Technical, Testimonials

SAQ: Google Interview Advice

Although I have not succeeded with the getting-hired-at-Google thing I have had my crack at it a few times and have survived to write about it. I occasionally hear from others about to try it, and they want to know if I have any advice. Here’s my modest wisdom on the subject of interviewing well at Google.

Question: I have an interview for an ops position at Google tomorrow, and I found your web page about interviewing at Google, can you give me any advice?

Answer: Really, just be at your best. Maybe brush up on some fundamentals the night before. They like to see that you know how things work at a low level, so like when they ask “tell me what happens when you type www.google.com into a web browser” and you get on to explaining that DNS operates via UDP, port 53, and so forth …

Take it like you would an exam. Get some sleep the night before, and otherwise do whatever helps clear your head for good questions. The initial screens aren’t all that hard, really, if you’re good. I swear I screwed up my last phone interview because I had a cold, and wasn’t feeling so great, and that made me nervous …

Also, don’t bother cheating. Google employees spend a lot of time interviewing people, and they know that when they hear “uhh …. *clickety clackety clickety clack* … the answer is … uhhh …” and you read something off a web page, that you are a no-hire. If you don’t know something, admit it. They may try to explain it to you, and if you can pick up an understanding pretty quickly, and use that to solve the next problem, then that shows you are honest, and a quick learner.

At any rate, I wish you the best of luck. By all accounts, working at Google is pretty sweet. :)

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