Use Google to Interview at Google

Susan Hall
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Five Key Trends in Creative Staffing

Five trends impacting how organizations think about hiring.

So a reader asked Business Insider about preparing for an interview with Google:

I have an interview-telephone-with an Engineering Recruiter at Google NY, for a Software Engineering position. Any tips, what should I expect, how should I prepare?

Google, of course, is among the companies known for asking mind-bending interview questions. In fact, a recently revised analysis on the hiring process at big tech companies,, a site where workers report such things anonymously, ranked Google and Amazon tops in that department. And not surprisingly, Google, along with Facebook and Yahoo, had the highest share of job candidates rating the hiring process as negative.

But just stepping back from that for a moment, I must point this potential Googler (there's a message in that term) to this oh-so-sane and useful post by security consultant Lenny Zeltzer. Though he offers five essential tips for interviewees, his primary message is this: dogged research. That's where a service like, um say, Google could come in. I must admit, some of the information he says you should have going in will take some digging. I especially liked these points:


  • Practice describing your contributions to past projects so that the interviewer thinks, "Wow, I want this candidate to help me in that way!"
  • You should know the "pain points" the interviewer experiences as part of the job and what help that manager is seeking. ...This will allow you to position yourself in a way that is personally relevant to the individual.

Now back to those mind-bending questions. Business Insider put 15 of Google's best in a slideshow, "15 Google Interview Questions That Will Make You Feel Stupid." Then it provided answers to questions mentioned by professional interview coach Lewis Lin, a guy who's come up with 140 of them. Just a note, though: Questions such as these are designed to allow the interviewer to see how you go about solving problems, so don't even dream of trying to memorize them.

So here are my favorites:


Q: How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
A: This is one of those questions where the trick is to come up with an easier answer than the one that's seemingly being called for. We'd say. "$10 per window."


Q: A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?
A: He landed on Boardwalk. (Groan)

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