Adding The Google Test to Your Interviews

On a message board, I read a thread where a poster — a research scientist — was describing how he ended up becoming the defacto IT guy in his department simply because of his superior Google skills and willingness to Google for and apply solutions to fix issues for his colleagues.

This is something I’ve personally never been asked to do in an interview nor have I thought to ask others when I interview them, but it seems that being able to quickly Google and sift through results quickly to separate the wheat from the chaff is a skill that is supremely underrated in today’s world of software engineering.

The fact is that developers and technology specialists today need to deal with so many technologies and understand deep nuances, Google is often the only way that any of us can get anything done, especially with obscure errors and what not that Microsoft and SharePoint loooove to throw at you.

In fact, I’m quite surprised that I’ve never been asked to do a Google search speed and accuracy test.

How would one design such a test to be effective at measuring a candidate’s speed and accuracy at using Google?  Should the topics be relevant to the candidates job domain?  Or should it be more generic?  Should it test a candidate’s knowledge of Google’s advanced features?

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1 Response

  1. PeteM says:

    During interviews at QC, we were concerned of course with technical proficiency, but we valued the process how a person would troubleshoot something they did not know. We were not allowed to “test” per se, but we’d allow access to a laptop computer on an onsite interview or in a phone-screen pre-interview. Usually those who would use (or simply describe using) the available KBs (technet, general search engines, etc) were those who we’d bring in as compared to the person who’d say, “I’d escalate” or “I’d ask someone next to me”.