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What Does Google Look for in a New Hire?

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Summary: Have you ever wondered what it takes to get hired at Google? If so, we have some important information for you about their hiring practices in this post.

Do you like the idea of working for a company as large and successful as Google? If so, you should continue reading this post. Do not get discouraged if you do not have a college degree, or were never even accepted at a college or university. In today’s high-paced and competitive job market, Google is beginning to hire more and more people without a college degree. The reason for this is that they are looking for more than just a GPA or test scores.

What Does Google Want in an Employee?

So, if you do not need to showcase your GPA or your test scores, what is it that Google wants to see? Laszlo Bock, a senior vice president of people operations at Google, spoke with The New York Times back in February. Bock told the Times the following about GPAs at Google:

“G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless … We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also said the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time.” Some teams at Google consist of 14 percent of people who do not have a college degree.

Bock did not exactly say that good grades do not hurt or matter when applying to Google either. Bock told the Times that there are five things Google looks for when it decides to hire someone for an open job.

“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. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. 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 behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”

The next four things that Bock and Google look for when hiring are leadership, humility, ownership and expertise. Expertise is last on the list for a reason. Bock explained Google’s reasoning for looking at expertise last:

“If you take somebody who has high cognitive ability, is innately curious, willing to learn and has emergent leadership skills, and you hire them as an H.R. person or finance person, and they have no content knowledge, and you compare them with someone who’s been doing just one thing and is a world expert, the expert will go: ‘I’ve seen this 100 times before; here’s what you do.’”

The bottom line here is that talent comes in a variety of forms and Google is so inundated with applications and resumes that it can afford to look beyond test score and GPAs.

What Does Google Look for in a New Hire? by
Authored by: Jim Vassallo