Unimpressed by Google Interview

Walmart stkoverflo
Jul 20 547 Comments

Hear a lot about how Google is the center of the tech universe; THE mothership. I decided to interview there. But I was really shocked by the quality of the interviewers there. I enjoyed just one interview out of the 5 scheduled. I must say though that one interview was really good.

People doing technical interviews lacked quite a bit in communication skills. They liked to stare at their laptops typing away notes while monitoring my code on the whiteboard. Very little interaction; it was mostly me explaining myself and asking for clarifications. Might have as well sent them a video recording of me writing out a solution on the board. The Googleyness interview felt like an interrogation. Where was your Googleyness, interviewer?

Nobody tried to sell the role to me. Are they assuming that just the Google brand name is good enough? I had boiled fish and chard for lunch. Blandest stuff ever. I can make better stuff in my Instant Pot.

Hire the best and the brightest? Dream on. Felt like the place was run-over by drones. By the way this was in Mountain View, their HQ. It just felt like I met a bunch of coasters there. I interviewed at L5 though I wanted to interview at L6. Should I ask to re-interview at L6?

FWIW: Google decided to proceed with my candidacy.

TC: 320K
YOE: 15

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TOP 547 Comments
  • CentralReach
    uedC03

    CentralReach

    BIO
    I like long beaches on the walk.
    uedC03more
    lol wtf, Google will be better off with out you.
    Jul 20 21
    • Oracle tMVL63
      Sry, new to thread. What was the source of butthurt?
      Jul 22
    • Oracle / Eng helloxyz
      Hemorrhoids
      Jul 22
    • CentralReach
      uedC03

      CentralReach

      BIO
      I like long beaches on the walk.
      uedC03more
      Beads, just beads.
      Jul 22
    • Cisco PuttyTat
      Glass beads? Or wood?
      Jul 26
    • Lyft wXfl07
      Google is the new IBM. What did you expect?
      Jul 31
  • Facebook / Eng
    slrzoyeb

    Facebook Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    slrzoyebmore
    Felt absolutely the same. Good place for retirement though!
    Jul 20 23
    • Facebook JarJarBunk
      Which orgs so we can avoid ?
      Jul 24
    • Facebook / Eng
      slrzoyeb

      Facebook Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      slrzoyebmore
      Well known messenger and marketplace. I can’t say my current org is bad, but I am very off what we are doing and should not have been hired for this team.
      Jul 24
    • Facebook JarJarBunk
      After 3 orgs and all are bad, have you considered maybe the problem is you?
      Jul 24
    • Facebook $hakira
      FB WLB sucks but it doesn’t suck that much. You just have to find the right team.
      Jul 24
    • Facebook
      phwcufeh

      Facebook

      PRE
      Microsoft
      phwcufehmore
      @JarJarBunk most likely me. Try it yourself and hope it works out for you.
      Jul 24
  • Micro Focus foolmeone
    What do you expect? A bunch of liberal monkeys need to bang on the keyboard.
    Jul 22 17
    • Amazon Dingo8UrBB
      50% of flyover territory is referenced by how close to Wall Drug it is.
      Jul 23
    • Autodesk DouP01
      Good food lol 🤮
      Jul 23
    • DCMA
      Runts

      DCMA

      PRE
      DC Government
      Runtsmore
      I live in Oklahoma and definitely have a higher standard of living than most in here.
      Jul 23
    • Apple Gl41g9
      Nice houses for cheap down there, @DCMA!
      Jul 23
    • AMD QVgF00
      Living in SV is like living on a rat wheel where occasionally a human will throw you some cheese. Ugh, CA sucks ass! What a waste of beautiful weather it has become.

      Most people who live in SV can't wait to cash out, retire and move to a more reasonable place. If you like paying 2 million for a 800 sq ft bungalow tear down than SV is for you! You could move somewhere reasonable and pay A LOT less for A LOT more. It doesn't have to be in the South, it could be literally almost anywhere else in the states.
      Jul 26
  • Google / Eng
    Jr6dp

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    Jr6dpmore
    “it was mostly me explaining myself and asking for clarifications”

    Tbh, when I interview someone for L6, I expect them to drive the conversation. Ideal candidate would do all the talking and I would only steer them to the topics I’d like to cover: scale, perf optimizations, fault tolerance, etc.

    This is not to say that your interview loop was okay, just that this one issue is not necessarily a problem.
    Jul 20 2
    • Cisco yya
      Are you L6 too? I am personally thinking for serting onsite for L5 or L6..
      Jul 22
    • New qntryzx
      True on driving communication, but to me it feels like 2 way street, if person is not into communication at all feels weird even to drive.

      And doesn't matter what level you are at.
      Jul 22
  • Google verygoogly
    Please help us keep the bar high and reject the offer in case we make you one!
    Jul 21 10
    • Veritas / Other 13Jija
      Well, OP cannot like his own comment 18 times.
      Jul 22
    • SugarCRM vqtM81
      Damn look at these haters, you know your self worth isn’t predicated on the company you work for right?
      Jul 22
    • Google verygoogly
      Says someone from "SugarCRM"
      Jul 22
    • Netflix
      440v

      Netflix

      PRE
      Google, Amazon
      440vmore
      Wow, I am disappointed by the responses from Googlers here. OP actually brings up valid points. My own experience resonates with OP.
      Jul 22
    • Cruise Automation / Eng ⛸️
      i too think the bar has dropped

      i'm currently interviewing and google is one of the two places where i passed the onsite when i failed like 15 others
      Jul 23
  • Google flicker
    Typing during the interview is the trade off for a fair hiring system. The interviewers have to write every single thing you do or say to be evaluated by the hiring committee. This avoids interviewer bias.
    Jul 20 8
    • Walmart stkoverflo
      OP
      You can record anything with consent as far as I know. Also agree that I can be not humble sometimes.
      Jul 20
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      "Be a little humble" funny enough Googlers are the opposite of that. The sense of superiority of all my interviewers was blatant.
      Jul 21
    • Google / Eng Wulperting
      It doesn’t actually avoid bias, it just makes it more diffuse and harder to pinpoint. The whole process leads to shitty interviews and a monoculture of the sort of social rejects that can’t run an interview.
      Jul 22
    • Facebook ris
      Do you really have to record every single thing the candidate does? Even if he picks his nose?
      Jul 22
    • Please do not pick your nose during an interview.
      Jul 22
  • Amazon kQlJ07
    Try Albertsons interview. Super high bar. 5x LC hard superday for me. Escorted out after the 2nd interview for being so bad.
    Jul 22 8
    • Apple onepunch
      How did u pass the phone screen? I failed the 5th round of phone screen. So close.
      Jul 22
    • Amazon Dingo8UrBB
      I couldn’t get past the “Feats of Strength” round. They do Towers of Hanoi with Olympic weights!
      Jul 23
    • Facebook b9c76N
      Wow amazing how this is just as funny the 2000th time
      Jul 23
    • WB Games spv
      I recommend starting in produce and working your way to bakery
      Jul 23
    • Nielsen nqED75
      This joke never gets old. Please continue to post in every thread. We will all enjoy it.
      Jul 23
  • Facebook whodattt
    I think you misunderstood the interview process. You re trying to impress not the other way arouns
    Jul 22 8
    • Walmart stkoverflo
      OP
      Of course I tried to impress them. But you know Google. They don't give an F (G?) about code samples, publications, shipped projects. Interviewers start with a cursory: introduce yourself. Now let's start writing code.
      Jul 22
    • Expedia Group anononymus
      I disagree, a candidate should be interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. If not, you're not doing your due diligence about what you're signing up for if offered a position.
      Jul 22
    • Amazon
      yHf6b4

      Amazon

      PRE
      Microsoft
      yHf6b4more
      Candidate learns about the team, culture and, role etc.. the other side does the interview... Keeping it real...
      Jul 22
    • Amazon
      yHf6b4

      Amazon

      PRE
      Microsoft
      yHf6b4more
      Don't expect red carpet.. remember there are always quirky folks that do not necessarily represent the entire company..
      Jul 22
    • Google sosundar
      @OP publications and code samples get your foot in the door, then you have your day in the arena. It is easy to get publications by working in a trending field lets say deep learning, which nowadays has become lego blocks of different hidden layers just to make sure the gradient flow :D In industry, most of these don't work in practice and are hard to deploy however it shows that you design experiments and conducted a thorough evaluation which will get you in the door and if hired will work for long term in your favor.
      Jul 28
  • New / Eng Betal
    The typing in the laptop is because they are taking notes on your performance. So much for you judging them :-p
    Jul 20 12
    • Walmart stkoverflo
      OP
      Did you read the bit about me doing all the talking? Also, are interviewers discouraged from working on the solution with the candidate by asking what if questions? My first interviewer was very good at this: can you explain this a little more? What else can you do about it? Have you seen it solved any other way? etc.
      Jul 22
    • I didn’t say that you didn’t know how to talk. I said you need to learn how to be interactive.
      Jul 22
    • Microsoft / R&D
      FrankFinch

      Microsoft R&D

      PRE
      Microsoft
      FrankFinchmore
      Ralphh - I just interviewed with Facebook yesterday and 4 out of the 5 interviewers were typing away on their laptop for the entire interview.
      Jul 23
    • Google / Eng EtMW70
      Typing during the interview is not the only way to take notes - it's just because interviewers are lazy. Seriously.
      I'm a calibrated interviewer at Google (100+ interviews) and have NEVER taken notes on my laptop. I carry a regular ruled notebook with me and scribble down a short note every once in a while when I hear something interesting. Other than that, I take pictures of the whiteboard and try to write feedback within a few hours while I can still remember the conversation.
      Yes, it involves more work because I have to transcribe the code from the pictures into the tool but hopefully I don't annoy candidates as much.
      Jul 31
    • Walmart stkoverflo
      OP
      Thanks for the answer. Any insight from people on the other side definitely helps. Didn't realize interviewers had to enter code into a tool. Seems a little backward because, you could have the candidate type his code on a computer (text editor / IDE) in the first place. I can see why interviewers can be this distracted.

      Also, what is the chance that I get a calibrated interviewer vs a newbie interviewer? Can I request that you be on my panel? I'd even consider paying half your hourly rate to avoid being a guniea pig for a newbie interviewer.
      Aug 1
  • Indeed ind00d
    Google requires the interviewers take copious amounts of notes and they aren't allowed to give you any indication of how you're doing... which both help lead to a bad candidate experience.
    Jul 22 2
    • Sage / HR
      khCi60

      Sage HR

      PRE
      Coca-Cola, The Home Depot
      BIO
      East coast
      khCi60more
      This is what I refer to as “fake objectivity”
      Jul 22
    • PayPal qeJe
      Great phrase.
      Jul 23
  • Avanade / Consultant MohyCS
    Your TC is not that impressive once you read the YOE.
    Jul 22 9
    • Avanade / Consultant MohyCS
      Only talking about TC. Brag about whatever else you like in Walmart to someone who cares.
      Jul 22
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      He’s not bragging about Walmart he’s musing about Google interviewers
      Jul 22
    • Avanade / Consultant MohyCS
      Don’t care for it lol. And I’m referring to you cbEV72, not OP
      Jul 22
    • Kohl’s deja_wu
      What is Avanade ? Imagine that TC consistently for say 5 years along with comfortable WLB
      Jul 22
    • Walmart stkoverflo
      OP
      Yes. My TC is meh. But that's not the point here.
      Jul 22
  • Google / Eng ceesaw9595
    You shouldn't judge those people just based off their social interactions. Sure, being extroverted and chatty is relevant to the company's culture but that doesn't mean shit if you're hired for a software engineering role. Every one of those interviewers could be (and probably is) a better software engineer than you.
    Jul 22 7
    • Flagged by the community.

    • GE / Eng commiserat
      I will always stand by my opinion that you cannot, under any circumstances, be an amazing software engineer without strong communication skills.
      Jul 22
    • Facebook ris
      I agree, software engineering is a job role in which you have to communicate important information to coworkers, not just the skill of writing code.
      Jul 22
    • Oracle tMVL63
      If you have solid leadership and management around you, an idiot savant developer can do amazing things. Conducting interviews? Questionable
      Jul 22
    • Google / Eng ceesaw9595
      You have to have strong communication skills. You don't have to be great at conducting interviews. That's the point. Thanks.
      Jul 22
  • Microsoft HIcjcjcHx
    Sounds like you interviewed at Hooli. Google’s shine wore off many years ago (it’s inevitable with scaling).

    Also, I applaud your solid use of semi-colons; it’s a lost art.
    Jul 22 3
    • New / Eng
      !wrong

      New Eng

      BIO
      Desi
      !wrongmore
      I guess you don't write Python.
      Jul 22
    • It’s obviously lost, since both of his usages were incorrect.
      Jul 23
    • Walmart stkoverflo
      OP
      Since the post was kind of shitting on Google I should have used more colons. Hmm.
      Jul 23
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Cisco behemoth69
      Point was google guy should ask why the company has no wins this decade.
      Jul 23
    • PagerDuty QhwD03
      Mostly duckduckgo these days tbh
      Jul 23
    • Capital One 94xz
      I use altavista
      Jul 25
    • AT&T / Eng
      DDM2K

      AT&T Eng

      PRE
      Optum, Windstream, AT&T, Verizon
      DDM2Kmore
      Lycos FTW
      Jul 25
    • I use astalavista
      Jul 28
  • Google djjxn
    Reading ur post make me scratching my balls non stop OP. Dunno why
    Jul 21 5
    • Walmart stkoverflo
      OP
      Hmm. I guess you finally got some blood flowing there after a looong time.
      Jul 21
    • Oracle alwzangry
      Good! Now you remember that you have them... 🙂
      Jul 21
    • Microsoft stink
      It’s ok , sometimes it’s good to itch
      Jul 21
    • Cisco / Design
      Bolly 👳🏿‍♂️

      Cisco Design

      PRE
      Cisco, Apple
      Bolly 👳🏿‍♂️more
      And scratch at the right spot.

      Just don’t poke.
      Jul 22
    • OP seems way smarter than the average Googler right now.

      Your move, G.
      Jul 22
  • Google / Eng WrCP42
    Engineers aren't hired for their interviewing skills. Interview training is pretty mediocre as well, plus no real incentive for being a good interviewer AFAIK. Also, couldn't you be over generalizing competence of a huge company based on 4 people whose communication skills you didn't like? Not denying that *lots* of stuff in interviewing process can be improved, but lack of interest in interviewing has little correlation with technical skills.
    Jul 22 16
    • Bayer AdaLove
      Google Home, Waymo, Kotlin (adopted)
      Jul 22
    • Bayer AdaLove
      And of course DeepMind (acquired)
      Jul 22
    • Google / Eng ceesaw9595
      X, Loon, Google WiFi. It's not just what they're doing but also how they do it.
      Jul 22
    • Amazon / Eng $#!?
      Lol. Google home? Really? Waymo? X, Loon, WiFi? They all are failed product. All successful products at Google are legacy product. Just saying.
      Jul 23
    • Bayer AdaLove
      Waymo? Aaaawesome. The only issue is, like most American cars except Tesla and Hummer, they look like unfinished toys, but for sure one day they will look fantastic, and I will have one here in Germany. My neighbors are going to love me.
      Jul 23
  • Microsoft stink
    Quality is down and it’s not a recent occurrence , it has happened 3 years ago with the race for cloud.
    Jul 20 9
    • Nutanix 1adja134
      This particular thread is hilarious. Google and microsoft comments on top just looked at the problem statement, and made blank statements about how an entire org is bad. Then the OP, clarified that the interview had nothing to do with the org. Then, silence. Lmao
      Jul 22
    • Microsoft oppensive
      That is the beauty of Blind.
      Jul 22
    • Morgan Stanley jumpornot
      @oppensive if you know where he came from then it is not a surprise that he only hires Indians. That’s the unethical culture.
      Jul 22
    • Nutanix 1adja134
      I saw fewer Indians than Asians when I was there as a guest though
      Jul 22
    • Flagged by the community.

  • Samsung MaMaKramba
    Can you please elaborate Googleyness interview? What do they ask you?

    I was under impression that they subtly check your Googleyness during the regular interview. I didn't know they have a separate interview for that.
    Jul 22 8
    • AT&T / Eng
      DDM2K

      AT&T Eng

      PRE
      Optum, Windstream, AT&T, Verizon
      DDM2Kmore
      What sorts of answers are they looking for when these questions are asked?
      Jul 22
    • Google NSvj37
      Beginning of 2019 Google changed interviewing policy - now each loop includes one Googleyness interview. Fairly cringey. Too much fertile ground for BS artists. Further evidence of the drop of the hiring bar IMO.
      Jul 23
    • AT&T / Eng
      DDM2K

      AT&T Eng

      PRE
      Optum, Windstream, AT&T, Verizon
      DDM2Kmore
      Ah, scary. I bet you have to hit all the right buzzwords or they’ll pin you as a BS artist, even if you’re just simply not the exact culture fit.

      I am very curious how some very senior people just walk right in the door as a director with like 15 YOE on the outside at a no-name company. Is it the same as IC talent at that level, where you have to be “known” in your field, but as a manager?
      Jul 23
    • PagerDuty QhwD03
      It's the same at Amazon. Having you fit in into the cult is more important than your technical or human skills. A nail that sticks out gets hammered down
      Jul 23
    • Coinbase g6783
      @AT&T. Interesting comment. Even “no name” companies solve real world business problems every day, some more complex than places like AirBnB, etc. The rest of the world of business employs way more people collectively than the big tech giants. The “how” those folks got hired should be an easy question to answer. I’ve interviewed people who came from some of the big tech companies and their experience was so narrow, while folks who come from those “no name” places were great with ambiguity and wearing multiple hats. It’s a toss up from what I’ve seen. Putting weight on where they came from vs. a proper assessment of their actual skills and potential is a terrible idea.
      Jul 24
  • NVIDIA Ohfrhk
    Not surprised. These dudes also were hired by someone observing how they wrote code on whiteboard. Google has an idiotic obsession with whiteboard coding under surveillance. The skill is neither an indication of being smart nor a skill useful for the profession.
    Jul 22 1
    • Dropbox tape53
      I don't know. I've found an average googler to be smarter than an average Nvidia for example. So there must be some correlation there.
      Jul 23
  • Google m6r4
    It's a corporation, not sure what you were expecting? Not everything can be Walmart or Albertson's
    Jul 20 2
    • Microsoft
      devices

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Apple
      devicesmore
      Is OP our segway to cut off Albertson’s and use Walmart to create WAANG(sorry, FB)?
      Jul 20
    • Walmart stkoverflo
      OP
      I have interviewed at many places. Google was an exception. I was really surprised.
      Jul 20

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