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Google’s RRK Interview: What You Need to Know

google interviews Jun 20, 2021

Compared to other Google interviews, the RRK interview has less information and resources available online. However, it is an important component of Google’s interview process. This post will help you with a few basic tips for success.

Google Definition

RRK stands for “role-related knowledge.” Here is Google’s definition straight from their Career Page:

Role-related knowledge: We’re interested in how your individual strengths combine with your experience to drive impact. We don’t just look for how you can contribute today, but how you can grow into different roles—including ones that haven’t even been invented yet.

I touched on this concept in my last blog article about Google’s GCA interview process. One of the Hiring Committee’s goals throughout the interviewing stage is to get a sense of how a candidate will grow and be able to thrive as new opportunities arise within the company. Google is always evolving and they want employees who are doing the same.

Individual Strengths

When approaching your RRK interview, it is important to highlight your strengths and how they directly correlate with the skills needed to have success in the role. These interviews are typically a mix of behavioral and open-ended interview questions. For behavioral questions, you can prepare by thinking about examples that best highlight your strengths needed in that role. For open-ended questions, you should create frameworks based on what you do well and how those skills translate to that role.

Experience to Drive Impact

On the behavioral side, you should draw from your past experiences to share examples of your biggest strengths in action. When in doubt, though, I always recommend defaulting to your most impactful and complex examples that best showcase your key skills and strengths. On the open-ended side, driving impact comes in your solution. This is tricky, but the number one item to focus on is depth. Your solutions need to dive deep and be execution-oriented. Specifically, if you stay too high-level on how you will have impact, your open-ended answer will fall short.

Combine for Role Alignment

As you prepare for the Google RRK interview, you need to think about examples that correlate directly to the position, and then use your examples to feature your strongest traits. This is similar to strengths, but is more holistic. What are the key objectives of the position and how do your examples highlight great alignment? On the open-ended side, role alignments should show up in every single facet. Your clarifying questions, framework assumptions and solutions all need to be tied back to the role. This is critical to think about during GCA interviews, as well. Let’s never move too far away from the role in our answers.

Future Growth Potential

It’s also important to remember that the RRK interview is not just looking at how well you might fit the current role you are interviewing for, but future growth potential, as well. Understanding this can help you craft better answers and utilize your examples to show how your strengths will benefit Google—now and well into the future.

Ask Questions

Asking questions is a critical part of any interview process. The first step is to have your list of questions prepared. Always have between 20 and 30 questions typed out and ready to ask at the end of your interview. Since RRK interviews are typically done by peers and hiring managers, make sure to create a few role-specific questions. Make sure not to challenge your interviewer(s), but ideally you will uncover some data that could be helpful for future interviews.

Job Description

There should always be a clear job description before the RRK interview. If not, don’t be afraid to ask for one. The job description is critical to your success as a candidate. You should know it backwards and forwards. Go through the job description carefully as you prepare for your RRK interview. It will enable you to come up with the best role-related examples and help you figure out which are the most critical items to clarify. What should be your go-to frameworks? What would be good assumptions to make? This preparation will get you thinking about what to focus on when delivering your solution(s). 

Practice Makes Perfect

Last but certainly not least, you have to practice for your Google RRK interview just as you would for any other interview. Practice with a friend, significant other or interview coach. Google has a very specific and rigorous recruiting process. If you are not prepared, it will show. Know how you fit into the role and how you fit into the company as a whole. Always think with the end in mind. This is how you develop answers that will really impress the interviews and Hiring Committee. 

Please check out my full video on this topic:

Jeff H. Sipe is a recruiter and interview coach with more than 10 years of recruiting experience, including five years at Google. Check out the Practice Interviews YouTube channel or contact Jeff today to discuss private interview coaching sessions.

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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