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How hard is the Google interview to crack ?

Palani Vel
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 05, 2005
Posts: 7
Hello,
I have been a passive follower of this forum for a long time. I am working in a MNC in bangalore in Java/J2ee. Google has been a dream company for me and i am in the process of honing my skills to try to get into google.

Recently i got a forward which was a sample question paper for fresher recruitment in Google which i couldnt make heads or tails out of it. It had questions on mostly mathematics, equations stuff which i suppose can be solved by people from IIT's easily.

Is it really that hard to break into google. Any information on their interview process. What are the prospects for a person with 3 yrs exp in Java, Python and J2ME.

Regards,
Palani.
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
On their website,it says,you are asked to write the code.It also says ideally candidate should be from IITs with some research papers.I am not sure whether they really ask Discrete Maths,automata theory,equations in interview.Sometime back I read,they are not getting qualified people in India but as 'show must go on' they have not closed their office in Bangalore.


Namma Suvarna Karnataka
Palani Vel
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 05, 2005
Posts: 7
Hi Arjun,
What do you mean by qualified people? Super intelligent guys from IIT's alone ?? For that matter, i was the gold medallist in my UG from a reputed college ( of course not IIT ), but i found that paper really too hard.

Are only geeks with super intelligence allowed to work in Google ?
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
Thats what they claim.They say they are solving some of the most toughest problems in computing.Hence they require exceptionally talented people.
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2581

Hmmmm, that's because some most talanted, and highly qualified people do not choose to stay in India.

- Manish
Palani Vel
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 05, 2005
Posts: 7
Originally posted by Arjunkumar Shastry:
Hence they require exceptionally talented people.


I think an insider might be able to give a more accurate view on this.
Ramesh Choudhary
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2005
Posts: 200

Recently i got a forward which was a sample question paper for fresher recruitment in Google which i couldnt make heads or tails out of it. It had questions on mostly mathematics, equations stuff which i suppose can be solved by people from IIT's easily.


Hey that's a misnomer.We over estimate the IITians.Out of 4000-5000 IITians one would encounter about 50-100 fast brains.Remaining people get there just by hard work and a little bit of luck (as was the case in 1998 JEE).Remaining is just media hype.

Success in IT Industry has nothing to do with IQ.Research is the sole discipline that requires good and above average IQ.May be google guy's are running a PR capmaign to show off their brand name.May be they are scared of Microsoft and Yahoo! chasing them down. My personal opinion is that no man is born inferior. We are as smart as our self Image. Any company, that growels to proclaiming that they require people from 'elite' universities, is obviously trying for free publicity.Desperation for maintaining the tag of 'Innovation' is other reason.In both the cases they are committing a economic blunder.Company which relies on Innovation alone is bound to be doomed(remembed DEC!!!)
Kj Reddy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2003
Posts: 1704
Originally posted by Ramesh Choudhary:
[QB]

Hey that's a misnomer.We over estimate the IITians.Out of 4000-5000 IITians one would encounter about 50-100 fast brains.Remaining people get there just by hard work and a little bit of luck (as was the case in 1998 JEE).Remaining is just media hype.
/QB]


I feel same. I had worked with many IIT people. I didnt feel much difference to them and who are passed out from other colleges. There some extra ordinary people every where.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I interviewed at Google and didn't have any problems from their GAT (Google Aptitude test) broshure. They asked me a few basic software problems (the stuff you might get at other companies) and the birthday problem. However, I was interviewing in the CA office and for a director of engineering positions, and not strictly a development role. Overall, I didn't find anything particularly hard or special about their process.

--Mark
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
I interviewed at Google and didn't have any problems from their GAT (Google Aptitude test) broshure. They asked me a few basic software problems (the stuff you might get at other companies) and the birthday problem. However, I was interviewing in the CA office and for a director of engineering positions, and not strictly a development role. Overall, I didn't find anything particularly hard or special about their process.

--Mark


That's a nice simulatation, and the probability assuming a uniform distribution of birthdays is correct, but birthdays are not uniform, they are culturally dependent. Times like 9 months after a major holiday like Christmas-New Year or the end of college exams distort the frequency.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by peter wooster:

That's a nice simulatation, and the probability assuming a uniform distribution of birthdays is correct, but birthdays are not uniform, they are culturally dependent. Times like 9 months after a major holiday like Christmas-New Year or the end of college exams distort the frequency.


When I first learned that problem in my 6.042 (Discrete Math) that was exactly my smart alec response to the professor. Fortunately he was a good natured guy (one of the founders of Akamai, actually), he not only concurred but pointed out that he and his brother had birthdays a few dyas apart. When they counted back 9 months, they realized it was their father's birthday! Later, as we were going through student birthdays in class to see how many people it took to get a match someone said "October 1st" to which the professor immediately quipped, "we know how your parents celebrated new year's!" Ever since then, whenever someone tells me their birthday, I count 3 months forward to see if it's any date of significance. (And yes, some people are born early, stop being such a smart alec.)

--Mark
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
The only Google employee I met personally was much smarter than the average programmer, teaches a graduate school UNIX course just for fun, and brought in his dad, a big name in the history of UNIX, to give the last lecture.

The Google hardware/software architecture he described to us was highly innovative and creates an extraordinarily low unit cost of computing.

I don't think the Google qualification exam, which is basically an IQ test, is just hype. From the posts above, I do think it may be subtly culturally dependent.

By that I mean that people from different societies tend to attack hard problems differently. For example, when I visited a large company's Tokyo office, I found that the managers were all Japanese but none of the hands-on programmers were Japanese. It seemed like they could learn a programming language OK but never got really good at the rigidly linear thought process required to write good production code.

It may be that many Indian programmers are trained to follow a deductive process in analyzing problems and have trouble with deliberately obscure brain-twisters requiring out-of-the-box thinking.

As other posts on this thread noted, Google has some heavy-weight competition. Those guys can throw any number of competent programmers on a project. Google has to work smarter, not harder, to stay ahead of them.
[ August 06, 2005: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]

Mike Gershman
SCJP 1.4, SCWCD in process
Jesus Angeles
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 26, 2005
Posts: 2061
in our field, you have to expect such tough exams...even tougher if the company business requires your positions to do math stuff
Ramesh Choudhary
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2005
Posts: 200

Google has to work smarter, not harder, to stay ahead of them.


The bottom line is that they cannot rely on innovation alone. At some point of time they will be forced to give way to fat-bellied business heads. If they resist and insist on maintaining 'Innovative' culture, their firm may not last the distance.Remember DEC.Even Apple ignored the importance of marketing, the result being that they are identified with ipod rather than the mac. A certain seattle based company, which concentrated on marketing( and copied other's technologies) has a lion's share today.


It may be that many Indian programmers are trained to follow a deductive process in analyzing problems and have trouble with deliberately obscure brain-twisters requiring out-of-the-box thinking.


You said it!!. We find very rare instances to use our 'out of box' thinking. And no IQ test is perfect.
[ August 06, 2005: Message edited by: Ramesh Choudhary ]
ab parashar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 130
Originally posted by Ramesh Choudhary:


You said it!!. We find very rare instances to use our 'out of box' thinking. And no IQ test is perfect.

[ August 06, 2005: Message edited by: Ramesh Choudhary ]


Seems you have not interviewed at real software companies like Adobe India or Microsoft India.

-----------------------------
No fate, but what you make it.
Ramesh Choudhary
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2005
Posts: 200

Seems you have not interviewed at real software companies like Adobe India or Microsoft India.

Yes. But I do not have a stamp of a IIT. They limit themselves to 'elite' universities. I wonder they do any work that is different from what guys in other companies(In India) do. After all a pragmatic white businessman is interested in getting mundane tasks done at offshore locations.
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
Originally posted by Ramesh Choudhary:

After all a pragmatic white businessman is interested in getting mundane tasks done at offshore locations.

Till year 2000,most of the tasks were mundane.Although original ideas,thoughts may not from these offshore centers,work done may not be as trivial as many people think.You can confirm this from people working in TCS/Wipro.TCS started with very trivial routines for GE and today I know some people there working on some complex database related work.Mastek,another Indian company has designed some trafic related software for one UK city.American/western offshore shops contribution may not be known as they don't declare exactly what they do here.
 
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