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Google Interviewing Process for Software Developer Role in 2020
February 25, 2020 at 11:34 AM
There are several similarities to my interviewing process with Google in 2018. Mine started off similarly, with a conversation with the recruiter where I learned that team placement didn't come until later. That conversation was okay, but it soon became more frustrating.
The first problem was that the recruiter started e-mailing my GMail, even though I'd communicated that it was not my primary e-mail account. But we got that sorted. Then, when coordinating the time for the first remote coding session, the recruiter had asked if a particular time worked, and I replied that time didn't, but listed several others that did. I didn't hear back, until I got an e-mail sent in the hour she had initially proposed, asking why I hadn't been there for the interview. I found the e-mail where I'd mentioned that time didn't work, sent it to her, and she apologized and re-scheduled, but it was the first (and so far only) time I've had a recruiter not pay enough attention to ensure the interview was scheduled at a time the interviewee was available.
When the remote coding session did occur, I still hadn't been informed that the format was a remote coding session. Perhaps the recruiter assumed everyone looks up Google interview prep and knows this, but Google wasn't my first choice of the places I was interviewing, so I hadn't. Like Ilya's 2048 example, the problem was one I wasn't familiar with in the slightest, and I didn't understand the task. Not knowing the format, I inquired about sample data, another problem… anything that would allow me to demonstrate my abilities. But apparently the format is to only ask one question, so the interviewer stuck with it until after 10-15 minutes I let them know I wasn't interested in continuing to struggle with a problem whose goal I didn't grasp for however long they planned to let me continue doing so.
Perhaps also worth noting, even if the task had been comprehensible, Google Docs leaves much to be desired as a coding platform. Something like VSCode's remote sessions would have been far superior. I understand Google probably wants to stick with their own products, but some flexibility would have made for a much-improved process.
Overall it was the most frustrating and least professional interview process I've experienced, out of a couple dozen in the past decade and 6 in the past two years alone. Some companies I decided I wouldn't want to interview with again because of the company, but Google is the only one where I wouldn't interview with them again because of the interview process… and I didn't even realize how extensive the process would have been, had it started off better, until reading this article.
It worked out okay in the end, though. I wound up working for my first choice among the companies I interviewed for at that time, and have learned a ton through that position.
4/10/20, 7:11 AM
February 25, 2020
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