Google is probably one of the most treasured work places a programmer can go to right now. They have a non-traditional interview process that’s gotten to the point where interview stories have their own lore. On the surface, these people are Google rejects but in actuality they are close runner ups with distinguished credentials that would get them hired in a heart beat any where else.
It is hard to get in a good organization and just as hard to warrant getting booted out once in. Once in, you more or less control the destiny (albeit collectively) of others seeking a way in. I sometimes wonder how effective this process is. I guess it depends on the organization and people but you really can’t guarantee that people will try to select people who have a chance of outshining the interviewers unless the interviewers will directly benefit (as say managers or owners, in which likelihood they don’t have the technical foundation or are currently out of touch with technology to sufficiently assess candidates) or the engineers in place might not be brilliant enough to fully appreciate a chance encounter with really good talent.
Sucks to work for the man either way.