Thursday, January 31, 2013

Re: Kindly help for an interview with Google on python django

This is something I found back in 07 when I was offered a chance to
interview there. I searched for it again, and there are links to it,
but they don't appear to work. My situation was the strangely similar
to Peter's - I also got an unsolicited call from someone at google who
said they saw my resume, and "they wanted me." I hadn't applied at
google, I wasn't looking for a new job, AND we were living in Santa Fe
(where we still live). Odd.

My Interview at Google
by Peter Abilla

In September 2005 I got an unsolicited call from someone at google who
said they saw my resume, and "they wanted me." I hadn't applied at
google, in fact I wasn't even looking for a new job, nor were we
looking to move (we were living in Santa Fe at the time). But
nevertheless I was honored and intrigued and after much discussion
with my wife, I decided to follow up. In October I flew out to
interview with them at their Mountain View headquarters. My interview
was over 2 days, on 10/12/2005 and 10/13/2005. I didn't do much to
prepare for the interview. unlike most companies that fly their
candidates out for an onsite interview, google's policy was for me to
pay for my flight, hotel, and food, but that they would reimburse me
later. i thought that was lame and unprofessional; after all, they are
the ones that contacted me for an interview and i never applied for a
job with them. luckily, i was going to be in that area anyway for
business, so i just scheduled my business trip for that week.

day 1, 4 interviews:

in the lobby reception desk, i typed my name on this little widget and
signed the dotted line. then, this little widget prints a
self-adhesive name tag with my name, google, and my location. i gladly
took that self-adhesive and put in on my shirt breast. then, i met
with the hr people, both of whom were very nice. they were very, very
late, but i had fun hanging out in the lobby of 1625 charleston road,
building #44. in the lobby were 4 refrigerators full of odwalla
drinks; i helped myself to a couple. on the wall was a large flat
monitor that showed, in real time, the current google searches. this
was really amusing. i remember the following searches:

* size d bra
* how to make a bomb
* osama
* italian mob + hbo
* catholic anger

this was really cool. finally, the hr folks were ready and brought me
into a room next to the korean and chinese speaking engineers. my
first interviewer came in late and was really sweaty. he had just
ridden his bike to work. he was sorry he was late. he was super nice
and his questions were easy. the next person was a little tougher; she
had been with sun microsystems for several years and was in charge of
their warehouse and distribution side. she asked some tough questions,
was very open about her frustrations with google, but ended up very
nice to me. the next person came in had a background in library
science and an mba from michigan. he was really nice too and asked
fluffy questions. he wasn't an engineer and i don't think he knew what
to ask me, so he asked me lame conversational-type questions. i don't
think it was a fit interview either; i think he was just clueless. the
next person i interviewed with was sharp; he was a stanford mba and
had been in the print industry for a while. he wasn't quantitative at
all, but was nice. he asked me hypothetical questions about potential
problems that they face in the print group. the problems were very
interesting. there is true innovation going on at google, for sure.

that was it for day 1. there was no lunch, but i was free to raid the
fully-stocked kitchen whenever i wanted to; i helped myself to a
healthy dose of mountain dew and stopped by the cafeteria for a veggie
sandwich. the atmosphere there is very cool and i felt energy and
could visually see the innovation going on. very cool.

that evening, i went to my hotel and did some work for the company i
was with at the time.

day 2, 7 interviews:

i did the whole self-adhesive, name tag thing again. got an odwalla (2
of them), then waited. eventually, the hr people came and got me. this
day was much tougher than day 1. my first interview was with a former
nasa scientist-turned googler. my interview with him was fun and
interesting; he proposed several real case studies and problems that
they face in the print team. my second interview was with another
engineer; he asked me basic questions and one brain teaser. the brain
teaser goes something like this, if i remember it right:

you are at a party with a friend and 10 people are present
including you and the friend. your friend makes you a wager that for
every person you find that has the same birthday as you, you get $1;
for every person he finds that does not have the same birthday as you,
he gets $2. would you accept the wager?

i had fun trying to solve this one. the answer has to do with the
number of days in the year and the probability the person's birthday
falls on the same day as mine (without replacement). i eventually
solved it, but it took time learning how to apply probability with no
replacement. i tried using 10! (factorial), for some reason, but that
was totally the wrong approach. we ended the interview; i didn't feel
as good about that one, because i struggled a little bit through that
brain teaser.

my next interviewer asked a lot of algorithm questions. he made me
write pseudo-code for a binary search; he had me uml a system; he made
me explain cron, diff, the permission system in unix, and had me write
a bunch sql queries. this guy was a scientist at epson, the printer
company. he was sharp; quantitative but warm. i liked that interview.

my next interview was with a nice lady who had been with google for a
few years. she was cold, but not mean; observant, but not expressive.
i felt that i answered her questions fine and our interview was done.

my next couple of interviews were with people that i had interviewed
with the previous day, in day 1. those went fine and uneventful. but,
by this time of day, i was getting really tired, physically and just
tired of interviewing.

alas, the last interviewer came, the head of global operations for
google. he was very nice, open, and direct. that interview went fine
and he openly shared his strong interest in my background and said
that i'd be a great addition to the team. he also shared how living in
the bay area is so nice and seemed to be trying to sell the location
and the company. i saw this as a good sign. our time ended; i left,
but before i walked out the bulding, i managed to steal a few more of
those odwalla drinks.

i drove to the san jose airport, caught my flight, and went home.

MANY. MANY weeks later. . .

the hr guy called and gave me an offer! but, it wasn't what i was
expecting. i was excited for the google stock units (gsu) and the phat
salary that would barely keep me alive with the bay area cost of
living, but that's not what i got. instead, google offered me a
contract position, with a VERY high hourly rate. of course, because it
was contractual, there would be no benefits or google stock units. on
the phone, on the spot, i declined the job offer. moving to the bay
area wasn't that appealing to me, especially if the job didn't have
google stock units and benefits. the cash was good, but my family
needed more than that.

all in all, the experience was okay. there is certainly more hype
about google than i believe it really merits. true, they hire sharp —
really sharp people; i felt a lot of energy and could see the
innovation happening there. but, the people i interviewed with didn't
seem happy to me. they looked tired and grumpy. i didn't get a feeling
that google treats their people very well. i'm glad for my decision
not to join google. but, i'll always wish i had free reign on those
odwalla drinks :)

On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 8:15 AM, laxmikant ratnaparkhi
<> wrote:
> Hello Everybody,
> I have an interview scheduled on monday with google. So can you
> anybody have an related information or any experience. Please help me what
> would be asked for this interview.
> I have 2 years of exp in python and django.
> Thanks in advance!!!
> regards,
> Laxmikant
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