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What You Should Know About Google’s Hiring Committees

google interviews Dec 02, 2021

In my almost five years at Google, I attended hundreds of Hiring Committee meetings. There is so much confusion on this subject, so it is worth exploring further.

The first thing I’d like you to remember is that Google’s hiring process is always changing. Some groups have even removed the hiring committee from the process this year, though it is still happening in many groups throughout Google. Below, we’ll outline some of the key items to understand when preparing for Google’s hiring committee:

Item #1 – Why

The point of the hiring committee (HC) is to hire you for Google, not for the specific position. Committees are formed to eliminate biases and create more objectivity. This way, they are attempting to get it right every single time.

Item #2 – Who (Part 1)

Who makes it to HC? Only candidates who have a strong interview performance will make it to the hiring committee stage. Google rates candidates as follows:

  1. Strong Hire
  2. Hire
  3. Leaning Hire
  4. Leaning No Hire
  5. No Hire
  6. Strong No Hire

Most candidates who make it to HC will fall in one of the top three groups, meaning the interviewers are at least leaning towards hiring you. Many candidates assume everyone makes it to hiring committee. In reality, the percentages are actually quite small (perhaps 10 percent or less). Even if you fail to get past the HC stage the first time, there is a strong chance you will have another opportunity because such a small percentage of candidates get to this stage in the process. 

Item #3 – Who (Part 2)

Who are the HC members? Hiring committees are generally made up of your potential peers. For example, let’s say you are interviewing for a Program Manager position. That hiring committee will be made up of other Program Managers. If you are interviewing for a Software Engineer position, your HC would be made up of other SWEs. Google hiring committees are not randomly selected. These are people who have been specifically selected and trained to be in the HC.

Hiring committees these days can be as low as 2-3 members and they will all have to agree if the candidate moves forward. Typically, these committees are led by a Recruiter. Their role is to be a facilitator and keep everyone on track.

Item #4 – When (Part 1)

When does HC Happen? It happens after all interviews have been completed. The paths to hiring committee may be different from candidate to candidate. It may also depend if the candidate is after a specific position or more of a general role at Google. So, if you are interviewing for a more generic role, the team match stage will sometimes come before or even sometimes after HC.

Item #5 – When (Part 2)

Interview feedback should generally be completed within a week. All the information needs to be with the hiring committee 24-48 hours before the HC meeting. As the candidate, you should know exactly when the hiring committee meeting is happening. Specifically, you should know the day, the time and how/where the meeting is being conducted. If anything is unclear, don’t hesitate to ask your Recruiter.

Item #6 – What

What exactly is the HC reviewing? They will be reviewing all of your interview feedback, the hiring manager statement of support, employee referrals, internal references and your resume. If the hiring committee is struggling to make a decision, they will look at your past interview feedback. They are looking for improvement over time.

Ultimately, HC will review all this information prior to the meeting and then the meeting is designed to help them make their final decision on whether or not they are recommending the candidate for the next stage(s) of the hiring process. 

Item #7 – Results

Once the HC process is complete, the committee will move the candidate forward in one of three stages:

  1. Yes—They are going to move forward to the offer stage.
  2. No—The process ends here and the candidate’s chances are very slim of having another opportunity this time around.
  3. Hold—They may put you on “hold” for a number of reasons. You may need to conduct another interview to gather more information or to clarify something important that was perhaps missing in the interview notes. 

Check out my full video on this topic below for more details and examples from the HC process:

If you would like to know more about preparing for the Google hiring process or general interview tips, visit my YouTube channel or sign up on Practice Interviews to get started with your personal interview training.

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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