Interviewing for Google

We all know Google is a tough place to interview for, a bit like Microsoft. I came across this old post detailing two questions asked during an interview at Google, provides some interesting insight into Google as an organisation. The questions were:-

1. You have been shrunk down to the size of a nickel and tossed into a blender. You are told that the blender blades will start in 60 seconds.What would you do to save your life?

2. Design and describe a system/application that will most efficiently produce a report of the top 1 million Google search requests.These are the particulars.

* You are given 12 servers to work with. They are all dual-processor machines with 4Gb of RAM, 4x400GB hard drives and networked together.(Basically, nothing more than high-end PC’s)

* The log data has already been cleaned for you. It consists of 100 Billion log lines, broken down into 12 320 GB files of 40-byte search terms per line.

* You can use only custom written applications or available free open-source software.

How would you go? What is also interesting are the comments left on the post.

2 thoughts on “Interviewing for Google

  1. I recently had 2 phone interviews with Google for different positions. The first one went well, meaning it went very professionally and I was very impressed with the brainpower of the interviewer. Unfortunately the job was not a good fit.

    My 2nd phone interview was a disaster, as much for me as it was for Google. The HR person was very mean-spirited and unprofessional. I was put on hold first and then when she got back she didn’t bother to explain who she was and what the process was. She dove into a few very entry-level questions like GPA score, GMAT score, what are your strengths. Meanwhile I was scrathing my head as I graduated from college 13 years ago overseas and honestly I don’t remember the GPA conversion. Ms. Blackwell was reading off of a script and I got the sense that I was a little object on her assembly line today and she happened to be a non-passionate assembler in the factory. She asked me the same question twice and when I pointed out subtlely that I had just responded to her question, she hung up on me.

    I used to work for Microsoft and I hope I’m not too dumb for this lady? Even if I were dumb, who gives her the rights to degrade a job candidate like that?

    I hope Ms. Blackwell was just having a bad day and I certainly hope she’s not representative of the true Google people and Google culture.

  2. I hope she was as well, sounds like a very bad experience!! The question I have is would you still want to work for Google or has this experience changed your perspective?

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