How to Get a Job at Google
If you consider landing a job at Google as an ultimate career move, make sure you know how Google hires. We’ve collected the most useful information to help you.
If you consider landing a job at Google as an ultimate career move, make sure you know how Google hires. We’ve collected the most useful information to help you.
Google is one of the largest American corporations, with its production units in different countries. It actively invests in search services, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. In July 2020, Statista ranked Google as the most visited multi-platform website in the USA, with almost 264 million visitors from mobile and desktop connections.
The big companies always required a more significant employee base, and Google proved this. Over the past ten years, Google has increased the number of its employees almost five times.
Google gets more than 2 million applications per year. Moreover, the company has developed its technique to hire talented staff, including open communication with candidates and making hiring decisions a team effort. Google doesn’t only look for compliance with job requirements. They want their employees to have the ability to learn and cultivate more skills within the company.
If you want to become a Google employee but do not know the recruitment process’s specifics, read this article and find the answers you need.
How Hard Is It to Get a Job at Google
Those who want to build a successful career may consider working at a large company as a good option in achieving their goal. Working for a company with a big name and reputation can be a prestigious opportunity. Google is definitely one such company. It attracts many people’s interest and attention and provides full-time, part-time, and work-from-home jobs in various fields, from administrative assistants to software engineers. However, it can be hard to get hired by Google because of several reasons.
Complicated recruitment process
That’s what Laszlo Bock, former Google’s SVP for People Operations, used as a guiding principle for recruiting.
- Recruiter screen
The hiring manager reviews every resume for technical requirements, education, and experience to make sure there is a potential fit.
- Phone screen and interview
The hiring manager contacts the candidate to explain the process and ask some questions. They may also ask for a college GPA if this is a technical engineering role.
- On-site interview
The on-site interview will consist of four parts. In the past, Google has used up to 29 interviews before granting an offer. Now they lowered this number to about 4. If you apply for a technical role, you will be asked to solve technical problems in real-time.
- Interviewer feedback
Every interviewer submits their feedback about the candidate and assigns a numerical ranking. The company also matches candidates’ resumes to current employees’ resumes to find similar previous experience or education.
- Hiring committee
In Google, hiring decisions are made by hiring committees to exclude potentially harmful choices. Usually, it consists of senior managers, directors, and field experts. They meet all potential candidates and review the feedback provided.
- Executive review
Senior-level executives review every offer.
- Compensation committee
The compensation committee determines the appropriate compensation for the offer.
- Final executive review
One of the top executives reviews the offer before it is sent to the candidate.
- The offer
The hiring manager will notify the candidate of the offer and explain all the details.
Forbes stated that getting a job at Google is ten times harder than getting selected into Harvard. With more than 2 million resumes per year, only 1 out of every 130 applicants receive a job offer. To compare, Harvard University accepts 1 out of every 14 applicants.
The competition is high because Google is a giant company that takes care of its staff, offers fantastic benefits, and a culture that inspires workers who are considered a driving force of the company.
Landing Your Dream Job at Google: Opportunities for Beginners
Google offers various opportunities for both advanced professionals and beginners. If previously, the company used to accept only the top-performing applicants with exceptional school credentials, today, they look further beyond GPAs. It means that even candidates without qualifications and extensive experience can get an offer and work at Google.
Thus, one of the main steps in applying for a Google job is to decide in which direction you want to work. Of course, at first, you should not apply for the top positions and expect high wages. Start searching for entry-level jobs using Google Careers service.
Here are some examples of jobs for beginners categorized by the company’s two main domains.
- Technical careers
Since Google is an engineering company, it offers many employment opportunities for IT professionals. Those mentioned below may not have a long list of requirements and can be good options for entry-level applicants:
- Junior software engineer helps the development team with all aspects of software design and coding;
- Software tester ensures the quality of software by performing automated and manual tests;
- Data scientist uses analytical, statistical, and programming skills to collect, analyze, and interpret the large data sets;
- UX designer measures and optimizes applications to improve usability and create the best user experience.
- Non-technical careers
Non-technical Google specialists can work in various spheres, including business, marketing, finances, administration, sales, and law. Choosing junior positions can be a good start for your professional success.
- Administrative assistant performs administrative duties like organizing files, drafting correspondence, preparing reports and documents, scheduling appointments;
- Junior business analyst helps senior colleagues to analyze business processes and implement relevant changes to management procedures, products, and services;
- Business intern primary duties include business research and analysis to support operations and making recommendations for business processes improvement;
- HR assistant helps recruiters manage the entire candidate lifecycle and maintain records.
As an option, you can search for internships at different Google teams. It’s an excellent way to get the experience you need and learn more about the company and its culture.
How to Apply For a Job at Google
There are several ways of applying for a Google position. You can do it online via the Google website, using employee referrals, and college placement programs. Google also organizes a Kick Start coding contest for programmers in the Asia-Pacific region where top competitors may get an opportunity to apply for a Google technical job.
Although the channels of applying may vary, the procedures and documents needed are the same.
Resume creation is a critical step in the job search process. It’s your business card that shows your experience, education, skills, and qualities. The resume allows the employer to learn more about an applicant for a specific role and make an initial selection of the most worthy candidates. It also helps to give the first assessment of candidates’ compliance with the existing vacancy.
Creating a resume has several basic rules:
- It’s better to keep your resume to one page for business and internship positions in Google, and no more than two pages for engineering and technical roles.
- It should be consistent in design. Use readable fonts, sizing, margins, etc. so that the hiring manager can quickly find necessary information.
- Put your contact information, email, and customized objective statement at the top.
- If you are a beginner, your education should always be listed first. For experienced industry professionals, this section can be placed lower on the page.
- Experience should be the central part of your resume. List your jobs in reverse chronological order, and don’t forget to mention your duties and accomplishments. For engineering positions, it’s essential to highlight the programming languages you used.
Another critical tip for resume writing is reading a job description carefully. You can include keywords related to the position in your resume to show your relevant skills and experience.
If a resume is a list of product ingredients, then the cover letter is its wrappage. The more interesting and attractive it is, the more likely a person will continue reading. Although sending a cover letter is optional for Google, if you really want to impress recruiters and catch their attention, you should create and submit a convincing self-presentation.
The cover letter should reflect your motivation, relevant work experience, the skills and personal qualities you need to succeed in the position, and your other strengths as a candidate.
As for the structure, you can start with a salutation. If possible, try to find the contact person’s name and use it to show that you did some research. You can also indicate the source of information about the vacancy. Then you should tell briefly about yourself, why you want to work for Google and what sets you apart from other candidates. In the final part of your cover letter, you should write a powerful call to action and express your desire for further cooperation.
Highly important recommendations!
- Сustomize your cover letter to make it unique;
- Don’t use clichéd phrases;
- Make sure your cover letter is logical and easy to read;
- Check for typos and mistakes.
Keep in mind that you can apply for up to three vacancies within 30 days, and you should wait 90 days before reapplying for the same job again.
How to Get Hired at Google: Interview Stage
If you’ve impressed the recruiter with your resume and cover letter, you’ll receive a notification about the interview stage. However, don’t be surprised if you are invited to another position interview. Google reviewers focus more on the candidate than the application. If they think you’re better suited for another role, they can offer you to try it.
It’s the first of the series of interviews conducted by Google during the recruiting process. It focuses on assessing your role-related knowledge and skills. You may be asked some general questions, such as:
- Why do you want to work for Google?
- Why should we hire you for this position?
- What can you tell us about yourself?
- What’s your most significant achievement?
- What’s your greatest strength and weakness?
- What is your favorite Google product, and how would you improve it?
If you apply for a technical role, your phone interview will last between 30 and 60 minutes. In addition to general questions, you should be ready for programming ones. For example:
- What is your favorite programming language, and why?
- What software are you interested in developing?
- What was the most challenging bug to solve in your project?
- How would you build a product like YouTube?
Moreover, you may be asked to write code in a GoogleDoc while answering them. At the end of your conversation, you will need to share it with your interviewer.
For non-technical roles, your phone interview can be a little bit shorter, between 30 and 45 minutes. Remember that Google uses the behavioral interview approach. It means that you will have to give examples from your own experience when answering questions. Here are some examples:
- Describe a team project you worked on.
- Give us an example of a time when you suggested a new approach to a problem.
- Tell us about a situation when you faced a conflict while working on a team.
Use the STAR technique to answer behavioral questions in a structured way.
In 2016, after Google’s People Analytics Team’s research examined five years of interviewing data and feedback, the number of interviews was reduced down to 4. Google found out that four interviews were enough to identify whether a person should be hired with 86% confidence.
In 2016, after Google’s People Analytics Team’s research examined five years of interviewing data and feedback, the number of interviews was reduced down to 4. Google found So, at this stage, be ready to meet with four Googlers. Some of them will be your potential colleagues; others will represent the teams you will be likely to cooperate with during your work. Each meeting will last from 30 to 45 minutes.
Google interview questions at this stage will cover four main points:
- General cognitive ability
It is a non-technical part aimed at testing problem-solving skills. The most crucial thing here is to explain how you think and how you use data to make decisions.
During this stage, you may be asked questions such as:
- If you need to build a customer support operation for Google Apps/GSuite customers, how would you do it?
- What is your favorite Google Cloud product? How can you minimize the cost of support?
- Imagine working as a New York chief traffic officer, and you need to reduce traffic gridlock. What will your actions be?
Leadership comes in all forms at all levels, so you may be asked leadership questions even when you are not applying for a leadership position. During this interview, individuals need to explain how they can use communication and decision-making skills to mobilize others.
You should be ready to answer some behavioral questions and give examples of your leadership skills:
- Tell us of a situation when you had to step up.
- Describe a time when you demonstrated leadership qualities.
- Was there any situation when you had to make a tough decision at work?
- Role-related knowledge
Google wants to be confident that the candidates have the experience, knowledge, and skills to succeed. You may be asked questions related to the specific role you are applying for so that Googlers can see how your strengths can combine with your experience and drive impact.
It’s essential for software engineering candidates to highlight programming skills and technical areas of expertise, including programming tools or languages. An applicant needs to be prepared to discuss data structures and algorithms in detail.
Laszlo Bock, former Google SVP for People Operations and author of the book “Work Rules,” defines googleyness as “a combination of fun, intellectual humility, conscientiousness, and a track record of having done interesting things, among other attributes.”
It can be defined by answering several questions, such as:
- How do you work individually and on a team?
- How do you help others?
- How do you navigate ambiguity?
- How do you push yourself to grow outside of your comfort zone?
What questions to ask at the Google interview
Asking questions after the interview is crucial and also highly recommended by Google hiring managers. It will help you build rapport with the interviewer and show you are interested in getting hired.
Here are some questions to ask Google interviewers during the meeting:
- What is a typical day for this position?
- How do you evaluate job performance, and at what intervals?
- What extra activities do the employees participate in the office?
- What is your experience of working for Google?
- Do you have any advice for me?
- When should I expect your feedback?
How to prepare for the Google interview
To improve your chances of joining Google, you should put all your effort into preparing for the interview. We’ve made a list of tips that can help you shine during the interview and impress the hiring committee.
- Start with thinking about questions you can be asked. Search for the most common Google interview questions and make a list of general ones for your position.
- Answer all of them and think of several examples from your previous experience. This will give you ready-made answers for the interview. Thus, you will feel more confident when talking to the interviewers.
- Read the job description and your potential responsibilities carefully and try to correlate your previous experience with the new position to present yourself as a suitable candidate and demonstrate the value you can add to the company.
- Know your resume well. Be ready to defend and add-on to your job resume, including the places you worked at, your duties, and the projects you completed.
- Regardless of the desired position, you need to know how the company generates revenue and how you can contribute to it. Thus, try to understand the Google business model before your interview. It’s essential to do your homework and understand what you can offer to improve its growth.
- Practice your interview with somebody. It’s a great, stress-free way to build confidence and hone your skills.
- For a coding interview, check out additional useful resources. We particularly recommend reading books, such as Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions by Gayle Laakmann McDowell, 2015; Elements of Programming Interviews: The Insiders' Guide by Adnan Aziz, Tsung-Hsien Lee, Amit Prakash, 2013; Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job by John Mongan and Noah Kindler, 2012.
- Depending on your learning style, video content can be an excellent option for preparing for your Google interview. You can join programming courses on platforms, such as Coursera and Udacity, and extend your knowledge of computer science fundamentals, data structures, algorithms, etc.
- Google doesn’t have a strict dress code. However, it doesn’t mean that you can dress overly casually. Contacting your recruiter and asking about the meeting details is the easiest way to determine what to wear.
Google has everything that an employee may expect from one of the largest companies in the world. It wants to make its employees’ lives easier and is always searching for ways to improve Googlers’ health, well-being, and morale. It treats people with respect and supports creative and innovative endeavors.
The company looks beyond traditional qualifications and hires those who know how to innovate, learn, and work effectively within a team. A degree is a good advantage, but it’s not a guarantee for a person’s ability to do a job. Today, leadership, collaboration, adaptability, and desire to learn, and relearn is what excels.
There is no one right or best way to get a job at Google. It’s a combination of your cover letter, resume, skills, qualities, experience, personality, and thorough preparation, which we recommend you to start ahead of time. If you feel that you are a good fit for the company, do not doubt your capabilities, but prove them to the recruiter.