I first read about Jeff Barr's Google recruitment experience(s) via his Twitter feed (and learned that it hit Techmeme via another Twitterer). For those who haven't yet heard about it, here's the lowdown.
After having interviewed with The Big G last year, Jeff has recently received more than one email recruitment offer from Google. Apparently, none of them aware that Jeff had interviewed with Google before (huh?). But that's not the best part. Jeff graciously shares the initial phone interview expectations with us, which at least provided him with some form of entertainment, if nothing else:
In preparation for your phone interview:
* Familiarize yourself with the job description under Product Development. http://www.google.com/jobs/index.html
* Familiarize yourself with all of Google’s products (you will be asked both technical & business related questions)
* Be prepared to answer Product Design / Analytical questions (be sure to think of the user when answering this question)
* Conduct some searches (Google product manager)
* Research our competitors
For the initial phone interview. Jeff's response (via his blog):
Sure, and after I have done this and they invite me down, will they expect me to create dark matter from stuff found in the supply rooms, or to invent a unified field theory while standing at a whiteboard? Maybe I can do all of this while balancing on a Segway and sipping an Odwalla, just to make it challenging. Strange.
The best I've saved for last: the reason his in-person interview went from "the offer you can't refuse" to the cold shoulder? Jeff didn't recall his college GPA, which, by the by, was earned over 20 years ago. (Um. Wha??)
Given Jeff's expertise, background, and reputation in the tech industry, I am left wondering: what was(/is) Google thinking? What matters more in building your company's most important intangible asset: pretense or substance?