If they could, it seems that everyone would want to work at Google. The search-engine company has a surplus of cash, opportunities, and benefits.
Depending on your preferences, the free food and drinks—yes that’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—collaborating with super intelligent people, taking your dog to work, and basically being in the future as you use products that haven’t been released, could be more than enough reason to work there.
The most interesting Google perk I found came from Quora, where one employee describes what happens if a Google employee dies.
If you’re convinced you want to work for Google, then the next step is getting the job. How do you do that? Well, it’s complicated and there is a reason that positions at Google are some of the most competitive in the world.
Think about it, do you know anyone at Google? Not many people do. I know a girl, who lived in my dorm sophomore year, that recently got a job there but that’s it.
What Google Supposedly Looks For
If you’re going to beat out hundreds of candidates for one position, then you want to know what you’re up against.
Google looks for many natural qualities that are hard to learn, if you haven’t practiced while growing up. If you spend your whole life thinking inside the box, and then are asked an outside the box question, odds are that you’re in trouble. Google wants employees who can think about an issue on many different levels.
Also, being too intelligent might hurt you. Very intelligent people often think the same way to solve problems, because that’s what worked in the past, and are not adept at learning new possibilities.
Then, if you can’t get the answer, you’re more likely to blame something or someone else, because you believe you’re so smart that it can’t be your fault. Not a desirable mindset.
On a practical note, hiring managers at Google often look for students who have studied statistics or data analytics in college. Data is becoming more important everyday, and people who have strong skills in creating, displaying, and using data are very valuable.
Applicants with proficiency in programs like MatLab, which lets computer developers code and make algorithms for data display in a visual format, have an advantage in the application process.
Google’s former product head Jonathan Rosenber uses the quote, “Data is the sword of the 21st century, those who wield it the samurai,” to express data’s importance. I agree with him.
Just for fun, look at a released interview question (that Google no longer asks) to get a vibe on the old interview process, “What’s the next number in this sequence: 10, 9, 60, 90, 70, 66, ___?” The answer is at the bottom of the post.
But, I’ve read that Google went away from the brain teaser questions and now ask more behavioral questions. Anyway, you’re going to want to prepare as much as you can for a potential interview.
Help Your Shot At Google
Go to an elite college and you’re more likely to get an interview at Google. If you’re already in college and at a good but not a Harvard-caliber school, then spend time speaking with your professors and alumni, who might have connections at Google.
Major in statistics, computer science, engineering, or business for the best chance at a Google job. But, make sure your major aligns with your career focus and interest. Don’t put all your eggs in the Google basket, only to get rejected and work at jobs you hate for forty years. This is a little dramatic, but it serves my point.
Start building your resume as early as possible through impressive internships at tech companies. You need to show a recruiter that you’ve experienced serious work environments with significant responsibilities.
Start learning about other positions at Google, beyond the one you’re applying for, because it’s likely you’ll be working with these people. If you can convince the interviewer that you’re an expert in your field, but also know about other fields, then you’ll be impressive.
I’m sure your GPA matters to some degree, but I believe it’s not a focal point here.
My Last Words
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get a job at Google. First, it’s really difficult to get hired as millions of people apply for positions every year (Staff.com reports only 1 in 130 people get hired).
Second, there are many tech companies with perks similar to Google’s generosity. Social media companies like Twitter and Facebook, as well as less well-known startups are treating their employees very well.
If you think working at Google gives you satisfaction that can’t be replicated anywhere else, then best of luck to you.
If you don’t get a job at Google, then that shouldn’t stop your career success in any way, shape, or form—besides not bringing your dog to work, which sucks.
Comment below with your favorite perk if you were working at Google. I’m sure there are many out there that I didn’t cover.
(Answer to interview question above: First, spell out the numbers: ten, nine, sixty, seventy, and so on. Then realize that they are in ascending order based on the number of spelled-out letters in each word. So, the next number needs to have nine letters in it, like seventeen. Simple but tricky, by those Googlers.)