IW: What are some qualities that almost all Google employees share?
JG: We look for people who take initiative and make things happen. You’re the one who says, “I have ideas how to fix this, so who’s going to help me?” And then you go get the work done.
IW: What should I know about the culture at Google?
JG: There’s a lot to like. There are pictures and things on our Web site that are worth checking out. I guess the thing to understand is that we’re always seeing interesting problems to solve and we want to put smart people against them.
IW: What’s the average length of employment?
JG: I’m not sure. But we’re growing very quickly and have a very low attrition rate. The people who have been here a while tend to stay.
IW: What should I wear to the interview?
JG: You’re going to find people in all sorts of different outfits. Business casual is always good because it’s right down the middle. Pair of pants and a shirt. Shoes are also recommended.
IW: How much should I know about the company before I come in?
JG: If you’re going to spend the time to be out here, it helps a lot to ask questions that pertain to how our business works. There’s a lot of info out there about us. We don’t typically use pre-existing knowledge of our own products as a way to screen out, but then again it’s a good indicator that the candidate has done their homework. I’d recommend opening up an AdWords account. Most of our products are free, so there are plenty of ways to get to know the company.
IW: Would it be wise to bring up Google’s competitors, let’s say Yahoo?
JG: That could be an appropriate topic, especially if you’ve got something insightful to offer. We don’t want anyone to disclose anything they’re not supposed to, but comparing and contrasting products can be a great way to get a discussion going.
IW: I think the interviews went great, but I haven’t heard back. How long should I wait until I follow up?
JG: It’s always fair game to reach out to your recruiter and check in on the process and get an ETA. It depends. Different groups have different processes, so your best route is the recruiter.