COMMENT: What it’s like to interview at Google, Amazon and Twitter as a non-engineer

COMMENT: What it’s like to interview at Google, Amazon and Twitter as a non-engineer

Eyeing a corporate strategy position outside of finance and consulting, I interviewed with Google, Amazon and Twitter. What are you asked as a non-engineer at Google interviews? They just kept on asking follow-up questions about my earthquake answer. I didn’t prepare myself well enough to handle the barrage of follow-up questions. What are you asked as a non-engineer at Amazon interviews? As with Google, questions were asked and re-asked again and again. Every question skewed toward the negative, like “how could you handle this role considering you have no work experience in finance?” By the end of the two hours, I was so annoyed that I felt like I was almost subtly fighting with them. What are you asked as a non-engineer at Twitter interviews? He explained what he did and then allowed me to hit on some of my preparation and creativity. But I turned it down to go work for a startup.

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Google interview

I recently graduated with high marks from a consensus top-five MBA program in the U.S. One of the best aspects of attending a “target” business school is that prestigious companies from a number of industries come to interview you on your own campus. Unless your resume is a mess, you are basically guaranteed a chance to sit down with at least a few companies on your short list. First the banks and consulting firms came through, and then the big-name tech companies had their opportunity later in the semester. Eyeing a corporate strategy position outside of finance and consulting, I interviewed with Google, Amazon and Twitter. While they may be unique to me, these were my experiences.

What are you asked as a non-engineer at Google interviews?

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As I sat down to look at what jobs Google had available, I was awestruck by the sheer number of open positions. As a non-engineer, I found it rather difficult to nail down one or two specific jobs that would be a fit. Product and project manager jobs all sounded similar; I felt like I needed to pick a vertical or business line and hope it was the right one for me.

On the day of the interview, I sat down with two Google PMs. The very beginning was somewhat boilerplate: why do you want to work here, what makes you a good fit for the culture etc. And then all of a sudden, they started hitting me with crazy questions, almost as if they tried to lull me into a sense of security and then surprise me. The first non-standard question I was asked was what my evacuation strategy would be if I was the mayor of San Francisco and a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the city. It felt like a total 180-degree turn from where the interview was going, but I was prepped not to freak out at strange hypothetical questions and to stay composed. The manner in which you respond to the question and explain your rationale was more important than the actual answer, I was told.

While I felt like I handled myself well after finishing…

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