Unimpressed by Google Interview

Jul 20, 2019 548 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 548 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, 2019 21
    • Cisco PuttyTat
      Glass beads? Or wood?
      Jul 26, 2019
    • Lyft wXfl07
      Google is the new IBM. What did you expect?
      Jul 31, 2019
  • Facebook / Eng
    slrzoyeb

    Facebook Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    slrzoyebmore
    Felt absolutely the same. Good place for retirement though!
    Jul 20, 2019 23
    • Facebook $hakira
      FB WLB sucks but it doesn’t suck that much. You just have to find the right team.
      Jul 24, 2019
    • Facebook
      phwcufeh

      Facebook

      PRE
      Microsoft
      phwcufehmore
      @JarJarBunk most likely me. Try it yourself and hope it works out for you.
      Jul 24, 2019
  • Micro Focus foolmeone
    What do you expect? A bunch of liberal monkeys need to bang on the keyboard.
    Jul 22, 2019 17
    • Apple Gl41g9
      Nice houses for cheap down there, @DCMA!
      Jul 23, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • 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, 2019 2
    • Cisco yya
      Are you L6 too? I am personally thinking for serting onsite for L5 or L6..
      Jul 22, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • 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, 2019 8
    • Facebook ris
      Do you really have to record every single thing the candidate does? Even if he picks his nose?
      Jul 22, 2019
    • Please do not pick your nose during an interview.
      Jul 22, 2019
  • Google verygoogly
    Please help us keep the bar high and reject the offer in case we make you one!
    Jul 21, 2019 10
    • 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • 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, 2019 8
    • WB Games spv
      I recommend starting in produce and working your way to bakery
      Jul 23, 2019
    • Nielsen nqED75
      This joke never gets old. Please continue to post in every thread. We will all enjoy it.
      Jul 23, 2019
  • Facebook whodattt
    I think you misunderstood the interview process. You re trying to impress not the other way arouns
    Jul 22, 2019 8
    • 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • 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, 2019 12
    • 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • 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, 2019 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, 2019
    • PayPal qeJe
      Great phrase.
      Jul 23, 2019

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