The actual interview process at Google is covered under NDAs, but I posted a few messages to Slashdot today (subject "Google's Ph.D. Advantage") being careful to not discuss details of the interview process; here are my posts:
...and later, I added:
To be honest, when Google flew me to California for an interview, I was luke warm about the idea of working for Google because I love my life style living in the mountains of Northern Arizona.
However, after spending a day being interviewed by 6 extremely bright and creative people, I very much wanted the job (I did not get it, oh well). It is true that bright people want to work with other bright people. Anyway, it may sound strange, but I view the interview process as a very positive experience (also, after 30 years of working, it was the only job that I tried for that I did not get, so I was able to set most ego stuff aside). In addition to the interviews themselves, I got to have lunch with Peter Norvig and before I left the Google campus a nice person let me ride a Segway :-)
It really is true that a few very good people are way better than many above average people.
One of the most fun times in my career was when I had a boss who has a PhD from MIT and hired many other PhDs and MSs from MIT - some of the best colleagues that I ever had.
Personally, I think that I am going to invest in Google stock, but I am likely to wait for a few months after the IPO (or make a low bid for the IPO).
...and later, I added:
One more thing: in just one very long day of interviews, I had my attitude adjusted re: software development:
I am a hacker (at heart), and I always look to rapidly coding something that works and is solid.
At Google, it seemed to me that their main focus is on algorithmic development. In the few months since I was at the Google campus, I have found myself "slowing down" and spending much more time thinking through issues of scalability and efficiency (and not just use a "good enough" algorithm, or pull my copy of Cormen/Lieserson/Rivest Algorithms book from my book shelf and not do much original thinking).
Anyway, I thought that it was cool that an investment of one day actually changed some of my own attitudes about software development (and I am an older guy, coding since the 1960s :-).