Google Interview: How to prepare?

google panda

Last month I got an email from a recruiter about a job at Google that seemed right up my alley.  After a few phone calls and more email exchanges, I managed to get an interview with the Google hiring manager.

Now, we’ve all heard horror stories about the impossible questions Google used to ask during interviews:

How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?

… uhhh …*Gulp!*

Thankfully those types of questions have been banned … but that left me wondering “What types of questions are they asking today?”

Nervous and utterly clueless about what expect, I emailed the recruiter …

“How do I prepare for this interview?”

His advice :

  • Show enthusiasm and good communication skills
  • Talk about why you’re interested in the position
  • Don’t show too much focus on joining Google (In other words, if they ask you why you want the job, you probably shouldn’t respond “Because it’s Google, duh!” or anything along those lines)

Welp, this was all good advice but not exactly what I was looking for.

So, I started “Googling” to figure out how to prepare.

What I found was a lot of those banned questions **amusing but not helpful** and testimonials about people interviewing for technical positions (if you fall under the latter category, click on this great link here).

Well, I’m not a technical person so the position I was going for was in Merchandising and my Google search didn’t really give me any amazing insight about what to expect for this type of interview.

That’s why I decided to write this little blog post!! Here’s to hoping that my experience can be of help to someone else out there 🙂

Here’s how it went down:

The phone interview only lasted 30 minutes.

They asked me a little bit about my previous work experience and then we got into the harder questions.  I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers to these, but there are definitely some answers that are better than others:

**Note: I’m typing these questions from memory, so they are not “word-for-word” what the Google manager asked me.

  • How would you explain Google to a 5-year-old? (I asked, “Google the company or Google the search engine”  – they were looking for an explanation of Google the company)
  • Why are you interested in joining our team? (Again, “Because it’s Google!” is not a good answer… focus on the position)
  • What types of mobile applications do you use? Any games? (The position had to do with Google Play)
  • How do you decide which apps to download? (See comment above)
  • If we did a promotional campaign, what would you look at to determine if it was successful?
  • What’s the definition of merchandising?
  • Do you have any questions? (You should probably prepare a few)

I’m sure there are a few more questions that I forgot, but that should give you a good idea of how to start thinking like a Googler.

Since I’m sure you’re all wondering, I didn’t completely bomb the interview but I didn’t get the job either.  What I did get out of all of this though was an interesting experience 🙂

I wish you the best of luck in yours!


One thought on “Google Interview: How to prepare?

  1. My husband is in tech and google is the “ultimate” interview/job he’s aiming for. Though I don’t think I want to see him disappear down the rabbit hole of the google campus – I’d see him once a month! Sorry you didn’t get the job!- rachel

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