My google interview experience

Heshan Andrews
5 min readJul 7, 2022

Or how I got rejected by google

Hello people, It’s ya boi Heshan. Back at blogging again. So while I regret the cringe worthy usage of the words “ya boi”, lemme give you guys an introduction to today’s story. I. GOT. REJECTED. BY. GOOGLE. Yup, that’s the clickbait introduction. *Imagine thumbnails, On YouTube, Red arrows pointing towards a google logo, In a giant font the above set of words. (I pronounce it as U chube cuz I’m a wanna be brit, I got a lousy set of teeth in check for that, YEY, stereotyping people cuz I’m desperate to add some humour on to this, please don’t cancel me, I swear I’m nice, OR… am I? *X-files theme song intensifies)

The first Interaction

Yeah, so where were we? Ah yes. How did I land the interview? What happened in the interviews? And other stuff that went by in those few weeks. I first received an email from a google recruiter out of the blue on 29th April, asking If I’m interested in options at google for future. At first I thought it was a scam and didn’t replay. And then a few days later she sent me another email, asking the same question. I googled her name and stuff and found the profile to be legit, so I replied. After a couple of emails back and forth with her, I had myself a call scheduled with her to discuss things further. And apparently this person has thought that I had already graduated uni and they were looking for somebody for a full time position. When I told her I’m still an undergrad she asked me to email her again soon after the graduation, we shook hands virtually and ended the call. (Yes shaking hands thing definitely happened, and I have proof) It was after this call that it hit me that I could’ve asked about internship opportunities from her instead. I know, dumb.

Pre interview: Application and coding exercise

After that call I realised that if I apply for an internship position now, I would have an increased possibility of getting it through to the interviews. So I went on google careers site, searched for software engineering internships and applied. After a few days I received another email from a Googler in the hiring department asking me for the GPA scale of our uni and the course list of my bachelors degree. I sent those details over and in a couple of days I got an email with the subject “Next steps of your google application” asking me to answer a questionnaire and a link to coding exercise I should pass before getting through to the interviews. I was super excited and nervous at the same time at this point, which pushed me to grind interview questions on AlgoExpert hours on end. I got 7 days to submit the coding exercise. It was a 90 minute timed exercise that I could attempt at anytime in the given 7 days. It contained 2 interview questions, which I actually did solve and got them to pass the given test cases. They had specifically mentioned that they don’t look for the most optimum solutions on this but rather just a working solutions for the given problems.

It was on 6th of June that I submitted the answers for the coding exercise. Then the very next day, on 7th, a Google recruiter reached out to me asking some basic questions about my age and some other stuff stating that I would have 2 interviews in the coming 3 weeks. She had asked me to share my availability in that period for them to schedule interviews for me. After replying to those emails, I got myself scheduled for two back to back interviews on 16th of June.

I kept on grinding interview question and having mock interview on AlgoExpert with random users for the next 8–10 days. At the end of it before the interview I had done 110 interview questions and 10–15 mock interviews.

The interviews

I had my interview scheduled late at night, so in the day time I decided to take a bit of a breather and treat my self a bit with day time sleep, anime, and youtube. But eventually the time I’ve been anxiously waiting for did arrive, The wolves came out of the woodworks and the snakes started to sing. Literally. But the strong, sigma individual I am, was not about to give in to the anxiety and let the nervousness take over me before the interview. Which was what exactly happened.

I signed this non disclosure agreement with google to not to DISCLOSE the interview question I got, So I can’t share the actual interview questions I got. But here’s how it went down for me.

In the first interview I got a graph question, at first I was not able to come up with a solution. I kept asking my interviewer question to understand the problem better and started explaining the first sorta potential solution that came to my mind. Then he provided me with some good hints which I was able to grab and devise a solution. But by the time I got to actually coding it out the 35–40 mins of 45 mins allocated for the interview had gone. But even then I was able to code out the solution but my interviewer had to help me out quite a bit as I was making a ton of silly mistakes.

The second interview went fairly well except for this one giant red flag I put on display at the top of the pole few mins into the interview. It was string problem with subsequences involved in it. And the problem looked so familiar I though it was this other question that I had done earlier and started implementing that halfway through explaining my solution to her I realized that this algorithm doesn’t yield the correct solution. At this point even the interviewer herself knew what I had done cuz she knew exactly what problem I had in my mind and mistook this one for. But I was able to scratch all of that pretty quickly and come up with a good efficient algorithm by the end of the interview.

Oh and by the way, who told google still uses google docs for interviews. They have this massive platform for dedicated for interviews and you’re given a code editor with even syntax highlighting on it, but not code suggestions tho. :P

So After a 2 weeks of waiting I received another email from my recruiter saying that I didn’t make the cut this time. Sadge, I know.

I made some pretty bad mistakes on the interviews so the rejection was not a suprise. But still for me who had been watching all of the findable life at google, a day in a life of a software engineer at google, anything related to software engineering at google videos youtube it still felt a bit… you know sad. (Wow Heshan, Such a strong wide vocabulary you have, SHUT UP!)

So folks, that’s how it went down for me this time. Follow me on twitter, so I can brag about how I gained two more followers from a stupid blog post. Leave all of your credit card information on the comment section so I can use them for educational, analytical purposes 😁. Thank you for reading.

Oooh.. one last thing before you go. You look absolutely dashing today, go get yourself some well deserved W’s in whatever the thing you’ve been trying to do. BYE!!!



Heshan Andrews

Your average software engineering dude from South Asia