Passing the Google interview is a dream of so many people. It just requires some luck or shortcuts but preparation and hard work.
However, Google has transparency when it comes to expectations for their candidate. So the more they know about the process and culture, it can help you in succeeding.
So to dive into their interview process, here is an ultimate guide that can help in cracking the Google interview.
What Should You Know About Google Interviews?
To understand how you are going to crack the interview, the first thing you should know is how it works.
Well, the interview process takes around 2 to 2.5 months to complete.
- The interview for the software developers includes around 5 to 7 intervals in total.
- This includes a phone screen initially with the google recruiter. It is followed by 4 to 6 on-site interviews with different employees of Google.
- All coding challenges are done using Google Docs, Whiteboard, or Chromebook.
- Google does the hiring at Level T3 with T11, it’s the height of levels.
- T3 is considered entry-level, it includes full-time software engineers who have an undergraduate or master’s degree.
- The average salary of the employees from T3 is around $117,000 annually.
- Google prefers languages like Python, Java, C ++, and C Go.
Apart from these, you also need to understand the types of coding problems which you can expect to see during your Google Interview :
System Design Questions
These questions are gauged on understanding the ability to handline the high-level system design along with the scalability in their mind.
Coding Interview Challenges
Well, these questions gauge the knowledge of candidates about the data structure and the algorithms for optimizing the solution for the common issues.
General Analysis Questions
Such questions gauge the thoughts on the process through the question based on mathematics and opinion.
What Is So Different About Google Interviews?
Well to understand the fact that what makes google interviews so unique and set them apart from the rest of the others is important.
Even though the software engineer interviews are quite similar to other big techs, there are still some aspects that are different.
Here is what you need to know :
Google is not shy when it comes to its interview process. So there is little guesswork when you are doing the preparation and expectations.
You get all the details of what you need to expect from them. It’s on their career page where you can find the answers.
Coding In Google Doc
Well, the next thing which makes them unique, is when their initial phone screen, you are expected to do the coding in Google Docs.
It’s important as you need to study how to do the coding well, and for that, you need to do the practice.
Hiring The Committee
Google aims to unbiased reviews to its applicants. So instead of having their own committee, they utilize the hiring one.
It helps in forming a committee with no biases and filtering the best candidates for them.
Each interviewer has their graded on a scale that goes 1 – 4 depending on the hiring criteria divided into four, here three are the threshold for the hire or no hire.
Four Hiring Criteria
Google focuses on four criteria when they are hiring the candidate, it is divided into cognitive ability, Googliness, leadership, and technical skills in their candidate reviewing process.
What does Google Look For Their Candidate?
Once you know the difference, the next thing that can help you is understanding what exactly google looks like when they are hiring the candidate.
This can help you in preparing well, also knowing the expectation can help in improve chances of performance, leading to better success of hiring.
Here the criteria are divided into four, it includes :
General Cognitive Ability can refer to the skills of problem-solving, abstract thinking, willingness to learn, and curiosity.
Well the first cries of google look for the people who are smart and think complexly about their projects, teams as well as themselves.
Every organization has its own culture, And the same goes for Google.
They have their specific company culture when they are looking for a candidate who messes well with the company’s values.
The main focus of Google is its people, they focus on inclusivity and the improvement of better human life while being ethical.
Google is also known for having small teams and a laid-back environment for encouraging creativity, innovations as well as open communication.
The next criterion for Google hire is the candidate who has emergent leadership skills.
For the company, leadership is the ability of understanding where to step in and out of difficult problems when it’s needed. Also, it promotes safety and ethics.
So Google looks for people who can empower others to self-organize and foster open communication.
Google hires those candies with the abilities of the strongest coding. They assess the technical skills mostly on their conceptual understanding instead of memorization.
Well the assessment coding skills include topics such as :
- Data structure
- How to reset the code
- Big O Notation
- Object-Oriented Programming
What Is Google Interview Process?
To crack the interview, the next most important thing you should focus on is knowing how the interview process goes on Google.
With this, you can do better preparation and help in being more aware of what you should do and perform better.
It includes steps like :
Step 1: Before The Interview Starts
Well, there are certain things you need to do before the interview starts, it’s the first step and one of the most important one.
For doing the preparation, here is what you need to do :
- Prepare for the coding interview as this is going to be a lengthy process.
- It’s better that you take three months of prior preparation.
- You also need a preparation plan for keeping yourself on track.
- Also with that, you need to prepare the language that googles prefers including python, C ++, Java, Go, or C.
Make sure you have updated your resume, and focus on catching the attention of the recruiter of the Goggle within six seconds or even less.
One of the reasons which are common why talented applicants don’t interview is because of having poorly crafted resumes.
Make sure you have spent time on keeping your resume updated.
If your resume passes the test, they will schedule a call to know about the skills and experiences they have.
It will be about a week before you receive anything from the recruiter.
Tip: When you are updating your resume, focus on using the metric-driven description.
Consider the formula: Accomplished X as measured by Y and doing it by Z.
Step 2: Prescreening With Employee From Google
If everything goes well, the next thing you will have to do is the phone screen, and it will last around 45 – 60 minutes.
They will likely do it using google hangouts, the google employee will test the question depending on coding, data structure, and algorithms.
You need to solve these using Google Docs, and it will need to use around 20 – 30 lines of code.
It’s important that you are communicating with thoughts as you work. This can help them in gauging their general cognitive ability.
With this, you can expect to have an open-ended coding challenge. To ask further questions which can be helpful in clarifying in a great way and demonstrating your problem-solving skills.
If you are finished before time runs out, look for ways for optimizing and checking the bugs.
Always be sure that you are being considered corner as well as edge cases.
Step 3: On-Site Interview
When you pass the pre-seen, then you will be invited to do the on-site interview.
You will meet 4 0r 6 employees from Google for 45 minutes each.
These on-site interviews are going to be heavily focused on coding, data structure, and algorithms.
Here you need to write the code either using the Chromebook or whiteboard that you will get provided.
It’s a good idea that you are asking the recruiter beforehand so you are doing the practice.
The on-site interview comes with the features of behavioral interview questions for assessing who is the potential employee.
Google wants to consider if you are not the right fit with their culture and company values.
So make sure you are preparing for the interview based on behavior.
Step 4: The Offer Or No Offer
You will be scored on a scale of 1 to 4 with 3 being the sign of whether you are hired or not.
Once you are done with the interviews, there will be feedback sent to the hiring committee for making the final decisions.
This process can take several weeks, here you can send a slightly -friendly nudge email if you believe there is too much time passed.
If you get free, you must be ready to discuss the salary and the date when you can start.
So it’s a good idea that you keep your negotiation skills brushed up. If you don’t get the offer, here you can replay it after six months.
This gives plenty of time for preparing and studying again, consider this to be helpful as you will know what are your weak sides.
What Does a 12-Week Preparation Roadmap Look Like?
When you are preparing for the coding interview, you need to be strategic.
It requires you and months of preparation and practice for mastering the right concepts and developing confidence.
Here is a definitive 12-week prep plan that you can consider to help in landing the job.
Choose a programming language that is the same as what Google expects, and also choose something which suits your performance.
Choosing the language can take time, once you do. Make sure you are reviewing all the basics regarding your programming language.
So if you practice your basics, it will reduce the chances of stumbling during the interview.
Review the concepts like how you should read the input from the console, use 2d arrays, and how declare.
Week 2 and 3
This week, you need to familiarize yourself with the algorithms and structures.
When you are going for the Google interview, these are essential for it.
Here is the list of data structures that you must know :
- Linked Lists
- Hash sets
- Hash tables or map
The algorithm that you should be knowing :
- Breadth-first search
- Depth-first search
- Divide and conquer
- Dynamic programming
- Binary search
Week 4 and 5
Practice your data structure and algorithms challenges with sites using Leetcode and Educative.
Start practicing simple coding problems, this will help you in making it easy for lines to tackle the questions which are harder.
Week 6 and 8
Practice doing the complex coding problems and start using the timer.
It’s important that you consider the Runtime and Memory complexity per solution.
Week 9 and 10
Study the questions for system design. These are now an important part of the interview and also have an integral impact on the hiring level.
For this week, you need to study the concepts of OS and Concurrency. These questions, it can be used to gauge the hiring level.
You need to brush up and multithreading fundamentals for standing out when you are going for the interview
Well, here you should focus on studying object-oriented programming as well as design questions.
With these questions, you can gauge which is critical thinking and project-based problems solving skills.
Tips On Practicing The Coding Challenges For Google Interviews
There are no shortcuts and magic wands when it comes to cracking the interviews. You need to practice well especially for handling the coding challenges.
Here are some of the basic tips that can help you in preparing much better.
It includes :
Make Sure To Keep Time In Mind
The coding interview is going to be timed, so it is important that you do your preparation like that.
If you are using this, you are preparing under the time constraint. And it will be less stressful during the actual interview.
Know What Are Your Weak Spots
When you are preparing, you will find some areas where you are not doing well. It’s important that you be aware of your weak spots.
Everyone has those, Google even stated that they care only about the thought process. So if you are coming up against a weak spot, make sure to talk about it.
This will help you in demonstrating your eagerness to be better and improve.
Know Your Common Pitfalls
There are three biggest pitfalls when you are going for an interview with Google.
It includes: ‘
- Not knowing the big O complexity of the algorithm
- Having no idea of what Google has expectations
- Nott articulates the process of problem-solving
Well, these are the basics that you need to consider, also when you are going for the interview, make sure you are aware of your common pitfalls.
Articulate The Process Of Yours
Google wants to hear what you are thinking about. As you do the practice, it’s important that you are comfortable with explaining what and why you are doing it.
When you have a clear sense of how they are working and standing out. It’s better to do the explanation while you do it.
What Should You Expect From a Behavioral Interview?
Behavioral interviews at Google will test how the candidate acts in employment related to the situations or the conflicts including the positive and negative.
A behavioral interview helps in deciding if the person is willing to work with someone or not. With these questions, you will get the chance to reflect on your past performance.
Also with that, the interview asks for freelancing on past performances and their behaviors for gaining a sense of how they are acting even if there is pressure.
And it helps in understanding the candidate’s professionalism.
Well here are three types of questions that you might expect, including :
- Past experiences
- Hypothetical situations
How Should You Prepare For The Google Behavioral Interviews?
Well, Google has outlined steps which are divided into eight steps for their behavioral interview questions.
You can study this and it can help you in keeping your preparation better and improving the answers.
Well, it includes :
Predicting The Future
You can anticipate most of the questions that you might get asked.
Well, you have the resources that you get online and offline which can help you in answering.
Write the answer down, practice with strategy, and don’t wing with the behavioral questions.
Think back about the work as the intern and doing the past experience,
You need to write down the examples which are especially notable accomplishments.
Make Sure You Have Backup Plan
Google recommends having three answers for each question.
This can help you in having diverse and interesting answers.
Also, you have more freeways to tailor the answers depending on the questions.
Google asks their candidate for explaining their thoughts on the process and making decisions.
So you need to give an explanation of what you are doing as it will state the assumption and processing helps you in standing out.
Make Sure You Are Data-Driven
Google looks for the answers which are related directly to the change, demonstrating skill and insoluble growth,
And to represent this, it’s advisable that you are data-driven and add these to your answers.
You need to use open-ended questions. This helps in offering insight into the value and adding your thoughts of yours as a candidate.
Well, Google encourages their candidates and employees to focus on what can help them in improving. so you can start with the brute force answer, but once you are getting comfortable can help you in improving the process.
Google encourages you to practice more and do it out loud for constructing the answers which are clear.
Ask a friend to help you in conducting the mock interview or recording yourself to answer the questions.
Tips On Cracking The Google Interview
Cracking Google interviews is no joke, however, with the right preparation you can help yourself in doing better preparation.
This helps you in keeping much more comfortable and ready for the interview.
To help yourself, here are the tips that you can use.
Learn As Much As YOu Can
Just like any other interview that you would do, this will also include learning.
You need to know about the Google interview process, and what it includes.
Don’t go misinformed and it will derail the preparation.
Start with the right sources on finding out how google does the hiring, you can check their own sites and with all of those resources, you will know how you can use it.
Also, there are different interviews, you can check how people gave interviews with google and how they went.
Put An Benchmark To Yourself
When you know how you are going to prepare, you need to know where you are right now.
You can use CTCI, take a couple of questions from sections and solve them. Keep track of time and how long you need to find the solutions.
If and only if you are solving the problems on your own, then you need to find out how you did.
This will give you a helpful sign of where you stand, and how far you need to go.
With that it can help in doing better preparation, giving you insight into what is working in your favor and what is not.
Make A List Of Study Materials And Everything
Use the data that you have gotten so far. Now you need to prioritize and make a list out of that as it will help you in knowing what you need to study.
The list you make includes these points :
- Make sure to sort out two good algorithms and their big o.
- Memorizing the binary search.
- Memorizing how to implement the basic data structures such as stack, linked list, hashmap, queues, and trees along with their Big O complexities.
- Memorizing the graph traversal algorithms including BFS, DFS, and short path algorithms such as Dijkstra’s.
- Learning the powers of 2
- Practicing a few manipulation exercises working with the bit maps and shifting.
- Learning Object-Oriented Programming Terminologies, such as abstraction, inheritance, cohesion, and coupling.
- Know the collections as math APIs for the programming language.
- Reviewing principles of basic discrete statistics and mathematics.
- Doing the recursion, backtracking, and memoization.
Make Sure To Practice Algorithms And Data Structure Daily
Pick at least two or three items from the list and commit about two or three hours each day to work on it.
Find a way where you can set the time for practicing algorithms and data structuring. As you memorize things, you need to test yourself by writing them out using paper and a whiteboard.
Write down the BIG O worst-case along with time and space complexities for the algorithm that you have done.
Make sure you are checking your work, always.
Once you are done, you need to copy it to IDE and compile it. Take note if there is any compilation error that you should avoid next time.
Here you can create the unit test which can help in verifying the code correctness.
Keep doing this so you can transcribe and compile the code without any syntactical or logical errors.
Take As Many Questions You Can Regarding Programming
By now you have an idea of how you should be handling the skills that you need for succeeding during the interview.
Start with CTCI, and focus on tackling every single problem you get regarding the programming.
Devote around half of your study time while you spend the other half reviewing the item.
Also, you can practice with another person, it can be technical or non-technical, here you need to ask them if :
- You are looked as well as sounded relaxed
- You looked like someone who is a disciplined problem solver
- You kept thinking out loud when you were in the process.
Relax And Get Some Sleep
Now once you are done with all the hard work, there is nothing else that you can do. so it’s better to relax and get some rest.
Also, it’s important for the interview, to have a fresh mind and a relaxed way of handling errors.
When you are tired and too exhausted, it gets more difficult to focus. Not just that, you look tired and give the wrong impression to the interviewer.
So try to get some good sleep and trust in your preparation.