From “Hi from Google again!” to “Congratulations on your offer with Google!”

Chapter 1: 2019

It all began during IITD’s placement season where Google conducted an online test but withdrew its application later and didn’t visit the campus at all. I was upset because I was eagerly waiting for it and Google could have been the perfect start for my career.

Chapter 2: 2020

Fortunately, a few months later, I was approached by a recruiter asking if I would be interested in an opportunity at Google. I was thrilled to hear this and promptly agreed.
She briefed me on the interview process which goes like this - An Initial Phone Screen Round with the recruiter followed by 1-2 Technical Phone Screen Rounds onwards to Onsites.

Initial screening round

This was to test some basic CS concepts like searching, sorting, storage classes etc. and it went smoothly.

Technical phone screen round

This round started with an easy subarray problem advancing towards a toughie. I took one subtle hint from the interviewer to spot Binary Search and wrote a full working code. I was confident about this round.

Onsites: Round 1

The first interviewer posed a LC medium problem involving BFS that I coded at once. He then introduced some constraints in the original problem. I gave an optimal solution after a little discussion and some inputs from him but there was no time left to code it.

Onsites: Round 2

This round went dreamy. It was a cost-based dynamic programming problem and I was super proud having coded a live, unseen dp problem in an interview.

Onsites: Round 3

I was asked a DFS based matrix question where I fumbled a little due to my hazy understanding of the problem. I wasted a little time here but finally ended up coding the first problem and giving a solution for the next one.

Onsites: Round 4

It had just one graph and shortest path based problem. I proposed a solution but it wasn’t optimal. The interviewer was very interactive and made me identify the section that involved redundant work. I corrected it and wrote an optimal code.

Onsites: Round 5

This was the Googleyness/Behavioral round. I had no trouble here.

Chapter 3: 2021

I moved on with my life, completed post-graduation and started working at Adobe. It was in February that I received an email from Google with the subject “Hi from Google again!” and I guess you know how it turned out this time. 😉

Onsites: Round 1

The first interview started with a medium DFS problem progressing to a hard one where I gave a union-find solution. I was happy that I could solve both of the questions on my own without any help.

Onsites: Round 2

This round had one LC hard problem with additional constraints. I started with brute force DFS with O(n⁴) complexity, then applied DP to reduce it to O(n³). However, the interviewer had an O(n²) approach in mind which I couldn’t think of. I ended up coding my O(n³) solution. I was dejected and thought this was it for me.

Onsites: Round 3

The next day started with GnL round and I was totally comfortable with it.

Onsites: Round 4

I was asked a string and interval based problem. It started off with an easy version and got complex later. I managed to do the first part pretty fast and then dedicated all my time to the second one. I discussed different approaches, kept optimising and finally arrived at the solution.

Ok Google, Play the victory song :)✌

Thank you for reading! You can connect with me on LinkedIn, Instagram. Happy to answer any queries that you may have.

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Garima Rajput

Garima Rajput

Software Engineer at Google. Unlearner. I tell stories. For life updates, follow me on Instagram — @garima_rajput07