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In this article, I will be discussing my interview experience with Google India. I recently joined Google as a Web Solutions Engineer. It all started back in April when I applied for this role through a referral. The entire process took approx 2 months to complete but the entire experience was mesmerizing. Few days after the 1st round of interview, I became Covid positive but was able to bounce back to the interview process within a week. All thanks to the Google Recruitment Team as they gave me enough time to recover and resume the interview process.

A little bit about Myself…

I have completed my bachelor's in Computer Science from KCC ITM under AKTU (formerly known as UPTU). After that, I got an opportunity to work with GeeksforGeeks as a Software Engineer and I worked there for 2 years. My journey at GfG was filled with fun and learning. I got to work on multiple products and domains, learned many new things and concepts on the road.

Applying for the Role

I recently revamped my Resume (struggled hard to put all the contents on a single page) and was hoping if I can get some interview calls with the help of it. While scrolling through Linkedin news-feed I stumbled upon a post from an Application Engineer at Google informing there were some opening at Google Hyderabad. I mailed him my Resume along with a Cover letter. After few days I got a mail from Google saying that one of their Engineers has referred me and I can apply for some roles with that referral (Special thanks to that Engineer!). Then I applied for the role and after few days got a call from HR telling me that they have shortlisted my resume for the role and would like to move forward with the Interview process.

Honestly, getting my resume shortlisted for one of the roles at Google was a win for me at that time. I had never interviewed for Google before and hence was a bit nervous. I wanted to clear at least 2 to 3 rounds in order to have an experience with the interview process at Google. This was a really big opportunity for me.

Preparing for the Interviews

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Since my college days, I have a keen interest in Data Structures and Algorithms and have been practicing competitive programming on Leetcode and Codechef (and some other profiles as well). Later after college, I also explored the domains like System Design and Distributed Systems. I used to read blogs and watch the talks of other companies where they explained how they built and scaled their services, what infrastructure and design they followed, and much more. Trust me listening to those talks and reading those blogs can provide you a lot of insights and knowledge when it comes to designing a scalable system or even a part of that system.

So when I got the interview opportunity I somewhat knew what I had to do. As the interview rounds were majorly focused on DSA and Problem Solving so I revised the advanced data structures — their implementations, problems involving them, optimization algorithms, and all.

1st to 3rd Round: Problem Solving

The first three rounds had a somewhat similar structure. These 45-minute rounds were purely focused on Data Structures and Algorithms where you are expected to discuss the solution on Google Docs. I would suggest trying practicing problems on Docs majorly indenting the code, writing comments, and all.

Do make sure that you are well versed with Data Structures like Graphs, Trees, Heaps, and Stacks, and algorithms related to them. As most of the problems that I encountered during the interview involved those concepts.

Now while going through all these rounds there were the few things that I noticed. First, every interviewer was really humble and all of them wanted me to do well in the interview. Some of them also gave me hints when I got stuck in the problem. Second, they were not interested in one correct solution, moreover, they were interested in how I would reach that solution. They judged my thought process a lot. Was I able to think out of the box for the solution, What would I do if the problem statement was modified a bit, How well I was communicating and conveying my ideas during the interview process, and all? All these things when summed up together will eventually decide the end results.

For every problem statement, I started with a naive approach just to have a little bit more understanding of the problem. Communicated that naive solution to the interviewer and then worked things up from there to an optimized approach. The entire time I communicated with the interviewer. Even when I got stuck and was thinking about the optimal approach, I used to convey my thought process to the interviewer. And that helped me to think better during the coding rounds.

4th Round: DSA and System Design mixed

This round was somewhat different from the earlier three rounds. Here half of the interview time was dedicated to a DSA Problem and the other half was all about System Design. The DSA part was somewhat similar to the previous round, though I got less time to solve the problem in this round (as it was a mix of DSA and System Design).

The second half of the interview round was focused on System Design. I won’t discuss the exact problem but it was somewhat like this: The interviewer gave me a problem statement where I was expected to reduce the load time of a product by applying multiple design concepts. We talked about Caching, System Storage, Packet, Load Balancers, Partitioning, and much more and it went quite well. In the end, the interviewer was quite convinced with my solution and I was happy too!

5th Round: Googliness and Leadership Round

This was a non-technical round and involved situation-based questions. It was a behavioral round and I honestly didn’t prepare much for this one. Just gave my honest answers about what I would have done and Why.

You want to know about behavioral rounds, head over to this video. It has a nice explanation of what you can expect in a typical behavioral interview.

A Call from HR

Few days after my final interview round, I got a call from HR and she told me that all my interview rounds have gone well and she is forwarding my candidature to the Hiring Panel and they will be deciding whether to move on with the application or not. I was both happy and nervous at the same time. Finally, after 10 days, I got a call from my HR saying “Congratulations on getting an offer from Google!” as she has got a Green flag from the hiring panel.

Finally, the 2 months-long interview process was over, and honestly, I got to learn a lot from this. It was a dream come true!

by Expert (30,360 points)