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Want to Work for Google? Here’s How

Want to Work for Google? Here’s How

So, you want to work for Google, eh? You’ve heard about their high pay, amazing benefits and unique corporate culture and now you want in. Well, you are not alone. Google receives mountains of job applications; in fact, in one week alone they reported being sent over 75,000 of them. The question is, amid this stiff competition, how can you set yourself apart and land your dream job? What does Google look for in their potential new hires?

Here are seven things Google looks for in their employees:

1. Cognitive Ability Is Valued Above All Else

Cognitive ability does not mean IQ. Google is looking for those with the ability to learn new things. They want people who can process data on the fly and adapt quickly to new situations.

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Google uses a carefully designed and meticulously tested behavioral interview process to assess a candidate’s cognitive abilities. To prepare for such an interview, consider doing some lateral thinking puzzles which force you to solve problems through outside-the-box thinking.

2. Emergent Leadership

Google values emergent leadership over traditional leadership. This means that they would rather see an example of where you took the lead on your own initiative, as opposed to hearing that you were class president or team leader. They want to see that you can take the lead without being assigned to fulfill such a role, and, almost more importantly, that you are okay with relinquishing that power when it is appropriate to do so. Google is very team-oriented, and in many ways eschews a typical employee hierarchy. They want people who can move in and out of leadership positions on the fly.

3. Humility

Google wants people who are confident in their abilities, but humble enough to know when to yield to a better idea. Lazlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of people operations, put it this way: “You need a big ego and small ego in the same person at the same time.” You must be able to acknowledge and learn from your failures.

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4. Ownership

Google wants employees who take ownership over the tasks they are assigned; those who are passionate about solving problems and pushing the company forward. They feel a sense of responsibility which drives them to overcome obstacles. In other words, they do not want people who view working for them as just a paycheck, they want people who see their work as an extension of themselves.

5. Expertise

According to Bock, while expertise is important, especially for more technical positions, it is actually the least important of the qualities that they look for in an ideal candidate. Often a so-called “expert” will, when presented with a problem, default to the way they have always done things, as opposed to trying new techniques. Google prefers those that can exhibit their expertise in innovative ways.

6. Accomplishments Beyond Your Degree

Bock stated that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time.” In fact, on some Google teams, up to 14% of the members do not possess college degrees. He went on to add, “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless…We found that they don’t predict anything.”

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Of course, none of this is to say that good grades and a relevant college degree are not valuable in landing a job at Google, especially since many positions there require advanced math, computing and coding skills. It is just to say that while these things are a great starting point, Google doesn’t believe that they tell the whole story.

 7. Show, Don’t Tell

Google wants to see what you can create. For example, If you are a programmer, you are more likely to get a job by showcasing your code itself than by listing off your impressive work history or industry certifications. They want to see clear examples of your proficiency, like an open source project that you contributed code to or an innovative approach you took to a challenging project. Ultimately, if you say you know how to do something, you’d better be prepared to back that up.

 

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Google is looking beyond traditional qualifications and searching for those that know how to innovate, learn and work effectively within a team. If you think that you’ve got what it takes, then don’t hesitate to apply for your dream job. Even if your sights are set elsewhere, showcasing these qualities will help you to be a more attractive candidate in any job hunt.

 

 

Featured photo credit: Google Logo in Building43 / Robert Scoble via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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