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Google | L4 | India [Reject]

Hi, Thanks a lot community for immense help. I would like to share my year long journey with Google.


YOE: 9
Current position: Associate at Fintech

Google recruiter reached out to me over email but I was not ready so asked for couple of months, then they again reached out and I started the process.


Recruiter call

Mid Feb - spoke to recruiter, recruiter explained the position and asked me how comfortable I am with data structures and algorithms. Recruiter also asked some simple DS/algo questions like complexity of an algo or which graph shortest algo you will use in some scenario. Then asked for timeline when we can have first round.


Screening round

In March, I had this round. Interview started with brief introduction and started with basic array problem then had lot of followups which eventually made the problem hard. This was very collaborative round, interviewer was helping me to solve the last followup he had but I was not able to solve with optimal approach.


After a week, recruiter called and informed feedback is positive will be moving to virtual onsite loop and connected me with another recruiter. Connected with this recruiter and he explained how onsite rounds will go - first will have 3 coding round split across 2 days. I scheduled these rounds in April.


Virtual onsite round 1 - coding [Day 1]

Gave a real world problem, this was graph DAG problem. I gave the approach and he was convinced and asked me code it. Gave code and did dry run on some inputs, then he gave me a input on which my code was giving duplicates, but he said I don't see any problem on this input also to which I explained again and he agreed yes, there is problem and asked me to fix. To fix it, I took sometime which was bad - he mentioned this in his feedback.


Virtual onsite round 2 - coding [Day 2]

Gave matrix problem with some random number generation. First, explained my understanding of the problem then approach, he was convinced and asked me to code, then he gave some followups. All followups were very intuitive, was able to handle all. This round went great.


Virtual onsite round 3 - coding [Day 2]

Gave hard DP/backtracking problem, I started asking some clarifying questions then explained approach (DFS + backtracking) he seemed to be convinced and asked me write code. I wrote the code and doing dry run but felt that it is not working and kept fixing the code, in the end when time was up, he mentioned that my approach is correct but backtracking part is missing.


In 2 days, recruiter called me and said let's have behavioural round - I scheduled in coming week.


Virtual onsite round 4 - behavioural

Started with introductions then standard question - challenging job, failures, conflicts, ... Hard to judge, but this also went well.


In couple of days, recruiter emailed me asking all details - salary slips, Google acquaintance (someone at google I have worked with, who can provide my feedback) and other details. He called also, explaining he will preparing my packet for hiring committee, but will take sometime - around 2 weeks.


After 2 weeks (May mid), I reached out to recruiter and surprisingly he informed me that, I will have to go through one more coding round, then we will send the packet to hiring committee. I scheduled this round in 2 weeks - June first week. I took unnecessary pressure for this round thinking this is a do or die round and impacted my performance in the interview also.


Virtual onsite round 5 - coding

Gave some real world problem - related to array of tuples, I thought for a while and explained the approach he was convinced and asked to write code. I wrote and while doing dry run he pointed out one problem, which was due to the fact I assumed some initial value which was not the case so I corrected the code and now was good. Then he talked about complexity and then gave some followups, implementing which actually increased time complexity which he asked to fixed, which I took care with adding a simple condition. He was satisfied with the fix.


In around 2 weeks (July start), recruiter called me and said we are sending your packet to hiring committee, please ask your google acquaintance to fill a form received from me. I informed my acquaintance, he did received an email.


After 2 weeks (mid July), recruiter called me and informed one of the hiring manager liked your profile and wants to talk to you, asked me if I am interested - I said yes. He said will talk to manager and schedule fit call with him but didn't heard back from him, I reached out asking about fit call - he said working on it.


By end of July, I received an offer from some other company where I can join if not selected at Google, I called recruiter and informed I have got an offer and has one month of notice so would be great if I can get the result in a month’s time. He said one month is good enough time will surely get the result by then.


I was waiting but for a month I didn't received any update from recruiter - I joined other company in Sept first week(I could have delayed the joining but sure by how much). Next week I got an email from recruiter that one hiring manager wants to speak to me and asked for my availability, I scheduled this next week(mid Sept).


Hiring manager - Fit call

Discussion was majorly around my past experience, what I am looking for in next role and what his team works upon. One thing that didn't went in my favour was he wanted someone with Java experience - He asked In what all java frameworks you have worked. I said None, I have worked in C, Python and Golang but would be great to learn Java. I was kind of knew he won't select me based on the interview.


After 2 weeks, I asked status about my candidature - He replied in couple of days saying it's no hire from hiring committee at this point in time?. I was very sad to hear this - asked for some feedback, he said will connect but didn't got any call/email. After a months of effort, I finally connected with him to get feedback.
Didn't heard anything major in terms of subjective feedback, rating given by 5 onsite interviewers were - 1 strong positive, 3 positive and 1 negative. He encouraged to appear again after 6 months.


My leetcode stats: 458 (150 - easy, 265 - medium, 43 - hard)


My takeaways
Do not shy to ask more time from recruiter to prepare to you are not ready, they know and will happily to give a month or 2 time
Overall, apart from delay I liked the process - the way its managed, recruiter is always reachable, they will provide some study material also
For behavioural rounds - I recommend spend some time and prepare well because they asks some questions which require thinking from our current role so make note of major milestones, failures, conflicts
Expect hard problems in a round or two, so practice hard ones also
by Expert (30,360 points)