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Job Interview Tips

Why Google Doesn’t Hire Top College Graduates

By Joseph Cueto on February 2, 2015

Cue the time machine. By virtue of being a Filipino, you probably heard your mom (or your dad or both) tell you, “Study hard and get good grades, so you can get a good job after college” a lot more times than you wanted to hear it. Parents aspired for their kids to end up in the top schools and universities, along with skyrocketing GPAs and glowing recommendations from professors. Those things may bring you extra points when applying for a job, except for one workplace – Google.

An article by author Max Nisen provides a look into the factors that the Internet search giant takes into consideration when hiring potential employees. This may come as a surprise:

In a conversation with The New York Times’ Tom Friedman, Google’s head of people operations, Laszlo Bock, detailed what the company looks for. And increasingly, it’s not about credentials.

Google believes that the top graduates do not necessarily become top workers (though for them, good grades don’t hurt). No need to do a Google search as Nisen rolls out, similar to a search result, the essential factors that weigh heavily on Google’s selection process:

1. Intellectual humility

This trait pertains to having the openness to the lessons and opportunities brought about by your good and not-so-good experiences, openness to others’ opinions, and being able to accept that your ideas may be wrong or that a better one exists.

2. People that make it without college are often the most exceptional

Schools are not the only sources of talent out there. For those successful folks without a college degree, Bock defines them as “exceptional human beings” because they were able to overcome adversity by making the most out of situations that did not go the way they planned it.

3. Learning ability is more important than IQ

Stop fretting about the time you flunked your Algebra course or if you went to an obscure school. What Google puts more of a premium on is your ability to figure out issues and deliver solutions on the fly.

What the article suggests is that your academic standing is not the biggest determinant of your success in finding a great job and the corporate world. In the end, the focus should be on developing one’s self to become the most well-rounded person you can be – and that means considering even out-of-the-box and unconventional measures – and standards – to do so. Kinda like Google.