4 Important things to remember when you’re having a phone-interview with Google!

4 Important things to remember when you’re having a phone-interview with Google!

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This article was published first on Medium by Travis Neilson.google-signI am currently interviewing with Google. I am documenting the entire experience and making the process as public and as transparent as reasonably possible.

This morning I had a 45 minute phone call with two Google Designers. I wanted to quickly capture a few observations about my experience this morning and maybe some ideas to help you have a successful phone screen also.


The call quality matters. A lot.

Sadly, this one didn’t go so great for me. My call was full of garbled noise. I heard my own echo, delayed and distorted. It was horribly disorienting. I found it very hard to string together a coherent sentence. I really worry that I sounded like a bumbling idiot the whole time.

PRO TIP: You should try to control the quality of the call as much as you can. Make sure you are in a quiet place — away from people, dogs, cars, etc. Make sure you have a good connection. Full bars and full battery! While the feedback on the line was out of my control, can you imagine if I ran out of juice, or kept dropping the call? Not good!

Read over the Job Description. Again.

Make sure you have the job description that the company has created at your disposal. I read and re-read it. I re-typed it in my own words. I wanted to make sure that the things that they have already said that they wanted were a part of my vocabulary with them. I noticed that Google said a few times in the job description that they think that if they “focus on the user, all else will follow” You can be sure I said that phrase more than once.

PRO TIP: Learn the “culture language” of the people you are speaking with. What are their values? Make sure they feel that you share those same values.


Have a strong personal statement.

The possibility is extremely high that they will ask you to “tell us about yourself”. You really should have this answer written out. You should have it memorized and ready to go. It should be a part of the way you are thinking and it should come out not only in your words, but the way you convey them.

PRO TIP: Have a unique perspective on yourself. This is your chance to stand out above the other candidates. If they walk away not having a clear idea of what makes you special, you have failed. Have your answer ready.



Have your questions ready.

At the end they usually give you five or so minutes to ask any questions. Do not ask a really boring and basic question like: What is it like to work there? What is your favorite thing about working here?

As an example I asked: “As a Googler, how has Google helped you personally to achieve any goals that you have set for yourself?”

PRO TIP: Prepare some really good questions that allow your interviewer to brag about the company (and their own achievements inside the company). It’s more important that you bring out the interviewers good feelings about the company and associate them with you, rather than you simply try to learn something new.

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