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How can you prepare for a job at Google?

Josh Hadik
My day job is designing and developing websites, but in my off time, I like to build all kinds of things, including Ruby gems, iPhone apps, and Alexa skills.
・1 min read

There's a ton of articles and advice out there on how to prepare for a coding interview for companies like Facebook, Google, Netflix, etc.

This is great and extremely helpful for actually landing a job (even if it's not at one of those top tech companies.)

However, I don't think it's enough.

I don't know about you guys, but if I ever did land a job at Google or Facebook, I wouldn't want to feel like I got it just cause I was able to "hack" my way through the interview process.

I'd rather go in on my first day feeling prepared for whatever challenge "X" company throws my way, instead of feeling like I'm not cut out for the role and wondering how long it will take for them to realize the interview was just a fluke.

With that in mind, what's your best advice on how to prepare for an actual programming job and not just the programming interview.

I used Google in the title as an example, but I want to keep this discussion as open as possible, so I'd love to hear your advice even if you don't work at one of the FANG companies.

Discussion (2)

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engineercoding profile image
Wesley Ameling • Edited

Be honest with your (future) employer about your skillset and eagerness to learn new things. I have been job hunting the past few weeks, and I actually got into interviews by not preparing for them; on a social level I gave them more honest answers that way, as opposed as standard answers, and really showed them my current skillset.

If your future employer sees something in you, especially the way you are able to adapt, then you're fine. Don't play pretend, it is cool that you can land a job that way, but that job might then as well not last as you don't have the skillset which is actually required.

And last but not least, while it is really cool to work at the bigger companies you should ask yourself: is that company also good for you? Sure it will look great on your resume, but do you see yourself working at such company for the longer term?

TL;DR: Be honest with yourself and your future employer.

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niorad profile image
Antonio Radovcic

In a sane company, you won't be thrown into the cold water on day one.

At Valtech (where I work), you're assigned a mentor for the first weeks and it may be a day or three until you get a project assigned. Then you'll start small, like with a minor bug-task to get used to the environment.
I guess at Google and other major tech-companies, you get extensive orientation in the first days/weeks.

The point is: Nobody expects you to go full-steam-ahead on day one, or even week one.

On the other hand, the situation at a Start-Up or smaller company is probably different.