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Google Software Engineer Salary & Levels: Interview Process, Job Roles etc

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25th May, 2023
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Google Software Engineer Salary & Levels: Interview Process, Job Roles etc

Landing a job at a company like Google has been a dream for many working professionals, as over 2 million people apply for this reputed organisation each year. From high compensation packages to lucrative benefits, working at Google has many advantages, which is what most working professionals usually aim to achieve. However, to enjoy the same, you must prove you are the right candidate for the position!

Unlike most other companies, the recruitment process for software engineers at Google differs. It involves many software engineer levels to ensure every employee can enjoy a similar average salary at equivalent levels. With an acceptance rate of 0.2%, getting a job at Google is harder than applying for Harvard!

On that note, here is a detailed guide to the interview process for software engineers at Google. You will also find the necessary information about the varied job roles and salaries offered at Google. 

So, without ado, let’s get started!

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Entry-Level Software Engineering Roles at Google

To accurately estimate how much you can earn at Google, you must thoroughly understand the various software engineer levels. To help you with the same, here is a detailed list of the Google engineer levels. 

Google Software Engineer Levels: Levels 1-3

Levels 1-3 are usually considered to be entry-level engineers at Google. They are the ones who have just graduated from their college or doing an internship at Google while pursuing their Bachelor’s degree. The work experience required to qualify for this role usually comprises around 0-3 years. Google software engineer salary usually falls within the range of USD 118,000- USD 190,000 annually.

Google Software Engineer Levels: Levels 4-6

Level 4 

To qualify for this role, you must have a minimum experience of at least 2+ years or a PhD. The average salary of Google software engineers level 4 is estimated at USD 268,000 per annum, alongside other benefits. 

Level 5

Also known as Senior Software Engineers, candidates at this level are usually entrusted with greater responsibility and are expected to drive impactful results. Candidates must usually possess 6-10 years of relevant experience to be eligible for this position. On average, candidates in this role earn a salary of USD 353,000 per annum.

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Level 6 

Commonly referred to as Staff Software Engineers, these individuals are usually responsible for the day-to-day handling of their team. They play a vital role in the success of a project. On average, a Google Staff software engineer salary is estimated at USD 515,000 annually. To qualify for the same, you must have 10+ years of experience. 

Google Software Engineer Levels: Levels 7-8

Level 7

Level 7 engineers at Google are referred to as Senior Staff software engineers. They are usually considered senior managers and are eligible for an average salary of USD 631,000 annually. The total years of experience required to qualify for this role is 10+.

Level 8

Level 8 engineers, or Principal Engineers, are responsible for handling all the technical aspects of a project, which includes providing necessary strategies and solutions. They usually have 10+ years of experience and receive an average compensation of USD 1,143,200 annually. 

Google Software Engineer Levels: Levels 9-10

Level 9 

Level 9 is quite a distinguished position at Google, and the engineers at this level are called Distinguished engineers. To qualify for the same, you need to possess exceptional skills and 10+ years of experience. 

Level 10

Candidates at this level are given the title of Google Fellow or Vice President. It is a highly prestigious position requiring years of hard work and skill development to qualify. Employees in this position are entrusted with leading large groups of engineers. 

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How to Prepare for the Google Software Engineering Interview?

Securing a job at Google is, albeit difficult, but not impossible. Here are a few tips and tricks by which you can prepare for your Google software engineering interview. 

  • Gain expertise in at least one programming language and other programming concepts.
  • Carefully study how different algorithms work and their complexities.
  • Look up difficulties with linked lists, queues, and hashmaps on the internet.
  • Brush up your knowledge of common maths problems of probability and statistics. 

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Tips for Acing the Google Software Engineering Interview

Below are a few tips to excel in your next Google software interview round. 

  • Try to be as honest and real as possible. 
  • Communicate your answers in a clear and precise manner.
  • Conduct thorough research about the organisation and the job role you wish to apply for.
  • Hone your skills using different resources. 

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Google Software Engineering Interview Questions

Google software engineering interview questions can broadly be divided into two main categories, namely,

  • Behavioural Questions
  • Technical Questions

Behavioural Questions

The ultimate goal of behavioural interview questions is to test how well you can act under pressure and your professionalism. You can typically expect three kinds of questions: past experiences, value-based questions, and hypothetical situations. 

A few examples of commonly asked behavioural questions at Google interviews include,

  • Name any particular accomplishment that you are most proud of
  • How can you impact the team if you get the opportunity to join?
  • Share something about yourself that we haven’t discussed yet. 

Technical Questions

Technical interview questions typically revolve around data structures and algorithms. Recruiters will test your algorithmic knowledge and how you can use the same to solve real-world problems. 

A few examples of technical or coding questions commonly asked at a Google interview are

  • How can you determine whether a given binary tree is a binary search tree?
  • Generate a program that can accurately complete an incomplete 9*9 Sudoku frame.
  • Mention some ways by which you can design a proximity server. 

Interviews for Experienced Software Engineers at Google

If you are applying for more senior software engineer levels at Google, expect the interview rounds to be rigorous. The hiring process is fairly the same, wherein if selected, you will be called for telephonic interviews. 

Some of the most commonly asked interview questions at Google for experienced candidates are,

  • How would you handle your day-to-day activities?
  • How can you successfully motivate your team to adapt to new technologies?
  • Share any incident when you had to manage a late project.
  • How can you develop and retain your team members effectively?

What Are the Job Roles for a Google Software Engineer?

The job roles for a Google Software engineer can broadly be categorised into two main types, namely,

  • Software Engineer 
  • Test Engineer

Software Engineer

As a software engineer at Google, you will be responsible for resolving multiple computer science problems. From improving engineering velocity to building infrastructure, you will be entrusted with varied duties that will ultimately drive the organisation’s overall productivity. 

In order to qualify for the same, you must possess the necessary skills to develop tools such as test data factories and web services, among others. Additionally, you must also be passionate enough about high-quality software and know how to automate repetitive tasks efficiently. 

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Test Engineer

Test engineers, on the other hand, are focused more on advancing product excellence and driving engineering productivity. In order to qualify for the same, you must be able to identify gaps or failures in the system and solve them effectively. You must also be capable of designing and implementing tools that can improve the business processes within the organisation.

What Do Google Software Engineers Do? 

The roles and responsibilities vary across the different software engineer levels at Google hierarchy. Nonetheless, some of the most basic functions that you will be required to perform include, 

  • Writing and building code
  • Running tests and debug failures
  • Scrutinising your team member’s code changes
  • Rectifying any kind of problems that might arise in production
  • Designing effective documents
  • Generating accurate bug reports.

Salary and Compensation

The average salary of a software engineer at Google is currently estimated at USD 146,154 per annum. Reports suggest this is as much as 30% higher than the national average. 

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Becoming a Google Software Engineer is highly coveted, and the interview process is notoriously rigorous. With an in-depth understanding of the different levels, job roles, and corresponding salaries, candidates can better prepare themselves for becoming successful Google Software Engineers. 

While the process may be challenging, the rewards of working for a company like Google are immense, from exciting projects to attractive benefits and perks. With hard work, dedication, and a solid understanding of the company’s expectations, individuals can pursue a fulfilling career as a Google Software Engineer.

You can also look out for multiple courses related to this field that are available online. One such includes upGrad’s Executive PG Programme in Full Stack Development from IIITB. It is specifically designed for IT professionals and engineers who wish to boost their career prospects in software development. Furthermore, this course gives you access to numerous benefits, such as an exclusive job opportunities portal, personalised industry sessions, and 1:1 high-performance coaching. 


Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is the duration of Google software engineer interviews?

Google software engineer interviews are usually conducted in two ways, a telephone interview and an onsite interview. There may be several rounds to each of these. Depending on the type, each interview session usually lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2Are Google interviews for the role of software engineer difficult?

Based on the role you apply for, whether an entry-level job at Google or a senior management role, the intensity of the difficulty may fluctuate. However, the questions asked during the interview rounds tend to be pretty challenging and cover a wide range of topics.

3How do I prepare for my Google interview as a software engineer?

To ace your Google interview, you must first start honing your fundamentals. Following this, you can practise coding questions and conduct thorough research on various technical topics. It is always advisable to start preparing yourself at least eight weeks before the interview.