First of all, thank you to everyone who cheered me on and supported me with your kind words over the last few months. I appreciate all of you so much. Your encouragement helped me get back to the whiteboard every day and practice.
Why didn't I get hired?
I don't know why.
Last week I received a rejection email from the recruiter, and at first, I thought it was a mistake, and laughed it off. I checked in with my referral and he inquired into it and lobbied on my behalf, but in the end, it didn't change the situation.
The thing that bothers me is that I didn't even get a phone screen. I didn't even talk to a recruiter over the phone. After all this work and enthusiasm, I didn't even get a chance to prove myself.
I've done a lot of speculation about the reason why, but I won't do that here. It's all just guessing, which accomplishes nothing.
But I still like Google. However, I don't know if I'll apply again in the future. I want to get hired and stay at a company for a long time. I don't want to hop around. The company that ends up hiring me will get a loyal, hardworking, enthusiastic employee. There are a lot of places where I can strive for greatness and have that effort rewarded.
Update January 26, 2017: After speaking with some folks related to Google, the best I can determine is that they decided to pass because there wasn't a good fit on any teams where I might be qualified. This is in agreement with the rejection email I received - there were no roles fitting my experience and background. Keep in mind Google in Seattle/Kirkland is much smaller than in Mountain View. There are fewer jobs available here, and I wasn't going to move to California. Conversely, there are hundreds of open jobs at Amazon and Microsoft in the Seattle area because they are headquartered here, and I've had much better luck at those companies. So it would have likely been a different ending to the story if I were willing to work in California. Anyway, I've moved on and have found some very exciting opportunities, and my interest in Google has dropped considerably. There are many great companies out there. Opportunities abound for those interested in challenges and learning.
Respect your Recruiter
Recruiters look at hundreds of resumes every day, and they are highly tuned to detecting quality candidates and rejecting those who don't match up with their model. For some reason, I just didn't fit the profile. They probably are doing me a favor. It's possible that I would have been in over my head and continually dragged my team down. Google is known for having false negatives in their selection process, but if you're good enough for Google, you'll eventually get in.
Recruiters know what works, and what doesn't. So respect their decision and be polite. I'll bet they deal with irate rejected candidates on a daily basis, so don't be like that. Just get more experience and knowledge and try again later.
Just Keep Going
My advice is keep doing what you're doing and don't get discouraged. This is just my weird little story, not yours.
Just continue to study, learn, practice, and be awesome, no matter where you want to work. Even at the job where you are right now. Just always try to be a little better than you were yesterday.
For anyone hiring for an engineering team and seeking a smart, enthusiastic team member, here’s what I’m looking for. Thanks!