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I’ve got an interview over Hangouts with Google for an internship coming up this Wednesday.

I’d be extremely grateful if somebody could spare half an hour or so to have a Hangout with me over the weekend and give me a practice interview. I’ve been revising all week, and at this stage, think I would really benefit from somebody else testing me. I’ve had a practice interview with some course mates, but I want a grilling similar to what I’ll get from an actual Google employee if possible.

Thanks in advance!


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    A bit OT, it’d be cool if this hangout happened to share some of the questions asked. I think myself and others might enjoy some practice and mental gymnastics as well :)

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      I think the questions tend to focus on the ‘coding ability’ of candidates, and are tailored to the level of experience of the candidate too. There shouldn’t be any abstract stuff like “you’re 5cm tall and stuck in a blender that’ll turn on in ten minutes, how do you get out?”. However, I’ve never had an interview with them, so I’m sure there’ll be a certain element of surprise.

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      What level internship are you going for, regular or EP? I could potentially do this.

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        I’m going for a Software Engineering internship in EMEA. I’m currently doing my second year of Computer Science degree, which hopefully would give you an idea of my level. Thanks!

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        As someone who interviews candidates semi-regularly, it would also help to know what you’re interviewing for; I wouldn’t be able, for example, to properly interview a web development candidate.

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          Google lets you select areas that you’re comfortable being interviewed in, and I selected Algorithms and Theory. However, they match you up with a project after the interview (if you pass), so the interviews are pretty generic and mainly focus on your programming ability as far as I’m aware.

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          This is still in beta: http://interviewing.io/ But I helped out with their first round beta testing this pass Tuesday, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how cool this is when it’s a finished product.

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            That looks neat! I’ve signed up. Thanks.

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            I’d like to get better at running an interview process. Currently, I way too often fall back onto soft reactions to inessential markers (“oh, you were at X while I was at Y!”). Surely there must be a better way than “two dudes staring at you while you flounder at a whiteboard” or “shoot the shit with someone about some random technical topic”.

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              Here’s my interview summary:

              00:00-5:00 : introductions / figure out the interviewee

              05:00-30:00 : programming questions

              30:00-45:00 : wrapping up + b.s. with bad candidates, selling + personality with good candidates

              My interview is pretty straight forward. The first 5 minutes, we do introductions, I figure out what kind of coder they are and which languages they prefer and then ask them one of my two interview questions. I also want to avoid getting to know the person too well before I figure out if they can code.

              Non-embedded people get lists / trees algo questions. (phase 1, 2, 3) Embedded folks get memory management or memory manipulation. (phase 1 - understand the initial problem, 2 -manage memory, 3 - cleanup)

              The question is designed with graded difficulty - if they solve the first phase, they hopefully will uncover the ‘trick within a trick’ and have to improve their solution. Generally the stronger candidates will get to this stage on their own, but weaker ones will fail to. That’s okay!

              Depending on the time frame, if there is not enough time remaining and it is clear the candidate will fail to solve the problem, I help them through phase 1 and 2, and then I congratulate them on their solution. I wrap up the interview with them talking about themselves or some facet of their resume that is interesting. I’m not going to hire them, but I want them to feel okay about the interview.

              The smart ones will solve the question in about 15-25 minutes, getting through all 3 phases. This leaves me with time to sell them on our company, the work we do, and find out more about their personality / projects.

              The interview answers. 1. Can they code? Yes - they can code, are they a nice person to work with and have they done interesting projects No - it doesn’t matter if they’re nice, they’re not a fit for the job.

              I prefer Strong Hire, or No Hire. Personally the cost of not hiring someone is low. I would prefer to keep the bar high.

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              In a similar vein, is lobsters an appropriate place to ask for CV feedback?