How to Get a Job at Google

1395346498_09-googleGoogle, famous for its sleek, modern office and out of this world employee benefits, receives about 2 to 3 million applications each year. Yes, each year! And that doesn’t include applications received through referrals and career fairs.

Obviously, the competition is tough. The interviews and the selection process is even tougher, Google is popular for its rigorous interview process so prepare yourself for some brain draining, mind boggling questions.

Whether you have an upcoming interview, preparing to send an application or just curious about Google’s hiring process, this article will be your guide into the recruitment process of one of the world’s best companies to work for.

First Stop, Interviewers

Applicants won’t be interviewed by their potential boss or colleagues. Sunil Chandra, Google’s VP for staffing and Operations says, “You’re (interviewers) much more objective if you understand the space but do not necessarily have a stake in that person actually joining.”

And instead of having just one team assigned do the interviews, Chandra says, “hiring is pretty much part of everyone’s job.”

First, a select group of employees interview the applicants. Then, all their observations are passed to a second independent committee assigned to check the qualifications and interview feedback for each applicant.

Why the need for another committee? Aside from thorough evaluation, they’re responsible for ensuring the whole process is fair and that it adheres to Google’s standards of hiring for the long-term.

Interview Methods: Brain Teasers, Coding Tests and GPAs

Allow me to save you some time here: Don’t bother reading up brain teasers and articles about unusual questions tech companies ask. Google might have used such questions at one time, but they’re not doing it anymore.

“We found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time,” says Laszlo Bock, SVP of People Operations at Google, in an interview with the NY Times.

GPAs and test scores don’t hold that much significance either. “We found that they don’t predict anything,” says Bock. 

Instead, Google’s recruiting process is data-driven and much of the questions are behavioral, designed to help the interviewer find out how an applicant is likely to behave in a real situation, unlike typical interview questions where responses could be rehearsed to the letter.

Google is Interested in How Intelligent You Are… But Not in the Way You Think

As I mentioned earlier, you won’t get a job based on your GPA alone. Google’s interviewers gauge your intelligence through questions that test you in the following:

  • Field of expertise – product creation, coding, analysis, marketing, programming, etc.
  • Creativity – ability to come up with creative solutions to problems you have little knowledge of
  • Aptitude – your ability to apply skills and knowledge from one branch of expertise to another

How Many Interviews before Decision Time?

Google used to conduct so many interviews before deciding on which candidate to hire, but through countless revisions of their hiring process and analytics, they discovered that 4 is the magic number.

After the 4th interview, the degree of confidence in an applicant doesn’t increase much.

Sometimes, applicants may face a 5th interviewer, but this person is just a shadow interviewer learning the process of doing interviews for future job applicants. The 5th interviewer’s feedback doesn’t count.

It takes an average of 45 days before they extend a job offer to an applicant.

Of course, knowing about Google’s interview process won’t assure you of getting a job there. But this article will be more than enough to set your expectations, and even if you can’t get a job, at least you won’t go there totally clueless and unprepared of the challenges that await you.