In a thread on Reddit, a user recently asked for advice on landing a job at a big tech company like Google.
Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller, who has been with the company since 2007, responded with several valuable insights.
For many, landing a job at Google or another major tech company can be a dream.
However, it’s important to remember that hiring at companies of Google’s size can be lengthy and competitive.
With Mueller’s advice, aspiring job applicants can better position themselves for their dream job.
Aspiring tech workers can increase their chances of landing a job by building their skills and knowledge, making industry contacts, and preparing for interviews.
Here’s what Mueller says about how to position yourself for success.
Develop Your Skills & Build Industry Contacts
Mueller advises potential job applicants to take the time to build their skills and knowledge to a high level and make industry contacts.
He suggests studying and contributing to open-source projects, even if it doesn’t involve coding.
These efforts will put you in a better position to land a job once hiring picks up again.
“I work at Google but obviously can’t speak for them with it comes to jobs, and business administration is not something I know much about. I’m guessing product management comes close?
Anyway, none of this is really specific to Google, but generally speaking with the recession or pseudo-recession or whatever it is, my recommendation would be to take the time to get your skills & knowledge up to a high level, and then seriously look into a job once things start to pick up again.
Take the next 1 – 2 years to study up & try to build industry contacts (look around open-source projects, your contributions don’t have to be coding). My assumption is with layoffs & co, bigger companies will pause hiring for a while, maybe 6-18 months, and then they’ll want to get moving full speed again.
Getting a job in a downturn like this is probably harder and more chaotic — though that can be ok too. Getting lined up & ready for when things pick up is probably a better strategy.”
Prepare For Interviews
Once you start seeing job openings, Mueller recommends doing serious interview training based on the positions you’re interested in.
He advises finding someone with a similar position at a company you’re interested in and picking their brain.
Practice answering questions objectively and with metrics instead of personal opinions.
“Once you start seeing roles available, my recommendation (for big companies) would be to do serious interview training based on the positions you’re looking at.
Going into interviews as a smart young person can work, going into them with an understanding of how the process will look will be much less stressful (and you’ll still have to know the right things, interview-training doesn’t replace that).
For coding, there are lots of books & tips, for non-coding I’m sure there are some too. Ideally, find someone with a similar position at one of the companies you’re interested in, and pick their brain.
Practice with someone. Get a feeling for how to present answers objectively — instead of “I think X or Y”, find ways to get metrics “choose X or Y based on the results of Z”, etc.”
Don’t Get Discouraged
Lastly, Mueller advises against getting too focused on one company or location.
He says that hiring can be somewhat random, and even if you think you do a great interview, it might not work out.
Don’t take it personally, he adds:
“It’s a long process, I’d really recommend taking it slowly during the downturn and using it to prepare, I’d also strongly recommend starting out with interviews at your non-preferred companies to get actual practice.
Don’y hyper-focus on one company / location. Also, hiring can be somewhat random, so even if you think you do a great interview, it might not work out — don’t take it personally.”
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