The Job Interview Questions Google Stopped Asking

In the hallowed halls of career stardom, few companies are quite as esteemed and promoted as the “greatest”, “bestest” or “most wonderful” to work for as that of Google.  From movies whose entire plots are based around landing an internship to hordes of news articles delving into the “campus” like atmosphere, job perks, vacation privileges and more, Google certainly does fall into those unicorn categories of places we all wished we worked.  

While being employed by Google certainly seems like a dream come true, until recently, getting in the door was more the stuff of nightmares.  Google has changed it’s hiring practices, but previously interviews to land a prestigious position as this tech giant ran the full gambit of hiring tricks of the trade.  Well above average requirements for aptitude tests, education, and references were combined with pointed, and downright difficult, interview questions.

Google may have abandoned their stringent ways, but the tale serves as words of caution for would-be interviewers: be prepared for anything and everything.  Here are the job interview questions Google stopped asking but you should still be prepared to answer from other potential employers.


Career seekers with their sights set on a position with Google can take a big sigh of relief that brainteasers have long since been axed from the interview process.  Old school interviewers may remember this particularly tortuous endeavor. Picture this sweat-inducing scenario: You’re seated in a cold, windowless room with a stack of paper, pencil and not much else.  In walks the hiring manager or other company rep, bearing tidings of poorly worded, impossible to answer, purposely designed to frustrate, “who’s on first if why’s on second” type of queries. Now imagine that providing the “correct” answer will determine your employability and long-term career prospects.

Painting the picture of the brainteaser scenario demonstrates just why this practice has, thankfully, fallen by the wayside.  While previously popular with upper echelon employers, complicated logic games have consistently been dismissed as a poor judge of a candidate’s skills or smarts.  Numerous studies have discredited the practice, finding that the only aptitude brain teasers really test, is the ability to solve brain teasers. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on the lookout, however, as some employers seem to have not gotten the memo.

The Dreaded Hypothetical

Any candidate who has been around the interview block knows that the hypothetical is a much-loved technique for employers and a dreaded question for interviewees.  If you’ve ever struck up a conversation with a hiring manager, only to be asked how you’d come up with an impossible solution to an improbable work-related hurdle, you certainly aren’t alone.

Google may have stopped this practice, but other employers consistently work in the “what would you do” approach while quizzing job candidates.  If you’re looking to get ahead with this line of questioning, try to think of applicable similar scenarios from your real life past experiences as a way to wow your way to a callback or offer.

Grade Point Averages

Sure, you may think that barely above average semester in your freshman year of college algebra would be far behind you by the time you reach adult-level employment, but it turns out that pesky GPA follows with you long after you hang up that cap and gown.  Many employers not only ask for your high school and college GPA, they also go so far as to verify these numbers. Google saw the light and axed the reliance on often misleading GPA stats, opting instead to evaluate candidates based on their experience and real-world skills.  Don’t be surprised, however, if you run into a dinosaur now and again that still thinks these stats are meaningful ways to evaluate interviewees.

Test scores

We all faced a test, or two, or three, that we dreaded during our education days.  Some of us with advanced technical or other certifications had to replay that stress and angst all over again in our adult years.  While it may give little comfort to those who’ve already waded through the testing morass, Google decided to give its candidates a break and ditch the focus on test scores during the hiring process.

The logic for the switch is much the same as a that behind ditching the GPA scores.  It turns out that a person’s ability to select the correct multiple choice question on a paper form doesn’t correlate to their abilities in the real world.  Certain positions still require independent certifications, so don’t go throwing away your #2 pencil just yet. Overall, however, companies such as Google are looking more to experience and personality rather than standardized testing to choose their future employees.  

While Google may have said goodbye to these interview questions, other employers haven’t quite joined modern times when it comes to hiring.  The most important thing is to be prepared for whatever the scenario and be sure to do your research ahead of time so you can anticipate questions and calm your nerves to help score the job offer of your dreams.

Article Updated from the Original on January 23, 2018