Top 50 Google Interview Questions (Example Answers Included)

google interview questions

By Mike Simpson

UPDATED 6/22/2022

Every year, Google receives about 3 million applications. That’s only a little less than the entire population of Silicon Valley, which comes in just below 3.1 million.

Plus, only about 0.2 percent of those applicants are hired. Now, 0.2 percent of 3 million is 6,000 people, so that’s a ton of hiring. Plus, not every applicant is actually qualified, so your odds might be much better than that statistic shows if you are.

But beating the odds isn’t something you’ll do by accident. You have to be ready to nail the Google interview questions. Here’s how to pull that off.

Google Interview Process

The Google hiring process is a well-oiled machine, honed over years and years of looking for the best and brightest. While there can be some variation from one role to the next, the bulk of the process is typically similar.

First, most technical candidates will take a short skills assessment. For example, you might have to complete a coding quiz if you’re looking at certain software development roles.

After that comes a short phone or video interview or two. Usually, you’ll speak with a recruiter first. If that goes well, you might have a quick chat with the hiring manager or a potential colleague.

Next, you might need to complete a small project. Again, this is more common with specific roles, such as programming or marketing jobs. However, everyone should be prepared for another assessment to be safe.

If the project goes well, it’s time for an in-depth interview. Actually, it’s a series of interviews – potentially three or four – all possibly happening in one day. It’s intense, but it can also be a great chance to see what Google has to offer.

Once that’s all done, they’ll decide whether to extend an offer. If so, you’ll be contacted with the details.

How to Answer Google Interview Questions

Before we dig into some examples, let’s take a moment to talk about how you should answer Google interview questions. After all, Google has a reputation for asking some strange ones, many of which felt more like brain teasers than real interview questions.

Do you feel adequately prepared to talk about how many golf balls it would take to fill up a school bus? Probably not. The mere idea of facing off against a question like that would rightfully leave any candidate nervous.

Now, some of the questions were deemed so difficult that the company eventually banned them (lucky for today’s candidates, we think). Plus, there is evidence that these bizarre hypotheticals don’t actually lead to better hiring, which may be why you don’t see as many of those tricks today.

So, that means you don’t have to worry, right? Well, no. Even if you’re only going to face “normal” interview questions, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a strategy. It’s also important to prepare, increasing the odds that you’ll impress during your Google interview.

Let’s start with the basics. If you want to stand out for all of the right reasons, research is your friend. Start by scouring over the Google job description. That way, you can learn the ins and outs of what the hiring manager needs to find, giving you all of the foundational tools you need to incorporate the right details into your answers.

Next, take it up a notch by reviewing the company’s mission and values statements. You’ll find out more about the organization’s mentality, priorities, perspective, and culture, and additional tidbits you can weave into your responses.

Finally, get on social media. Look at Google’s profiles for insights about recent accomplishments, and even do a quick news search for more details. If you can discuss a new achievement during an interview, there’s a decent chance you’ll impress.

Alright, now you have a ton of information, what do you do with it? Well, if you’re asked a straightforward interview question, it’s pretty easy. For example, if the hiring manager wants to know if you have a skill, start with a simple “yes” or “no.” With the former, add an overview of how you acquired or used the skill. With the latter, pivot by discussing your willingness to learn or any steps you’re taking to improve in that area. Done!

But what about behavioral interview questions? Well, here’s what you need to know.

Google Behavioral Interview Questions

Overall, Google loves behavioral interview questions. They help hiring managers learn more about how you think and what you would do in specific situations.

Plus, most Google behavioral interview questions ask you to describe past experiences. Since many people think past success predicts future potential, it’s not a surprise that behavioral interview questions might make up the bulk of your Google interview.

Okay, but how do you handle those tricky behavioral interview questions? Those don’t have “right” or “wrong” answers in most cases, so what do you do?

The key here is to adopt the right strategy. Take the STAR Method and then combine it with the Tailoring Method. Together, those let you create meaningful, engaging, relevant answers, increasing the odds that you’ll make a good impression during your interview.

If you want to learn more, check out our article on behavioral interview questions for additional details.

Top 3 Google Interview Questions

Now, it’s important to note that the Google interview questions you face will vary depending on the position. They aren’t going to ask a software engineer the same set of questions they’ll use when hiring a recruiter.

However, certain questions are more common, applying to a range of niches. Here’s a look at the top three Google interview questions you may encounter.

1. What is your favorite Google product? What would you do to improve it?

This is a question that helps the hiring manager gauge your familiarity with Google’s offerings. Luckily, any Google product will do, as long as you can speak about it with enthusiasm and provide a relevant recommendation.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“My favorite Google product is YouTube. The platform itself is incredibly engaging, while also empowering for those who want to share their thoughts, talents, and tips. I’ve personally used it extensively to find answers to questions, gain new skills, or simply enjoy some entertainment.


As for how I would improve YouTube, I would create an option for refining what videos are recommended. For example, clicking on a single video on a new topic can cause a feed to get flooded, even if the person no longer has an interest in that topic. Implementing the ability to request that YouTube show a person less content that is similar to a particular video would potentially alleviate this problem.”

2. Who do you believe are Google’s main competitors? How does Google stand apart?

With this question, the hiring manager can determine whether you have a solid idea of which other companies dominate spaces where Google also sits. This can be especially relevant in product-oriented roles, including everything from product manager positions to software developer jobs, where finding opportunities to outshine other companies comes with the territory.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“Google has several main competitors, including Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, Waze, and several others, depending on the specific space. One of the main differentiators is Google’s ability to integrate its services, creating a cohesive cross-platform experience. Additionally, Google has such a wide range of offerings. It promotes a degree of familiarity you don’t necessarily get with some of the competitors, making using the products and platforms feel like a natural part of daily life.”

3. How do you make sure that you are your colleagues remain accountable?

Accountability is critical in the eyes of every employer. Google wants to know that you’ll handle your tasks and hold yourself to a reasonable standard. Additionally, the hiring manager may favor candidates who can also help team members stay accountable, especially if group projects are the norm.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“For me, accountability is always a priority. One of the key steps I take is to track all of my deliverables and associated due dates. A list allows me to create notifications and block out time on my calendar as necessary, ensuring I can focus on the task and finish on time.


When a project is larger, I also use the mini-milestone approach. This creates an opportunity for me to examine each step along the way, making it easier to chart a course.

As far as when I’m working with my colleagues, I find that follow up is often effective. At times, this many involve scheduling team meetings to discuss our progress or transition work between coworkers, or simply reaching out to see if they are on target or if I can offer assistance.”

47 More Google Interview Questions

As mentioned above, Google hires professionals for a variety of departments. Not everyone is going to face the same questions, as some only make sense for specific roles.

MIKE'S TIP: While you might not personally have to answer all of these Google interview questions, it doesn’t hurt to spend a moment consider each one (barring the technical ones if you’re trying to land a non-tech role). Interview questions are a reflection of a company’s priorities, so it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of the opportunity and gain some valuable insights that could help you stand out from the crowd.

Here are 27 more Google interview questions you might face, depending on the job you’re trying to land:

    1. Why do you want to work for Google?
    2. Tell me what you know about Google’s history.
    3. Do you think that using legal names when setting up a Gmail account should be mandatory?
    4. How do you think digital marketing will change in the next five years?
    5. If you needed to find a given integer in a circularly sorted array of integers, how would you go about it?
    6. Do you think Google should be charging for its productivity apps (Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.)? Why or why not?
    7. Tell me something about yourself that you didn’t include on your resume.
    8. If an extremist video makes its way onto YouTube, how do you think it should be handled?
    9. Tell me about a time where you and a manager were in conflict. How did you ultimately resolve the problem?
    10. What is multithreaded programming?
    11. How would you describe Adwords to someone completely unfamiliar with the product and online advertising?
    12. If you were tasked with increasing Gmail’s user base, what steps would you take to make that happen?
    13. Describe a technical issue you once encountered. How did you solve it?
    14. Tell me about three non-Google sites that you visit frequently. What do you like about them?
    15. How do cookies pass along in HTTP protocol?
    16. Explain the function of congestion control in TCP protocol.
    17. If an advertiser wasn’t seeing the benefit of Adwords due to poor conversions, how would you convince them to stay on board?
    18. Pick an app on your phone’s home screen. What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it?
    19. What steps would you take to enhance YouTube’s business model?
    20. Describe a time where you failed at something. How did you recover?
    21. Why do you think that the Google search page is mainly blank?
    22. How would you describe a balance sheet to someone who isn’t familiar with accounting principles?
    23. If you were working with a client who suddenly became hesitant about transitioning to a cloud solution, what steps would you take to put their minds at ease?
    24. What is the biggest threat Google faces today?
    25. If there was an autosuggest issue for searches in a developing country, what steps would you take to resolve it?
    26. Tell me about an area where you believe Google is underinvested.
    27. Describe a time when a project was being overwhelmed by scope creep. What steps did you take to get it back on target?
    28. Which Google product is your favorite?
    29. Is there a Google product that you hate using? If so, why?
    30. If you could add a feature to Gmail, what would it be?
    31. How will self-driving cars impact transportation, logistics, and daily life?
    32. Do you think Google does enough to protect user privacy?
    33. Which of the company values do you relate to the most?
    34. Tell me about a time when a project stakeholder wanted to head in one direction, but you thought it wasn’t the right move. What did you do?
    35. Describe the difference between programming and coding?
    36. Tell me about a time when you took an existing piece of functional software and updated it.
    37. How do you ensure your code is clean and your documentation is thorough?
    38. Can you tell me about a time when you set a challenging professional goal and achieved it?
    39. Tell me about a time when you set a goal at work and missed the mark.
    40. What’s the biggest challenge you faced in your last position? How did you overcome it?
    41. What did you learn from your most recent failure at work?
    42. If I looked at your browser history right now, what would I learn about your personality?
    43. What are you most passionate about outside of work?
    44. What steps do you take to stay on top of emerging technology trends?
    45. If Google didn’t hire you, where else would you be happy working?
    46. Tell me about a time when you stepped up as a leader even though you weren’t officially in a leadership role.
    47. What’s the most valuable feedback you’ve ever received?

5 Good Questions to Ask at the End of a Google Interview

When you are finished answering Google interview questions, you typically get to ask a few yourself. This is a crucial opportunity. Not only will it ensure you can get details that may not have been covered, but it also lets you gauge whether the job is actually right for you.

If you don’t know what to ask, here are five good questions for the end of any Google interview:

    1. Is there anything about working for Google that surprised you when you first started?
    2. What is the biggest challenge that Google faces today? How does this role help address that challenge?
    3. What does a typical day look like in this role?
    4. How would you define success for this job?
    5. What do the most successful people in this position have in common?

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, it’s normal to be a bit nervous when you head into your Google interview. But if you use the tips above, you can arrive prepared. Then, your chances of shining go up dramatically.

Remember, you’re a great candidate. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have been invited in for an interview. So, take a deep breath, relax, and show the hiring manager that you are the best person for the job.

Good luck!

About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.