Securing systems against potential threats and breaches is one of the most important functions of Google’s engineering teams. A role focused on cyber security at Google is preferable over other companies for several reasons. With abundant log storage space and engineering teams dedicated to making internal security infrastructure and tools, Google is the place to be for cyber security professionals. Security jobs at Google are always in high demand, but with the right coaching, you can land your dream job!
If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Also, read How Hard Is It to Get a Job at Google? and How to Get Software Engineering Jobs at Google for specific insights and guidance on Google tech interviews.
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To get you started in the right direction, we have put together the essentials for your Cyber Security Engineer Google interview prep:
A Google Cyber Security Engineer is responsible for risk evaluation, assessing, monitoring, conducting forensics, and developing security tools, automation, and frameworks. Some of your responsibilities as a Google Cyber Security Engineer will be:
To become a Cyber Security Engineer at Google, you need these minimum qualifications:
Pro Tip: You can take a Google cyber security course such as the professional cloud security engineer exam to increase your chances of qualifying for security roles at Google.
The Google Cyber Security Engineer interview process primarily focuses on your network and infrastructure security skills and experience. Structurally, the process is similar to that of a Google Software Engineer.
The interview process at Google can last for 6-8 weeks on average from when your application is accepted for the recruitment process.
Phone screen interview
Once your application is selected, you get a call from a recruiter. During this conversation, the recruiter will try to get to know you better and assess which team you would be the best fit for. Once you get past this first HR screen, the recruiter will then schedule your next interview, which will involve a coding assessment.
Technical screen (coding) interview
In the coding interview, you will be asked data structure and algorithm questions which you will have to solve on a remote collaborative editor. These questions will be similar to the questions one would come across in a Google Software Engineer interview. Here’s a coding assessment cheat sheet for your Google Cyber Security interview prep.
Google usually conducts onsite interviews at its head office. The onsite round comprises 5 to 6 face-to-face interviews. Each Cyber Security Engineer interview at Google lasts about 45 to 60 minutes and focuses on the following topics:
For more information, read Google Cyber Security Interview Process.
A typical Google Security Engineer interview will be similar to that of a Google Software Engineer interview, except that the questions will be focused on system and network security. Also, the level of coding expected from you will be lower than in other software engineering roles. Most interview rounds remain the same, i.e., the coding interview, system design interview, and the behavioral Interview.
The cyber security design interview will involve either redesigning an existing protocol or creating a new one altogether. You will be expected to assess a potential risk or respond to one. The questions are designed to be extremely vague. The intention for this is to leave room for you to ask questions and make inquiries about the system requirements. Design interviews at Google tend to go deep, so expect your interviewers to question your system design methodology at multiple levels.
Pro Tip: Once you recognize a potential risk or system threat in a design interview, make sure to back it up with an action plan.
The behavioral interviews are designed to understand your motivation behind applying for the role, your career aspirations for the next two to five years, and your ability to perform in teams and individually.
Candidates are graded based on a performance feedback form throughout the interview process. This form has a summary of the attributes that Google is looking for in a candidate. It gets updated in every round by the interviewers. Questions asked in an interview are noted in this form to ensure that the questions are not repeated.
Here are some of the traits Google is looking for in Cyber Security Engineers:
Your interviewers submit their feedback based on their observations. If you have done well in the interview process, you will get matched to a team based on your skillset. After a review by the compensation committee, the recruiter will contact you with an offer.
Do you tend to hesitate while negotiating your salary? Read The Ultimate Guide to Salary Negotiation at FAANG for Software Engineers to hone your negotiation skills and get an offer that matches your value.
We’ve put together some crucial skills to work on while preparing for your Google Security Engineer interview:
You know now what the interview process for a cyber security engineer looks like. You also know what skills it takes to crack the interview. Next, it’s important to note the topics you should include in your prep to make sure you cover and hone all the skills required for the interview and the role. Following are the must-cover topics for your cyber security tech interview prep:
Recommended Reading: System Design Interview Preparation Tips
Cyber security topics:
Here are some sample interview questions that can help you prepare for your Cyber Security interview at Google:
Read these important tips that will increase your chance of getting the Cyber Security Engineer role:
Preparing for a FAANG+ interview is no less intense than preparing for a competitive sport. To win, you need the right coaching and dedicated preparation time. If you are confused about how to apply or where to start preparing, sign up for our free webinar and let our experts guide you to the finish line.
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