5 tips to NAIL your Google phone interview

5 tips to NAIL your Google phone interview


What’s up everyone. Sam here from byte-by-byte.com. And in this video I’m going to show you five strategies that you can
use to nail your next Google phone interview. And if you’re interested in
more content like this about nailing the coding interview and landing that dream
job, make sure that you hit the Subscribe button and the bell icon for new videos
every week. At this point, the Google interview is
pretty infamous. Basically all companies are using some form of these
algorithmic problems where you have to solve them in real time in your
interview. And it’s something that we’ve talked a lot about on this channel and
we’ve given you a lot of strategies for how to prepare for those. But to even get
to that interview, to even get to that on- site, we need to pass the phone interview.
And specifically with companies like Google, for their phone interviews, there
are some strategies that we can use that are going to be a little bit different
than what we might do for an on-site. Because the tools that we’re using are
different, the expectations are slightly different. And so in this video, I want to
give you a couple strategies that you can use to make sure that you’re
actually doing the best that you possibly can in that phone interview. And
so first of all, I want to talk about what to actually expect when you go into
the Google phone interview. Because it’s a little bit different than maybe some
other phone interviews and it’s certainly different than the on-site
interview. So first of all, I want to preface this by, you know, it’s always a
little bit different for everyone. And if you ever have any questions about your
interview, one thing that no one does – but everyone should do – is email your
recruiter and ask. They may not be able to tell you lots of details about what
to expect, but if you’re ever unsure, your recruiter is really the person who is
most rooting for you at the company. They get a commission when you get a job, so they really want you to get the job. So if you ever have any questions, make sure that you ask your recruiter. Just shoot them an email. They are the best
person for you to talk to about this. But here are a couple different things
to expect during your Google phone interview. First of all, you’re probably
going to do it over at Google Hangouts. You expect to use a lot of Google tools
in general. You’re gonna do it over Google Hangouts. You’re gonna use Google Docs – and we’re going to talk about that in a second because that makes things a
little bit interesting. Generally expect to do a couple, maybe a
couple quick behavioral questions and then a technical question. That technical question is probably going to be a LeetCode you know hard easy or medium… hard easy not a hard OR easy. And then, you
know, the goal here is basically to establish what is the basic bar. It’s not to like be super intense about the technical stuff, it’s just to
make sure that you have a basic technical knowledge. And we do have a lot of videos about this explicitly, so I will link to some of those in the cards
and in the description below. So if you want to focus on the technical
interviewing stuff some more, we have a lot of resources for that. And so that’s
basically what to expect in the Google interview. And now I want to give you
five specific strategies that you can use to make sure that you’re doing the
best and you’re setting yourself up for success in this interview.
Alright, so the first strategy that you want to use is you want to make sure
that you’re using headphones or a headset or something so that you’re
hands-free during your interview. You’re going to be coding on your computer.
You’re going to be working with the person and so the last thing you want to
do is to have to worry about being able to hear them clearly. So if you’re using
the phone, if you’re on speakerphone, that’s not going to be great. If you’re
using Google Hangouts, you want to make sure that they can hear you and you can
hear them, so just making sure that you have that headset setup is going to be
really, really helpful for you. Strategy number two here is to optimize
your Google Docs. And this is something that no one ever does but it’s so, so
important because you’re going to be coding in Google Docs for your interview
and it’s a really really weird experience. Google always insists
on using Google Docs. A lot of other companies will use better tools. But the
fact that you’re going to be doing it, you want to make sure that you’re
getting the most bang for your buck and that you’re not like just totally
throwing everything off. So here are a couple tips for just like optimizing
your Google Docs which you can do at the beginning of your interview that’ll just
make it a whole lot easier. So first of all, we want to change the font to
something that’s mono spaced. So I have all the steps here. I like Consolas
personally, so I will just change the font here to Consolas. And the nice
thing about this is, because it’s mono spaced, everything is going to line up.
Now the next thing that we want to do is… one of the biggest problems with Google
Docs is that like if we start typing, it’s gonna normally automatically
capitalized the first word. And so I already turn this off, but what we do is
we go to Tools and Preferences and then we’re going to want to turn off
“Automatically capitalized words” here, which I already turned off. And you want
to turn off “Automatic substitution” as well. So I turn both of these off because
this way, if you are trying to divide stuff for anything, you’re not
gonna run into any issues with fractions and with the cap, like with the automatic
capitalization, you get stuff where it’s basically like, you know, you’re typing
and then it automatically capitalizes the first word of each line like it did
right there. And so you want to make sure that you’re turning that off as well. So
we’ll turn that off. And then next up, the last thing we want to do is we really
want to turn off these suggestions because we don’t want it to have like
little bits of red and green everywhere where it’s telling us that we type stuff
wrong. And so that we can also do. We just go to Tools, Spelling and grammar and
we’re going to turn off “Show spelling suggestions” and “Show grammar suggestions”.
And so by just doing these couple things now when we go to type our code, it does exactly what we want. And so with
these little adjustments, you’re gonna have a much easier time using Google
Docs and it’s going to be a much more fun experience when you’re trying to
solve these problems in your interview. Now I’m curious to hear in the comments
below what technical topic are you struggling with the most for your
interviews? We’re creating a lot of new content so I’m really curious to hear.
Next, number three is to make sure that you’re keeping track of time as you’re
going through the interview. I see a lot of people where they want, they’re so
worried about making sure that their code is correct, that they go
overboard. And they spend so much time like testing their code and doing
different things that are not actually necessary and they are sacrificing time
that they are otherwise would have to do other stuff in the interview. And with
the Google interviews, they tend to be a bit shorter than other companies as well.
Like for the on sites, they are only 45 minutes instead of an hour. And for the
phone interviews, they can range from 30 minutes to an hour, but you want to make
sure that you’re going through stuff as quickly as possible. And also a lot of
times in the phone interviews you can expect like a behavioral question or two
and so that shortens the time even further. So just make sure that you’re
being very, very aware of how you’re using the time in your interview.
Number four is that you want to make sure that you’re over explaining stuff.
So the case on your phone interview is that you don’t have a
whiteboard and you can’t draw stuff out. And that can make it really hard to
problem-solve. And so what I generally recommend for people is have a notebook
or have a piece of paper that you can work stuff out on. And just make sure
that you do a really clear job of explaining to your interviewer what are
you actually doing. Like you don’t want to sacrifice your ability to solve the
question as effectively as possible, you just need to make sure that you’re
communicating really clearly with them what you’re doing because they can’t see
it. And so you’re allowed to use paper. You’re allowed to take notes, but you
just want to make sure that your interviewer knows exactly what’s going
on. And then finally – this is probably an obvious one, but I think with phone
screens it’s not always clear – do not cheat on your interview. And I’m not
saying that you were going to do this, but I think it can be very tempting on a
phone interview, especially when you’re in front of your computer, to look stuff
up. And you want to be very, very careful about this.
I mean honestly, I’d say just don’t do it, but even if you are going to do it, be
very careful about it because I’m gonna link to this article in the description
below. It’s very obvious when you’re cheating on your interview, so just don’t
do it. So that’s all I got for you today. I’d highly encourage you to check out
our 50 interview questions guide where you can learn how to solve 50 of the
most common interview questions like the ones that you’d see in your Google phone
screen. Definitely go over and check that out. And the link to that is going to
be in the description below. And if you enjoyed this video, please give us a ‘like’
and Subscribe. We’re releasing new videos every week. You can check out some of the
other videos on our channel here and I look forward to seeing you all in the
next video.

14 thoughts on “5 tips to NAIL your Google phone interview

  1. Hey, sam,what to do as I am struggling with the questions, I am not been able to come up on my own for some LC easy,most of the medium questions on my own, after some time I looked to the solution, thus learn and understand the approach been used, is it the right strategy?
    waiting for your reply.
    one more question sam, would be very thankful if you could answer them,I want to ask that I am doing the android development, ie learning the and. development from the past couple of months along with practicing the DSA questions on the LC, I am a college student in 2 nd year, is product-based companies hires the developers?
    pls pls reply, may god bless you

  2. The new google swe intern interview process no longer has an onsite. Will the phone interview be the same difficulty as the past or is it going to be as hard as the onsite?

  3. I struggled with a hard leetcode problem on my phone interview. It's called "Maximum vacations days" I did not expect a hard problem on a phone interview.

  4. Struggling with array questions. They are way too general. I mean I can do them, but doing them in O(N) time, O(1) space most of the time is hard.

  5. From my latest phone interview with Google, recruiters will share with candidates a google document with all the spelling and grammar setting disabled. But it is good to know all these tips to practice on your own google docs.

    One more tip from my experience is to change the default font in google docs to mono space. It will make you feel more natural to coding environment.

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