A little over 13 years ago I wrote something short about my Microsoft interview experience (now only available in web archive). Back then the format was a shocker to a naive swede and now 13 years later and several interviews later I figured I'll write something about my experience going through the Google recruitment process.
Rather than me writing a long thing here you might as well read this which pretty much explains my experience in general.
If that blog post is too long here are the important things from my own experience.
- You don't get a yes or a no - you get a yes or not now. Failing a Google interview is not a big deal since there are several reasons a good candidate fails to prove them selves. Get your chin up and try again.
- Be humble - if you are asked to implement Fibonacci with your 10+ years of experience just write the best damn Fibonacci the interviewer has ever seen with a smile on your face.
- Prepare - the cracking the coding interview book is actually a pretty good prep tool. I coded on paper one hour every night for weeks. And don't be over confident if you are asked a question from the book because those problems have more depth than the solutions shown in the book. If you are too lazy for that there is a rule of thumb I realized preparing; if you can solve something with a hash table or graph - you probably should. A lot of problems can be reduced into hash table or graph problems so learn how to identify and solve those.
- Think differently - Google do things on a different scale than almost everybody else. This means that things that are important to other companies don't matter at Google. That is; if you can speed up things by preparing the data for a repeated operation - you probably should, even if it means using thousands of machines and/or huge amounts of memory.
And most important; have fun. Even if I would not have gotten an offer I had a blast interviewing and would have tried again.