Vani Ananthuni
developer|designer
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Interview Experience with Google (Technical Solutions Engineer)

Its a positive experience. I haven’t received the offer and I’m in process of interviewing. 

So I’ve been applying for jobs since past 3 months or so. I’ve applied to like 20-30 jobs on Google. I’ve received response for Web Solutions Engineer(WSE). 

I’ve applied for two positions with the WSE title (different teams - ads and technical services) on August 9th 2016. On August 17th, I’ve received an email from HR asking to schedule phone call through Google Calendar. I got all psyched about receiving a response from GOOGLE! I took a little time (2 minutes) to compose a message and scheduled the call for next day. 

1st Phone Call: HR called up and started the conversation about the job description. And then I was asked a few popular interview questions. Tell me about yourself. Why Google? Talk about your work experience. Are you willing to relocate? When will you be available for work? Whats your visa status? etc and asked when I’d be available for Google Hangout technical interview. Then I have received an email about the hangout schedule. Dated on 24th August. Also the HR sent me a lot of review material to prepare for the interview. Most of it was books like CLRS and Cracking the coding interview. Other resources are Eulers Project and TopCoder and Google resources(this page has all the resources for algorithms). I’ve also been given some topics that I should brush up with (Coding/Algorithms, APIs/System Design, Web Tech/Networking, depending on your experience: Databases/SQL).

Preparation: I was down with flu so I didn’t really start preparation until 21st August. I again spent entire day of 23rd in dreaming about working at Google. Most of my preparation was reviewing HTTP, TCP/IP, Googling popular interview questions, basics of MySQL, and a little bit of JS. I researched a lot about the interviewer over his LinkedIn, Twitter, GitHub etc. (that helped me through the interview)

Hangout Call:(1 hour) I connected to the hangout call 2 minutes into the scheduled time. I cannot discuss questions because of NDA policy.  The interviewer (B) started with let me tell you about myself and then asked my to tell him about me. The next question is about my work experience and project. After this, B opened up a Google doc and asked me to start coding. B said I can use any language. Question was simple but a bit tricky, involving strings and numbers. I solved it using brute force method. The next question was to solve above question without converting everything inside the function. I didnt have to code for this. I explained everything clearly and he said he’d do the same. ( Suggestion: talk about all possible ways and explain every step of your program, talk about testing, talk about what’s going on in your head. Ask the question clearly - know your inputs and outputs, ask if you can do so n so etc.) Then B was like okay cool I’ve got some questions for you. The questions were like what would you do to implement so and so ( a lot of these kind of questions). Be sure to explain all possible  situations and all possible solutions and problems involved with this solution and try to use real world examples. In most cases, I was able to connect the questions to google products and problems involved. B said he’s done with these questions and said we’d have to go back into google doc and started typing out an SQL table. I was asked a simple query with a tiny trick involved. I explained it and told him we’d have so and so problem with this so he asked for a solution and luckily in could think of one. So he said he’s done with the interview. I took 15 minutes to talk to him about the job, work environment and a few questions that I had about Google Maps.  He answered happily and we concluded the interview. Over all, B was really nice to talk to, his questions were clear and his didn’t seem disinterested in the call. Lets see what happens next. 

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