It was never my dream to work at Google, though that’s exactly how it turned out. One day I’m eating some double chocolate cookies while browsing through Flipboard on my iPad and the next day I’m a new Google employee.
It all happened so fast. I knew that Google hired the smartest people they could find so I thought the first interviews were part of a cruel joke. The questions Google asked during my interviews mostly stumped me until they asked for solutions to real world problems. I’m a bit of an out of the box thinker which got me some points. But it was the chocolate that really pushed me over the top.
Google For Dreamers
Yes, Google provides perks for employees; bus rides to work, food, games, and chocolate. As it turned out, it was the chocolate that what pushed me over the top to become a Google employee.
Within a day of arriving at Google’s Mountain View facility in California, I found myself working in a Product Assessment group which was assigned the task of evaluating current and new products.
Historically, I would have preferred to become Jony Ive’s apprentice and work on designing future Apple products, but I’m sufficiently close to senior status that many products I would have worked on might not see the light of day before I saw the dark of a December night.
Besides, Apple didn’t call me. Google did.
What does it mean to assess products? Basically, there are two components to the job. Numbers and usability. A product could be analyzed by how it helped Google’s bottom line, and how easy it was for users to use. And criticism. Just as assembly line workers don’t appreciate time and motion studies, Google’s engineers didn’t appreciate my pointed criticisms of the entire Google system of culling personal data from users in exchange for free applications.
The first few days, though, were nothing but meetings and introductions. At the beginning of the second week I became deeply involved in product analysis and that’s when I heard a ringing in my ears, as if the Google campus had a fire alarm system that had been tripped.
Then I woke up.
Slowly, over a few minutes of eye rubbing and stretching, I realized what happened. The job at Google was a dream. Not a dream job. A real dream. I’d had two double-chocolate cookies and a couple of pieces of Godiva dark chocolates just before bedtime. Dark chocolate can have an affect on dreams, and this one was both detailed and lengthy.
Still, I wondered all morning if I’d had only one more piece of dark chocolate before bed would that have been enough to get me hired by Apple instead of Google.