First of all, a little bit context for the people that are not familiar with this blog. If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that this summer I completed my third Google Software Engineering internship program. While my first two internships were on site in London, considering the coronavirus pandemic situation, the third one was remote.
I usually get a lot of questions about the Google internship, some of them are about my experience and others are about the recruitment process and general logistics questions. Therefore, I split them in two sections as you can see below: Q&A and FAQ.
My Google Internship Experience Q&A
- What do I like the most about the internship? There are two main aspects that I really enjoy regarding the Google internship. First of all, every intern has a project assigned and a person from the team that can guide you to accomplish your goal: learn as much as you can while completing that project. I find this a very cool strategy to learn. I am usually against watching tutorials for a long time without any personal practice. The other aspect of the program that I appreciate is people’s attitude: everyone is considering you a member of a team with all rights and responsibilities.
- What do I want to change regarding the program? Haha, this is a tough one. I love the Google internship program and now that it is remote, I would love to do it as a part time job in the same time with studying for my Master’s degree.
- What was my interview preparation strategy? To be honest, I prepared only two days for the Google interviews. As I mentioned in the STEP internship article I did not apply for the job, but I was contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn. I was very lucky indeed and I am always thankful for this. Therefore, I did not have too much time to prepare for the interviews. I had the recommendation to check the Cracking the Code Interview book, so I did. There are some great advices in the book, so I also recommend reading it before any interview. My secret for passing the technical interviews is my constant hard work during the high school and university. The problems that I got on the interviews were similar to the ones that I was solving when leaning the basic concepts.
- Do I recommend interning in Google? Definitely yes! For me, the Google internship program have been a boost to my career. I am glad that I had the opportunity to join Google as the first company I was working for because now my standards are high and this motivates me to work harder for my dreams to come true.
- Was it difficult? I can’t say that it was difficult, but the project was challenging enough so that I couldn’t get bored.
- What have I learnt during the internship? There are plenty of knowledge that I gained after three internships. Besides the technical knowledge like Java, Android development and Bash scripting, I developed a very important skill: write clean code so that everyone can read and understand it even after years. Moreover, I overcome my fear of asking questions when getting stuck. I learnt to understand the existing code and reuse it as much as I can. My soft skills were not neglected as I improved my English a lot, especially during my first internship, I got cooking classes and I almost got rid of my shyness.
- Do I like the internship more onsite or remote? There are advantages and disadvantages for both types of internships. The good part regarding the remote internship is the fact that I didn’t have to move to another country for 3 or 4 months. Personally I enjoyed this, but on the other hand there were persons waiting for this adventure: travelling and meet new people. The part that I didn’t like regarding the remote internship is that I didn’t get the chance to meet my team in person which was a little bit weird especially in the beginning: just imagine trying to communicate efficiently with people that you never met. Overall, the remote internship experience had exceeded expectations for me.
- What skills did I have before the first internship? When I was interviewed for my first Google internship I was in the first semester of the second year Computer Engineering student, so I didn’t have so much experience. I didn’t study algorithms in university at that time, just data structures, C programming and Unix operating system usage.
- Did I have any prior internships? No, the STEP Google internship was my first contact with the industry.
Google Internship FAQ
- What is the structure of the internship? What do you do during your time there? One of the things that I appreciate regarding the Google internship program is that the interns are treated like a fulltime employee. This means that you are assigned on a real project and your goal is to deliver the solution to that problem by the end of the internship.
- How long in the program? For the STEP internship there is a fix duration of 12 weeks in Europe and for the classic internships the duration varies between 13 and 17 weeks, depending on your university holiday and your preferences. There are also some special cases of 6 months or 1 year internships if your university program requires this. Note that what I said is available for internships based in EMEA and I am not aware of the details for other regions internships.
- Is there any age restriction for the interns? As far as I know, there is no age restriction for the interns. The only restriction is that you must be enrolled in an university program and you must return to studies after the internship.
- How to prepare the resume for the application? All the big companies receive a lot of applications daily, so it is important to accord a special importance to your resume as it is the first piece of information the recruiters are getting from yourself. Here are some details that I consider important to increase your chance to get an interview. Don’t forget to keep your resume up to date. Keep it short and simple: one page is enough for a student or a new graduate. Adapt your resume for the position you apply: select your experience, education and projects to show your qualification for the job you apply to. It might be useful to include your GPA and your expected graduation date if you are still a student. Focus on the results and the impact for the projects you have worked on.
- Is the internship paid? Yes, it is a paid internship.
- Should you live in US for getting a Google Internship? Definitely not! I live in Romania and I completed my first two internships in London, UK. There are internship programs available in many regions. Now that the internship is remote I think that there are some limitations, but before interns were relocating for the duration of the internship. As far as you could get a visa, everything was fine.
- When preparing your application, should you focus on problem solving or personal projects? There are two stages in the recruiting process: applications selection and interviews. For the resume screening stage I consider that is pretty important to have two or three personal projects that can prove your ability to code and your interest in this field. After successfully passing this stage, the next step is to prove your problem solving skills during two technical interviews. The conclusion is that both of them are important in this process.
- How is the interview process? The interviewing process for the internship program consists in two technical interviews based on problem solving using data structures and algorithms. There is no behavioural interview.
- What is the maximum number of times someone can intern before hopefully getting a full-time offer? As far as I know there is no such a limit, the only condition is that you must be a student and return to studies after the internship.
- What programming language is required? For the interview you must know one of the following programming languages: C++, Java, Python or GoLang. However, the internship projects are diverse, so you can find a project using almost any popular language. In my opinion, the programming language doesn’t matter so much for the internship, the most important thing is to find a project that is interesting for you.
And the last and maybe most important question that I get so often is:
How can I apply for a Google internship program?
The answer is very simple: just check Google’s careers page. On this page you can also find some cool articles for students that present some tips and tricks for taking advantage of all the Google programs for students.
I hope that this article could answer most of your questions regarding the Google internship program. If you find it interesting you can share it to your friends or on social media. Don’t forget: sharing is caring!