Prepare for Your Google Interview: Troubleshooting and Scripting

Prepare for Your Google Interview: Troubleshooting and Scripting


You’ve done it. You’ve landed an on-site interview with Google. Congratulations! To help you out, my fellow Googlers and I are going to share our tips
and advice on how to prepare. In this video, we’ll cover communication and collaboration, troubleshooting,
scripting and overall best practices. Communication and collaboration are incredibly important to us. And that’s because it’s key to how we approach developing and building our products. In your interview, it’s important to demonstrate these qualities. We also want you to think out loud. We don’t just want to see the final solution. We want to understand how you arrived at it. Google is a collaborative workplace where projects are planned and executed by teams. Those teams have a mission to work together to solve big but often ambiguous problems,
not just write code. And those problems can have multiple valid solutions. So, tell us how you plan to solve those problems. Be sure to ask questions. And remember: we’re not looking for one specific answer. Some of the problems you’ll encounter during your interview will be deliberately open-ended. That’s because real engineering problems require you to dig deeper. Here at Google we create and build a wide range of products. And our users rely on us to keep these products running so that they can navigate their daily lives. That’s why knowing how to troubleshoot a given scenario — using a series of logical steps
— is key to addressing the needs of our users while maintaining our brand. It’s important to follow these steps when presented with a problem:
examine, diagnose, and then test or treat. You should examine and understand the problem statement
— before jumping into how to troubleshoot it. But ultimately, we’re looking for candidates who can verify, reproduce and scope issues. So, it’s important to ask clarifying questions, think out loud and step us through
the process from the beginning. And we encourage you to use the whiteboard or a pad of paper to gather your thoughts. After examining the problem, we will be looking for your diagnosis. You should hypothesize potential cases for failure, test your hypothesis, and iterate on it. When testing your procedure, tell us the steps you’d take to verify system health. We’re looking for engineers who consider the obvious problem first and perform tests
in decreasing order of likelihood. And with all things being equal – We prefer simple solutions. And as an extra tip, if you can come up with a solution that potentially “stops the bleeding,”
you should call it out. This is important to us because at times you could be troubleshooting emergency
scenarios with some of our more commonly-used products. Developers here may work across different platforms, but the foundational knowledge
required to perform their job functions is the same. During your technical interview, we will evaluate you on your scripting abilities. But you should expect less of an emphasis on algorithms and more of a focus on
problem-solving. We are looking for candidates who can generate a reasonable amount of idiomatic code
that’s both maintainable and readable. When scripting, you should ask yourself: Is the code easy to understand? Can you test the code? And, can the code handle errors? You should also choose a coding language you’re comfortable with. We are looking for code that reinvents common language idioms, especially if they
improve maintainability, readability, or efficiency of the code. We want you to be able to code so well that you automate yourself out of small scale tasks. This will free you up to focus on larger solutions. Now that you have the focus areas, here are some overall best practices to keep
in mind for your actual interview day. We want to understand how you think, so it’s important to explain your thought process
during the interview. We’re not only evaluating your technical ability but also how you solve problems. Many questions will be deliberately open-ended to give us an idea of how you solve
technical problems. We’d encourage you to ask for clarification. And we all know that our first solution may not be the best one. So, once you’ve come up with an answer to a question,think about ways to
improve upon it and let your interviewer know what you’re thinking. And lastly, practice on paper or a whiteboard. You may have the option to use a computer and/or whiteboard during your interview,
so you’ll want to make sure you practice for both possible options and that your code is easily readable if written. And those are our tips to help you prepare for a troubleshooting
and scripting interview at Google! If you have any questions about your upcoming interview,
you can always reach out to your recruiter. We’re here to help. And we look forward to seeing you at one of our offices around the world soon.

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