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laszlo bock

6 tips from Google’s hiring manager

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These might be the holy grail of tips for those looking to land the job of their dreams, or hire their dream candidate.

Laszlo Bock, Google’s hiring manager, has dished out his biggest tops to landing a job at Google – or any job, really – in an interview with New York Times’ columnist and journalist Thomas Friedman.

These are his thoughts. What do you think?

1. Don’t take the easy way out

Bock says a trait he looks for is “grit”, meaning the people who take the more challenging road, rather than the ones who look for the easiest way to meet their goals.

“I told [a] student they are much better off being a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English because it signals a rigor in your thinking and a more challenging course load,” he said.

2. Don’t worry too much about university

College is important, but knowing why you want to go to college is more important.

Bock says companies should look for people who haven’t simply gained a degree because it was “the right thing to do”. Instead, you should be finding people who have been willful in knowing what they want to get out of the years of study and massive investment of both time and money.

3. Know a little about a lot

Google looks for “general cognitive ability” or the ability to learn things and solve problems. People who understand the basics and can apply information to other situations or scenarios are in high demand.

The importance is to understand the fundamentals of what you are doing.

“I took statistics at business school, and it was transformative for my career. Analytical training gives you a skill set that differentiates you from most people in the labor market.”

4. You need to be creative, but also logically structured

Creativity is “phenomenally important” says Bock, but what makes someone effective is being able to be creative and a logical, structured-thinker.

“If you’re great on both attributes, you’ll have a lot more options. If you have just one, that’s fine, too.”

He says being able to intersect two different fields is what makes some companies greater than others.

“You need some people who are holistic thinkers and have liberal arts backgrounds and some who are deep functional experts. Building that balance is hard, but that’s where you end up building great societies, great organizations.”

[READ MORE: Employers value personality over skills]

5. His best CV tip is to structure your strengths

Most people don’t put enough of the right content in their resume, he says.

“The key is to frame your strengths as: ‘I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.’ Most people would write a résumé like this: ‘Wrote editorials for The New York Times.’

“Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.’”

6. In a job interview, tell a story about your attributes and how it has added value

“Most people in an interview don’t make explicit their thought process behind how or why they did something and, even if they are able to come up with a compelling story, they are unable to explain their thought process.”

Bock suggests going in prepared with multiple examples about a specific attribute and an example of how you demonstrated that attribute.

Read the full article from the New York Times here.



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