Do you want to work at Google? If so, you're not alone—the company receives millions of applications each year. As well as being a hugely successful company at the forefront of technology, Google is known for offering amazing perks to employees, including onsite wellness services, family leave, the ability (at some locations) to bring a dog to work with you, and many other benefits.
Google is always high on "top employers" lists, and it's universally considered to be a choice destination for workers. Only the most qualified candidates will make it through the very selective screening process. Learn more about what makes a strong applicant at Google, and what to expect during your interview.
What Google Wants in an Employee
What does Google want in the candidates they hire? You’ll find plenty of information on Google’s hiring site. The company mentions "looking for people who can bring new perspectives and life experiences to our team."
Challenges, Leadership, and Smarts
Google looks for employees who can think outside the box and create innovative solutions to problems. Candidates who have a clear track record of taking on difficult challenges and mobilizing the efforts of others to achieve results will have the greatest appeal.
If you’re a leader who can proactively advance your agenda, but can also recognize when someone else in the room has a better idea, you will have some of the characteristics the company wants.
You need to be smart. Google recruits employees who have displayed high intelligence and who possess a fascination with developments in technology. Technical skills such as coding matter for many engineering and programming roles.
However, Google prefers candidates with a broad base of knowledge and skills, as opposed to individuals with deep expertise in a narrow field. Given the rapid rate of change in the tech sector, Google seeks candidates with a passion for learning who can translate new ideas into action.
Do You Have Googleyness?
Read everything you can find online about working at Google to find out if this might be the place for you to work. Glassdoor.com’s Google Reviews is a good starting point to get insight.
Google's Hiring Process
Once you find a position at Google that interests you and submit a resume, you will be reviewed by a recruiter. This recruiter will contact you if they think you may be a good fit. This initial contact will be followed by a phone interview, and then by an on-site interview with a committee of management and peers. The process can take a few weeks, or even a few months, because Google is very selective in its hiring—it spares no effort to be sure of a compatible hire.
Tips for Interviewing at Google
Google takes pride in their company's interesting and diverse workforce. They encourage you to share what makes you unique, and they offer excellent advice on what they like and don’t like to see in a resume. Your interview is a key part of the hiring process with Google.
Google follows a behavioral interviewing approach. This means you will need to be ready to provide examples and anecdotes to back up your resume. Your interviewers (and expect to meet at least a few of them) will want to know what you have accomplished, not what your job was. Be ready to share stories and specific examples of what you’ve done. Google used to be famous for asking interviewees to solve tricky brain teasers during interviews, but it has phased out that tactic.
Top 20 Things That Google Looks for in Candidates
Review the list below and identify roles or situations in your past experiences when you have tapped those qualities to generate results. The closer a match you can make, the better your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.
- Cognitive ability manifested by a capacity to learn
- Intense curiosity
- Ability to adapt to change
- Algorithmic thinking
- Facility with writing computer code
- Divergent thinking
- Statistical analysis skills
- Ability to mine big data
- Humility and ability to give credit to others
- Analytical skills to solve problems
- Individuals with diverse backgrounds
- Management style characterized by empowering others
- Demonstrated ability to take on challenges and persist to overcome obstacles
- Evidence of active leadership with a balance between passionately influencing others and accepting superior ideas from others
- Candidates who attack problems head-on
- Evidence of taking ownership and being accountable for projects
- Collaborative teamwork
- Comfort with ambiguity
More Tech Company Opportunities
Other tech companies that are high on best companies to work for lists include Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Many startup companies offer excellent opportunities for those interested in a fast-paced, growth-oriented work environment. Whichever company you're interested in working for, these tips for getting hired by your dream company will help you get started in your job search.