Google needs little introduction - the mammoth multinational technology company has become ubiquitous in 21st century life. Established in 1998, Google revolutionised information dissemination and access to data with its search engine. This success was followed, across the next decade, by the launch of Google News, Gmail, Google Maps and Google Chrome. Google’s products and services now include online advertising technologies, cloud computing, software and hardware offerings.
Getting A Job At Google
Careers at Google are coveted – the prospect of working within a progressive technology company that actively shapes how we communicate, navigate and interact with the world both excites and inspires applicants.
Google offers entry level to leadership suite opportunities, seeking smart, dedicated and innovative individuals as assets to their teams. If you’d like to apply, bear in mind you can apply for up to three jobs with Google every 30 days.
Google Associate Product Manager (APM) Programme – Open to candidates with a wide range of backgrounds and skills sets. The programme also runs an internship strand for undergraduates.
Google Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM) programme – Open to candidates still studying or to those with a few years of experience.
Google BOLD Internship Program (Build Opportunities for Leadership & Development) – A paid summer internship for undergraduates.
Google Careers has an information page for students, collating useful career advice and programme, internship and job opportunities.
The Hiring Process at Google
Google’s hiring process is a multistage competitive experience, but candidates are encouraged to believe in their own abilities and not be overwhelmed by the prospect. Google believes, quite rightly, that investing in the recruitment process creates strong teams with a diversity of experiences and perspectives.
The hiring process at Google is not about screening for your hard skills alone, but learning about your interests, experiences and view of the world - in order to ascertain if you’re the right fit for the Google culture.
During the selection process, candidates are required to submit their resume, complete online psychometric assessments, partake in virtual chats, undertake a small project and attend in-depth interviews.
Once you submit your resume online and are approved by a member of the recruitment team, you will enter the hiring process. Note that a cover letter is not required along with your resume, and it is up to the individual whether to include one or not.
The first hurdle in the Google hiring process is sitting a series of online assessments. You will be sent the links to complete these from home.
The tests administered vary according to your chosen job position or programme track, as you will sit those that assess skills and competencies most relevant for the responsibilities of your prospective role.
Verbal Reasoning Tests
Verbal reasoning tests judge a candidate’s ability to understand, analyse and interpret written information. This data is most often in the form of passages of text based around a theme or project. A common question type for verbal reasoning tests is being asked to identify whether a given statement is true, false, or if you cannot say based upon the information provided.
Word meaning, synonym and antonym, analogy and word code questions may also feature. All questions are multiple choice.
If you are applying to be a technical engineer, you will encounter an online technical assessment to assess your capabilities. Candidates have 90 minutes to provide the solutions to two questions.
The questions in the Google technical online assessment are chosen at random from five main themes:
- Geometry / Maths
- Graphs / Trees -Arrays / Strings
- Dynamic programming
Similar content will be encountered in the technical interview, so preparing for the technical test also sets you up to impress at this later stage.
Numerical Reasoning Tests
Numerical reasoning tests assess a candidate’s ability to manipulate numerical data. This data is provided in the form of graphs, charts and tables.
Questions are multiple choice and involve arithmetic, fractions, percentages, ratios, sequences and algebra.
Situational Judgement Tests
You may be required to sit a situational judgement test, used by Google to gain insight into your behaviours and ways of working.
The multiple-choice test presents candidates with a series of hypothetical workplace scenarios – which may relate to general office interactions or to specific project work. You will be asked to select a course of action or rate the options according to preference.
Always select the option that most closely aligns with your instinctive response.
Mechanical Reasoning Tests
For some roles, candidates may also be required to take a mechanical reasoning test. This test assesses knowledge of mechanical systems, with questions featuring technical diagrams.
You may be asked to identify parts, state their purpose and/or select the correct details about components from multiple choice options.
Before you are called to interview, you will have one or two shorter phone or video calls. The first call will be with a recruiter and the second with a hiring manager or another peer on the team.
These calls are used to preliminarily assess whether you possess the skills required to perform the role. Treat them as formal mini interviews, thinking carefully about your answers so they evidence your competencies effectively.
Candidates may be asked to complete a small project before attending the interview. These could involve case studies, writing samples or code samples.
All the necessary details will be provided when you reach this stage, and nothing will be sprung on candidates without fair warning and preparation time.
You may be asked to discuss the output of your project task in an interview.
Google requires its applicants to take part in multiple interviews. The process is rigorous, so it pays to be well prepared. To be successful, you will need to solidly convey your talent and drive for your chosen career pathway at Google.
Candidates are usually required to attend three to four interviews in one day. These will be either via video or in person, depending upon the circumstances.
The interviews are structured, as candidates are assessed fairly using clear rubrics. Expect to be asked open ended questions, as these are used to assess your problem-solving ability, approach to work and skills strengths.
Remember, though, that interviews should not be one-way affairs, but comfortable conversations. They are an opportunity for the recruitment team to explore your skills and get to know your personality, and for you to find out more about the opportunity, environment and culture at Google.
What Is It Like To Work At Google?
Google prides itself on being a cutting-edge, innovative technology giant with a culture of collaboration, diversity and inclusion. It has working locations across the world, in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa & the Middle East, so at Google you are part of a global community.
Employees, referred to as ‘Googlers’, and new hires, referred to as ‘Nooglers’ are encouraged to form strong working bonds within their teams and embrace the presence of the diversity of perspective and experience that Google continually seeks to hire.
Google expects dedication and enthusiasm and, in return, seeks to support all aspects of employees’ work lives. An understanding that personal lives are an inevitable part of the cocktail helps to create an environment that recognises individual needs and prioritises wellbeing.
Google offices are most often impressive, modern structures. These well-equipped buildings offer multiple services to employees:
- Some office locations have onsite wellness and healthcare services (including physicians, physical therapy, chiropractic and massage services).
- On-site fitness centres which also run classes.
- A wide range of ‘on campus’ cafes and micro kitchens (for employees to cook for themselves).
- Some offices even allow employees to bring their dogs to work!
You can take a virtual tour of Google’s London office on Google Maps to get a feel for the design of Google’s spaces.
The work benefits Google offers include generous parental leave policies and retirement savings plans. It offers a competitive vacation allowance and the opportunity to work in a flexible manner that suits your life and responsibilities. Google invests in the learning of its employees, viewing education as a continuous process. There are extensive opportunities for personal and professional development – including onsite classes (in anything from coding to cooking), professional certification support, degree programs or support for a new extra-curricular (such as playing the guitar).
It also provides support in managing your finances – offering retirement savings matches, financial advisors and financial planning services.
Google is committed to supporting employees’ volunteering and charitable efforts. It matches charitable donations and adds donations for volunteer hours Googlers complete.
Top Tips To Get Hired At Google
1. Self-Reflect Before You Apply
Before lodging your application, think about your experiences, interests and drivers. Taking time to focus on what you’re looking for will help in identifying roles that are the right fit for you. This reflection will also give you a head start when tailoring your resume and preparing for your virtual chats and interviews.
2. Understand The Process
Candidates undergo a rigorous selection procedure at Google, so it is important to understand what will be required. This will help you to be fully prepared for each stage and perform at your best.
3. Start Preparing As Soon As Possible
If you know you’d like to apply to Google but haven’t found a vacancy that’s the right fit yet, that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start preparing for the recruitment process. Then, when you are ready to push the button on your application, you can do so in the knowledge that you already have a head start on preparation.
4. Practice Using Leetcode Questions
If you are a software engineer, to prepare for your online assessment you should familiarise yourself with questions under each of the topic categories you may encounter. To get a clearer idea of the questions, you can use Leetcode’s list of Google assessment questions. The Google questions equate to an easy-to-medium difficulty rating. Google’s pages on its past coding competitions also provide useful practise question material.
5. Practice Timed Tests
Online psychometric tests can be tricky, particularly when a lot is expected of you with a short time limit. Practise using timed sample tests to familiarise yourself with the style and content of the tests, as well as the pace required.
Does Google Still Ask Brain Teasers In Job Interviews?
No, brain teasers are no longer part of the Google hiring process. Through tracking the KPIs of its recruitment process, Google collected data that showed ability to answer brain teasers was not correlating to performance once in role – so the task was omitted. Project work and structured interviews are used to gain a better insight.
What Technical Classes Should I Take To Prepare For Technical Interviews?
To be successful in a software engineering role, you need an interdisciplinary background with an in-depth knowledge of computer science. Google has a resource library to assist with the hiring process and additional learning support. This includes a Technical Development Guide to help grow your technical skills.
How Long Does It Take To Hear Back From Google After Applying?
You should find out the outcome of your application within two months. If you still haven’t heard after that point, you should assume your application has been unsuccessful this time around. On occasion, the hiring team may reach out to you with another opportunity they feel is better suited.
Can I Reapply If My Application Is Unsuccessful?
Yes. If you are not selected for a role, you can submit another application to Google. In fact, Google states that most Googlers applied for other roles before they were ultimately successful in securing their position. A rejection may not be a reflection of your skills or potential but be down to timing – so don’t be deterred from applying in future.
The only caveat is that - for engineering roles - you will need to wait a year (and gain further experience) before submitting another application.