My Interview Experience with Google [Japan] — Part 1

2 min read

I’ve been waiting to get my interview results to write about my experience. I finally received an email from my recruiter earlier today which eventually completes the process for me.

Application Process

I applied through the Google Careers page. I didn’t really have a referral but I used to apply quite often whenever I would see an open position for new grad roles.

I first received an email from a Google talent acquisition specialist back in July. Let’s call him X. We scheduled a phone conversation over the next few days. It was an initial recruiter screening call. We began with an introduction of ourselves, then I was asked some basic theoretical questions which included time complexity of various sorting algorithms, the time complexity of binary heap operations, etc. After that, I was briefed with the entire process and was asked to choose my preferred location within India to which I replied Bangalore. After the call ended, X shared some documents and resources for preparation. It was a comprehensive list of topics to be covered. X told me to take time to prepare and he would check-in again after a week or two and when I felt ready I could have my phone screen scheduled.

Commonly Asked Topics

  • Binary search
  • BFS/DFS/Flood fill
  • Tree traversals
  • Hash tables
  • Linked list, stacks, queues, two pointers/sliding window
  • Binary heaps
  • Dynamic programming
  • Union find
  • Ad hoc/string manipulations

Other good to know topics: Trie, segment trees/Fenwick trees, bitmasks

In the meantime, while I was preparing, I heard from another recruiter based in Japan. Let’s call her Y. We scheduled a Hangouts video call to get acquainted and have an overview of the process with Google Japan. After a few days, I was supposed to check-in with X, where I told him about Y and Google Japan. Then I was asked my preference for location, to which I responded Tokyo. From there on, it was decided I will be interviewing for Tokyo University Grad SWE role.

Technical Phone Interview

My technical phone interview was scheduled in August end. I was supposed to code on Google docs. I was asked a single question with multiple follow-ups to it. I got an update on the very next day.

Feedback: Continue to maintain good code quality (helper methods, bugs, refactor, design, language constructs, etc.). Continue to revise on ds/algos. If you happen to know of Google Software Engineers, would encourage you to get some mock interviews too.

I received positive feedback on my performance and was moved to the onsites. Since I had mid-semester exams, I requested my interview to be held the next month in October.

I don’t want this post to be too long, so I will be posting about my Onsite experience in Part — 2! :)

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