June 24, 2016

10 Trickiest Questions Asked In Google Interviews which you Must Give a Try

Google is the software giant which is mostly known for being one of the most challenging and exhilarating places to work. As we all know, probably it is not an easy task to acquire a job in a most renowned company like Google. However, often elders spot out the younger ones suggesting them to work hard so as to crack the interview and get recruited in topmost companies as they allure the aspiring students with hefty paychecks. Seems that, those days have gone when people being recruited in the company isn’t a big chore just by answering a few questions of 10th grade.

Since the contemporary global leads are making the fresher’s and job aspirants to toil blue and yellow to get recruited. Interviews at Google examines your algorithmic thinking and design skills and it has become something of a legend in job-hunting circles. These days, interviews are a blend of technical questions based on your past work experience and some mind-boggling questions.  Have a glance over the few frequently asked extremely challenging and trickiest questions in Google company’s recruitment.

Most Trickiest Questions for Freshers at Google Interview

1. This question was asked in a telephonic round where a software engineer in test position at Google’s Washington office and the ambitious person had more than 8 years of experience in software and test tools development.

Q#: Given a string, find the start position of the largest block of repeated characters.

Trickiest Interview Questions at Google

Answer Given By the Software Engineer:

A simple algorithm can be implemented in O(N) because we only need to consider blocks of consecutive characters (substrings) in the given string. The algorithm I implemented took the following steps:

  • Suppose our string (call it ‘s’) is “aacdefaaaabbccc”.
  • We start from the first position and move to the right as long as the character stays the same, stopping when we encounter another character; for example, the first step would consider the first two ‘aa’s and stop at ‘c’;
  • Every time we stop count whether the length of the current block is larger than any block we have encountered so far. For example, when we stop at the ‘b’ after ‘aaaa’, we would set the global maximum to be 4.
  • Finally, we simply return the position corresponding to the start of the longest substring containing the same characters.

Result: Despite, there were obstacles.

  • What will happen if repeated chars will have the same count e.g. aabb, here 2 a’s and 2 b’s.
  • How about the spaces between the string e.g. Sumit t t – So you will stop here or count three repetitive t’ s.
  • How about single byte and multi-byte characters?

2. During the early days of Google+, this question is another toughest question which was posed to a job seeker for the position of marketing head position at Google a few years ago.

Q#: (i) How to estimate the LTV (Lifetime Value) of a Gmail user?

Trickiest Interview Questions Asked at Google

Answer Given By the Candidate:

Though this question seems to be a plane and easy while there are very little means of answering correctly with publicly available data. The candidate who was asked this question to solve the logic of how it’s calculated and used some supposals for the back of the envelope.

Q#: (ii) How would you market Google+?

Trickiest Interview Questions Asked at Google Interviews

Answer Given By the Candidate:

Interviewer as said by the candidate that he wouldn’t think the product suggestion is clear yet as it doesn’t solve an evident consumer trouble. He further added that “currently Google+ feels like a hammer looking for a nail. I would keep developing the product with committed beta users, trying to discover what they specifically like about it, and then make it a more narrowly focused product based on those aspects. Only then would I dial up the UA with marketing.”

Result: Perhaps the answer wasn’t so pleasing for the recruiters of Google hence, they didn’t please the guy.

3. This is an instance of a first on-site interview of the interviewer on that day for the Software Engineer position.

Q #: Design a Fault Tolerant System where we have a shared queue of work items (Eg. Bank Transactions to Process).

Trickiest Interview Questions at Google Interviews

Answer Given By the Candidate:

Along with multiple work gatherers (input of transactions), multiple work item processors (dispatchers). Work gatherers bring in each request and put it in the shared queue. Work processors pick from the shared queue and process it. Sometimes they fail to process an item. Each item must be processed and dispatched. If they fail, retry later (actually, this was my suggestion to retry, the interviewer didn’t ask for it). Also, don’t just design the system, code it. I am not sure but probably there was an additional condition that the dispatch must happen in the sequence of entry as well. It asked for knowing reader/writer with shared memory, thread safety and general system design.”

Result: Though the answered seemed to write for the candidate but he failed to get the offer letter.

4. Perhaps the toughest question.

Q#: There are 25 horses. At a time, only 5 horses can run in the single race. How many minimum races are required to find the top 5 fastest horses? Please explain your answer. And the condition is that there is NO timer.

10 Trickiest Interview Questions Asked at Google Interviews

The answer of this question seems to be somewhat complicated though the questions seem to be straight enough. As 3 horses from Race 1 could very well be faster than the winner of Race 2, doing 5 races and choosing the winner of each race isn’t a precise alternative. Anyways, this question remains yet unanswered in many interviews.

Are you aware of the answer?

5. The applicant was an online game software expert. Written code for everything from consoles to cell phones to desktops to scalable server systems. He also invented the Darkstar game server released by Sun Labs.

Q #: How would you estimate the cost of doing WiFi coverage over all of San Francisco?

Most Trickiest Questions Asked At Google Interviews

Like many the candidate who was posed with this question thought it to be a foolish question while he failed. Though he was not an RF engineer and to know that signal propagation in a city is not a simple problem. He failed to please the interviewer, asking him whether he could find an RF engineer to get the information from.

Result: Interviewer wasn’t impressed. Hence, one should be prepared to face this type of questions while moving on to an interview for such positions at Google.

6. Only for “Crazy” People 😀

Q #:  “Are you crazy that you are applying in Google with this kind of resume ?”

This is an experience of a guy and his friend who were both at the Google kiosk at their University’s job fair. Considering his coding background, the guy thought to make it to the second round handing over his resume to one of the representatives at the kiosk. While the representative asked the guy in a disgusting manner that “Are you crazy that you are applying in Google with this kind of resume ?”

Trickiest Interview Questions at Google Interviews

Answer Given By the Candidate:

Being confused with the question of representative, the guy said, “No Sir, I know my work, I am not crazy”.

Result: You would be surprised with the answer of the Google representative who said “Sorry man, we need crazy people” denying the application of the poor guy.

7. You would certainly raise your middle finger upon being ascertained with this question which would check one’s logical thinking.

Q #: What gives you Google?

Most Trickiest Questions at Google Interviews

Answer of the applicant was “Concatenate the character g,o,o,g,l,e, you will get the “google”.

8. This could be answered while what you need is wits.

Q #: ‘How many basketballs can you fit in this room?’

Trickiest Interview Questions - Google

Answer Given By the Candidate

Calculate the answer determining the volume of the room with respect to the average basketball of a man both inflated and deflated. While all you need to do is as early as you can but this seems to be more complicated depending on the shape of the room but the process for figuring out the solution would be the same.

9. The Question of current times.

Q #: ‘How many people using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30 pm on a Friday?’

How many people are using facebook in San Fransisco on Friday

Answer Given By the Candidate

If you have a regular social networker you could be lucky enough to figure out the answer quickly. Even though considering the available stats on couldn’t have a good baseline to judge.

What comes across your mind on being through this kind of questions.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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