I got an email from a Google recruiter a few weeks ago, telling me that she saw my information and would like to have a conversation with me. Of course, I said that was fine and, in typical Google fashion, finally got a call from her last night. We talked for a bit and she explained the interview process (which I’m familiar with) , asked me if I’m actively looking right now, etc etc.
The thing is, I’m not actively looking. I’ve thought about seeing what else is out there but it wouldn’t be for at least another month. On the other hand, the whole Google process takes about a month to a month and half. So here I am trying to decide whether or not go continue the process.
Of course, my first thought is, well I might as well try. Doesn’t hurt to try and besides, it’s Google. Right? But here’s the problem – I’m horrible at technical interviews. And that’s pretty much all Google’s interview process is.
I know I’m a good developer. Give me a problem and a whiteboard and I can figure out multiple solutions and the best way to program them. I love brainstorming with others and I can also put my head down and just code 8 hours straight if needed. But get me on the phone and ask me to explain merge sort or program a linked list and I freeze up. Ask me in an interview to write code on a whiteboard reversing the numbers in a string and I can’t remember the syntax of a function. It’s pretty bad. I was like this in school too. Give me programming assignments to complete and I’m fine. Give me a test and it’s not a pretty sight.
Google’s interview process is basically a 45 minute technical phone interview and then a full day of on-site technical interviews. Basically, my worst nightmare. Of course, I would love the chance to see how Google works and the products they work on. But I know that this is not my strength and so I know I’ll really have to study up for this interview. Which takes a lot of dedication – and I’m not sure I have that right now since I wasn’t really actively looking to leave this job.
Another part of me also thinks, if miracles happen and I get through the interviews and Google actually makes me an offer, chances are I’d take it. Why would I pass up a chance to work with them, especially after having to go through the interview process? And I think I’d probably stay with them a long time. I’m not sure I want to settle with a company just yet – I want to try out different companies right now, see the different ways people work, how projects are managed and learn as much as I can. I can see myself settling down with Google and I’m not sure I’m ready for that.
But I’ve never been one to pass up opportunities/interviews. So this is where my dilemma happens: Do I take the time to study hard and interview with them? Or do I hold off for now and interview with them at a later time when I’m more certain I want to work there?