Q&A

Last week, I invited Twitter followers to ask questions about my experience with Google. The following is an edited transcript of the exchange that occurred April 27, 2017.

1) Google consistently makes ‘best places to work’ lists. What has been your experience as a minority in STEAM at Google?

Google lives up to the hype. They go out of their way to make sure that they treat every google employee well no matter who they are. There is no better company for people from underrepresented backgrounds to work. It is definitely the best place I have ever worked. From the perks, to community service and philanthropy opportunities, to being able to bring my whole self to work. I talk more about this an article I wrote about being black at Google.

For more on our culture, I highly recommend the book Work Rules! by former SVP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock.

2) What is Google doing to address increasing a diverse workforce?

I think Google is doing everything it can to help improve diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley. We host student tours and allow googlers to visit schools to advocate for STEM education. We consult for hollywood to change perceptions of computer scientists in the media. Google also sends engineers to events such as the Grace Hopper Conference and to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to recruit talent and teach programming to undergraduates. Employees voluntarily take unconscious bias training and join internal talks about race featured on YouTube. This is just few of the many things that the company is doing to make progress.

3) When did you know you were ready to slay your Google interview?

I knew that I was ready after I was given the chance to talk to a black female googler and software engineer. After chatting for a bit about the interview process, she quizzed me with a sample interview question. I gave her my thoughts on how I would solve the problem, to which she responded “Oh, you’re ready.” Hearing those words was all I needed to feel confident.

Most people don’t know Google offers interview coaching to help them prepare. Serving as an interview coach myself, I write articles and share interview tips on my website at anthonydmays.com. One such article is my response to a question on Quora about how to prepare for the tech interview in a month.

4) Is the hiring process is the same for all Google locations worldwide?

So far as I know, yes. The hiring process is a well oiled machine. Google is always working to improve it and responds to feedback from candidates and engineers. Even if you don’t make it on the first try (like many googlers), they will call you back if you’ve shown strong potential. You can read my Huffington Post article about my failure and success attempts.

5) Any knowledge on googlers on the business side of things?

Not much I can offer here, unfortunately. The interviews won’t be technical, of course, but a lot of my same advice stands. Google is big on finding problem solvers. People who are curious, ask good questions, show leadership, and have the hunger and courage to solve problems do well. They must also show they have the ability to get things done, so good grades/schooling alone won’t cut it. Lastly, they must have a good knowledge of Google products and services. This is no different than it is for any company you’d consider for employment.

The best place to start is google.com/careers. Take that resource serious, it is designed to help you!

6) What has been one of the more promising/effective diversity efforts at Google to be inclusive of various cultures over race/ethnicity?

Two things come to mind. First, I love the interview coaching program we have. Not everyone who wants to work at Google has the same opportunities to prepare as others do. We’re doing what we can to bridge that gap. I am also a big fan of our engineering practicum internship for 1st and 2nd year college students. I’ve seen multiple candidates convert to googlers as a result.

I’ll also mention CS First (cs-first.com). It’s an online program that provides free resources for computer science teachers. These and other resources such as code.org are key to empowering the next generation of STEM leaders.

Photo credit: Libby Levi