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Google Legal Assistant (German) Interview Questions

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Legal Assistant (German) Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Google (London, England) in April 2013.

Interview

I applied for the post after seeing it advertised on linked in, by sending my CV and cover letter to Google HR. I was contacted within two days asking to complete a German language test. The test was a response to a complaint about Google's privacy policy. I obviously passed this because I was asked to attend an interview the following week in London. The first thing I had to do was complete another timed German language test. This was written and was a series of responses to complaints or requests to take down online material. They were looking for fluent German language skills and an appropriate response. After this I had two interviews via video conference, the first one was with the Dublin office and the second was with the New York office. The Dublin office interview was conducted by two women in their thirties, I think they were both Italian. The woman who led the interview was doing one of the Legal Assistant jobs (which is apparently how they conduct interviews normally- get someone who is doing the job already to interview). The post which was not very well described on the job ad was basically responding to Germans who were asking for a 'take down request' or complaining about the privacy policy. Apparently, they have standard letters which they send out, so its not a complicated job you normally just have to find the appropriate response but occasionally they have something which is legally interesting.

The salary itself was not advertised but looking at glassdoor I would say it would have been between 26-32k. However, I was asked questions such as 'If you were responding to a take down request from Iran about the Holocaust (since it is illegal to admit the Holocaust in Iran) what would you do?' And how would Google be legally implicated if it did or did not respond to this request. I have watched the Eric Schmidt youtube videos and he responds to questions like this by saying you should take down offensive material (because Google considers itself a morally grounded company - their office slogan being 'don't be evil'.) But he also says that some issues are for government to decide, that the internet will be more regulated in the future. I responded by saying some of this. I enjoyed the conversation, obviously they were trying to push me and see if I was able to think on my feet. I have an academic background and so for anyone who has discussed a text in a seminar with someone particularly belligerent it was pretty much like that. It was also important for them to find out that I had 'good values', they wanted to know if there was anything that particularly angered me or that I had protested about. I have and I talked about feminism.

The second interview was with the legal manager in New York. He was German and had a background in music so was totally unphased that I had a background in humanities. I thought he was a bright guy and he asked me why I thought Germans were more sensitive about privacy settings, for example most Germans opt out of having their house on streetview, and I gave him something glib about the fact that the information of so many had been in the hands of so few during fascism and communist rule and had been terribly abused. He agreed entirely.

Overall the interviews were at times political, sometimes historical, at times technical and legal but they asked open questions as google are famous for. They asked questions which have no 'right answer' and which Googles CEOs are currently struggling with. Questions which are far above the 28-32 pay bracket, which is ever so slightly pretentious given that 90% of the time the post was about sending out the corresponding response to common requests.

I didn't hear back from google which was a real surprise because I thought the interview had gone really well and I wrote them two emails to ask what had happened with my application. I am qualified to work in the field of law and together with the PhD they suggested in the interview that I was overqualified but it could also have been that I struggled with the open question about the Holocaust because I didn't think that a legal assistant had the scope to make that sort of decision. Perhaps thats the hub of it, from what I have read about Google, they want everyone to be in the mindset of making the big decisions. So my advice to anyone who goes for an interview at Google just think 'I am Eric Schmidt, I am Eric Schmidt.'

Interview Questions

  • Someone from Iran contacts you to take down information admitting the Holocaust, what do you do?   1 Answer
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