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Google Team Match, Part 2: Strategy and Preparation

google interviews Nov 23, 2022

Last week, we talked about the Google team match process. We covered the specific types of candidates that may have to go through team matching and the timing. [Click here to read the full article.]

Today, we want to dive deeper into the Google team match process. In addition, we will cover some effective strategies you can use to better prepare for this important stage in your Google interview process, including what to do if you are not matched with a team.

Item #3—What

Let’s talk about what you need to do to have success during the team match phase. This stage is either conducted over the phone or video. If you feel like you are stronger face-to-face, don’t be afraid to ask if you can set up a video call. You shouldn’t push too much, but a video chat can often be more effective for many Google candidates. 

They are going to refer to the team match call as a “casual conversation.” This is a casual conversation. However, you need to treat it as seriously as any other interview. Here are a few preparation steps you can take:

  1. Continue to Prep—Prepare like it’s a normal interview. Practice your behavioral answers. Think about your open-ended clarifying questions, frameworks and assumptions. Some hiring managers will push and test you, so you need to be prepared in case that is their approach. 
  1. Elevator Pitch (Tell Me About Yourself)—Think about how you want to sell yourself. How will you make sure the hiring manager really understands your skillset? You don’t want this part to sound planned or too rigid within the conversational format, but you still have to sell yourself at least a little bit. Preparing and practicing a short elevator pitch will be beneficial. 
  2. Research—Do what you can to find information on the specific hiring manager, team and product area. This data will help you better prepare and set up your elevator pitch. Do as much research as possible and match your skills to the team. 
  1. Questions—You should have at least 20-30 pre-planned questions going into your team match call. The hiring manager will probably answer at least 5-10 of them during the conversation. Having more to ask will help you come across as more enthusiastic and prepared.  

So, what does the flow of this team match conversation look like? Start with the warm and fluffy stuff. What do you love about Google? What do you love about your job? What is the most fun thing you are working on right now? Then, you can transition into what success looks like in this position. Discuss how they measure success, both for the team and within the Google organization as a whole. 

When it comes to cadence and flow, you want to keep the conversation casual without getting too loose. If you come in with a lot of questions, you will want to cut yourself off at some point and say something like:

“Sue, I really love to ask questions. Obviously, I am really excited to be at this stage and be chatting with you. Feel free to cut me off at any time. Let me know if you want me to stop asking questions.”

Show you have awareness of the situation and are respecting their busy schedule.

  1. Positivity—Always remember to maintain a positive attitude during these conversations with hiring managers. Everything you say should be positive. Don’t ask for anything during this call. Just be super enthusiastic and positive about the process. It will be critical to your success.

Item #4—Multiple Teams

There is a chance you will encounter multiple team match conversations, and they can come at different stages in the interview process. You should be prepared to take all these calls and keep a positive attitude for every conversation. It’s a good problem to have if multiple teams are interested in you.

If other hiring managers ask, you can tell them you are speaking with other teams and you are excited for the opportunity to speak with everyone. Let them know you will be ready and willing to make a quick decision if multiple teams want you. Ultimately, you will choose the team where you feel you will make the best impact for the organization.

Item #5—No Match

Unfortunately, this can happen. No match is made. Either no team is ever identified or you end up talking with multiple teams and none of them quite work out. Go back and review your earlier conversations. Make sure to learn from any mistakes you may have made.

Eventually, your recruiter may want to take a break if you haven’t yet been matched. That’s okay. Sometimes, the timing just isn’t right. From here, you will want to figure out the next steps with your Recruiter. Ask how often you should check back in with them (once a month, once a quarter, etc.). 

Have faith in the process. If you made it to the team match stage at Google, it means your interview feedback was good. They will likely revisit you. You just need to have a little patience and be prepared to proactively follow up as needed.

For more insight on this topic, please watch my full video below:

For additional interview training resources, follow my YouTube channel, check out my blog or visit the Practice Interviews website.


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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