Google job interviews tend to be amongst the most difficult in the world. The process can consist of multiple rounds with each stage of the interview providing a different set of challenging google interview questions, from behavioural questions, strength based questions, open ended questions to technical, case studies, hypothetical (General Cognitive Abilities, GCA) and finally questions that assess your googleyness! Therefore when it comes your interviews then your Google interview preparation has to be on point!So how do you ace a Google interview? Well, by going through all the key points in this blog article you’ll definitely be one step closer!
1) Why Google?
Out of all of the Google interview questions this is probably the most important to ace, as it sets the tone for the rest of the interview. The way to standout with your answer is to firstly ensure that you tell a truly authentic story of your journey to you applying apply for this role at Google. Make sure that your story is anchored to a key driver, motivator or value which you can align with Googles’. This can then be a consistent point of reference throughout your interview. For example “I’m driven by excellence…Google are driven by excellence” secondly make sure you are completely up to date with Googles latest developments, whether it is technological, business related or otherwise.
2) What skills will you bring to this role?
As part of your Google interview preparation learning how to answer this question effectively, is crucial. There are many ways to approach this question, however a strategy I recommend is to firstly to have a story about your love for the role and your field. This personalises your answer instantly and makes it more unique and memorable. Secondly, focus on highlighting three areas and experiences of expertise that are relevant for the job. Try to be factual with figures to support what you say, additionally if applicable try provide short sharp mini examples from your experiences within your three areas.
3) Provide an example where you’ve had to deal with criticism about your work?
This is a classic Google behavioural interview question and therefore will require you to utilise the competency STAR method (Situation, Task, Action and Result). Many interviewees trip up on this particular type of question because it’s putting yourself in a position to have to talk negatively about yourself. However that is something you shouldn’t be afraid of as the Google interviewers are looking for authenticity in your example. However at the same time ensure that the example you use isn’t for something mediocre, for example you were criticised for coming late to work. Secondly ensure that you show your process of reflection, how you dealt with the negative feedback and eventually turning it around. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable in this process, however do ensure that the lessons learnt are truly implemented at the end by highlighting further work that you’ve turned around.
4) Provide an example where you’ve had influence and convince a difficult stakeholder?
If you have any type of managerial, customer facing, project related role you, Google interview questions about your ability to influence and navigate difficult interactions and work related situations are bound to come up. The way to successfully answer these types of Google behavioural questions is to tell the story from a first person perspective.
You are main protagonist of this story and you’re going to share with them your personal experience within this interaction. So this means What you did, why you did it, when the person responded negatively or aggressively, how did you feel in that moment. From there elaborate on how you responded and why you responded in this way. By taking the interviewer through the back and forth of the interaction, having it played out my a scene from a movie or a play will result in them getting a very clear and intimate picture of your level of emotional intelligence. They will also be able to extrapolate the example and be able to apply it to the job role.
5) Tell us about your favourite Google product?
This question I comes up at virtually every Google interview, if you’re interested in working for Google, they’re going to want to know why! The key to answering this question is two fold, firstly you need to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of this particular product. Secondly is to talk about your personal relationship with this product, how it’s bought value to your life and what it means to you on a personal level.
6) Provide an example where you’ve had a disagreement with a colleague or manager?
This is one of those Google interview questions irrespective of whether you’re interviewing for a technical or non technical job role it’s bound to come up and is a question that you need to be fully prepared for. Before trying to answer this question the key is to understand the purpose behind it. For this it’s really about how you’re able to demonstrate a competent level of emotional intelligence as well as conviction in your own position i.e. if you believe that the other person’s position is detrimental to the project, how far are you willing to pursue your position without negatively impacting the relationship.
7) Provide an example where you’ve had to make a difficult decision?
In this Google interview questions and answers blog, one thing that you may have noticed is that Google value the process above all else and the most important being your thought! With this particular question it is important to firstly highlight all the variables that you have to consider, sign post what they are and then go through the value of each one, by one within the context of why you have to make a decision. Through this process you should be able to successfully answer this question.
What questions are asked in a Google Interview?
There are three key types of questions asked at a Google Interview, here we are going to go through them in more detail.
1) STAR or Competency Based Behavioural questions
This will make up the bulk of most Google interviews, this includes other organisations under the Google Alphabet umbrella such as Waze, Deepmind and YouTube.
Google behavioural interview questions are measuring specific competencies which they believe are important part of the job. In additional to that you will need to ensure that not only are you showing your qualities to do the job but crucially you show case ‘googleyness’ or Google’s principles and values within your actions. In many cases interviewees can give a strong example however don’t demonstrate the required values in their answers which are important to google, such as Google’s slogan of “do the right thing” and end up failing at the interview.
2) Open ended questions
These questions are similar to the hypothetical questions expect here there is virtually no direction or guidance, it is completely down to you to decide how you will approach it. They are very popular with Google Cloud and parts of Google which have a strong B2B business model. Questions can include the following.
- Can you show us a basic business plan for our X product range.
- Outline your approach to a business strategy for Google Cloud enterprise business?
- How you would approach taking a new product to market?
3) General Cognitive Abilities GCA questions
To measure your cognitive ability, Google dedicate a certain amount of time in their interview process to present a range of hypothetical scenarios. In many ways they’re almost the antithesis of Google’s behavioural interviews. The scenario that the interviewer presents will almost certainly be linked to the job role, therefore you don’t need to be to anxious that they’re going to throw you a curve ball question. However you do need to keep calm when being asked and not rush in to answering the question.
4) Google Interview Presentation
At Google if you’re asked to do a presentation the topic of the subject that you’re asked to present is very likely to be about you and you’re experiences. It can range from anywhere from between 10minutes to 40minutes and of course depending on the length of your presentation the amount of depth expected from you will increase and decrease accordingly. The key thing to remember about any Google interview preparation for presentation is to make it engaging and entertaining alongside the technical aspects.
5) Google Technical Interview
These interviews usually are for software developers and engineer roles. Depending on the role they will present an algorithmic, logic and coding problem. With technical interview practice makes perfect and it’s really about familiarising yourself with these types of Google Interview questions and answers.
What are the top questions to ask an interviewer?
As a Google Interview Coach I always recommend that asking a question is your opportunity to leverage control over the interview and show off your strengths, meaning your research, knowledge of the company, your ability to solve problems and generate a positive engagement.
1) I’ve recently read in an article in IT weekly that Google Cloud is planning on challenging AWS in a number of key areas. I think the biggest challenge will be convincing companies come out of the amazon eco-system, despite a better product. I believe of the ways we can overcome this challenge is by creating spaces where companies can come in and experience Google Cloud having a mixture of consultative sales and direct sale approach. What are your thoughts on this?
2) I can see that there is a great atmosphere and chemistry between yourselves and the teams. What would you say is the best thing about working here?
3) In doing my research in to abc, I believe the following areas ____ ____ ____ would be my key priorities when coming in to the role. What are your thoughts on this?
How do you answer a Google interview question?
Simple, with confidence, clear steps of your process and thought process. Finally take your time to internalise and understand the question. Don’t feel overwhelmed just because it’s Google.