Mar 01

I’m at Google

EDIT I wrote this in January of 2017 when I restart­ed my blog but it’s about an event that hap­pened in 2016 so I back-​dated it.

Well I guess third time real­ly is the charm. I final­ly passed through the maze, defeat­ed the mino­taur, and exit­ed vic­to­ri­ous. Yay me!

I was work­ing at a start­up med­ical com­pa­ny when I got a cold-​call from a Google recruiter. I almost did­n’t answer the phone because I did­n’t rec­og­nize the num­ber. But I did and had a nice chat with the recruiter. I was­n’t look­ing for a job as I had start­ed with Lifecode only 10 months before, but I decid­ed to talk with them for fun.

Well, I went through the process, phone inter­view, in-​person inter­view, and it start­ed look­ing like I might actu­al­ly get the job but I already had one. I would feel bad for leav­ing Lifecode after such a short time but I prob­a­bly would­n’t get anoth­er chance to work for Google. This gave a bit of stress for a while. Then, after being with Lifecode for almost 1 year they told every­one that the mon­ey had run out and they were clos­ing the doors. Boo, I liked the job. Yay, I was free to go to Google with­out regret. Boo, I did­n’t have a job offer yet. Yay, I did­n’t have to make the dri­ve to Foster City any­more. Boo, I was out-​of-​work.

So the stress of pos­si­bly hav­ing to leave Lifecode turned into the stress of not hav­ing a job. At this point, I’m almost through the process at Google and every­thing is look­ing good, so do I wait for Google to get back to me or do I start send­ing out my résumé. I decid­ed to wait for a lit­tle while. Then a lit­tle more. And a lit­tle more. Argh, I think I’m get­ting an ulcer.

Finally, after almost a month with­out work I get the call.

  • We’re going to offer you a posi­tion
  • Yay
  • But…
  • But? No But! No one said any­thing about a but…
  • You have to have a project to join before you can start with Google
  • Ok…so…?
  • So now we have to find a group that wants you
  • What? You mean like more inter­views?
  • Well, sort of. Much more infor­mal. You’ll just talk to the man­agers over the phone. If they like you, you’re in.
  • So how do I know who will want me?
  • Well, you won’t until they call you. If they call you.
  • How long is this going to take? I’m kin­da do’t have a job any­more. Or a pay­check. Or food.
  • Don’t wor­ry, it should­n’t take more than a week or two.
  • Uhhhh.…

Anyway, I only talked with three man­agers, and the third liked me, asked it I could come in and meet the group. So I did and every­one loved me and show­ered me with gifts…well, they did like me and I start­ed the next week.

Jun 12

Back to it

I took a bit of a hia­tus due to some issues in my life. I now have a new job with a dynam­ic com­pa­ny called RockYou and I’m back in school going for my mas­ters. These and a fw oth­er things have kept me from even con­sid­er­ing work­ing on a blog. But I’m now going to try and work on it again. We’ll see if I do bet­ter than last time. Only time will tell 

Feb 15

Google phone interview part I

I applied for a job at Google and thought I’d write about my expe­ri­ences with their inter­view process. Many oth­ers have writ­ten about the process and my expe­ri­ence was sim­i­lar to theirs. I sub­mit­ted my resume through their web site and even though the mar­ket isn’t great right now I got a response from one of their recruiters who I’ll call Carol.

Carol informed me that I had passed the first round by sub­mit­ting a resume that was good enough to ring some bells and that she was sched­ul­ing me for a phone inter­view. Right away my heart start­ed pounding—I heard about these myth­i­cal phone inter­views from the web. These minia­ture tort…er…interrogation ses­sions were renown for their abil­i­ty to bring even the might­i­est of us to tears.
 
“How about Wednesday?” she asked. “Wednesday is fine” my finely-​tuned grey mat­ter spit back with­out con­sid­er­ing a) I would be out of the area (oth­er peo­ple would call it a vaca­tion), b) it was only 4 days away (five if you count the day of dri­ving to get to my des­ti­na­tion), and c) I had­n’t talked with my wife about it. So not only did I not ask for more time but I had just com­mit­ted to spend­ing most of my (our) vaca­tion pre­ping for a mini inqui­si­tion. I could hear the con­ver­sa­tion in my head: “Oh hun­ny,” I would say to my wife, “you know those longs walks in the woods you were plan­ning on…well…and, ha ha, this is sooo funny…you see, he he…I just agreed to do a phone inter­view, ha ha, on Wednesday, he he, that, ha ha, I have to spend every (snick­er) hour of every day study­ing for! Isn’t that great? Hunny?” Yeah right. I’m a dead man.

Luckily I’m mar­ried to an under­stand­ing woman who decid­ed to be supportive—so sup­port­ive that she drove (she hates dri­ving on long trips) and had me study on the dri­ve up. She also had me research­ing the web for tips. Does any­one else see the irony of using Google to search for “Google phone inter­views?”

So the big day arrives. I have my phone ful­ly charged (yeah I’ve had the phone dies in the mid­dle of the impor­tant phone call), I have my notes, and most impor­tant­ly I have my pre­ferred caf­feine deliv­ery sys­tem: Coke. In fact I’m on my sec­ond when my wife says “Did you check to make sure the cell recep­tion is good?”

Cue the dramitic music and zoom in on the bars on my cell. At this point one could ask “what bars?” but I’m not sure that my heart could take that. “NO BARS!!” I screech not real­iz­ing that the human voice can actu­al­ly hit that high a tone. My wife looks at me like I’m…well…stupid. “You know it does­n’t work on the first floor. Go upstairs and check.” My wife is very patient. I get upstairs and look at the phone with trep­i­da­tion. One bar…two bars…three bars!…no two bars!..no three!…two…

I’m not sure how long I stood there watch­ing the third bar flick­er in and out until I real­ized that the best recep­tion is in the bed­room and I go in there. Yay! Four Bars!!!

I should men­tion at this point that the place we are stay­ing is out­side of Klamath Falls, OR and that there are hills between us and the cell tow­ers. There is one low spot that seems to line up with the bed­room on the sec­ond floor. I know this as we have been there sev­er­al times. I’m an engi­neer, OK a soft­ware engi­neer, but I under­stand the prici­ples and yet I can’t seem to get my brain wrapped around this and I’m about to take what is reput­ed to be a tough phone inter­view.

My phone rings. I’m doomed.