How To Get a Job at Microsoft? (Hiring Process)

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Microsoft’s hiring process for employees is not easy. There are significant competition and many rounds of interviews.

The pain of Microsoft’s application process is worth it. Microsoft offers generous compensation and benefits, which are superior to those offered by other companies.

Preparation is key to any job application. This guide will discuss the application and interview process at Microsoft and offer some tips to help you land a job.

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Hiring Process

Microsoft does not follow a specific interview process or format. It can vary from one team to the next. Most candidates will be interviewed for 4-5 rounds. This is to assess their problem-solving, technical, and analytical skills.

Before the Interview

  • Make your resume. Make sure your resume is metric- or deliverables-driven when applying for a Microsoft job. Make sure your resume is tailored to the job description. Be concise and show how previous work relates to the position. You can apply directly through Microsoft’s Career Page or connect to recruiters and hiring managers via LinkedIn.
  • Preparation. Visit Microsoft’s Career website to learn more about Microsoft’s core competencies and culture.
  • Choose your language. Microsoft does not require candidates to be proficient in any programming language before they interview for technical roles. You will be allowed to use languages such as JavaScript, C/C++++, Python, and others. Stick to the language you feel most comfortable with.

Interview process

You will likely hear back within a week if your application was successful. The next step is to be invited for multiple rounds of interviews.

  • Meet with a recruiter. To schedule a screen, a recruiter will contact you via LinkedIn or email. The call will last approximately 45 minutes and will be split into two parts. First, you will need to review your resume and answer behavioral questions. This is to assess your willingness to learn, curiosity, and leadership skills. Technical roles may also include technical questions regarding algorithms and data structures.
  • Phone interview. You may be invited for the next round of interviews, a telephone interview, within one to two weeks of the phone screen. This step is usually for technical positions but may also be required by other applicants. Recruiters will often share questions and topics that might be of interest to you in advance. Keep in mind that you will be moving up the organization chart with every interview. This round requires professionalism and excellent communication skills.
  • On-site interview. Depending on your location, you may be invited to one or more of the Microsoft campuses within a week. On-site interviews are a series of back-to-back rounds. For one hour, you can expect to meet four to five Microsoft developers or managers. Interview rounds will include behavioral questions and coding exercises.
  • Interview. A final round of interviews may be scheduled. This is a very formal interview. HR might ask you additional questions about your personality and skills to ensure that you are a good fit. They may also discuss benefits and salary.

Examples Questions

Microsoft is a company that strives to be ahead of the curve. They also try new things. Microsoft interview questions are constantly changing so it’s not possible to memorize specific answers and questions.

To get an idea of the interview process, you can look at some questions that have been asked recently.

Behavioral Question

  • What motivates and inspires you?
  • Please tell me about the most difficult project that you have ever worked on.
  • What are you passionate about?
  • How can you convince people to accept your view?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a disagreement with a team member.
  • What would you do if the project requirements were unclear?
  • Why would you leave your job?
  • Please tell me about a time when you have failed.
  • Please tell me about an instance when you went above and beyond what was expected.

After your interview

Ask for the interview timeline – At the end of the interview process, ask the Hiring Manager or Recruiter when you can expect to hear back about the next steps or the hiring decision.

Follow-up – Your Recruiter will follow up with you about the outcome of your interviews as soon as a hiring decision is made. Feel free to send a thank you email to the Recruiter, who will forward it to the Hiring Manager and interviewers.

Stay Connected – Follow Microsoft on Twitter at Microsoft Life, on Facebook at Microsoft Careers, Instagram at Microsoft Life, and LinkedIn on the Microsoft Corporate page.

What is the difference between Microsoft’s hiring and recruiting processes?

Microsoft has a fairly standard hiring process that is similar to other large tech companies. Microsoft is different from other tech giants because of several factors:

  • Hiring for Teams. Microsoft hires candidates for specific roles. It is important to know which Microsoft products you have the most overlap with before applying. To see which areas your experience is most beneficial, you might work with a recruiter.
  • On-site interview. Each round of interviews is conducted by an interviewer. Don’t be surprised if your interview results are not great after the first few interviews.
  • AS-AP (As Appropriate). The “As Appropriate”, a senior-level manager, will conduct your final interview on-site. They will have a record of your past interviews and will make the final hiring decision.
  • Hiring Levels. Microsoft offers several levels of hiring, similar to Amazon. Microsoft typically hires entry-level software developers engineers (SDE 1) with 0-2 years of experience at levels 59-60. Levels 61-62 are reserved for SDE positions with 3-5 years of experience.

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Microsoft Job Search Tips

While the process and questions for each role are different, these tips can help you land the best Microsoft job.

1. Make LinkedIn more current

Microsoft recruiters go through a lot of resumes and then use that data to identify talented candidates, especially through LinkedIn.

Keep your LinkedIn profile current to increase your chances of being discovered by a Microsoft recruiter. Highlight your skills and projects that demonstrate your ongoing learning.

2. Company’s culture

Throughout the long Microsoft hiring process, your fit in the company’s culture will be assessed. Do your research and learn about the latest news, trends, culture, and current business conditions.

Microsoft states on its website that job applicants should be able to understand the industry, the strengths of Microsoft, and how they can stand out from others.

3. Find out which Groups or Teams you want to join

Microsoft offers specific product group hires such as Sharepoint, Azure, and Dynamics. To find the right fit, do your research and work closely together with the recruiter. If you are passionate about cloud computing, Microsoft’s Azure public cloud service might be the right team.

Microsoft’s website is a great place to start your research about the team that you are interviewing. It also helps you understand their work and why you would like to be part of them.

4. Questions about real business problems

Microsoft sometimes uses an “alternative Interview Framework” in which candidates have access to the same data and internet as the team. They are then asked to solve a real problem faced by Microsoft.

  • Product management positions will require you to solve a problem. This includes understanding the customer’s issue and then executing the solution.
  • Software developers will be asked questions about software design, sorted arrays, and binary search trees.

5. Choose Nervous over Over-Rehearsed

It is not a good idea to memorize questions and answers by heart when preparing for interviews. Over-preparing won’t work if an interviewer asks you a follow-up question or forgets the specific example that you were about to give.

A better approach is to go through your past experiences and note down some of the most important professional situations you have been involved in. Consider how these experiences have shaped your professional abilities and qualifications, and the lessons you’ve learned from them.

Human recruiters and hiring managers expect to see some nervousness from candidates. Take a deep breath, relax and be aware of your own feelings.


Although the Microsoft hiring process is not easy, it can be rewarding. Once a hiring decision has been made, your Recruiter will contact you to discuss the results of your interviews. You can send a thank-you email to your Recruiter. She will forward it to the Hiring Manager, interviewers, and other relevant personnel. If you need help preparing your resume to apply to Microsoft, reach out to one of our experts to create a professionally made resume. 

Good Luck!

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