How to Get Hired at Google and Live the Silicon Valley Dream

Landing a job at Google or their parent company, Alphabet isn’t easy.  According to research, Google receives about 3 million applications annually. This and its high standards of hiring candidates, make it hard to get a job at Google.  Historically the odds of getting hired are about 0.2% with 1 in 428 people getting hired, but things have only gotten more competitive in recent years. That said,  with the right skills and proper application considerations, you can still beat the odds and get hired for your dream job.

According to first-hand accounts and online reviews Copy My Resume has collected, the hiring process is long and tedious. The interview is said to take about 3-6 weeks. Before, candidates went through 15 to 25 interviews which took six to nine months, and most people recall the experience as awful. This is probably due to their high standards when it comes to hiring candidates. They always want to make sure they choose the best of the best.

Benefits of Working at Google/Alphabet

Even though Facebook pays more than Google, the latter offers lots of benefits and perks than any other company. They aim to make their employees happy and increase their productivity and some include;

  • Free health and dental
  • Free hair cut
  • Free meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • Subsidized massages
  • Free dry cleaning
  • Swimming pools and Gyms
  • Nap pods
  • Video games
  • Onsite medical staff

Who Does Google Hire?

When applying to a new company you need to have a solid understanding of what type of candidate they are looking to hire as well as knowing what it is you want to do at said company. Only once you consider both variables in detail will you be better able to understand your odds of landing the job.

Google offers a variety of jobs; Lead Software Engineer, Senior Staff Engineer, Finance Director, Group Product Manager, among others. Match your interest and skills to the job you’re applying for.

Nowadays, you can get a job without having a degree; the software-related jobs don’t require a degree. All that matters is having experience and you could get it by training or working elsewhere. Most hiring managers will not rule you out if you don’t have an undergraduate degree. What will make a difference in such careers is having skills such as;

  • Logical thinking and problem-solving. This is the most important skill in tech. The ability to pinpoint software problems and provide solutions to these problems is paramount.
  • Communication skills. Because software engineers interact with co-works need them to have great communication and verbal skills. He/she should be able to explain something complex to a layperson.
  • Team player. Software engineers need to respect each other and give their co-workers a chance to express themselves.
  • Creativity. Coming up with new ideas and enhancing new products is needed in tech. Also, coming up with innovative ways to address technology concerns requires creativity.

With these skills and experience, you can apply for the job even without a degree. Remember, Google is on the bleeding edge of technology. If you can prove your skills via non-traditional avenues this is certainly worth considering. Most commonly though, with tech and web development, it’s the quality of your work portfolio that will be the real eye opener for HR.

For more tips on writing an impactful skills section check out this handy dandy HR-approved guide we’ve written!

How to Customize Your Resume to Appeal to Google HR

Since Google is a competitive place to get in, you need to personalize your resume, this means a complete rewrite or better yet, composing a resume for Google completely from scratch. Don’t worry, it’s not THAT hard, you can use our complete resume writing guide to help and download one of our free standardized templates to get started.

Ultimately, with highly competitive companies and positions a generic resume will not get you the job. To perfect your resume;

  • Specify on the projects you’ve worked on and your achievements or success. Also, show how you measure success.
  • Show your leadership skills. If there’s a leadership position you’ have ever held, tell more about it. Explain how big the team was and how you handled everything.
  • Ensure that you have the skills and experience required.
  • Keep your resume short and to the point. Google recruiters have a lot of applications to tend to, so, be brief and to the point.

Once you’ve completed your customized resume it’s time to upload it to Google’s hiring software for their internal teams to review. You can get started directly on Google’s Career page.

Begin your Google application process at:

Connect with a Google Recruiter

Many people who have been hired at Google, admit to talking to a recruiter. They connected with them especially through linked in, and if the conversation is a success they end up being interviewed by Google recruiters.

Asking the recruiters the right questions impresses them too. Mostly those that are related to the job, where you want to understand its responsibilities better.

Prepare for the Phone Interview

Phone interviews last from 30-60 minutes. Be ready to answer questions and ask for clarification. If you’re not applying for software engineering, questions asked will be situational, hypothetical or behavioral. If you are applying for software engineering, most questions will be about data-structures and algorithms. Make sure you explain yourself in algorithm answers.

Pass the On-site Interview

Questions asked are somewhat similar for different candidates. Put down potential questions with their answers. Explain how you solve problems and make decisions. Support your answers with data or evidence.

It’s good to know at least one programming language if the role you’re applying for is technical. Also, expect sample skills assessments and tests which may include data structure, mathematics, graphs, algorithms and more.

Google employees wear differently depending on the role they are in. The sales and operations people wear nice khakis/slacks and shirts. When going for the interview ensure you’re smartly dressed and professional. Smart dress code is a semi-formal outfit; it could be a suit trouser, tie, and a shirt.

If you have passed interview, Google tends to call people to offer them the job personally. So, getting a phone call doesn’t mean you have been rejected; it could bear some good news at times.

Have Googlyness

“Googlyness” is Google’s attribute for being friendly and open. You have to be a person who’s ready to help others without expecting something in return. It can also mean being honest, transparent and fair to your co-workers.

Googlyness incorporates a lot of attributes, not just the ones mentioned above. Generally, you have to be approachable, humble and easy to work with.

Be Persistent & Follow Up

Considering the number of applicants Google receives, you may not pass the interview with the first attempt. Still, be persistent and you could get the role you’re applying for. You can re-apply after 90 days, so all hope of working at Google is not lost.

Following up to a job application with a formal Thank You letter shows sincerity and can only help you if you are already in consideration. If not, then it can still be beneficial in receiving closure to focus your application efforts elsewhere.

If for whatever reason the offer isn’t what you’re looking for then you can always politely and professionally decline the offer and explore other similar tech companies that may be a better fit for your skills/career ambitions. Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Tesla, even NASA are always on the lookout for top tier STEM talent.


Due to highly skilled and ambitious people working at Google, the environment is stressful to work at. It is said that projects change now and then and you may have to do work meant for 2-3 people. You need to keep up when these changes occur.

Google employees work for 8 hours a day in 5 days per week, so, before applying check if their environment and the allocated time suit you.

About Rudeth S

I'm a retired Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist for a leading Fortune 500 company, current volunteer Director at Copy My Resume, a mother of 3 and herbal tea lover!

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