Questions to ask during Google team matching

Microsoft leet_away
Mar 12 76 Comments

Will start the team matching process with Google soon. What are some good questions to ask to determine health of team/org and role/responsibilities fit?

L5 backend engineer
TC: 250k at Microsoft, no numbers yet from Google

Edit: 6 yoe

Edit 2:
Google’s initial offer:
165k base w/ 15% bonus
20k sign-on cash
430k sign-on stock

Currently waiting for Google’s counter since I got a 390K TC Facebook offer in the meantime

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TOP 76 Comments
  • Yahoo / Eng
    wills

    Yahoo Eng

    PRE
    Yahoo
    willsmore
    What programming language did you use for interview?
    Mar 12 9
    • New ktFx31
      I agree ☝🏼
      Mar 12
    • SoFi nwOY38
      When he said badass, I don't think it meant it in a backhanded way. Dude probably is a badass.
      Mar 12
    • Bloomberg / Eng
      Fork()

      Bloomberg Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      Fork()more
      I sometimes struggle with C++ with a compiler, I can't imagine how I would do without a compiler.
      Mar 12
    • Uber / R&D jidao
      I can't imagine doing an interview in any other language than C++, I guess it's really a question of preference, but if you're used to C++ it seems much simpler than doing it in Python, especially since C++ 11 is there
      Mar 12
    • AnchorFree / QA
      rokfeller

      AnchorFree QA

      PRE
      Domino's Pizza
      rokfellermore
      Best interview lang is the one you’re proficient with. Interviewer with experience can understand anything you will come up with unless it’s shit.
      Mar 13
  • Microsoft YVlw08
    Was it leetcode hard?
    Mar 12 19
    • Amazon SDE3!
      What is expected in System design interviews?
      Mar 12
    • Sandia National Laboratories / Eng ?*?
      How long did you leetcode for? Did you solve each problem or did you look for hints/solutions after getting stuck for X minutes?
      Mar 12
    • Microsoft leet_away
      OP
      Grokking the system design interview style problems. If you know all the general principles from that course you should be able to handle it. That being said my current job is BE engineer so I already had a decent amount of hands-on experience.
      Mar 12
    • Salesforce marțolea
      “A peon shares tips on how best to groom yourself for acceptance into the Bay Area Exploitation Preserve. Hackernews debates whether or not doing tricks for your prospective masters is a good career move. An entire comment thread is devoted to Hackernews helping each other learn the specific dances favored by a desired fiefdom.”
      Mar 12
    • Amazon / Eng
      y67bert1pz

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      y67bert1pzmore
      ... Salesforce isn't exactly there anti-fiefdom
      Mar 13
  • Microsoft eRSF87
    1) On-call? Tier 1 or Tier 2?
    2) Are they moving to SLU?
    3) Team size
    4) Team composition by seniority
    5) What are their expectations?
    6) Short/long term challenges
    7) Tech stack, languages
    Mar 12 7
    • Apple / Eng 418 teapot
      Can someone go over what tier 1 and 2 on call entails?

      And what’s SLU? Search results give me a bunch of stuff about Google Apps/IT at St. Louis University lol
      Mar 12
    • Microsoft
      🐙M🐙

      Microsoft

      BIO
      🐙
      🐙M🐙more
      @apple Google is building a few new buildings in the South Lake Union (SLU) neighborhood of Seattle and all the cloud teams currently in Fremont Seattle are going to move there as I understand it

      @Microsoft what’s the right answer to the moving to SLU question lol the new buildings look awesome but the Fremont campus seems really great too
      Mar 12
    • New vst
      Just screenshoted this. Thanks
      Mar 12
    • Microsoft eRSF87
      There is no right answer. Living downtown, a team moving to SLU is slightly better than one staying in Fremont and much better than one in Kirkland.
      Mar 12
    • Google imagdragon
      Most important question would be the user impact of your team. Some teams really don’t have direct user impact ( like metrics, analytics , pipelines, logging, tools test infra) and trust me they are super frustrating. Understand how important is this team to the org.
      Mar 12
  • Google bogleheads
    I'm a hiring manager. While team fit calls are not interviews, you are being evaluated for fit (while you are evaluating your own fit with the team).

    Few generic tips:
    1) Be honest about what kind of opportunities or challenges (scale, distributed systems, machines learning, growing into a manager etc) you're looking for in next steps of your career, then let the hiring manager explain if their team can provide those opportunities.
    2) Ask questions about the tech stack, roadmap, growth plans for the team, etc.
    3) if you're interested, tell it during the call. If you're talking to other teams, tell them that you'll think and get back once you talk to all the teams.
    4) if you find areas you may need help, ask them what mentorship you may receive during on boarding.
    5) while it's tempting to talk to more teams, it also gets confusing very quickly. I suggest restricting to 2-3 teams then make a call. Google has an excellent culture of internal mobility, and you can always switch team in a year or so if it doesn't work out.
    6) most managers are happy to share their email address if you have questions that may come up later. Politely ask them what would be a good way for you to reach them should you have more questions.

    Good luck and congrats!
    Mar 12 1
    • Microsoft leet_away
      OP
      Thank you for this thoughtful response.
      Mar 12
  • Facebook / Eng EntUser
    These are what I asked, in no particular order:

    1. Promotion opportunities
    2. Roadmap
    3. Challenges faced by the team
    4. Team composition (gender, race, seniority, whatever you are concerned)
    5. Tech stack
    6. Brief history of the team
    7. What would you be working on

    I would also look up the manager on LinkedIn. I prefer experienced managers who know what they're doing.
    Mar 12 0
  • Google / Eng
    bullwinkle

    Google Eng

    BIO
    L5 SWE
    bullwinklemore
    Work your connections until you get to a Googler who can take a look at the team chatter (mailing list, CL comments) and see if they're being supportive and helpful to each other.
    Mar 12 0
  • Facebook mj8A8
    I did 6 of those. Addition to what others said:

    1. How long is your expectations for ramp up? I want to hear concrete number no bullshit
    2. Describe your best performers
    3. Describe your low performers

    At the end of all calls, if you made your mind on a favorite manager then ask your recruiter to schedule a call with an IC under the said manager. You're L5 so I suppose you can also ask for call with skip
    Mar 12 1
    • Google / Eng
      SaintFu

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      SaintFumore
      What answers would you want to hear?

      1) 2-8 weeks
      2) genius working overtime
      3) confused slacker
      Mar 21
  • Amazon bingming
    1) Customer-facing or not?
    2) Opportunities for mentorship / menteeship?
    Mar 12 0
  • PayPal xinXang098
    Congrats OP
    Mar 12 1
  • Salesforce 2cloudy
    I would certainly ask what the team’s success metrics are.
    Mar 12 0
  • Microsoft und3rpaid
    Updated the post with the Google numbers. We’re still negotiating...
    Mar 22 2
    • Google / Eng
      SaintFu

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      SaintFumore
      Wow 390TC Facebook wins so far, what's it's breakdown?
      Mar 22
    • Microsoft und3rpaid
      ~200k base, ~80k cash, 600k stock
      Mar 22
  • New LGwK11
    Why do you pay executives millions of dollars to leave after being accused of sexual assault?

    Do you silence employees that don't follow the views of the political left?

    Do you value the privacy of anyone but yourselves?
    Mar 13 2
    • Google bogleheads
      Well above paygrade of an L5's manager. Sure for way to get rejected for not knowing who you ask what.
      Mar 13
    • New LGwK11
      Maybe you should ask yourself those questions before interviewing at Google.
      Mar 13
  • Facebook lolslol
    Pretty much ask highly liked questions on here. In addition to this, if possible setup some time to get lunch with a team member or manager before saying yes to a team.

    Getting a L5 offer with 6 YOE is amazing! Congratulations!
    Mar 13 1
  • Netflix Lovers
    Did you pass hiring committee before team match?
    Mar 12 1
    • Microsoft leet_away
      OP
      Yes, I believe this is the case most of the time.
      Mar 12
  • Microsoft Ramboman
    Yoe?
    Mar 12 1
  • Google zrc
    Ask how many years manager is with google. How many team members and how is their experience level. IMO if both are high it’s a good team. How old is the project ?
    Mar 12 0
  • Facebook goldielox+
    Joi FB instead. We pay more.
    Mar 12 1
    • Facebook mj8A8
      Yes we pay more. L5 at Google is a great position.
      Mar 12
  • DemonWare dwware
    In addition to what I see mentioned already...

    Team size and on call frequency.
    How much tech they own as opposed to num of people.
    How much is ramp up time, is that structured.
    How is the Build pipeline / CICD? How long does it take for the team to build a small change and deploy
    How do they test their stuff
    Mar 12 0
  • Google fre t
    What level are you at msft?
    Mar 12 0
  • Salesforce Pjcehm
    Did they give you a level yet ?
    Mar 12 0