Do Coding Interview Questions While You’re Learning
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Start doing coding interview questions while you’re learning data structures and algorithms.
You need to apply what you’re learning to solving problems, or you’ll forget. I made this mistake.
Once you’ve learned a topic, and feel somewhat comfortable with it, for example, linked lists:
Keep doing problems while you’re learning all this stuff, not after.
You’re not being hired for knowledge, but how you apply the knowledge.
There are many resources for this, listed below. Keep going.
Interview Questions At Google
In preparation, you can expect discussions around the following topics:
- Product design Thinking creatively/critically about products eg, how to monetize twitter, how to change Gmail, design an app for the Louvre. Give feedback and analysis on features , technical design, UI design.
- Product strategy Understand Googles competitive landscape and discuss the vision for Google, the mobile market, the ad market, the internet, and technology in general. Discuss long term product roadmaps & strategies to increase market share.
- Trends An awareness of the technical trends which are gathering momentum will be a useful tool in your interview arsenal. You may be asked which emerging trend is the most interesting to you, and if youre not asked directly, you can pepper answers to other questions with your knowledge.
- Analytical May be a market analysis, problem solving or brain teaser question, eg. How would you store all the phone calls in the world? Most important is attention to detail and communication of how youd break the problem into smaller nuggets to reach an overall solution.
- Technical You could be asked architecture/design or conceptual questions . Possibly even an algorithm/coding question or two.
Weeks 9 & 10 System Design Interviews
System design interviews are now an integral part of the software engineering interview process particularly if you are applying for a senior role. These interviews have a significant impact on your hiring level.
Learn distributed systems concepts like Cap Theorem, Consistency, Partitioning, Load-Balancing etc.
Look at the course Grokking the System Design Interview for more design interview practice.
As part of your System Design Interviews, you are asked to design a web-scale service. Interviewers are interested in evaluating your ability to describe the different parts of a scale-able service, such as:
- How are web-servers load-balanced?
- How are large files stored?
- How is the network set up for redundancy and maximum throughput?
Youll want to practice questions like:
- Design Instagram
Check out my article the Top 10 System Design Interview Questions for Software Engineers for more example questions, tips, and resources for the System Design Interview.
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More Google Interview Questions
As mentioned above, Google hires professionals for a variety of departments. Not everyone is going to face the same questions, as some only make sense for specific roles.
Here are 27 more Google interview questions you might face, depending on the job youre trying to land:
How Much Time To Really Put In
I think it bears mentioning that if you have MORE than four weeks, then by all means, you should put more in. The most important part of this article is not the study plan for four weeks. Rather, among other things, it is:
- The material you should cover,
- The importance of problem solving skills,
- How to be methodical and establish a routine
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Cracking The Google Coding Interview: The Definitive Prep Guide
Note: This post was originally published in 2020 has been updated as of Oct. 28, 2021
Passing the Google interview is any software developers dream. This interview is the ultimate test of your technical prowess and requires not luck or shortcuts but hard work and preparation. Luckily, Google is very transparent about their expectations for candidates. The more you know about Googles process and company culture, the more likely you are to succeed. So today, well take a deep dive into their coding and behavioral interview process to show you how to crack the interview.
Today we will go over the following:
Common Google Interview Questions And Answers
1. What is your favorite Google product, and how would you improve it?
Possible Answer: My favorite Google product is Google Maps. Its helped me find my way when Ive been lost either in town or on my travels, and I love how it shows me where theres traffic or other potential sources of delays. To improve it, I would offer customers a paid, live map version that doesnt require data to see paths to certain areas. This will help people traveling in remote communities, without access to data.
Note: Have fun with this question! We added a product example, but there are so many to choose from for this answer.
2. Briefly explain the difference between coding and programming.
Answer: Coding strictly refers to writing code for implementing a solution to a problem. Programming, although wrongly used interchangeably with coding, is a wider process that involves coding as well as coming up with an approach for solving a particular problem and other program development tasks like testing.
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Why The Text Books
Now, I need to address the all-important question of why do recruiters, interviewers, and advocates constantly badger us about sticking to the good old textbooks, instead of having us do what engineers do best: use technology to solve our problems. At most companies, having something like “Spring” or “Apache Storm” on your resume is a great boost, and sometimes even mandatory. You are sometimes even asked very specific and pedantic questions about these technologies. Companies like Google, though, simply don’t care.
What they are there to evaluate is how well can you solve problems, in a very contained environment, using the most basic tools at your disposal, namely, algorithms, data structures, and systems design.
Therefore, focusing on these textbooks will hone your skills in applying these tools of trade to the problems in their most abstract form: you are not going to bother about thinking whether or not a particular technology is suitable to solving a given problem rather, you will be forced to think your way through modeling a given problem into its most basic algorithmic form, applying the algorithms you have learned, and finally testing the solution.
You will be evaluated on your problem-solving skills, which to be honest, is the only part of your experience that you will take with you to Google . The CI tools you are used to, the technologies, the conventions, and even the techniques, will for the most part be irrelevant to how things are done at Google.
Why Do Behavioral Interviews Matter
Acing the technical interview is obviously important, but the behavioral interview is just as critical if you want to stand out as a desirable candidate. Technical skills are replaceable, after all. What really makes you hireable must go beyond those skills to something else. This insight into your behavior and capacity for self-reflection may be the thing that makes or breaks you in the job hunt.
A hiring team wants to bring someone on board who will make their lives easier and who will fit in with the company. Behavioral interviews are a vital determining factor. They are even used for reducing legal risks, implementing policies of equality, and building fulfilling work environments.
Its a common misconception in the tech world that soft skills are less important than technical skills. The reality is quite the opposite: soft skills are often the determining factor for hiring a candidate. Soft skills will make or break you as a potential hire.
They demonstrate longevity, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work on a team. In fact, soft skills are one of the only ways to stand out to non-developers on the hiring committee, who may not be familiar with the technical skills you bring to the table. Behavioral interviews matter just as much as your coding interviews, so, its time to prepare!
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Skills Required To Work As A Product Manager At Google
- Previous experience as a Product Manager. Google has an agnostic interview process in which they aim to hire generalists that can easily float through different product lines such as consumer, mobile, enterprise or platform to name a few. That being said, you dont need to study an MBA in order to work at Google.
- Technical background. Google is an engineering-driven company and appreciates that product managers are former engineers or have a proven track record working with engineers. That being said, you dont need to hold a Computer science degree in order to work at Google.
- Previous startup experience. Google operates as a big startup made out of smaller startups. Having past experience either as a startup founder or early employee in a fast-growing startup are definitely a big bonus points. That being said, you dont need to try to create a company if your goal is to work at Google.
How To Answer Google Interview Questions
Before we dig into some examples, lets take a moment to talk about how you should answer Google interview questions. After all, Google has a reputation for asking some strange ones, many of which felt more like brain teasers than real interview questions.
Do you feel adequately prepared to talk about how many golf balls it would take to fill up a school bus?
The mere idea of facing off against a question like that would rightfully leave any candidate nervous.
Now, some of the questions were deemed so difficult that the company eventually banned them.Plus, there is evidence that these bizarre hypotheticals dont actually lead to better hiring, which may be why you dont see as many of those tricks today.
So, that means you dont have to worry, right? Well, no.
Even if youre only going to face normal interview questions, that doesnt mean you shouldnt have a strategy. Its also important to prepare, increasing the odds that youll impress during your Google interview.
Lets start with the basics. If you want to stand out for all of the right reasons, research is your friend. Start by scouring over the Google job description. That way, you can learn the ins and outs of what the hiring manager needs to find, giving you all of the foundational tools you need to incorporate the right details into your answers.
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Google Coding Interview Recap
The entire Google interview process takes around two months to complete and consists of five interviews in total. For the interviews, there will primarily be three question formats: system design, general analysis, and technical skills.
Prescreen: The first interview consists of a prescreening with a Google employee, which will last 45 – 60 minutes. In this interview, the interviewer will test you on your knowledge of data structures and algorithms.
On-site interviews: If you past the prescreen, you will be invited to an on-site interview, in which you will be interviewed by 4-6 employees for 45 minutes each. These interviews will more rigorously test your knowledge of data structures and algorithms. Typically, you will be writing code on a Google Doc or whiteboard.
Based on your performance, you will be scored on a scale between 1 and 4, with 3 being the minimum threshold to hire.
Overall, Google wants to test your technical and logical application of computer science. Here are some popular topics to review before your interview:
Coding & Algorithm Interview
Google software engineers solve some of the most difficult problems the company faces with code. It’s therefore essential that they have strong problem solving skills. This is the part of the interview where you want to show that you think in a structured way and write code that’s accurate, bug-free, and fast.
Here are the most common question types asked in Google coding interviews and their frequency. Please note the list below excludes system design and behavioral questions, which we’ll cover later in this article.
Below, we’ve listed common examples used at Google for each of these different question types. To make these questions easier to study, we’ve modified the phrasing to match the closest problem on Leetcode or another resource, and we’ve linked to a free solution.
In addition, we recommend looking at the list of former coding interview questions and the interview tips that Google makes available. These questions aren’t used by the company anymore but are still useful for practice.
Example coding questions asked at Google
1. Graphs / Trees
2. Arrays / Strings
3. Dynamic Programming
5. Geometry / Math
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Google Coding Interview Questions: Top 18 Questions Explained
Landing a tech job at Google is no easy feat. Like other large tech giants, Googles software engineering interview process is comprehensive and difficult, requiring weeks of preparation and practice. So, how can you prepare for the coding interview? What interview questions should prepare for?
Today well revisit our Google Coding interview series and breakdown 18 common interview questions asked by Google recruiters.
Today well cover the following:
What About Mock Interviews
Mock interviews are great, but not very helpful for short-term plans. Imagine going for a mock interview a week before your actual interview. If you did well, it would reaffirm your plan, but also waste a whole day. If you did poorly, you wouldn’t really have the time to course-correct. But that’s just my opinion, and I am sure that many people would disagree. Even I ended up doing mock interviews of a sort, with my wife stating questions, letting me rephrase, observing me while I solved, giving out hints from the book when I was stuck, and finally helping me compare the solution to that of the book.
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The Day Of The Interview
The day of the interview is extremely important . Try to wake up a little earlier the day before, so that you have ample time to rest the following night after finishing your exercises. When you wake up, do stretches, meditate, or do whatever it takes to relax your mind. Bring your mind to focus using one of the methods I mentioned in the section “It’s All in the Routine“. Then, revisit a few of the problems you thought were particularly interesting from the CtCI or PIE books.
Try to remember the solution or rethink it. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you bring your mind into a problem-solving mode. It shouldn’t be too difficult if you have spent the majority of your free time for the past week and a half focusing on solving interview problems.
Eat a light and nutritious breakfast. Fruit, vegetables, or anything else that works for you.
If possible, arrive there about 30 minutes earlier. This gives you time to get past the initial nervousness of getting to a new place. Then, look around, get comfortable, and do a last-minute review of your notes. This is where the notes being in pocket size format comes in handy. I was able to cover all of CLRS in the 20 minutes I was sitting there.
Finally, these tidbits might help you:
Ux Engineer Interview Questions
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Study Hard Prior To Your Interview:
To avoid any embarrassment it is important to make sure that you keep yourself updated with various important programs pertaining to computer science. Some subjects that you should look into include- Algorithms, coding and data structure.
Even if you think that you have sound technical knowledge in the field it is important to practice. If the interviewer notices that you are fumbling, making silly mistakes or not being able to answer simple questions then he will naturally assume that you will not be fit for the job. One book that you can look into is The Algorithm Design Manual by Steven S. Skiena.