Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why I turned down an interview with Google

This blog post is a bit more personal than my traditional blog post, but I felt it necessary to help me get my head around why I politely declined an opportunity to fly out to Mountain View and interview at the Googleplex.

First of all, it happened so quickly! They found me through my LinkedIn profile and emailed me about a job opportunity as a Lead Product Manager. Wow! I was flattered. I had a 45 minute phone screen with the  recruiter and it went really well...mostly questions about my experience, managing people, and education. Nothing too hard or anything. I really did not prepare for it, I was just myself. The one question she asked that caught me off guard a little bit was "What is the most important accomplishment of your life?" If you want to know my answer, let me know. Anyways, she said I fit the mold of the type of product manager they look for and I sent her some information and we set up a phone screen for Wednesday (just 3 days later).

I didn't really prepare or the 2nd phone screen either. It pretty much went like this:
  • 5-6 minutes talking about my experience
  • 20 minutes talking about how I would improve a product that I really liked
  • 4-5 minutes for questions I had for them
It seemed very rushed and although I answered the questions well (at least I thought), it just seemed rushed to the point where I didn't feel comfortable about how the interview went. Oh well...I thought..

Next day I get an email that says that they really liked me and want to fly me out for an in-person interview. Wow, that was cool...but then my mind started racing...was I ready to fly my entire family out there if I got a job offer? I didn't want to waste Google's time or mislead them if there was a very low likelihood of taking a job given my current family situation. I really struggled...I didn't want to look back and regret that I had not gone out there...but I also wanted to be honest with Google and with myself. To thine ownself be true!

After spending some time thinking about it, I called to politely decline for the following reasons:
  1. Fit - The job wasn't quite a good fit for my skills/interest. I love research and market analysis and this opportunity did not lend itself to that as much. I like sizing markets and public market launches. So it just wasn't the ideal fit.
  2. Career - At this point in my career, I want to manage and lead people and take that next step forward in my career progression. I wasn't quite ready to start over at a new company. Plus I like where I am now.
  3. Family - My extended family is nearby and at this stage it makes more sense for me to stay near them.
We had a positive call and you never know what the future holds!