Yesterday I interviewed at Google (Mountain View). AMA!

  • Disclaimer: I will not be able to disclose the specific questions. (There’s lots of great forums here for interview questions. This is not one of them).
  • I am happy to share what the overall process was like, from initial contact with a recruiter, to the phone screening, to what types of questions were asked of me on-site.
  • Status: I am still waiting to hear back from their recruiter. I will update this bullet point as I get more info.

What was your experience and education prior to application, and what kind of role have you applied for?

  • Education:
  • I have no college degree, just 2 semesters of Gen-ed. from my local community college.
  • I left college to go to “career accelerator” called Hack Reactor

Hack Reactor definitely gave me an edge, not for the reason you might think. At. H.R. I spent about an hour a day for 3 months solving problems on a whiteboard and in a group (opposed to a text editor and by myself). Explaining your thought process out-loud with decent stage presence while solving an tricky open-ended problem you don’t immediately know the answer to is not a skill that comes natural to most people
…but it is a very useful skill for technical interviews.

  • Experience
  • I have never been employed as a “software engineer”
  • My longest job was serving into the military for 4 years (not software related)
  • I have done some volunteer work (glorified tech support work) for some non-profits in my area.
  • I have been programming as hobby for a few years.

My actual resume used for the application.
Nothing under the “technical experience” section was paid employment. Just personal/school/group projects.

To be pedantic, I was actually contacted by a Google recruiter on Linkedin, but for simplicity I’ll continue using the term “application” in this forum.

The role was “Software Engineer (Front-end Focused)”. Between my phone screen and on-site interview, I asked my recruiter what that meant to Google. Her priceless response: “it just means you’re expected to use Javascript during your interview.” I asked if I should study HTML/CSS as well. My recruiter told me not to worry about it, just focus on Javascript and general programming concepts. That was good advice.

Also, between my phone-screen and on-site I was emailed a study guide. All of my technical questions during the interview fell somewhere within that guide (it was a pretty broad study guide, though). Google did a great job of letting me know exactly what to expect during the interview, short of telling me the questions in advance.

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