I’m sure a good number of readers of this site have thought of working for Google before. What would it take? What’s it like there? What kind of people end up there? A great many magazines, blogs and even books have tried to address these questions, but most never really capture what Google is like quite as well as the whimsical, out-of-the-box nature of their interview questions. The place voted among the top best places to work is also one of the hardest places to get a job at; who knew? In any case, if you have ever thought of becoming a Googler or know somebody who has, check out these interview questions and the jobs they were for. Some may make sense and others may be more out of left field, meant to test critical thinking skills, values and other mental or psychological qualities that are less cut and dry than being intelligent and quick-witted.
An associate product manager applicant was asked what their favorite Google product was and how to improve it. An associate account strategist applicant was asked what they would do if they had an allergic coworker but wanted to bring their dog to work. Another gunning for the same position was asked how to monetize an ad-free YouTube. An administrative business partner interviewee was asked what they know about Google. A business analyst dream was asked to design an evacuation plan for the building. An aspiring account strategist was asked if a flower shop or a funeral home would have more advertising potential in Boston. An interviewee for a quantitative analyst position was asked if a coin that landed on heads 560 times from 1,000 flips was biased.A product specialist interviewee was asked the rather ambitious question of what “being Googley” meant. Somebody trying to slot in as an applications support engineer was asked, in classic Google fashion, what prank they’d pull on a manager if hired. An old classic interview question actually popped up for an aspiring interaction designer; they were asked what they would do if they didn’t have to work.
An interviewee for an administrative assistant position was asked what they thought of people having to use their real names to sign up for Gmail and Google+. An up-n-coming business analyst was asked, simply, what scared them. Meanwhile, an interviewing business associate was asked how many ways they could think of to find a needle in a haystack. Somebody wanting to be an intern was asked to estimate how many tennis balls could fit in a plane. Meanwhile, an associate account strategist in waiting was asked what they would choose if they could be remembered for one sentence. To top it all off, a humble database administrator interviewee was asked to name and propose a solution for the world’s biggest problem. As you can see, Google doesn’t exactly go easy on applicants, but their questions have a method to their madness; a specific culture is being cultivated here.