What It Is Like to Work for YouTube and How to Get a Job

YouTube logo on a wooden wall
••• Andrew H. Walker/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Chances are, you’ve already used YouTube either from the site directly or an embedded video on an article at some point today or in the last week. YouTube was founded in February 2005 as an online destination for the viewing and sharing of original videos. It was bought out by Google in November 2006 and now is considered a leader in user-generated online videos and the largest of all video websites. The company is located in San Bruno, California.

The Product

YouTube provides an easy way for users to upload and share video clips on its site, with video playback technology originally based on Adobe Flash. The videos also can be shared through other websites, e-mail, mobile devices, and blogs—pretty much anywhere on the internet.

YouTube began moving toward premium content with the launch of YouTube Red in 2015 and YouTube TV in 2017. YouTube Red provides access to content and music ad-free, while YouTube TV is a service that streams cable and broadcast channels online as a means of competing with cable and satellite providers.

The site's Channels feature enables users to create personal profile pages where they can save their favorite videos, create playlists, and subscribe to other people's videos. Users also are able to search for content using keywords and select videos from a number of categories or specialized areas on the site.

The company earns revenue through the different forms of advertising that appear on its site, including daily ads on the homepage, general display and text ads appearing next to search results, ads that appear within videos, and brand advertiser-sponsored contests.

Working with YouTube

On its website, YouTube says its company culture is rooted deeply in collaboration: “We don’t just exchange ideas within our own teams, but work with people across all of Google to find solutions to our challenges on-screen and behind the scenes.” Skills and characteristics YouTube looks for in potential employees include:

  • Coding
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Team-oriented
  • Results-oriented
  • Adaptive
  • Proactive
  • Willing to take ownership
  • Good work ethic
  • Fun
  • Thrives in a flat organization
  • Flexibility

Applying for Openings at YouTube

Creativity and analytical thinking skills are just as important as technical know-how for YouTube, so make sure you highlight these abilities in your resume.

If you get a call from a recruiter, be prepared for the possibility of several interviews. The interview process is what Google is famous for. Your first one, which will determine whether you should be brought in for an in-person interview, will be conducted over the phone and will last anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes.

The on-site interview will evaluate core software engineering skills, such as coding, algorithm development, design patterns, data structures, and analytical thinking skills. You'll be asked questions related to your area of interest, and you'll be required to solve them in real-time. Interviewers will be interested in the process you use to solve the problem and how creative you are.

You'll be talking to at least four interviewers, ranging from management to potential colleagues. After all the interviews are done, it could take up to two weeks for the hiring committee to make its decision.