A Failed Google STEP Internship Interview Experience

Satakshi Garg
4 min readDec 27, 2020

Google STEP Internship is a program for second year students who are a member of a group that is historically underrepresented in the technology field. Precisely, in India, it’s meant for Female candidates, as known so far.

Application Process

I belong to a Tier 3 college, and Google doesn’t visit my campus for placements. So, I had no other option, but to apply through the official career site of Google.


I had to upload my resume as well as transcripts( College Marksheets) with my application.

Interview Mail

Within two days after applying, I received a mail from a Google Recruiter to choose dates for my interview.

The next day, I received a call from Google team, regarding my final dates for the interviews, followed by a Google Invite for the interviews.


I had my interview after 10 days, when I received the mail. I personally didn’t study any new thing, because I feel that Programming is all about practice, you can’t learn it in a Night and in case, I start a new concept, it would just create confusions.

I just revised my past concepts. I focussed on strengthening what I already knew.

I actually didn’t do anything high-fi for the interview, I anyways solve coding questions everyday, so I just continued with my schedule, just the variety of questions changed. I was practicing more straightforward questions of DSA rather than the usual Codeforces problems. Plus, I practiced entirely on a Google Doc, as the interviews were meant to be done using those.


Google STEP Internship has two technical interviews of 45 minutes each. My interviews were scheduled on the same day, with a break of 1.5 hours in between.

I can’t reveal the questions as it’s highly confidential.

The interviews were purely DSA based, no project details were asked. In fact, in my case, I was not even asked a 5 minutes introduction. It was straightaway the questions.

A Google Coding Doc was shared with me, wherein I was supposed to write my code.

During my first interview, I was asked two distinct questions and I could answer them in an optimised way, in the given time period.

During my second interview, I was able to answer one question as well as a follow up question completely within the time frame.

Rejection Mail

So, within 2 weeks of my interview, I received a mail from the Recruiter saying that, I am not perfect the role. The reasons were not mentioned, so I asked them, but unfortunately I received the reply, that they can’t reveal it.

What I think could have been better..

I started self introspection and thought, what actually could have gone wrong. I am not sure, but these are the points, I believe I could have been better at.

  1. Being a Competitive Programmer, I always think about the most optimised solution on the first go, without considering the brute force approach. I think, I should have explained all the approaches of the questions to the interviewers and then focussed on improvising them(applies specifically for Google STEP Interview, as the interviewer is more concerned about our thought process and not the solution, it may be different for different posts).
  2. During my second interview, I was asked a question related to a data structure, which is quite a rare topic to be asked during an interview. Honestly, I had no idea about the data structure, so I clearly stated it in front of the interviewer, but I mentioned that I knew how to solve it, in an optimised manner , using my own tricks and approaches. And I solved it. I am not much sure, but probably the interviewer wanted me to use that specific Data Structure or maybe there were candidates who had studied that data structure, and in that case, they surely deserved it more.

Else, I feel everything was perfect. I was confident, was quite interactive throughout the interviews, but sometimes, it just happens, because it’s meant to happen. And I trust in myself, and know, that I’ll achieve what I want, sooner or later 😆

In case anyone reads it and finds any other feedback, I should consider, please let me know. I’ll be grateful to you.

I have read many success experiences, but I always feel, that failure is a better teacher. I hope you all find my experience useful, and do not make those mistakes.

All the best..



Satakshi Garg

CSE Student | ex-Civo | ex-Amazon | ex-ShareChat | ex-Swiggy | Google WE Cohort -2 | Founder Peer Programming Hub | MLH Top 50 2021 | Google DSC JIIT Lead 2021