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Administrative Assistant Interview

Administrative Assistant
Kraków (Poland)

I applied online and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed at Google in July 2012.

Interview Details – (I have little job interview experience.)
I got a job suggestion on Linkedin and since I was always enthusiastic about Google I thought to myself that could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start a career in this sector. I have submitted my CV translated into English overnight to their website and I have filled out a short form (education, statement of purpose, that sort of thing), all in English. I got an automatic response and a few days later a recruiter from Google office in London sent me an e-mail to set up the first phone interview.
The first interview lasted about half an hour and consisted mostly of background check kind of questions: mostly my previous experience, why I want to change jobs, how will this experience help with working for a company like Google and so on. The recruiter also outlined the course of the wole recruitment process (i.e. number of interviews).
After exchanging a few e-mails sorting the time difference problem I got a call from Mountain View and a very nice recruiter held an interview that lasted about 45 minutes. I was scared at first, expecting all the weird 'creative' questions that Google is famous for but I experienced none of that. I was asked three questions that were relevant to the job and all presented some kind of a problem that I would be expected to solve while working as an admin at Google; I was given a few minutes to prepare if I needed (a notepad and a pen were useful at this stage) and after I have given my answer there were follow-up questions. Problems were not very tricky and absolutely plausible. The first recruiter contacted me the next day to announce that they liked the way I thought and that we could proceed to the next stage - on-site interview.
They were very flexible with the time and I was asked to come by a Google office closest to my place of residence where I had an Google hangout interview that lasted about 45 minutes. Questions were about the same as with the previous interview (as the interviewer worked at the same position I had applied for) and there was a LOT of them. It wasn't hard, sometimes it was tricky and some of my answers raised an eyebrow but I could correct myself if I saw I'd better adjust my solution. Most questions were of the 'Imagine you are in this and that situation (in my shoes); what would you do and why?' pattern; but there were also some along the 'Describe your integrity' or 'What are your flaws?' lines. Immediately after the hangout the only face-to-face part of the interview began. It was very similar to the first part, with the same general rule for questions: situations from the workplace. It lasted almost on hour. I was given an opportunity to ask questions after each stage of the interview.
After this part I was contacted once more by my London recruiter who asked how it went and promised to write to me as soon as she knows the result (which was the next day). I was set up for the last online interview with the executives I was supposed to work with later. On the day of the scheduled interview I got seriously sick and I had to reschedule last minute which was - I imagine - the reason for the decline which I have received by e-mail several days later.
The whole process was extremely long (5 weeks), quite exhaustive and there were many stages and many interviewers. It was all in English, even with Polish native speakers. Everybody were very nice to me along the way and they were beyond helpful. I think I could've landed the job if the circumstances were different, although the recruiters were not allowed to tell, I got a positive vibe about how it all went. The most important thing was to reason your actions and choices, to adjust your view if you were hinted you might want to do so and to speak fluent English.

Interview Question – Describe a situation that challenged your integrity and tell me the reasons for your choice of behaviour.   Answer Question

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