1. You don’t need a degree in Computer Science:
Seriously. I know it is hard to believe, but Google is more than a bunch of code and so, there are Google employees who work at a designation that does not even remotely involve spending your day with Java, MySQL, PHP and the likes. Debra Bedner, Global head of Strategy and Growth, Facebook says, ‘You don’t necessarily need to know how to code. Think about transferable skill-sets. I once hired an architect because she had the skills to design the outer world which we could use to come up with creative design for our website – the online world.’
Lazslo Bock, Head of Operations at Google adds, ‘I’m not saying you have to be some terrific coder, but to just understand how [these] things work you have to be able to think in a formal and logical and structured way.’
This is a shout out to the people studying English, Philosophy, Marketing, History and even Religion! : )
2. Eliminate all things pretentious from your resume:
In an interview with The New York Times, Lazslo Bock was asked what he likes to see in a resume. His amazing response: “The key is to frame your strengths as: ‘I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z. For example, most people will write: I wrote editorials for The New York Times. Instead, a stand-out resume will say: Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.”
“Most people don’t put the right content on their resumes.” he says.
Are you listening people whose Career Objectives say: ‘To be associated with a progressive organization which can provide me with a dynamic work sphere to extract my inherent skills as a Professional Journalist , use and develop my aptitude to further the organization’s objectives and also attain my career targets in the progress.’
3. The thought process in an interview:
People want to know what you are good at – Yes, but how do they know you are actually good at what you say you’re good at? Having valid situations that you handled in the past to back your claim of strengths serves you the best.
“What you want to do is say: ‘Here’s the attribute I’m going to demonstrate; here’s the story demonstrating it; here’s how that story demonstrated that attribute.” explains Lazslo. “Most people in an interview don’t make explicit their thought process behind how or why they did something and, even if they are able to come up with a compelling story, they are unable to explain their thought process.”
William Poundstone, author of Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google, writes, ‘It’s not just about getting a “right answer.” They’re interested in your thought process, and your whole explanation counts. Tell the interviewer about all the possible approaches and how the ‘’obvious’ one fails.
Bonus: Do you know the single hardest question that is asked in Google interviews?
“What number comes next in this sequence: 10, 9, 60, 90, 70, 66,..?”
Tell us your answer in the comments! ; )
4. What skills does Google look for?
“G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. We found that they don’t predict anything. The proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time with as high as 14 percent on some teams.” Lazslo notes.
“There are five hiring attributes we have across the company,” he further explains, “If it’s a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”
The second, he added, “is leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Were you vice president of sales? How quickly did you get there? We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.”
Thirdly, Humility and ownership. “It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in, to try to solve any problem — and the humility to step back and embrace the better ideas of others. “Your end goal is what can we do together to problem-solve. I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.”
5. What is Google not looking for?
“Google is very clear about who it wants: extremely bright extroverts. The company is founded on intensive collaboration. This is reflected even in the office layout, with only a handful of private offices. (When employees feel an occasional need for privacy, they seek out an empty conference room.) The stereotypical engineer—someone who works best alone and hates distractions—is probably not a good fit,” says William Poundstone.
The least important attribute they look for is “expertise.” explains Lazslo: “If you take somebody who has high cognitive ability, is innately curious, willing to learn and has emergent leadership skills, and you hire them as an H.R. person or finance person, and they have no content knowledge, and you compare them with someone who’s been doing just one thing and is a world expert, the expert will go: I’ve seen this 100 times before; here’s what you do.”
“Most of the time the non-expert will come up with the same answer,” he adds, “because most of the time it’s not that hard.” Sure, once in a while they will mess it up, he said, but once in a while they’ll also come up with an answer that is totally new. And there is huge value in that.