Interview with a Googler -Generation Google Scholarship’21

This blog details my interview experience with a Googler for Google Generation Scholarship(formerly Women Techmakers Scholarship) and some best practices to follow for the interview round. I hope you’re excited to read further :D

Google Scholars

Round III: Interview Round

After closely reviewing your profile, your essay answers and the results of your online challenges, the recruitment team will send you a mail to let you know whether you have been shortlisted for the next round or not.

If you have come this far, then you definitely deserve a pat on your shoulder for all the hard work that you have done.

After giving the Online Challenges, I was pretty much involved with my projects and Mid-sems that I almost forgot about it.

It was a nice day on the 4th of May and I had just wrapped up one of my meetings with an organization when my phone buzzed with an e-mail notification. When I saw that it’s for Generation Google Scholarship, my hands started shivering and I felt butterflies in my stomach, but as soon as I saw the word ‘Congratulations!’, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I re-read the mail many times just to be assured that I’ve actually cleared the previous rounds and will be speaking to a Noogler soon. (so silly of me XD)

Excitement*10

We were required to fill a form and indicate our availability and based on that, the candidates would be matched to a Googler for an interview, ranging from 20–35 mins.

You need to fill 5–6 slots that best suits you, depending on the date and time(morning slots and evening slots) so that they can arrange the interview best suited for your requirements. In case of an emergency, you can reschedule the interview, but it is allowed only once, so it’s advised to take your time and fill this form sincerely.

Selection mail for Interview round of Google Generation Scholarship

If I’d say I was just a bit nervous, it would be an understatement. I was nervous and panicking inside that how will I prepare for the interview. I started searching for blogs of past scholars to know more about the interview process. I came across some really awesome blogs by even more awesome scholars such as Amalu Susan and Fatima Moin and I fell in love with the way they have described their journey and contributions.

I asked some of the previous WTM scholars for guidance and they really helped me to prepare for my final shot. A huge shout out to Sashrika Kaur and Ria Bhatia for reviewing my essays and clarifying all my doubts patiently(no matter how silly they were).

My interview was scheduled for 18th May, from 2.30–3 pm. My interviewer was Chris Samuel (Recruiting Specialist, Talent & Outreach Programs at Google) and honestly speaking, even though I was really nervous before the interview but as soon as it started, he made me feel so comfortable that I didn’t even realize that I was sitting for an interview. I felt that I’m talking to a long-lost friend and discussing my journey and achievements of the past few years. It was more of a friendly conversation that lasted near 35 mins. In the meantime, we discussed a lot of things ranging from my journey in Tech to my internship and projects.

Starting the introduction part with a much obvious ‘Tell me something about yourself’, he asked me a few questions about my journey as an author and how this escalated and culminated into the domain of Technology, my inclination towards Computer Science, my internship experience as a Machine Learning Intern, the projects that I’ve built and which one of them is my favorite and what will I do with the Google scholarship grant if I’ll get it. In the end, he asked me if I had any questions for him. He further encouraged my efforts and complimented me by saying that I’m doing a great job for the underrepresented communities in Tech. At that moment, I couldn't help smiling and blushing a little.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I felt really content with the interview.

What are some questions that one can expect?

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

These are some of the frequent questions that one should prepare before appearing for the interview -

  • Tell me something about yourself (4-5 lines will suffice)
  • Any two-three such qualities which are not in your resume
  • Your future goals and projects
  • Why did you choose Computer Science/ your journey in the field of tech
  • Questions revolving around your essays (be aware of what you’ve written)
  • You can be asked detailed questions about your projects involving your role and tech-stack (Technical questions)
  • Your involvement with the communities/ your outreach initiatives
  • Your contribution towards the upliftment of underrepresented communities in tech
  • If you get 1 billion dollars, how will you use it for promoting diversity
  • How will you use your scholarship grant
  • Where do you see yourself in the next 3/5/10 years (your short-term/long-term goals)
  • Some similar questions based on the imbalance in tech and how this problem can be solved for underrepresented communities (your perspective)
  • If you have any questions for them

Some tips for the interview round -

Photo by De an Sun on Unsplash
  • Be thorough with all your essay answers. You should be fully aware of what you have written in the application because a lot of times, the interviewer asks direct questions from those essays.
  • Choose a place that is calm and silent for the interview. Test your microphones and internet connectivity beforehand to avoid any last-minute rush.
  • Be genuine about your journey. Neither overkill nor undercook your story.
  • Be vocal about the impact that you have created. Because honestly, if you won’t speak about it, then no one would. Always be proud of your contribution, no matter how small it is.
  • Be confident and don’t get tensed. As soon as the interviewer calls you, he/she will make you feel free.
  • Be the person who you claim to be on your resume.
  • You’ll get the name of your interviewer in the mail. So, go through their profile and skills.
    If he/she is an outreach expert, you will be questioned more on your outreach initiatives, questions on diversity, and inclusion.
    If he/she is from a technical background, you might be asked more about your skills and projects.
  • Show your passion while talking to the interviewer.
  • Always mention the metrics and numbers about your work and the impact that you have created. For instance, instead of saying that you have helped some students, mention the no. of students involved with a short description of your role.
  • Avoid any sort of controversial and offensive statements that portray extreme feminism or bias.
  • Sometimes, the questions will not be that straightforward. So, take your time trying to understand them and then answer accordingly. If you didn’t get the question, ask him/her to repeat it. It’s always better to clarify as one can’t risk assuming for such interviews.
  • In the end, do ask a question. This gives an impression that you are actually serious and curious about this opportunity.

If you made it to the end of the application process and this blog as well, then Congratulations! You’re going great.

I’ve tried to mention everything in as much detail as possible. If you wish to know more, then feel free to connect with me on any of the social media platforms(you can check my bio for more details), or if you have any questions, drop me a mail on saloniankitaa@gmail.com and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Till then, Keep Learning, Keep Hustling! ✨

ALL THE BEST!

Google DSC Lead’21 | Generation Google APAC Scholar’21 | SME @Chegg | Former ML Intern @Omdena | Aspiring #DevRel | Author