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Google WLTM hard-working, cognitive-thinking experts

How to get a job at Google
Thu Feb 27 2014, 10:51
Man thinking about clouds

GOOGLE HAS REVEALED the magic markers that interviewees display that line them up for a role at the web giant.

A report called 'How to get a job at Google' has appeared online at the New York Times and just about anywhere that people write down words. At its source is the NYT having a chat with Laszlo Bock, the SVP of people operations for Google, or what most corporations call "human resources".

Bock told the newspaper that while Google sees merit in good grades, there are five other things that will lead it toward hiring people. These are cognitive thinking, leadership, humility, ownership and expertise

"There are five hiring attributes we have across the company. If it's a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles," he said.

"For every job, though, the [number one] thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it's not IQ. It's learning ability. It's the ability to process on the fly. It's the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioural interviews that we validate to make sure they're predictive."

So, point one on your CV should highlight your cognitive ability and, er, the rest of that stuff. The next point to think about is leadership, and Bock and his HR minions are on the lookout for people who show some initiative.

You could consider editing point one to suggest that you created and now lead a problem-solving, cognitive-thinking group. While you are tweaking that bit, add something to show that you have humility, as that and ownership are the next two watchwords.

It's important that when you brag about your humility not to go too far, obviously. It is also advised that you make it clear that you take ownership of things. Our advice is to underline your name at the top of your CV, possibly using a red pencil - or black, if you think that red is 'too in your face'.

"It's feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in," said Bock.

Expertise is next, though this is probably a given. You wouldn't hire a bar manager who is afraid of people and liquids and level expanses of wood, and Google is unlikely to hire anyone without any particular expertise in the roles that it is trying to fill. Bock said that expertise is not the most prized employee characteristic, though, and mentioned that even a stopped clock, a non-expert, is right twice a day. µ


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