Tags: | Posted by Admin on 6/14/2006 10:39 AM | Comments (6)
We were watching Rocketboom’s vlog last night and came across this really interesting story about Google’s hiring process. It is by Pete Abilla on his blog schmula - you can find the post here.

Pete is a blogger and mathematician that works for Myfamily.com in Provo, Utah about his 2 days of interviews with Google last year. He turned them down when they offered him a high-paying contract position but Google Stock Units and No benies.

Some interesting pieces of the story:

unlike most companies that fly their candidates out for an onsite interview, google�s policy was for me to pay for my flight, hotel, and food, but that they would reimburse me later. i thought that was lame and unprofessional; after all, they are the ones that contacted me for an interview and i never applied for a job with them.
my first interviewer came in late and was really sweaty. he had just ridden his bike to work. he was sorry he was late. he was super nice and his questions were easy. the next person was a little tougher; she had been with sun microsystems for several years and was in charge of their warehouse and distribution side. she asked some tough questions, was very open about her frustrations with google, but ended up very nice to me.
day 2, 7 interviews
all in all, the experience was okay. there is certainly more hype about google than i believe it really merits. true, they hire sharp � really sharp people; i felt a lot of energy and could see the innovation happening there. but, the people i interviewed with didn�t seem happy to me. they looked tired and grumpy. i didn�t get a feeling that google treats their people very well. i�m glad for my decision not to join google. but, i�ll always wish i had free reign on those odwalla drinks

Sounds like a nightmare and given the way people blather on about Google in the recruitosphere - it is not exactly the candidate experience I would have expected. Off the hiring topic, but another very interesting snippet from the post:

on the wall was a large flat monitor that showed, in real time, the current google searches. this was really amusing. i remember the following searches:

* size d bra
* how to make a bomb
* osama
* italian mob + hbo
* catholic anger

Ok - that’s really cool and a little scary. Very interesting read.

Comments (6) -

Jeremiah on 6/13/2006 10:51 PM I currently undergoing Google’s very SELECTIVE hiring process. I think I am at the final since my recruiter have asked my current compensation package, some references, undergrad transcript, etc. Now, my concern is I have to failed grades way back college math and literature… I was so happy-go-lucky then…though this 2 subjects are just minor and cant be consider as major subjects since i was taking psychology. Do you think those can be a ground for me not to get an offer? I think I have very good track record professionally… It’s just sad to think that my college years still haunt me up to now… :-(
Jack on 6/14/2006 1:09 AM

    I wish I had found your comments earlier! It could have saved me alot of time…unfortunately I have witnessed the Google hiring process firsthand.

    For 10 months I have been interviewing with Google for a marketing postion. I have had 15 interviews, all with seemingly pleasant and intelligent people. Some of the interviews were via the phone with Mountain View and Europe (sometimes at midnight my time to accomodate the time difference), and 6 were onsite in their offices. I think that Googlers must spend a large portion of their time on telephone interviews with potential candidates.

    In addition to the 15 interviews, I was required to provide various written references from colleagues, university professors, and ex-managers. I was also required to submit my undergrad transcripts (I graduated from University over 13 years ago) and my MBA transcripts (from over 7 years ago).

    Over the months the HR manager continued to assure me that they were about to make me a great offer, and to bear with her - I was going to be a great Googler. Seeing as I currently have a good marketing position with an international company, I wasn’t really very concerned with the time they were taking, but 10 months to decide whether or not to make a hire did seem rather inefficient. If someone was actively looking for a new position, they would have found one in that time, and still not heard back from Google.

    Now, almost 1 year after beginning the interviews, I still have not received an official response from Google. The HR manager has apparently put my application on hold due to some ‘concerns’ regarding one of my grades in university. If that is the case, I think I barely escaped. Smile
Derek on 6/14/2006 3:27 AM No lunch and one sweaty interviewer later”. I’m just saying! Hopefully all their interviews aren’t like this but it seems there are some deeper issues. Hey, I didn’t write it, I just link to it, my friends (viaShannon). Speaking of hiring for passion (and awkward topic transitions), Seth talks about his recent experience with one very passionate employee. How much passion is too much? I know it when I see it. I suspect that Seth’s been thinking about hiring because
David on 6/14/2006 5:45 AM […] EXCELER8ion� | The blog about online recruitment marketing and interactive advertising Want to interview with Google, be prepared, EXCELER8ion blog has links to a candidate’s experience. (tags: google recruitment) […]
Curt on 6/14/2006 8:03 AM

    Thanks for the comments Gretchen. I think the part that really surprised me was that Pete talks about the perception he gathered during his 2 days that Google doesn’t treat their people well. Google had been the “holy grail” of Internet Brands that I would LOVE to work for - remotely from Florida of course, as we are not going back to the Bay Area - hurricanes or no hurricanes. Wink

    There was a large contingency of Knight Ridder Digital employees that Julian and I used to work with from San Jose that went to work at Google - we never heard any of these stories. We’ve got one friend that experienced the hardcore - go up to the whiteboard and show us what you know right now treatment - but that didn’t bother him.

    I have heard Google criticized for being all machine and thinking that they can engineer their way through anything - but companies have to figure out how to get the most out of their humans too.
Conan on 6/14/2006 10:21 AM

    When I was at Microsoft, I followed Google’s recruiting process (and the corresponding blog chatter) really closely. They obviously have strong recruiting marketing (which I’ve heard is driven more by the engineering org than the actual recruiting org - not sure about that though) and, from what I can tell, pretty good sourcing … but that’s where it ends. The stories I’ve heard about their candidate experience (starting from the very first phone call all the way through the interview process) were pretty scary. I saw this piece on Rocketboom, too, and wasn’t surprised at all. From what I understand, this experience is common. (All that said, Microsoft certainly isn’t perfect either - but when it comes to the candidate expereince, they are light years ahead.)

    I attended Google’s open house when they opened their Seattle-area office, and I saw that real-time Google search monitor. It was very cool.

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