Friday, November 13, 2009

Example Interview

1. Tell me about yourself
2. Why are you interested in Microsoft/Google/Amazon? (Variation: Why do you want to work for Google?)
3. Describe a technology (that you haven’t worked on) that you feel makes a big impact? How would you improve it?
4. I would like to market XYZ. How do I know if there is a market for it? If so, how would you market it?
5. Is there an area of Google/Amazon/Microsoft that you would like to work in? Why?
6. How would you differentiate yourself from the other interview candidates? What do you bring to Google? (Variation: Why should we hire you?)
7. Tell me about a situation where something didn’t go according to plan? How did you fix it?
8. What is your favorite website/business and why?
9. How would you improve Google Search?
10. Pick an industry you understand very well. What are the biggest challenges facing it? Why? What would you do differently if you were competing to win in the long-term?
11. What are the top challenges for Google/ software security from your perspective? And why? How would you address those challenges?
12. What do you want to do in the long term?
13. Assuming you’re hired now and it’s your day one. What would you do for this job?
14. Tell me your proudest achievement so far – either professional one or personal one or both. Why are you proud of that?
15. Tell me about the biggest miscalculation or mistake in your career.
16. Tell me *three* areas that you need to work on.
17. How would your friends or colleagues describe you?
18. Give me an example that you solved the problem in a creative way (similar question for teamwork and leadership).
19. What do you do in your spare time?
20. Tell me something that you’re passionate about.
21. What questions to you have for me?
22. Name a good (or bad) product that you think is marketed well. Why?
23. Name a good product/technology that you think is marketed poorly. Why?

Friday, November 6, 2009

General Interview Tips

In this post we are taking a look at the general interview tips that are appropriate for any industry. We will also take a look at key competencies that most big technology companies like Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Google, Amazon and others look for.

  1. Know the Technology, Business & Field
    Keep yourself up to data with your respective Technology, Business & Field, one good way to do this is by checking the industry news, track coverage on your field related websites, make sure you have a good understanding.
  2. Study the competencies
    The interview process is geared to finding people who fit a particular company( or division/group of a company) mold rather than a particular job, meaning that they exhibit key competencies like:
    - Teamwork
    - Customer – Orientation
    - Long-term Approach
    - Drive for results
    - Passion for Products
    - Passion for Technology
    - Passion for Individual Excellence.
    - Functional/technical Knowledge
    Last one is critical when you are interviewing for a very technical position.
  3. Prepare for illustrate/demonstrate these competencies
    Most interviewers are going to ask people to illustrate how they’ve demonstrated the competencies in their past experience, then drill down to understand how they might have done it differently or how they’d apply what they learned in a new, imaginary situation.
  4. Approach the answers in the Situation-Action-Result
    Candidates should lay out the situation, the steps they personally took or led, and the results they achieved. This cannot be repeated often enough. Be brief with your answers as the interviewer will draw them out.
  5. Tell your best story
    It’s a good idea to come to any interview ready to tell the stories that best portray what you could bring to the company. Given what you guys will convey about competencies, it should be pretty easy to steer the conversation toward your stories.
  6. Be descriptive and concise
    On-Campus Interviewers are going to make a definitive decision about every candidate in the minutes after each interview. In justifying their decision, they need to provide examples and descriptions from the candidates’ comments. It’s critical to be descriptive and concise.
  7. Practice, Practice, Practice
    Just don’t think through answers in your head, it really helps to practice, and stumble, and practice, and get an answer right. Ask yourself and your friends if you’ve chosen the best experience to illustrate a question and if you’ve mastered.

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