Photo: Keng Susumpow
Google is almost as famous for its amazing workplace – (Free valet parking! Amazing retreats!) – as it is for its incredibly painful hiring process.The problems have been:
- Google preferred Ivy Leaguers.
- It cared about your GPA, even if you’re in your 30s.
- Google would hassle applicants with “brain teaser” interview questions.
We know about this painful process because we’ve experienced it first hand.
About five years ago, I applied for a sales job at Google and was told early on that my college GPA (a 3.0) would probably ruin my chances. (I didn’t get the job.)
When she applied for a Google job out of college, Business Insider startups reporter Alyson Shontell was pelted with mind-numbing teasers during her “nightmare” interview process.
But there is good news for wannabe-Googlers.
A former Google recruiter named Gayle Laakman McDowell says the company has finally “banned” most of these awful hiring practices.
Of the brain teasers, she says: “If an interviewer were to ask a candidate a brain teaser, despite the policy, the hiring committee would likely disregard this interviewer’s feedback and send a note back telling the interviewer not to ask such silly questions.”
How bad were these “silly questions” that Google had to outright ban them?
Pretty bad. Seattle job coach Lewis Lin put together a list of 140 questions his clients were asked by Google. Here are…
…every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
Job: Product Manager
…, but you cannot ask him directly. You must write the question on a card which and give it to Eve who will take the card to Bob and return the answer to you. What must you write on the card, besides the question, to ensure Bob can encode the message so that Eve cannot read your phone number?
Job: Software Engineer
…and your crew gets to vote on how the gold is divided up. If fewer than half of the pirates agree with you, you die. How do you recommend apportioning the gold in such a way that you get a good share of the booty, but still survive?
Job: Engineering Manager
…You have access to a 100-story building. Eggs can be very hard or very fragile means it may break if dropped from the first floor or may not even break if dropped from 100th floor. Both eggs are identical. You need to figure out the highest floor of a 100-story building an egg can be dropped without breaking. The question is how many drops you need to make. You are allowed to break 2 eggs in the process.
Job: Product Manager