Tags: | Posted by Admin on 3/24/2008 10:31 AM | Comments (3)

Corey Trager was interviewed by Google and rejected, and wrote an interesting piece on the process he went through as a result. From Corey’s post on one of the guys who interviewed him:

This second guy was definitely an alpha. He made intense direct eye contact with me, unsmiling. He seemed irritated. He didn’t shake any banana branches at me or make mock charges at me, but he might as well have. His flat, cold affect in turn made me, I guess, somehow try harder, in a pathetic way, to evoke some sort of warmer response from him. If it would have helped to pick insects from his fur, I would have tried it. Now keep in mind, these thoughts are all happening while I was trying to figure out how to adjust my faulty algorithm for solving the design challenge to work in constant time rather than linear time (O(1) vs O(n) in Big O notation!. Look at me! I can spake Big O! Caramba!). There had been a misunderstanding between us earlier in the session, a sort of fork in the road of the conversation, so his thinking went one way down that fork and mine another. Although I eventually realized what happened, and saw the misunderstanding as mutual, that’s not how he saw it, and my attempt to explain and backtrack to that fork in the road just sounded argumentative and weasel-like.

Comments (3) -

Ellery on 3/24/2008 5:37 AM Thanks for sharing Satan!
Satan on 3/24/2008 7:55 AM I interviewed with Google at the Googleplex back in 2001. I had submitted my CV to Google perhaps a week earlier when they called me up. No phone "interview"; it was straight to the 'plex for me!
  
The woman who spoke to me on the phone and arranged the day-long interview was super nice. Like Corey, Google had misconstrued part of my résumé and thought that I knew more than I did, which I let them believe (I was 18 at the time and dumb enough to pull stupid shit like that). Something about CGI scripting, I believe...
  
Taking the Caltrain in from San Francisco, I arrived at the Googleplex around 8:30am. My interview commenced at 9am with filling out a slew of the typical documents and attaching my CV to the whole lot. At 9:30am, it all began.
  
What a paradise of an interview! If it weren't for me telling bold faced lies to two out of the five people that I met with throughout the day, I would be looking back at that experience with a giant smile instead of this sad cringe of embarrassment as I write this comment.
  
I was taken throughout much of the Googleplex (of 2001) and met with some very nice and geeky people. In just about every bright and colorful room that I entered was someone (mostly random employees) offering me the snack and / or soda of my choice. I'm absolutely sure I was asked at least ten times throughout the day if I wanted a candybar or drink.
  
My first two interviewers were very easy to please. They asked me the regular HR type questions that I was, even at that age, already quite comfortable with. What a breeze…
  
Then came lunch time which I passed with some super-geeky guy. I got the royal Google lunch, and it was every bit as delicious as they tout on their recruiting website. But that culinary joy was crushed by this dude asking me all sorts of questions I didn't know how to answer (and still couldn't, for that matter). How did I keep a straight face while bullshitting him, I will never know.
  
He knew I was lying, as did the next guy I met with after lunch. I made-up silly technical terms and tried to pass them off as obscure. They still spent a good amount of time talking with me, however, and never once did they call me out on anything. Hell, they even indulged my delusions!
  
Then the interview ended (around four o'clock) with another easy person, this time to see if I would fit in with the Google environment. I don't remember much of this last portion, partly due to the fact that I was exhausted from flushing my dignity so far down the drain that even Jesus couldn't fish it out.
  
Less than a week later, the same nice phone lady calls me back. Bad news, she said, apparently they couldn't come to an agreement on me, so it was a no go. No suprise whatsoever!
  
I feel really bad about this, even now. But hey, that's my Google interview experience.
Antony on 3/24/2008 10:13 AM As a young and old company with shinning legacy, the interview process in Google can hardly be perfect for everyone.

Responding to what Corey defended for his own performance in the interview, I would say, knowing the technical terms is as important as understanding the technical concepts, as you need to communicate with others through terms in your mouth, not concepts in your brain.

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