Monday, 21 September 2015

The Inter(nship)view

There are many myths about what goes on if you happen to get interviewed by global tech giant Google. The most common sample question I hear from my friends are: “How many golf balls can you fit into a standard Boeing 747 jet?”. As a participant who was removed from the process in its final round, I might as well spend this post curtly destroying all of these misinformed ideas.

The first hurdle actually requires more effort and time than most written applications. That’s because in my case, they wanted a video. A video detailing its super-selective criteria of “Why you would fit into Google culture (by expressing your Googley-ness)” and the comparatively simpler criteria, “Why are you fit for the job”?. The general requirements of transcripts, CV, a few short answer questions remain as well. Google is a corporation after all.

After this comes the interviews. And there are no funny gimmicks to this, no speaking into a camera to answer pre-recorded questions, no group assessments or drinks night to monitor your sociability. Just straight one on one questions, hard and fast.

It starts off easy enough. A general analysis of your resume, with a few probing questions on what exactly you did in said role that would develop your character and employability. Then comes along the first doozy.

“Given the current age of technology, its competitors and its method of accruing income, how would you valuate YouTube?”

At the time, I was stumped. I had no idea, and I will save you the recollections of a rambling old boy dictating a nonsensical answer. But I later found out the question was simply about consulting metrics; How does it make money? In what volume? How many views per week?

Second question.

“I am a 24 year old women selling clothes to high-school girls. I have a storefront on George street, but I do not have a website. Convince me to get a website and subscribe to adWords.” Again I stumped, and the answer post-interview was painfully clear: She needs it because of her demographic A certain amount of people now use their phones for online shopping, and you want to capitalise on every one of them.

**Random point, you know how everyone thinks that the IT industry is offshoring all its work to India? Well bad news, Google is doing it too, but in its HR department (of all departments). My request for attending the second interview called in from Hyderabad!

The second in contrast with the first, totally revolves around you and Google. Structure is thrown out the door, and the conversation (that’s what it feels like at this point) goes where-ever the interviewer wants it to do. A friendly American woman took me to Ceiling Cat, (yes that’s what they name some of their conference rooms). Here, the topic of the interview was decidedly clearer. What specific needs that Google has, and secondly, what made you start a YouTube channel? The first was clearly not in my field of expertise. The second, I have addressed in a previous blog post many moons before.


But more than anything else, the interviewers appear genuine, or at least they come across that way. Frankly, that is more than I can say for a lot of my acquaintances, let alone my (admittedly few) enemies. 

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