Google is a technology giant that impacts the lives of over 3 billion internet users worldwide. Its systems rely heavily on collecting and utilizing data, making data engineering an important job role at the company.
However, landing a Google data engineer job isn’t easy as the company accepts less than 1% of applications each year. That said, it isn’t impossible if you prepare right under proper guidance. If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our interview questions page and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready.
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We have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you prepare for your next Google data engineer interview. Take a look.
Google data engineers play a vital role in developing, deploying as well as supporting the company’s internal business applications. You will be responsible for developing custom-built software on Google stack.
Also, you will have to be part of the team that implements enterprise software, configures the software, customizes it, and integrates it with the internal systems.
The skills and responsibilities of a Google data engineer and a data scientist often tend to overlap. A data engineer is responsible for building the architecture and infrastructure for data generation. Now, data scientists are in constant interaction with these infrastructures. They conduct high-level business operations and market-level research to find out trends and relations.
It is the data engineers who provide the necessary support to the data scientists for effective business solutions.
We have collected information from multiple resources and Google’s career website to provide an overview of the data engineer interview structure.
Phone Screen Interview
The Google data engineer interview begins with two phone screen rounds: HR and technical. Here’s a detailed look at each of the phone screen interviews:
HR Phone Screen
This is the first round of interviews which usually lasts for around 15-30 minutes and is conducted by the recruiter. The recruiter will ask you some basic non-technical questions to assess whether you are the right fit for the team.
Technical Phone Screen
After you clear the first round, you will have to appear for the technical phone screen. Here, you will have to answer and solve technical questions. This round can last as long as 60 minutes. The interviewer will ask about your educational qualifications, experiences, training projects, and more. In addition, you might have to work out complex SQL questions as well.
Once you are done with the first two rounds, you need to prepare for the most grueling part of the hiring process. On-site rounds involve interviewing with various tech leads; these rounds might last for a few hours. You need to prepare yourself accordingly.
Here are some of the most common topics which you will need to deal with during an on-site interview for Google data engineers:
Recommended Reading: Data Engineer Interview Process
Since the Google data engineer interview process is quite challenging, you have to prepare accordingly. We have listed down everything that you need to prepare to clear each of the rounds. Let’s take a look.
HR Phone Screen
To prepare for the first round, here’s what you have to do:
Technical Phone Screen
Here’s how you can ace the technical phone screen:
An on-site interview is, undoubtedly, the most challenging part. Here, you have to solve problems related to various technical subjects. To nail this difficult round, you need to:
If you are determined to land the dream job of a data engineer at Google, you must be proficient in the following technical topics:
Data engineering is a blend of data science and software engineering. So, as a data engineer at Google, you must be familiar with the following:
Google is a company that gives tremendous importance to users and their experiences. Hence, as a data engineer, you will have to bring innovative ideas to the table and solve complex problems to improve user experiences.
The tech giant, thus, assesses the following skills during a data engineer interview:
In addition to technical knowledge and expertise, you need to equip yourself with the necessary soft skills to become a data engineer at Google. Such soft skills include:
A data engineer has to interact with data scientists, analysts, developers, software engineers, etc., on a day-to-day basis.
As a data engineer at Google, you are required to work with other teams and business units to find necessary solutions for a problem. Also, you will have to show your understanding of the business problems and communicate how you are going to solve the issue.
Sometimes, Google might expect you to conduct data analysis and present your findings to the stakeholders. In such situations, you will need to explain technical concepts to solve the issues at hand.
At this prestigious FAANG company, teams rely on each other for deliverables. As a data engineer, you have to work in a team with other members. Therefore, you need to have an understanding of the expectations of the team so that you can collaborate with the members better.
To make your tech interview prep a bit easier, we have compiled a set of probable questions.
You can expect the following technical questions during the data engineer interview:
These are some of the behavioral questions that you might get asked at your Google data engineer interview:
We have compiled the following list of 6 key tips that will help you to crack a data engineer interview at Google:
Learn About the Company
While preparing for a data engineering interview at Google, make sure to know about the company in detail. Learning about Google will give you a clear insight into its functions, business teams, and other vital information. You can use this knowledge in your favor during the interview process.
Solve Coding on Whiteboards
Interviewers will assess your coding skill on whiteboards during the on-site round. If you are comfortable only with IDEs, working on whiteboards might seem a bit difficult.
Therefore, instead of using IDEs, practice coding using a whiteboard. This will sufficiently prepare you for the on-site interview rounds.
Be Communicative During the Problem-solving Process
You need to communicate with the interviewers when coding on the whiteboard. While it is natural for you to focus on solving the problems, it is also crucial to talk your way through the problem-solving process. Therefore, you need to make it a habit to be communicative while working on the given task.
Provide Detailed Yet Concise Answers
A lot will depend on how effectively you reply to the questions. You might wonder how much information would be too much. One way is to pause after providing a response and ask the interviewers whether they are looking for further details.
Have a Solid Response Ready for the “Why Google” Question
Recruiters at top tech companies like Google tend to ask why you chose to work with that company. Although this might sound like a very standard question, you have to prepare a clear response for it. Recruiters would genuinely want to know what inspired you to explore an opportunity with Google.
Your answer will also help the recruiters to get a better understanding of your personality. So, figure out what inspired you to work as a data engineer with Google and frame a response accordingly.
Get a Detailed Idea About the STAR Technique
The STAR technique is a vital method to help you answer behavioral questions through real-life experiences.
Here is a brief overview of the STAR technique:
Practice Mock Interviews
Participating in mock interviews should also be a part of your interview preparation strategy if you are serious about cracking technical interviews. Mock interviews are useful means by which you can get the right feedback from industry experts and hiring professionals. You can easily identify your shortcomings and make improvements accordingly.
Want to practice mock interviews under the guidance of technical leads and hiring managers from Google? Register for our free webinar to learn more.
Moreover, keep the following points in mind while answering behavioral questions:
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1. Is it Hard to Get Hired at Google?
Hiring at Google is extremely competitive. According to a periodic study on the hiring trends at FAANG, Google receives more than 2 million applications each year. Out of 130-150 engineers, only 1 gets the opportunity to crack the interview. However, Google is constantly hiring and looking for top talents around the world.
Therefore, you should prepare yourself accordingly and give your best to land that dream job. With the right strategy, skills, knowledge, diligence, and perseverance, you can clear the interview at Google.
2. What are the different rounds of interviews at Google?
At Google, interviews begin with an HR phone screen where the recruiter will ask certain non-technical questions to assess your personality. After that comes the technical phone screen. Here, the interviewers will ask technical questions to assess your technical knowledge.
If you clear these rounds, you will have to face the final on-site interview. It is an extensive round where you have to engage with more than one interviewer. It includes both technical and behavioral questions.