Tags: , , , | Posted by Admin on 3/14/2009 2:46 PM | Comments (0)

Phone Interviews

The first two phone interviews were back-to-back and lasted 45 minutes each with a 15 minute break in-between. Both interviews had a mix of questions pertaining to programming, algorithm design, work term experiences, school projects and fundamental programming and computing concepts. The interviews were well-rounded and had good breadth and depth in terms of coverage.

The third interview was solely to test my coding skills. It was a 45-minute phone interview as well. I was given two problems and I had to talk through my solutions and provide detailed pseudocode over the phone. Then, I was instructed to submit actual code files to the interviewer’s email address within an 1-2 hours after the interview. I was given freedom to use whatever programming language I saw fit. I made sure my code compiled and I put comments for better readability. I also cleaned up my code for any redundant or unnecessary variables.

After a week or so, I was told that there were no more positions available in the smaller offices but that they had an opening for the Software Engineer in Test position at the Mountain View campus, if I was interested. Of course, I said yes. So, I got flown down to Mountain View to interview with the Test team. It was a nice 3-day reprieve from winter chills.

On-site Interviews

I was scheduled to meet my recruiter at 10am. She gave me a good tour around the Googleplex and talked about Google as a company and some of the employee perks. Then, she brought me to the interview room. There was a Google bag with other Google goodies that was for me to take home after the interview.

Technical Interviews

I had three technical interviews. The first 2 interviews were held before lunch, and the third one after lunch. Each interview lasted around 45 minutes and had an average of 3 problems each . All the technical interviews were held inside the same room. Although there is a whiteboard in the room, I was only asked to write on it during my third interview. For the other interviews, I mostly wrote on a pad paper. For some reason, I was allowed to write using pseudocode but I think it is still better to write real code. Most of the problems I was asked were just common coding problems or algorithms and to give ways to test them. Two problems I was given were search-related and for one of them, I was asked to scale the solution to a distributed file system that comprised of thousands of servers. I’ve compiled a list of technical interview tips and guidelines, as well as a list of helpful interview resources.

Lunch Interview

I was introduced to another member of the team and he brought me to the biggest cafeteria in the Googleplex. As everyone probably knows by now, one of the best Google perks is free food and tons of it. There was a wide variety of food and drinks. I decided to get food from the Japanese station. The sashimi was really fresh and sumptuous. Anyway, on to the casual interview. Most of the questions during lunch were just about which aspects of software or computer engineering I liked the most. I also talked about some of the projects I worked on in university as well as in my work terms. There was no technical question at all. I think they just wanted to see whether my interests and expertise are a good match for their team.

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