Do you have ‘Googleyness’? It matters if you want to work at Google
Aspire to become a Google employee someday? According to ex-Google employees, hiring managers at the tech giant will look at your ‘Googleyness’ factor when you apply for a job there.
Googleyness is a set of qualities that make you stand out from the pack and fit into Google’s unique work culture. While the term has not been officially confirmed by Google, they do have a unique hiring process to employ people with a certain skillset.
These traits include:
- Doing the right thing.
- Striving for excellence.
- Keeping an eye on the goals
- Being proactive.
- Going the extra mile.
- Doing something nice for others, with no strings attached.
- Being friendly and approachable.
- Valuing users and colleagues.
- Rewarding great performance.
- Being humble, and letting go of the ego (at least sometimes).
- Being transparent, honest, and fair.
- Having a sense of humor.
Furthermore, Google’s former Head of People Operations Laszlo Block defined “Googleyness” in his 2015 book ‘Work Rules” as follows: “Attributes like enjoying fun (who doesn’t), a certain dose of intellectual humility (it’s hard to learn if you can’t admit that you might be wrong), a strong measure of conscientiousness (we want owners, not employees), comfort with ambiguity (we don’t know how our business will evolve, and navigating Google internally requires dealing with a lot of ambiguity), and evidence that you’ve taken some courageous or interesting paths in your life.”
You will probably be tested if you have these particular qualities when you interview at Google through certain key questions.
Kevin Miller, who worked in Google AdWords sales for two years and is now director of growth at OpenListings.com, told FastCompany that these are the types of questions you would be asked to see if you have Googleyness factor: “How easy are you to get along with? With the Google recruiting process, one question that you have to pass is every person who interviews you is asked, Would you want to work with this person every single day? Would you be happy if you sat next to this person every single day? Would you be able to do good work, and would you enjoy their company?”
Miller also said that “tell me a time when” is a phrase often used to assess ‘Googleyness’ during the hiring process.
‘Tell me a time when you overcame adversity.’ ‘Tell me a time when . . . ‘ A lot of times it will be subject-matter based, so if you were in a marketing role previously and you had talked about how you couldn’t get organic traffic to the website, they would talk about what you did when your boss came down on you. How did you react? How were you able to get around that?”
Michael Brandt, cofounder and chief operating officer of HVMN, held various roles at Google during his two-year tenure, including APM working enterprise privacy and YouTube, as well as a design consultant and instructor.
He explained to FastCompany that the personality and interpersonal skills strengths that are part of ‘Googleyness’ are essential for being successful at the company. “You end up just being dropped into things, because there’s so much cross-product, cross-focus area, cross-specialist, specialty meetings,” adding that you need to be able to interact well with different people in different roles when you work at Google.
If you want to become a Googler and ace the interviews, start working on developing your current skills. You can also check out the Google Digital Garage in partnership with OpenLearn where you can take free courses in improving your soft skills, such Effective communication in the Workplace and Developing career resilience.