Tags: | Posted by Admin on 10/18/2007 3:17 AM | Comments (0)

I didn’t apply for a job position at Google, but a recruiter from them contacted me. I told the recruiter that I wasn’t interested, and that it would be extremely hard to convince me to move away from my current job. I told them that I would not be able to work in certain areas for a while (due to my current position at a competitor), and that I would also demand a good relocation package. Despite all that, the recruiter told me that they would still be interested in a phone screening. I did the phone screening and all their questions made sense: how to optimize certain aspects of Google, like file transfer, etc. I was then asked to interview at their site.

I should say that I’ve talked with 4 interviewers, and 3 of them were nice and polite. I found a little disrespectful that one of them invited someone to join the interview to be “trained”, but that was acceptable. What was not acceptable was the behavior of one of the interviewers. The interviewer asked me a few dumb questions, and I literally decided to joke back, simply answering with enough high-level jargon that I couldn’t be considered wrong, while not giving him any specifics. I know several of the keywords that the guy was looking for in my answers (inverted index, Markov model, etc.). I simply refused to say any of the “keywords”. The interviewer wasn’t able to understand anything without the keywords being said, and from that interview on my interest simply wasn’t there. If what takes to succeed in a Google interview is to memorize a lot of keyword, then I don’t want to work in such company. Worse is that I really detected a little of the “we are the champions” attitude, even coming from people that clearly had no relation whatsoever with Google’s success. That is what was really unacceptable: I know folks that really changed Computer Science history, and are extremely approachable. And here I was, talking with people that could be considered bystanders at Google, and one of them behaving like if the company couldn’t survive without him.

Things then got really bad when an interviewer asked: “Why do you want to work at Google?” You should see the surprise in his face when I told him that I didn’t really apply for a job at Google, but given a very good offer, I would consider working at Google. Yet, this was one of the nice interviewers, and he had nothing to do with the moronic behavior of the previous one. But that was the key moment: I perceived that, when you “just talked with a moron”, some of the attitude sticks to you. Probably I would soon be a moron if working along such people for long. Luckily, that won’t happen.

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