Last updated 2/27/2018
Google is one of the best companies to work for in the country. It’s actually the second best, according to Forbes Magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. While Google held the #2 spot in 2017, they’ve topped the list seven times in the last ten years. That’s because the company clearly values its people. Google employees have some of the best benefits and perks around, and Google salaries are among the highest in Silicon Valley.
If you’re looking to become a Googler (that’s Googlespeak for “Google employee”), it probably won’t surprise you that you’re not alone. In February 2018, there were 282 jobs open at Google. Sure, that’s a pretty high number, but it doesn’t even come close to the 2.7 million applicants who are vying to fill those jobs.
So, how do you stand out from the crowd? Be prepared. Know exactly what to expect. In other words, keep reading.
The Culture of Google
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with a company’s culture before sending in your application, to ensure it’s a good fit for you. Google has a culture of transparency, giving software engineers access to most of the company’s code on the first day. They want everyone to contribute ideas and comments. The company has the feel of a startup, but with the funding of a multinational corporation.
Every Friday, CEO Sundar Pichai hosts company-wide meetings—called TGIF—that are broadcast live to offices across the globe. These meetings include a business strategy update or a product area update, as well as questions from Googlers.
Personality of a Googler
What kind of person fits into this culture? Here’s what Google says they’re looking for:
We’re looking for people of all backgrounds and experiences who aren’t afraid to bring the hard questions and roll up their sleeves to build the answers. Here at Google, we move at an incredibly fast pace—at internet speed!— so we find that our most successful Googlers are those who can navigate ambiguity and are comfortable taking big risks towards innovation. When you interview at Google, you’ll likely interview with four or five Googlers who will be looking for four things: leadership, role-related knowledge, how you think, and Googleyness.
What is Googleyness? According to former SVP of People Operations (also known as Human Resources) Laszlo Bock, it’s hard to define. But Googley people tend to exhibit the following characteristics. They:
- Enjoy having fun
- Have intellectual humility
- Are conscientious (Google is looking for owners, not employees)
- Are comfortable with ambiguity
- Have taken interesting or courageous paths in life
Paysa CompanyRank for Google
Still not sure if you want to apply? Let’s take a closer look at the company. Google is truly one of the giants, with a valuation in 2016 of over $500 billion. For four consecutive years, the company has been named the second most valuable brand in the world, and Google.com has been listed as the most visited website in the world.
The Paysa CompanyRank is an algorithm that measures the flow of quality talent at a company over time. It’s a good measure of where a company sits in the greater economic landscape. The rank is based on Paysa’s analysis of 7.45 million job changes across 198,000 companies over the past 15+ years. As is shown in the graph below, Google has been in the top three over the last 10 years, currently holding the number three spot.
Paysa CompanyRank for Google
Googlers are working on some of the most popular projects across the globe, which is why it’s no surprise that 96 percent of employees say they’re proud to tell others they work there.
What To Expect From Google’s Recruitment Process
Google is 25 times more selective than Harvard, Yale, or Princeton. They sift through over 2 million resumes a year for a few thousand jobs.
Each one of those resumes is considered by a person. There’s even a team that reviews rejected applicants, just to make sure someone special didn’t slip through the cracks.
What To Expect From Google’s Interview Process
Google became famous for giving applicants wacky brainteaser questions during interviews. For example: How many golf balls does it take to fill a 747? Never fear, the company no longer does this. Research showed that this kind of questions did not accurately predict how someone would do their job.
Here’s what to expect if your application makes it past the first round:
- Phone/Hangout Interview
First, you’ll have an interview via phone or Google Hangout (video conference) with a potential peer or manager. From Google’s recruitment website:
For software engineering roles, your phone/Hangout discussion will last between 30 and 60 minutes. When answering coding questions, you’ll talk through your thought process while writing code in a Google Doc that you’ll share with your interviewer. We recommend using a hands-free headset or speakerphone so you can type freely.
Applicants for other roles can expect a 30-45 minute discussion that includes behavioral, hypothetical, or case-based questions.
- Onsite Interview
Next, you’ll have an interview on-site—usually with four current Googlers—again, for about 30 to 45 minutes. Software engineering candidates will go through a process similar to the first round, writing code and demonstrating general knowledge. For other candidates, Google will be assessing strengths in general cognitive ability, leadership, role-related knowledge, and Googleyness.
Make sure to think out loud—Google likes to know how you arrive at your answers. Also, plan ahead and practice: come up with 20 questions you think you’ll get, write out three responses for each, and rehearse them so they stick in your brain. (You want a variety of answers to each question in case the first interviewer isn’t a fan of your original answers.)
Finally, don’t forget this important advice from Google: “when in doubt, be yourself and wear what makes you comfortable.”
What To Expect From Google’s Hiring Process
- Committee Review
An independent hiring committee made up of Googlers at different levels of seniority will review each candidate’s packet. The packet consists of all the information gathered from your interviews, including feedback and scores, as well as your resume, references, and work samples. If the committee recommends a candidate for hire, that feedback is added to the packet and your application moves on to the senior leader.
- Executive Review and Final Approval
If the senior leader recommends you for hire, your packet and a summary about you go to executive review for final approval, which is followed by an offer of employment. (Congratulations!)
Before that final offer comes, it’s helpful to know what salary range you can expect. This will help you to better negotiate your salary.
Based on data gathered by Paysa, the average market salary for Googlers is $191,000 per year, ranging from $98,000 to $295,000. Average market salary includes a $131,000 base salary, $17,000 annual bonus, and $42,000 in annual equity.
Top Google Job Titles and Locations
Based on data from Paysa, the top Google job titles are:
- Staff Software Engineer – The average market salary for a Staff Software Engineer at Google is $273,000 per year, ranging from $205,000 to $347,000. Average market salary includes $190,000 base salary, $19,000 annual bonus, and $64,000 annual equity.
- Product Manager – The average market salary for a Product Manager at Google is $218,000 per year, ranging from $149,000 to $294,000. Average market salary includes a $156,000 base salary, $20,000 annual bonus, and $42,000 in annual equity.
- Senior Software Engineer – The average market salary for a Senior Software Engineer at Google is $248,000 per year, ranging from $187,000 to $313,000. Average market salary includes $176,000 base salary, $18,000 annual bonus, and $54,000 annual equity.
Additional top jobs at Google:
- Engineer – Average market salary of $178,000
- Software Engineer – Average market salary of $203,000
Top Google locations include:
- Seattle, Washington – The average market salary for Google employees is $201,000 per year, ranging from $119,000 to $292,000. Average market salary includes $141,000 base salary, $16,000 annual bonus, and $44,000 annual equity.
- San Francisco, California – The average market salary for employees is $218,000 per year, ranging from $121,000 to $326,000. Average market salary includes $148,000 base salary, $20,000 annual bonus, and $50,000 in annual equity.
- San Jose, California – The average market salary for employees is $193,000 per year, ranging from $100,000 to $298,000. Average market salary includes $132,000 base salary, $18,000 annual bonus, and $43,000 annual equity.
- New York, New York – The average market salary for employees is $170,000 per year, ranging from $94,000 to $256,000. Average market salary includes $122,000 base salary, $14,000 annual bonus, and $33,000 in annual equity.
The Bottom Line
It’s hard to deny Google is a great place to work. Salaries are high and the company offers prime benefits like on-site child care, unlimited sick days, nap pods, free gourmet food, and more. On top of all that, Google actually encourages you to spend 20 percent of your time working on something you feel passionate about, whether it’s related to your job or not.
The good news? Google wants you to be the employee they’re looking for. The company is great because its people are great, and Google knows it. When you walk into that interview, they’re hoping you’re the perfect person for the job.
Paysa can help you prepare for the interview and beyond, with personalized recommendations and free tools to help you make more money and advance your career. Ready to get started? Visit paysa.com to access the most up-to-date salary information for open positions at Google and other top companies, or sign up to personalize Paysa for you!