, and otherwise do whatever helps clear your head for good questions. The initial screens aren’t all that hard, really, if you’re good. I swear I screwed up my last phone interview because I had a cold, and wasn’t feeling so great, and that made me nervous …

Also, don’t bother cheating. Google employees spend a lot of time interviewing people, and they know that when they hear “uhh …. *clickety clackety clickety clack* … the answer is … uhhh …” and you read something off a web page, that you are a no-hire. If you don’t know something, admit it. They may try to explain it to you, and if you can pick up an understanding pretty quickly, and use that to solve the next problem, then that shows you are honest, and a quick learner.

At any rate, I wish you the best of luck. By all accounts, working at Google is pretty sweet. :)

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Comments (46) -

Finbar on 6/11/2005 5:17 PM Hi,

I applied for a non-tech position at Goggle on Wednesday. The next day they called me and scheduled a first phone interview for Friday. Do you think it’s a good sign they contacted me so quickly? I can’t really say how the interview went, because it went by so quickly. I think, my grades aren’t good enough (I just finished my Masters major in Information Management). I assume they only want top-grade applicants? Well, on the other hand, I already got some work experience in the field or customer service, market research and localisation.
They’re going to call me next Wednesday and tell me, if I get a second phone interview. Does anybody have experience with interviews for non-tech positions? Any advice or tips?
Adley on 6/11/2005 7:35 PM Hey Danny !
I have a telephonic interview with Google next week for a technical post in testing domain. They’ve asked me to brush up my concepts in Data Structures, Algorithms and coding. Is there anything specific which I should focus on? Any common set of questions which are frequently asked? Any help in this regard will be of great help. Looking forward for ur reply. Thanks in advance Smile
Baldwin on 6/11/2005 9:53 PM I also applied for a position with Google around 3rd week of December. It’s a for a non-technical position (Enterprise Customer Support Administrator). Few days later, I received an email with a little “let’s talk about you” questionnaire where you had to explain yourself and answer some questions pertaining to the position. After that I received another email from my recruiter to set up for a phone interview.

I thought heck, for a company that receives more than 3100 Resumes in ONE DAY, I wasn’t doing too shabby. So I had my first round of general phone interview then had another Phone Interview that was focussed more on the position (about 30 mins.) I wasn’t too sure about how I did at the 2nd one, but I received an email within a few mins. They have now invited me for an on site interview at their Mountain View HQ. So far, I haven’t been asked any of those “How many golf balls can fit in a bus” kind of questions. So, now I’m just looking forward to the on site interview and not really worrying about it. If it happens, it happens, if not then well I’ll appreciate the experience of making it there.

So if anyone has any tips, or any recent interviewees, please share your thoughts. Also, does any know if Google pays “for the airfare/living/transportation” expenses??
Amanda on 6/12/2005 12:11 AM Danny,

Do you have any information regarding non-techie jobs? I don’t have a degree but have an etensive history in the hospitality industry and real estate sales. I haven’t seen anything on support positions like reception either.

Bond on 6/12/2005 2:29 AM I had my onsite interview for a business operations/finance position last Tuesday (May 22) after a phone interview the previous week. It was 4 half hour interviews plus a “lunch interview” where I got grilled while waiting in line at the grill. I think all my interviews except possibly the lunch went very well, and most of my Thank You emails were replied to, which I think is a good sign. I’ve heard it can be up to a month before they give you their decision.

Any thoughts?
Barry on 6/12/2005 4:47 AM I had my onsite interview today….I had just one round of phone interview before…and got called…
my 3 out of 4 rounds went of quite well today…one round did not go well….what are the chances?
John on 6/12/2005 7:05 AM 1. Describe the data structure that is used to manage memory. (stack)

You mean the local variables?

If memory is dynamically allocated, the local is in a place called heap. It will be managed through list, free and used.

Where does the stack come from?
Norman on 6/12/2005 9:23 AM I have an interview at Google next week for S/W Engg. position. It will be a technical interview probably to check Algorithm & Cding skill. Can u give some idea abt. the question aksed.
Morgan on 6/12/2005 11:41 AM I’m going to have my first interview w/ Google next Friday, the interesting part is that the position has almost nothing to do with technical Laughing, Localisation editor. Anyone can give me advice on that?
Kenway on 6/12/2005 1:59 PM How about applying to posts like Product manager..
This is not a non-technical position.
The Product manager has to upgrade and maintain the existing google products.
How do u prepare for that?
I am not very brillian, nor from an Ivy league college..
Do ppl who apply to the website get calls from therE?
Kendrick on 6/12/2005 4:17 PM I have got a call from Google for an interview (Software Engg). I have read the posts. Honest attitude and being at your best. That is good olicy. Could you tell me the kind of questions/pattern to expect in interview. Reply asap.
James on 6/12/2005 6:35 PM Hey,
I am interesting to do job in google,because i intersted in web application, and i am in end of B.E(comp.sc)with first class,How should i apply for job in google,what preparation for interview.
Enoch on 6/12/2005 8:53 PM Hey,

I have an interview at google next week for an HR Associate position. I see Ave also had one similair to the one i’m going to have. Any ideas of what to expect for an HR Associcate position? Thanks guys!
Durwin on 6/12/2005 11:11 PM phone interview
1. Describe the data structure that is used to manage memory. (stack)
2. whats the difference between local and global variables?
3. If you have 1 million integers, how would you sort them efficiently? (modify a specific sorting algorithm to solve this)
4. In Java, what is the difference between static, final, and const. (if you dont know java they will ask something similar for C or C++).
5. Talk about your class projects or work projects (pick something easy)… then describe how you could make them more efficient (in terms of algorithms).

In person interview.

1. In Java, what is the difference between final, finally, and finalize?

2. What is multithreaded programming? What is a deadlock?

3. Write a function (with helper functions if needed) called toExcel that takes an excel column value (A,B,C,D…AA,AB,AC,… AAA..) and returns a corresponding integer value (A=1,B=2,… AA=26..).

4. You have a stream of infinite queries (ie: real time Google search queries that people are entering). Describe how you would go about finding a good estimate of 1000 samples from this never ending set of data and then write code for it.

5. Tree search algorithms. Write BFS and DFS code, explain run time and space requirements. Modify the code to handle trees with weighted edges and loops with BFS and DFS, make the code print out path to goal state.

6. You are given a list of numbers. When you reach the end of the list you will come back to the beginning of the list (a circular list). Write the most efficient algorithm to find the minimum # in this list. Find any given # in the list. The numbers in the list are always increasing but you don’t know where the circular list begins, ie: 38, 40, 55, 89, 6, 13, 20, 23, 36.
Benjamin on 6/13/2005 1:29 AM I have a phone interview for google adwords specalist. What kinds of problem they will ask?
Baldwin on 6/13/2005 3:47 AM I have not gone through an interview with Google, but I am very interested and I will apply once I complete my computer science degree. I have been searching the web for possible questions that Google might ask and I run across http://www.technical-interview.com which gives some flavor of the questions that might be asked.
Addison on 6/13/2005 6:05 AM I have applied for a software lead position in Google India. I have been asked to provide a date and time for an interview. I have been reading a lot online, using google search Smile, to find the questions that i may be asked.

For the last 4 to 5 years i have not really done much programming and hence am little rusty with my coding skills. But from reading around it seems they are looking for you to be able to think on the spot. I also maintain a couple of websites and am using a lot of the their services like adwords, adsense, website tools, gmail, …

I am just going to relax and try to do my best and again be honest when i do not know the answer. Wish me luck Smile
Tina on 6/13/2005 8:23 AM Hello,
I have a first round interview with Google for an Associate Product Marketing Manager. Any tips or words of advice? Thank you

Kind regards
Jeremiah on 6/13/2005 10:41 AM Forgot to mention that my interview is for an HR Associate position.
Jacob on 6/13/2005 12:59 PM I have a 2nd round interview with Google next week in Mountain View. What should I expect?
Farrell on 6/13/2005 3:17 PM hehe, seeing this blog is kinda funny. I am a Google employee and work in one of the operation groups. I actually do searches for Google job interviews, so I know what questions not to ask during the interviews I conduct. I also stay away from commonly used interview questions. Most people I work with that conduct interviews also do the same. Best advice I can give, be honest, be excited about the job and the company. Know our services, and think critically on how you would improve those services. Good luck!
Egerton on 6/13/2005 5:35 PM plz tell me immediatly by via to my mail.
Edgar on 6/13/2005 7:53 PM Dear friends,
I’m a student of BE(cse)from Erode. Plz tell me some Google interview patterns and some recent news about Google.
Derek on 6/13/2005 10:11 PM hi danny…
i’ve completed my first round of interview..[a written test] for google[ for adwords representative].. for the second round.. i got a call from the HR..but i was really sick when she called me.. i couldnt even get up from my bed.. i told the HR>> i can t do it right now..gracefully she said that we can reschedule it.. and now me waiting for the next round.. any idea what they gonna ask for adwords representative position.. pls help.
Bartholomew on 6/14/2005 12:29 AM Hi All

tomrrow is my interview for the post of N/w Security Engg hyderabad location.
Basically I am a linux guy doing admin and related things.

I just got a mail mentioning the first phone scrnning time i.e. tomorrow .

So can anyone help me in guessing what the can ask ?

Plz help me urgent.

Adam on 6/14/2005 2:47 AM hi danny..
for a graduate from non-IT background like me , what all areas should i concentrate on for getting in to google. It is my dream company and i really want to make into it.
Please help as to how i should orient myself in preaparing for the same.What all should i be learning..
Kindly help .
Morgan on 6/14/2005 5:05 AM I’m going for the Online Sales and Operations Coordinator (involving advertising etc) job. I did their worksheet and have the first phone interview on Wednesday and the more I read about the interview process, the more terrified I am! Any tips on wowing them? I doubt I’ll be needing especially technical knowledge, but has anyone gone for this sort of non-tech job?
Marcus on 6/14/2005 7:23 AM I am interested to hear from the two previous poster on their experiences. I am also interviewing for basically a non-technical position. (logistics project manager) It seems to me that they are just looking for very good candidates, which no one should blame them for. The dead weight in any organization would certainly slow it down. I did read somewhere else about a large number of interviews being conducted before being turned down which does not seem incredibly ethical…
Lionel on 6/14/2005 9:41 AM Hi,
thanks for having this site, I am simply having my first phone interview for google this week, I am applying for a massage therapist management position, not quite the same as you guys… but can some one help me out, as far as what to expect as questions, pertinent or off the wall,, any questions regarding the way google came to be, operates etc.. ?
Thanks.. for an help.
Lane on 6/14/2005 11:59 AM well got the e-mail on monday afternoon to schedule the 2nd interview its this friday at 11am. So lookin real good I found the interviewer very nice and some what knowledgable of what i do, that they have very good notes.

So I guess if all goes well on friday they will fly me up for finall interview. Total time from submitting application on monster to job offer…2weeks! Not as long as everyone has said, much faster than the government job i have now.
Kevin on 6/14/2005 2:17 PM well had the interview!!! went great! couple of of the wall questions, like why is man hole round??
and cross zoning in the fire life saftey.

But all went good moved on to lext level…
Kelvin on 6/14/2005 4:35 PM I too have an interview on the phone today. But unlike the rest of you that I have read about, I recieved an interview 2days after submitting resume. I also spoke to the recruter about the money! Yup I went right to the chase.. I feel we make alot of money and was afraid we make to much money but they didnt seem to even flinch at the cost. I am appling for facilities job not an engineer, or really anything to do with computers as you all know them? So what do you think they will ask?
Foster on 6/14/2005 6:53 PM Hello All,

I have an interview with Google tommorrow for some HR openings in their Hyderabad and Gurgaon office. I have no experience in hard core HR activities and when I informed them this they said it is okey this post is open to freshers. Could anybody please advise me what is their interview process and questions to expect.

Thanks in advance.
Deepak on 6/14/2005 9:11 PM Hi Dianne and Mihai,
I have a Google phone interview coming up next week for a Software Engineer position..Could u tell me what questions u were asked in the phone interviews…

Mihai on 6/14/2005 11:29 PM I had my second interview yesterday also. Also for a linux/unix sysadm.

Can someone tell us what’s next?
The interviewer told me to wait between 1 and 2 weeks for an answer from my recruiter.

Driscoll on 6/15/2005 1:47 AM Hi,

I have my 2nd telephonic interview with google on monday. could anybody plz tell what i could expect?I finished my first interview last monday…it is for a linux systems admin position.
would appreciate if anybody could give any pointers as to what to expect.
Drew on 6/15/2005 4:05 AM Hi,

I also had an interview for google as an operations analyst and I have an engineering degree from Ireland. The interviews are quite technical and they expect you to be able to think on your feet. They give you these role play scenarios to tease through as well. I had three telephone interviews and then they flew me to the states for an onsite interview. I had 7 interviews while I was there for the day. Mountain view is a really nice place and I would love to work there full time. But I applied for the one in Dublin. I’m now waiting to hear did I get to the final stage where I have to write an assignment and give a presentation on video conference. It’s a really tough process…but to any one out there…I’m not a brilliant student and I didn’t go to an ivy league college. You just have to be yourself and try to be as honest as you can. If you don’t understand ask and they will try to help you…it’s a sign that you are honest and can admit that you need help from others.So get your CV in and see how you get on….
Doyle on 6/15/2005 6:23 AM Ha! I just had a Google interview, like, three hours ago and this fellow from NYC asked me (over the video conf while I was at the googleplex) “tell me what happens when you type google.com in your web browser”. Seriously. Unprepared, I started off talked about name brokering, named, name resolution, dns, arp, routers, root dns servers, blah blah blah, then got around to http — they were mostly interested in the stuff before i even got to http.
Denley on 6/15/2005 8:41 AM Hi Danny,

I am a software engg having 2+years of Exp from india …i would like to get into Google..

Could you please guide me ??
Cyril on 6/15/2005 10:59 AM Hey,
I really like your blog its quite informative. Let me tell about me…I gave first round of interview for Network Admin in december. I have second round schedule soon. Well I want to know about how their method of recruiting works. What kind of questions would they ask in the second round ?
Claude on 6/15/2005 1:17 PM Thanks Danny. Will definitely try.
-danny on 6/15/2005 3:35 PM Vishal,

The only way to know for sure is to try. Check their web site and send them your resume and good luck!

Vishal on 6/15/2005 5:53 PM Question: I have been frequently following articles and interview questions related to google. It seems they require extra ordinary guys to work for them. I have a degree in electronics engineering and a 5+ experience in software industry. Is there any possible way i can try and get a job at google.

Adam on 6/15/2005 8:11 PM So a friend of mine got hired at google for the summer. He is currently in grad school at UCLA and probably the smartest person i know.

Freshman year of undergrad he and a few other guys decided to go to mardi gras. The made the decision about a day before they left. Upon returning to campus on monday my friend realized that he had missed the first major mid-term test is some big hard math class he was in. His solution? He went to the professor the next day and asked if he could take the final. He took the final the next week and passed out of the class.

Not really sure how this relates to google, but my friend is smart and he works for google for the summer.
George on 6/15/2005 10:29 PM Sachin,

Even cooler is if you get a groovy job. Good luck!

Best wishes,
Mike on 6/16/2005 12:47 AM Hey, I see you published my query here… Cool Smile

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