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Guide to Working at Google

Guide to Working at Google

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Google is a multinational technology company headquartered in Mountain View, California. While most people have used Google at some point in their lives, few have experienced what working at Google is really like. To help you learn more about what a career with this tech giant could be like, this guide will go over: 

What Is Google?

Google is a U.S.-based tech company specializing in search engine technology, cloud computing, software, e-commerce, online advertising, consumer electronics, and artificial intelligence. Founded in 1998 in California by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google now has more than 78 offices worldwide with nearly 95,000 full-time employees in the U.S. alone. 

Google went public in 2004, but a 2015 reorganization and restructuring created the holding company Alphabet, Inc., which became Google’s parent company. Alphabet is one of the “Big Five” American tech companies since it is the third-largest tech company in the world by revenue. 

Google is the most visited website on the internet globally, closely followed by another Google-owned site, YouTube. According to Forbes, Google is the second most powerful brand in the world, outranked only by Apple.   

While some Google products have been discontinued or shifted to other areas of Alphabet’s structure, some well-known products that still fall under Google’s domain include Gmail, the Chrome internet browser, and smart home products like Nest. 

Google Internships and New Grad Opportunities

Google offers programs, apprenticeships, and internships to students in the U.S. and abroad. Recent graduates may also qualify for entry-level positions in many of the company’s departments. Students and recent grads applying for roles and internships should focus on building the best resume possible and concisely highlighting their achievements.  


Google’s programs are designed to immerse students, recent graduates, and career professionals into the company culture. Unlike most internships, many of Google’s programs require some relevant background or previous experience. While programs are available worldwide, the programs available to U.S. residents are: 

Cloud Technical Residency (CTR) Program

The Cloud Technical Residency program gives recent graduates the opportunity to learn about the various cloud computing roles within the company and work with experienced engineers. This is an in-person program where graduates work on a range of projects related to different areas of Google’s cloud business. The length of the program may vary based on location. Depending on business needs and performance, graduates may be put on an official team at Google upon completion of the residency. 

Hardware Product Sprint (HPS) Program

The Hardware Product Sprint is a 12-week program for current college students. The program is entirely virtual and only requires about eight hours per week. Students can choose between a mechanical or electrical engineering path. Both sections include opportunities to work with Google engineers, collaborate with small groups of peers, and learn about the fundamentals of engineering. Students also have access to a mentor who guides them through the course. 

Tech Exchange Program

Google’s Tech Exchange is a virtual, semester-long program geared toward sophomore students at partnering historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). Students take two to four courses during the semester and receive one-on-one mentorship throughout the program. The tech exchange also includes career planning support, help applying for Google internships, technical interview prep, and two paid trips to a major Google office for orientation and finale. 

Americas Sales Associate Program

The U.S.-based Sales Associate Program is a two-year program for college graduates with at least a year of experience in sales, marketing, advertising, or analysis. Program participants work alongside Google’s sales team members, learning leadership, problem-solving, and sales skills while growing their professional network. Participants also have a team of mentors and advisers to help them throughout the program. 

Spark Program 

The Spark at Google program is an 18-month-long experience for recent graduates interested in sales and marketing. The program allows graduates to learn core skills in customer relationship building, problem-solving, sales, and growth marketing. Spark is available in New York City, San Francisco, and Dublin, and program participants may be placed into permanent positions with Google after the program ends. 

Associate Product Manager Program

The Associate Product Manager program at Google is open to career professionals and recent graduates with experience in leadership, a history of being innovative, and a technical background. The program involves two year-long rotations focusing on different products. Upon program completion, associate product managers can choose to stay on that product or choose a different team. 

BOLD Immersion Program

Google’s Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development (BOLD) Immersion program is a three-week program available to college sophomores. The program focuses on the business side of the technology industry and allows students to network, meet their peers, and learn more about Google’s career opportunities.


Google offers paid apprenticeships to anyone with a background of strong academic performance, regardless of education level. Depending on the focus, apprenticeships last from 12 to 20 months and include on-the-job training, workshops, and career readiness support. These apprenticeship programs are available in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, and New York City. Applicants can focus on data analytics, information technology, UX design, software engineering, project management, or digital marketing. 


Google’s internships are designed for students currently in their undergraduate studies or pursuing graduate degrees, like a Ph.D. Internships are available in specific areas of Google’s business, including information technology, software engineering, and product management

Additionally, Google has a BOLD internship program, like the BOLD Immersion program, which is a paid opportunity for rising seniors interested in the business side of technology companies.  Upon completion, students may be considered for full-time employment with Google. 

>>MORE: Learn how to land an internship with no work experience

Scholarship Opportunities 

Google has a few scholarships available for eligible students in the U.S. The Google Lime Scholarship, for example, offers $10,000 to a student with a disability who has shown a strong passion for technology and computer science. 

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Google Jobs and Salaries

Certain employees at Google may be split into levels or hierarchies based on experience, with level 1 being interns or those with little-to-no experience and level 6 being high-level managers with many years of experience. 

We’ve pulled together some common roles within the teams at Google, along with salary estimates based on Glassdoor data. The salaries are an average across all U.S. locations for employees with less than one year of experience in that role or under that specific job title. 

Engineering and Technology

The engineering and technology team creates Google’s products and tools. Some possible roles and approximate annual salaries for entry-level roles on this team include: 

Sales, Service, and Support

The sales, service, and support team works primarily with businesses to solve technical challenges and help companies grow. Common roles and salary estimates on this team are: 

Marketing and Communications

Google’s marketing and communications department works to define how the company is seen globally and how users interact with the company’s products and services. Roles in the marketing and communications team include: 

  • Public relations specialist: $77,000
  • Creative designer: $87,000
  • Events manager: $94,000 


On the design team at Google, employees work on creating intuitive, unique, and exciting user experiences across various platforms. Some job titles and estimated salaries on Google’s design team are: 

  • UX designer: $156,000
  • Visual designer: $122,000
  • UX researcher: $171,000

Business Strategy

The business strategy team is responsible for sourcing and executing opportunities to grow, expand, and monetize. This may include researching an emerging market or pitching a potential acquisition. Some roles in business strategy include: 

  • Operations analyst: $88,000
  • Business analyst: $130,000
  • Strategy and operations manager: $215,000


Google’s finance team is centered around keeping the company fiscally on track. Finance team members work in financial forecasting, project management, and compliance regulations. Possible job titles and salaries on the finance team are: 

The legal team at Google focuses on internet policy and law, contract negotiations, and working with various teams to better understand the risks of their endeavors. Some roles on Google’s legal team include: 

  • Legal counsel: $244,000
  • Policy advisor: $134,000

People Operations

The people operations team, also known as human resources, keeps the business running behind the scenes through staffing, development, and culture-setting. Job titles in people operations and their approximate salaries include: 

  • Recruiter: $114,000
  • Learning and development specialist: $80,000
  • Human resources (HR) associate: $84,000
  • Administrative assistant: $54,000


The facilities teams at Google maintain the physical workspaces of the company’s countless offices. This team includes roles and salaries like: 

  • Facilities manager: $104,000 
  • Security officer: $46,000

Google Benefits 

While exact benefits may vary by office and country, most U.S. full-time employees are eligible for a benefits package that includes health insurance, regular bonuses, retirement plans, paid time off, and parental leave. 

Other Google employee benefits include:

  • On-site wellness centers
  • A medical advocacy program for transgender employees
  • Annual compensation equity analysis and adjustments across the company
  • Student loan reimbursement
  • A hybrid work model (two work-from-home days each week) for most roles
  • Four “work from anywhere” weeks per year
  • Fertility and growing family support
  • A peer-to-peer learning and coaching platform
  • Employee resource groups for underrepresented groups and allies

Some other benefits of working at Google include internet reimbursement for remote employees, company-paid mobile phone plans, and on-site meals and snacks. 

Reviews of Google’s Employee Benefits

Reviews from past and current employees on Comparably rate the perks and benefits at Google an A+ or 86/100. Google’s benefits package also has high ratings on Glassdoor, where the average rating is 4.7 out of 5. Reviews on Glassdoor highlight the free snacks and lunch catering and how high the company match is for 401(k) plans. 

Google Culture

Google’s core mission is to collect and organize information, so it is useful and accessible to everyone globally. 

To accomplish this mission, Google has some key commitments it prioritizes:

  • Building for everyone — fostering an environment where everyone feels like they can belong in both Google’s workspaces and products
  • Protecting users — keeping responsible data policies and easy-to-use privacy controls central to the business
  • Unlocking opportunity — using funds and influence to support knowledge growth, curiosity, and expansion of opportunities for all communities
  • Responding to crises — aiding crisis response with Google’s products, partners, and employees
  • Advancing sustainability — promoting sustainability with research and technology to positively impact the planet. 

Google has also created specific initiatives to target important societal issues and further the company mission. Google’s initiatives focus on: 

  • Racial equity
  • Disability inclusion
  • Gender equity
  • LGBTQ+ inclusion
  • Veteran inclusion

Google’s workspaces also include community-driven support groups, including networks and alliances for aboriginal and indigenous employees, employees with disabilities, and caregivers and parents within the company. 

Employee Reviews of Google’s Culture

According to Culture 500, a study that aggregates employee reviews of companies to measure corporate culture, the aspect of Google’s culture most often discussed negatively is agility. This means employees don’t feel equipped to handle change effectively and capitalize on new opportunities. However, reviewers often positively mention innovation and collaboration at Google, highlighting that employees feel they can easily work within and across teams and  that the company prioritizes being at the forefront of technological discoveries. 

Employees on Comparably give the overall culture at Google a 4.7 out of 5, with the highest rated aspects of the company’s culture being happiness and compensation (both receiving A+ scores). Even the lowest-rated categories don’t have very low ratings — office culture and professional development have the lowest scores, both with a B rating, or 66 out of 100. 

Some important notes about how Google employees feel about the culture of the company include: 

  • 84% of employees say they enjoy working with teammates
  • 70% report being happy with their work-life balance
  • 84% describe their work environment as positive 

Google has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Glassdoor, with 89% of reviewers saying they’d recommend working at Google to a friend. Positive reviews note how enjoyable the coworkers are and that the offices are a great environment to work in. However, negative comments point out long working hours and some issues with management. 

The CEO, Sundar Pichai, is also very well-rated, scoring 80 out of 100 on Comparably and an 88% approval rating on Glassdoor. 

Google has won some awards recognizing its workplace culture, too. These include: 

  • Placed 8th in Glassdoor’s ranking of the Best Places to Work in 2023
  • Ranked second for LinkedIn’s 2022 best workplaces to grow your career in the U.S. 
  • Several awards from Comparably, including for best company culture and happiest employees in 2022

Google vs. Other Top Companies

The big five tech companies in the U.S. (also called Big Tech or the Tech Giants) are Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft. As such, any of these companies are direct competitors of Google within the tech space. However, Microsoft and Amazon are two of the closest competitors.

Microsoft is a leader in the consumer electronics industry, with products like the Xbox gaming consoles and a line of personal computers. Additionally, Microsoft owns the Microsoft Office suite, directly competing with Google’s own productivity programs like Gmail and Google Docs. 

Amazon competes with Google in e-commerce, cloud computing, and online advertising. Also, Amazon’s consumer electronics, like the Alexa-backed smart home products, compete against Google’s line of Nest products.  

Rating SiteGoogleMicrosoftAmazon
Glassdoor Rating4.4 out of 54.4 out of 53.8 out of 5
Comparably Culture Rating4.7 out of 54.6 out of 54.3 out of 5

Interviewing With Google

Most people who have gone through an interview with Google describe it as a positive experience (63%) on Glassdoor, though 15% call it negative, and 23% describe it as a neutral process. Interviews typically result from online applications, with 46% of respondents applying online, but 21% resulted from recruiters, and 21% came from employee referrals. Overall, the Google interview process has a 3.4 out of 5 rating for difficulty, so it’s slightly more challenging than average. 

Google is transparent about how its hiring process works. While the exact hiring process may differ depending on the role and location, the fundamentals are the same. 

  1. All applications must be submitted online. While an updated resume is required, cover letters are not required and may not even be considered in certain roles. 
  2. Selected applicants go through several layers of assessment before getting to an official interview. Google assesses its candidates through assessments, like coding quizzes, virtual meetings with recruiters to solidify key skills, and larger projects, like case studies or writing samples. 
  3. Interviews are over video or in-person, and applicants may have three to four interviews in one day. All interviews follow a clear rubric so candidates can all be evaluated on the same criteria. Additionally, many of Google’s interviews feature open-ended questions so the interviewer can learn how you solve problems, think, and interact with others. 

Although Google was famous at one time for its brain teasers and puzzles in interviews, the company no longer includes these as part of the interview process. 

Tips for Google Interviews

  • Do some self-reflection before applying. Figure out your passions and what excites you and use this to inform what roles you apply for. 
  • Update your resume before applying and ensure that it highlights relevant experiences and ties your skills to the role.
  • Bring questions to ask in the interview! It can show you have genuine interest in the role and company.  
  • Google provides a technical development guide to help you prepare for the technical portions of the interview process.

>>MORE: You can also prepare for your technical interviews using the free Girls Who Code Technical Interview Prep Program.


  • Google is a U.S.-based multinational tech company and one of the U.S. Tech Giants, alongside Meta and Apple. 
  • Students and recent graduates have access to a variety of programs and internships at Google, in addition to apprenticeship programs and scholarships. 
  • Employees rate working at Google high overall, though they note that there may be some issues with management at times, and the hours can be long. 
  • The interview process at Google is relatively straightforward, and most describe it as a positive experience. 

Interested in working for a tech giant like Google? Learn the skills you need to succeed with Forage’s free tech virtual experience programs

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McKayla Girardin is a NYC-based writer with Forage. She is experienced at transforming complex concepts into easily digestible articles to help anyone better understand the world we live in.