Get that interview at Google

Google receives about 3 million applications a year. Thats roughly about 12000 applications every business day. A simple LinkedIn search reveals that Google has some 1200 recruiters all over the globe, which means every Google recruiter handles on average 10 applications every business day. That’s some pretty wide hole for any applicant to get noticed by a recruiter, right?

Wrong. A recruiter has much more work than to look through applications 8 hours a day. They need to scour through LinkedIn, StackOverflow, Github and other job boards in search for prospective candidates. They to need evaluate skill set, experience and education and reach out to prospective candidates for a friendly chat. They need to manage the whole recruitment process, making sure that the interviews are conducted efficiently and professionaly. They need to write reports for job openings, hires and post hire summaries for hiring managers. They need to mentor and provide guidance to recruting coordinators. They need to perform reference checks, salary recommendations, salary negotiation, handle offer acceptance/decline situations and offer generation. Which means they have a hell lot of work, and can be picky on who to call for interviews. Afterall, its 10 times more difficult getting into Google than Harvard.

There are plenty of ways by which you can land an interview:

  • Employee referrals – This has the highest chance of success, assuming that the employee actually knows you and had worked under/with you. Otherwise, it might not carry much weight, and yet might still land you the interview.
  • Applying on career site – Though its pretty easy to submit an online application in Google, chances are you shall be waiting forever for them to contact you.
  • Get noticed by a recruiter – A good LinkedIn, Github, StackOverflow profile or even a technical blog can get the attention of a recruiter and land you your interviews.

Resume

Your first point of entry is a resume. A recruiter on average spends about 6 seconds glancing through your resume. Unless your resume satisfy certain characteristics, you wont even pass the resume screen.

  • Stick to a 1 page resume format.
  • Focus on accomplishments and not responsibilities.
  • Have some open source contributions and pet projects of your own. Create a mobile or web app.
  • Stop making a CV and start writing a resume. Recruiters have no interest in knowing your birthday or marital status!
  • Do not write in paragraphs.
  • Stop writing Objective section. It brings nothing new to table.

Education

Plenty of people say that where you did your education won’t matter at Google. Its true to some extent, as the engineers interviewing you won’t care about your alma mater. But your recruiter will. To them, your college is yet another paramater in a search query to reduce the number of prospective candidates. A recruiter always try to reduce the probability of a bad hire getting in, even though it might reject good candidates too.

But once you landed your first job, your alma mater wont matter much. Only your experience and your company do. So even if you don’t get into Google on your first try, try getting into some good startup and gain some experience. Then apply to Google!

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