Google Job Interview Questions: My Experience and Why I Rejected the Offer

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Review of: Google Job Interview
Google Job Interview:
Pete Abilla

Reviewed by:
On March 29, 2006
Last modified:October 31, 2014


Here is my interview with Google back in 2006. In this job interview with Google, they ask me google interview questions and answers and I share my thoughts on the job and what it's like working at Google and Facebook.

This is the account of my interview experience with Google in 2006. This article discusses Google Job Interview Questions – my experience and why I rejected their offer. This is my story.

PS: Also while you’re here, feel free to:

Preamble: Google Job Interview

google contacted me about a position with the print team. i was well paid and was doing well at the company i was with at the time, but i agreed to interview with google anyway. the head of global print operations was under a lot of pressure due to the lawsuits, etc. yet, he needed headcount, especially they needed help with the actual print operation and the quality problems they were having at the time. the job was for a permanent position – why else would they go through a grueling 2 days of interviews for a contractor?  but when i pressed him on salary and asked him to match and provide much more than what i was making and i anchored at an amount, he buckled and made it contractual instead. he waffled, so i said “no thanks”.

the people i met were nice, very bright, and focused on their work. several of them complained to me about their frustrations that “google was so big and stuck in its ways”. i thought that was interesting. i declined because of the iffy-ness of a contractual job (though the cash would be very good); the high cost of the bay area wasn’t appealing to me at the time; and, the future of the print effort seemed unsure to me – but the vision and promise of google print is very good. those were my reasons. now, back to the google interview below

The Google Job Interview

back in october 2005, i interviewed with google, for a position with google print. my interview was over 2 days, on 10/12/2005 and 10/13/2005. i didn’t do much to prepare for the interview, except read-up on all the google print controversy regarding the n lawsuits against google print. unlike most companies that fly their candidates out for an onsite interview, google’s policy was for me to pay for my flight, hotel, and food, but that they would reimburse me later. i thought that was lame and unprofessional; after all, they are the ones that contacted me for an interview and i never applied for a job with them. luckily, i was going to be in that area anyway for business, so i just scheduled my business trip for that week.

Google Interview Questions: Day 1, 4 interviews

in the lobby reception desk, i typed my name on this little widget and signed the dotted line. then, this little widget prints a self-adhesive name tag with my name, google, and my location. i gladly took that self-adhesive and put in on my shirt breast. then, i met with the hr people, both of whom were very nice. they were very, very late, but i had fun hanging out in the lobby of 1625 charleston road, building #44. in the lobby were 4 refrigerators full of odwalla drinks; i helped myself to a couple. on the wall was a large flat monitor that showed, in real time, the current google searches. this was really amusing. i remember the following searches:

  • web hosting reviews
  • size d bra
  • how to advertise
  • how to make a bomb
  • osama
  • italian mob + hbo
  • catholic anger
  • Find a Math Tutor

this was really cool. finally, the hr folks were ready and brought me into a room next to the korean and chinese speaking engineers. my first interviewer came in late and was really sweaty. he had just ridden his bike to work. he was sorry he was late. he was super nice and his questions were easy.

the next person was a little tougher; she had been with sun microsystems for several years and was in charge of their warehouse and distribution side. she asked some tough questions, was very open about her frustrations with google, but ended up very nice to me. she was very frustrated that the engineering received so much priority and attention, but operations and business didn’t. she was very open about what irritated her as an employee at google.

the next person came in had a background in library science and an mba from michigan. he was really nice too and asked fluffy questions. he wasn’t an engineer and i don’t think he knew what to ask me, so he asked me lame conversational-type questions. i don’t think it was a fit interview either; i think he was just clueless – not in a bad way, just that he just didn’t know what was going on. the next person i interviewed with was sharp; he was a stanford mba and had been in the print industry for a while. he wasn’t quantitative at all, but was nice. he asked me hypothetical questions about potential problems that they face in the print group. the problems were very interesting. there is true innovation going on at google, for sure.

that was it for day 1. there was no lunch, but i was free to raid the fully-stocked kitchen whenever i wanted to; i helped myself to a healthy dose of mountain dew and stopped by the cafeteria for a veggie sandwich. the atmosphere there is very cool and i felt energy and could visually see the innovation going on. very cool. that evening, i went to my hotel and did some work for the company i was with at the time.

Google Job Offer: day 2, 7 interviews

i did the whole self-adhesive, name tag thing again. got an odwalla (2 of them), then waited. eventually, the hr people came and got me. this day was much tougher than day 1. my first interview was with a former nasa scientist-turned googler. my interview with him was fun and interesting; he proposed several real case studies and problems that they face in the print team. my second interview was with another engineer; he asked me basic questions and one brain teaser. the brain teaser goes something like this, if i remember it right:

you are at a party with a friend and 10 people are present including you and the friend. your friend makes you a wager that for every person you find that has the same birthday as you, you get $1; for every person he finds that does not have the same birthday as you, he gets $2. would you accept the wager?

i had fun trying to solve this one. the answer has to do with the number of days in the year and the probability the person’s birthday falls on the same day as mine (without replacement). i eventually solved it, but it took time learning how to apply probability with no replacement. i tried using 10! (factorial), for some reason, but that was totally the wrong approach. we ended the interview; i didn’t feel as good about that one, because i struggled a little bit through that brain teaser.

my next interviewer asked a lot of algorithm questions. he made me write pseudo-code for a binary search; he had me uml a system; he made me explain cron, diff, the permission system in unix, and had me write a bunch sql queries. this guy was a scientist at epson, the printer company. he was sharp; quantitative but warm. i liked that interview. my next interview was with a nice lady who had been with google for a few years. she was cold, but not mean; observant, but not expressive. i felt that i answered her questions fine and our interview was done.

my next couple of interviews were with people that i had interviewed with the previous day, in day 1. those went fine and uneventful. but, by this time of day, i was getting really tired, physically and just tired of interviewing. alas, the last interviewer came, the head of global operations for the google print team. he was very nice, open, and direct. that interview went fine and he openly shared his strong interest in my background and said that i’d be a great addition to the team. he also shared how living in the bay area is so nice and seemed to be trying to sell the location and the company. i saw this as a good sign. our time ended; i left, but before i walked out the building, i managed to steal a few more of those odwalla drinks. i drove to the san jose airport, caught my flight, and went home.

Google Human Resources: Weeks Later

the hr guy called and gave me an offer! but, it wasn’t what i was expecting. i was excited for the google stock units (gsu) and the phat salary that would barely keep me alive with the bay area cost of living, but that’s not what i got. instead, google offered me a contractual position, with a very high hourly rate. of course, because it was contractual, there would be no benefits or google stock units. on the phone, on the spot, i declined the job offer. moving to the bay area wasn’t that appealing to me, especially if the job didn’t have google stock units and benefits. the cash was good, but my family needed more than that.

all in all, the experience was okay. there is certainly more hype about google than i believe it really merits. true, they hire sharp — really sharp people; i felt a lot of energy and could see the innovation happening there, but many of them seemed really unhappy.  i can’t put my finger on it, but many employees i met really seemed unhappy and many mentioned the intense bureaucracy present at google — the people i interviewed with didn’t seem happy to me. they looked tired and grumpy. i didn’t get a feeling that google treats their people very well. i’m glad for my decision not to join google. but, i’ll always wish i had free reign on those odwalla drinks :)

Google Job Interview Update

yes, i recited that brain teaser from memory, so i’m sure i shared it incorrectly. the approach, though, is this: thinking now of probability without replacement,

(364/365) * (363/365) . . .

this is the approach to the problem. given this, would i take the wager? no; it’s a bad bet.

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  1. Chad Blodgett says

    Pete – I’m glad you documented that. Very interesting post. I think I’ll go get an odwalla drink!

    P.s. I found your spot on VIPBloggers!

  2. n m says

    The answer is obviously NO-DON’T WAGER.

    you don’t even need to do probabilities.
    Do you mean birthday, or birthday MONTH

  3. Not a Googler says

    I got the same feeling about the Googlers. In my interviews, they generally seemed to be pretty disheveled, and not so thrilled that they had to be interviewing (when a company grows as fast as they did, everyone hires). Some interviews were better than others, and the immature interviewers resorted to “Im smarter than you” tactics (technical one-upsmanship). As someone who has hired technical staff for over 5 years, I really only got the feeling that one or two of my 7 interviewers knew what they were doing. In the end, they pulled a bait-and-switch on me, offering me a different job than the one I applied to. I’m really glad I hadn’t drank the Kool Aid…a lot of Googlers I know seem to be unhappy with their jobs.

  4. Josh says

    They actually offered a job (contract) to someone who doesn’t seem to be able to use proper capitalization?

  5. Peteris Krumins says

    I am sorry but the teaser you wrote is not much of a teaser. Can you
    verify if you got it correctly?

    Having 10 people in a room and asking for odds someone having birthday
    the same day you do is next to nothing. Basically you lose all your money.

  6. Jonathan Tang says

    On the birthday problem…

    The link you give is a different problem from the one you describe in the interview. The link describes the probability that *any* two partygoers will have the same birthday, which is 1 – 364/365 * 363/365 * 362/365 … * 343/365, which works out to > 1/2. The interview question, as you describe it, is whether any of the partygoers have the same birthday *as you*.

    I don’t really understand the question, because it seems too easy. The chance that any given person will have the same birthday as you is 1/365. If you lose $2 364/365 of the time, and win $1 1/365 of the time, you’re going to be in a really deep hole. Are you certain this is how they phrased it?

  7. Dan Nordquist says

    Well, now you’ve gotten yourself into three separate birthday party puzzles, all with different answers and probabilities. If I’m talking to you on a street corner, and someone walks by, the probability of him having my birthday is 1/365, or 364 to 1. I will happily pay you a dollar if he doesn’t have my birthday, but only if you pay me a fair rate for actually matching my birthday: $364. It doesn’t matter how many times this process is repeated (a roomful of people will have independent birthdays). The odds are still the same.

    Perhaps 12 people in a room want to wager that any two of them have the same birthday? 4:1 odds would be about fair for that.

  8. Tim says

    “also, they were looking for a thought process rather than a final answer.”

    The problem, as stated, is trivial and shouldn’t take more than a second’s consideration. I believe you stated the problem incorrectly. As stated, your friend is essentially offering you:

    For every person at the party, 1/365 you win $1. 364/365 you lose $2.

  9. Bombie says

    I don’t know why people seemed unhappy to you in Google, the stock price alone takes very good care of them. Are your interviewers all contractual workers? haha…
    I know someone who just got out of college and went there as a beginner QA not that long ago, still got filthy rich with his stock options. Is he happy? Do we even need to ask?

  10. Matt says

    Some info on birthday probabilities is here:

    I recall reading somewhere that the minimum number of people to have in a sample in order to have a 50% chance of at least ONE pair of people sharing a birthday is 23. I also recall reading (somewhere? or maybe it was in college) that with 50 people in a room, there is a 97% chance that at least one pair of people will share a birthday.

    That’s all I got, and I don’t work for Google.

  11. Dan says

    Maybe you’re at a party that is thrown for multiple people celebrating the same birthday…wow, now we’re talking. Personally I would have asked a question or two about the party before answering…it’s definitely about thought process, you could argue that everyone there has the same birthday, technically you’re not wrong without knowing more information.

  12. Another Digg User says

    Do you, Digg User, know that the lack of capitalization in no way detracted from his story? Stop nitpicking just because you have nothing worthwhile to say.

  13. mk says

    I think the birthday question is how many people have the same birth *DAY* as you.

    As in if you’re birthday is on the the first of the month, how many people will also have their birth day on the first vs. the same birth date: month/day/year

  14. Julius Seizure says

    I wonder what the hourly rate was. I live in the bay area as a software contractor. The going rate for Sr. C# / .NET contractors (going through a body shop) is around $60-$70 / hour on a 1099 or corp-to-corp basis.

    I would assume that since there was no body-shop middleman adding an additional 25%-35%, they would be able to beat this rate.

    Were they able to better the typical going rate?

  15. Craig says

    My response would have been …

    “So, is my friend a hot girl? Cause i’d probably just give her the money in hopes of sleeping with her…”

    “Hell, I’m at a party and gambling? Do i have bigger problems. . .?”

    “I work for Google, I want to bet more like, $10,000 dollars (evil laugh)”…

  16. lowdown says

    Not using capitalization is a way to show that you are too cool for school. Obviously you know how to capitalize, but you just don’t give a **** – so why bother. Next year people will start dropping the punctuation. Then you will be sorry for whining about this lack of capitalization.

  17. alec says

    I think you capture the essence of the Google work environment very well — especially the part of the Sweaty Bicycling Employee being late for your interview. I hope he wasn’t covered in Smug, though 😉

  18. Siqi Chen says

    Isn’t the interview process subject to nondisclosure? You could be risking your offer by disclosing it.

  19. Anon. says

    Siqi Chen….

    uh… did you read? i dont reckon he cares if the offer is “risked”… he declined them cuz they weren’t ready to drop that stock on him…

    lol@the story…. i love to hear how unhappy people are behind the digital curtain of this very public company… hehehe. it’s like a nazi propaganda film where all ‘ze’ germans are eating their bunt cake and smiling and waving, and forthing over hitler like he was a Beatle or something… but the reality of it is that they are all paid actors or threatened before hand… ahh.. such is google… the fourth reich.

  20. not@google says

    I can understand how people can make good money and still be unhappy
    with their jobs. Especially in the SF bay area, where there is a lot
    of pressure put on people not just to work hard, but to live up to
    certain expectations. It doesn’t surprise me at all that some
    Googlers are unhappy.


    ///but, the people i interviewed with didn’t seem happy to me. they looked tired and grumpy.

    They may not have APPEARED to be happy, but Human Beings are certainly more multi-dimensional than a chance meeting during their workday.

    To you this was a very important ocassion, but don’t forget – they may have had many other important projects on their minds which consumes alot of mental and physical energies.

    But, even as a consultant – the networking with some of the most brilliant minds anywhere is priceless.

    check out the if you haven’t already.

  22. tab says

    >Do you know there are Shift and Caps Lock buttons on your keyboard?

    I guess somebody at digg thinks you should scream some in your article.

  23. czar says

    The birthday problem (as stated) analysis is as follows:

    You have to calculate the expected value (average winnings) of each person (you and your con-artist friend) and compare the two.

    The expected value for you is:

    (9C1)*(1/365)(1-1/365)^8 + (9C2)(1/365)^2(1-1/365)^7 + … + (9C9)(1/365)^9

    The expected value for your friend can be caluated in a similar way. As it turns out your friend’s expected winnings is much higher, as a result he will make a killing.

    Now it seems based on the answer given by the author, that the original problem statement was probably something along the lines of:

    “you owe 2 bucks to your friend if no one in the room has the same birthday and you get a buck from your friend if at least have 2 people have the same birthday”

  24. says

    All nitpicking aside, the Google interview process can be painful. I was approached by Google for work internationally, and went through a 12 person interview process. All the feedback I got was very positive (inside source), and the final stage of the interview process was with a very high level person in the company. She determined (probably fairly accurately) that I didn’t have the experience they needed for that particular position. End of interview process.

    Ideally, I wouldn’t have done the previous 11 interviews, or at least those 11 interviews would have been with people who were looking for something more similar to what this final interviewer was seeking.

    In short, I think Google is a great company with solid market position (in an industry with almost null switching costs… ergo shaky ground) and pretty smart (though generally not brilliant) people. The interview process, however, could stand some scrutiny…

  25. boomer2006 says

    Interview processes at top companies are generally very painful. They are trying to be highly selective. If they just wave everyone in the door, they wouldn’t get extraordinary people.

    One company I worked for during the Internet boom, staffed entirely with Stanford, MIT, and Princeton grads, asked nothing but hard brainteasers. They were a web startup, but didn’t bother asking programming questions, under the theory that a bright person would pickup any programming they needed. For 6 hours, a candidate would be asked approximately 12 brainteasers. If you made some progress answering 4, that was considered good, but we generally didn’t make an offer unless they made some progress answering all 12. One candidate stopped in the middle of an interview and said, “stop, I’m tired of this. It’s over” and just walked out of the building.

  26. DoubleXL says

    I agree with the instinct that you needed a permanate position rather than a contract position. I personally belive that from my expreience in HR and management that you may have found your interviewers to not be excited about there jobs because they first do several of these a day, boring work, second the position requires alot of thought, many of these people who opperate at such a high level are not capable of being your best friend, they relate to people on a much more mechanical level. As for the brain teasers, these other comments don’t get the point, that is to describe the odd mathmatically not just using reason. Computers don’t use reason, they use math!

  27. Rt Wing Fan says

    It amazes me to see how many people equate happiness with financial achievement. Just as some of the happiest people I know are very low wage earners, some of my richest contacts are also very unhappy. Joy is a gift. All the rest is posing.

  28. Scott Bryan says

    I’m guessing that Google is offering most of the people they would like to try out high paid contractual work in order to allow for an arbitrary evaluation period before taking them on as FTEs if they make the grade. I do think you reacted too quickly. I think I would have had a pat answer ready, like “I’ll get back to you after I talk with my …,” regardless of their offer just to allow myself time to distance myself emotionally. Then I would have countered that I thought they were wise to arrange for an arbitary evaluation period in this way, that I was pretty sure I’d be able to fit in and contribute substantially to their team, and that I’d take the job if they paid twice the relocation costs up to something like $20K.

  29. Vermouth says

    Couldn’t help myself… the answer to the birthday wager in a subsequent link to a Stanford mathematician’s typically rigid calculations is, of course, wrong also. He neglects to take into consideration that birthdays are not evenly distributed thoughout the year. For instance, if your birthday is in October or April you have a better chance than if your birthday is in December or sharing a birthday with someone else. The link below states it more discreetly, but mathematicians and their hard science breathren, as a group, are among the stupidest people on the planet.

  30. Raza says

    The brain teaser is so straightforward without any calculation and you tried solving it !!!!

    There are 365 days and probability of having people with same birthday is so less compared to having different leave alone the fact that he is even getting twice then you.

    I wonder now what kind of people google hires.

  31. Snake says

    Ya think Google would get better people if they located someplace where the cost of living was more reasonable?

  32. Rocketboom Viewer says

    You had an odd experience. I have a friend (who now works for Google,) who had a different interview experience.

    In his case, they DID pay to fly him down. The actual interviews were similar in concept (he is a system administrator, so the actual technical info I’m sure differed.) But they did offer him a real permanent position. Which miffed some of the interview-ers, because when they started at the same position, they were contractual, and took awhile to convert to permanent.

    (But, he has to move from Portland to ‘middle of nowhere, Oregon’, so maybe they have to offer permanent to offset the awful location.)

  33. Another Rockboom Viewer says

    I clicked on Amanda and she sent me here…

    Interesting observation about the folks who work at Google (tired, grumpy, chronically late…) Because of a book I’m reading now, I bet you knew a lot about them right away – and weren’t going to take a job there either. Maybe you’d enjoy the book, too:

    “Blink” by Malcom Gladwell.

    I read his book “The Tipping Point” last week. Another good read.

    Have a great day!

  34. Jian Chen says

    Like big corps, Google is a great company for beginners. It is not good to work there if you aim high…

    Maybe you can become the next google or microsoft. So, why be a corp cag?

  35. Aks says

    Google sux!!… get a phd and go write javascripts… thats what google is all about?.. there is only one thing that I am personally happy with.. google search… not because i find everything.. but usually they are better other existing competitors. honestly i dont think they are going to last like this for long.. they do have a long list of failures or things that did not really create a big buzz or give that cutting edge over their competitors.. seriouslty. google in my opinion is heading for 100$ end of the year… and thats even higher that what they are really worth

  36. John A. Bilicki III says

    I suppose you could use first-letter pseudo-element to capitalize letters but it doesn’t really matter that much especially since this would only apply to the first sentence of each paragraph. This font size is fine since your site doesn’t have a lot of clutter.

    Any company that sends you an unsolicited invite should always cover costs up-front. Too bad they didn’t offer more for you though.

  37. Johnny Debacle says

    “One company I worked for during the Internet boom, staffed entirely with Stanford, MIT, and Princeton grads, asked nothing but hard brainteasers. They were a web startup, but didn’t bother asking programming questions, under the theory that a bright person would pickup any programming they needed. For 6 hours, a candidate would be asked approximately 12 brainteasers. If you made some progress answering 4, that was considered good, but we generally didn’t make an offer unless they made some progress answering all 12. One candidate stopped in the middle of an interview and said, “stop, I’m tired of this. It’s over” and just walked out of the building.”

    And I’m sure that was a hugely successful web-startup.

  38. Tunde says

    Some guy asks ‘does he mean birthday or birthday month?’ way up there. I think the ‘day’ in birthday actually means day.

  39. mark says

    If I was to ask someone the Bithday brain teaser….I would rate them on how fast they answered the question. Right or Wrong would be my second thought…

  40. PJ says

    I’d say to puzzle face: Here’s $2, go calculate some Pi and leave me alone.

    Besides, I don’t gamble.

  41. Nev says

    So far, the comments on this birthday puzzle have neglected the effect of leap years.

    Imagine a span of time four years long. Wikipedia informs me that you can call this span an “Olympiad”. For the sake of clarity I’ll just call it a “fouryear.” Every fouryear consists of three common years (365 days long) and one leap year (366 days long). How many days are there in a fouryear? 365+365+365+366 = 1461 days.

    Imagine that one baby is born every day in that fouryear. For most birthdays, there will be four babies with that birthday. For instance, in the fouryear 1980-1983, there will be one baby each born on June 2 1980, June 2 1981, June 2 1982, and June 2 1983. There will be one baby born on leap day, February 29 1980.

    Imagine you were born on a regular day (not a leap day). If you meet someone at a party, the odds that you have the same birthday are, I think, 4/1461, or 0.00273785. That’s a little bit lower than 1/365, or 0.00273972.

  42. Sam says

    I agree with what anonymous said Pete, you should at least have tried giving them something to htink about, that way, at least you can figure out if you rhypo of the way Google treats its people is right…right?
    anyway, it’s also right on the other side that after all, if what they offer you is what you feel not right for you, go,ahead, by all, means, please yourself….
    Your a good person in my anlysis.

  43. Jarl Robert Kristiansen says

    “Matt said, April 26, 2006 @ 9:07 am

    I recall reading somewhere that the minimum number of people to have in a sample in order to have a 50% chance of at least ONE pair of people sharing a birthday is 23. I also recall reading (somewhere? or maybe it was in college) that with 50 people in a room, there is a 97% chance that at least one pair of people will share a birthday.”

    Actually it’s 98% 😉

    1 – ((50 C 2) / (365 C 2)) = 1 – (2450 / 132860) = 0.982

  44. Anon says

    I interviewed for the position of Recruiter. I would love to blab, I mean blog, but am seriously scared off due to NDA, living in an area with few real hi-tech companies, and on an unhurried paced but still on a job search.

    I am glad you wrote what you wrote, Pete.

    I wonder though at why the deal fell through. Your “HR guy” should have cleared money issues with you from the get go. I know you spoke upfront about your requirements but… what a waste of time, lack of efficiency, and professional skill and care by recruiting.

    I wish you would write about how many recruiters you were passed on to.

    I hate what’s happened to my industry. It facilitates the dark side. See I just used the word “hate” and so have others on this page. I will be strong. I will continue to fight the “good fight.” We’re so outnumbered though.

  45. mediaguy74 says

    Ok heres my experience with Google.

    Had a great phone interview until they asked me what my GPA was as an undergrad. She said if it wasnt a 3.0 or higher that she wouldnt continue the conversation. No rationale would make them change their mind. Since I didnt have a 3.0 (yet I got into an MBA program) the conversation ended. I think I am better off not having gone there.

  46. Andy says

    If it was contract, do they allow you to work elsewhere as well incase you happen to get some small software projects from somewhere to work over weekends or are their contracts very strict ?

    Would appreciate your thoughts on this.


  47. d says


    I have my 2nd telephonic interview with google on monday. could anybody plz tell what i could expect?I finished my first interview last monday…it is for a linux systems admin position.
    would appreciate if anybody could give any pointers as to what to expect.

  48. gbella says

    II’m curious who decides who will be interviewed? Does the recruiter see a resume and decide “this person sounds like a possible fit” or is it a hiring manager? I also wonder if it is the person who does the phone interview who decides if the possible candidate gets to continue the interview process or is it someone else. I have a friend who has failed two initial phone interviews, poor thing. He has a Masters, and many yrs of experience in the business. I think he has given up on G now.

  49. Breno says


    I’ll have my 1st telephonic interview with google tomorrow. Could anybody plz tell what i could expect? It’s a Linux/Unix sys admin position.



  50. Daniel says

    Dear Breno,

    The only thing I can tell you is that being the very best in what you are doing is not enough to go through the gauntlet of Google’s recruitment process.

    I went through 10 interviews (4 over the phone, 6 in the GooglePlex) and they did not make me an offer. By the standards of where I currently live, I am in the top 5% of the best software engineers. I lead open source projects, write articles in renowed magazines, mentor younger developers and started to code before being a teen.

    But it was not enough for Google. So, in fact, after much thinking, I concluded that you have to be the very best not in what you are doing but in what *they* are doing, which is the whole trick!

    Btw. the people I have met were simply the brightest software engineers I have ever met and extremely kind at the same time: it is worth to go through the recruiting process just for this.

    And being rejected by such luminaries is, after all, acceptable.

    All the best,

  51. Breno says

    Thank you for this reply Daniel. It was very usefull. I’m becoming impressed with all that I have heard. 4 phone interviews? There’s a long way… there was too many people concurring the same position?
    The travel (hotel, flight, etc) was sponsored by Google?



  52. Daniel says

    Hi Breno,

    There were surely many people in competition for the position, but the position itself is opened to many Java developers.

    Yes, Google paid it all: flight, hotel, rental car… they are really great.

    Best of luck!

  53. Breno says

    I’m going to the 2nd round next week. They told me that this one is much more in-depth questions…. and should take 45 minutes. All your interviews over the phone were 100% technical?
    Maybe they would ask about google products, revenue, etc.?

    I’m O’Reilly book author, I write articles to Linux Magazine and I’m one of the best professionals where I live, I have a good incoming working for a big and well known IT company. But I don’t think that I’m good for them…. I’m not such luminary.
    I don’t know why professionals wants to get in there. Why they attract everybody? I suppose Google will explode like any other dot com big bubble.

    Thank you again!

  54. Daniel says

    Interviews were about technical problems to solve (including some related to actual Google services) and methodological approaches. I can not detail further because I signed an NDA.

    Do not lose hope, you can do it!

    And why targetting Google? Well, the GooglePlex is an incredible place to work, a kind of a geek-stuffed campus where you can work and learn from others in a self-organized and highly productive manner. This makes Google attractive.

    I do not think they will explode but the risk is that people start to doubt about their “Do no evil” motto and that the current “Microsoft domination is evil” mantra shifts to “Google domination is evil”.

    If this happens, will Google be able to restore core values? If no, engineer might leave the place, the same way they leave Microsoft, because the place will simply no longer be the good one to be…

    As I said, keep the faith and good luck!


  55. Breno says

    Hi Daniel,

    I went to my 2nd round interview today. About 40 minutes of in depth technical questions. I think that I answered 70% of all questions. But I don t know how good is enough to clear this second interview. Did you answered all your questions correctly over the phone? How good were you in the phone screen?

    I did´t like the interview… they asked me only things that I don´t work daily. But things that I could answer with a very fast research. What a bad luck.


  56. Charu says

    HI All those ppl looking for info on Google interview, After being Interviewed 2 times on site, i feel like It is overrated.Sure ODwallaJuice and Sandwitch is free and restrooms are very nicebut they have lot of problems too Receptionist at bld 41 in mtn view sucks, she is rude and has no training how to talk to people.After a written,phone and 2in-person, I was offered Contracting too..which i did not take…….may be their loss may be mine But wait 5 yrs and then u are going to ask.GOOGLe? Who?

  57. Daniel says

    Hi Breno,

    Sorry for the delay. I was travelling.

    > I went to my 2nd round interview today. About 40 minutes of in depth technical
    > questions. I think that I answered 70% of all questions. But I don t know how good
    > is enough to clear this second interview. Did you answered all your questions
    > correctly over the phone?

    Kind of okay. I did well on my stuffs (Java) but probably less well on other things (algorithms). Many questions were open, so it is hard to know if I did well.

    > How good were you in the phone screen?

    I guess no so bad after all as Google flew me to the Googleplex 😉

    > I did´t like the interview… they asked me only things that I don´t work daily. But
    > things that I could answer with a very fast research. What a bad luck.

    No bad luck here. I told you. They do not care about who you are and what you are good at. They care about who they are and how good you are in what they do. They probably do not even try hard to figure out how easily/rapidly you could evolve to the particular skillset they are looking for. At least, this is what I have learnt from interviewing with them.

    Do not despair, it is not over until it is over. They will surely contact you again within a few days/weeks.

    Take care,

  58. Breno says

    Hi Daniel!!
    Yes, I have failed! I thought that I would go farther than the 2nd phone screening. Take a look:


    We would like to thank you for your interest in Google and taking the time
    to talk to us. After carefully reviewing your experience and qualifications,
    we have determined that there is not a fit for a ‘Linux/Unix System Administrator position.

    Thanks again for considering Google. We wish you well in your endeavors.

    Google Staff”

    It’s real, I don’t fit this position. They are looking for someone with diffrent skill set. I’m working with a lot of big projects, but I wasn’t asked about any of them. So, here is what I have learned from Daniel:

    > They do not care about who you are and what you are good at. They care about who they are and how good you are in what they do.

    > They probably do not even try hard to figure out how easily/rapidly you could evolve to the particular skillset they are looking for.

    … and don’t be nervous. It can kill your knowledge.

    I think it was fair. Thank you very much Daniel! It was a VERY usefull help!


  59. Daniel says


    I am sorry to read you have been rejected. I am glad this discussion could have been informative.

    Do not have a bad image of yourself after this rejection: Google is a particular employer with particular needs. There is still plenty of great opportunities out there!


  60. ALP says


    I have my onsite interview with google next week for QA engineer role. I cleared two telephone interviews. Could anyone please help me as to what I should expect and how I should prepare myself?


  61. Huan says


    I send my resume to google for for QA engineer, and they give me an interview. Could you share your experience of the first two phone interviews to me? For example, will they ask me about software for testing, writing a script to test a software?


  62. Yasir says

    haven’t read all the posts here …

    but for that birthday question, it doesn’t make sense to solve it mathematically IMHO, its so obvious that you’d lose if you interpret it literally

    sounds like a trick question. it doesn’t say you’re limited to people in the room, and it also doesn’t say the friend knows your birthday.

  63. ALP says

    Hello Huan,

    I would advice you to be prepared with all QA concepts and analytical questions. Also you should have good knowledge of the skill set you have mentioned in your resume.

    Good Luck!

  64. John says

    Hi guys,
    I just finished university and just for fun applied for a system administrator position at Google and they actually contacted me and gave me a phone interview. After reading all these posts i’m VERY nervous. Since i just graduated from school i’m not up to par in my linux knowledge as to the rest of the people here. Can someone give me some pointers on questions they may have asked you? breno i would appreciate your help.

  65. Daniel says

    Hi John,

    Do not worry too much! Google is much more interested by your potential and fundamental knowledge rather than by your professional experience.


  66. BBinod Kumar says


    I’ll have my 1st telephonic interview with google tomorrow from Mountain View office. Could anybody plz tell what i could expect? It’s a Techical Specialist Solution – analytics position.



  67. Daniel says

    Dear Binod,

    I had several phone interviews (before going to the Plex) so here are the common points I have found between these interviews:

    * very cold atmosphere, do not expect to engage in a human to human dialog,
    * similarly do not expect to talk about yourself, your resume has been quickly scanned,
    * a list of (apparently scripted) technical questions of all levels and well related to your field,
    * a list of (apparently scripted) more general questions with open answers possible that allow you to imagine solutions and share your thoughts,
    * do not expect any feedback, especially on open questions: you will have this “lost in space feeling” when you do not know if you are saying interesting or stupid things 😉

    All the above concerns the technical interviews: the interviews you will have with your recruiter are extremely different, much more human. This is your recruiter who gives you the feeling you are not being recruited by the Matrix (without him/her, Google would be a cold soulless recruiting machine).

    Best of luck,

  68. CAO says


    I was emailed by a recruiter about 10 days ago on setting up a phone interview, but I haven’t heard anything back from them yet. Could any anybody tell how I could follow up? Please someone, let me know what to expect the interview questions for the position of localization coordinator. I am not the programming type and with a humanity background.

    Any help/feedback will be highly appreciated.
    Appreciate the blog!


  69. nnageswara rao says

    hhello this is nageswara rao,
    iii i am attending interviews but have rejecting from their, i am not completed my ggraduation . plese some tips to attend inteviews.

  70. Anon says

    I just have to comment.. it seems that a lot of people with poor written language skills are getting interviews.. this seems strange.. assuming they’ll be working in the USA… of course speaking english has nothing to do with ability to do well at one’s job.. but it can make things hard in certain situations..

  71. Keith says

    A recent New York Times article said that Google is actually using an algorithm now to help determine whether or not somebody will be a good fit for the company. It includes crazy stuff like whether or not you own a dog.

  72. Martin says

    Ouch – google’s infamous interview process. I’m a little sympathetic to them – they’re trying to maintain high standards, while hiring in volumue (doubling their staff numbers as we speak). It’s a tough situation.

    That said, it then generates threads like this – which are worthy and interesting – that expose the dark side to the process. The fact is that a small, innovative company can afford to find people who are cultural/ intellecual fits, because they have a limited number of openings and can concentrate on them. A larger, machine-like company (and google is now in that camp, despite the warm & fuzzy marketing) can’t be high touch & selective while growing quickly.

    You can take the stance that you’d rather miss a good hire than make a bad one, and you should. Google is applying an algorithm (a la google’s new iapproach to hiring) to solve this problem when you’re in high growth mode – weed out the bad fits up front, so that you can bring in a smaller, more select group, and focus on them. I think it’s problamatic. While you’re waiting on your AI to adapt, you’re likely going to miss too high a percent of the good hires, and start missing vital information to correct your approach. Ultimately the AI will automatically weed out people that a human would recognize as high-potential.

    Oh, btw – your puzzle example: did you mean to say your friend bets you that for every two people who have the same birthday as each other (as opposed to you), he’d give you a dollar?

  73. Martin says

    They have a rep for taking way too long in their process, but at this point I’d think they’re not pursuing you, just keeping you on the back burner

  74. Nancy says

    I had an interview with Google for Payroll Accountant position. I had a phone interview and then they called me onsite for personal interview. I had the interview in Oct2005. I haven’t heard anything back from them…I emailed the HR person couple of times and she is kind of telling me that they r still in the process of interviewing…what do u think?? Is it a NO??

  75. hannah says

    Thanks for this post, it’s really interesting. Has anyone out there ever gone for an account strategist position at Google? Any inside information? You’ll be rewarded with gratitude and two weeks of excellent karma – finding money on the street, that kind of thing.

  76. Anon says

    I had an interview with google on site and i should really say i think iam nt capable to join google because those interviewers where quite friendly as such and would go with me to reac the solutin whch i eventually got some of them but it didnt seem satisfactory as the interviewer said “You shud ave told me as a new grad and taught me” which summarized how i did in interview so i dont expect to be hired by any means . But it was a depressing experience fr me as i had worked atleast 1-2 weeks cntinuously reading at a stretch fr whatever the job required but they did not even care to go thrugh my background skills they only wanted to know what they wanted me to do and they not gonna give any training.

  77. Florian T. says

    Thank’s for your post, Pete. It’s great so see what was your experience with your application at Google, and very interesting. I was looking into applying at Google and your post confirmed my toughts about their way of interviewing.

  78. Michelle says

    We have a friend who interviewed with Google…the telephone ones and in person…everyone who knew about it ..said he was in…but he was told today by his recruiter that he was a fit technically but there was a cultural mismatch????

    Is this a code word?

    Cultural Mismatch???

  79. Daniel says

    They look for a blend of talent and youth to fit the narrow glass shoe they have dubbed “cultural fit”. If your friend had years of experience, that could be a reason this failed. They prefer people with a few years of professional experience and a lot of CS theoretical knowledge.

  80. Michelle says

    He is 37 and they knew this when they asked him to come to Ca for 5 more interviews. A few people who where involved with pushing his resume were shocked. He asked his recruiter to get back with him and give him a more clear description of Cultural Challanges…Mismatch….whatever they used and he has heard nothing.
    He is crushed…

  81. Michelle says

    They did say he could reapply but the passion they once had for him has appeared to have died…

    Is this common?

  82. Daniel says

    Interesting. I was 37 too when they flew me to CA, after 4 phone interviews, for 6 more interviews. I have made clear from the beginning that I was not a CS per training but anyway they flew me over. And tossed me afterwards.

    I decided not be devastated because I might not have been happy over there, despite the perks they offer. If they do not like me, I figured out that I might not have liked them too. Moreover, being rejected by Google is acceptable: when you reach for the (so-called) top, you must be ready to miss.

  83. Dave says

    What are the odds of 2 grandchildren being born from 2 different sets of parents on the same calendar day?

  84. Daniel says

    None. I contacted them after two weeks of silence to learn that my application did not go through the committee. Period. No reason why.

  85. hakan says

    thanks for the reply but the question was actually adressed to the blog owner…

    how many weeks later did they contact you to make the offer for the position you mentioned in the post.


  86. Ben says

    I also wrote up my experience with interviewing at Google. I had a good experience, despite not getting an offer.

  87. Mark C says

    *** The link below states it more discreetly, but mathematicians and their hard science breathren, as a group, are among the stupidest people on the planet. ***

    Undoubtedly said by someone who couldn’t factor a second-order polynomial if their life depended on it. Believe it or not, mathematicians “and their hard science bretheren” don’t actually work on stuff this trivial. It’s strictly a rat-simple hypothetical, suited to the first week of Probability 101.

    *** seriouslty. google in my opinion is heading for 100$ end of the year…***

    Well here it is 2007 and it’s sitting around $500. I guess your opinion isn’t worth a hell of a lot, is it?

  88. Ludonia says

    I submitted my resume for a Media Coordinator position at Google/YouTube thru the website.

    It is in the advertising sales category so I am hoping it will be easier to land it then an engineering / technical position.

    Anyone have any info on that kind of job? It has been almost 2 weeks since I submitted the resume online. How long does it take to hear back?

    Any info is much appreciated! Gracias!

  89. Trust No One says

    I didn’t apply for a job position at Google, but a recruiter from them contacted me. I told the recruiter that I wasn’t interested, and that it would be extremely hard to convince me to move away from my current job. I told them that I would not be able to work in certain areas for a while (due to my current position at a competitor), and that I would also demand a good relocation package. Despite all that, the recruiter told me that they would still be interested in a phone screening. I did the phone screening and all their questions made sense: how to optimize certain aspects of Google, like file transfer, etc. I was then asked to interview at their site.

    I should say that I’ve talked with 4 interviewers, and 3 of them were nice and polite. I found a little disrespectful that one of them invited someone to join the interview to be “trained”, but that was acceptable. What was not acceptable was the behavior of one of the interviewers. The interviewer asked me a few dumb questions, and I literally decided to joke back, simply answering with enough high-level jargon that I couldn’t be considered wrong, while not giving him any specifics. I know several of the keywords that the guy was looking for in my answers (inverted index, Markov model, etc.). I simply refused to say any of the “keywords”. The interviewer wasn’t able to understand anything without the keywords being said, and from that interview on my interest simply wasn’t there. If what takes to succeed in a Google interview is to memorize a lot of keyword, then I don’t want to work in such company. Worse is that I really detected a little of the “we are the champions” attitude, even coming from people that clearly had no relation whatsoever with Google’s success. That is what was really unacceptable: I know folks that really changed Computer Science history, and are extremely approachable. And here I was, talking with people that could be considered bystanders at Google, and one of them behaving like if the company couldn’t survive without him.

    Things then got really bad when an interviewer asked: “Why do you want to work at Google?” You should see the surprise in his face when I told him that I didn’t really apply for a job at Google, but given a very good offer, I would consider working at Google. Yet, this was one of the nice interviewers, and he had nothing to do with the moronic behavior of the previous one. But that was the key moment: I perceived that, when you “just talked with a moron”, some of the attitude sticks to you. Probably I would soon be a moron if working along such people for long. Luckily, that won’t happen.

  90. Rusty says

    This has been the best and most informative Blog about the Google Interview Process. First of all, THANKS to Pete for sharing his experience and starting off a string of responses.

    I also applied for a position with Google around 3rd week of December. It’s a for a non-technical position (Enterprise Customer Support Administrator). Few days later, I received an email with a little “let’s talk about you” questionnaire where you had to explain yourself and answer some questions pertaining to the position. After that I received another email from my recruiter to set up for a phone interview.

    I thought heck, for a company that receives more than 3100 Resumes in ONE DAY, I wasn’t doing too shabby. So I had my first round of general phone interview then had another Phone Interview that was focussed more on the position (about 30 mins.) I wasn’t too sure about how I did at the 2nd one, but I received an email within a few mins. They have now invited me for an on site interview at their Mountain View HQ. So far, I haven’t been asked any of those “How many golf balls can fit in a bus” kind of questions. So, now I’m just looking forward to the on site interview and not really worrying about it. If it happens, it happens, if not then well I’ll appreciate the experience of making it there.

    So if anyone has any tips, or any recent interviewees, please share your thoughts. Also, does any know if Google pays “for the airfare/living/transportation” expenses??

    By the way, this comment…
    Anon said,
    November 12, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

    I would rather work for start-ups like youtube, than for salary payouts at companies like Google

    I bet he didn’t know at the time that one day Google will own YouTube :)

  91. Daniel says

    > Also, does any know if Google pays “for the airfare/living/transportation” expenses??

    Yes, they pay for flights and car and reimburse all your extra expenses within a few months.

    Best of luck!

  92. Chaitanya says

    Few more questions

    Interview At Google
    Google Top Interview Questions ( around 30 With Solutions)
    Google Interview for Freshers

  93. ari says

    lol 2 odwalla drinks each time. those things are thick and i cant usually finish even 1. ur really funny with those odwalla drinks

  94. Seattle Interview Coach says

    Good article!

    By the way, I’ve put together 140 Google interview questions. Your readers might find it helpful.

    Check it out: []

    – Seattle Interview Coach

  95. Luk says

    I had 2 interview with Google. I answered correctly every question. I have 15 year of experience and I also remembered (I don’t know why :) ) things about O(nlogn) O(n^2) and other kinds like that. I don’t know experience of Google people who make the interview but I think there are a lot of things more useful that complexities one that a person know at univertity and see on Wiki if he needs it later. I waited 3 months for an answer. I asked Google many times an’answer without nothing back. After more than 3 months, maybe because I stressed them, I had the famous mail “Thank you from Google” saying that “at the moment” I don’t fix blah blah blah. I wrote again to know WHY I’m not good for them. I sent the mail 3 weeks ago and maybe I have to wait again 3 months to have an answer. Maybe I’m simply… old for them (35) but I expected more from Google in terms of “people management”. If they treat people as a number, maybe it’s better for me not to be engaged. I’m really disappointed…

  96. Kris S. says

    Great post – I loved the puzzle and couldn’t help but try and figure it out.

    If I we’re asked that same question I would absolutely take the “wager” as long it was exactly as you worded it. If true, then despite the fact that your friend has a much higher earning potential than you – you’re still giving up the chance at an opportunity by declining.

    As phrased, the wager does not result in one person having to pay the other for each person they ask – instead, each friend simply “gets” money from somewhere for each birthday.

    I’m not sure if this is how it was meant to be understood but I can see how it might be reflective of opportunistic thinking.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Kris S.

  97. John says

    In regard to the brithday problem, I thought that 23 is for the cases that also includes 3, 4, and 5,… people who have the same birthday.

    Noboday asked if the problem is asking the probability of only 2 people who have the same birthday. To get a 50-50 chance, how many people should be there for only two people who have the same birthday?

    My calulation is this: Combine_x_2 * (1/365), where x = 20. So, it is not 23 if it asks only 2 people sharing birthday.

    Is there any comment on the anwser (20)?


  98. John says

    In regard to the birthday problem, 23 is for the cases where it also includes 3, 4, 5, .. people who have the same birthday for a 50-50 chance.

    What if it asks for exactly only 2 people who has the same birthday?

    Here is my calculation:

    Conbination_X_2 * 1/365 = (X!/((X-2)!*2!)) * 1/365 > 0.5
    where X = 20

    Surpisingly, nobody ever asked for the chance of exactly only 2 people who have the same birthday among a group of people.

    Please comment on my answer = 20 people, i.e., among 20 people, only 2 people sharing the same birthday has a better-than-even chance. Here, I did not use “at least”.


  99. khamruddin says

    Hi Friends this is Khamruddin….I am sharing my experience with you…

    Recently I attended an interview in Motorola on rolls of Kelly Services for Solaris System Support….In the interview panel 2 Hr people are there and they started the discuss with a sentence “ Ok Lets have a friendly chat with you” and ask me several questions and the interview was around 1 hour…

    1) What are you expecting from Motorola?
    2) What are your roles & responsibilities?
    3) How u backup & restore?
    4) What is the Model No. of your backup machine? Is the Machine is connected to the servers?
    5) Explain about Backup types?
    6) What is a Switch?
    7) Can you write the command to disable/enable telnet service?
    8) How to see the telnet service status?
    9) How to see the detail description of any service (eg:snmp,telnet etc)?
    10) What is this ifconfig?
    11) What is NIC?
    12) What is this sfe0, le0, hme0, pcn0? Why the NIC cards have different naming convenstions?
    13) You have mention in the resume @ roles & responibilities that Partitioned the disks, created new file systems, mounted them and changed the /etc/vfstab entries.(Where and When u use this)?
    14) What is df –k and df –h? What is k, h refers?
    15) What description will it give when u type #ifconfig command?
    16) When did u complete your Sun Certification exam?
    17) When is Ur graduate passout?
    18) You are working at Gcentric Technologies right? Where it is located.
    19) What project they handle and can u explain where they use Solaris in there project?
    20) Explain about /etc/syslog.conf. What is the use of it? Can u write the configuration of this file?
    21) How You Schedule the events? Write it on the paper?
    22) Questions on Process Management?
    23) How to format any type of file system?
    24) Where will u check to solve any hardware problem or etc?
    25) What is SVM?
    26) Can u explain the RAID Concept? Use the White Board and explain?
    27) Can mirroring is possible with 2 disks?
    28) How to check the status of Meta devices?
    29) Although u have SVM, then Wat is the need of VERITAS Volume Manager?
    30) VxVm comes with Solaris isn’t?
    31) What are the daily activities you do in your company on Solaris machines?
    32) What is flash archive? What is the purpose of that?
    33) You have 1+ year’s exp on Solaris? With in 1 year of Experience what are the problems you faced? Can u list all the problems? (The interviewer noting all the problems what I told)?
    34) What is nfs? Explain the configuration of nfs?
    35) Do you install packages in Solaris? If so how many times u installed the package?
    36) How to mount CD/ROM or any external hard drives?
    37) What are zones?
    38) Do u installed VERITAS s/w at any time? Is your company using VERITAS?
    39) Did you open the sparc PC’s and saw any time? Like assembling & dissembling of Sparc PC’s?
    40) What is ISCSI?
    41) How to see what type of SCSI devices/controllers we have?
    42) What is SMF?
    43) Suppose if you got any problem in PCs? How will you handle it?
    44) How many servers are there in your company? What is the model and type of server it is?
    45) Did u any time opened the Sun Servers and see how many hardisk are there/how many processers etc.Did you check any time?
    46) What workstations you people use in your company?
    47) How many web developers are there in your company?
    48) What is the size of Ur team?
    49) Where the .conf files resides?
    50) Do you got any hardware problems/errors at any time?
    51) What is crashdumps? What is the location of crashdumps file?
    52) You got a problem in your sparc system. Where will search for the information?
    53) Do you heared about website?
    54) Do you heared about OMC?

    And then he explain the roles and responsibilities of the job position?

    and here the interview was ended?

    After 2 days I got a call that I was selected for Motorola…

    All the Best see you soon @ Motorola…

  100. John says

    What school did you go to and do you think where you get your degree is the most important to google.
    P.S. could you get hired there with just an undergrad in software engineering or would I need at least a masters?

  101. Mark Dennehy says

    I’ve gone through the interview process twice now with Google (once in 2007 and once in 2010), and since the more information out there for those undergoing pre-Google-Interview stress, the better, I wrote it up:

  102. abhi says

    probably you could think of birth day as day and not date of births so out of 10 people you gt to know who born on say day i.e maonday to sunday… in that sense… ur probablity base redues to just 7 daysin week from 365 days ur calculating thinking it as date of birth…. it mite nt be rite bt dat way i wud accept the wager….

  103. Brandon says

    I think you guys who have attempted the birthday question have not read it carefully enough. The question requires calculating the probability that at least one of 8 (or 9 if including the friend) people have the same birthday as you. This is a much different question than the odds of 2 or more people sharing the same birthday in a group of 10, but a much simpler calculation.

    For the odds of one or more of 8 people sharing the same birthday as you, just calculate the odds that none of them share your birthday, and then subtract it from one. That means each person can have a birthday on 364 out of 365 days. So the equation looks like this:

    1 – (364^8/365^8) = 2.17%

    i.e. very unlikely, you should not take the wager. Even if the friend is used, the odds only become about 2.44%. Since you pay $1 when you lose, and receive $2 when you win, you want the odds to be greater than 33.33% in your favor. That will not happen until there are 148 other people at the party. But since people cannot be split into fractions, you’ll really need about 150 people before you are likely to break even. The question may have been phrased this way as a trick, to see if the interviewee recognized the difference from the traditional birthday problem.

    For the traditional birthday problem, the odds of 2 or more people having the same birthday in a group of 10, again it is easier to calculate the inverse and then subtract from one. So to calculate the odds that no two people in the group share the same birthday, the first person can have a birthday on one of 365 days, and each successive person can choose from one less day than the previous, so that they all have a birthday on a different day. Like this:

    (365 * 364 * 363 * 362 * … 356) / 365^10 = 88.3%

    Then subtract from 100% to find the odds that two or more people of a group of 10 _do_ share the same birthday:

    100% – 88.3% = 11.69%

    Again, not very likely.

  104. Petar Petrov says

    Google seems like a dream company to work for, however if you are not chosen there are indeed other big companies to consider. And I firmly believe that not everybody is for that type of company, no matter how smart or knowledgeable he or she is. The problem with the company culture should not be overlooked lightly either, as working in a team is crucial in this type of working environment. And while I admire the visual interface and usability of many Google products, I don’t think the knowledge of algorithms and the like is the required basis for success. In all my practice both as system administrator and developer, I have barely used a scientific complex algorithm to solve a task. On the contrary, I have discovered the most simple solutions are always the most effective. On the subject of money, there are very talented programmers who live a difficult life being born in countries with low economy. A person should appreciate what he or she has received based on the upper fact. Just sharing my honest opinion.

  105. cypheranarchist says

    For what its worth, back around 1999, I interviewed with Google at least 3 times, in the context of the 1 minute job fair interviews. Generally the interviewer would shout a question at me, over the roar of the job fair, such as “how would you implement a red-black tree?? Quick! Faster!! Faster!!!!”. A classic question for a CS major in her senior year, but for those of us who merely were math Phd students, not something we studied.

    Eventually, one of my old friends was hired to be one of their top engineering vice president. After that, the door was wide open. I still had to do the 2 day interview process, but it was with the very top Google engineers and what I would describe as softball questions.

    Back in 2006, I created one of their most significant new technologies but also left the company, largely because there was essentially no management structure and no promise of career growth. What is the point of working at a company if you are reporting to a new grad and your manager never shows up to meetings?

    My sentiment was shared much more widely than is known outside the company.

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