Google Is Hiring: The Secret To Getting A Job At Google

get job googleThere's the woman who designed her cover letter like the Google's ad materials (she got an interview, no job). There's the man who created an entire website to land a job there (he got an interview, no job). Forums are filled with frustrated applicants to Google, with Ph.D.s and decades of experience, who did the dance for months, only to get a "no thank you" message in their inbox.

Tales of "world-shaking innovation" and "free sushi" lure a million applicants a year, but only 0.5 percent of them make it through Google's mystical gate. Some applicants have had multiple interviews, only to be told that they'll be contacted when a job becomes available -- sitting for months on the waitlist for the hippest party in town.

It's a party with golden goody bags: Software engineer interns at Google can earn between $5,000 and $8,800 a month, according to, and those engineers who go on to become employees can earn as much as $250,000 yearly. Even less-technical jobs, like those of account manager and AdWords associate, are handsomely compensated ($68,000 and $53,000 a year, respectively).

To find your in, Google hopefuls should scan their alumni networks for current employees or try to hunt down recruiters on LinkedIn -- the personal touch never hurts when a company receives thousands of applicants a day. And Google has a soft spot for the unconventional resume and cover letter, if it's done well. Just don't make it "too big, too bulky and too boring," advises Gayle McDowell, a former Google recruiter and author of "The Google Resume."

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The process usually involves two phone interviews, followed by one or more interviews on-site -- although sometimes applicants go through five or six rounds of grilling. In the earlier stages applicants are lobbed Google's notorious brainteasers, like "How many cows are there in Canada?" or "How many tears are shed between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Southwestern United States?"

Fearlessness is the key to these questions, according to McDowell. There's no point stuttering and squinting and squeezing your brain for the right answer -- there isn't one. Applicants should just open their mouths and start talking through a reasonable way of solving the puzzle.

Yes, Google has a predilection for Ivy Leaguers, and a stellar grade point average will give you a bump. But McDowell emphasizes that Google just wants to know that you're smart and hardworking, and a lofty GPA is just one way to prove that. Another former recruiter, writing on, says that applicants from top tier schools need at least a 3.0, and from less well-known institutions, grades that are a notch higher.

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"It is frustrating to find the 'perfect' candidate," the former Googler writes, "only to be told by the hiring manager to not even bring the person in to interview because a 3.2 from San Jose State is not hireable."

Depending on the position you're vying for, you may receive a writing and logic test, or be asked to scribble up some code in a Google doc or on a whiteboard, so your interviewers can watch the way that your brain cogs turn. And unless you're a wunderkind software engineer, ushered into the fold on a unicorn-led chariot, you also need to prove your "Googliness" -- an intricate combination of quirkiness, passion, ambition, wacky creativity, and obsession with Google.

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Interviewers will often ask applicants to give examples of a time they led a team or influenced people, according to McDowell. "I led through fear and threats of violence" and "I influenced my team by running to upper management" are not Googly answers.

Not all Google employees wax romantic about their time there. There's the ex-Google engineer who slammed the company on Microsoft's blog, and it's evolution from an "innovation factory" to "an advertising company" fixated on competing with Facebook. And there's the former contractor who was traumatized after a year of watching the most heinous, illegal smut on Google products, only to be given one free therapy session and shown the door.

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But your average Google employee is very happy, and getting happier. Employee satisfaction there in fact leapt up by over a third last year, according to CareerBliss, more than at any other U.S. company. This may be partly due to a generous new death benefit -- paying 50 percent of the deceased employee's salary to the spouse for a decade -- and changing it's maternity leave from three months partial pay to five months full pay.

They say the acceptance rate at Harvard is so impossibly small that scores of qualified applicants won't make it out of sheer bad luck. The same could be said of Google -- except the company's acceptance rate is nine times smaller.

Looking for a job at Google? Start your search here.

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Honestly I dont understand why Google needs to pay that much too employees. As long as you have a decent wage like 50-70 grand a year, not much more then a Chef as of a few years ago, Google could afford to keep the lead in innovation (where apple has failed since Steve Jobs. Becoming a luxury brand and all), and i doubt employees would really mind. I mean hell, they get to work for Google, one of the very few big companies that's actually trying to do something for the world. And besides, who needs ungodly high wages when you get half your grocery bill free during work?

September 01 2015 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

LOL So exactly what type of person would be the perfect "candidate" for a job at Google?? Wow! Is it really getting so that in order to get a job with these "well known" companies you have to be willing to compromise yourself in any way?? You prepare, have qualifications (and degrees) out the ass with a GPA to match, go through the "song and dance" of the hiring process just to wait god knows how long for a response back only to eventually be met with a, "you don't qualify" in your inbox?? LOL Then I say to YOU..... NO THANKS! Have you walking away questioning your own intelligence and worth. Great search engine (I'll give them that), just not up for jumping through endless hoops, dumbing down and constant mind games for a job. To damn picky. This country is going straight to hell. *smh*

August 06 2015 at 9:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
a mazed

I know someone who works for Google and am very surprised. This person is not the brightest in fact they are the type that usually respond " Umm I don't know to any question that requires any thought or imagination. I actually went to collage with this Google employee and did group work with her . She was the kind to never show up for meetings and ride on coat tails of others to get by. So if its hard to become an employee at Google how did they let this one slip in?

November 11 2013 at 2:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Google is more selective than Harvard? I'm not surprised; with those kinds of benefits, people are willing to do anything to work there - and will.

But I've found there's been a recent backlash against the common belief that Google is the ultimate place to work at. Scores of disgruntled ex-Googlers have taken to the Internet to voice their disappointment and disillusionment that it wasn't all that they had envisioned it to be. It's inevitable that there would be a bit of disconnect when it's held up on such a high pedestal, but I was still surprised at some of the complaints about management style and job culture. I suppose when you're at the level of talent/skill that would land you a job at Google, you don't have any reason *not* to hold out for the very best. It just goes to show that Google has room to grow in actually retaining the talent that it so easily attracts.

At the end of the day, there are plenty of other jobs that are at a similar caliber to what you might expect from working at Google. Personally, has been a great resource for me in my job search :)

October 09 2012 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Last Morsel

Some of this is probably true, but a lot of it is probably hype. Google is a great search engine. Don't get me wrong. I use it all the time. It's better than Bing, Yahoo, etc. combined. Of course, they make so much money they can probably pay their employees really well and be really selective. But I think that the hiring process is about the same everywhere. You hire people who are "good fits" as in: 1) play well with others that already work there, 2) can contribute to the profit margin. At the end of the day, it is all about running a business smoothly.

September 25 2012 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great googley moogley !!

September 24 2012 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy Shick

Second to last paragraph should not have an apostrophe in "it's". Attention to detail. I deserve a job at Google.

August 31 2012 at 8:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oh Great One

One of the first realities one must face in the hiring game is that personnel departments are not looking for reasons to hire you. They are looking for reasons to NOT hire you. If you pass the education hurdle, the testing process, and the first interview, you then will be interviewed(probably in a luncheon setting) to see if we have a "FIT." A fit is the likelihood that you will be sufficiently dishonest to work for them. The hiring people cannot TELL you to be unethical. What they are looking for in this interview is a subjective estimation of how likely you are embrace questionable behavior. There exist many other considerations too numerous to explain here. Since no one EVER listens to me, I am reluctant to waste anymore of my time. . However, if you wish to learn more, some day I'll post my experiences on facebook.. In the meantime, I wish you the best of luck ... unless you are a first-born, in which case, I hope that you are chased by a herd of rabid gnus.

August 30 2012 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Google is good. But so is a good fart. I would have said to the question: How many cows in Canada. My ex-wife.
But they would have shown me the door. ahhhhhhh

August 27 2012 at 11:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Buddy Maxwell

I am 81, retired, poor, in frail physical health, and happy as a bug in a rug that I don't have to listen to or worry much longer about how rotten this country has become!

August 25 2012 at 6:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Buddy Maxwell's comment

And this would be Googles fault??

August 28 2012 at 9:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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