Google uses Algos to shortlist candidates for interview

As reported by The New York Times, Google uses algorithms to fill the job positions.


The news says that there have been 100s of thousands job applications which are received by Google every month and in its desperation to hire more engineers and sales representatives, it can afford to ignore them. Therefore, all the applicants are asked to fill online surveys which are supposed to inquire into their personality traits. The answers are fed into different algorithms, designed by Google mathematicians, to calculate the scores between 0 and 100.


And Google’s vice president for people operations, Laszlo Bock is quoted saying,

“As we get bigger, we find it harder and harder to find enough people. With traditional hiring methods, we were worried we will overlook some of the best candidates.”

Google is not said to be the only employer but there are lot more but in different domains and rare in Silicon Valley which is “built on belief of idiosyncratic talent“.


Yahoo doesn’t use tests, puzzles or tricks, etc., when interviewing candidates. Some examples of the questions have also been given like –


  • What programming languages are you familiar with?
  • What Internet mailing lists do you subscribe to?
  • Is your work space messy or neat?
  • Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
  • What magazines do you subscribe to?
  • What pets do you have?


I liked this method of shortlisting candidates specially when you have such mass number of applications coming every month. Then better to introduce one more screening step then messing up the whole process.  And when that screening method is automated and reliable (of course it is Google), you get away from the trouble of human effort. These algorithms are not specially designed for scholars as Mr. Bock says that he is already seeing success in easing the company past its obsession with grades.


“More and more in the time I’ve been here, we hire people based on experience as a proxy for what they can accomplish,” he said. “Last week we hired six people who had below a 3.0 G.P.A.”

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