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Google Verification Engineer Interview Guide

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The role of a Google Verification Engineer

Working as a Verification Engineer at Google is an exciting and challenging opportunity. Google's computational demands are massive and highly specialized, which often requires them to design their own hardware solutions. As a Verification Engineer, your primary responsibility is to ensure the reliability and functionality of complex digital designs that power their hardware. You'll closely collaborate with design and verification engineers who are actively working on projects. 

Google Verification Engineers use advanced verification methodologies like Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) and SystemVerilog coding to create efficient and effective verification environments. You'll be tasked with building verification environments that thoroughly test designs, including corner cases, to uncover any potential bugs.

The average total compensation for a Google Verification Engineer is $200,828. This compensation is broken down as follows:

  • Base Salary: $133,023
  • Stock Grant (per year): $47,483
  • Bonus: $20,322

Google Verification Engineer Interview Guide

The Google Verification Engineer Interview process consists of two main rounds:

  • Phone Screening
  • Onsite
Relevant Guides

Google Verification Engineer - Phone Screening

Overview

It typically starts with a phone screening which is a 30-minute get-to-know-you interview conducted by a recruiter. While it's relatively short, it's an important step in the process.

It usually begins with some technical questions related to your field, in this case, verification engineering. These questions may not be overly complex but are designed to assess your fundamental knowledge. Additionally, the recruiter might ask about your background, work history, and reasons for applying to Google. 

Here, it's crucial to convey your enthusiasm for the role and demonstrate your alignment with Google's culture and values.

Google Verification Engineer - Onsite Rounds

Overview

If you pass the phone screening, you'll move on to the onsite interview, which consists of four rounds. Each round has a specific focus:

  • Technical Rounds (SV Coding and Constraints): Two of the rounds are technical and revolve around SystemVerilog (SV) coding and constraints. SystemVerilog is a crucial language in hardware verification. In these rounds, you might encounter questions related to writing SV code to verify specific functionality or defining constraints for random stimulus generation. You might be given a scenario where you need to generate random stimulus while adhering to specific constraints to assess your ability to design effective verification environments. While not directly related to hardware verification, Google occasionally includes algorithmic questions. In this case, you might be asked to implement a sorting algorithm like selection sort in JavaScript.
  • Verification Principles Round: The other technical round focuses on verification principles. You'll likely be asked to explain or apply verification techniques and methodologies. This is where your knowledge of verification processes and strategies comes into play. Given the importance of OOP in software and hardware development, you might be asked general questions about Object-Oriented Programming concepts and how they apply to verification. You can also expect questions like "How do you convince the design team that a DUT has been thoroughly verified?" This is to evaluate your communication and persuasion skills, as well as your understanding of verification completeness.
  • Googliness Round: This round assesses your fit with Google's culture and values. You can expect leadership and situational questions. They want to see if you embody Google's principles and if you're a good fit for their team. Be prepared to discuss your past experiences in digital design and verification. You may need to elaborate on specific projects, challenges faced, and how you overcame them.

Google Verification Engineer Roles and Responsibilities

Following are the roles and responsibilities of a Google Verification Engineer:

  • As a Google Verification Engineer, one of your primary responsibilities is to thoroughly understand the design specification of digital blocks you'll be working on. This involves delving into the details of what the block is supposed to do and its interactions within the larger system.
  • Once you understand the design, your next step is to identify critical verification scenarios. These are specific test cases or conditions that need to be tested to ensure the design functions as expected. Collaborating with design engineers will help you pinpoint these scenarios accurately.
  • To perform verification effectively, you'll create and enhance constrained-random verification environments. This involves using hardware description languages like SystemVerilog and industry-standard methodologies like Universal Verification Methodology (UVM). 
  • SystemVerilog Assertions (SVAs) and formal verification tools play a vital role in the verification process. You'll use these tools and techniques to rigorously verify the design's compliance with specifications.
  • You'll work on closing coverage gaps, which means ensuring that all specified verification scenarios have been executed and analyzed. This step is critical in demonstrating progress towards the final chip tape-out.

Google Verification Engineer Skills and Qualifications

Here are the skills and qualifications that a Google Verification Engineer must have:

  • A Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering or an equivalent field is typically required. Candidates are expected to have at least 10 years of experience in Verification. This experience should involve verifying digital logic at the Register-Transfer Level (RTL) using languages such as SystemVerilog or Specman/E. This is crucial for ensuring the correctness of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) or Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs).
  • Proficiency in creating and utilizing verification components and environments within a standard verification methodology is essential. 
  • Candidates should ideally have experience with multiple System-on-Chip (SoC) projects or cycles, preferably in three or more distinct products.
  • Experience in performance verification of ASICs and individual ASIC components is valuable.

Frequently Asked Questions