Google interviews women and men differently

“On a scale of one to five, rate yourself as a software engineer.”

It seems like a regular interview question at first. But for Google’s Laszlo Bock, it can reveal more than you can imagine at a first glance. The senior vice president revealed in a NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast that he reads the answer to this simple question differently for men and women.

For Bock, the ideal answer to the question for men is a humble 4. He said: “That’s because men tend to overestimate their capabilities, on average. Men tend to be less self-aware, on average, as women. And for a man to say four was a signal — not the only one, but a signal — that this guy’s a little more self-aware, maybe he realizes he has something to learn, and that was positively correlated with success here.”

If the interviewee is a woman on the other hand, the ideal answer is 5. Bock explains “…because there is so much societal pressure on women to be self-effacing and humble and hang back and be modest, and wait till they’re certain rather than raising their hand at the first opportunity like men, on average, do — that if a woman says she’s a five, first of all, she’s probably going to have higher EQ and social perceptiveness on average. And second — she’s gonna be amazing! And, indeed, that’s what we see.”

You can listen to the rest of the podcast below;

By |2018-02-03T00:15:47+00:00April 15th, 2017|

About the Author:

Aslı Bildirici is a freelance producer currently working and studying in The Netherlands. She has worked in several companies and cultural projects that value creativity and social impact.

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