Not too shabby

Free food, gyms, on-site doctors and massages - what it's like to work at Google HQ

“Before working at Google, I didn’t know the true extent of its culture’s openness.”

GOOGLE IS ONE of the best place to work in the world, regularly earning top honours in workplace rankings and on employee review sites.

The tech giant’s more than 57,000 employees are provided with free Wi-Fi-enabled shuttles to and from work, free healthy meals, laundry and fitness facilities, 18 weeks of fully paid maternity leave and on-site childcare, and competitive pay.

They report 84% high job satisfaction and earn a median salary of $133,000 after five years, according to survey data from PayScale.

Mayra Felix, a strategic programme manager for the Americas with Google’s Global account management team, works in the company’s California headquarters.

mayra- google Mayra Felix Courtesy of Mayra Felix Courtesy of Mayra Felix

She started her career at Google in 2013 as a regional account manager, and prior to that moved to the US from Ecuador to attend Georgetown University.

We spoke to Felix to find out what it’s really like to work for one of the world’s top employers.

Here’s what she said:

Current role

current-role Felix manages and oversees various projects, including the Google for Work service. Courtesy of Mayra Felix Courtesy of Mayra Felix

As a programme manager, I manage and oversee projects across many areas of the business.

A typical day for me consists of working cross-functionally with marketing, data, and sales teams, keeping track of performance, identifying challenges and planning the next initiative that will move the needle in our business.

As a Googler, I start my day by taking the shuttle from San Francisco to Mountain View (which has Wi-Fi so I can work if I’m awake enough!).

Once at the office, I get freshly made breakfast and coffee to kick off the day.

I then go to my desk, reply to urgent emails and attend meetings.

I get lunch at one of the three cafés on my side of the campus and will venture to new ones across campus if I have time.

I try to take breaks by walking my co-worker’s dog, getting a snack in the microkitchen, or working out at the gym if I’m feeling energetic.

Hiring process

Google’s hiring process is holistic and focuses on looking for a person who’s a great fit for the job, for Google, and for other things outside their core role.

Each interview focuses on discovering a different aspect of a candidate’s strengths.

In my case, I went through five interviews focused on leadership, role-related knowledge, problem solving, and “Googleyness”.

I was asked a series of analytical and sales-related “fire drills” based on real business cases.

It was challenging, but they were really the type of questions I deal with on a daily basis, so I think it was great preparation for my current role.

Advice for applying to Google

Do your homework. Make sure you understand our vision, know our products, and are aware of how your unique story contributes to making Google such a special place.

Also, make sure you understand the role you’re applying for, the impact it brings to Google, and how your skills make you a great candidate for it.

Before applying to Google I spent days watching videos on Google’s culture and early days, read articles on tech trends and Google’s big bets, dove deep into product research, and reached out to my network for advice and feedback.

My second piece of advice: Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Asking the right questions is the key to gaining more insights, putting your curiosity to the test, and showing that you are eager to learn — that is at the core of being a Googler.

Skills that are most useful to have to work at Google

Teamwork is a core value at Google.

Determination, out-of-the-box thinking, adaptability, and teamwork.

One of the cool things about working on my team is that we operate as a startup — we are small, scrappy and move fast.

Success relies on approaching new challenges in a creative way, collaborating on ideas, adapting to new scenarios and, most importantly, getting things done.


best-part-about-working-for-google Felix with some work friends. Courtesy of Mayra Felix Courtesy of Mayra Felix

We have great perks most people have heard about like free food, gym, onsite doctors, discounts and free massages. Those come in handy.

But my favourite perks are the ones for professional and personal development.

For example, there is a peer-to-peer learning programme where Googlers teach other Googlers on topics that can range from yoga to coding — and it’s all completely free.

In the upcoming months I’m planning to take marketing, analytics and business courses at Stanford, sponsored by Google as part of the education-reimbursement program.

One thing you didn’t know about Google before working there

what-itsreallylike-to-work-at-google-in-three-sentences-or-less Courtesy of Mayra Felix Courtesy of Mayra Felix

Before working at Google, I didn’t know the true extent of its culture’s openness.

One of my favourite things at the company is TGIFs, weekly meetings held by Larry and Sergey with the entire company globally via Hangouts.

All employees are encouraged and have the opportunity to ask Larry and Sergey questions about the company directly — sometimes the questions are tough, but there is always humour and transparency involved.

The office environment

I work at Google headquarters in Mountain View. The office space is unique: beautiful buildings and outdoor areas, arcade games, pool tables, a bowling alley — it’s definitely not a typical workplace.

Googlers are very active, so you often see people riding bikes, walking their dogs, or exercising around campus. They’re also just as active with their working style. Since I work with sales people, the environment is fun and fast-paced — they are always hitting the ground running.

Plus, we have three official team dogs — Wally, Sabre, and Peaches. They are fun to be around, especially when we need to take a break from work.

 - Rachel Gillett

Read: This is why Google decided a childlike logo was its future

Read: Google begins construction of Dublin data centre and brings 400 jobs with it

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