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Google Early-Career Software Engineer Interview Questions

by Interview Kickstart Team in Interview Questions
September 16, 2022

Google Early-Career Software Engineer Interview Questions

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Google interviews are pretty challenging as the tech giant aims to shortlist the best candidates from millions of applications. Despite the tough competition, it's not possible to clear the interview process and join their talented group of software engineers.

You must have a proper preparation strategy if you’re an entry-level software engineer looking to bag a job at Google. To do so, you need to practice the right Google early-career software engineer interview questions. To help you, we have created a list of the essential topics and Google interview questions you need to review and include in your prep.

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!

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To help you decode the type of Google early-career software engineer interview questions you can expect, we’ll cover:

  • Google Interview Process for Software Engineers
  • Topics to Cover for Google Early-Career Software Engineer Interview Questions
  • Sample Google Early-Career Software Engineer Interview Questions
  • Google Early-Career Software Engineer Interview Questions FAQs

Google Interview Process for Software Engineers

Whether you’re an entry-level software engineer or an experienced one, the Google interview process will last around eight weeks and is something like this:

Online Assessment

For early career engineers, giving a small coding test is required before you talk to a Google representative. In 90 minutes, you’ll have to answer two basic questions that are generally based on data structures and algorithms.

To clear the round, you’ll have to solve both. It’s important to note here that Google considers even those candidates who don’t have a CS degree for most of the SWE and PM roles. As long as you have the skills you’re in.

Technical Screen

The online assessment will be followed by a video interview with the hiring manager or peer at Google. You’ll have to answer coding questions, and since you won’t be allowed to autocomplete or syntax cues, practice writing code in Google Docs to clear this round.

Further, prepare for behavioral questions such as, “Why Google?” Even though Google’s interview process is highly technical, you can expect such questions to pop too from time to time.

Read our blog on Understanding Technical Interviews at FAANG+ Companies and How to Crack Them to learn more.

On-site Interviews

You will have to five around 4-6 interviews where your coding and system design skills will be tested. Most interviewees have reported that there were more questions on coding than system design, and the difficulty level varied based on the experience level.

When preparing Google early-career software engineer interview questions, expect a lower difficulty level for system design questions. However, your coding skills will have to be top-notch, no matter the level.

If you want more insights into the interview process, you can read about it here — Understanding the Google Interview Process.

Topics to Cover for Google Early-Career Software Engineer Interview Questions

When preparing Google early-career software engineer interview questions, you’ll need to cover these topics:

For Technical Rounds: Coding

Get ready to face questions primarily on data structures and algorithms. You’ll need to solve them on a whiteboard or Chromebooks. Your topic checklist for these rounds should include:

  1. Dynamic Programming
  2. Algorithms
  3. Data Structures
  4. Recursion
  5. TRIE
  6. Graph Theory, BFS, DFS

12 Things to Do the Night before Your Google Onsite Coding Interview

For System Design Rounds

Even though entry-level software engineers may not have to face in-depth system design questions, this can differ as per the team's requirements and the role you’re applying for. So prepare questions based on these topics:

  1. Concurrency
  2. Estimation
  3. Scalability
  4. Real-world performance
  5. Networking
  6. Abstraction
  7. Reliability

To find out more essential system design topics to prepare before your interview, read our guide on How to Crack a System Design Interview.

For Behavioral Rounds

You’ll be asked questions to determine whether you have the “Googleyness” factor. The interviewers will assess whether you’re a cultural fit in these rounds. This factor is judged on the following criteria:

  1. Fun-loving
  2. Intellectual humility
  3. Conscientiousness 
  4. Comfort with ambiguity 
  5. Courageous or interesting life decision

To learn this concept better, read How to Display "Googleyness" at a Google Software Engineer Interview.

Sample Google Early-Career Software Engineer Interview Questions

Here are some examples of the Google entry-level software engineer interview questions you can expect:

Coding Questions

  • How would you write a code that prints the first non-repeated character from a given string with minimum complexity?
  • Given: A square 2D matrix containing X’s and O’s.

Find: the largest square containing X but not O.

  • Write a function to reverse a string using recursion.
  • Given an array, how would you find the longest consecutive subsequence?
  • Write a function to remove an element from a hashed linked list.
  • With the help of a code, how would you go about demonstrating the best data structure to implement an autocomplete feature?
  • Find the largest palindrome in the given string.
  • Given: Two binary numbers in the form of strings and in reverse.

Find: Their sum.

  • Write a code to check if the parentheses are balanced in the given string. 
  • Given: An array.

Find: The number of pairs that add up to 10.

For more practice, check out these Top 29 Google Interview Questions to Crack the Coding Interview.

System Design Questions

  • Design Google Docs.
  • How would you design Google's database for web indexing?
  • What approach would you take when designing a task scheduling system?
  • How would you design Google Home (voice assistant)
  • Design a ticketing platform.

Here are 25+ Google Systems Design Interview Questions for more practice. 

Behavioral Questions

  • Why do you want to work at google?
  • What’s your favorite Google product, and why?
  • Elaborate on a project you completed successfully.
  • Talk about a time you had to resolve a conflict in a team.
  • Why did you take up programming?

Looking for more questions? Check out these Top 5 Behavioral Interview Questions Commonly Asked at the Google Interview.

As a Googler, you’ll be expected to solve some complex daily problems. So as you prepare for your Google early-career software engineer interview questions, focus extra hard on your coding skills. Time yourself and practice as much as possible. And don’t forget to read our Google Interview Guide. All the best!

Google Early-Career Software Engineer Interview Questions FAQs

Q1. How to ace a Google software engineer interview?

Start by brushing up on your fundamentals (data structures and algorithms) and move on to coding. Practice regularly and research the role as thoroughly as possible to gauge the questions you can expect and make a prep strategy accordingly.

Q2. What are the Google software engineer interview questions?

When preparing Google early-career software engineer interview questions, cover these topics — recursion, trees and graphs, dynamic programming, hash tables and queues, arrays, strings, and so on.

Q3. How hard is it to get into Google as a software engineer?

As is made clear by the company’s acceptance rate (less than 1%), it is pretty clear that Google hires only the best. To crack the Google software engineer interview, you’ll need to practice thoroughly and regularly and develop a great strategy.

Q4. What are the different rounds of Google interviews?

The Google interviews can be divided into five segments: recruiter screen, phone screenings, on-site interviews, hiring committee reviews, and executive reviews.

Q5. How much does a Google early-career software engineer?

According to Levels.fyi, the base salary of an entry-level software engineer at Google is $133,000 per year on average.

Need Help Preparing for a Google Interview?

Landing an entry-level job at FAANG+ companies is significantly challenging. But with the right interview prep course, you can definitely see yourself making the cut. 

Check out our exclusive Early Engineering Interview Prep Course designed for entry-level FAANG+ aspirants. 

Interview Kickstart has trained over 13,500 engineers to crack the most challenging tech interviews at Tier-1 companies. We can help you too! You'll learn how to nail these interviews from tech leads and hiring managers of top-tier companies. Sign up for our free webinar today to know more about our programs. 

Sign up now!

WEBINAR +LIVE Q&A

How To Nail Your Next Tech Interview

Hosted By
Ryan Valles
Founder, Interview Kickstart
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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