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Defining Google

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the just-google-it dept.

Google 1024

pbaumgar writes "Did anyone catch the 60 Minutes piece on Google this evening? They mention their hiring process a bit in the story: 'For example, Google is hiring about 25 new people every week, and receives more than 1,000 resumes a day. But they're determined to stick to their rigorous screening process. Google uses aptitude tests, which it has even placed in technical magazines, hoping some really big brains would tackle the hardest problems. Score well on the test, and you might get a job interview. And then another and another. One recent hire had 14 interviews before getting the job - and that was in the public relations department.' As a person who recently interviewed with them this past summer (I didn't get the job), I was wondering what others' experiences were like who interview with Google. I had 4 interviews, and it was by far the longest and most interesting interviewing process I've been involved in. I'd love to hear others' experiences in their attempt to get hired."

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lol, what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242479)

lol, what?

y halo thar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242483)

i am riding your moms cock?

Re:y halo thar (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242510)

MODS ON CRACK! (He actually is riding my mom's cock)

What no one got interviewed? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242480)

Or am I the first post? :D

My experience (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242481)

I was placed in a dark room filled with robots who probed my butthold

Quick Question (3, Interesting)

The Islamic Fundamen (728413) | about 10 years ago | (#11242482)

Do all the jobs require an appitutude test? Or just the high ranking ones?

Re:Quick Question (5, Interesting)

dasunt (249686) | about 10 years ago | (#11242536)

Do all the jobs require an appitutude test? Or just the high ranking ones?

Almost every job does. Most of the time the aptitude test is how well you are at faking the type of person the interviewer wants.

Yes, I'm bitter and cynical. That does not make me wrong.

Re:Quick Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242554)

you mean, kind of like in a regular interview?

Re:Quick Question (5, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | about 10 years ago | (#11242565)

My current boss got so enthusiastic while reading my CV that he completely forgot to ask any questions that would check whether it's true or not :) Luckily my work doesn't involve deep knowledge IRIX, SunOS, VNC, embedded Linux or SCADA systems, otherwise I'd be in trouble :) He just wanted someone who learns fast...

"We bought that new device and it's quite sophisticated and with very specialized software, and we need someone to learn how to use it. Can you do this?"
"Is the documentation available?"
"I can do this."
"Great, you're hired."

(yes, I could.)

Re:Quick Question (5, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | about 10 years ago | (#11242665)

the 2 main job requirements in IT: the ability to RTFM/Google. ofc i suppose the latter isn't very relevant in the context of this article ;-)

You better hope Google's motto is "Do No Evil" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242591)

because if they wanted to they could EASILY relate your queries to your IP address and with the help of an advertiser or two and a few cookies relate that info to your name. Then they could extract all sorts of interesting information about you including what medical condition you have, what stocks you invest in, what opinions you hold, what is your political affiliation, what you hope to purchase, etc. But we don't have to worry because Google says they will never do any evil. We can all rest easy.

Comprehensive interviews are very important. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242629)

A company is little more than the team of its employees - so 14 interviews with aptitude tests is really the best thing that you can do if founding a company.

Just think - in any field you can think of - tennis, school, etc. - some people are 'A' players and consistantly outperform others - other people are 'B' and 'C' players, that really don't stack up to the 'A' players.

A company filled with 'A' players will win every time.

Google's just in a very enviable position that so many top people want to work directly for them -- as opposed to starting their own thing in the hopes of getting bought by Google later.

Re:Comprehensive interviews are very important. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242636)

Google's just in a very enviable position that so many top people want to work directly for them -- as opposed to starting their own thing in the hopes of getting bought by Google later.

Ultimately, this won't last - The top people will soon decide that they'd rather be big fish in a smaller pond, and leave to form spin-off companies.

I've seen this happen at Microsoft many times - including one friend named Steve who left Microsoft twice to start a company of his own, only to get bought back by Microsoft each time (for ungodly sums of money).

Can't Imagine this on 60 seconds... (3, Funny)

Omniscientist (806841) | about 10 years ago | (#11242484)

Brin says he splurged on a new T-shirt. And he still drives a little Japanese car.

For some reason I can't see 60 Seconds including a little passage about Brin's splurging action, mentioned in the quote.

Re:Can't Imagine this on 60 seconds... (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | about 10 years ago | (#11242496)

Thanks for my first real laugh of my first working day.

MORE RAM IN THE BOX PLEASE!!!! yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242485)

MORE RAM IN THE BOX PLEASE!!!! Important Stuff Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subje

Is it just me (-1, Troll)

Neil Blender (555885) | about 10 years ago | (#11242489)

Or does Google sound like Microsoft more and more everyday?

Re:Is it just me (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242503)

Or does Google sound like Microsoft more and more everyday?

It's just you. Google still has "do no evil" as one of their company guidelines. They also accept the fact that their will be other large players in the markets they are in and that they won't be the only ones. When Google starts putting out products that suck (as quickly as they possibly can), have the aim of monopolizing as much as they possibly can and crushing competitors, then you can claim they sound like Microsoft.

Re:Is it just me (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242520)

Google still has "do no evil" as one of their company guidelines.

A guideline that went right out the window when it came time to help the Chinese government try and prevent Chinese citizens from seeing things on the net that their government doesn't want them to see.

Re:Is it just me (4, Insightful)

TLLOTS (827806) | about 10 years ago | (#11242595)

That's a pretty shortsighted view.

Sure, they assisted in censorship of information. However, you should also realise that had they not then google would likely have been blocked from access by the chinese government. In that case, the Chinese citizens would have lost a very valuable resource for finding information. And despite their efforts, it's highly likely that there is still a great deal of information to be found on google that the Chinese governement doesn't want its citizens to see.

Re:Is it just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242674)

You know the fact that some fanatics would block access to google unless google helps them in their anti-freedom cause is no excuse for google to do so. This was compleatelly a marketing decission just like all the dumb stuff that won M$ it's *good* fame. So don't even try to tell me that the lack of moral guidlines is a justification for no moral at all. And you know if google was censored in other countries (other than China, say the whole North America) I highly doubt it that they would have had a shed of the success that they enjoy right now. I highly doubt it that cencored google i a "very powerful tool".
Plus the fact that Irak never wanted any US troups didn't stop George Bush from sending them so why shouldn't same apply to China and Google. After all it is the same cause ... or is is?

Re:Is it just me (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242559)

Web translation.
Their desktop tools.
Blogger, Picasa and Keyhole.

That's certainly a lot for a company who's main goal is internet search. They've already managed to mess up one or two of the things they've tried. For example, they aquired and consumed Deja News. The newsgroup service went from good to suck overnight.

I like Google, but like any large company that consumes all, it's only a matter of time before the core product starts to slip, a better competitor comes along - or they do something that starts to alienate users.

products that suck? As quickly as they can? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242560)

Have you compared the security-whole ridden Google desktop search with its competition? (Copernic, X1, even Microsoft's own new MSN desktop suite.)

It doesn't "suck", just yet, but its definitely disappointing for a Google product.

Re:Is it just me (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242514)

I also got that impression that Google is like Microsoft in its infancy - with a key difference - 2 billion in cash. Despite all the stories that Gates was born with a golden spoon in his mouth and he stumbled into a good deal with IBM - he built Microsoft into what it is today. Will an advertising-only based revenue model ever get Google to Microsoft size? Time will tell if Google can stand the test of time.

Re:Is it just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242578)

Time will tell if Google can stand the test of time.

Time after time, time flies just in time,...

Re:Is it just me (2, Funny)

MoobY (207480) | about 10 years ago | (#11242516)

Note that while you are saying this, you have your gmail address plain out for everyone on /. to read and abuse. I don't think you really dislike google ...

Re:Is it just me (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | about 10 years ago | (#11242532)

Note that while you are saying this, you have your gmail address plain out for everyone on /. to read and abuse. I don't think you really dislike google ...

I never said I disliked either Microsoft or Google. And the gmail address - that is for Slashdot only. I get replys/moderation/etc emails from Slashdot. The reason it is posted for all to see without anti-spam is merely an experiment to see how much spam I would get by making it public in this one and only place. And by the way, my name isn't really Neil Blender.

Is it just me or is this Google cool factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242558)

starting to wear a little thin? Give them all $2000 dot-com chairs and Segway scooters and the picture will be complete. It's hard to think of a bunch of pampered billionaires with superiority complexes as the underdogs who will save humanity. Give them time and they'll all turn into drones of Larry Ellison.

(The irony of this post is that I forgot the name of the scooter and had to Google for it.)

Microsoft invented most of these ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242566)

Read up on puzzle-based interview tactics - Microsoft was there looonnggg before Google. Microsoft is legendary for hiring the top 5%, the screening process they have is brutal.

Re:Is it just me (4, Insightful)

abradsn (542213) | about 10 years ago | (#11242603)

Microsoft has a difficult interview process. I've had a job there a couple of times.

They usually do an interview loop with between three and five people. I think that is a lot.

Personally, I think interviewing more than that (ie. 16 times) is just plain stupid. Google should refine their process.
On another note, eventually they will find out that all of these aptitude tests are really quite pointless.

An interview should look for traits in people such as a work ethic. Smart people are smart, but hard working people get the job done. I'm sure other people besides myself, have noticed that being smart does not equate to being successful.

Re:Is it just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242678)

For a full-time position in any Microsoft product groups such as dev, test, or pm, the typical Microsoft interview loop is with at least 5 different employees. If a candidate goes through fewer, then it was cut short because it was a clear no-hire.

Re:Is it just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242609)

Long ways to go:

We still haven't seen "Clippy by Google"... ... and simple search queries that apparently "need more system resources" to continue.

Re:Is it just me (2, Insightful)

Albinofrenchy (844079) | about 10 years ago | (#11242659)

Microsoft may be big, but you never hear anyone say "Why don't you MS for that?" Empires fall, yet verbs are eternal.

Google employment (4, Funny)

Hamster Of Death (413544) | about 10 years ago | (#11242494)

Working at google is an easy gig to get. Just get on with the cleaning crew that does their office or something.

Working FOR google is a whole different ball game.

Re:Google employment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242541)

Hey, the cleaning crew's company might specifically hire people who don't know anything about computers.

Interview? (2, Funny)

NetNinja (469346) | about 10 years ago | (#11242495)

I had a headhunter call me and ask if I was willing to work for $13.00 an hour.


Re:Interview? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242511)

When? For Google? With Stock Options?

If it was for Google pre-IPO then you are an idiot.

If not for Google, then why are you wasting our time idiot?

You are a idiot either way, no escaping that fact.

Re:Interview? (1)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | about 10 years ago | (#11242513)

That's a lot more than I make a pizza hut.

I hate college (5, Insightful)

mg2 (823681) | about 10 years ago | (#11242497)

The insistency of some companies to require a batchelors degree often leaves otherwise qualified applicants out in the cold. Google is one of these companies (from my experience browsing the job postings), which sucks for college students looking for a job. Oh well.

Re:I hate college (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242512)

The insistency of some companies to require a batchelors degree often leaves otherwise qualified applicants out in the cold.
Apparently you didn't major in spelling.

Re:I hate college (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242570)

No, but you're correct, Mr. Twat, in judging that spelling proficiency and programming ability are perfectly coincident.

Re:I hate college (4, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | about 10 years ago | (#11242519)

... require a batchelors degree ...

My experience has been that those companies that require you to have an education to even apply to work for them do so to ensure that you have balance in your life. A real Bachelor of Science degree includes enough liberal arts, writing, and, in general, thinking in its attainment that companies know you'll be balanced enough to do things like bathe before work, read a good book after work to stay sane, and spell the name of the degree you have correctly. These are just examples - their expectations may be much higher, but the key thing they are looking for is balance.

Re:I hate college (2, Funny)

Skadet (528657) | about 10 years ago | (#11242634)

A real Bachelor of Science degree includes enough liberal arts, writing, and, in general, thinking....

Yep, sounds like a BS degree to me!

Re:I hate college (1, Flamebait)

diamond (98616) | about 10 years ago | (#11242522)

After observing that you can't spell correctly (batchelors) or use proper English grammar (insistency...to requre), it seems to me that this requirement has some merit.

You win (0, Redundant)

mg2 (823681) | about 10 years ago | (#11242611)

You're completely correct. Nobody with a degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering would have made a grammatical error while racing to comment first to a slashdot story. Grammar nazi.

Re:I hate college (5, Funny)

cosmo7 (325616) | about 10 years ago | (#11242671)

Before I went to ITT Tech I couldn't even spell the word 'engineer'.

Now I are one.

Re:I hate college (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242543)

otherwise qualified? Maybe if you aced the GLAT or something they wouldn't care.

Re:I hate college (3, Funny)

seanadams.com (463190) | about 10 years ago | (#11242561)

Collage isnt everything. I learnt to make money without a batchelors', and I do'nt need a job at google.

U don't need an education to succeed. Google is ghey!

[nt] you forgot "teh" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242631)

Re:I hate college (5, Insightful)

Firedog (230345) | about 10 years ago | (#11242564)

Of course, one does not imply the other.

There are many people with degrees who are terrible workers, and plenty of people without degrees who are excellent workers. (Or spellers.) For what it's worth, I don't think using any sort of blanket disqualification is a good idea, either ethically or from a business perspective.

The new Apprentice starts up in a few weeks, and it pits the "book smarts" against the "street smarts" (those with degrees vs. those without). Granted, it's just a TV show, but I'll still find it interesting.

Re:I hate college (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242633)

Are you kidding me? Using the Apprentice as an example when even my grandmother knows that the show is fixed? Buddy you might want to educate yourself a little bit more on pop culture if you are going to use examples from it. After all even the credits of the show tell you that the show is fixed and scripted. Other than that your point about college education not being really important to your work ethincs it veru well taken. I have seem my share of idiots with college degrees and I must say that college most deffinitelly does not work for the common street bum. Oh yeah and working for 4 years as a programmer at a company instead of going to college most deffinitelly does not qualify as *street smart* ...

Re:I hate college (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242587)

Can you try making sense? How does requiring a bachelor's degree suck for college students? They're the ones who benefit from that. Maybe you and the crack-addled mods over there should try going to college and getting internships.

Re:I hate college (1)

198348726583297634 (14535) | about 10 years ago | (#11242605)

The thing is, there is a lot of interesting work out there if you don't have the paper. You just need to go to smaller companies, for the most part.

And if you think that the really heavily thinking-reliant work will only come to you at a big company or a specialized one, open yourself up as a garage business and be your own inspired thinker. Think of Jeri Ellsworth [c64upgra.de] .

Re:I hate college (2, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | about 10 years ago | (#11242643)

I am not going to hound you on your spelling or grammar, but I would like to suggest that you consider post-secondary education of some sort, or at least learn a trade. One of the reasons many companies require basic levels of competency (i.e. a bachelors degree or higher) is that college teaches you communication skills, problem solving skills and exposes you to alternative viewpoints and ways of thinking. These are all critical skills to have if a company wants to succeed.

Re:I hate college (2, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 10 years ago | (#11242651)

It is an interesting point you mention. Ok, having a degree in engineering tends me to think that Google is right. HOWEVER, it used to be back in the good old days that if you did not have a degree work experience did count for something.

Frankly if Google does not interview somebody because of a degree they are being silly. Remember Bill Gates, the man without a degree! Exceptions exist all the time. However, this Google attitude does not surprise me. For example I still to this day cannot get a Google email account. Gee I suppose even though I have a degree I am still a nobody! At least my Yahoo account still works for the past SEVEN YEARS!

I had two interviews at Google (4, Funny)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | about 10 years ago | (#11242498)

They told me they only hire the top 0.000000000000000001% of all programmers. Funny, every other company I interviewed at said the same thing, give or take a magnitude.

Re:I had two interviews at Google (5, Funny)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 10 years ago | (#11242517)

Hmmm.....seems to me that they're assuming an available pool of 100 Quintillion or so programmers...Google had better check its math!

Re:I had two interviews at Google (1)

ari_j (90255) | about 10 years ago | (#11242521)

I'm actually of the opinion that Anonymous Crowhead had better check his keyboard first. It seems he also mistyped "Coward" and created an entire Slashdot account as a result of that mistake.

Re:I had two interviews at Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242563)

Congratulations, you've earned an interview! Please come to the Google headquarters later this week.

Re:I had two interviews at Google (4, Funny)

jericho4.0 (565125) | about 10 years ago | (#11242524)

Even one magnitude less, and assuming that all people on Earth are programmers, that's a very tiny chunk of a programmer.

Re:I had two interviews at Google (5, Funny)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 10 years ago | (#11242533)

We're hiring programmers. One fingernail at a time.


Re:I had two interviews at Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242598)

Haha, every company likes to think that. Being able to be that selective requires that: 1) people doing the hiring can tell the difference, 2) there is a large enough supply of applicants, and 3) the company is able to motivate and retain said employees. Google probably has both 1 and 2 covered for the time being. 3 is the hard part now that they have had their IPO.

On the other hand, Google did also manage to hire some people from our company who frankly were not that qualified. I guess after you have hired the entire top 0.001%, you better start letting in some lesser people if you still need workers.

Long intervies processes suck (5, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 10 years ago | (#11242526)

Especially if you already have a job and the current employer doesn't know you're in the market.

14 interviews!? There are only so many flat tires and sick aunts one can come up with for missing a couple of hours of work.


Re:Long intervies processes suck (2, Interesting)

roror (767312) | about 10 years ago | (#11242577)

It is so with many good companies in India. I was lucky to have had to appear in four only (with success - hence, lucky :) ) Not getting the job after 13 interviews would suck - but, that's the way it is when you want to work for the best among the best companies. Usually you'll find your colleagues to be smart, and with good disposition. It's worth it some times.

Re:Long intervies processes suck (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242580)

Tell them you're going on an interview. It's something plenty of people do, even when they're not unhappy with their current job.

Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242535)

The dirty secret is that all that selective stuff flies out the window if you're a Stanford post-grad. They've snapped up a lot of bright people no doubt but I know a few employees who are far from great at what they do but just happened to know the right people. Everyone I know who's interviewed there without an inside contact found them to be snotty, flaky and unprofessional. And what in gods name are they doing with all these folks? Orkut?

And they still haven't updated their now completely compromised ranking algorithm. The only good thing about that is that SEO wieners are ignoring other search engines so you can get good results out of them again.

p.s. No, I've never even sent them a resume so this isn't sour grapes.

This is a new trend (5, Informative)

Monkelectric (546685) | about 10 years ago | (#11242537)

The forever interview is becoming a new staple of the hiring process.

I had *10 hours* of interviews for a company that didn't end up hiring *ANYONE*, for a shity 50k a year entry position (yes, 50k a year is shitty in the area it was in when an apartment costs 1500/m).

A friend of mine got hired for a company who wanted an expert in *3* non-related research fields (he has a PHD and luckily and experience in those fields). He flew up there and did several *days* of interviews, Then they called him back and said he would also have to be an expert in Unix and could he fly back up to meet their Unix team.

We were able to maniupulate the test conditions and make him appear to be a unix expert. Hes been employed for a couple months now, and has worked entirely as a unix admin, which isnt even what hes hired for.

The job market is nothing less then crazy

Re:This is a new trend (2, Insightful)

wk633 (442820) | about 10 years ago | (#11242652)

Steve McConnel has a great line in 'Code Complete' about how one or two years is enough to learn any language. If you don't know it by then, you never will. I wish I could find the exact quote at the moment. I'm thinking of adding ot my resume for all those jobs that want '5 years exp in embeded C and Java UI design'.

Article flaws (5, Insightful)

harmonica (29841) | about 10 years ago | (#11242538)

When answering a search request, Google does not search the Internet. It searches its index.

The index does not reflect the Internet, but the World Wide Web. And only a small part of it, with the Deep Web being much larger.

Algorithms are not computer code.

Please don't give us more of those regular media articles on Google. They mostly suck when it comes to the technical side. And we have all heard about the free food a gazillion times.

Re:Article flaws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242593)

While you are correct let's not forget that this is 60 minutes and its made for the common man to understand quickly. Next time they have a piece on plumbing im sure you will be happy they dont go into minute details on plumbing lingo. Its all about making it digestible and uncomplicated without making factual errors.

Re:Article flaws (1)

schestowitz (843559) | about 10 years ago | (#11242597)

These are well-spotted. Remember that readers of newspapers will not know what an index is. They have this simplistic picture of the Internet in their heads.

I recently sent an application... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 10 years ago | (#11242544)

...into their advertising division. No word yet, so we'll see if my skills at writing resumes are as good as are my skills at keeping clients happy.

You FAIL it (marketing)! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242667)

I recently sent an application...into their advertising division. ... keeping clients happy.

The goal of marketing is to create dissatisfaction, so that the customer buys stuff. Make them see their computer, car, or headache medicine as too slow; make them see their sex life as being too boring; make them see their whites as too yellow, etc.

Anti-Google Fortune? (3, Funny)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | about 10 years ago | (#11242557)

The /. fortune for this article seems strangely relevant.

To every Ph.D. there is an equal and opposite Ph.D. -- B. Duggan

Re:Anti-Google Fortune? (1)

jotux (660112) | about 10 years ago | (#11242683)

of course there is an opposite ph.d....in bizarro land there is an opposite of everything here in normal land.

Innovative practices... (5, Interesting)

MonkeyBot (545313) | about 10 years ago | (#11242582)

I just finished up with a graduate e-Commerce class in which we did a large case study on Google. They tend to be super-cutting-edge in almost every aspect of their business from technology to revenue generation, so it should come as no surprise that they are extraordinarily innovative in their hiring practices. One of the key things I remember reading about is their extraordinarily high employee satisfaction ratings, so it follows that a whole lotta people would want to work there. So, with a stack of highly qualified resumes like that (they hire a ton of PhDs), you have to expect them to use some pretty unorthodox methods to choose the creme de la creme.
I remember a few years ago they ran a contest to see who could come up with the best project presentation solving some big issue in search technology, and I think I remember hearing about them making the guy who won a big offer (can't remember what the project was on...I'll try to find a link in a minute).
On the other hand, we have IBM, where I start my job this month. The job is in their Business Consulting Services division, and their interviewing process was totally on the other end of the spectrum. I had two rounds of non-technical behavioral interviews, and don't believe they ever even checked my references. Go figure. I would think that IBM would have a large amount of applicants as well and that they would want to be a bit more picky about their interviewing process, but I guess I'm not going to complain because at least I'll be getting a paycheck (I went back to grad school after getting laid off...don't look a gift horse in the mouth, I guess).

Long interviews aren't new (1)

Occams Razor (83673) | about 10 years ago | (#11242661)

I don't know why people think this is such a big deal. One of the last jobs I interviewed for had 10 interviews over the course of a day and a half with the leads of every team I'd be working with- Unix, tool dev, Windows, sysadmin, and behavioral interviews over lunch. The first one started with me being handed a booted laptop running _something_ (turned out to be OpenBSD) and being told "tell me everything you can about this system". And this was just what they did to me as an internal transfer applicant.

It was one of the best interviews I've ever had. I left feeling like I really wanted to work with the team. I got the job and loved working with the team. This was 6 years ago at a big company. The choice to do good interviews isn't new, most places just don't have the energy to do interviewing right.

Re:Innovative practices...(link I promised) (1)

MonkeyBot (545313) | about 10 years ago | (#11242666)

Here's the link... [google.com]

"do no evil" vs "nonprofit"? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | about 10 years ago | (#11242585)

Yes, I know Google tries to remain to be the Good Guys.
But sometimes things get suspicious.
Like GMail and POP3. You see, 1GB webmail with text ads based on contents of email, all fine and clear. But a non-crippling POP3 that lets you avoid the ads?
Where's the catch?

Re:"do no evil" vs "nonprofit"? (1)

emc (19333) | about 10 years ago | (#11242625)

GMail is currently beta.

POP3 might no longer be free, post beta...

Re:"do no evil" vs "nonprofit"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242627)

But a non-crippling POP3 that lets you avoid the ads?
Where's the catch?

Gee, there's a lot of ways to generate revenue - maybe they will sell your emails to advertisers or post them on a future FOX reality TV show called "Secrets of the Internet".

Re:"do no evil" vs "nonprofit"? (5, Interesting)

Maestro4k (707634) | about 10 years ago | (#11242639)

  • Like GMail and POP3. You see, 1GB webmail with text ads based on contents of email, all fine and clear. But a non-crippling POP3 that lets you avoid the ads?

    Where's the catch?

I don't think there is one, I believe they put in the POP3 access for all the geeks who had requested it, most of the general population won't know what POP3 is, or care, they'll continue to use the web-based interface.

I also suspect they're betting on people buying into the concept of having E-mail/storage/etc. available anywhere they can get a network connection. I know I'm still using Gmail's web interface and have no plans to change. I actually like the interface (first time I've ever said that about a web-based E-mail client) and having things centralized has proven to be quite useful for me. I'm frankly hoping they're planning to offer more things like it, maybe a calendar program. (Actually I could probably find a free one of those if I'd every remember to take the time to look.)

Re:"do no evil" vs "nonprofit"? (1)

pebs (654334) | about 10 years ago | (#11242650)

Like GMail and POP3. You see, 1GB webmail with text ads based on contents of email, all fine and clear. But a non-crippling POP3 that lets you avoid the ads?
Where's the catch?

My speculation is that the majority of the people using webmail don't even know or care what POP3 is.

But I am too wondering where the catch is. They didn't say POP3 will always be free, maybe they will make it a pay service at some point. Or maybe they just don't expect many people to use it, but want to make the few that would use it happy.

When/if they get IMAP (even if it is a pay service) I'll be more interested, though.

Re:"do no evil" vs "nonprofit"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242653)

The catch is that their POP3 implementation is very, very poorly tested. It works in the common use case (download a couple of messages every day), but it fails in the case where you need to download a large number of messages (e.g. if you've been using web-based Gmail for a while and want to switch to POP). If you have more than 600-700 messages, be prepared for a nightmare in retrieving them all. If several of them include more than one large attachment, the POP server is very likely to hang unexpectedly. Absolutely not ready for public release, in my opinion, and a terrible implementation.

After spending a day and a half trying to pull ~2100 messages off Gmail through POP, I became quite disillusioned with Google's approach to QA. It seems extremely lax, almost to the point of being ludicrous. Remember how they "forgot" to update the Google Image Search index for eight months straight? Now a poorly tested POP implementation. It's truly amazing Microsoft can't just crush these guys. Not sure what that says about MS.

quoteth the article (1)

paughsw (620959) | about 10 years ago | (#11242594)

... Bill Gates has admitted that, "Google kicked our butt" in Internet search.

Gee Bill, you think?

i interviewed (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242599)

I interviewed about 3 weeks ago at the hq. it was a pretty laborious process.

first I got the e-mail, said it would be a 3-3.5 hour interview. this is apparently normal stuff for google interviewing procedure.

so I show up about 20 minutes early dressed in business professional attire. they have a very cool lobby, lava lamps everywhere, soft sofa to sit on and read the paper, while one waits. there's an overhead display of the current searches on the website.

I met with the woman, who was a contractor, who had e-mailed me. we spoke briefly about contrator positions at google. there's a test every 6 months for who will be let on as a permanent employee and who won't.

the interview is in 3 one hour blocks, all water/soda/snacks/whatever, are on the house if offered. I opted for water. the first people I met with were two of the team members i'd be working with. we went over technical questions they ahd for me, is was a good time, all smiles and "that's good" comments. the position was more of a hardware ops type so it wasn't particularly unix admin type stuff, but we touched on that since it was more above and beyond the requirements, but below junior admin status for google. I figured I'd be ok for a hardware ops.
hour one. very positive response ended on a good note. Grade A (my metric)

the second two were the technical lead adn the supervisor of the team. very smart people, really put me in my place but in a friendly way with the admin stuff, and asked for an example of some shell code, I wrote some on the board stressing it may not be syntactically correct but it's as far as I know accurate. went well but I flopped on easy stuff like fping and reasoning for zone record trimming. another and I think a larger one was "waht do I look for in a leader" I answered in a bitter way as i'd been let down by most of my managers/directors/leaders at all palces i've worked for previously. (not too too important, but I view it as a demerit) still a positive experience. end of hour 2. Grade B

bathroom break. they were really stressing that I be comfortable throughout the process. always stating clearly if I need anything, feel free. the bathroom is very clean and they allow the luxury of paper towels in the mens room. i was pleased.

hour three were two people from another hardware group, I think NOC as they worked a 24x7 type position. one was a manager and another a technical person. at this point i think they were running out of questions. we went over some technical stuff. the difference between runlevel 0 and 6, =) other stuff of nebulous concern to hardware, I hate to toot my own horn but i'm really sharp on pc hardware and linux, so I really answered all the questions completely. after about 30 minutse we were just shootign the shix and I could see they were eager to cut it short, not due to myself but becasue they were out of things to ask. end of hour 3. Grade A

i was escorted out and i haven't heard a word since.

so evern getting the interview might be iffy. I think had I been better with the shell scripting, and perhaps less embittered by my previous employment experience i'd have been accepted.

but honestly, it's a honor just to get nominated.

I don't see what is so special here. (4, Interesting)

the angry liberal (825035) | about 10 years ago | (#11242600)

I'd love to hear others' experiences in their attempt to get hired.

I have not applied at Google, but here are my last two getting-hired experiences:

Current job - 9 interviews
Previous job - 12 interviews

How is that number of interviews considered unique enough to bring up in the headline? I thought this was common practice for IT shops.

The testing is a bit unusual, but if you guys wanted to even work at Wal-mart or Home Depot in the 80's you had to take a couple of tests. I even had to take a couple of lie detector and voice stress tests for minimum wage crap when a teenager.

It's ALL for the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242604)

Get a clue folks, it's quite obvious that they are "harvesting" brilliant people for the NSA, and other less well known tla organizations.

I know that the NSA does this, as I had a friend who was "taken" by them while in college.

No tinfoil hats needed, truth is always better than fiction.

Like Hazing (4, Interesting)

Derling Whirvish (636322) | about 10 years ago | (#11242608)

I see it more as a fraternity hazing ritual than a real attempt to gauge aptitude or ability. Young companies are often like this for some reason.

a gazillion links per request... who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242612)

Yes they screen for the best people, so what? apple, microsoft and such dont hire wimps you know, the cracking part was when the "CEO" was trying to explain why the results you get most times are not always the most relevant and what you get is what have created more web noise (nice tips for the spammers out there)

Get real yahoo have been longer with a better defined business model and google in the other hand receives all the atention, definetly the world has gone crazy.

Another good one is that "experts" think google is just to catalog products and services how to compare them and take better advantage of it, gimme a break.

A good question would have been "great you get a gazillion links per request so what who cares" citing the big fat obnoxious boss [fox.com]

Nice way to get free publicity though.

Google interviews... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242614)

When I interviewed there, wasn't too impressed. One person asked good questions, having me dredge up some areas of CS I hadn't gone over in a long time.. (O(n) really meaning a*n + k for some constants a and k)

Not much else impressive besides that. They had a sheet of paper with one-off questions they could ask, and they crossed them off as they went along.

Now - I had the job, but I chose not to take it. (I currently work at Microsoft and was evaluating options for moving to the bay area. I wouldn't have been eligable for decent pre-ipo options anyhow), and the reasons are this.

[Note, all of this may have changed over the last 6 months. I'm just calling it as I saw it during the interview]

1.) Organizationally they have issues. Two levels between bottom and the top, no fixed product groups, no designers/testers, very, very dev heavy. I understand where developers can check their own work - but honestly, my testers are worth their weight in gold in how well they can think of using implemented features in unexpected ways.

2.) Given no fixed product groups, the 'I work on this one week, I work on something else the next', I was interviewed by a guy working security. He candidly told me his job was an absolute nightmare, as nobody would listen to the security teams.

3.) They have one product with no tie-in. I suggested they go the route of competing with Lexus-Nexus/Westlaw/etc, which would help get them entrenched in LORGs, but it seems they were more interested in being a free email provider. I took it as a difference of opinion about product focus.

Not to say I don't think they have a great product. It's the only search engine I use. But then again, Altavista used to be the only search engine I used.

got through in person interviews twice... (3, Interesting)

_dl_ (20841) | about 10 years ago | (#11242630)

I tried twice to get to google, passed the phone screens twice, which I guess I should consider myself happy about, but 'failed' the in person interviews both times (that was before IPO, I would assume it is much easier to get it nowadays).

My impression was that they value youth and brightness (as in, just out of school, being able to quickly recall or come up with stuff irrelevant to actual work) over actual experience... (but yes, this is obviously sour grapes !)

Discarding too many people (5, Insightful)

pauljlucas (529435) | about 10 years ago | (#11242632)

I've mentioned this before: the interview process that Google uses selects only those people who can solve puzzles in real-time. While such people certainly are smart and possess insight and intuition, there's no correlation to being a good programmer.

In my experience, such people are usually poor programmers. When faced with a problem, they may hack together a solution quickly, but the code they write is often poor from a readability, structural, and maintainability perspective because none of those things are "interesting" in their own right.

Google is discarding many people who are very talented programmers, but who just aren't good at solving puzzles in real-time during an interview. Additionally, the added pressure of you getting hired riding on not only your answer but how quickly you can give it is enough to make a lot of people freeze up.

Personally, when faced with a really hard problem, I often think of a solution when I'm not consiously thinking about the problem. Showering and that period between the time I get into bed and the time I actually fall asleep are two examples of such times. (I keep a notpad and pen next to my bed to write down stuff I think of just before falling asleep and often discover that the next morning when I try it it's the solution I was looking for.)

Re:Discarding too many people (4, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | about 10 years ago | (#11242681)

While such people certainly are smart and possess insight and intuition, there's no correlation to being a good programmer.

Google may believe that they can teach good programming methods, but they can't teach insight or intuition.

Considering that what they have avaliable works as well or better than anything else on the web, I think they've got "code quality" down pat.

Didn't Last Long (5, Informative)

bjtuna (70129) | about 10 years ago | (#11242637)

I got a call from Google earlier this fall, saying they'd farmed my resume off the web and wanted to interview me for some kind of Unix-related position. I spoke on the phone a couple times with an HR person who asked me some general questions and setup a phone interview with a current Google employee.

The phone interview with the employee, who was working at a position very similar to the one I was interviewing for, was rigorous. He asked questions that required me to speak code to him, on the fly. I ended up asking if I could take my time and write the code out before I read it to him, because I didn't want to screw up. I screwed up anyway. I was really nervous and even though the questions weren't very complex, they were things that I wasn't prepared to have to answer on the spot.

I finally heard back from them almost a month later, with the (no surprise) rejection.

What are Google's chances? (2, Interesting)

FuturePastNow (836765) | about 10 years ago | (#11242640)

I can't speak to the questions about Google's hiring process, but reading about the Googleplex and the company ski trip made me think of the old dot-com days. Many companies reached Google's level of financial success (though arguably not its name recognition), and then bit the dust.

We all like to think that Google is different, somehow, but is it really? Or has Google become so ingrained in the way we use the internet that it cannot be destroyed, even if the company itself ceases to exist?

EGp!!. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242649)

For *BSD because MOVIE [IMDBM.COM]

Searching Questions (3, Funny)

dotslashdot (694478) | about 10 years ago | (#11242656)

They kept asking me searching questions--it was like they were looking for something but couldn't find it. I would often respond with "Did you mean
  • what
did I like about my last job?" When my answers were repetitive, I asked the interviewer if they wanted me to reiterate my answers. how strange.

the hammer will fall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11242670)

what will happen when they release their dividends report?, amazon anyone?.

Fairly typical these days (5, Insightful)

Solr_Flare (844465) | about 10 years ago | (#11242672)

Although Google is a bit more on the extreme side hiring process wise, this is definitely very typical for the market today. Anyone planning on getting a job in the tech industry, here are the key things your employer is looking for:

1) Ability to work well with others and in a team environment. This is pretty much critical in tech industry today.

2) Ability to learn quickly and on your own. No one realistically expects you to know *everything*, there is just too much for most people to absorb. What they do expect you to do though, is to be able to teach yourself the things you need to know and learn quickly.

3) Background experience. What companies analyze out of your background really varies from company to company. But, in the end all they are looking for is data that backs up point number 1 and 2. They want evidence that you are balanced, that you can learn well, that you can work well with others. Be it college background, work experience, tech demos you build yourself, etc, all that stuff really is just hard data to confirm your background.

As for the aptitude tests, those are just a way for companies to narrow down the potential applicants. With so many people looking for a job, it helps to shrink the applicant pool any way you can. Trust me, your potential future employer knows you are going to BS on the aptitude test. In fact, they are pretty much expecting it. They just want to ween out the people who aren't serious enough about getting the job and who aren't smart enough or serious enough to BS the test based on what they feel the employeer is looking for.

Honestly, aptitude tests are just a quick and easy filter to get the dumbest of dumb out of the way. What really and truly matters when you apply for a job is the interview(s). That is where your potential bosses can really judge you.

80% of what matters in the hiring proces is all about the interviews. 10% is background, and the last 10% is your BS filter(aptitude tests, on the spot programming challenges, etc).
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