Google VP says she always listens for these 6 things during the job interview: ‘They’re not often easy to spot’
I’ve picked up quite a bit on what to look for in a job candidate in my three decades at the helm of major businesses — and specifically, in my nearly 15 years at Google, where I’m currently vice president of global partnerships.
When it comes to hiring the right people, Google sets high standards and requirements across role-related knowledge, leadership expectations and diversified perspectives. I also apply the foundation of my value system, which came from my father, called the four Cs: Concentration, culture, courage and character.
Of course, they aren’t often easy to spot — or, for an applicant, to display. So here are six important things I always listen for during job interviews:
1. Talk about transferable skills, experience
Depending on what position you’re applying for, you must have some sort of relevant experience. But expertise can be garnered in a number of ways, not purely academic.
Perhaps someone without a master’s degree has gained tremendous experience through interesting personal projects or hobbies, like a side hustle they started outside of work.
For example, if you’re interviewing for an entry-level marketing position, it’s okay to not have 10 marketing internships under your belt. Perhaps you organized a community service event in your hometown. Tell me about the creative strategies you used to get people to pay attention, care and participate.
2. Ask questions—lots of them
This shows natural curiosity, which is a valuable asset in just about every workplace. But move beyond questions you can easily find answers to on your own (e.g., through a Google search).
Instead, focus on coupling a fact with an open-ended question to draw out a personal perspective on a strategic topic. Consider doing this in essential areas such as strategy, product and industry positioning, nurturing high performing teams and inclusive leadership.
For example, “Your team is already performing well in [X], but what about enlisting someone to do [Y], which I believe could help improve [Z]?”
Two other questions that I wish more candidates would ask during job interviews:
- What does your team need that isn’t being done now?
- How can I contribute in ways that go beyond the job listing responsibilities?
5. Personal agility
The rapid acceleration of technology has created a work culture where business transformation is the norm. Make sure you study the company and identify what unique perspectives you can bring.
For example, I look for candidates who are eager to be helpful to our clients, so that when an industry evolves, such as news and media, we have the right talent to come up with creative strategies to meet the needs of our partners.
This is also about thinking fast, leading with innovation and readily accepting new ideas that come from everyone and everywhere.
See all 6 things and the complete CNBC article