A Common Google Interview Question: Sales Engineer/Google Cloud

google interviews Jun 16, 2022

Last week, we covered a common question that is asked in Google interviews:

I want you to imagine that you are tasked with improving customer satisfaction from 80% to 90% without any additional tools or resources. How would you go about doing this?

In Part 1, we addressed this question from the perspective of an Account Strategist role with a focus on Google Ads. Today, we’ll approach our response as a Sales Engineer with an emphasis on solutions for the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). 

As always, we will be using the C.F.A.S. method (Clarify. Framework. Assumptions. Solution.) to answer this open-ended question.

Sales Engineer

Let’s imagine we are interviewing for the Sales Engineer role. Our interviewer, Sue, asks us the question above. Now, we can walk through the C.F.A.S. method:

Clarify

“Sue, I definitely want to understand the landscape of the client. Are they a newer client or existing client? Has it been a quarter, six months or a year-plus that we’ve been working with them? Have I ever worked with them? Do I have an established relationship with them? 

“I would absolutely want to know where they are in their cloud journey. Are they pretty new? Do they have some knowledge? Or, are they very sophisticated users? Are they looking to increase satisfaction with a product, service or both? And, because we’re looking at their overall satisfaction, have we run surveys with them in the past?

“Sue, I know this is a lot of questions, can you clarify any of these items for me?”

Framework

“Okay, Sue. Let’s discuss a few critical concepts we would want to focus on to help this cloud customer. I would start by listening, questioning and coming from a place of strong empathy. My goal is to build a level of trust.

“Then, I want to think a little bit more on the technical side of things. How are they utilizing the platform? How are they working on things like scale or automation?

“Lastly, I would like to bring these pieces together and focus on an action plan to build some strong training and development. Automation would be a great place to start for improving customer satisfaction with this cloud client, but is there any area that you’d like to focus on?”

Assumptions

“Sue, let’s make some assumptions. Let’s say they are an enterprise client. We have been supporting them for about a year. They are in the technology space and we are their cloud provider, specifically, they are only using GCP services.”

Solution

“If we are going to focus on automation, let’s take a look at a tool they could be using like kubernetes. Maybe we can dive a little deeper and look at their configurations as they are rolling out new services and projects.

“One of the best ways we can improve customer service is to look at the data and help them create some strong dashboards. A couple areas that any company would be interested in are traffic and latency. We would want to look at overall user activity and overall server response time. Then, we could create custom dashboards and automate them. More specifically, we could copy these dashboards between workspaces. Not only will this provide more data clarity, we’re also automating things for them at the same time. 

“This is super high level. Sue, I think we could definitely go deeper into the traffic and latency items, and maybe what those dashboards look like from an automation standpoint. We also didn’t talk about things like errors or saturation. Or, we could go back to the beginning and talk more about scaling. Is there an area that you prefer?”

Summary

Please watch the full video for both the Account Strategist and Sales Engineer approaches, along with a bit more insight into the C.F.A.S. method as it relates to these specific answers to this very common Google interview question. 

For more interview training resources and tips, follow my blog, check out my YouTube channel or sign up on Practice Interviews.


Jeff H. Sipe

Jeff has interviewed over 1000 people in his career and previously spent five years working at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley. You likely found Jeff through YouTube and you will find the same level of dedication in his one on one practice interview sessions.

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