How Hard Is It to Get a Google Internship? [ANSWERED]

How Hard Is It to Get a Google Internship? [ANSWERED]


Over 125,000 applications were sent to Google for internship positions in 2019. The pandemic and subsequent events distorted applicant numbers in recent years, but Google remains one of the most attractive destinations for interns.

An internship at Google offers numerous perks, including a housing stipend, a signing bonus, and medical insurance. Interns are also given meaningful roles in teams and work on real projects where they can have a real impact.

Potential interns often find the company’s profile and number of applicants intimidating. But just how hard is it to get a Google internship, and is there an approach that can improve your odds? We’ll answer these questions below.

Is It Hard to Get an Internship at Google?

Getting an internship position at any big tech company is very competitive.

If you’re considering an internship at Google, you should be ready to compete with other great candidates. However, the degree of difficulty is different for every position.

The 125,000 applications mentioned above were not for the same positions. Google has different types of internships in both technical and non-technical areas. Some of the internships available at the company are:

  • STEP Internships: The Student in Training Engineering Program targets students passionate about technical roles.
  • Software Engineering Internship: This program targets students with an interest in software engineering at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Business internships: This program is for students interested in working on Google’s business teams.
  • BOLD internship program: The Building Opportunities for Leadership & Development program is a favorite for students with a non-technical educational background. Interns can join diverse teams in areas such as sales, finance, and operations.

Internship positions can also be in specific subfields in which others may or may not have much interest or experience, such as Google Cloud, Site Reliability Engineering, Research, Customer Growth, etc. Many positions are also location-dependent.

These distinctions mean your application might go up against fewer candidates than you expect. Google’s push to create more diversity in its workplaces also means some candidates will easily stand out, even in a large pool of applicants.

How Hard Is It to Land an Internship at Google?

Google wants the best of the best, whether it’s a full-time position or an internship. This is reflected in its unique recruitment process. Regardless of your advantages, there are challenges you should be ready to face when trying to get a Google Internship.

Standing Out in a Competitive Candidate Pool

Google has a legacy as one of the best places to work in America. This guarantees a competitive candidate pool for vacancies, including internships, which often serve as stepping stones to full-time roles.

Therefore, when applying for an internship position at Google, your first hurdle will be standing out from other great candidates. An excellent resume is the first step since most people struggle to craft a good resume.

As per Google, it’s best to use data to back up the information in your resume to accurately and concisely showcase why you should make the shortlist before getting the chance to impress multiple interviewers.

As a student, you may lack work experience in your resume, but projects can still showcase your skills. Check out Interview Query’s list of Python projects to boost your resume.

Detailed Interview Process

The recruitment process for Google internships has multiple steps that often start with an initial assessment.

This is called the Google Hiring Assessment (GHA). It contains questions that cover areas such as ethics, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving. For technical roles, expect coding exercises at this stage as well.

After the GHA, candidates will participate in other interviews and short virtual chats. Some of these early steps might be over the phone, so candidates should prepare by practicing talking code to share their thought processes.

The actual interview may consist of 3 to 4 separate sessions via video call or in person. Candidates may have to complete mini-projects, such as coding exercises or case studies, before some interviews.

Be aware that this whole process is very challenging.

High Skills Threshold and Specific Program Requirements

Interns at Google work like full-time employees and are expected to participate and make meaningful contributions to the work done by teams.

Being an intern will be demanding, but candidates must possess specific skills or experience levels to even secure these positions.

Internships in technical areas can demand skills that include expertise in programming languages, machine learning, or data science. Communication and problem-solving skills are also essential.

Internship programs may also have specific education requirements.

For example, some programs are only open to students enrolled in MBA or PhD programs. Experience or interest in niche fields such as computer vision or natural language understanding may also be required.

These requirements set a high bar for candidates to clear, and according to Google, candidates’ GPAs may also be a factor for some positions.

How to Get an Internship at Google

Now that we’ve cleared up the common misconceptions about how difficult it is to get an internship at Google, let’s discuss how to actually land one.

Getting a Google Internship may be challenging, but it’s far from impossible. Here is a process you can use before and during the application process to increase your chances of securing the role.

1. Identify Your Goals and How They Align With Google

Find out what it means to work for Google, including the culture, quirks, teams, and expectations. Take time to also reflect on your personal beliefs and career goals and why landing an internship position at Google matters to you.

Identifying how your values align with Google’s will help you craft an individualized resume and demonstrate authenticity in interviews.

2. Craft a Resume Tailored to the Position

Your resume must match the requirements of the internship position you’re applying for. Instead of updating your existing resume, start a new one customized to the job description.

Back the claims in your resume with data. Present your accomplishments and mention how they were measured. For team accomplishments, note the contributions you made toward those accomplishments. You’ll need to do all this while keeping your resume concise.

3. Get a Referral

An employee referral increases the odds of your application getting seen. When there are tens of resumes to look through, recruiters appreciate the cue from existing employees that you’re a serious candidate.

Potential referees can include college alumni and individuals with mutual hobbies/interests.

Other ways you can use networking to stand out when applying for internships include meeting with recruiters or potential recruiters during campus events or those Google hosts off campus.

4. Apply to Adjacent Google Programs

Exposure to Google as a company is a great way to learn its inner workings and put you on the radar of company insiders. Participating in Google events and programs such as the BOLD Immersion program is an excellent way to achieve this.

The BOLD immersion program is a multi-day event where undergraduates get exposed to what life is like inside Google. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the technology the company is working on and network with existing employees. It can also give you an advantage when you apply for the BOLD internship later.

5. Prepare for Interviews

The interview process at Google may be your biggest hurdle. There are multiple interview stages, and you could be eliminated at any point. You’ll have to be prepared to handle both technical and behavioral questions.

Technical aptitude is a great first step, but it’s not enough. You’ll need to learn how to communicate so you can explain your thought process to interviewers. Working on soft skills and showing your “Googley” side is also a good idea.

Make mock interviews an essential part of your interview preparation to practice answering behavioral questions and thinking aloud.

Interview Query offers regular mock interview sessions for this exact purpose.

6. Ace Every Interview and Wait

Interview processes at Google are quite dynamic. Successful applicants have described their interviews as feeling more like hangouts with lots of laughing and conversing. Be flexible with your expectations and let your personality shine through.

Once the interviews are done, you may have to wait a while before getting a response. Successful candidates also go through a host matching phase and only get internships if an interested host selects them.

Interviewers also famously look for a quality termed “Googleyness.” Googleyness isn’t a specific thing, and candidates may struggle to showcase it. You can get expert input through Interview Query’s coaching service to help bring out your inner Googleyness.

7. Get More Experience to Boost Your Google Internship Application

Past experience significantly impacts your internship application at Google. This experience could include other internships, projects, hackathons, jobs, volunteering, and student activities.

If you have enough time before the Google internship, consider applying to other internships and jobs you can undertake before then. You can also look for nearby events and activities to gain transferrable skills and valuable experience to add to your resume.

Check out open internship positions at other companies on Interview Query’s job board.


A Google Internship can be a career-shaping experience and the key to landing a permanent role at the company. The process is competitive, but the right skills, experience, and interview preparation can allow you to get your foot in the door.

Interview Query can assist with that last bit.

On our site, you can find questions asked during Google interviews plus answers. You can also access questions tailored to specific positions at Google, including data analyst, data engineer, data scientist, and machine learning engineer, and interview guides for the software engineer, business intelligence, and business analyst positions.

Landing a Google Internship role is undoubtedly challenging, but don’t let that stop you. You might have the secret sauce that recruiters are looking for!