Career paths

How to Land a Google STEP Internship in 2022

A thorough guide on how to get into this sought-after internship program featuring technical interview tips, recommended computer science courses, and program requirements.

Whether you’re applying for a full-time position, an internship program, or to be part of the company in general, it’s a well-known fact that getting into Google is difficult.

The Google STEP internship, in particular, is highly sought after. Presenting a unique opportunity to first and second-year undergraduate students for professional and technical growth, the STEP internship is especially competitive among students looking for an entry-point into the industry.

However daunting it may seem to apply, the Google STEP internship is within reach once you have all the right information to prepare. This guide will walk you through the process of applying for the internship, from the application to the interview to the program details--we’ll be with you every step of the way!

The Google STEP Internship

The Google STEP Internship, or the Student Training In Engineering Program, is a summer internship created for first and second-year undergraduate students. 

Throughout this 12-week program, STEP interns work on software projects with their fellow interns and gain valuable professional experience and technical training from full-time Google employees.

Like many of its other programs, Google’s STEP internship prioritizes candidates from historically underrepresented groups including (but not limited to) students from minority backgrounds, students with disabilities, and first-generation students.

The dates for 2022 are (you choose between 1 of the 2 options):

  • May 25 - August 12, 2022
  • June 13 - September 2, 2022

Meeting the Qualifications

Minimum Requirements

The minimum qualifications for the internship are as follows:

  • Be a first or second-year student pursuing a degree in Computer Science (or a related field)
  • First-year students: have taken at least one college computer science course (AP and IB count!)
  • Second-year students: have taken at least two college computer science courses
  • Have programming experience in Java, Javascript, Python, C++, and C
  • Be enrolled in a university in North America

Preferred Qualifications

Here are the preferred qualifications for the program:

  • Have at least two years remaining in a Bachelor's degree program after completion of the 12-week summer internship
  • Able to work full-time during the 12-week internship period between May and August or June and September

If you don’t meet the requirements, don’t worry! Google provides several internship opportunities. Whether you are a self-taught programmer, a recent graduate, or even a third-year student--you’ll find opportunities at Google. Check out our guide to Google’s BOLD Internship Program and our video on Google’s software engineering internship for more information!

The First Step: Preparing the Application


Since specific dates change year by year, we’ve listed the approximate application cycle in the United States:

  • Applications Open: mid-September
  • Applications Close: early-November
  • Interviews Held: October-April
  • Internship Duration: May-August or June-September

Applications for international Google STEP Internship positions have varying deadlines. Regardless of the office you're hoping to work in, check Google’s website frequently. It will help you stay updated on new postings and lean towards applying early.

The Application

The application process is fairly straightforward. Here's what you have to provide:

  • Contact information
  • Academic transcript
  • Resume/CV
  • Essay(s)

See Google’s website for the specific Google STEP Internship Essay Questions

How to Prepare

Before submitting your application, follow the checklist below to make sure you have the best shot!

Update your resume and ask trusted people to review it

Make sure your resume is up to date with your most relevant experience. Make the most out of the resources at your university and reach out to trusted professionals at your career center (or equivalent) to help you in the process. Additionally, we recommend having professionals in the field review it beforehand--it could be a family friend, mentor, etc!

Reach out to previous Google STEP interns

Gaining insider information about the program will give you a leg up when applying, whether it's knowledge about the work culture or professional experience you'll gain. This is a great opportunity to practice your networking skills: don't be afraid to cold-contact Google STEP interns on LinkedIn, Facebook, and so on! It’s even better if they are from your university.

Demonstrate interest in Google

Though this one seems a bit obvious, it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked! Reach out to your school’s career center to see if Google will host any information sessions or send representatives to your campus. Use the transition to digital work to your advantage and reach out to Googlers and recruiters for informational interviews. 

If you're able, maintain relationships with the people you reach out to. This will boost your chance of getting a referral down the road. Referrals aren't specifically required, but will give you a better chance of being discovered.

Get discovered

A great way to catch a recruiter’s eye is by participating in one of Google’s coding competitions. Google currently offers three types of coding competitions: Kick Start, Hash Code, and Code Jam. Coding competitions are also a great chance for you to demonstrate your skills with a specific programming language whether it’s Java, Python, or another one!

The Second Step: Acing the Interview

Interview Process

The interview is made up of two, 45-minute phone calls set 15 minutes apart. Each interview will include several questions on data structures and algorithms.

Each 45-minute interview can be further broken down into three steps:

  1. Introductions
  2. Technical Assessment
  3. Closing questions

If you pass the technical round, you will move on to the notorious matching process. Your information will be entered into a candidate pool, and interested teams can reach out and schedule a conversation. The company has already determined that your skills are up to par, so these conversations are purely about cultural fit. Be prepared to discuss how the team fits with your goals, skills, and interests.

How to Prepare

Use the following tips to prepare for your technical interview:

Review the basics

As before any interview, make sure you have a strong understanding of the fundamentals: in this case, the focus will be on data structures and algorithms.

Practice your strongest programming language

Though the languages used most at Google are Java, C++, and Python, it is much better to be able to walk through a problem with a language you are comfortable with than to stumble into one trying to use a language you don’t know as well.

Run mock interviews with a whiteboard and a friend

One of the best ways to prepare for technical interviews is to practice solving problems in real-time with another person. Make use of a virtual or real-life whiteboard and pull up possible questions to answer. 

Key Considerations

Below, we’ve listed a few key points recruiters take into account when interviewing candidates:

  • Analytical and problem-solving skills: How did you analyze the problem? Did you miss any special/edge cases? Did you approach the problems methodically and logically?
  • Code effectiveness: Do you have a strong foundation in key concepts? Is your code working? Did you test your code?
  • Communication skills: Is your code clean/easy to read and maintain? Did you explain your ideas clearly?
  • Collaboration skills: Are you pleasant to work with?

The Third Step: Enjoying the Program!

Potential Locations

The Google STEP internship is offered at a variety of locations, including several stationed internationally! The most popular include Mountainview (CA), Zurich (Switzerland), Dubai (UAE), Mexico City (Mexico), and so many more!

What to Expect

The summer STEP internship will be broken up into several key components. We’ve listed them below:

Software development project

Each STEP intern will have the opportunity to take part in a real development project with a team of Google employees and their fellow STEP interns.

Technical training

Interns will enhance coding skills through exposure to new tools and programming languages. As mentioned earlier, Google makes use of Java, C++, and Python the most, so expect to develop a strong foundation in these languages!

Professional experience

Interns will attend several technical talks with respected senior Google professionals and have additional opportunities for resume review, technical interview preparation, and presentation skill development. 

Mentorship from a Google professional

Each intern will be matched with a Google Engineer who will act as a guide through the summer experience.

Are you ready to become a Googler?

Gaining entry into one of the most coveted Google internships isn’t an easy task. However, if you succeed, you will have access to a network and community of some of the most passionate and brilliant professionals in the field.

To get there, follow our recommended guidelines in applying for the internship, trust in your abilities, and don’t hesitate to connect with Googlers and recruiters. Communication is key to landing the position and succeeding once you get in.

Google values strong qualifications, but only accepts the most passionate and dedicated candidates. Approach this process with an open mind, a desire for growth, and a high sense of commitment and you’ll be in a great place!

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