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Google Adjusts Hiring Processes 355

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Google is attempting to fine tune its hiring process as it ramps up recruiting to keep pace with its success, the Wall Street Journal reports. From the article: 'In Google's early years, [Sergey] Brin or co-founder Larry Page interviewed nearly all job candidates before they were officially hired. A former Google executive recounts how, on occasion, Mr. Brin would show up for candidates' job interviews in unconventional dress, from roller blades to a cow costume complete with rubber udders around Halloween. Even today, at least one of the co-founders reviews every job offer recommended by an internal hiring committee on a weekly basis, sometimes pushing back with questions about an individual's qualifications.' While the interview process can remain 'glacial,' Google's new head of human resources notes that the average number of in-person interviews for each candidate offered a job has declined to 5.1 from 6.2. The company continues to seek overqualified employees who can be promoted quickly."
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Google Adjusts Hiring Processes

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  • by bloodredsun ( 826017 ) <> on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:26AM (#16544224) Journal

    From TFA: "[Google] has traditionally focused a lot on candidates' academic performance and favored those who went to elite schools"

    Nice to know that the new hotness is still the same old and busted.

    • by paganizer ( 566360 ) <> on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:40AM (#16544284) Homepage Journal
      Hiring someone who got a 4.0 average out of MIT is old and busted? I must have missed the memo.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by locokamil ( 850008 )
      [[Ivy Leaguer in Happy Gilmore "I don't eat shit for breakfast" voice:]]

      "Nuh uh! We don't get preferential treatment! It's an even playing field for everyone!"

      That said, you can't blame Google. They're running a business built on smarts, and to find the smartest poeople, they need to go to the places with the highest concentration of talented people, which in turn implies that they need to recruit at some of the more... er... prestigious educational institutions.

      Nothing wrong with that.

      What is wrong is if t
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:06AM (#16544406)
        > who couldn't afford anything more than Bumfsck Community College

        They're doing worse than discriminating against those without wealthy parents that can afford the expensive out of state top schools. They're interviewing people with degrees from lesser schools with no intent on hiring them. My undergrad degree is in electrical engineering and my masters is in computer engineering both from Clemson. At the time, Clemson was less than $500/semester which was all I could possibly afford. When I interviewed with Google I got the impression that they had zero intent on hiring me no matter what happened. I was asked several times why I didn't go to a "better" school. For the job they contacted me about I wrote the top textbook on the subject, currently used at Stanford, Univ of Colorado, and GA Tech among others, so I thought I would have been treated more respectfully. They called me. I wasted over $3k in expenses out of pocket to interview with them. And no I didn't get to meet Larry Page.

        Officially they said I didn't have the experience they needed. That's a load of crap. I did distributed systems over the Internet for over a decade before Google was even started. I founded the first commercial ISP in this state. I was CTO of three Internet start-ups between 1994 and 2003. All three are still in business. They're not doing great and I didn't make much money but they have survived which is more than you can say about most Internet start-ups.

        They hired someone that wasn't qualified and has no experience but had a degree from Stanford. After that bad experience I sold all of my Google stock. I don't think a company can survive long-term making those type of brain-dead decisions. Thank you Google for wasting my time.
        • by jbailey999 ( 146222 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:49AM (#16544660) Homepage
          I see two big hints they weren't going to hire you:

          1) You paid for your own interview. Never do that. They've made no commitment to you beyond a bit of time.

          2) During the interview, they're asking totally irrelevant questions.

          The days when an interview were completely controlled by the employer left over a decade ago. Irrelevant questions should be answered shortly, and the questions should be dragged back to topic, or ask back directly if they have a prejudice for particular classes of schools and such.

          The "Not qualified" might have simply been "won't survive in this corporate culture".
          • by Harlockjds ( 463986 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:05AM (#16545318)
            >1) You paid for your own interview. Never do that.

            exactly i don't see why anyone would ever spend 3K to interview for a job. If you really are that good make them pick up the tab, if they aren't willing to do so then it's a good bet they aren't interested in you.

            My current job told me early on they wouldn't pay to fly me up for an interview so i told them no thanks... 2 months later they had not found anyone as qualified as me and changed their mind.
        • by Anml4ixoye ( 264762 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:07AM (#16544798) Homepage
          Sounds like a similar experience I had, and a coworker had.

          In my case, the first interview was great. It was with the guy who wrote the Borland C++ Compiler, and it lasted about an hour and a half on the phone. At the end, he seemed happy, I was happy, and he even said he hoped to be able to meet me when I got there.

          The second interview was with a guy on the billing team. It was strange - he kept trying to twist the answers ("Well, what happens if your database doesn't support joins?"). It was also fairly short - the questions I asked him at the end was almost longer than the intereview.

          I got a call back about 4 days later saying they didn't like the way I "think". Which turns out was better than the reaction my coworker got in his 3rd interview when the guy, who was asking him to discuss proofs, asked if he was "dense".

          No matter, both of us are now working for a competitor about 15 hours north and I couldn't be happier.
          • by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:11PM (#16547546)
            I had some "hot seat" interviews in the past.

            During one interview, every time I gave a response, the interviewer responded with "No, that doesn't work - the product won't do X" so I had to come up with another option. Finally, after about 4 go-rounds of this, I said "Well, at that point I'd go find the person who was responsible for us using this product, explain how it didn't remotely meet our needs, and rather than waste 10x more time trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole, we should start from scratch and consider it a lesson learned." The guy said "I see."

            He then got up, walked out of the room, and 5 minutes later came back with someone from HR and a written job offer. "Everyone else kept going on and on and on and on and on trying to solve the problem by trying to work around something that was obviously broken - you're the only one who knew when to cut your losses and move on."

            The point of an interview is to figure out how well the person will fit and how well they'll do the job. Clever hacks and workarounds are nice, but only when they are more efficient and effective than something not as clever would be. It seems like a lot of geek types forget that - it isn't about showing off.

            I eventually became a hiring manager at that same company, and I would go out of my way to throw the candidates I interviewed off balance. My favorite technique was to ask them what their favorite tool was, then say "That's stupid" and see how they'd react. The worst response I ever got was "Well, I guess it is, sorry" and the best I ever got was "No, your dismissal without providing a counter argument is stupid. This tool is great for this task because x, y, z. Now tell me why using a tool that can do all that is stupid, and I'll see if you make any sense." People who can think on their feet and come up with practical solutions rather than get flustered or go into some kind of "best practices" parrot mode aren't worth a lot.

            • by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:23PM (#16548648)
              I eventually became a hiring manager at that same company, and I would go out of my way to throw the candidates I interviewed off balance.

              Why? Unless your employees' days are filled with intense pressure from random jerks, how is this at all relevant to their jobs?

              I could see this for someone in sales or marketing. However, if your engineers are continually having to make snap decisions under intense pressure like this, perhaps you should take a good look at making your working conditions more humane.

              I happen to be a very good engineer, who is also very easily flustered by this kind of obstinate behaviour from other human beings. Does that make me a bad fit for your company? Well then, I guess you're glad I don't work there. I know I am!
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by slamb ( 119285 ) *

              The point of an interview is to figure out how well the person will fit and how well they'll do the job. Clever hacks and workarounds are nice, but only when they are more efficient and effective than something not as clever would be. It seems like a lot of geek types forget that - it isn't about showing off.

              Half of that is the interviewer's fault, for not setting expectations. Sometimes you want to see how they'd solve something in the real-world way, and sometimes you want to see how smart/resourceful t

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Dan Berlin ( 682091 )
          You sound awfully bitter.
          Maybe they just didn't think your personality would fit in?
          Honestly, I don't either.

          A lot of questions are asked to see if you can answer them without taking them personally (IE 'why didn't you go to a better school'), as people who take things personally tend not to be good at things like, say, having their code reviewed by a lot of people.

          You also seem pretty impressed with yourself and your resume. A lot of Googler's have done great things to, they just don't talk about them as
        • I feel your pain. While I might not have invented the internets or whatever, I have a similar story.

          Early this year I was finishing up my degree and looking for a graduate job. Since I was specialising in Information Retrieval, I was especially interested in getting my foot in the door at google and then hopefully one day getting to work on something relating to my degree.

          I applied for any IT related job I could find on their site. Eventually I got a reply and they made me fill out some worksheet. I was a l
        • by q-the-impaler ( 708563 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @10:02AM (#16545920)
          My old company, a DoD contractor, regularly hires kids straight out of school using the carrot-and-stick payscale: they give you a job and lots of promotions, so you always feel like you are moving forward even though you are consistently 10K underpaid. After about 5 years they taper off your yearly pay increase and you plateau, again, 10K under the competition. So you either move on or accept the fact that you make pretty good money (compared to your bartending friends) at a fairly cushy job in a really good environment.

          So how does this relate to you? I think you are over qualified and expensive and Google is looking for young engineers who aren't old dogs with their own bag of tricks. While that might not be smart from your point of view, it seems to be their hiring model, as it is with many companies. You're best off forging your own path, creating your own companies, and recruiting those Google guys when they become old and tired themselves.

          Now I am a contractor making 6 figures and will quickly recoup that $60K I lost working at an underpaying company, which, by the way, greatly built my resume.
        • by Alascom ( 95042 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @11:07AM (#16546718)
          The only descriminating Googles does is in looking for SMART people. Is it really a surprise that smart people get into top schools , schools that have the most rigorous entry and graduacation requirements.

          I graduated from a tiny little religous college in Texas that few have probably ever heard of... My degree was not even in Computer science, it was Business administration. Yet, according to my recruiter I received very high scores going through the hiring process and received a great job offer. I have been at Google for longer than 2 years now.

          Google demands smart people. The will hire them wherever they can find them, regardless of school or location around the world.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          No one's mentioned the fact that elite school tuiton/prep/etc. is a huge con game. I'm not saying those schools don't have top programs and/or top students, but I don't believe they are an order of magnitude (or more) better than cheaper state schools. Also parents spend a ton of money buying their kids' way into top schools via test prep (I used to teach those classes) and so forth. I went to UNC-Chapel Hill even though I got accepted to Duke. After sitting in classes at both, as a 17-year-old it was o
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by dptalia ( 804960 )

          They hired someone that wasn't qualified and has no experience but had a degree from Stanford.

          I worked at a company with a VP of engineering enamored with degrees from "top" institutions. We ended up hiring this girl with no experience, but a Masters from Stanford. NONE of the engineering managers wanted to hire her, but my boss was ordered to make her an offer (the first manager said he'd quit first).

          In the 90 days before we let her go, she spend two weeks learning how to find and edit files; asked m

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )
      If you want someone who can - and has dmeonstrated - an ability to put their nose to the grindstone and do research, you hire someone who's demonstrated an exemplarary ability in doing so, consistently.

      If you want someone who can take directions, work in adverse conditions, do with little pay, and improvise with what's available, hire someone from the military.

      You get what you pay ofr, more often than not. An expensive school is basically a training pedigree; I'm not going to hire someone for a job paying (
      • by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) <robert@c[ ] ['hro' in gap]> on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:12AM (#16544834)
        You get what you pay ofr, more often than not. An expensive school is basically a training pedigree

        No, you don't. In Australia the last decade or so, there has been a HUGE backlash against private (high) schools and universities. Why? Because to protect their reputation, and be able to justify raising their fees, they spoonfeed the kids.

        Did you know that after first semester in Australian universities, nearly /eighty/ per cent of dropouts are from private schools, when the kids find out that they're expected to study and research for themselves, and that study and research required as a result of lectures does not mean "go to TA / tutor and ask him the answers to the questions".

        Likewise, some of the private universities are risking their reputation by becoming in danger of being degree factories. Several investigations show that "international" and "full fee paying" students have passed and been graduated with lower results than other students who have been failed.

    • by johansalk ( 818687 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:24AM (#16544512)
      Actually, the real lesson here is indeed the same old and busted but it isn't quite exactly what you're saying. The lesson isn't "study hard at school kids" but start your own successful business so that even if you hadn't finished your postgrad degree you can still get all bossy and choosey in your cow costume over those who did.
    • by neersign ( 956437 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:27AM (#16544968)
      Sergey Brin is a University of Maryland graduate. You'd think he might be able to realize that there is more to a person than where they got their degree, but I guess they have classes to correct that at Stanford.
    • From TFA: "[Google] has traditionally focused a lot on candidates' academic performance and favored those who went to elite schools" Nice to know that the new hotness is still the same old and busted.

      Stanford and Berkeley are in their back yard, and the founders are Stanford grads. Personally, I think it sounds like a reasonable idea. I disagree with it, but it seems reasonable enough.

      No, I'm not an "elite school" grad. I have a B.S.E.E. from the University of Arkansas.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:36AM (#16544270)
    Here's [] a good summary of his technique:
    Rickover's technique for interviewing prospective commanding officers was brutal. Along with the expected detailed examination of your qualifications he had you sit in a chair that had the front legs sawed off just enough to make you slide forward and remain very uncomfortable during the interview. On one occasion he had one of his young secretaries take off her shoes, stand in front of a line of prospective commanding officers and sing "My hero" to them while she stood there in her bare feet. He felt this exercise would humble them a little. I'm sure it did, but did they really need humbling? President Jimmy Carter once wrote about his interview with Rickover when he was still a young junior officer. Rickover asked him about his class standing when he graduated from the Naval Academy. Carter told the Admiral that he had graduated fifty ninth out of one hundred and twenty graduates in 1946. Rickover then asked him why he had not graduated number one. Carter thought about it for a little while and replied that he supposed he had just not tried hard enough.

    Rickover asked. "Why not?"

    Carter was speechless.
    Rickover also interviewed every nuclear officer that would operate a nuclear reactor. There were many legends in the Navy nuclear community of junior officers being locked in broom closets and other types of harrassment. The Google founders can only blush with envy over what Rickover got away with.
    • by astonishedelf ( 845821 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:05AM (#16544404)
      Rickover sounds like a complete asshole. I seriously doubt if any of the bullshit he pulled during recruitment interviews ever enabled him to recruit smarter or better personnel. There's no indication that any of his strategies were crucial to winning any war the Americans were in. He sounds like a fratboy who never grew up...

      I may be wrong but in all my readings about great commanders, none of the articles featured front chair legs being sawn off.

      What a dick.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Rickover sounds like a complete asshole. I seriously doubt if any of the bullshit he pulled during recruitment interviews ever enabled him to recruit smarter or better personnel. There's no indication that any of his strategies were crucial to winning any war the Americans were in. He sounds like a fratboy who never grew up...

        Uhh.. How about the Cold War? His accomplishments are difficult to argue with; the guy pretty much by himself twisted the Navy's arm into building a nuclear submarine, and got it don

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Actually, you can argue with the results... Ask yourself this... did Rickovers' recruitment process enable him to employ significantly higher quality candidates for the nuclear programme? If they did, then I concede that I was wrong. Would someone else running the programme have failed? What was so special about Rickover that only he could have succeeded? I don't remember reading about Chester Nimitz pulling any of this shit. Did he fail? What about Arleigh Burke? What about George Marshall? I did not
          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:54AM (#16544696)
            I was not an officer, just an enlisted Nuke, so I never interviewed with Rickover. But the first place they toss a JO on a sub is back in maneuvering with the nukes since we could pretty much run ourselves, so I have heard these stories before. All I wanted to add to the discussion was that it was overt policy for the Navy to do pretty much everything it could to make you crack before they put you out in a real boat with a real reactor. Like it or not, I imagine Rickover's antics were guided by that principle rather than frat-boyish egomania.

            But if you want to hear "whacky".... he drank a glass of primary coolant in front of Congress to make a point about nuclear power not being as dangerous as the uninformed might think.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by TapeCutter ( 624760 )
              A common technique used on prospective cops is designed to see how well the candidate handles argumentative behaviour and/or unreasonable demands from the inteviewer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        >Rickover sounds like a complete asshole. I seriously doubt if any of the bullshit
        >he pulled during recruitment interviews ever enabled him to recruit smarter or
        >better personnel.

        Well, you're wrong. I experienced the program he created (long after he personally was not there), and it worked.

        He created the Navy's nuclear program basically from scratch. He decided it had to be done *right* - we couldn't just have all this egalitarian time serving mediocrity form and run the thing. A *combination*
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by King_TJ ( 85913 )
      It's too bad Carter didn't answer back with "With all due respect, sir, may I ask what your class standing was?" I'm assuming Rickover didn't graduate 1st. in his graduating class, did he? And if he did, well ... what can you really say to that? It's pretty clear he just thinks too much of himself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:39AM (#16544282)
    "You're just the person we've been Googling for."
  • by Travoltus ( 110240 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:41AM (#16544298) Journal
    before getting a job in the tech industry, you should consider learning Chinese and Hindi first.

    Either you'll be learning it to get in, or you'll be learning it to speak to your future boss.

    Have a nice day. :)
    • by aymanh ( 892834 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:49AM (#16544332) Journal
      Not at Google, there you can simply use a real-time computer-based translator [] to communicate efficiently ;)
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:09AM (#16544806) Homepage
      All sillyness aside, I have seen several under-qualified people snag a IT job from a "qualified" guy simply because he was bi-lingual.

      right now corperations are panicking that the increasing number of spanish speaking only customers is exploding.

      So they are putting everyone to the top of the pile that can speak spanish or other languages.

      Personally hiring based on education is a stupid thing to do, hire based on experience and capabilities and then education if they are not experienced enough. A guy with 20 years of IT behind him is far better than some kid with a masters in EE and CS to run the IT department.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Even then, the experience sometimes doesn't tell you the whole story. At a previous job, my employer hired a programmer with a master's in CS and time at Microsoft on his resume to write device drivers. A problem that I quickly ran into was that the guy couldn't read a schematic to save his life, which meant that I (who had been writing the drivers up till then, along with juggling a hundred other things) had to take time from *my* job to write up functional specs just so he could do his thing. Coupled w
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TapeCutter ( 624760 )
          "had to take time from *my* job to write up functional specs just so he could do his thing"

          Newsflash: it's not your job, it's someone elses job you are being payed to do. A functional spec means that others can understand and use your stuff if you get hit by the proverbial truck. And what is so fucking hard about writing down the instruction set, ports, adresses and so on, a little effort on your part and ANY programmer can write software for your christmas lights or whatever the hell your plugging into
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            A functional spec means that others can understand and use your stuff if you get hit by the proverbial truck.

            Thanks for telling me what I've already known for 20 years. You jumped to an incorrect conclusion - I'm *not* the person that designed the hardware, I'm not an electrical engineer, and I wasn't a project manager. I'm a software engineer just like this other guy was, but unlike the guy with the impeccable pedigree, I had a good understanding of how computers actually work. I fail to see why he
  • Innnnteresting... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tygerstripes ( 832644 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:43AM (#16544314)
    The company continues to seek overqualified employees who can be promoted quickly.
    This is almost exactly the opposite to what I've seen & experienced in almost every other place - especially the public sector. This is the sign of a company that expects to succeed and grow, as they want employees with a similar attitude. In the public sector or stagnant businesses, the opposite is true. If you're over-qualified, they don't want you as you won't be satisfied just doing the job for which you're hired.

    I worked in HR for a while, and the boss there - someone I regard highly - had a saying: "Problems aren't encountered, they're recruited". By that token, the converse is also true. If you actively seek people who expect to do better things (not just want to), they probably will, and so will your company.

    Word to the wise.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:53AM (#16544356)
      There's a simple reason why people don't hire ambitious people: Ambitious people want to rise in the ranks and that would force YOU to work harder, or that new guy will saw off your chair's legs while you're not watching.

      That sedate vegetable who's too lazy to tie his own shoelace if you don't make him, on the other hand,...
  • Yup, it's TOUGH. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:53AM (#16544360) Homepage Journal
    Three of us, in a small company, interviewed for different jobs at Google. My boss shot for a system manager job, a co-worker tried to get in as a systems engineer and I tried a lowly tech position (hey, I was deliberately aiming low).

    The results? Zero persons hired. And we are all card-carrying, Linux-using, OpenBSD-loving, certified nerds. Heck, just check my Journal if you don't believe me (Last entry: "How to compile gcc-4.1.1 on Solaris 8").

    • My co-worker went through two (2) phone interviews before being dumped by Google.
    • I went through four (4) phone interviews (about 45 minutes to one hour each) -- without too many problems, I might add -- before finding a true system administrator job and saying 'no' to Google. All of my interviews went great, but I figured the aggravation and time lost were not worth it. Besides, it was quite obvious that the whole process was going to last a loooong time, and I have a family to feed (meaning: I could not afford to wait for Google to decide).
    • My boss went through something like 8+ phone interviews, plus one day-long in-person interview in one of Google's European Office. That day-long (from 9:00am to 4:00pm) interview included one interview by video-phone with a manager in the USA. Said my boss after the whole day: "Most difficult thing I have ever done in my life". Then he was dumped by Google.

    (All the names have been changed to protect the guilty, of course) :-)

    The moral of the story: it's tough kids. It's even worse than that. It's double-extra tough, with a heaping plate of steaming geekiness on the side. Is it worth it? Hey, don't ask me, I don't know. What I know is that we all now have great jobs, that are well paid, and did not take all this insanity to get. But these jobs are not 'cool' Google jobs, of course. YMMV.

    Ask me again in a couple of years, when I try to get another job at the Googleplex...
    • Re:Yup, it's TOUGH. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:13AM (#16544432)
      I'm going to post this anonymously because of the two NDAs I've signed.

      My experience was the exact opposite. Google saw my blog, phoned me, and asked if I'd be interested in working for them. They did two phone interviews which were utterly trivial, just chatting about programming. They flew me out to California, and the five in-person interview were almost equally trivial. One of them was "forget this, want to get lunch?". The result was unanimous in my favour, and I was hired with six figures a week later. I got the impression that they had already made up their minds, and were just going through the motions of the interview.

      The process really unnerved me. I'm a good programmer, but frankly I'm not THAT good. Heck, I don't even have a university degree.
    • Crazy... I mean seriously, I just have to personally have a few beers, and perhaps 2 hrs chat to someone and I know
      if they can hack it.

      NOTE to google, if you have to go through 8 phone interviews, 5 personal interviews, then either your so bi-polar and anal, or so innefficient, that you
      daily work practice is just as slow you never get anything done - 12 meetings to decide one icon perhaps?. Work fast, work elite, like 80s hackers did. Document later
      or get a cheap secretary to dictate the docs.

      2. I bet the g
      • They can spell words like tough, hours, inefficient and probably more I don't care to look for.

        And I highly doubt they'd keep around someone who tried to get a secretary to document code.
    • Re:Yup, it's TOUGH. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ip_fired ( 730445 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:52AM (#16544680) Homepage
      I went through a similar experience. 4 phone interviews and 5 interviews in person. Then, they took 2 weeks to tell me that they weren't interested, and then a month after I had taken a job in Chicago, they contacted me again and asked me if I wanted to go through the whole process all over again. I said "No thank you!". All of the interviews went fine save one, a cranky guy who swore a lot and asked me questions not even remotely related to the job that I was applying for. Oh well. It would have been fun to work for them out of college, but I'm happy here working for a large financial institution, it's challenging, and I have good co-workers and a good boss. Can't really ask for more after the real loser jobs I've had before.
    • Re:Yup, it's TOUGH. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stephend ( 1735 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:20AM (#16544894) Homepage
      I interviewed for a technical consultant role here in the UK. I got through two phone interviews before being rejected. My second interviewer had, apparently, had fourteen interviews before being hired. That's just an absurd number. How much holiday and sick leave can you take at short notice without arousing suspicion?! (They were both long enough or required Internet access that I couldn't do them at work.)

      By the end of the second I was in two minds whether to take things any further anyway. I wanted to work for Google, but could I go through fourteen interviews? I was concerned about the money, as no number was on the job spec and big names often offer low and offer options to compensate. I can't pay my mortgage with stock options!

      And, most significantly, was the style of interview. They asked brain-teasers, which I tend to think is a lousy way to scope out a candidate. Either you know the trick and can do it instantly, you get lucky or you need a hint. None of these really shows how smart you are, how well you can program a computer, interact with clients or, indeed, any other aspect of the job. The interviewer was also clearly working in the background while I was trying to answer the questions, only half listening, which was just plain rude.

      Most communications were friendly and personal, right up to the last. The rejection email started, impersonally, "dear candidate."

      So overall I'm not terribly impressed with Google recruitment. Okay, maybe I'm biased against them as they turned me down but as an interviewer I've always considered part of my job as leaving a positive impression of the company even with candidates that are not going to be hired. Google failed in this.
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:12AM (#16544430) Homepage Journal
    When you delegate hiring to these, you completely f*ck up the future of any company.

    These people, without knowing any little shit about really what a particular position would require psychologically and technically from an applicant, mess up whole system by putting forth absurd and utterly stupid "psychological evaluation" crapola in front of the candidates. Check this one out :

    "You have come back late from work, and suddenly phone rings, and a group of 10 of your friends announce that they are coming to your place for dinner. You check around the cupboards, and find out that there is only one sack of flour and some pepper. What do you do ?"

    Stupid bitch (in this case), i pick up the phone and tell the fucking friends to buzz off, of course. Moreover you are so stupid that you are totally incapable of realizing such above shit have the pitiful possibility of happening anywhere in this worldly civilization as :

    1 - when you come home from work at 23.00 at night, noone rings and says they are coming to dinner

    2 - only in military, and only high level officers can gather up a 10 people strong group at 23.00 in the night instantly.

    3 - People after college do not tend to still live in and get around in herds.

    4 - EVEN if somehow with great glory of existence such a crapola has happened, the most spectacular thing that anyone can do with a sack of flour, some amount of peppers and tap water is adding some water to flour and pepper, and showing the resulting mixture up his incoming friends' asses.

    Furthermore, stupid bitch (in this case), you are SO stupid, SO overly away from realities is that the LEAST thing you would require in a production line supervisor mechanical engineer is extravertness, talkativeness, and high social activity. You are going to put him in front of a 15 m production line that never stops, constantly takes in raw materials and purports out intermediate parts. if you put someone with social wants or aptidude to such a position, chances are high that in 1.5 years time he will show up at work with a shotgun at hand and blow off 5-10 of his colleagues, probably including your bitchy (in this case) ass.

    • by Xugumad ( 39311 )
      Anyone know what they're looking for in an answer, 'cos I'm curious now? Best I can think of would be texting my friends to tell them to bring an ingredient each (possibly specifying ingredients, possibly not), and gamble that I can do something with what turns up.

      You're right though, I'd have told my friends I just got back from work, and am going to bed, and to get back to me in the morning if they want to meet up.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      the correct answer.... Order Pizza.

      that question is actually a crisis management response question. The want to know what you will do in an emergency.

      Unfortunately, that usually means that your department will be horribly underfunded and you had better get used to ordering pizza all the time instead of buying the right things and having the proper amount of time to get it done right.

      Too many places run on the "oh crap, how cheap and fast can we do this?" attitude and that is why they all have horribly cra
    • by garyok ( 218493 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:20AM (#16544902)
      Or you could order in pizza. It's not rocket science - they're just looking for some tiny inkling of intellectual flexibility. Haven't got sufficient resources for the rush job in-house? Then outsource the development...
    • by hyfe ( 641811 )
      if you put someone with social wants or aptidude to such a position, chances are high that in 1.5 years time he will show up at work with a shotgun at hand and blow off 5-10 of his colleagues, probably including your bitchy (in this case) ass.
      I wish more people would start killing of HR-personell. That breed of people really does need a little bit of thinning.

      I mean, if you're going down anyways, why not do humankind a favour in the process?

      • Damn Right (Score:5, Funny)

        by CmdrGravy ( 645153 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:40AM (#16545692) Homepage
        I have never yet got a job when any member of HR has been in on the interview a fact which I ascribe to my obvious burning hatred of them and their pointless questions.

        In a recent interview whilst the actual hirer and I were discussing their database set up the HR muppet interjected

        "What does 'diversity' mean to you ?"
        "Er, how do you mean" I asked, "In what context ?"
        "D . . I . . V . . E . . R . . S . . I . . T . . Y ? What does it mean, to . . . . . . YOU ?"
        "Well it means a wide range of, er, things - different things. A diverse selection of, whatever"
        "Yes ?"
        "Diversity, whatdoesitmean, to YOU ?"
        "I often make use of a diverse range of techniques in order evalutate them all and select the most appropriate technique for the task I was focusing on."
        "Yes but in an office context, come on - in the office ?"
        "Offices with a diverse range of facilities are often quite nice, I've worked in a few and enjoyed it..."
        ( frowning HR Muppet ) "...but how about co-workers in an office environment ?"
        "I think it's a good idea to have a wide range of diverse talents and abilities within a particular team in order to maximise the chances of fitting a specific skillset with a particular challenge. In addition an aggressive policy of experience pooling can enable team members to improve their own knowledge in return for sharing their specialist knowledge with the group at large."
        "Yeeeessssss, but what other kinds of diversity do you think are important in an office environment ?"
        "I don't know. What other kinds ?"

        I didn't get that job.
    • by Rix ( 54095 )
      Answer: I use my favourite cooking utensil; the telephone.
    • by CmdrGravy ( 645153 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @10:32AM (#16546280) Homepage
      Phone your friends and arrange for them to come around in order of size starting with the largest first.

      Slaughter the first 3 as they step through the door and fry them up with peppers to provide a magnificent feast for the others. After you've eaten they can help you clean up the apartment and learn a salutory lesson about what happens to people who demand they come around to your house and eat your food without being invited.
    • I would berate my parents for their being no food in the fridge and send them out to get a chinese or something.


      Of course there is no food in the fridge. There is no food in the fridge because I have guessed all my friends would once again be arriving unannounced ( the jokers ) and have already taken all the food out of the fridge and cooked a delicious 3 course meal for 10. So Mr Interviewer, hah what do you say to that then eh !


      My friends are all supermodels, when they say "Coming around to eat" what
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:26AM (#16544524)
    I applied for a Software Engineering position at Google in Sydney being an Australian Resident a while ago. While I wasn't successful (it was a long shot, so I wasn't too concerned), I was utterly amazed at how incompetent their HR department at Mountain View was.

    The story is as below:

    1) So I get the 'thank you for your interest we really want to talk to you blah blah' email from one of the people in HR, requesting a phone interview from the US to my mobile (note: I live in AU), so I give them my full, prefixed international mobile number: +614XXXXXXXX, and we arrange a time. I was to be interviewed by their head honcho of Open Source Chris DiBona.

    So, I wait patiently for a call a few days later, the phone never rings.

    Turns our they couldn't get the number right, or at least, didn't know how to call an Australian international mobile number.

    They said they left messages on my phone, but I don't have voicemail on, the mobile phone isn't an answering machine, and it's on and in full coverage all the time...

    I only find this out later that day when I emailed them requesting what happened...

    2) So, we re-organised the interview (over email with their HR people), again with Chris DiBona.

    There's a mess up again, and nobody calls. Again, I waited patiently with the phone, awaiting for the call, nothing happened.

    3) So, we reschedule the interview AGAIN (this time, not with Chris, but another person high up the chain who will remain unnamed). They forget to call.

    4) So, it's a week and a bit later, as due to the time difference, the turn-around on sorting out these stuffups takes about 2.5 days each time.

    I re-schedule again, but I don't pause my life for it anymore (decided to go to work anyway). Guess what, he forgets to call, and the HR girl who tries to contact me, forgot to press the '+' in '+61' to call my international phone number, so she couldn't get to me.

    5) It's almost two weeks later now, and we re-schedule again, with a lady. I finally get a call in the morning.

    40 minutes of questions on B+ trees and Index tables, and I'm done.

    6) I get an email a week after that saying 'thank you for your interest blah blah, but you don't fit the profile for' - This being for a different job to that of what I actually applied for. :-)

    So, understandably, by the end of this all, I really didn't give a shit if I didn't get the job, well, at least the job I applied for.

    My skill set is great, my academic record 'alright', but to be honest, if a company can't pull its shit together like that, then I'm really not that interested in working for them, regardless of the inherit 'coolness' factor.

    In any case, I'm doing better now that I envisage I would be if I were simply a Software Engineer at Google in any case, but that's how things in life pan out don't they ;-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CrazyTalk ( 662055 )
      Maybe YOU could have called THEM the first time you didn't receive your call? Would have saved everyone a lot of grief....
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:04AM (#16544776)
      I had a similar experience. I received this email from a hr person speaking on behalf of Google telling me she was interested in discussing job opportunities with me. I have my CV on a website (with a note that I'm quite happy in my current job) so that's how she found me. Normally I politely decline such offers. Anyway this was Google so I decided to hear her out. It turned out she didn't actually read my CV and also did not have anything concrete to offer (i.e. something matching my CV). What she offered was this very long, open ended process of phone interviews and maybe, just maybe, I'd get hired.

      Eh, no thanks I'm not that desperate, thank you very much. Hint: if you want to recruit me consider that A) I have a nice job B) You practically need to beg me to work for you rather than the other way around.

      If Google wants to get the best they need to treat people a little differently. Coming in with this arrogant attitude practically guarantees that they offend people like me long before a concrete job offer is on the table. Putting dump HR processes in front of me is pretty much guaranteed to piss me off in minutes. Don't waste my time with that!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Brickwall ( 985910 )
      re-schedule again, but I don't pause my life for it anymore (decided to go to work anyway). Guess what, he forgets to call, and the HR girl who tries to contact me, forgot to press the '+' in '+61' to call my international phone number, so she couldn't get to me.

      I've worked in telecommunications for over twenty years, and I have yet to see a phone in North America with a "+" button on it. With all due respect, WTF are you talking about?

    • by chrisd ( 1457 ) * <> on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:11PM (#16551020) Homepage

      Yep, I know which one this was. I apologize for the mixup. I did route you to someone else after that because I was heading out of town and honestly I thought I wasn't the right person to interview you.


  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:28AM (#16544534) Homepage Journal
    Good to know. Thanks. Saves me the effort of wasting my time talking to some snotnosed hotshot who imagines that imagining he's real smart is the same thing as actually having done it. The upside of this is of course that with a continually increasing stock price you can entice young people to work in a place with an aura of becoming something magical in the future. The downside is that when the stock price flattens out, the idea of being interviewed in a cow costume, especially when you just graduated Stanford with a 4.0 won't seem that interesting. And coupled with the fact that your employee base has no depth it will mean retention falls through the floor.

    Good job Google. Good to know that we greybeards are at least as disposable to you as your Indian help desk.

    And if you are from Google please ignore this posting as I have nothing to offer someone as young and brash as you are.
  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:43AM (#16544624) Journal
    How many can expect to get hired by Google? A very tiny miniscule microscopic fraction of CS and IT graduates... that's about all. For the rest of us, this is non-news.

    And again, it's not like Google's methods and philosophies can be adopted by other firms. Totally useless article, waste of time, IMO.
  • by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:08AM (#16544804) Homepage
    In the mid-1990s, Microsoft had a problem: They just weren't cool enough any more. For the past decade, Microsoft's hiring strategy had worked on a very simple model: "Everybody wants to work here, so we just have to decide which people we want." When Microsoft stopped being cool, they suddenly had to work a lot harder, and in a completely different way, to attract the employees they needed. In a mature company, the hiring process works both ways; the applicant tries to convince the employer to hire them, and the employer tries to convince the applicant that they would like to have the job. Just like Microsoft ten years ago, Google is in the middle of shifting from "the cool place where everybody wants to work" to being one of many options to be judged each on their individual merits.

    When I visited Google in August, I spent the entire day inside a 10'x10' room answering questions. When I asked questions of my interviewers, the response was always either "I don't know anything about that, you should ask someone else", or "I'd love to talk about that, but I've got a time limit and lots of questions I need you to answer". I don't blame my interviewers for this; they did the best they could. I blame HR for setting up the process the way they did. In the end, Google was absolutely certain that they wanted to hire me, but they hadn't done anything to convince me that I wanted the job they were offering. None of my interviewers took me to their corner of the building and showed me what it was like to work at Google; none of my interviewers talked about the interesting problems they had worked on recently; in fact, none of them told me even remotely as much about Google as I had learned in 15 minutes of looking at the Google jobs website.

    Was the hiring process unusually bungled in my case? Probably -- Google HR had trouble figuring out what I do (which is a separate issue for Google to fix. Note to recruiters: If you can't understand something on someone's CV, ask someone with a technical background to explain it to you. The question "do you have a Master's degree?" should never be asked of someone who has a doctorate). But even if they had decided what job I was being considered for before starting to interview me, I doubt it would have made any difference.

    If you want to hire good people, be prepared to spend at least as much time showing them why they should accept your offer as you do deciding if you want to make them an offer. "We're cool" may be enough to convince some people; but the smarter people are, the less likely they are to drink Kool-Aid.
    • > Google was absolutely certain that they wanted to hire me,
      > but they hadn't done anything to convince me that I
      > wanted the job they were offering.

      They probably have some kind of "WTF, who the hell *doesn't* want to work here - even Bill Gates would want to work here"-attitude.

      I've never applied to Google, but the way various online-sources describe it, they'd like to keep everything confidential.
      Might be one reason why you weren't shown around - Google seems to like to cultivate this aura of sec
    • by Panaflex ( 13191 ) <convivialdingo AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday October 23, 2006 @10:45AM (#16546434)
      Well, I'll be honest - I've stopped wanting to work at Google the day I heard their hiring practice.

      I don't need to give people my life story, 2 litres of blood, play puzzle pirates for 8 hours, and then good cop/bad cop. My experience speaks for itself - if you and I have the same hopes and strive for success and honesty - then we can probably work together.

      Google really worries me - hiring smart people doesn't mean diddly. I know hundreds of smart people. Phd's, MA's, CIO's, CEO's. They're just like regular people, only smarter - which is to say there are hard workers, slackers, the ambitious, and the bums too. Some are ethical and honest, some aren't. Actual genius smart people tend to have more problems than others, in my limited experience anyway.

      In other words - hiring smart people just because they're smart is no better than hiring from the general population in terms of success - what drives success isn't smartness but what employees are motivated (through various means, both personally and as a group) to accomplish. I'm not saying motivation alone drives people - only those that can be motivated.

      I've actually taken hiring classes - from the former Director of HR at Southwest Air. They studied the problem for a decade. They tracked thousands of employees histories and finally came to a very simple solution.

      There are people that just want a job, and there are people that want to suceed. For most jobs, skills are secondary and can be learned or classes taken for those that have the aptitude.

      What matters most is "Hire success-driven people and you get a successful company."
  • "Overqualified?" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:16AM (#16544866)
    "The company continues to seek overqualified employees who can be promoted quickly"

    Remember, boys and girls: "overqualified" is simply HR's way of saying "can be underpaid."
  • by Hangtime ( 19526 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:23AM (#16544926) Homepage
    Today Google is arguably the number one place to work for in the US. You can put someone through 5 or 6 phone interviews today and ask three months later for a "2nd round" after having an onsite because there is little demand and endless supply. It becomes almost a badge for those who are there. Those around ask why it only took this person 9 interviews to get the job when it took you 11. Trust me on this I worked for the number one company for talent, it happens.

    However, this position in the marketplace to shall pass and the bad habits of today will linger. There talking about now "standardizing" the interview process. What a novel concept. It only took this company five years to figure that one out. We did that in an afternoon in my own team at my former employer. I can't think why having 5000 engineers asking all different questions might not be a good thing.

    Apparently nobody at Google has ever looked for a job before also from the TFA, taking two months to get back to someone after an "onsite" and to ask them for a "2nd round" interview. If I haven't heard from someone in two weeks after coming to there office, I am moving on at that point.

    Finally, why are the co-founders still approving people to hire? Yes, I understand that the culture and the people you hire are important aspects of the firm. But were not talking about the first 100 employees anymore, were talking about employee 6,000 to 7,000. All this does is frustrate people inside the firm and job seekers.

    This stupidity will cost and its going to cost Google shareholders about $1 billion. This is a small field and the number of talented people that Google is looking for are few. Someone is going to go through this process, get pissed off, and pull a YouTube, which Google will purchase. At that point, you will be able to put an actual value to how idiotic this process really is.

    Disclaimer: No I have never interviewed with Google, nor do I plan to, but had many friends go through the process.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by David Off ( 101038 )
      > Today Google is arguably the number one place to work for in the US.

      I thought that was working as ahem "an actor" for Playboy Productions? I've always fancied a job in penetration testing?
  • by Panaqqa ( 927615 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:25AM (#16544946) Homepage
    How interesting. Much of the experience other /. posters have had with Google's HR are very similar to what I was put through when I interviewed with IBM in the mid '80s. And the opening (I hesitate to use the term "opportunity") at IBM wasn't even permanent: it was a 6 month contract.

    First, it took 3 attempts to connect for a phone interview, and there was a significant degree of consternation at IBM that I would not permit such a call during the day (while I was working at a client's office). Then followed in person interviews at their Canadian head office, during which it became obvious in a hurry that they had not read my resume or confused it with another (my degree is NOT in Engineering from U of T, and I have NEVER worked as a mainframe systems programmer). Five different people, 4 hours. The only part that was really interesting was the lunch in the IBM cafeteria, where I quickly grew to understand where the "Big" in "Big Blue" came from.

    Another phone interview followed, and then, despite two follow up letters from me, I heard nothing, so I just assumed that they were not interested and did not have the courtesy to contact me to tell me so. Fine. I took another contract I was interviewing for, and forgot about them.

    Four months later, I got a phone call from IBM asking me when I can start. Huh? You think I'm going to wait around for 4 months while you decide? What planet did you say you were from?

    What I took away from that experience was this: when HR and the company hiring process gets seriously confused and out of control, the company suffers big time. IBM had to take a major kick in the pants before they smartened up. Until they did, they were heading for irrelevance very quickly. I'm guessing that Google might have to go through the same thing. Not for a while, because they have a strong core and strong growth. But sooner or later it will happen. Every week that passes by, they take one more step away from upstart towards mature. And in IT, mature = complacent = stagnant = doomed.

  • by David Off ( 101038 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:30AM (#16545002) Homepage
    How about a piece about people who turned Google down? Google were desperate to hire the writer of SquashFS onto their team of geeks, offering him all sorts of incentives to scrabble aboard (this was pre-IPO too). He turned them down because he didn't feel he would be free enough to continue development of SquashFS.

    Kudos to the geek who puts OSS before a cushy job at Google and untold wealth in stock options.
  • by Piroca ( 900659 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:44PM (#16548074)

    Recently I was interviewing for a SRE position at Google and everything was going allright, until an interviewer asked me how to implement a singleton in Java. Then I explained the standard pattern using a static initializer and told him the so-called "double check" pattern a lot of developers use doesn't work in Java (this is well documented here []). Since the interviewer didn't have a clue about that problem, he spent some 15 minutes fighting my point, and in the end of the interview he even said the correct way of implementing it is to use a double check, although I have explained him 10 times the Java memory model makes that construct break. I even told him to search for "java singleton problem" in Google to understand what I told him, but maybe this was a bad idea, he seemed to be already in a bad mood in the beggining of the interview, this made him even more poignant. Guess what? They sent me the "raw dismiss letter" after that interview...

    Then here goes my advice for you if you're going to apply for google: pray for luck! If you get a *single* dumb interviewer in your way, you'll be out. It's not a fair process, they don't care about giving feedback for you promptly (expect at least 1 week to have feedback after any iteration with them), and sometimes the interviewers don't know exactly what they are talking about. Be warned.

  • by mwyner ( 65962 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:45PM (#16548092)
    I've had a similar experience to what many posted here. I had a phone interview with a fairly qualified technical manager who wanted me to debug Javascript over the phone from a website she had given me. Ok, no problem. Then she starts asking me about technologies and languages that 1) aren't on my resume at all, and 2) have nothing to do with the job I'm applying for. After stating these facts many times, she came back with "oh we're looking to hire you for a different job, not that one." Uh....considering I had none of the qualifications of what she was actually talking to me about and all of the qualifications of the job which I had initially applied for, I cut the conversation short. Then a few months later my husband got an email from a Google recruiter (we were able to verify the email address, name, and the fact that it really was sent from a Google Recruiter) that basically said: "John, we're hiring. You interested?" The response he sent back was: "Dave, no".
  • by retiarius ( 72746 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:55PM (#16548246)
    There is irony in Google's admission that it needs the very type
    of personnel for whom they have been alleged to treat shabbily,
    such as Brian Reid, whose age discrimination case is on appeal: []

    As part of the suggested settlement for the Reid v. Google suit,
    Google was admonished to bring about a drastic overhaul
    of hiring practices biased toward creating disparate impact.

    Reid's eye-opening comments are in the public Santa Clara
    County case documents, as well as in John Battelle's "The Search".
    (At Amazon, one would do well to "search inside the book"
    [using A9 technology, not Google's!] to land on pages
    223 and 233 or thereabouts.)
  • google sux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:10PM (#16548436)
    Brin = University of Maryland graduate
    Page = University of Michigan graduate

    These fools working at Google need to learn a thing or two about probability. The Intelligence distribution relative to the mean (measured by I.Q.) at Ivy League schools is nearly identical to that of state schools. Key phrase: relative to the mean. The only difference between the population in an Ivy and the population of (insert state school) is that the ivy's population has a higher average intelligence. What does this mean? There is a huge population of very bright individuals within the state university population that are just as smart or smarter than the average ivy leaguer. Brin and Page are an obvious example of this!

    Why do Brin and Page play it up as if they're hot-shot Stanford grads? Do they not remember their roots in STATE UNIVERSITY? I've interviewed there myself and let me tell you: there is a subset of people working at Google that graduated from top schools and think they're the smartest and that nobody from a lesser school is worthy of working with them. If you interview with one of these people be very careful and be on your best.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 500HP ( 1009671 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:23PM (#16548644)
    The real question is, if I went to Wharton, Kellog, HU, SU, Yale, etc....why would I want to work at Google? If I went to MIT I would want to compete against Google. They should focus on getting the best employee they can, while they can, regardless of education. Google is at it's peak right now. The employees should enjoy it. Eventually, they are going to enter the Consumer Support game and they will also have to start selling into Corporations and then Small/medium sized businesses. When that happens they are going to be hiring from ITT and every other vocational school there is. Companies like MSFT, IBM, ACN, HP et al are getting the large numbers of "above the mean" kids. They might not be getting the top 1% but they don't need to. History repeats itself and Google will make the same mistake of arrogance these other companies have made.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @02:25PM (#16549554)
    3 things are certain in life: death, taxes, and me not getting hired at Google.

  • by PhotoGuy ( 189467 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @02:54PM (#16549894) Homepage
    I interviewed for a fairly senior management/tech job. Passed the first three technical interviews with flying colours, but after the fourth, got a f-you-very-much letter. The last one was on management practices, and I was much up front about realizing when to cut losses on someone who's not working out, and let them go (I've been responsible for 75 employees, at my last company's peak). Although I still think that's the right approach, I think that may have been a blunder, since they tend to use peer-reviews. ("D'oh, if this guy becomes my boss, he wouldn't think twice about firing me if I don't perform." :) Also, he asked questions about my past practices, which I should have clarified were ones I appropiately used in a fairly small population area (lots of word of mouth referrals); obviously, for a monster like google, recruiting and hiring practices are different from smaller centers. So I think I should have clarified the differences in approach for each circumstance, despite being asked specifically about my past.

    I was pretty surprised at the abruptness of the dismissal, but if there would have been another 10 interviews before reaching "2nd round," as some say, then I'm glad I dropped out at the fourth interview. It's a bit of a shame, I think my skill set, background, and technical approach would have been very well suited to google, and helped them.

    But the opportunities in this industry are endless, so life goes on :)

  • Question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kelz ( 611260 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @03:34PM (#16550456)
    So how would a person in his/her (very early) 20's with 5 years of desktop support/IT experience even be able to get into google?

    Every job I've ever seen them post has been for a guru. Who manages their hiring process for low-level tech support?
  • Too old. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bilturner ( 907791 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @03:35PM (#16550472)
    I interviewed at Google, and the first person (kid) to interview me had the juevos to ask me "you know you're kinda of old to work here. You really want to work for kids?". I thought long and hard about filing suit... but my alzheimers caused me to forget about it...
  • by madbrain ( 11432 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @05:29PM (#16552272) Homepage
    I have been getting calls from several Google recruiters since July. I finally returned a few of them last month. Discussions were going really well until the subject of degree and GPA came about. I am self-taught and have none to speak of, since I dropped out of high school back in France where GPA doesn't exist.

    On the other hand, I do have 10 years professional experience as a programmer in the USA [] at such high-profile companies as Computer Associates, Netscape Communications, America-Online, and Sun Microsystems, where I have been extremely successful, always one of the top-rated employees everywhere. I have actually been programming for 18 years, and turned 30 last june. I don't actually feel young anymore, but I would think I would still fit well with the corporate culture of Google. I bought a house in Silicon Valley at 21, I have been making 6 figures since 2000, and my career continued to flourish even during the dot-com bust.

    However, my lack of degree made me a complete non-starter at Google. They wouldn't even schedule me for an interview. At least they didn't waste much of my time !

    But the emails and calls from Google recruiters keep coming. This very morning, I got an email from another one about a possible 3 months temporary position as a software QA. I really went off on them about how mismatched that was for me, and told them to delete my resume from their database, since I just accepted a new job, at conditions sufficiently advantageous to guarantee a comfortable early retirement.

    Google's stupidity in hiring practices was their loss, IMNSHO.

Air is water with holes in it.