A Google exec shares the worst thing he hears in job interviews -- and what applicants should say instead

Hiroshi LockheimerGoogleThis is the biggest mistake you can make when applying to Google, said Google’s SVP of platforms and ecosystems Hiroshi Lockheimer.

It’s not enough to just want to work at Google.

If you really want to land a job at the tech giant, you’re going to have to get more specific, according to Google’s SVP of platforms and ecosystems Hiroshi Lockheimer.

“It’s important to know what you are passionate about,” he told Business Insider. “It’s not just, ‘Oh, I want to work at Google’ — but I’ve heard some people say that.”

The tech company has grown to incorporate numerous products and services, so it helps to have an idea about which team you want to work on.

“Being able to sort of articulate, ‘Well, here’s what I’m really passionate about and here’s what I want to work on,’ is really important,” Lockheimer said. “Just make sure you make your preferences known so you’re routed to the right team.”

While this expectation isn’t as high for interns and entry-level candidates — “You don’t really know yet. You want to explore,” Lockheimer said — when it comes to more experienced applicants, Lockheimer recommended they come in with a strong sense of their own passions, as well as the initiatives and products they’d like to work on.

And since he said many Googlers end up switching projects every few years, demonstrating flexibility is also key.

“If they want to specialize in a certain area that’s ok, too, but figuring that out is important,” he said. “You do spend so much of your life — even if it’s just nine to five, that’s still a big chunk of your life — working. You want to make sure the fit is good.”

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