Work With A Google Interview Coach
The GCA round of the Google interview process can be tricky, even with lots of prep under your belt.
One of the most effective ways to prepare for these questions is with interview coaching.
Exponent has partnered with several Google interview coaches who can give you an inside look into the company’s hiring process while giving you expert advice on your potential interview performance.
Book a session today with:
Google Gca Behavioral Interview Questions
In most cases, you’ll find that Google GCA questions will be in the form of behavioral questions.
You’ll be asked behaviorals in one way or another during every tech interview.
Still, GCA behavioral questions may focus more on situations that demonstrate how you think on the job.
In other parts of the interview, Google interviewers will also ask these questions to gauge your culture fit at the company. You can learn more about that in the article below:
Here are some examples of Google GCA behavioral questions:
Which Skills Do You Use To Cope With Stressful Situations
Can your candidates draw upon their cognitive skills to handle stressful situations? Your applicants may mention that cognitive sub-skills such as collaboration, interpersonal skills, or communication skills make it easier to handle stressful situations and get support for complex projects from team members.
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Study Up On And Remember Basic Facts
The first step in preparing for GCA estimation questions is studying and remembering basic facts and figures.
These basic figures can come in handy later when attempting to make some reasonable estimations.
We’ve compiled a list of some important ones you should try to memorize for your GCA interviews. Check those out here in our Estimation Fact Sheet.
This doesn’t mean you should try memorizing as many facts and figures as possible. After all, Google interviewers aren’t assessing your memorization abilities for these interview questions.
Estimation questions during your GCA evaluate how you think, so simply reciting remembered figures won’t do you any favors.
Google Gca Hypothetical Interview Questions
One unique aspect of the Google GCA is that some of the behavioral interview questions you’ll be asked are about hypothetical scenarios.
Of course, all behavioral interview questions are designed to gauge how candidates would perform in their position if hired. So, naturally, Google interviewers will ask you how you’d act or react in a given situation.
When it comes to the GCA round, you may find that these makeup most of the questions you are asked.
Here are some examples:
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Cognitive Ability Interview Questions Related To Teamwork
It is critical to understand how your applicants use their cognitive abilities to work as part of a team. Ask your candidates these cognitive ability interview questions related to teamwork to learn more about this.
Have You Ever Had To Motivate Other Team Members Which Strategies Did You Use
Applicants should know that interpersonal skills can help them motivate team members, as can problem-solving skills. Can your candidates give an example of how these two cognitive ability sub-skills helped them encourage and support a team member during a difficult project or task?
For instance, a lead peer code reviewer may need to use interpersonal skills to motivate team members when looking for mistakes.
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Have You Ever Mentored A New Hire Which Cognitive Skills Helped You Through The Process
Employees cognitive skills can be crucial when they mentor new hires. Do your applicants have the right problem-solving, interpersonal, and critical-thinking skills to assist new hires and help them get accustomed to a new role?
For example, an engineering manager may need to use critical thinking skills to remove blockers when mentoring and supporting new hires.
Example Answer: Tell Me About A Challenge Or Conflict You Faced At A Past Job
Now that you know some approaches for answering behavioral questions, let’s look at a full example. Well use one of Googles most frequently asked questions.
Try answering the question below following your preferred method. Play both the role of the interviewer and the candidate. Write down your answer, then practice saying it out loud before going through our example response. Once youve finished, compare your response to our example to fill in any gaps in your story.
Try this question:
Tell me about a challenge or conflict you faced at a past job
Well use the IGotAnOffer method described above and answer as if interviewing for a product manager job at Google. You will find our proposed answer to the question below.
Notice that the question asks for a past challenge OR conflict, which lets you choose what youd like to highlight in your answer. If you choose a past challenge, this would be a good way to show off your leadership and problem-solving skills. However in this case, weve chosen to focus on a past conflict, which well use to display conflict-resolution and collaboration skills.
For a sample answer to the past challenge question instead, take a look here.
As this question isnt necessarily about a specific role, it allows you to describe a variety of situations. Well use a generic example, but you should of course use an example from your own work experience.
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Top Most Common Google Interview Questions And Answers
Google job interviews tend to be amongst the most difficult in the world. The process can consist of multiple rounds with each stage of the interview providing a different set of challenging google interview questions, from behavioural questions, strength based questions, open ended questions to technical, case studies, hypothetical and finally questions that assess your googleyness! Therefore when it comes your interviews then your Google interview preparation has to be on point!So how do you ace a Google interview? Well, by going through all the key points in this blog article youll definitely be one step closer!
Google Interview Process + Interview Questions
Every detail about the Google interview process & 100+ interview questions.
Landing one of the most enviable jobs in tech is 26 times harder than getting into Harvard University: Googles acceptance rate is 0.2%, while Harvards is 5.2%.
The search engine giant on-boarded 20,000 new hires in 2019 — shortlisted from over two million applications. Google was poised for similar growth this year, but has cut back on hiring and other nonessential expenditures as it faces an advertising slump from the pandemic.
That said, Googles careers site currently boasts over 1,000 open positions worldwide.
In other good news, Google axed those infamous brain teaser interview questions in 2013 after internal data showed they were a weak predictor of job competency, and served primarily to make the interviewer feel smart.
Now that you know what won’t be asked, let’s talk a little more about what will. This guide will answer all your burning questions about Google’s interview process, and what you can do to prepare.
Try it out:
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Google Gca Interview Questions
Now that weve explored the Google GCA interview and what you can expect, lets get into some example GCA questions that have been asked in past interviews.
As we mentioned before, there are two types of questions that come up in GCA interviews:
- Behavioral questions, usually starting with tell me about a time, which test your alignment with the role based on examples from your past experience
- Hypothetical questions,which explore how you would react to hypothetical scenarios that are likely to come up on the job
Weve divided the sample questions below into these two categories. These questions come from real interview reports from past candidates on Glassdoor, as well as from Google and its own recruiters. Note that some questions have been edited for grammar or clarity.
Complete Some Mock Interviews
There’s no shame in admitting that an upcoming Google interview makes you nervous. Considering how competitive and massive the tech giant is, we wouldn’t blame you for feeling some nerves on your big day.
Nevertheless, while understandable, if you’re too nervous during your GCA interview, you may not put your best foot forward.
Before you go for your actual interview, we recommend completing some mock interviews to help build your confidence ahead of time.
You can do so today using our peer-to-peer mock interview platform that allows you to complete mocks with one of the thousands of Exponent members.
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Tips To Impress Your Interviewer
Finally, before we move on to some interview prep resources, we’d like to give you five helpful tips to keep in mind.
Tip #1: Get used to setting up the situation in 30 seconds or less
Use a timer while you practice to ensure you provide only necessary information. Spending too much time on the Situation step is one of the most common mistakes candidates make.
Tip #2: Stay focused on essential details
Interviewers hear a lot of behavioral stories a day. If you go into unnecessary details you are likely to lose their attention. Share your stories with a few different people before your interview and ask them what details they would suggest cutting.
Tip #3: Be proud and talk about YOU
This is not the time to be shy about your accomplishments. Concentrate on your impact, not what the team did. Not talking about YOU enough is another common mistake we see with a lot of candidates.
Tip #4: Adapt to follow up questions
Dont be alarmed if your interviewer asks follow up questions this is perfectly normal. Listen carefully to the way your interviewer is asking these questions, as there will often be a subtle clue about the specific skills theyre looking to assess from the next part of your answer.
Tip #5: Explain how failure made you better
When talking about failure, dont try to hide your mistakes or frame a weakness as a strength. Instead, show what you learned and how you grew from the failure.
Break Down The Problem Into Smaller Pieces
Remember: estimation interview questionsassess how you think, much like the rest of the GCA.
As such, you’ll need to explain and outline the structure you use to answer the question for the most effective answer.
Once you’ve clarified the scope of the question, you’ll need to break down the problem into smaller pieces and explain why you are doing so.
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Explain Why You Could Or Are Wrong
While you may have provided an estimated answer to the question, you’re not entirely done yet!
As we said, these questions aren’t looking for exact answers because let’s face it, your answer is almost certainly wrong.
So, once you provide your estimate, you should also mention how or why it could be wrong. Then, explain to your interviewer if the number you provided is likely overestimated or underestimated.
Mention some other factors you could have considered to find a more accurate figure.
How To Ace The Google Gca Interview
During your upcoming Google interview, there will be a critical round called the GCA, or General Cognitive Ability, interview.
As the name suggests, GCA interview rounds assess your general cognitive abilities, thought processes, and approach to solving problems. As such, they will typically be in the form of behavioral, hypothetical, or estimation questions .
Despite the importance of this part of the , they are typically difficult to prepare for many candidates.
You’ll still need to ace this section if you hope to receive a job offer at the end of your Google interviews.
So, to help you do that, we’ve prepared this guide to dive deeply into the challenging GCA interview at Google.
Let’s get to it!
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How Long Is The Interview Process
Historically, Googles infamous interview process involved 15-25 interviews over a period of 6-9 months. It has since been whittled down to 4-9 interviews over a period of about two months, consisting of a phone screen and onsite interviews.
According to Indeed, nearly 40% of hires are headhunted by recruiters, while 22% apply through online job boards. Some recruiters say over 80% of hires come in through sourcing or referrals!
Learn About Googles Culture
Many candidates fail to do this. But you should take the time to make sure it’s actually the right company for you, and to gain insights about the company that will help you during the interview process.
If you know people who work at Google or used to work there, talk to them to understand what the culture is like. In addition, we would recommend reading the following resources:
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Google Interviews Whats That All About Gca
Google has a reputation for having a high bar for entry. This, of course, is something you can afford when you are such a giant capable of impacting almost every individuals life on earth.
Having worked in Google for 11 years and having been an interview coach for 2 years, I have encountered countless numbers of cases where candidates struggle to bring out their best performance during the interviews. Out of the 4 areas you are being evaluated, you can do good in Role Related Knowledge, Leadership or Googliness. The hiring committee can be slightly flexible, in those areas but not when it comes to General Cognitive Abilities .
You basically have to prove that you are smart and capable of solving problems possibly nobody has faced before. In an ever-changing environment, what you specialize in can be obsolete in a few years. Interviewers want to make sure that you have the problem-solving skills to embrace change, strive in ambiguity and resolve potential conflicts, etc. The survival of the smartest is real within the walls of big G.
Within those 4 areas, Googlers ask 2 types of questions: Behavioral & Hypothetical. Behavioral questions focus on your past experience and are easier to prepare for. An example could be Tell me a time when you failed. Get some shiny examples from your experience, practice and you are mostly ready.
Over time I have gathered some simple but effective ways to prep candidates for GCA questions. Here are some tips:
What Is A Behavioral Interview At Google
Google uses behavioral interviews to assess job candidates based on their past experiences. These questions typically start with Tell me about a time you and focus on soft skills such as: leadership, communication, teamwork, problem solving, etc.
To round out your preparation, we’ve also included some resume, HR, and hypothetical questions such as “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “how would you…?” in this article. As these are real questions that have been reported by past candidates, we want to make sure you’re ready for anything.
These questions will appear at every step of the and Google Cloud Platform, from the initial recruiter screen all the way through to the onsite interviews. They may even appear as icebreaker or transition questions during technical screens. The frequency and type of behavioral questions will vary per role, but be prepared for many.
For more information on the process for a specific role, consult one of our comprehensive interview guides below:
Now, what will your interviewers be looking out for?
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What Exactly Is Google Looking For
Google evaluates its candidates on four main attributes: Role-Related Knowledge , General Cognitive Ability , Leadership, and Googleyness.
Heres an overview of each of these attributes:
These attributes are assessed across the interview process, most notably during the final onsite or virtual loop.
In some cases, candidates final interviews are explicitly labeled with these attributes .
Now lets take a closer look at GCA interviews and interview questions.