Climbing My Mount Everest: Kapil Thairani (GMBA’18) writes about his placement at Google

googleMy journey to the base camp started on January 11, 2018 – the day I was told that my profile had been shortlisted for placement at Google. It took some time for this news to sink in. “This is just the beginning of the battle. You need to prepare yourself mentally!” an inner voice kept telling me. Slowly, I geared my mind for the arduous climb. With a conversion rate of 0.2% for any candidate joining as a Noogler (new joinees at Google), this was going to be no easy task.

As I waited for news on my interview dates, my guardian angels got working – constantly guiding me, sharing their abundance of knowledge and experience on how to crack these interviews. SP Jain’s Corporate Relations Team played an enormous role in my success. They pushed every resource at their disposal and left no stones unturned. Be it the faculty at SP Jain, the in-house Digital Marketing team or SP Jain alumni at Google – everyone shared their insights and suggestions, helping me stay focused on my goal. These are the true stakeholders in my success.

From Base Camp to the Summit:

In mid-January, I was informed that my interview at Google would begin with three rounds – each an elimination Mt Everestround. I was told to prepare myself on 4 core attributes that Google looks for in every candidate they hire – cognitive ability, leadership, role-related knowledge, and the most important one – Googlyness. However well you perform in the other parameters, the chances of you getting the job are slim if you aren’t culturally aligned to be a part of Google. Naturally, that is what I focused the most on.

I researched a lot about Google’s culture, watched the many videos shared by the team and made sure I got an understanding of the culture, reflecting these points in my interviews. For example, Google wants to know about your failures and the leadership skills you demonstrated in overcoming them. As interviewers, they are keen to see if you are able to display a learning attitude.

Each round lasted approximately 45-50 minutes and focused on my overall profile, team and conflict management skills, situational questions to test management and prioritizing skills, and technical questions on AdWords, amongst others. A few more rounds of interviews followed in early February, all of which focused on gauging my leadership potential and how culturally fit I am to Google’s work culture. All the knowledge I had gained from multiple immersion courses at SP Jain – Design Thinking, Value Creation, Leadership Excellence, and more – helped me nail these interviews.

The Global MBA program has helped me transform into a global citizen with an understanding of how businesses operate in different countries and how each place is culturally different from the other. This cultural immersion went a long way in shaping my interviews. For example, my final interviewer was based in Sydney (Australia) and I could bond with him instantly – for the first 15 minutes of the interview, we talked about the city and how progressive it is when compared to the rest of the world.

February 28 was the D-Day when I got a call from Google’s HR, offering me a job! I can’t begin to describe how ecstatic I was on achieving this feat.

I wouldn’t call the journey smooth; it involved a lot of hard work, patience, and dedication. With a lot of excitement, I stepped into the Google Gurgaon office on March 5, reaching the summit of my Everest. In the end, this success would not have been possible without the many stakeholders who kept me in their prayers and shared their insights to help me win this battle. The team at SP Jain, my parents, and so many others who remained my pillars of strength in this long but fruitful 45-day journey.

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