Googleyness in the google interview process is a part of the famous practice among industries in Silicon Valley called "culture fit".
With culture fit, they mean that to be an asset to the company, you must possess the same traits as those who’re already employed within it.
These traits are imbibed explicitly in their culture.
In their employees.
These values are lucid in the workers to the CEOs of these companies.
For instance, the statement of Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, "we try to work on things which billions of people will use every day" manifests those values for Googlers.
Google believes in culture fit to such an extent that it coined its own word, Googliness.
Googleyness equips Google's interview process with the ability to select googlers from the crowd of applicants.
It helps Google fulfil its promise of "Not being Evil", its motto that Google adopted in its infancy and honours it to date.
Though the term sounds cool and enticing, due to the lack of clarity of the term and the wide variety of qualities that the Google interview process revolves around, it gets tricky for aspirants to clear the google interview.
Let's break down this term in this blog and form the right strategy for clearing this round.
What does google exactly mean by googleyness in Google interview? 🤔
Kim Scott, the director of Google's AdSense online sales and operations had attended one of Google's quarterly meetings in 2008 and her mind was racing due to the continuous innovation projects happening everywhere at Google.
Scott was hired to help plan and manage the growth of Google Adsense in 2004.
She had been a Harvard Business School graduate and never stayed at the same company for more than three years and wondered the same for Google.
But, it has been 4 years and Scott was pleased that Google still had the same entrepreneurial place that excited her in 2004.
Founders Larry and Sergey had successfully laid the foundation of a culture that rewarded Innovation and improvement.
Here, the applicants were screened for “Googly qualities” that’d enable them to thrive even after four years of working
Googleyness qualities of an applicant are tested as 1 of the 4 attributes of the onsite Google interview process
✅ General cognitive ability
✅ Role-related knowledge
With around 1 million applicants competing for a job which has an acceptance rate of 0.2 %, no stage should be considered more important.
Yet, this stage has its specific charm for its vagueness and position in the process.
It's the final roadblock to joining Google.
Why is Googleyness round in google interviews a two-way street? How can you benefit?
While appearing for this stage you must not forget the fact that, as much as you need google, so does google needs you.
When you join the company, then you aren't just giving your best technically, apart from this also contributing a lot to the company culture.
Thus, the Google interview process revolves around validating your conformity with questions that directly hit the choices you made in your career and life.
The importance of Googleyness must not be undermined.
Googleyness in the Google interview process is to weed out candidates possibly being “toxic employees” or” false positives”.
To clear it, you need to form your answers in the “googly way”.
Google interviews mostly revolve around 15+ Googleyness qualities.
To make it easy for you to process them, we have divided these qualities into 6 sections.
- Fun-loving and playful
- Possess intellectual humility
- A strong measure of conscientiousness
- Takes comfort in ambiguity
- Courageous and willing to take exciting paths in life
- Collaborative nature & a team player
Feel free to navigate into these sections or go full-on into the post. The least we can say is that it will help you a lot.
6 core values of Googleyness interview round and potential google interview questions 👇
These values give a glimpse of the nature you need to possess to join the company which rises from the aspiration of being the best company in the world.
1. Fun-loving and playful
As simple as it sounds.
Google is a place for you if you can fit in an open, creative and inventive workplace. It’s a colourful office with a third space.
Some questions that the interviewer asks are to know you as a person.
At this time the interviewer sees through the depth of your character, your hobbies and the way you interact with your colleagues at work.
What activities do you indulge yourself in outside of work?
Tell me about what you are most passionate about outside of your professional work.
What is the maximum number of golf balls that can fit in a typical school bus?
2. Possess intellectual humility
Google is one of the few companies that support not a “need to know culture”, but “want to know culture”.
Thus, Google interview processes test the applicant’s willingness to learn and some questions are designed to bring those traits out of the candidate.
✪ Life-long learner
Include stories in your answers about your overcoming shortcomings and climbing up the ladder in your previous place of work.
The more you project yourself as a lifelong learner, the more you improve the chances of being selected for Google interviews.
✪ Humble, courteous and caring
The interviewer weighs these traits in the way you frame your answers to Google interview questions.
They are like those ingredients in your recipe which can enhance the essence without increasing or decreasing the amount.
Make sure not to sound boastful or overbearing while framing your answers.
- Tell me what you know about the history of Google.
- What do you think digital marketing may change in the next 5 years?
- Describe a technical issue you once encountered and how did you solve it?
- What can I discover about your personality by browsing your browser history?
- How do you manage to ensure that your peers are doing what they need to do?
3. A strong measure of consciousness
Unlike any other tech company, Google is idealistic and value driven from day one. The morality proclaims about its work is the company's biggest source of attention.
Your confidence plays a crucial role in supporting your answers and portraying your interviewer as the true version of yourself.
✪ Value yourself and others. Respectfulness
Through your answers, you must possess that you value not only diverse tech skills and perspectives but you also respect diversity in the workplace.
Your answers must portray gender neutrality and liberal political values.
Showing modesty and gratitude in your answers to google interview questions goes a long way.
✪ High standards
Google isn't looking for employees but owners and leaders and for that, your answers in google interviews must portray you have relentlessly high standards.
You should mention how you continuously raise the bar for yourself and drive your team to its goal.
- Tell me something about yourself.
- Why do you want to join Google in the first place?
- Why did you leave your previous job?
- So how did you come to be [present position] at [your current place of work]
- Can you give me an example of a time when you and your senior (or manager) were at odds? How did you two finally come to a consensus?
4. Comfort with ambiguity
This value is the fundamental quality of Google.
Larry and Sergey went on to explore the web which was no less than exploring space.
This made the navigation of the world wide web even at a time when the public was just getting access to it.
Mention good projects that you pursued in your education and your career and how you contributed to them.
Your answers should reveal your enthusiasm and motivation for your work.
Be proud of your achievements and speak loud about them.
✪ Out-of-the-box thinker
In a google interview, your interviewer might ask some unusual and unexpected questions to assess a candidate's creativity and critical thinking.
At this point remind yourself that there isn't any wrong answer and be confident in your take.
Not only the record from your past career but also your receptivity to the question and the way you interpret the questions says a lot about this value.
Share something about yourself that you haven't put in your resume.
- What would your first three months look like if we hire you?
- Can you explain AdWords to someone who’s not familiar with the product and online advertising?
- If you were told to create a campaign to increase Gmail’s user base, what would you do?
- What steps could youtube take to improve its business model?
- Tell me about an area where you think we are overinvested and one area where you think it is underinvested.
- Do you think Google should charge for their productivity apps or provide them for free? Do you think it is a good practice? If not, why?
- How many golf balls can fit in a typical school bag?
- What do you think of people not using their legal name when setting up a Gmail account?
- Share a story with me about when you had to handle confusing circumstances.
Heather Cairns was the 3rd employee of Google and she recalls the time, the job description used to be “we are gonna do the stuff that we don't want to do”.
She says that it was the glamour of the J.D. that drove her to Google.
Your stories from your past experiences that you frame as answers in the google interview should tell how you navigate through challenges.
You should try answering all google interview questions without giving up on any of them.
✪ Self-improvement ability
Your current position of work and standards should be higher than where you started.
The graph of your growth should be rising rather than falling.
Your energy level throughout your interview tells a lot about how as an employee you're going to work.
You exhibit these traits not only in your tone and words but also through your body language.
- Have you ever taken any risks in your career or failed professionally? What was it? What was the reason you took the risk, and what are your takeaways from that incident?
- Describe a time when you were faced with a challenge. Describe how you managed to overcome it.
- Describe a time when you faced a technical challenge and how you solved it.
- Share a time when a project had expanded beyond what was its anticipated expansion.
Google believes that effective collaboration is the core component of team performance.
✪ Friendliness and Team player
Tell what you did in your previous job to foster communication, trust and engagement.
The interviewer is looking for traits like empathy, equality and confidence that you display towards your team members.
These qualities are reflected throughout your onsite google interview, from the way you answer your questions to the way you ask questions to the interviewer.
Showcase your intention to learn and grow in your applied position.
- If an advisor does not see the benefits of Adwords due to poor conversions, how would you convince them to stay on board?
- How would you ensure a hesitant client that making the move to a cloud solution is the right thing to do?
- Tell me a time when you had to sell or propose a solution to an engineering or stakeholder team.
Do check out our guide to Amazon leadership principles to discover more such behavioural interview questions.
5 steps to mindset building process to prepare for the google interview process 💡
No wonder it can be overwhelming for any candidate to frame their answers based on each of these qualities.
To deal with this roadblock, we came up with a mindset strategy that ensures that the quality of the insights of your answers you unearth remains great.
Step 1: Reflect back on your past work experience
To show your original self in the google interview and to make sure your answers are genuine, you must come up from incidents from your past.
Everyone encounters tons of challenges in their lives and their role in them is filled with all googleyness traits that google is looking for.
Thus it helps to look back in your past and prepare a list of all those incidents that are worth mentioning.
Step 2: Frame your STAR stories out of those experiences
If you overthink each one, it can seem like every incident is an interview success which generally isn't the case.
While most stories can be close to your life but it's those that are the most important will help you clear google interviews.
To find those stories, frame every incident in your career in the STAR structure.
The situation, Task, Action and Result.
Step 3: Focus on being your authentic self
Another important aspect of framing your STAR stories is to keep your answers genuine.
Most often aspirants end up being boastful about their achievements which unnecessarily gives a negative impression to the interviewer.
Step 4: Discuss with your peers those situations
List down those people around your peer circle who know you well and can provide you with neutral remarks on your answers.
These can be your colleagues in current or previous jobs, friends who cleared google interviews or studying to prepare for google interviews or interviews for other FAANG companies.
Take their advice and implement only those parts which you find correct.
Step 5: Ask a mentor to review your stories
The stories you’ve formed, which you think of being award-worthy may or may not match the requirements of google.
Your stories may require some “googly polish”. For this, the role of a mentor comes into play.
Find out mentors who work in these companies and get your stories reviewed by them.💫
Final tips from the mentors ✍️
👉 Your movements matter
Your body language speaks about you more than you speak about yourself. So showcase positive body language in front of the interviewer.
👉 Your last answer is their first question
The interview gets boring by asking the same question again and again to hundreds of candidates in the interview round.
They thus pick up questions from your answers.
With the right guidance, you can utilise this technique for turning the wind of the google interview in your favour.
👉 Don't sound too theoretical
Sometimes, while framing the answers, candidates may deviate from the actual situation and can communicate unrealistic actions in the STAR stories.
At this point, you need someone who can look at your answer from different perspectives and help you genuinely present them.
Wrapping it up
Having stressed a lot over the aspect of framing the right answer for the google interview to unearth the best insights from your life, everything boils down to a single solution: having a mentor to guide.
No wonder an aspirant may face several challenges from understanding the body language to framing the STAR situation or from mock interviews for google to feedback and evaluation.
Preparing for an interview is like battling against uncertainty; a mentor is the most needed person to take you away from uncertainty to certainty.
We at Preplaced take you to a mentor who gives you handholding support until you clear your google interview. 😎