Company FAQ

How to Get an Internship at Google

Want to land an internship at Google? In this article, we cover some FAQs about Google's SWE internship—from timeline to interview tips!

Michael Yan
Published: (Updated: ) - 4 min read
Michael Yan is the co-founder & CEO of Simplify. Previously a software engineer at Meta, Michael dropped out of Stanford to found Simplify. He is a part-time career coach & Y Combinator alum.

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski / Unsplash

Every wondered what it's like to work at one of the largest tech giants in the world, Google? In this post, we'll cover some essential points to know about interning at Google!

Here's how Google describes their program:

#GoogleInterns work across Google, including being part of various teams like software engineering, business, user experience, and more. With internships across the globe, we offer many opportunities to grow with us and help create products and services used by billions. Come help us build for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Google Internships

Google's internship programs are built for aspiring individuals who are willing to grow as professionals through the learning experience they get as interns. To familiarize themselves with Google’s tools, technology, and culture, interns will acquire fundamental and on-the-job training experience, and be assigned to a role. Positions are available in the United States, UK, and dozens of other countries. Here' some more information about the internships:

  • Internship Length: 12-14 weeks
  • Salary: $45/hour & housing stipend of $9,000/month + other benefits!
  • Number of Interns: 1,500 (across all roles)
  • Office Locations: Mountain View, San Francisco Bay Area, NYC, & more!
  • Application Cycle: Rolling (keep reading to learn how to maximize your chances of landing a Google offer!)

Google's official software engineering internship posting details the responsibilities as follows:

As a key member of a versatile team, you will work on a specific project critical to Google’s needs. We need our engineers to be versatile, and enthusiastic in addressing new problems as we continue to push technology forward. You will design, test, deploy and maintain software solutions as you grow and evolve during your internship.

What Experience and Qualifications Do I Need?

Google only has a few eligibility requirements to apply to their internships, and they're all pretty standard! To apply, you'll need to be currently enrolled in a Bachelor's or Master's Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Data Science, Electrical Engineering, or majors related to these fields. Google typically prefers candidates with some previous technical experience — specifically, programming experience with at least one modern language such as Python, Java, or C++, with experience in object-oriented design is a big plus.

Looking for some great side project ideas? Read our blog post on some of the best project ideas to build up your resume as a software engineer!

Google's STEP Internships

Don't have any internship experience with coding or software development? No worries – Google offers a program for first and second-year undergraduate students with a passion for technology and computer science, with "a focus of providing development opportunities to students from groups historically underrepresented in tech, through technical training and professional development."

STEP, which stands for Student Training in Engineering Program, is a great option for those just getting into computer science!

Learn more about Google STEP interns do on the official website here!

How Can I Apply?

Applications for Google's SWE internships usually open in September/October of the year before, meaning applications for Summer 2023 would be opening in September of 2022. In recent years, Google has set an application deadline within 2-3 weeks of the application opening. The application process for most software internships moves pretty quickly, with most of the events (interviews, technical screens, etc.) happening within the first 3 months of the application opening.

Want to maximize your chances of getting an interview? Apply as early as you can (ideally July – August) before the "wave of applicants" flood in during peak internship recruiting season.

What to Expect from the Interview

According to Google, the process begins with an initial resume screen as roles become available. Depending on available roles and regions you apply to, you may receive a follow-up survey. This information is then sent to the recruiting team for review, and if roles align with your specialized skills, the recruiting team will reach out to you directly to schedule phone interviews.

For SWE roles in particular, the Google interview process consists of 2 rounds of 45-minute technical interviews, where you code in a Google Doc in a programming language of your choosing! Each interview usually consists of 2 medium level LeetCode questions, but it may vary.

How should I prepare for the interview? 

We're glad you asked! There's a great Reddit thread on preparing for technical interviews, which we'll summarize here. Most technical interviews (especially for internships) really focus on two key concepts: Data Structures and Algorithms.

To review for Data Structures: Brush up on some interviewer favorites like Arrays, Linked Lists, Stacks/Queues, Trees (Binary Tree, Binary Search Tree, Red-Black Tree,).

To review for Algorithms: Brush up on sorting algorithms (both comparison sorting and non-comparison sorting), and tree traversals (in-order, preorder, postorder, level order) are all great places to start.

Familiarity with Google products can also help you stand out from the crowd! Have an idea or feedback for a specific Google product or service? Bring it up during the interview – this will show that you've gone the extra mile and are a good fit for the company!

Bonus: Have an interview coming up? Read our tips on some of the most common behavioral interview questions and how to answer them here!

Types of Positions Google Offers

Google offers a wide range of internships across all departments, ranging from software engineering and data science to product management and user experience design. While many interns are hired for software engineering, there are also opportunities available in areas like research, marketing and partnerships, legal, and business/operations!

How to Secure a Return Offer

If you want to secure a return offer from Google for a future internship, the best way is to focus on building relationships with your team. During the internship, be sure to reach out to members of your team to get to know them better, and actively participate in team activities, like Hackathons. Also, make sure that you come prepared to your intern project by doing research and presenting your ideas in a clear and concise way. Lastly, make sure to follow up with your team after the internship is over to let them know how you are doing and if you have any questions. Building relationships and demonstrating initiative will help you stay top of mind when it comes time to make return offers!

Get Started With Simplify Today

Google has a wonderful careers page that you can find here! Applications are opening soon, so stay on top of them! The only drawback to the Google application is its length—like most internship applications, the Google application is long, and asks for information you've probably entered 100+ times while applying to different roles.

Don't worry though, we've got your back – save some time with our free browser extension, which helps you autofill your applications at Google and 100,000+ other companies. Best of luck with the job search!