Jeff Barr's Blog

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Google Can’t Google?

Last year Google tried to convince me to join their ranks. I had a nice trip to Mountain View, a pleasant day of interviews, and a glimpse inside of their campus. All pretty cool. I ended up shutting down the process between the “we really want to hire you” and the “here’s the offer” phases, for any number of reasons that I won’t get in to tonight. Ok, just one of them. They were almost ready to make the “can’t refuse” offer but the process became bogged down when I couldn’t recall my college GPA. Given that I earned my degree in 1985 and have been earning a living by writing code since I was 15 or 16, this didn’t seem all that essential.

Funny thing is, I now have several more emails in my inbox from other Google recruiters. After reading these emails it appears that they don’t know that I interviewed there last year! Perhaps they don’t have this data in searchable form. Could that be?

The most recent email was actually kind of entertaining. I’m sure that its not proprietary, so I’ll share the best part with you:

In preparation for your phone interview: * Familiarize yourself with the job description under Product Development. * Familiarize yourself with all of Google’s products (you will be asked both technical & business related questions) * Be prepared to answer Product Design / Analytical questions (be sure to think of the user when answering this question) * Conduct some searches (Google product manager) * Research our competitors

So, before this amazingly comprehensive phone interview I am supposed to study the technical, competitive, and business aspects of their searching, mapping, blog searching, blogging, calendaring, document storage, finance, groups, social networking, and feed reading products.

Sure, and after I have done this and they invite me down, will they expect me to create dark matter from stuff found in the supply rooms, or to invent a unified field theory while standing at a whiteboard? Maybe I can do all of this while balancing on a Segway and sipping an Odwalla, just to make it challenging.