How should I prepare for an upcoming Google interview?
January 15, 2007 8:05 AM   Subscribe

How should I prepare for an upcoming Google interview?

Having passed two phone interviews, I'm flying to Mountain View next week for an onsite interview with Google for an engineering position. Do you have any advice? Ways to prepare, specific topics I should brush up on, or other things to keep in mind, given the recent changes to their recruiting process? (I've read the previous advice about getting a Google internship.)
posted by medpt to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That is so exciting. Sounds like the interview process is grueling.

Check out these:

Good luck and I hope you get the job!
posted by HotPatatta at 8:22 AM on January 15, 2007

I interviewed with them (and got an offer) as well, both on site and by phone, but that was two years ago, and in Europe. I guess that makes a huge difference, since there were no "how would you move a mountain" or "who would you leave on an island"-type questions involved. Maybe this is different for engineering positions though (I applied for a datacenter/network position).

The interview was fairly standard interview, albeit very in depth. It lasted for about two hours, the longest interview I've ever taken. There were Googlers present at the interview (normally there would be three or four, but the other ones were stuck at an airport somewhere). I guess I can't give you much practical advice, other than the usuals: make sure you're well rested, be yourself, be confident in yourself, and go to the bathroom first.

Even though Google and its recruiting process have got some sort of mythical aura surrounding them, your personality, intellect and talents are what will convince them if they decide to hire you.

Good luck, and let us know how it went!
posted by lodev at 11:23 AM on January 15, 2007

Don't pay too much attention to the interview questions you find in various peoples' blog posts. They don't want to hear canned answers, and they don't want you to magically spout answers to trick questions; they want to find out how you think, so keep talking.

As far as specific topics go, be well-versed in the areas you claim expertise in on your resume. Read the published Google papers, at least some of them (there's some awfully obscure stuff up there, but MapReduce and GFS would be good places to start.)
posted by runehog at 2:17 PM on January 15, 2007

There are no real answers to interviewing well. If you're on your third interview, and you're confident that you're right for the job, it shouldn't be any trouble.

1) Be concise and eloquent in your answers. Don't stumble on words.

2) Be as enthusiastic, friendly, and confident as if you are talking to a friend. Imagine that this "friend" might have the power to get you a great job.

3) Don't bullshit them! Interviewers can see right through it!
posted by owl at 7:28 AM on January 16, 2007

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