Saturday, January 19, 2013

Getting a Job at Google - The Google Interview Process

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What exactly is it that makes employment at Google so elusive? News reports and online articles constantly indicate getting a job at Google is no simple task, so be informed about the process and be prepared for rejection.

The initial application process is a rather simple one, simply Google "Google jobs" and from there you will be brought to a basic international landing page that lists job opportunities by location or by category. From there you can simply find the job that suits your unique skill set and add it to your cart. Once you are all set, and your cart is full of wonderful Google job opportunities, it's time to finish your application by filling out basic profile details including your college GPA. (Keep in mind you are competing with Ivy league grads, ex-NASA scientists and Fortune 500 decision makers.)

From this point, one of two things will take place:
A) You will get a nice generic email from Google telling you that you fail to meet the requirements for this position but welcoming you to apply again in the future for other positions
B) You will be contacted by phone with a Google recruiter who will ask you a variety of questions and have you rank yourself on a scale of 1-10 across a variety of metrics

For the sake of this article aptly titled "Getting a Job at Google" let's assume B happens your next step will be an hour long phone interview with a seasoned veteran in the business group you are applying into. If that goes well you will have a 3rd phone interview. These interviews will consist mainly of a series of detailed questions relevant to the position you are applying for as well as real world scenarios or problems that you need to solve while on the phone. It is usually during these two phone interviews that you will be asked some of the highly publicized Google interview questions:

A) Why are manhole covers round?
B) How many times a day does a clock's hands overlap?
C) How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
D) How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
E) Explain the significance of "dead beef"

Should you answers these questions appropriately and excel on other aspects of your interview you will be flown to the office where you would likely be working and go through a series on face to face interviews. On average, these Google interviews last about an hour and depending upon the role they may range from 5-9 interviews and encompass one or two days.

The interviews will take place with a series of employees you will be interacting with should you get the position. Interviews will take place with employees of escalating importance. As you work your way up the food chain, the interviewers will become more advanced and clinical.
If the Google interviews go well you will be contacted to further discuss the position and an offer will be forthcoming.

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