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A few hours ago I went trough the third Google job interview. In many ways it was very similar to the second one - the difficulty level was almost the same, the questions were similar in nature and detail. The only problem is that I stumbled twice on this interview. First of all I needed a tiny reminder to do a bit of strace'ing before diving into source to debug a problem. However that was tiny compared to the fact that could not remember some details about the physical layout of a file system, specifically the structure of inodes was a bit under my radar.
I must say that I am really enjoying the questions - deep, insightful and satisfyingly complex. It is a pleasure to see my knowledge (or lack of it, sometimes) exposed in a professional way. :)
Many have asked me what to expect from a Google job interview. I must say - expect good questions. Ask yourself, if you would need to uncover as much of your relevant knowledge over a phone line, how would you do it? Expect factual questions about powers of two, programming algorithms and data structures, learn everything that goes on on all OSI levels, practise debugging problems, be inquisitive.
You can only be a true geek if you always want to know how exactly every thing works. You are a true geek, when you do know and understand it. You are a true hacker, when you can use it to your advantage.
If you are a true hacker, then you will have no problems on the interviews.
(Just being a geek also might just cut it ;))
P.S. I tried to follow the latest meme, but according to Google, I need nothing. I wish it was so :D
A tiny Google Maps bonkers - Google does not exist!
Okay, why this, the fact that I had to talk a lot about my involvement with the anti-swpat campaign in EU on my my second Google job interview, and the fact that they have contacted me for a third phone interview (seemingly from a different department) seem to make my brain go *click*?
Google job interview, part 2. Technical knowledge - check!
Looks like I did well on the interview - answered all question and only messed up one of the advanced cached sorting algorithms (one of those when you can't load the whole data set into memory). The principles were correct, but I was a bit off on the specifics of the implementation. It looked that the engineer doing the interview was quite impressed. Let's see what the human resources people will tell me now. I was told that they will most probably get back to me next week - so I can relax a bit over the weekend and ... go bowling. Have not gone to one of those for a while :)
In less then 24 hours I will face a good challenge - the second stage of my Google job interview. A Google engineer will call me and ask me deep questions to determine the bottom line of my knowledge. To prepare for that, I wrote a list of thing that I would want to refresh in my mind or to read up on.
There are two saying that came to my mind when I finished the list:
* The more you know, the more you forget
* The more you know, the more you realise that you don't know a lot more.
On a bright side that means that I must really know a lot to come up with this list, on the other side I will not manage to even browse trough materials on all those topics.
It will be fun :)
Meike, about the work dullness - you identified some of the ways of improving your workspace yourself, when you descried it:
* experiment with your audio environment: either speakers or headphones, either pop music, classical music or sound of the forest
* get yourself a cup of tea with sugar and chocolate
* try to find a more comfortable working posture: experiment with chairs, headrests, handrests, legrests, cup holders, mouse pad holders. Envision your perfect working position (without account on any chairs or tables or stuff, but taking laws of physics in mind) and try to realise it using the things that you have around.
* get some kind of a plastic mat under your chair
* get some cube goodies to spice up the rest of the environment around you
Just be creative :)
On a very unrelated note: got a job offer from Google, exploded with excitement, gathered the pieces, replied with a CV, thinking about meaning of life and this particular implementation of it ...