IF GOOGLE INTERVIEWED YOU 💡💯


I was sitting in the car with my dad, and suddenly asked: “Do you interview people at work?” He was open to talking about it (most dads are glad to), and he told me the process and the questions, and I felt myself shrink at the pressure and percieved scariness of The Interview. I was seven and being questioned in an office sounded awful.

I’ve been in a few interviews since then. My first wasn’t glamorous – I wore a puffer jacket (it’s like a duvet but wearable) and some lip gloss from my Mum’s handbag. I walked into the bookstore, and was briskly guided through several doors, until we reached a tiny backroom kitchenette. It smelt of noodles and the wheelie chair I sat on kept wanting to face the other direction, posing a small battle I fought for the whole ten minutes I was in there. Everything went fine, even when The Interviewer asked me to name my favourite book, and “sell it in thirty seconds.” Thank goodness I was homeschooled and have a genuine passion for literature, because I launched into an enthusiastic description of To Kill A Mockingbird, almost out of breath as I finished with a convicting sentence on racism. There was mystified silence, and then The Assistant leaned over to The Interiewer and said: “I’d buy it.”

I never found out if I got that job, because I rang up a day later and said to “please remove me from consideration for employment,” as the timing wasn’t right (stay in school, kids!). Interviews aren’t avoidable, they’re a factor of life, and they become a less sweaty experience as you get older. The pressure doesn’t diminish, though, and it’s even harder not to feel nervous when it’s for your dream job. Which for many, would be a job at Google (can you tell I just watched The Internship?).

This giant tech company is known for its incredibly difficult interview questions -  they’ve even banned some of them because someone decided they were ‘silly.’ They have a team of talented individuals, because as of May 2017, they were valued at $108.8 billion. I’m intrigued by the processes that foreshadow success, and the practices of those that win, so don’t mind me while I step into an office as a shaky, fresh, and curious, prospective Google employee.

List six things that make you nervous.” Me? Finding out test results, grape juice near carpet, dental appointments, missed phone calls from important people, speaking to an unenthusiastic audience, and travelling solo. This was a question, or command, really, used to interview an Android support level III employee in 2014. It’s a chance to express yourself beyond your CV, maybe get a bit cheeky, while remaining fearless in your vulnerability.

As well as provoking questions about your inner being, Google have asked a few practical ones too. The Interviewer looks you in the eye and says: “What three things would you change at your university/workplace if you were CEO today?” What would I change? You have to think like a leader, which is what Google expects you to be, if you get the job. Consciously wondering how you can improve a process or product is what the best leaders do, and don’t be distraught if you’ve never thought about it before – now’s your chance! (This isn’t the actual interview dw.)

You have a colony on Mars that you want to communicate with. How do you build a system to communicate with them?,” The Interviewer asked an associate product manager in late 2014. Creativity is what pushes Google to edge of innovation, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you have to think right to the edges of your brain, on the spot. I’d send this colony a communication device with picture instructions on how to use it, and a returnable space pod for anything they want to send. To make sure we got off to a good start: I’d include a christmas cracker because a) they’ll think I’m funny and b) in their amusement, they might send me something back.

You know you’re reaching the climax of the interview when you hear: “Name a prank you would pull on x manager if you were hired.” I wonder what the Google applications support engineer, who was asked this, said. I’m uncertain what I would answer – the only prank I’ve ever masterminded was when I was out for dinner at someone’s house. I snuck into the kitchen with a friend, and we made a ‘chocolate’ sauce, with ingredients from the entire spice drawer, and a prosperous selection of curry powders. The eclairs were served for dessert, and we conveniently reappeared, holding a jug full of our special dipping sauce. Only one kid tried it, who immediately ran to the bathroom yelling pre-school swear words, while the parents realized our crime. I’d probably not do that again. Maybe, I’d cover their office in uplifting post-it notes and hopefully not get as ruthlessly punished.

Whether this is an intelligience question or general knowledge test, I don’t know. The query: “Why are manhole covers round?” has been asked in several interviews, because it tests how well you think logically and practically, when an unusual surprise appears in a high pressure situation. The answer is simple: a square cover would fall through if it was inserted on a diagonal, whereas a circle has a ‘curve of constant width,’ meaning it’s the same fit no matter how you rotate it. It opens a multi-dimensional conversation, however, because there are other reasons, like average body shape, convenience, and aesthetics. You just have to think of them (and do it in a reasonable time frame – any silence longer than nine seconds becomes awkward).

Chances are, neither of us will ever be interviewed at Google, but just like Google would (probably) say, it’s better to be prepared. And maybe get a tiny bit geeked out.

Mads xx

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7 comments:

  1. I'm in love with your blogs, they have helped me so much in creating my own blogs. Even though they're nothing like yours, I can't wait to improve and have something as great as your some day!!

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  2. Tbh I wish I got these questions more!! One's like, "when have you worked in a team" or "whats a weakness of yours" just seems so calculated and snorrrrrrre. I once got asked what my spirit animal was and paniced and said, "UHH, a unicorn, wolf, eagle mix??" (I got the gig hehe).

    xx Pia
    http://gymbagsandjetlags.com

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    Replies
    1. hahahaha I would've said "MIKE WAZOWSKI" from Monsters Inc tbh

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  3. wow... I really enjoyed reading this post. Maybe someday I might get interviewed at Google, never given it a thought but this post just brought up that spark. Thanks for sharing!

    www.zinnyfactor.com

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  4. I feel like I would say something ridiculous as answer to the weird kind of questions because I would feel like I was under so much pressure. I guess interviews must take practice too.
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

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