How do I turn my internship at Google into a job at Google?
Answer by Elynn Lee, former software engineer intern at Facebook, Amazon and Google. Computer Science major at the University of Texas in Austin
Congrats on getting the internship!
While I’m still in the conversion process, hopefully I can give some insight into what I’ve seen from interns who successfully convert from intern to full-time.
You have to work hard. I think this one goes without saying. You have to be pushing code and working on your project. While you should take breaks and go to events and talks, make sure that you’re not sitting at your desk on Quora all the time (or any other non-work website). It’s okay to take breaks and you need to take breaks every once in a while (I took them every hour or so). But, overall, you need to work hard and demonstrate what you’ll be like as a full-time employee.
Your goal is to finish your project by the end of the summer. At the very least, you should get very close to finishing. Each project has a different definition of “finished,” so you should work with your host through the summer to make sure you’re on track for a successful internship.
Be curious and ask a lot of questions
When your host explains a process to you, ask questions about how it works. How does our product integrate with Service A? Ask them how things work. The better the sense for the product you have, the more you can contribute to meetings and discussions and the more integrated you’ll be with the team. If you’re scared to ask questions without any background knowledge, you can search for things internally and read documentation before talking to someone about it.
Lastly, if you’re not sure about how something works, don’t be scared to ask someone. When my host wasn’t around, sometimes I would pull our tech lead and ask him questions. Everyone at Google (GOOG) is really committed to the success of their interns. They want to see you succeed and want to help you.
And ask for feedback
I think almost every answer about “how to succeed at an internship” has some sort of point about feedback, or it should. Talk to your host, your tech lead, your manager, whoever and get feedback on how you’re doing. As an intern at Google, you’ll do a midpoint review and go over that with your host.
Do a mock interview
Even if you are the best at interviews and never fail, you should do a mock interview. Get the pre-interview jitters out! I did a couple of them before my real interviews. Your host will help you set one up with someone you don’t know, but it also never hurts to ask some of your teammates. One of my teammates was testing out a question and, because we work on the same team, he knew there was no way he would be my interviewer. So, we did a mock interview! It was helpful for me because I got to see another problem and he got to test his question. If you’re nervous, this is also a great way to practice and get some feedback before you do the real interviews.
This is a time for you to demonstrate your abilities and show your team what you’d be like as a full time employee. Work hard, but remember to have fun during your internship, too! I recently finished up an answer about making the most of a Google internship that you might also be interested in.
Good luck! Have a great time at Google!
This question originally appeared on Quora: How do I turn my internship at Google into a job at Google?