JOB SEARCH / SEP. 30, 2013
version 9, draft 9

How to Get Hired by Google

Have you ever wondered what a big company such as Google seeks from candidate employees? The Search-giant takes a different approach on assessing its candidates - compared to other companies. For Google, talent can come in many different forms and be built in many nontraditional way nowadays.  

If you are desperate to get hired by Google, pay attention to the following hiring attributes and try to understand that its expectations have nothing to do with what a conventional firm expects you to have.


The company wants to figure out how you cope with mobilising a team in different situations. This might be by asserting a leadership role at work or with an organization or by helping a team succeed when you weren’t officially appointed as the leader. Block argues that “what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power”.

Interestingly, while most companies look for traditional leadership attributes in its candidates (e.g. someone who served as a president of a sports society), Google does not even care whether someone took a leadership role. The company rather cares more about how any member of team acts when faced with a problem, whether he timely steps in and leads to tackle the situation.

Role-related Expertise

Google wants to ensure that an employee has the experience and the background that will set him up for success in his role. It also looks for people who possess multiple strengths and passions, not just isolated skills. Engineering candidates are particularly expected to have outstanding coding skills and expertise in technical areas.  

On top of this, Google also considers soft skills such as humility, collaboration, adaptability and loving to learn and updating your knowledge. In an age when innovation increasingly involves cooperation between workforce, these skills become highly significant.

How You Think

When sifting through candidates’ profiles, the company does not really take into account candidate’s test scores or GPAs because academic achievements have no relationship with success. Bock argues that people at school are trained to solve problems that have specific answers. But Google seeks for individuals who are able to figure out stuff that do not involve a clear answer.  According to Bock, candidates are expected to be able to “process on the fly” and “pull together disparate bits of information”.

As such, Googlers want to see how you would approach a given problem: your overall cognitive ability, philosophy and so on.

Watch this video which features Laszo Bock, Google’s head people officer, explaining in detail how Google hires and what qualities are candidates expected to have.


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