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Google Cloud Interview Questions

by Interview Kickstart Team in Interview Questions
October 18, 2022

Google Cloud Interview Questions

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Every software engineer’s ultimate dream is to work at Google. Rated as one of the best employers in the world, Google opens a host of opportunities, which allows you as a software engineer to push boundaries and work on some of the most cutting-edge applications. 

Out of the various divisions and roles at Google, working on the Google Cloud Team is a highly coveted role for every software developer. However, getting hired for the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) role is no cakewalk. You’ll need to crack the Google cloud interview questions to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge in the field of cloud computing. 

Read on to know more about the Google cloud engineer interview questions and how you can answer these questions to impress the hiring manager. This article will help you understand:

  • What is Google Cloud? 
  • What are the different types of GCP roles you can explore?
  • Tips for landing a Google Cloud computing job
  • Most common interview questions on Google Cloud
  • Practice problems for a Google Cloud interview
  • FAQs on Google Cloud interviews 

What Is Google Cloud? 

Cloud computing refers to the integration of hardware and software products to provide specific services to customers. Google Cloud is a suite of cloud computing services owned by Google that are used by several Fortune 500 companies. There are over 100 Google products that fall within the Google Cloud brand. Some of the critical service categories of Google Cloud include:

  1. Compute: This is a perfect example of infrastructure as a service (IaaS). With the help of Compute engine, one can launch virtual machines on demand. It is also the infrastructure that supports the functioning of the Google search engine and other services such as Gmail and YouTube. 
  2. Networking: This component connects various Google resources and services to each other. 
  3. Storage and Databases: This enables organizations to create transformative applications, deploy faster and provide portability to the data. 
  4. Big Data: With the help of Big Data, you can store and query datasets containing a vast amount of data. Big Data can be integrated with other GCP services and also supports SQL. 
  5. Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML): This product provides access to Google's artificial intelligence to run businesses more smoothly.
  6. Management Tools: The role of management tools is to provide visibility, accountability and control to scale up business using a cloud computing system. These tools help reduce the complexity of using cloud systems.
  7. Identity and Security: This is an example of  Identity as a Service (IDaaS) for achieving confidentiality, data integrity, and authentication of data.

What Are the Different Types of GCP Roles You Can Explore?

At Google, there are different positions within GCP, based on the roles and responsibilities. 

  • Cloud software engineer: You can be a software developer specializing in cloud computing systems. This role includes being responsible for designing new systems or upgrading existing ones.
  • Cloud software consultant: This role entails finding solutions to the complex problems faced by Google’s cloud computing customers.
  • Technical program managers: This role would need you to have sufficient technical experience in cloud computing to oversee the planning, communications and execution of various cloud products. 
  • Cloud engineering managers: The role of software engineers who are hired for this role is to design internet-scale solutions and deliver products within the cloud computing system. 
  • Cloud engineering support: You could be hired as a software engineer responsible for managing the cloud computing systems and providing technical support to the cloud customers facing any issues.  
  • Cloud product managers: As a product manager, you would be required to oversee the development of new cloud products right from conception to launch. 

Top Tips for Landing a Google Cloud Computing Job

Given the surge in demand for cloud architects, cloud systems engineers, and cloud developers, it is hardly surprising that a vast majority of software engineers and software developers are keen on building a career in cloud computing systems. If you are also planning to transition from a traditional IT role to an Engineering Manager or Tech lead at Google Cloud, here are some tips:

Build Your Cloud Portfolio 

The world of cloud computing is ever-evolving. If you are serious about impressing the hiring managers during the interview, make sure to have a stellar portfolio that showcases your talent. You should also focus on earning different cloud certifications to sharpen your skills and jumpstart your cloud career. For instance, Google has recently started a free online course that helps software engineers to upskill their cloud computing skills. Obtaining the Google Cloud certifications such as Associate Certification, Professional Certification, and Google Workspace Certifications are also useful for bagging the most in-demand jobs at Google Cloud. 

Familiarize Yourself With Various Cloud Terminologies  

The Google Cloud system uses a variety of jargon such as IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, etc. Knowing the correct terms and using them during interviews can help you create a favorable impression with the recruiters. Even if you don’t know each of the terms in-depth, have a basic understanding and learn the key differences. 

Don’t Shy Away From Getting Hands-on Experience

Even if you have no prior work experience in the field of cloud computing, you can still brush up your skills by trying various Google Cloud services on your own. Learning about various products, their functionalities, and practicing using different cloud technologies gives you a taste of how cloud computing jobs are like. It also shows initiative on your part, which is a skill highly valued by hiring managers across the tech industry.

Learn About the Different Cloud-friendly Tools to Get an Edge

Certain programming languages are preferred in cloud-native applications. Thorough knowledge of such languages can definitely give you an advantage over other applicants. For example, Python is a preferred language for cloud management as several Google cloud applications use it. Having a solid background in Python can help crack Google cloud interviews. 

Showcase Your DevOps Skills 

DevOps and cloud computing have a symbiotic relationship. Most cloud computing products apply DevOps principles to design solutions that meet the ever-changing needs of the business. Therefore, knowing the principles and being able to use them in cloud computing systems is a highly desired skill set that hiring managers look for. Make sure you brush up on your DevOps knowledge by either attending online courses or conferences. 

Recommended Reading: How Hard Is It to Get a Job at Google?

Most Common Interview Questions on Google Cloud

To give you a sense of what you can expect during a Google cloud interview, here are the top 10 commonly asked Google cloud interview questions and answers. Bear in mind that these questions are based on the experiences of past candidates and recruiters. It is only an indicative list that you can refer to while preparing for your interview.

1. What is a cloud?

A cloud can be defined as a combination of network, hardware, storage, and interface. This combination is responsible for delivering cloud computing as a service to its users across the globe. Companies primarily use cloud computing for fulfilling the requirements of various stakeholders. Every cloud computing system has two major participants -- the service provider who is responsible for setting up and managing the cloud services and the end-user who uses cloud services for a host of reasons. 

2. Tell us about the various layers of Google Cloud.

There are four layers of the Google cloud platform:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This is the basic layer that consists of hardware and network.
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): This is the second layer that provides the necessary resources for building applications along with the infrastructure.
  3. Software as a Service (SaaS): Saas is the third layer that allows the user to access the various cloud offerings from the service provider.
  4. Business Process Outsourcing: This is the final layer even though BPO is not a technical solution. BPO is concerned with outsourcing services to a vendor to take care of any issues faced by the end-user while using the cloud computing services.

3. Can you list out the major features of the Google Cloud Platform?

The key features include: 

  • Ability to create custom machine types where you can vary the CPU, memory, and storage.
  • Resizing the disk in-pace can be carried out without any downtime.
  • GCP has various pre-installed tools that can be used for controlling different processes.
  • There are two hosting options. Users can either opt for App Engine, which is Platform as a Service, or Compute Engine, which is Infrastructure as a Service.

4. What are the different development models of cloud computing?

  • Public cloud: Anyone can access a public cloud as the service is available via a subscription. Accessible resources of such a cloud include OS, CPU, memory, and storage.
  • Private cloud: Such a cloud can only be accessed by a single organization and its employees. It is also known as internal cloud or corporate cloud.
  • Hybrid cloud: A combination of public and private clouds creates a hybrid cloud. It consists of mixed computing, storage, and services environment and is popular with organizations looking for improved scalability and control.
  • Community cloud: With a community cloud, several organizations can use the same service for sharing information.

5. What are the various Google Cloud storage services?

The common ones are:

  • Google Workspace
  • Cloud Storage (Object storage)
  • Persistent disk
  • Filestore
  • Data Transfer Services
  • Transfer Appliance
  • Cloud Storage for Firebase
  • Local SSD
  • Cloud Storage (Archival storage)

6. What is the use of bucket in Google Cloud Storage?

Buckets can be defined as basic containers used for storing data. Anything that you store on Cloud Storage must be stored in a bucket. There is no limit on the creation or deletion of the buckets. However, unlike directories and files, buckets cannot be nested. 

7. What is Google Cloud Messaging?

It is a mobile notification service that allows third-party application developers to send notification data from developer-run servers to applications. It has been deactivated since April 2018 and replaced by Firebase Cloud Messaging. 

8. How does cloud computing help to save costs?

Cloud computing doesn’t involve too many human resources. It also works based on pooling different resources where users only pay for what they use.

9. What is the relationship between Google Compute Engine and Google App Engine?

Google Compute Engine is the IaaS product, while Google App Engine is a PaaS product. They are complementary to each other. The App Engine is used for running web-based applications and mobile backends, while you can use Compute Engine for implementing any customized business logic or even run your own storage system.

10. What do you know about Google Cloud APIs?

The primary use of APIs is to automate the workflow through your preferred language. APIs enable communication with various Google services and also facilitate their integration to other services. It can also be defined as a gateway that allows access to direct and indirect cloud infrastructure and various software services to end-users.

Practice Problems for Google Cloud Interview

Put your knowledge to the test with these practice questions. Some of these questions have also been asked by recruiters during past interviews. 

  1. How to create a bucket name test_bucket in GCP?
  2. What is the syntax to create a bucket using gsutil command in GCP?
  3. What is the permission required to create backups in GCP?
  4. I have containerized data processing jobs; I want to run them sequentially, i.e., also be one after another -- how can I achieve it?
  5. What limitations of cloud dataflow are you aware of?
  6. Why wouldn’t you directly stream data to BigQuery?
  7. How do we monitor, trace or capture logs in AWS and GCP?
  8. What are the different authentication mechanisms for the GCE API?

Recommended Reading:
Google Interview Questions
Google Coding Interview Questions
Google Leadership Principles Interview Questions

FAQs on Google Cloud Interviews 

1. What are the most in-demand skills for cloud computing that can help me crack the Google Cloud interview?

Some of the key skills that recruiters want you to have are:

  • Cloud service platform expertise
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • Database Management
  • DevOps
  • Cloud security
  • Storage
  • Containers

2. What is the minimum qualification required for a software engineer to land a Google Cloud Interview?

While the exact requirements vary from time to time, Google is usually looking for the following:

  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, a similar technical field, or equivalent practical experience.
  • Experience with developing backend solutions using Java/Python or C++.
  • Experience with data structures and algorithms.

3. If I am interviewing for the role of cloud infrastructure engineer, will I be tested on algorithms? 

Algorithms are a critical part of all Google technical interviews. For GCP roles, recruiters are keen to test your practical coding and scripting skills. For instance, you may be asked to create a lock for a script so that it doesn't get executed twice simultaneously.

Cracking the Google tech interview might not be easy. The Google interview questions for cloud engineers shared above show that even the most fundamental cloud computing concepts can be tested during your interview.  

This means that you need a solid tech interview prep so that you can conquer the coding interview with ease. Preparation is key. Sometimes, even the smartest or high-achieving software engineers don’t get through these interviews due to a lack of preparation.

The good news is that registering for our webinar will help you prepare for your Google Cloud Interview. This is just what you need. At our bootcamps, you will meet managers, hiring committee members, and technical leads from FAANG companies who will give you insights into the interview process. Our structured sessions have helped several candidates get their dream job and work alongside the smartest brains in the business. So don’t waste time thinking -- hit the registration link and learn the secret sauce of How to Nail Your Next Tech Interview.

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Our tried & tested strategy for cracking interviews
How FAANG hiring process works
The 4 areas you must prepare for
How you can accelerate your learnings
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