major.io words of wisdom from a systems engineer

Why I interviewed at Google and stayed at Rackspace

As some of you might know, I interviewed for a position at Google in April of this year. It wasn’t a position that I sought out, but it all came about after I received an e-mail and phone call from a recruiter. Obviously, there’s some things I can’t talk about with regards to the interview process, but there’s quite a few things that can be said.

How it started

The initial recruiter that I spoke with was a very friendly fellow that didn’t seem too technical. He didn’t get into the job description much, but he was interested mostly in whether I wanted to relocate and what type of job I enjoy most. We ran through a few cursory technical questions and he tried to find out what my skill level was in certain areas. When it was all said and done, he said I’d be contacted from someone else at Google within a few weeks.

Two weeks later, I received some e-mails, went through [redacted] phone screens (with some pretty intelligent people), and learned more about the position. The folks from Google that I spoke with ranged from friendly and chatty to very direct and somewhat terse. Overall, I got the idea that they weren’t interested in running a quiz, but they wanted to know how deep my knowledge and understanding was with regards to critical topics relating to the position. I know this sounds vague, but it’s about as much as I can tell you.

The middle

I received a few more e-mails after the phone screens and my recruiter wanted to bring me out to California. Travel arrangements were made, I flew out to San Jose, and then drove the short drive to Mountain View. The city and the surrounding areas were a little different than I was used to. Most of the buildings and structures look as if they were built between 1960 and 1980 and they had a peculiar architecture. I stayed in the Hotel Avante (which was quite comfortable) and made the short drive to the Googleplex in the morning.

This was about the point where I slapped myself and said “Holy crap, I’m interviewing at GOOGLE!”

When I arrived, I went into the wrong buildings twice until I found the right one, but some Google employees finally pointed me in the right direction. I met with my recruiter, who was actually pretty entertaining, and he gave me a run down of how the day would go. I spent the morning interviewing, and then I joined a Google employee for lunch. He answered many of my questions about the cost of living, job benefits, and how he liked Google. When that was over, I went back to interviewing and was escorted out of the building at the end of the day.

Towards the end

I spoke with my recruiter a few more times after the interview for some basic paperwork-related issues, and he worked hard to keep me in the loop on my application status. There wasn’t much of a concern job-wise as I work for one of the best companies in my industry already. However, I was getting ready to move to a new home, so I let my recruiter know that I was in a bit of a time crunch.

You’ll probably want to know what happened next, but there’s not really anything that I’m allowed to say about it! What I can tell you is that I’m still with the best company in my industry, and I’m still enjoying it each day.

So I know what you’re probably thinking…

Why did you stay at Rackspace?

It’s easy to answer this question: I learn something new every day at Rackspace. Sometimes it’s something technical, and sometimes it’s something related to managing people or designing technology. The people that I share this learning opportunity with make it all worthwhile. I’ve never worked for a company where my managers cared so much about my personal and technical development. Also, I’ve never worked at a company where, as a manager, I’m encouraged to care for my own technicians’ personal and technical development.

If you have any more questions about why I love working at Rackspace, please let me know. I’ll be happy to fill you in.