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! 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.

By Reflector

I am a Senior Engineer for VMware, a company that produces cloud and virtual machine software. When not working I enjoy board games and woodworking (producing furniture and other items for our house).


  1. The phone interview went well. I got brought in to the in-person interviews.

    Unfortunately there are some non-disclosure things you have to sign and I didn’t feel like trying to figure out what I could and couldn’t say so I never wrote the next part. Short version: I did not get the job. ;-(

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