Posted by Admin on 11/3/2006 1:12 AM | Comments (0)

My earlier writing about my attempt to get employed by Google's EU division in Dublin has triggered responses from California (USA), Turkey, Belgrade (Serbia), and two from Hungary. So here is my impression of the way Google employs new people.

Do keep in mind that I did not come far in the procedure — in fact I only had one interview with Google Recruitment Team in Dublin before they filtered me off.

Google is one of the world's fastest growing com­panies of 2006. It cur­rently hires 100 new people globally every week. The recruitment is, thus, highly sys­tematised and seems quite pro­fes­sional. The number of positions as ad­vertising agents, such as AdSense Co­ordinators, appears to be one of the fastest growing within the Google cor­poration, judging from the feed-back I have had from my articles. I shall deal with this below, based on my rather short-lasting con­tact with them. The job-seeker's contact with Google has at least these phases:

  1. On-line application.
  2. Language test
  3. First interview
  4. Later interviews

On-line application

You include your virtual CV with the application. Based on the real data — basically whether you have the formal back­ground, chiefly u­niversity degree, as re­quired — the Google Recruit­ment staff will select you for later phases.

Language test

The job applicant will get an e-mail from Google that requires you to fill in a form in Microsoft Word, in my case it was the Google Online Sales and Ope­r­ations Co­ordinator Work­sheet. I got the e-mail at least a week after the on-line ap­pl­ic­ation. The questions deal with non-linguistic issues, such as cal­cu­lation, defi­nition/re­search, website na­vi­gation, hypothe­tical in­ter­ac­tion with Google cus­tomers. Fi­nally, there will be op­tional questions testing the ap­pli­cant's writ­ing or tech­nical skills. Des­pite the non-lin­g­uistic cha­racter of the work­sheet, it is a lang­uage test a­bove all. It fil­ters off any­body who does not pos­sess the re­quired lan­guage skills (or friends with lan­guage skills!). Take your time with it, and don't panic!

First interview

Google's recruitment co­ordinator told me that there are five inter­views. I was called for this interview two days after submitting the Worksheet. We ap­poin­ted an in­terview that took place six days later. The re­cruit­ment officer, who — in my case — was a na­tive from Ire­land, where Google's EU Head­quar­ter is lo­cated, told that the purpose of the first interview was to clarify de­tails in the submitted CV as well as questions about the applicant's knowledge of Google products. It would last half an hour. In reality, I was speak­ing to the lady from the re­cruit­ment team for about 18 mi­nutes.

My case:

The questions dealt mainly with de­tails in my CV. Google picked my last 3-4 work places and asked me to de­scribe the company type and my functions. I gra­du­ated in 1989; had I graduated re­cently, their questions might have been dif­ferent. I had the im­pression that they wanted to see a line in my career that would lead to an em­ploy­ment with Google. I don't have that line, so I presume that this was their rea­son for re­fusal.
I advise all applicants to prepare themselves profoundly for that question. Look over your CV once again, take notes for the last 3-4 employments, and write down your lines in advance. Plans are no­thing, plan­ning is everything.

And make sure that your phone line is working optimally, be in a silent room. Telephone interviews are hard because you miss the mimicks of the collocutor, so you cannot moderate certain statements as you would during a normal job interview. Also, it takes place in a foreign language, so you might be unfamiliar with the particular accent of the Google representative.

Other question :

How will you describe AdSense, in lay terms, e.g., for somebody who doesn't know any­thing about it? My answer was a com­pa­ri­son with a news­paper ad: A de­di­cated area on each page con­tain­ing text-only ad­ver­tising. The actual content of the ad­ver­tis­ing would de­pend on what was writ­ten on the page by the jour­nalists.

Later interview

Interview number 2 will also take place on phone (at least if you live far away from the recruitment office). At least one of the later interviews will be on the location of your future work-place, where you will meet your colleagues. I did not make it that far my-self, but good luck to all of you applicants.

Compared to other em­ployers I have dealt with, Google's re­cruitment procedure is rather in tune with modern employ­ment the­o­ries. Phase #1 proves your in­terest in the job, as well as whe­ther you satisfy the basic requirements. Ma­ny employers, I have experienced, filter off people even here, if you have studied some­thing odd that they had never heard of, i.e., pre­judice rules. Then you take the test. Testing is time-con­sum­ing to the ap­plicant, but it gives a chance to ap­plicants who have acquired their skills in an alter­native manner. The first interview will show whether you real­ly understand the job, and whether your ca­reer prior to that mo­ment is in line with the future position at Google.

The applicant's personality

Personality is a big issue, too, but I gather it will be tested more profoundly at a later stage, which I did not reach. Some com­pa­nies, e.g. Danish multi­national cor­po­ra­tion A. P. Møller / Mærsk, test your per­sonality much ear­lier. In this case, they will know whether you think like every­body else in the or­ga­ni­sation. Google does not use this cri­terion as an ear­ly filter, pro­bably be­cause they rea­lise that a di­ver­si­ty of per­so­na­li­ties is an as­set to the com­pany. To com­ply team work, the team mem­bers need to play dif­ferent roles in their per­so­nal in­ter­action, and sub­se­quently, to have dif­ferent per­so­na­li­ties to do the job the best and most creative way. A more uniform per­so­nality set-up of a team will make it more vul­nerable to change.

Original story

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