My experience with the Google foobar challenge

Recently, I got greeted by an unusual message while searching for a problem on Google. It was FOOBAR INVITATION Google’s secret hiring challenge!

foobar invitation

I first heard about the existence of the Google foobar challenge since a friend of mine, got it. In this article I will be explaining my time with Foobar.

What is Foobar Challenge?

Google Foobar, it’s a kind of recruitment tool for Google. In order to join Foobar, you must be invited by a friend or have it popup when searching certain CS terms on Google.It is a secret hiring challenge from Google which you get when you match some search behavior on Google search or their documentations. If you complete the challenge you have a high chance of being contacted by a Google recruiter!

About the challenge

Once you accept the invite, you will be taken to a website in which you are given a question and a time limit and you have to finish the question within the limit or you fail. If you are able to solve the problem, you can request a new one and eventually move on to higher levels. But if you fail to complete a question, then you will no longer be able to request new problems.

After you request for the challenge you will we having some files and the question to solve . The question can be solved in either in JAVA or Python.

Level 1

The first level was an easy interview question. You get 2 days to do it. It is quite simple and easily completed.

Level 2

The second level had questions related to the famous algorithms Breadth first search and Depth first search with a little bit of linear algebra.You get two challenges in level 2. After completing level 2 you get a referral link through which you can let a friend enter foobar!

Level 3

The third level had questions of number theory, dynamic programming, and even steady-state machines.It was quite difficult to solve! After the 3rd level, I was asked to fill out my details for being contacted by a Google recruiter.

Level 4

The fourth level was quite intense! I was given two weeks for each problem. The problems needed multiple concepts ranging from number theory to graphs.You also get another referral link here to give to a friend.

Now the last and most difficult part of foobar is level 5. I personally suggest you to request the challenge when you are totally free .

Level 5

The fifth level was purely mathematical! It was related to permutations, Polya’s counting theorem, and group theory. It took me 2–3 days for solving this level challenge and i did it with the help of my seniors.

The final goal in Foobar is to reach and complete level 5. But once you finish level 3, you are able to request a Google recruiter to review your code and hopefully get in contact with you.

Foobar is more about learning quickly and implementing instead of knowing everything and implementing. You might hit a question that you have no idea about. The internet will be a friend, but don’t let it spoil you. Foobar is one of the best tools you have to improve your coding skills in my opinion. Go into Foobar to learn, not to get a job.It’s plain and simple: you have one shot at Foobar. Don’t start it until you are ready!

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