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Google is the toughest job interview in town for developers – but not the worst

Thu 14 Jan 2016

If you’re a developer looking for the golden ticket to one of the top software or digital services companies in the world, you likely aren’t expecting an easy ride. The arcane and abstract dominate the hiring processes of major tech companies so completely that Hollywood got a fairly good movie out of it.

However when The Internship came out, Google performed an about-face on its legendarily Zen approach to hiring. In an interview with the New York Times Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock revealed that his search for an in-house recruitment genius showed that the tech giant’s mystical interviewing habits amounted to a ‘complete random mess’, and thereafter Google abandoned abstruse questions about how many golf balls one could fit into an airplane or how many gas stations there are in Manhattan.

A casual survey of candidates’ experience at 13 major tech companies by GetVoIP shows that even though the interview process at the chocolate factory remains the most long drawn-out, it is far from the most negatively-received, from the supplicant’s point of view. That dubious distinction goes to Twitter.

Credit: getvoip.com

Credit: getvoip.com

The survey estimated users’ experience of candidature for companies including Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Yahoo, Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Uber and Twitter, based on information about software engineers’ applications made available via glassdoor.com.

The Google hiring process emerges as the most difficult, while you can apparently just walk into IBM and take a desk, since the difficulty factor at Big Blue is less than half that of its nearest stablemate, Yelp.

The perceived negativity of the process also demonstrates a curve-blowing moment in terms of unpleasantness: given the ongoing employment controversies around Amazon, the online retailer might have been a smart guess for Interview From Hell, and it certainly takes a respectably grim second place, at 26% negative. But Twitter’s gauntlet is a far harder prospect, with the social media outlet topping the unpleasantness stakes at 42%, beating Apple and Uber by a sharp margin.

Negative perceptions of the interview processes do not correlate to length=strife. Google’s exhaustive procedure, which matches Apple’s at four stages (screening call, two phone interviews and an on-site interview) has very low associated negativity.

In addition to being the least difficult interview process in the roster, IBM candidates also felt most positive about the company’s treatment of them during the application, and in general the company joins Intel, Cisco and Microsoft in obtaining the most positive overall results.

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