My Google Interview and Lessons Learned
Tom Goldenberg

Here is my Google story.

Don’t worry or feel defeated. I always wanted to work for a giant. One day I was given fast track ticket to interview process at Google UK, London. Because I live at least 2000 km away from whichever Google HQ in Europe, I had to do it over phone.

The recruiter was really good and helpful. He told me what and how should I prepare. He told me about their plenty of false-negatives, we had really great communication overall. Back then I was 2 year passed the graduation, they put me under candidate for “New graduate software engineer” position. He asked me go over the problems in the book you mentioned. It wasn’t enough, I solved exercises from Glassdoor, leetcode and hackerrank.

The person that was interviewing me the first round of questions (on Android) had no clue what I am talking about. I went in details about stuff, yes I feel confident even now in what I answered and elaborated back then. Later the interviewer told me that works on products localization and I assumed that the interviewer might have never been into android development at all.

I was given a simple array task, I can tell the exact task. I solved it inefficiently of course! Under all that adrenaline rush, interviewer asked me if I can see any room for improvement. I tried to spot, and of course it is impossible to see it in 25 min (45 mins in total, lost 20 min on android subject) remaining.

The interviewer asked me to do complexity analysis, I give my best, I evaluated each statement and noted it to the final O. I could feel my emotions overwhelming my reason and for a moment I stopped, I blocked and freaked out, couldn’t sum ((n^2)/2)+((n^2)/2). I told my interviewer that I freaked out and I cannot continue. The interviewer tried to calm me down, but time wasn’t on my side too. Week later I was told that I didnt succeeded to impress.

I gracefully failed.

My lesson learnt:

  1. Don’t raise your hopes. You can be some giants favorite false negative.
  2. Revise everything on data structures
  3. Don’t panic and freak out.