For anyone wanting to work at Google, and historically put off applying because of the rumours that they only employ rocket scientists. @khayadlanga retweeted an article from Fortune the other day from the Ask Annie column. Here are three interesting quotes from her reply to the question asked of her about what Google looks for when hiring people:

Google announced in January that it is embarking on a hiring spree this year. Alan Eustace, vice president for engineering and research, revealed in a blog post that Google expects to surpass its 2007 record for new hires. That year, the company added more than 6,000 people to its payroll.


You’ll be heartened to hear that a 3.0 GPA doesn’t necessarily wreck your prospects at Google. McDowell acknowledges that the 3.7-or-higher-GPA myth is widespread, but she discounts it. “When I joined Google, my team of eight people included three who didn’t have college degrees at all,” recalls McDowell. “And our next college hire had a GPA that wasn’t so hot.”


McDowell says Google looks for:

Passion for technology. Do you read tech news sources, and can you talk about the latest developments and trends? Do you enjoy thinking up new ways of applying or improving technology? Be ready to tell an interviewer about it.

Passion for the company. At any top tech enterprise, McDowell says, hiring managers want to see that you’re familiar with the company’s products — and if you have suggestions for how they could be improved, so much the better.

Creativity. “If you’re asked to design something from scratch, can you brainstorm lots of features you’d want?” McDowell asks. “When you’re asked to solve a problem, do you push back on assumptions or constraints?” An example or two from your current or past activities would serve you well in an interview.

Initiative. This “might be something as nontraditional as putting on a photography show,” says McDowell — or starting a blog, launching a business, or pitching in at a nonprofit. “How have you gone above and beyond?” she asks. “What have you done outside of work”  — or in your case, outside of school? Emphasize accomplishments that nobody required of you but that you took on out of sheer enthusiasm.