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9 Behavioral Interview Questions Commonly Asked at the Google Interview

Posted on 
July 31, 2020
Team Interview Kickstart

Behavioral questions are an extremely important component of FAANG interviews. Candidates are often put through many rounds of behavioral interviews. 

This is to help recruiters understand attributes candidates will display in workplace-related situations. While every candidate goes through a behavioral interview, these interviews are considered more critical for upper-management positions (Engineering Manager or higher). 

To help you crack behavioral interviews, here are 9 behavioral questions often asked in Google interviews.

1. Describe a time you took on a project/risk and failed

Being a part of successful projects in your past does boost your chances of scoring big in the interview. On the other hand, failure is viewed differently — it doesn’t get people interested. Most candidates aren’t keen on sharing their failures either.

Hiring managers at Google, however, see this through a different lens. They’re very interested in knowing about experiences where you took risks, made mistakes, and failed. They want to know if you were humble enough to accept and learn from those mistakes. You certainly don’t have to be perfect. Your life doesn’t have to be defined by experiences of success alone. So don’t be hesitant to reveal past failures. What matters is whether you learned from your failure. 

2. Tell us about a time you executed a new task or project

Recruiters like to know how you solved problems you hadn't come across before. The best way to answer this question is to speak about a past project that involved significant learning. Big companies like Google look for candidates who can solve complex problems by applying sound logic and analytical thinking. 

If you found yourself in a situation where you successfully completed a project despite being unaware of certain functionalities at the start, mention your approach, how you implemented your learnings, and how you went about completing it.  

3. What are three things you consider essential to maintaining a work-life balance?

The biggest tech firms in the world don’t want their employees clocking 18-hour work shifts every day. In fact, they like to recruit smart workers who can employ critical thinking and solve problems innovatively without mental or emotional strain. 

To answer this question, think about three productive activities that bring you joy every day and why you’d like to do them despite having a busy workday. Talk about what you expect from your company to keep yourself energized and motivated when you come in the next day.     

4. Tell us about an accomplishment you’re particularly proud of and why

Google hiring managers often ask candidates this question not because they want to know what they’ve accomplished but why they’re particularly proud of it. To answer this question, think about a past project that involved dedicated efforts from other team members and how you achieved goals as a team. 

5. How are you going to impact the team after you join?

Google has a detailed team-matching exercise in which candidates are matched to teams based on a variety of factors such as skills, interests, hobbies, etc. Recruiters at Google often ask this question to understand what candidates can bring to the table and map you to an appropriate team. 

To answer this question, talk about fun and interesting activities that you’d like to be a part of or initiate. Recruiters are always on the lookout for dynamic individuals who can bring tons of energy and motivation to the team.  

Recommended reading: Software Engineer Job Levels at Google

6. Have you ever faced a conflict while working in a team? How did you deal with it?

Conflicts at workplaces aren’t uncommon and can surface every now and then, especially when working in a team. To answer this question, talk about how you were able to resolve a past conflict with a colleague and how you arrived at a consensus for the greater good of the project. 

7. Why do you want to work at Google?

This is a common question recruiters at Google ask. The intention is to discover what excites you about working with Google and why you’re fascinated with Google’s efforts to create a world driven by supremely innovative technology.

To answer this question, you can talk about your favorite Google products and what you like best about Google’s work culture.  

8. Tell us about your favorite Google product and what you think about its future?

This is similar to the previous question. Here, you talk specifically about how a particular Google product absolutely fascinates and perhaps, inspired you to interview at Google. 

9. Why do you want to leave your current organization?

Talk about your career goals and why you want to work with Google. People constantly move companies in search of greener pastures and get involved with innovative and challenging projects. Recruiters know this, but they ask this question to determine if your time at your previous organization was fulfilling.  

Bonus Question: Tell me a bit about yourself

This is one of the most commonly asked questions, yet many people don’t answer it well. The key to answering this question is to talk about your background, covering experience relevant to the job and no unnecessary details. 

Your pace and tone should be balanced and your answer concise. Want to know what that sounds like? Check out our video on FAANG Engineering Manager Mock Interview with two experienced hiring managers.

For more insights into the Google interview process, technical questions, and more, read Google Interview Guide and Google Interview Questions.

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