How to land a technical role at Microsoft

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Sales team in video conference

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Many people pursue a career with Microsoft because of their benefits and the company’s reputation. The competition means applying can be daunting, whether you’re a recent college graduate or making a career change.

Passion and an impressive background aren’t always enough to land the role you want. But you can land the job you want if you know what the company is looking for and align with those values.

This guide can help you introduce yourself as a desirable new recruit to Microsoft.

Microsoft employs people in many roles, including software engineers, product managers, designers, coders, and more.

The company has implemented flexible working from home for most of its staff and flexible working hours to meet the needs of its employees.

If you’re a student or recent graduate, Microsoft also offers technical internships, including UX design, supply chain, IT operations, finance, sales, and many types of engineering. These internships are difficult to earn but can provide future career opportunities.

You can submit applications on the Microsoft website, LinkedIn, or many different job search sites. Applying directly on the Microsoft website will not increase your chances of getting hired. Choose the site that suits you best.

References are a great way to get your resume noticed at Microsoft, although you can still get hired without one. If you don’t know any current Microsoft employees, you can use LinkedIn as a networking tool and connect with recruiters.

Microsoft recruiters can attend hiring events for students and recent graduates. Check with your school’s career services center for the next recruiting event.

Microsoft is looking for people who align with their core values, are technically savvy, and can think for themselves.

Self-awareness and determination prove to Microsoft that you can work well in a team and persevere if you encounter technical problems.

For coding roles, Microsoft is looking for people with the best technology skills such as Microsoft Azure, software engineering, SQL, Python, and Microsoft C#.

The soft skills sought by Microsoft

  • Communication
  • Passion
  • Team work
  • Empathy
  • Management of time
  • Leadership

Microsoft Core Values

  • Desire to learn
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Passion for technology
  • Willingness to work hard

It depends on the role.

For example, the program manager position is considered entry-level and only requires one year of experience. Software or hardware engineering positions require three to five years.

How to meet Microsoft expectations when applying for a technical role

Many large tech companies use a similar process to screen a candidate’s education history, LinkedIn profile, resume, and portfolio.

It is important to make a good impression, so prepare carefully before submitting your application.

Education background

Entry-level Microsoft careers may not require a degree. The company encourages anyone who thinks they are a good candidate to apply and instead focuses on the soft skills and willingness to learn of candidates.

Completing a coding bootcamp demonstrates the determination that hiring managers seek for positions requiring coding skills.


SEE: Will tech employers hire coding bootcamp graduates?


LinkedIn profile

Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion in 2016 and uses it as a key part of finding new hires.

Update your profile with a new photo and use your LinkedIn summary to market yourself to recruiters.

Update your profile frequently and match keywords to jobs that interest you. Use the language sought by recruiters and recruiting software.

resume

Remember that your resume will likely be scanned by an Applicant Tracking System. This software filters applications by searching them by keywords.

Make the software easier to read by using both long form and keyword acronyms, using traditional fonts, and avoiding tables and columns.

Tailor your CV to the specific role you are applying for. Use keywords from the job description and only include your relevant work experience. A software engineer resume should be completely different from a sales or marketing resume.

Stick to a basic resume template with a reverse chronological format to make your resume more appealing to the software — and the people making the second screener.

Online portfolio (if applicable)

All coding professionals should have a portfolio and update it frequently to demonstrate their coding abilities. You can host your coding portfolio on a website like GitHub or your website.

Your portfolio should reflect both your greatest strengths and the skills typically required by the positions you are pursuing.

Make sure your profile includes your coding projects, contact information, and a brief bio.

The steps of the interview with Microsoft

As of June 2022, Microsoft’s servicing process is fully virtual. If you need to request disability-related accommodations during the process, complete this form.

telephone screener

Tech companies usually start the process with a phone review. This phone interview confirms your qualifications and alignment with Microsoft corporate values. It usually lasts about 15 minutes.

The interviewer asks behavioral interview questions and quickly checks your technical knowledge.

Be prepared to talk about yourself and sound enthusiastic when asked why you want to work at Microsoft. This interview checks if you have done your homework on the company and if you have researched it well.

In-depth final interviews

During subsequent interviews, you will be able to virtually meet with the employees and managers of the team you are interviewing for. You will likely go through several rounds of interviews covering different topics related to your desired role.

These technical interviews assess soft skills such as problem solving and job-specific technical skills such as design, coding, and testing. They take place on Microsoft Teams and other third-party software.

The problem solving part lasts 45 minutes. Interviewers watch how you handle problems and see how you think.

Depending on your role, you can also perform tasks and answer questions in the following categories:

  • Design: Applicants should understand how to design a new platform from scratch.
  • Coding: You’ll show off your skills in the coding language you’re most comfortable with. Be sure to practice as much as possible before the interview. Microsoft describes this part as “a essential part of maintenance.”
  • Testing: You will test your own code and code written by other team members.

For more information on technical interviews, see Preparation tips from Microsoft.

How to Prepare for Microsoft Interview Questions

Microsoft interview questions aren’t easy to answer, so be sure to practice as much as possible. After reading our interview tips, conduct mock interviews with a friend to polish your answers and body language.

Use the STAR method to answer the questions. Reply with the specific ssituation, youinterrogate, aaction, and rresult of the situation you are describing.

Practice answering basic behavioral interview questions and research unique questions Microsoft may ask. Respondents report questions they have encountered on sites such as Glassdoor and Exponent.

Unique Questions Microsoft May Ask

  • Why do you want to work for Microsoft?
  • How would you work with one of your blind teammates?
  • Microsoft is an innovative company and seeks innovative employees. What’s the best idea you’ve had in the past year?
  • Briefly explain how you would protect a Windows computer.

Behavioral Questions Microsoft May Ask

  • Describe a time when a project failed.
  • What would you do if you disagreed with your manager?
  • What is one of the most complex projects in which you have been involved?
  • How do you maintain and update your skills?
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