Google STEP Internship

LAVINA JAIN
2 min readSep 22, 2019

Student Trainee Engineering Program is an internship at Google for second-year girls persuing engineering in computer science or related fields. This is offered by Google in order to increase the technical exposure of girls in engineering. I did the STEP internship in the year 2018 after my second year.

In this blog, I explain the interview process in basic: getting an interview call, the timeline, the course and the structure of the interviews.

How to get the interview call?

There are three ways you can get an interview call:

  1. Participate in online competitions hosted by Google.
    These include CodeJam, Kickstart, and Google CodeJam to I/O for women. You can read about these on official google websites. You have to make a profile and participate in these competitions. Google skims through the profiles and contacts people for internships and full-time. I participated in the CodeJam of 2017 and gave some of the kickstarts, and had rank 120 in CodeJam to I/O for women of 2017. I got an interview call for STEP in January 2018.
  2. Google comes to your campus placements and collects CVs.
    You will know if this is the case. If this happens, they collect CVs, shortlist on the basis of your CGPA and coding/development experience, and gives you an interview call if they find you suitable.
  3. Finding a referrer.
    You can try to find a Googler or a to-be Googler or someone on an internship at Google to refer you. Some ways to find a referrer are:
    - Ask around in your college.
    - Find an alumnus of yours on Facebook/Linkedin and ask them for a referral.
    - Find basically anyone on Linkedin and ask them for a referral.

My Timeline

  • Mid-January’18: Received the first email from Google asking for my resume.
  • Mid-February: Heard back about my interviews.
  • March Starting: Had 2 interviews on the same day.
  • March End: Got the offer.
  • May 7- July 14: Did the Internship at Google Hyderabad.

What are the interviews about?

The interviews are purely technical telephonic interviews that contain Data Structures and Algorithm questions. Here is a non-exhaustive list of topics:
- Dynamic Programming
- Strings
- Graphs: Traversal (bfs, dfs), Shortest Paths (dijkstra, bellman-ford), topological sort.
- Greedy: Activity selection, job scheduling, etc.
- Searching and Sorting.

There are two interviews of 45 minutes each — 15 minutes apart. Each interview has 1 or 2 questions. Generally, you are expected to code at least one of them properly on the shared google doc.

I will be writing another blog on how to attempt interviews and will add the link here.

How to prepare?

  • A few months before the interviews: Focus on the concepts.
    - Learn the concepts from online resources like videos/blogs (whatever suits your style). I prefer videos (MIT OpenCourse videos are very nice).
    - Practice competitive-style questions from websites like Codeforces, Codechef, etc.
  • 2–3 weeks before the interviews: Brush up concepts on InterviewBit/Leetcode.
    These websites contain previous interview questions from companies. You can look at and practice questions marked ‘Google’ to get an idea. I would recommend always typing out the whole solution to get the perfect practice of implementation.

All The Best!

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