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How to Prepare for Google's Onsite Interview

Last updated on: 
September 6, 2023
Dipen Dadhaniya
The fast well prepared banner
About The Author!
Dipen Dadhaniya
Dipen Dadhaniya
Engineering Manager at Interview Kickstart. A passionate and versatile web developer packed with full-stack development skills and a curiosity to explore computer languages.

Onsite interviews are an exciting & critical part of any company’s hiring process. Meeting hiring managers face-to-face can be an overwhelming experience. Before you set out to ace the onsite interview, you need to take some time to prepare.

This article will be looking at what to expect, the differences between Google’s onsite interview for Software Engineers and other companies, how to prepare for Google onsite interview as a Software Engineer & what you’re evaluated on at Google. 

Here's what we’ll take you through:

  1. What to Expect in Google’s Onsite Interview?
  2. How is Google’s Onsite Interview Different from other Onsite Interviews?
  3. How to Choose your Onsite Interview Date?
  4. How to Prepare for Google Onsite Interview?
  5. How are you evaluated at Google?

What to Expect in Google’s Onsite Interview?

The onsite interview takes place after you clear the telephonic interview rounds in one of their HQ’s anywhere in the world, involving 4 interview rounds in total.

The interviews will consist of Coding & Systems Design questions. Software Engineers with more experience are likely to get more Systems Design questions. 

How is Google’s Onsite Interview Different from other Onsite Interviews?

Google’s onsite interview processes differ from other onsite interviews in the following ways:

  1. The Rule of 4

Unlike other companies, Google analyzes the data from their job interviews to make it better. The Rule of 4 limits the number of onsite interviews to 4 for a perfect hire.

  1. Grading System on a Scale of 1-4

Each interviewer will grade you on a scale of 1-4 on their four hiring criteria- Cognitive ability, Leadership skills, & Rote-related knowledge. 

  1. Primarily Coding in Google Doc

For all your Coding interview rounds, Google will expect you to write most of your codes in Google Docs. 

How to Choose your Onsite Interview Date?

Google will be open to inviting you for an onsite interview on dates that works with your current schedule. You will receive a survey form to fill out with your available dates after clearing the previous rounds. 

You should keep a few weeks in hand for preparation when putting out your available dates. 

How to Prepare for Google Onsite Interview?

Google puts in a great deal of effort in hiring the perfect Software Engineering candidate. Taking the right steps for your Google onsite interview preparation will help you feel interview ready. 

Let’s go over a few tips you can use to prepare better:

  1. Read into Google’s background and company achievements.
  2. Brush up on some of the most commonly asked interview questions at Google.
  3. Make plans to arrive early for your onsite interview. 
  4. Prepare to answer ‘Systems Design and Memory Limits’ questions. Google cares about scalable system designs. 
  5. Google will mostly quiz you on basic data structures, algorithm questions, discussing various complexities & basic computer fundamentals.
  6. Practice on the following data structure topics:
  1. Stacks and Queues
  2. Heaps (Don’t ignore this data structure)
  3. Hashmaps (Fundamental data structure)
  1. Practice coding on Google Docs, and get used to the application
  2. Join a Google onsite interview preparation course
  3. Do a mock interview 

How are you Evaluated at Google?

Google looks for Software Engineers who can think outside the box and have a proven track record of solving difficult problems along with excellent leadership skills. You should also have a broad base of knowledge and skills, with a passion for continuous learning.

Here are some ways Google will assess candidates in their hiring process:

  1. Do you have ‘Googliness’?

‘Googliness’ is Google’s metric to assess candidate fit in the company. Are you the right person for the job? Will you fit in with the company culture? Google’s Glassdoor reviews are a great place to start your check on your ‘Googliness.’

  1. Online Assessment

Often you’d be asked to complete a brief assessment test or a quick online coding quiz to understand your abilities better after you’ve submitted your resume.

  1. Virtual Chats

You may be asked to attend a few short telephonic or video conversations with the hiring managers, mostly about the critical skills you’d need to possess for the role you’re applying for.

  1. Project Work

Before your in-depth onsite interview, you may be asked to complete a case study or write a few codes to help Google understand your primary problem-solving approach.

  1. Onsite Interview Assessment

Google interviews candidates based on some set rubrics required for the role. They will also ask you some open-ended questions (no brain teasers) to assess how you approach & solve a problem, how your mind works, how you interact with the team at Google & what your strengths are. 

When the day of your onsite interview arrives, make sure you get an ample amount of sleep, relax and stay focused. Remember to brush up on some of the critical data structure topics you may be quizzed on including but not limited to Stacks & Queues, Heaps & Hashmaps, and ensure you know your way around Google docs should you write and present a code on it. 

Finally, don’t get nervous with the multiple rounds you’d be going through. Remain confident and sail through them with your head held high. 

Posted on 
February 2, 2021

Dipen Dadhaniya

Engineering Manager at Interview Kickstart

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