I mentioned I was thinking of applying to Google to a friend I've known for years. He said that he knows one of the technical higher-ups (let's call him "Bob") in Google and gave me his home number.

What should I say when I call Bob at his home address? I don't think I should ask for a job directly, but I should ask if I can send my resume to him, right? What are the proper etiquette and pitfalls here? Could I hurt my chances by saying to wrong thing?

I do feel uncomfortable calling Bob at home, but my friend is family to Bob and told Bob to expect my call. I don't want to let this opportunity pass.

  • 3
    wouldn't it be better if you hand your resumee to bob's friend and have him to send it and call bob ?
    – user1544
    Jul 26, 2012 at 13:32
  • 2
    I would not contact Bob at home. You can email him or call him at the office, but the home number, that is off limits. If you call YOU WILL ( IMO ) burn any chance you have of getting the job AND damage your friend's reputation.
    – Donald
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:42
  • @Rambound My friend is family to Bob and told Bob to expect my call, is it still off-limits? How could it hurt?
    – anon
    Jul 27, 2012 at 2:15

3 Answers 3


Considering you state at the beginning that if something goes beyond the line you will feel perfectly OK when Bob refuses to answer any specific question, I wouldn't hesitate to ask pretty much about anything.

Well, as long as you'd ask such question your colleague, e.g. I don't think asking Bob how much he earns would be proper.

Such attitude relives Bob from any pressure he might face when talking with you, especially that Google, as far as I know, seems to be rather crazy in terms of keeping all the inhouse secrets. At the same time it gives you freedom to ask about any important things without much stress what the reaction might be.

When you start hearing "rather not say" as answers you know that you shouldn't go further in this specific area and ask about something different.

It would also be great if your friend could do the introductions first, before you call Bob, as it will make the whole thing a bit easier for both of you.

  • 1
    +1. Get the mutual friend to bring you up, and hopefully set up a time for 'bob' to expect a call.
    – acolyte
    Jul 26, 2012 at 13:20

Of course you're calling to ask for a job. There's a big difference between saying, "Give me a job right now!" and acknowledging how much you want to work there.

At some point you should get an indication on whether or not your friend made a mistake by giving you the number. Apologize if the Google person is upset.

If all goes well, get a name to send a CV. Ask how long the hiring process would take and what form the interviews are.

  • 3
    I wouldn't even call the home number. Why can't Bob's office phone ( or email ) be given, if the friend works at Google, this shouldn't be a problem. Bob should be calling the author not the other way around ( IMO )
    – Donald
    Jul 26, 2012 at 15:44
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    @Ramhound My friend is family to Bob and only has a home number I think. I do feel uncomfortable calling him at home, but since my friend already told Bob to expect my call I do not want to let the opportunity pass.
    – anon
    Jul 27, 2012 at 2:23

First, when you ring Bob, check if he is happy to talk to you about applying to Google. If not, thank him for answering and apologise for taking up his time.

If he is happy to talk, be aware that he will have signed a NDA and anything he can talk about he will probably have to be vague.

Keep your questions brief and vague and limit them to recruitment and advise only.

Make sure you thank him after.

  • never cold call someone you don't know like that, rather ask that common friend to set up a meeting...
    – jwenting
    Jun 11, 2013 at 10:09

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