Landing A Job At Google Just By Googling
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 31 August 2015

Many developers will tell you that their dream job would be to work for Google. So getting an interview by accident sounds like a real stroke of luck.

Large numbers of devs apply for every job that is advertised and almost all of them end up disappointed. 



But of course there are two sides to employer/employee match-making, so it should come as no surprise that Google uses it own resources to find suitable candidates to join its workforce.


The Google careers site states:

We look for people who are great at lots of things, love big challenges and welcome big changes. We can’t have too many specialists in just one particular area. We’re looking for people who are good for Google—and not just for right now, but for the long term.

It also describes a fairly standard hiring process that involves a first conversation with a recruiter, a phone interview and an onsite interview at one of its offices and it also hints:

But there are a few things we’ve baked in along the way that make getting hired at Google a little different.

One of the most recent additions to the search for employees is rather like an easter egg in that it was an unexpected discovery in Google Search.

While working on a project, aspiring software engineer Max Rosett, Googled “python lambda function list comprehension". To his surprise, after displaying a list of links, the search result screen split and folder back to reveal this box:




Max was indeed up for a challenge and by clicking "I want to play" found himself on a beta site that allowed him to request a challenge. He then had up to 48 hours to tackle an algorithmic problem, coding in a choice of Python or Java and against the clock. The reward for solving one challenge was to request another one!



Max had never heard of the Google foobar website, and neither had any of the people he asked over the coming days, including existing Goggle employees. So while he continued to request challenges he was skeptical about it even when, after the sixth problem, he was invited to submit contact information.

A couple of days later he was contacted by email for his resume which no doubt ticked other boxes for Google - such as the fact that Max Rosett was in the process of earning a Master's in Computer Science through Georgia Tech’s online program. A phone call with the recruiter led on to an interview at Google's Mountain View HQ.

Max can tell the rest of the story:

Although it took two weeks, eventually I received good news: Google extended me an offer! I enthusiastically accepted and spent the next week meeting with potential managers.

Three months after the mysterious invitation appeared, I started at Google.


Max's verdict is also very positive:

Foobar is a brilliant recruiting tactic. Google used it to identify me before I had even applied anywhere else, and they made me feel important while doing so. At the same time, they respected my privacy and didn’t reach out to me without explicitly requesting my information.

It does indeed sound like a very good screening process to test technical knowledge but before you dash away to your luck on foobar let me dash your hopes of short circuiting the process. Unless you have already been there, all you'll see is:



Is there recipe for triggering an invite? Probably - but it's unlikely to be on the basis of a single search and what all the elements are who knows! After all, Google already knows a lot about you based on your browsing history.

And just sometimes it can work in your favor. 

Is this unacceptable snooping or something you should welcome?


More Information

Google Has a Secret Interview Process… And It Landed Me a Job


Google Careers


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Last Updated ( Monday, 31 August 2015 )