What is the hiring process in google

Google recruitment test: That's how tough the questions were for applicants

When did you have your last interview? Depending on how long ago that was for you, you may still be able to vividly remember how you sat there with sweaty hands and the only thing between you and your dream job was a conversation with the HR manager. This classic job interview was quite a while ago for me - at the beginning of the nineties after graduating from commercial college, I wrote exactly four applications, got two acceptances and also had two of these interviews with these companies. Call it lazy - I call it effective. ;)

However, these conversations should not be comparable to those that are held when the company is called Facebook, Apple, Microsoft or Google. These big names can virtually skim the cream of the all highly qualified applicants and they do that by checking very carefully who they put on the payroll, of course.

For example, if you receive an invitation from Google, the company is probably already convinced in advance that you have really got what it takes. But that is only one aspect of talking to the HR manager. You not only have to master your subject area, but also have the appropriate cognitive skills and leadership qualities, but also show humility in order to be able to open up to new arguments again and again.

Among these questions, however, there were also a few that you cannot score points with even with all of your specialist knowledge. Many of these questions are no longer represented in the Google tests because they were trick questions, and Google now has a different philosophy in the tests, wanting to focus more on the personality of the competition. The page Impact Interview published a list of 140 questions years ago, all of which were actually asked in this way in job interviews.

These include, of course, technical questions or those that deal with Google itself, but also the so-called brain teasers: Tasks that often seem absurd at first glance and where you have to puzzle a little in order to find a passable answer to your counterpart deliver. There are often no absolutely correct answers to these questions and it just depends on how you face the problem and what strategies you can shake off your sleeve to work out a solution. Most of the time it is extremely helpful to have a solid general knowledge, but see for yourself - we have selected a few of these questions that Google actually asked in job interviews:

How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?

With this, as with many other questions of this kind, Google - or any other company that relies on brain teasers - is not concerned with an absolute number or an actually correct result. Rather, your approach to a solution is more interesting - this way you can see how you approach a problem, whether you take all decisive factors into account, etc.

In this case, you should first know how wide such a school bus is: Four children are sitting next to each other and there is still space in between for the aisle - we estimate that it is 2.75 meters wide. An adult needs to be able to stand comfortably in it too, so let's assume he's about 8 feet tall.

If we now estimate the length of the bus at 12 meters, we have everything together to calculate the cubic meters. In this case (rounded) would be 3 meters wide x 2 meters high x 12 meters long = 72 cubic meters. If we now guess that a golf ball has a diameter of around three centimeters and that means that there are around 30 golf balls for a meter in length, that means a total of 27,000 golf balls for 30 x 30 x 30 balls. Multiply that by 72 and you get about 1.94 million golf balls.

You can probably score extra points with such a question if you subtract a calculated value from the total, since there are also benches etc. in the bus that prevent the full volume from being used up. In addition, due to the round shape of the golf balls, you cannot use the gaps perfectly.

They are shrunk to the size of a coin ...

... and thrown into a blender. Their mass has been reduced so that their density is the same. The blades start in a minute. How do you save yourself?

A typical question - at the time - for Google, which is about what makes the company tick and what kind of people are needed as reinforcement. Creativity is often required, but also general knowledge and of course it's also about how you approach a problem that was not at all predictable and that hits you unprepared.

During my research I saw a lot of different solutions - at Business Insider, where I stumbled upon these application questions, they suggested somehow destroying the mixer motor. That should be impossible because the motor is insulated and you can't just throw anything you wear on your body into it to block the blades. The Wall Street Journal has really looked at this question at length and concludes that you can just jump out of it.

It is important that Google mentions mass and density directly in the question and therefore it can be assumed that they do not take this into account in the question for nothing. So this is where physics experts are called for. For example, if you tie two rockets together and ignite them, they won't fly twice as high as a single one. The energy has doubled, but so has the mass that has to be taken into account when overcoming gravity. Ergo - your double rocket flies as high as it does individually.

The same principle applies to you when you sit in the mixer shrunk: mass and muscle energy shrink proportionally, so that you can jump just as high as in normal size - the hop out of the mixer should therefore be easy.

How much does Manhattan weigh?

One of the questions where you can't really give an exact result. Nobody can quantify the exact weight of the floor and probably also nobody can estimate the number of houses. Try as complex as possible to address all points that could play a role in the result and use your general knowledge, for example with the area of ​​Manhattan. What is the foundation on which Manhattan is built, how big is Manhattan, what is the average height of the houses and how heavy is an average floor. Takes into account the number of inhabitants with an average number of kilograms per inhabitant, the number of cars, etc.

As I said: It is impossible to actually determine this value, but the other person would like to see how you approach this task and how comprehensively you take into account the various parameters that influence the result.

Why are manhole covers round?

For a change, a question that actually has an answer: Most manhole covers are round for practical reasons - a round cover cannot fall through the opening because the diagonal in a square is longer than its sides, but it could do so with one square lid. In addition, a round lid is easier to replace because it always fits and can also be moved from A to B by rolling.

How many piano tuners are there in the world?

Estimated question incoming: Again from the department “Nobody knows the real answer”, also known as “Fermi questions”. Approach it again as you did with the question about the weight of Manhattan. How many people do you know who own a piano? Maybe one in 100 in my environment, if at all. Put this in relation to the population, taking into account that on average more than one person lives in a household and that perhaps more people play the piano in New York than in the Okavango Delta in Africa. Think about how often such a piano has to be tuned, how long it takes and how many pianos a piano tuner can tune per day.

Here, too, it is not decisive that a number is delivered, but how comprehensively you take into account various values ​​that could lead you to the possible result and break a task into several subtasks.

You need to find out if a friend has your current phone number without asking them yourself. How do you do it?

You should find out if your buddy Bob has your correct phone number. However, you cannot speak to him directly, but only through a friend who gives him the note but is not supposed to see your number. What else do you have to write on the slip of paper in addition to the question so that you get the information without the number being written down there?

Again, there isn't just one right solution. The question was asked during a software engineer recruitment test, so you could try approaching it with mathematical know-how. Asks for a checksum - Bob could add up all the digits of your number and just write the number on the paper.

If you like it simpler and don't think so professionally, but rather a little around the corner, you could also write “Call me tonight at 8 pm” on the piece of paper - if the doorbell rings, you will have the answer that he is your correct number Has.

What number is next in the following sequence? 10, 9, 60, 90, 70, 66 ...?

I actually had something like that in my recruitment tests - but it was a logical sequence of numbers where you could really easily find the next number. In this case you have to do it differently and so it helps to write down the numbers in English. Ten, Nine, Sixty, Ninety - you realize that every number has one more letter. So a possible solution would be 96.

Draw up an evacuation plan for San Francisco.

An impossible question to answer because there are too many parameters to consider. The cleverest way to proceed here is to ask a counter-question and ask what kind of disaster it is because of which the city has to be evacuated. After all, you have to deal with a wildfire differently than with an outbreak of disease.

How many times a day do the large and small hands on a watch overlap?

At midnight and at noon they definitely overlap, but how often does it happen in the entire day? The answer is: the minute hand overtakes the hour hand 22 times a day at 0:00, 1:05, 2:11, 3:16, 4:22, 5:27, 6:33; 7:38, 8:44, 9:49, 10:55, 12:00, 13:05, 14:11, 15:16, 16:22, 17:27, 18:33, 19:38, 20: 44, 21:49, 22:55

How much would you charge a window cleaner to clean all of the windows in Seattle?

There are two approaches you can use to address this number: Either it comes back to an estimate where you find an average number of houses with an average number of floors and windows in Seattle and thus come up with a value the window cleaner receives. It would be easier to just give an answer like "$ 10 a window" here.

You have eight balls of the same size ...

... seven have the same weight, one is slightly heavier. You have a scale and are only allowed to carry out two weighing processes. How do you determine which is the heavier ball?

That is actually a question that I could have answered without help (because I recently saw a very similar quiz question again at Columbo ^^).

You put three balls on each side of the scale. If both sides are equally heavy, the heavier ball is among the remaining two. So then place these two balls on both sides of the scales and you can see which ball is the heavier one.

However, if one side with three balls is heavier than the other at the first weigh-in, you have at least narrowed the search for the right ball to three. Now all you have to do is take two of these three balls and weigh them - if one of the sides tilts, once you've found the ball, if both balls are of the same weight, the right one is the third, not weighed ball.


These were only 11 examples of questions that were actually asked in Google's application tests. There are tons of other examples of this, because it is not just the large US companies such as Microsoft, Apple or Google that test applicants. I find the approach extremely interesting and even understandable why you throw in such questions. But if I had been asked such questions at the time, I would have looked pretty stupid out of my laundry. If you've got a taste for these brain teasers and puzzle questions: Have a look at the career bible, where the esteemed colleague Jochen Mai has published a very interesting article on the subject and also lists 40 of these puzzles where you can try your luck and can guess.

PS: THAT happens, by the way, when you ask Google your own questions - the artificial intelligence in Google Home in a job interview.

Source Impact Interview via Business Insider