Talking about Google’s old and new hiring practices seems to be all the rage at the moment, so I thought that I would get in on the act.

I got through two phone interviews for a technical consultant role here in the UK before being rejected. My second interviewer told me that he’d had fourteen interviews before being hired. That’s just an absurd number. How much holiday and sick leave can you take at short notice without arousing suspicion?! (They were both long enough or required Internet access that I couldn’t do them at work.)

By the end of the second I was in two minds whether to take things any further anyway. I wanted to work for Google, but could I go through fourteen interviews? I was concerned about the money, as no number was on the job spec and big names often offer low and offer options to compensate. I can’t pay my mortgage with stock options! And the work in the consulting side didn’t sound quite as appealing as the kind of thing you hear on the development side.

Most significantly, was the style of interview. They asked brain-teasers, which I tend to think is a lousy way to scope out a candidate. Either you know the trick and can do it instantly, you get lucky or you need a hint. None of these really shows how smart you are, how well you can program a computer, interact with clients or, indeed, any other aspect of the job. The interviewer was also clearly typing away in the background while I was trying to answer the questions, only half listening, which was just plain rude.

Most communications were friendly and personal, right up to the last. The rejection email was signed, impersonally, “Google Staffing.”

So overall I’m not terribly impressed with Google recruitment. Okay, maybe I’m biased against them as they turned me down but as an interviewer I’ve always considered part of my job as leaving a positive impression of the company even with candidates that are not going to be hired. Google failed in this.


One response to “Hiring”

  1. I found another thread on google recruitment today which may be of interest. It is not that new but some revealing comments on it. Plenty others have issues with their recuitment process so it seems! 🙂