Google Interview Experience for STEP Intern
Hii!.. I am from pursuing B.tech in field of CSE.
I applied for a Google step internship in November 2020.I was in second year (3rd sem).I filled out the basic form and uploaded my resume with it. At my campus, STEP interviews were going on-campus. I was excited as it was going to be my first on-campus company. But I was unable to make it and was rejected during the resume selection phase. I’m guessing barely a few individuals made it.
It was a fine day in January 2021. I was enjoying my tea and checking my mail around 7 pm. I received a mail from Google saying that I had been shortlisted and the next round was a technical interview. I was literally on the cloud nine at that time.
- So, I calculated and I got around 1 week for preparation for the technical rounds. I filled out the availability form and braced myself. I didn’t know much about higher data structures, like I have knowledge of Arrays, Strings, Linked Lists, Stacks, Queues and Binary Trees (not so much about trees, just basic).
- I asked my friends who had given their interviews for Google STEP. They suggested I do dynamic programming, and I literally had no idea of DP at that time.
- From that night, I started studying the content of DP from YouTube and from my coding course. I gave 3 days to DP and practiced as many questions as I could. In the last 4 days, I revised all the data structures and questions.
- I joined the link and am waiting for the interviewer. Obviously, it’s going to happen. When I said “Good Morning” at 2 pm, I felt so embarrassed. I corrected it and wished her. So, the interviewer was a lady. She’s quite young. She gave her introduction and asked me to give mine. I introduced myself and it started. She shared a Google document with me and asked the first question.
- It is from trees (data structure). As far as I remember, it was something like the weight of every branch was given, and I had to return the minimum number that balanced the weight of the branches. I’m sorry to put this question like this, but I don’t remember it so clearly. She asked me basic questions regarding trees. I answered them all. She said to draw a tree on a Google document. I did it. Then she gave me time to think it out .She muted herself and asked me to do so. After some time, she asked me and I gave the naïve approach, but it doesn’t work in all cases. Clearly, she was not happy with my solution. As time was passing, she asked me to write code on a Google document. I wrote broken code out there. As last time passed, it came to an end and I asked her a question about the work culture of Google. She replied, and it ended at 2:45pm.
- I got a 15-minute break to pack up my anxiety .I bundled up my all emotions for next interview.
- This time it was a male interviewer. started with an introduction, the same as previously. He shared a Google document and I was again ready for this.
- He asked me basic question about vectors and gave me an easy question. I told him an approach and coded it in one go. Then he asked me some edge cases about that. I took time but answered them correctly. I guess he was quite satisfied. But then he gave me a follow-up question which was a bit hard. I told him an approach. He was helpful. He was dropping some hints. I thought for some time and came up with a naïve approach and told him. He said okay and it was about to end now. Again, I got a chance to learn about the work culture of Google. He explained it to me and I listened intently. He talked to me about 20 minutes apart from the interview.
AFTER INTERVIEW: I got out of my chair at 4:00 p.m. and turned off my laptop. I dashed straight to my bed and pretended to be dead.
Questions they asked me in the interview:
- I guess it was from the graph. The question is about weighing branches. I had to return the minimum number that must be added to every path from root to leaf node. I couldn’t find the same question on the internet. It was a hard level, for sure.
- In the second interview, the first question was an easy level, and the follow-up was a medium type. It was like a matrix and related to the wages question.
Well, it was a great experience for sure, getting shortlisted for giving interviews(around 35 people got shortlisted from my campus).
Things that I hated: I was facing a blank screen while giving rounds and my chair is not so comfy.
OUTCOME: I could not make it.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND : Rewrite your introduction, practice more questions , be ready to face any data structure, grab hints, listen carefully, speak after thinking it, use correct terms while explaining.
THINGS THAT I DID: I spoke about whatever approach was going through my mind, asked the interviewer about edge cases, and made the interviewer understand with the help of a dry run, checked test cases, grabbed pen and paper for an easy dry run.