Google Interview -- Q&A or just A...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Forum' started by czerdrill, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. czerdrill

    czerdrill Silver Member

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    Alright, I've been meaning to write this up for a while. Thought it would be a good resource for some people who may be interested in working for Google. Let me preface this by saying I can't give super specifics as I was required to fill out a non disclosure, however I can give you guys the general idea of what to expect. Mods you can move this to an appropriate section if necessary (maybe off topic?), wasn't sure where to put it. Or you can just delete it haha...

    Ok, back story, I was thinking one day "it would be cool to work for Google" so I went to their website and applied for a position. Really just in passing, not expecting anything either way. So I was pretty surprised when a recruiter contacted me saying they wanted to know more about me, and had me fill out a little questionnaire on my experiences and knowledge of subjects like networking, programming, windows, mac, linux, mobile and general troubleshooting. I'm pretty well versed in all but mac so I thought maybe I have some kind of chance. Sure enough a couple of days later the recruiter wrote back saying they wanted to schedule a phone interview and asked my days of availability. My first thought was "no way" haha, but I told her when I was free and the interview was scheduled for that day.

    The phone interview took place on April 22. I was kinda nervous, I much prefer doing face to face interviews because I could at least gauge by the interviewer's reactions what they thought. The interview was to take place from 4:00-4:45PM. The phone rang around 4:05 and the it began. First he asked me a couple of "getting to know you" questions about my experiences, my education etc. After that he got into the nitty gritty. Let me say it was extremely technical. You have to know your stuff. Don't expect any "where do you see yourself in 5 years" type questions. Google wants someone who knows what they're talking about or at the very least give off that impression that you know haha. Can't get into specifics, but when the interview ended he said a recruiter would be contacting me once he provided feedback.

    Now, I'm not going to lie and pretend I aced that interview. There were plenty of spots where I stuttered, and even spots where I flat out said "I don't know". TBH, after I hung up I thought "no chance I get called again". Not because I didn't know my stuff, but because I did mess up on some parts. The tough part is, as I mentioned, I wasn't able to gauge any reaction, and he didnt provide any real feedback during the interview itself. (No, "yep you're right", or "no you're wrong").

    Five painful days later, I got another email. They wanted an on-site interview! My first thought now was "no FREAKIN' way!" haha...the fact that I got one made me realize that they may not necessarily be looking for right or wrong answers (because I did have wrong ones) but moreso how your thought process works. They want someone analytical and someone who can be presented with something and come up with a feasible solution. My advice to anyone who interviews would be not to worry too much about giving textbook answers, but make sure you know how to "sell your solution" to the problems they pose. They like creativity, and not some nerd who recites their college textbooks.

    Now it was moving along fast. Before the on-site they made me fill out a full application, more non-disclosures as well as submitting transcripts and work experience (they're apparently big on education...harsh, but i doubt if you got your degree with a 2.9 GPA you'll get the job). My on-site was scheduled for May 13th in Mountain View, CA. One line in the email really appealed to me: "Leave your suit at home"...awesome, I hate dressing up. Regardless, I emailed the recruiter and she told me just wear khakis and a dress shirt. Done.

    Their travel agency contacted me a couple days later, and arranged to fly me out, provided a rental car and a hotel for the interview. The lodging is not a Motel 6. It was an awesome hotel room, more like a suite, complete with a living room, huge TV, and a king size bed. I arrived in Cali the night before, at like 2 AM and my interview was scheduled from 10AM - 1:30PM. Didn't really sleep, was flipping channels till about 5AM and I guess I fell asleep some time after that.

    Woke up at 8, strangely not tired, more excited then anything I guess. The Google office was about 10 minutes from the hotel, so I had time to go over some material I had bought with me to brush up on some stuff I may need.

    I arrived at the offices around 9:45 and was told to wait in the lobby and my first interviewer would be down to get me at 10. At exactly 10 they came down. My first interview was two interviewers and they took me upstairs to the main office. Just as a side note, everyone was wearing jeans, or shorts, and T-shirts and sandals. Awesomeness haha.

    The first interview went well. Again, technical stuff, but the interviewers were cool and we had a pretty good rapport and back and forth. It wasn't tense or anything and I felt pretty relaxed. It lasted about 45 minutes. Now here's an important part. At the end they did ask "do you have any questions", which I knew they would, so I asked a couple. What I didn't anticipate was that every interviewer would ask me that at the end of their interviewers (I know, I should have anticipated that), so I ended up running out of questions to ask haha. Word of advice, make sure you have a few questions to ask and try to separate them throughout the day.

    The second interview started right after. This time it was one guy. Again, a cool guy, very friendly. This interview was definitely the toughest though. This one consisted of "what would you do" scenarios, and it's definitely one where they try to gauge how analytical you are. Again, I found myself stuttering in this one, so I didn't feel too great after the second interview. This one also was about 45 minutes.

    After that it was lunch time. My interview was Friday, the 13th (haha), and on Fridays they have Taco Fridays. Just as an aside they have their own chef everyday cooking different things daily. Fridays just happened to be Taco day. I was taken to lunch by a third person, and this one was more of a "casual" interview. In other words, getting to know you. Again, I had a good rapport with the interviewer and there was no tension or anything. It was more like two friends eating lunch. After lunch, she took me on a tour of the campus, and let me tell you, it is as awesome as everyone has heard. Very, very relaxed work environment. One area had a 150inch projection screen and some Googlers were playing Xbox. Another one people were watching a soccer game. People were riding their Google issued bicycles around the campus. Everyone was super friendly. Definitely a fun place to work. There is food stations everywhere. Literally. Apparently their philosophy is that you must always be within 150ft of food at all times. All free, all great food, snacks, drinks. There's an arcade, a foosball table, a pool table, a babysitting service for mothers, a car wash, barber shop, oil change haha. It has it all. It's not an office, it's like a resort.

    After lunch, I had my fourth interview. Another 45 minute one. This one was mostly about my qualifications. I was a little dismayed because they asked a bunch of questions about Macs which I didn't know much about, and did say "I don't know" for a couple. Other things asked were about Linux and Windows.

    That one ended around 1:30 and the final interviewer walked me out and told me that the recruiter would be in touch once everyone got their feedback together and made a decision.

    One week later, got the bad news, that I didnt get the job. I'm not going to lie and say "it was an honor to just be interviewed" because it sucked that i didn't get it haha, but it definitely was an awesome experience. I think where I may have messed up might have been in that second interview with the "what would you do" scenarios. Again, they're not necessarily looking for the right or wrong answer, just something to prove you can solve something given a problem, but they didn't really provide feedback as to why I wasn't chosen.

    Anyway, I guess the moral is, if you want to work for them, definitely apply. don't think "there's no way they'll hire me", because I thought the same thing and I made it all the way to an on-site. And know your stuff. You can't get away with not preparing for the interview because the stuff they ask is not stuff that you can hope to wing. Sure, you don't need to be 100% right, but you have to have at the very least intermediate knowledge of all subjects, and most preferably expert knowledge.

    Oh and btw, there were no "google questions" like you might read online like "how many windows are in nyc" or something like that. that doesn't necessarily mean they dont ask those questions, but just that i wasn't asked any. Again, those are just for analytic purposes.

    Sorry for the long post, just figured I'd provide some advice for those interested in applying. Any questions, just ask. Or just take the knowledge I've bestowed haha...:icon_ banana:
     
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  2. Card

    Card Member

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    Good post! I've always heard and read that Google is one of the best companies to work for in the world.

    Sucks you didn't get the job though...
     
  3. czerdrill

    czerdrill Silver Member

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    yeah it sucks, and it definitely would have been amazing to work for them. the interviewers genuinely looked like they loved what they did as well as everyone else there
     
  4. cp2dec1

    cp2dec1 New Member

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    Wow, that was a great story. Stories like this makes me wanna hurry up and finish off with school and stay applying to these big companies.

    Been a member on here for a while and never posted or replied to anything, but this post forced me to.

    Congratulations on getting as far as you did. You might as well try facebook next.

    Sent from my DROIDX using DroidForums
     
  5. czerdrill

    czerdrill Silver Member

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    haha yep, i was considering facebook actually just havent gotten around to that yet. if that fails, i'll try yahoo haha. hey the worst that'll happen is you dont get it, and the experience was great regardless.
     
  6. OneTenderRebel

    OneTenderRebel Silver Member

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    That's pretty awesome! Great life experience if nothing else.
     
  7. czerdrill

    czerdrill Silver Member

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    Yes, but not getting the job still sucked! haha
     
  8. CKD2

    CKD2 Member

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    Thanks so much for sharing man. I usually shy away from long posts but that was a cool read. Sorry about the job but congrats on having the stones to go all the way.
    Nicely done. Makes me super jealous of those lucky baztards working for the big G.
    What a life!

    MOD EDIT- LANGUAGE
     
  9. czerdrill

    czerdrill Silver Member

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    I agree man. When I was there i thought it was unreal how much fun everyone was having haha... Awesome environment without a doubt
     
  10. jstafford1

    jstafford1 DF Super Moderator Rescue Squad

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    Moved off topic.....but wow that is a good story. If they flew you out you must have impressed a little. I say keep at it. Maybe apply again at a later time. Keep letting them know you're interested. Good luck either way, although with google+ facebook might be on the way out ;)

    end of line...
     
  11. czerdrill

    czerdrill Silver Member

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    haha yeah facebook might turn into the next myspace...lol. nah i kid, facebook isn't going anywhere i'm sure but google+ will definitely be making huge strides.
     
  12. OneTenderRebel

    OneTenderRebel Silver Member

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    Now to go off topic some more......

    I don't think Google+ will ever take down Facebook simply due to the fact that so many older people like 45+ who took the time to make a Facebook page and learn how to use it will not want to repeat that process with Google+. Facebook has become far too big a monster to overcome, IMO.
     
  13. czerdrill

    czerdrill Silver Member

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    Yeah no chance that Google+ will take down facebook, it's too big, I mean 700M people?? That's insane. I think they'll both exist in their own happy niches haha
     
  14. screaminz2002

    screaminz2002 Member

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    Very cool experience. Thanks for telling that.

    And to be off topic: I would think it will depend on how computers change and what happens with continued free data exchange on the web. Moving more web based would certainly help Google play catchup. They have enough products to make a very good user starting point. And really Facebook seems to not be advancing or trying to be innovative anymore. Neither one would be knocked off overnight anyway.
     
  15. Droidlovinyogi

    Droidlovinyogi Member

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    Great post! Thanks for sharing your experience and big ups to you for going after it. Stay on it!


    I’m going to have my 14 and 16 year old read this.
     
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