Imagine that the fate of every candidate interviewing for any role at Google was based only on one factor, regardless of how good you answered the questions asked to you during the interview: Mood of the interviewer. Furthermore, it feels the same way regardless of the role you are interviewing for: product managers, sales managers, technical account managers, and even director and leader roles.
Unfortunately, for many companies’ job interviews, getting an offer after your interviews nowadays seems more like a coin toss than an outcome of proper interview preparation. This is especially true for companies like Google, where they get millions of applications every year and only a fraction of them are able to get an offer. It seems like many times the hiring managers and recruitment coordinators are throwing tricky & tough interview questions at the candidates just to fill some checkboxes and do not spare the necessary brain bandwidth to focus on the answer. – Have you ever felt the same?
Well, don’t worry 🙂 It is not always that bad. While it is true that getting offers from a reputable company like Google is getting harder every day, actually you can influence factors like the mood of the interviewer with proper technique during your interviews.
At interviewjoy, we aim to make all career-related steps easier by connecting help-seekers with people who have gone through that road before them. Google’s interview questions are not easy so we made a survey among our customers and service providers to understand the most frequently asked interview questions and the best way to answer them to give you an edge during your interviews.
Before we discuss the top 3 most frequently asked questions in Google interviews and share our Google interview tips, we would like to discuss an idea that was mentioned repeatedly by our customers who got job offers and by our service providers that have the highest ratings: “Controlling the Narrative”.
Controlling the narrative is a process in which you manage the interview session so that you influence the atmosphere of the meeting and control the perception of the recruiter.
Controlling the narrative is a process in which you manage the interview session so that you influence the atmosphere of the meeting and control the perception of the recruiter. This is all about helping the recruiter leave the meeting with positive feelings after the interview. Giving a thoughtful, well structured answers to the questions is still a prerequisite, but you can impress the recruiter even more with just a couple of tricks that you can incorporate into your interview routine. While providing answers to the top 3 Google Interview Questions below, you’ll see that we also added notes showing you how to control the narrative.
Top 3 Google Interview Questions asked in interviews and how to answer them in the best way possible
1. Why Google / Why do you want to work for Google?
This is arguably the most common Google interview question, and for a reason! It seems that this is more of a one-sided question where the recruiter expects you to show your interest for working at Google by telling them how you love the company / dreamt about working there, but actually there are two sides to this question:
1. The first part is about “Google”: Why do you love the company, how knowledgeable you are about what they do?
2. The second part is about “YOU”: Your background, experience, personality and why you’re such a good candidate so that Google should hire you. What is missing at Google that you can fill so that you are a perfect match?
We asked this question to Alex, one of of the highest-rated consultants on our website who sells Google interview prep materials, and he noted a few important things to consider when answering this question:
A lot of candidates answer this question by telling the recruiter that Google is their dream company and why he/she would love to work there, but miss the point the recruiter is actually looking for. Remember that for nearly all of the applicants, Google is one of the “dream companies” to work for, and telling this to the recruiter is just repeating what he/she has heard from all other candidates. A better approach is to look at this from Google’s point of view: interpret the “Why do you want to work for Google” question as “Why should Google hire you?” and formulate your answer accordingly.
Instead of starting with “Google is my dream company”, I suggest starting with “I want to work at Google because I think we are great match. Let me try to tell you why.
Using this approach, you control the narrative: 1- You got the attention of the recruiter, 2- You are providing an answer that is not typically expected so the recruiter will now “remember you” 3- With positive reinforcement, the recruiter is now focusing on “the reasons he/she should hire you”.
In order to show 1- How your skillset will be very useful at Google, 2- that you’ve done your research 3- You’re a good fit for the team, I would suggest going with something similar to the template below:
I want to work at Google because I think we are a great match. Let me try to tell you why.
Let’s look at this hiring situation: you are trying to find a candidate that would ideally fit the role and company like a glove and I’m trying to find a job that will satisfy me and positively challenge me both personally and professionally. I know that this team (do your research before) is working on X and X, and in my previous job I had the chance to work on Y and Y that I think would be very helpful in tackling the problems you currently got (improve on this with more examples from your background/experience).
Of course, it is not only about the job, but the person as well. I did a lot of research on Google and its culture, spoken to many friends, and found out that culturally Google is a place where we can mutually benefit from our relationship. An example of this is… (give a culturally appropriate example to show your Googleyness and expand upon it as necessary).
So, by using this different approach to answer the “Why Google?” question, you’ll have a chance to show that you’re not a typical candidate and by tailoring your answer to the role you’re applying to, you would be able to show the recruiter why you’re a good fit for the role.
2. What is your favorite product and why?
This is again a very common Google Interview Question and it is known to be asked to all candidates regardless of the role they are applying to, from engineers to account coordinators.
These types of “favorite product” questions are a good way of showing your structured thinking skills. Many people would just jump in and start giving an example of a service/product. Instead try this: – Ask the recruiter/hiring manager if he/she has a preference for a software product or a hardware product (make sure you have examples for both).
Do not be overzealous in describing the product, instead, list the tangible/proven facts about it. Remember, the recruiter is not really trying to learn what actually is your favorite product, he is trying to understand your critical thinking skills. Adding an interesting feature of the product that many people may not be aware of to your answer is a bonus, as it shows that you like the product not just for the sake of answering it. Also, add a few improvement points you can think of and tie this with your background/experience. This will show the recruiter that you could be a valuable addition to the team!
3. How do you solve X / how do you market X (to both internal/external stakeholders)?
In “how do you solve this” or “how do you market x” types of problems, the recruiter is trying to understand a few things:
– Your critical thinking skills & are you able to think outside the box?
– Are you able to formulate a structured answer.
For example, for “how do you market X” types of problems, a structured marketing plan would touch these points to define positioning:
- Our product is for (target customers)
- Our product solves (this specific problem)
- Our product is a new (product category)
- It provides (key benefit vs current way of doing things)
- It is unlike (competitor).
Specific to the “how do you solve X” type of questions, the recruiter is trying to understand your leadership skills as well as the outcome of the conflict that might arise when solving a problem/issue. One thing to keep in mind is that not all conflicts reach an amicable solution and sometimes you do the right things and the conflict is not solved immediately.
To differentiate yourself, we suggest giving an example of a conflict where you were not able to solve initially, but had to enlist your colleagues to help you as well. This will show that you are not hesitant to seek help when needed and you value teamwork. A typical conflict would be about the distribution of workload, and these situations are (mainly) solved in a much easier way in a team meeting setting where everybody discusses their workload openly.
According to our research based on candidates and consultants, these 3 questions are the most asked questions in Google interviews regardless of the role you’re interviewing for. We hope that you find the information useful!
At interviewjoy, we connect people who are seeking career-related help with people who have been there! Make sure you search the website to find relevant Google interview help, review the feedback and connect with the service providers to guide you in your career steps!