My Google FooBar Challenge Experience

September 5, 2020

Recently, I stumbled upon an unusual message between my Google search results. "You're speaking our language. Up for a challenge?" It was a Google FooBar Invitation link.

Google FooBar invitation message

What is Google FooBar?

Google Foobar is Google’s secret hiring challenge! Google uses this to hire some of the best developers around the globe which they think can be a good match for their organization. When Google thinks you could be a good match, you are given a prompt and if you accept, you are moved to an online shell where you get access to some coding challenges. If you get past level 3 out of 5, there is a big chance of being contacted by a Google recruiter!

The challenge consists of 5 levels consisting of algorithm problems, with increasing difficulty. The first few levels were relatively easy, but as the levels peaked up, the difficulty gained heights. The problems needed multiple concepts ranging from number theory to graphs to complete. Upon completing level 3, you had the opportunity to submit your personal details and contact information in the console. By doing this I got contacted by a Google recruiter, so I suggest you do this as well!

Google FooBar finished

How do I get the Google FooBar challenge?

Getting the invitation for the Google FooBar challenge is a mysterious process, and can be as hard as solving the challenges themselves. No one knows what the exact Google FooBar invitation requirements are. The challenge is triggered to individuals when Google detects a certain search pattern, query or keywords. Google sends the invitation based on your search history and your problem solving related keyword searches.

To get an invitation for yourself, there are a couple of things you could do:

  1. Ask your network for a spare invitation referral link, maybe you get lucky.
  2. Keep an eye out on Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=google%20foobar&src=typed_query&f=live. Sometimes people post what search query resulted in their invitation
  3. Idem for LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/content/?keywords=google%20foobar

When you find recent search queries resulting in an invitation, you can use them for yourself. Often you have to reload the page a couple of times (F5).

Here is a list of search queries that previously resulted in invitation popups:

  • python list comprehension
  • high performance python
  • segment trees
  • mutex lock
  • arraylist java
  • python try catch
  • C++ move semantics
  • ...

What happens if you complete Google Foobar?

Completing the challenge is a great way to show your coding talent, it means you know about Markov Chains, Backtracking, and Cellular automata by doing these problems. This usually doesn't go unnoticed! I myself and a lot of other individuals who were able to solve all levels can confirm the got contacted by a Google recruiter.

There are a couple of testimonies stating their Google FooBar participation lead to landing them their dream you at Google, so who knows, maybe you are next? ;)