The day of the Microsoft interview.


Do you ever wonder if all the stories you hear about the “Microsoft interview” are true? Go ahead and type “Microsoft interview” into your search engine…you get a lot of results (definitely including pages from 2 of our most prolific bloggers: Chris Sells and Robert Scoble).


Well, it wasn’t that long ago that I was a candidate, flying in from Chicago for my interviews with Microsoft. I remember the anxiety of picking out the right thing to wear, trying to remember to make the appropriate amount of eye contact, etc., etc., etc. It’s enough to drive someone crazy! 


So I thought I’d provide some tips and recommendations…some from my own experience and some I’ve heard from others.


Let’s start with your arrival on campus. Chances are, you are coming to building 19 first (don’t sweat it if your first interview is with someone in another building). It’s likely you are going to see a bunch of somewhat nervous looking folks in the lobby (and maybe a few confident looking ones too). On any given morning, our lobby activity can range from busy to frenzied. Give yourself plenty of time to get here so you aren’t in a rush (and keep in mind that consutrction traffic, especially during the summer is almost a certainty). If you have not already filled out an application, you’ll be asked to fill one out now (preferably before your first scheduled interview). As far as dress code, I would recommend whatever puts you in “interview mode”. We care more about what you say and do than what you wear, and you’ll find that most of the folks you meet will be dressed pretty casually. You can’t go wrong with a suit (Chris Sells mentioned that it shows respect for the company you are interviewing with and I agree). For men, if you just can’t wear a tie, slacks and a sport coat are good. For women, suits, dresses, pants and blazer…all good.


Your first interview should be with a recruiter. This may be the recruiter that phone interviewed you or perhaps another recruiter. This is a real interview. Recruiters at Microsoft are responsible for making sure we hire the right people so you need to take this interview seriously. If you have already spoken to the recruiter by phone, they may spend the time clarifying some remaining questions and preparing you for the interview day. They may conduct a full in-person interview. This person sets the tone for the rest of your interview day. They can also answer a lot fo questions for you, about the job, the interview process or what kind of follow up you can expect after the interview.


Next, you are likely to take a shuttle to your next building. Sometimes candidates visit a few buildings during the day, depending on how dispersed their interviewers are. Shuttles will usually be waiting outside building 19. These are “Recruiting Shuttles” that will take you, the candidate, right to the next building. Other shuttles on campus pick up employees for meetings. It’s OK to relax a little here. Most likely everyone on the shuttle is in the same situation as you. The shuttle drivers can even fill you in on the weather (it does not rain all the time) and things that are going on across campus (like pick-up soccer games on the sports fields). If you need to change buildings during the day, your interviewer or the receptionist will assist in getting you onto the appropriate shuttle.


When you get to your building, you need to ask the receptionist to call your first interviewer (if you are running early, feel free to hang out for a bit before having the receptionist call the person). You can definitely do dome interesting people watching in the lobby. If for some reason, the shuttle got you there a little late, don’t worry about it. We’ll try to keep you as “on time” as possible during the day but sometimes it’s just not possible. It certainly does not reflect badly on you if the shuttle is late.


Each interviewer will come to the lobby and bring you to their office or a conference room, then deliver you back to the lobby at the end of the interview. If you need a restroom break or something to drink, you should feel comfortable mentioning this (we try to remember but sometimes we are so excited to see you we forget).


So what happens during the interviews? Well, all the speculation you see online about puzzle questions really pertains more to technical interviews, specifically new grad interviews. The reason they use puzzle questions for those interviews is that they are interviewing people that are potentially smart (or even brilliant) but don’t have a lot of work experience. So puzzle types of questions help the interviewer see how the person thinks without there having to be a lot of contextual relevance (most of us have seen manhole covers or lightbulbs, right?).


Here’s the types of things I think you should expect from a Marketing interview at Microsoft:


-Someone, if not everyone, will ask you “Why Microsoft?”. No we are not trying to stroke our collective ego by seeing how much you want to join our club. The bottom line is this: we do really cool stuff here and we work hard. We also devote lots of resources to developing people. We want to focus our time and energy on the people that are motivated to do what it takes to be successful at Microsoft. In return we offer some really great long-term opportunities for folks.


-There will be some of the “walk me through your resume” kinds of questions. We’ll want to know what results you were responsible for, who else was involved, what kind of impact you made, what motivated job moves. You should feel comfortable walking any interviewer through your background. When doing this I would try to gauge how much detail the interviewer wants. Are they asking you for a 5 minute overview of your background or do they want details of where you have done specific things at specific employers. Don’t be afraid to ask what level of detail they are looking for.


-You will be asked some questions so the interviewer can get a sense of your exposure to, and understanding of, the industry or customer space. If you are working on a specific type of technology product, your interviewer might ask you to walk them through customer segmentation of that market and why you or your company decided to focus on the market segments that you did. You’ll probably get a lot of “how?” questions here. If your resume states that you drove increased revenues, we want to know how. Established strong partnerships…how? Worked across multiple organizations…how?


-You’ll almost definitely be asked some case study questions as well. I generally see 2 types of these questions: one type that are relevant to the industry space you work in (the aim is to understand your industry exposure AND some core skills like strategic thinking) and second are case studies that aren’t specifically relevant to your industry but assess some functional knowledge (for example, you might be asked how to market a specific consumer product to a specific audience). So in order to perform well on these types of questions, there are a couple things I can suggest:


          -make sure you understand the question. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. Know the goal of the business scenario you are solving for.


         -we often tell people to “think out loud“ and I’m not sure that is the best advice. How about “think out loud but in a structured way“? We want to see how you approach business problems, to understand the steps you go through to make a recommendation. Don’t be afraid to challenge assumptions or recommend something out of the ordinary. If you are a visual person, use a white board or a piece of paper to map out your strategy.And don’t feel like you need to blurt out an answer right away. Work your way through the business problem analysis.


        -Know what you know and know what you don’t know. In the course of your analysis, be clear about information you know versus assumptions you are making. If you don’t have all the info you need to make a recommendation, let us know what research you would do or where you would go to get answers.


Some other tips/recommendations about the interview day in general:


-you may be offered coffee/tea/soft drinks throughout the day. I don’t know about you, but caffeine has a serious effect on me. If you tend to be nervous in interviews, you might want to try some decaf. In all the soda coolers, we have something called “Talking Rain“ which is basically fizzy water and a good alternative to all the caffeinated stuff (as long as the bubbles don’t bother you).


-We do feed people if they have a lunch interview scheduled. Feel free to ask your recruiter if you have a lunch interview on your calendar for the day.


-It’s always a good idea to bring some extra copies of your resume, just in case. All interviewers will have a soft copy, but sometimes it’s in .txt.


-Don’t forget to ask questions of your interviewers. For example, what is their role, if you took the position how you would work together, other groups that the organization collaborates with, what challenges they see in the indsutry space. etc. As much as we are interviewing you, you are also interviewing us and we want to make sure you get all the information you need to make the right decision.


-Your recruiter will let you know if you need to meet with them at the end of the interview day. Don’t read anything into it if the recruiter does not meet you at the end of the day. Sometimes, we don’t know when a candidate will be finished interviewing for the day and it’s really hard to plan around that.


So what can you do to prepare for your interviews at Microsoft?


-spend some time on our website and other websites getting to know our business as a company and the business of the group you are interviewing with. During your interview day, you will probably be asked your opinion about certain business decisions we’ve made as a company and you want to be as informed as possible. Know who our competitors are and our approach to marketing in that space and don’t be afraid to express your opinion (and back it up).


-read the job description ahead of time, but be flexible if things change during the day. Often, we find that an interview candidate is better suited to another position and therefore will make changes to the interview schedule as the day progresses.


-As I mentioned, each interviewer will most likely bring you back to the lobby after your interview with them. If for any reason, you don’t know where you are supposed to be, feel free to call your recruiter or the reception desk at building 19 (the receptionist can help locate the appropriate recruiter to help you).


-get a good night’s sleep. If you are flying in for interviews and you have time to do it, you might want to make the drive to campus so you know where you are going the next day (if you have a rental car) or ask the front desk of the hotel how long it will take you to get there by cab.


-Take some time to enjoy yourself and look around. Could you see yourself working here? We hope so!


If you have other questions on Marketing interviews at Microsoft, let me know.


 

Comments (160)

  1. 5 years too late…I blew mine with the ‘sleep the night before’ and ‘don’t eat bad sushi before interview’ tips 😉

  2. Heather says:

    Yeah, that sushi can be a killer. Good point. For some reason eating cheese causes me to have strange dreams so I have to avoid that the night before anything important or I just wake up feeling weird.

  3. Andrew says:

    Fact file: Cheese is not an easy food stuff to digest (fat and protein) so a lot of blood is moved to your digestive system. The result is that brain does not have as much blood (as normal) and it alters the chemistry within the brain. That results in a change in your conscious state and states of sleep (when you move between REM and deep sleep) and that means…. wacky dreams and nightmares.

    I am full of usless crap 🙂

  4. Per says:

    I’d like to take the time to thank you and the rest of the Microsoft recruiting team for a fantastic series of blogs on this subject. You are winning me as a fan. This process is fascinating. I do have a question that I hope you folks eventually write about. It’s the most popular topic this year thanks to the election: outsourcing. It sounds like a great deal of technical and marketing recruiting occurs in Redmond — but do you have counterparts in India and China doing the same thing? As the leader in the industry when it comes to software development, how has a bad economy and "shaken" developer confidence effected the candidates you see?

  5. Heather says:

    Thanks to Andrew for the info on cheese…who knew?!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Thanks, Heather, for this fantastic site and for this thread in particular. My questions are the following:

    – How heavily weighted are the case questions versus the other questions such as resume details and "Why Microsoft?"?

    – When it is the candidate’s turn to ask about Microsoft, how appropriate is it to ask REALLY tough questions about Microsoft? For example, to the extent that Microsoft believes that dominant market share is a good thing, would Microsoft welcome a world where one player (say, Dell) dominated the PC hardware space to the extent that Microsoft dominates the PC operating system space? OR Why has the target release date for Longhorn slipped siginificantly during the last year? What has Microsoft learned from this?

    Do the interviewers take these questions as attacks, or as signs of the candidates resourcefulness in coming up to speed on MSFT? Should we soften our questions and make them more like "softballs" for the interviewers?

    – Is it appropriate to ask the recruiter questions around compensation during the recruiter interview, or are we better off waiting on that discussion once an offer letter is in hand? Related to that, how much does Microsoft negotiate compensation offers, especially as it relates to experienced (am an MBA ’01) hires?

    Thank you SO MUCH in advance for your insights!

  7. Raj says:

    Could you please tell me how long does it normally take after a day long interview (5 tech + 1 HR) for MS to get back to me with the result?

  8. Heather says:

    Raj-I would say a few days. At that point, there are 3 potential outcomes: offer, decline or possibly consider you further for another position. Sounds like you interviewed….I hope it went well!

  9. Ott-Lite says:

    Re: the 3 possible outcomes:

    1. offer

    2. decline

    3. possibly consider you further for another position

    How should we interpret #3?:

    A. "Generally a good guy and we should consider him for future opportunities", or

    B. "We have a specific opening that he should interview for immediately"

    The reason I ask: I interviewed last week.  Overall, the interviews went well, but for a few specific reasons, it appeared that I may not be a perfect match for the position.  So I am expecting a #3-type of response.

    I am pursuing a few other opportunities in parallel and fear that the timing of may not work out for Microsoft if there is not a specific opportunity to pursue immediately…

    Thoughts?

  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    Ott-Lite, it definitely depends on what is open right now and how it matches your background. What I recommend is this: keep communication open with your recruiter. If you have engaged with any additional hiring managers, ask your recruiter to touch base with their recruiter and share feedback (and let that second recruiter know it’s OK to move forward). If you are just at the point where you are applying to additional positions, find the job codes on our career site and send them to your recruiter. This will help them identify the recruiter working on those specific positions as well. I hope that makes sense. If you do feel that your interview went well despite the lack of a fot for the position, your recruiter can/should act as an advocate for you.

  11. Ott-Lite says:

    Thanks, Heather that is helpful.

    One other question: is there an elegant way to "divorce" my recruiter.  She simply does not return voicemails or respond to emails — which I find highly unprofessional.  FYI, I ususally wait 5 business days (which I hope is reasonable) before trying to contact her again.   Am I overreacting?

    So when I hear you say "…your recruiter can/should act as an advocate for you…", I dont exactly get a warm fuzzy as I wait to hear the feedback from my interviews last week.  Unless the response is "offer", I seriously doubt she will call me back at all!

    Thanks.

  12. HeatherLeigh says:

    Ott-Lite, nope you are not overreacting. I think it depends on how the recruiter set expectations with you in the last communication you had. If she told you to stay in touch or that she would contact you, etc., then I think it’s reasonable for you to expect a response from her. If she felt she had closed down the conversation with you, it’s different. Did you have a sense that she felt the dialog was over? Of course, if she’s not responsive, then I take back what I said about working through your recruiter. And I’m really sorry to heat that your calls aren’t being returned. Is there anything I can do to help?

  13. Ott-Lite says:

    Heather – Thanks, you are extremely helpful.  Seriously, someone should reward you for the responsiveness and sincere interest in helping all these anonymous posters.

    Re: the dialog with the recruiter, we had set an interview date in Redmond several weeks in advance, and she offered "if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me"…well, I did have questions, and despite repeated attempts, never got a chance to talk to her until the morning of the interviews.  In retrospect, it would have been nice to connect with her (e.g., getting a copy of the job posting, interviewing for multiple positions vs. a single position, understanding logistics, etc.).  Oh well.

    Not sure if there is anything you can do at this point.  Thanks for offering, though.   I’ll just sit tight and anxiously wait for the feedback.  

    BTW, why does it take a few days for Microsoft to get back to me?  Given all the inter-interview feedback throughout the day, I was almost sure they would have a pretty clear  answer within 1 day at most…

  14. HeatherLeigh says:

    It’s just part of the job ; )

    You should have received a call back from the recruiter. I dont know what else to say except that I am sorry that you didn’t. We need to do better. Hopefully it’s just an isolated incident.

    Re: timing, it’s possible that they had another candidate in for the same position or that they wanted to get the interview team together  to discuss your candidacy and there were scheduling issues. So there are a couple possibilities. Hope you have heard by now!

  15. Jacob says:

    Not sour grapes or burst of anger… I had my phone interview with one Middle east accented guy, who was for once hard to understand.

    He asked two questions: reverse a string and delete a node in a doubly linked list

    I could do that my dream with space and time optimization. Why so? coz I teach C++, and I just love programming.

    I coded it and when I used pointers in my string reversal the guy asked me a weird question which showed his lack of understanding of the concept of pointers.

    I thought the interview could not have gone any better. 1 week later I get a rejection mail from Microsoft, I mailed my recruiter and the interviewer both responded stating legals issues they can’t give me a feedback.

    Now don’t tell me that SDE positions were all filled up or that you found better candidates. I know all about Microsoft hiring process. And I have done enough interviews to know what is a good interview.

    Just one spoilt apple can screw it all up.

    Peace.

  16. Jacob says:

    Not sour grapes or burst of anger… I had my phone interview with one Middle east accented guy, who was for once hard to understand.

    He asked two questions: reverse a string and delete a node in a doubly linked list

    I could do that my dream with space and time optimization. Why so? coz I teach C++, and I just love programming.

    I coded it and when I used pointers in my string reversal the guy asked me a weird question which showed his lack of understanding of the concept of pointers.

    I thought the interview could not have gone any better. 1 week later I get a rejection mail from Microsoft, I mailed my recruiter and the interviewer both responded stating legals issues they can’t give me a feedback.

    Now don’t tell me that SDE positions were all filled up or that you found better candidates. I know all about Microsoft hiring process. And I have done enough interviews to know what is a good interview.

    Just one spoilt apple can screw it all up.

    Peace.

  17. HeatherLeigh says:

    Jacob-I don’t recruit in the tech space so I can’t address any of the issues around the questions that were asked. We don’t reject candidates for fun, so there had to be a reason. I’m sorry that the recruiter didn’t feel comfortable giving you the reason (not sure what the accent had to do with it, but OK). But it’s really for the recruiter and/or hiring team to determine whether they want to move forward with your candidacy and for some reason they didn’t. Same as it would be up to you to determine at any point in the process that you were no longer interested in Microsoft. We cannot guarantee an offer outcome to every candidate that thought the interview went well.

    But I do understand your frustration around not receiving actionable feedback on why you were not offered the position. Seems that you are very focused on your coding skills. It’s possible that it may have been something else.

    I’m sorry to hear that you are disappointed in the outcome. Trust me, I’ve been there and I know how it feels.

  18. Jacqueline says:

    I think your site is very informative.  It helps me a lot since MS is my target company.  Thanks!

    I agreed with Jacob about the accent thing.  A phone interview should not be conducted by someone with a strong accent – pronunciation sounds differently.  You just can’t give the interviewer a great impression if you kept asking him/her to repeat the questions because you can’t understand what they asked.  English is my second language so it is hard for me to listen to someone who has a strong accent.  This happened to me when I had a phone-interview with an Indian recruiter at Expedia, and this is my disadvantage.

    Do you have any suggestion?

  19. HeatherLeigh says:

    Well, in today’s work environment, speaking with people that have accents is just a reality. I imagine that if the person is a recruiter at Expedia, that they must be able to make themselves understood. My only recommendation is to calmly and politely ask the person to repeat themselves and let them know that you are having trouble understanding them. If the accent is that strong, it’s likely that others have done the same so maybe they are used to it.

    I personally have found that, at work, when I am interacting with people that have strong accents, my ear gets accustomed to their speech patterns. It requires more concentration at first. I’m not sure how you can practice speaking with people with strong accents but maybe you you can find some audio of people speaking with different accents and try to get used to the patters…I’m not sure.

    I don’t really think there’s an effective way that you can work around people with accents. You just have to do the best you can to understand what they are saying. I’m sure that they, like you, know that they are not native english speakers and are trying as hard to be understood as you are to understand them ; )

  20. LEO says:

    Hi Heather,

    My interview with the team (5 interviewers) took place in May 2006 in Redmond. I am confident that I was successful and the team liked me a lot. (the very last interviewer even postponed another meeting with colleagues, in order to finish our very interesting conversation, LOL). Another interviewer told me right away that he/she liked me and even told me that I will get YES from him/her (I was shocked I didn’t expect someone to be so open knowing me 45 minutes). Anyway, since than I followed 3 times with my recruiter (I haven’t met her/him in person because of different location). Two e-mails I have received from her/him were like ‘we are very interested in your skills and  background, ….for YE2007…. The second one was ‘the team hasn’t finished their org. structure yet, but we are still considering you…..) The last e-mail I have received from her /him this week was like ‘the team made a decision and they will move forward with our internal candidates……Well, this is something I cannot accept, nor understand…… My friend (referral) works as a recruiter for another team at MSFT, so you know that he/she has an access to all the info. She/he is very loyal and didn’t tell me exactly the feedbacks from each interviewer. She/he just said that all five people I met were impressed by my personality, background, knowledge.  He/she has been with MSFT 2 years and was sure that the next step should be a job offer…  There was simply no reason, no explanation why I shouldn’t get that job…..

    My question is:  what is the point of going through all that (of course except having an amazing learning experience) if one CANNOT reach the end-job offer? I simply cannot compete with internal candidates, because this is the preference already given by the team before they simply start with external candidates. Why do you advertise all these jobs if you know already that you are going to hire internal employees (please be honest to yourself, 75% of advertised positions are like that)?  What is the point of paying $500 for fly tickets, another $500 for other expenses (everything covered by MSFT), finding a right person because the candidate is successful but….he/she is not hired because the team PREFFERED  internal candidate?????? I am so dissepointed and discouraged that I refuse to apply for any other positions at MSFT believing that the same will happen again.  Do you consider the fact that you are giving a hope to people????????????….personally, I had 2 another job offers that I ignored,  hoping that MSFT will approach me with a job offer….. The MSFT team has been considering me for 2 months, giving me a fake hope for 2 months…… I would really appreciate if you could give me a logical and rational explanation on my questions. Thank you.

    Leo

  21. HeatherLeigh says:

    Leo- I am sorry to hear about the outcome of your interviews. I can tell you are disappointed. I think if I were in the position of your recruiter, knowing that there were more candidates coming through, I might have let you know that or possibly declined you instead of asking you to hold on. I’m not involved in the situation though, so it’s hard to say what the "right" thing to do was.

    Your friend should be careful about getting involved. They can get in trouble for accessing feedback for personal reasons. They, also, were not involved in the interview so it was not their place to provide you additional info on the interview feedback. It is inappropriate for them to tell you the next step should be a job offer and they made your recruiter’s job harder which was not fair of them to do. Perhaps the team simply thought that the other candidate has a stronger skill set for the position. Multiple people can get "hire" feedback and the team still needs to decide which person to offer the position.

    People should go through the interview for the opportunity of *possibly* getting a job offer. There are no guarantees that just because you interview, you’ll get offered. 75% of the positions don’t go internal. Many times the hiring team are open to internal or external and they weigh the value of internal MS knowledge versus fresh outside perspective. Each candidate is different, each team makes the right choice for their team based on who they theink is thebest fit for the job. microsoft would not be growing as a company if we weren’t making outside hires.  It’s not a conspiracy.

    Do I consider that we are giving hope to people? Yes, and I hope we are! If people aren’t hopeful that they could be employed by Microsoft, I don’t think they will do well in the interview. I’m sorry to say, Leo, but it was your choice to ignore those other job offers, especially if the recruiter was telling you they were potentially interested for year end FY07 (that’s next summer). Frankly, if the recruiter was telling you that, I suspect they still may be considering you for future openings. It’s your decision how to respond to any future contact from your recruiter. My advice would be to let your anger subside before you engage any further with your recruiter.

    re: "I am so dissepointed and discouraged that I refuse to apply for any other positions at MSFT believing that the same will happen again." I think that is a good choice on your part. First, is is entirely possible that you would interview again and not get the offer. There are no guarantees. Also, I believe that your anger would come through in the interviews and would negatively impact your candidacy.

    People get declined for positions all the time, Leo. I’m sorry that you are so upset by it and that it came as a surprise to you. At the most though, I think that perhaps the recruiters could have done a better job of messaging things to you. Your expectations of being offered the job simply because we spent the money to fly you out and interview you are unrealistic. If you would like an answer to why this was the outcome for the specific position, you will have to ask your recruiter. I can only respond to what you have told me above.

    Again, I am sorry that you are disappointed. I definitely sense your frustration. And I am sorry (preemptively) if you don’t like what I have to say but you ask the question here on a public blog and I answer it. I’m not going to sugar coat the situation.

  22. Leo says:

    to Heather:

    Thank you. I appreciate your response. I wish my recruiter were so honest with me as you are.

    Have a great weekend

    Leo

  23. Iyer says:

    Dear Heather,

    I have an upcoming MS interview with the Marketing/Communications team. I have a background in engineering as well as in Economics and I am into a lot of modeling/forecasting stuff, mgmt strategy etc. However I do not have a lot of C ++ experience. My question is:

    1. Will the interview be conducted based on my background or will they test me on my programming skills as I am interviewing for a PM position?

    2. In general what kind of questions do you think I should prepare for a Marketing based interivew?

    Thanks much.

    Iyer

  24. Mahira says:

    Heather, the information on the blog is very useful. Thanks.

    I will be interviewing with Microsoft(MSN) soon. I hope it goes well.

    Id like to know if there are any technical, specifically programming questions for someone who has a CS background but is interviewing for a marketing position. if there are any technical questions, whats the weight compared to case studies and resume questions..

  25. HeatherLeigh says:

    Mahira- I think that it depends on the technical aspects to the the position. If part of the open position is technical, or requires an understanding of technology, I am sure the interview team is going to test that knowledge. You should at least be able to talk about anything you studied in school. You should also make sure that you can speak credibly about the technoloy that the position is focused on (whatever the MS product) and the competitive landscape in that space. I wouldn’t foresee any coding questions. But again, I would say that anything that you put on your resume, relevant or not, could be tested to ensure that you have the knowledge that is on the resume. There’s no weighting of questions. Individual interviewers may be asked to focused on different skills and competencies in your background. I hope that helps. Good luck!

  26. Dave says:

    Heather –

    Thanks for consistently sharing such useful information.

    After four phone interviews (one with my recruiter, one with my potential boss, one with the potential boss’ peer and one with the manager of the other two non-recuiters), I finally have an interview loop scheduled for next week.   I have seen a lot of info on interviews for SDEs and other techies, but not all that much on preparing for an interview to join the Server group in a bus dev role (Microsoft’s parlance; I would call it a strategy/transactional job).  Any advice?  Should I be studying brain-teasers and logic puzzles?

    Also, I’m an attorney by trade and may be interested in practicing again at some point.    I know Microsoft is great about providing opportunities to existing employees; would it be possible (unheard of? rare?) to move from a product group to the Legal group at some point?

    Many thanks,

    Dave

  27. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hi Dave – the bus dev/strategy roles fall under marketing so you are inthe right place. I don’t think it would be unheard of to move to legal at some point. When I recruited for Platforms Bus Dev (which is probably a earlier iteration of the group you are interviewing with), they consistently looked for the JD/MBA profile and they worked closely with legal in assessing and crafting deals.

    I don’t think that you are going to get the puzzle questions but I do think that you are going to get some case study questions. They will probably be directly relelvant to the tech industry and some of them may be real world. They may give you a scenario and ask you to walk them through build/buy/license scenrios or ask you the specifics of strategic partner selection…that type of thing. They will also probably want to deep dive on some of the work you have done in the past. They may even throw out some questions like what you think a specific company’s approach to acquisitions is. To prepare, I’d say know our space including competitors and the ecosystem. Make sure you fully understand all the questions and don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions of any business cases you are presented.

    Does this help?

  28. Dave says:

    Thanks for such a quick response – that definitely helps.  Regardless of the outcome (my interview is next week), I’ll post again to let people know what to expect from a non-techie product group interview.

  29. Andrea says:

    Heather

    What would you think it means if you get called back to interview ith one more person after already coming to the campus to interview?

    Thanks!

    Andrea

  30. HeatherLeigh says:

    Andrea – more likely a good sign than a bad ; ) When in doubt, we defer to no hire. So if they want you to meet another person, take it as a positive sign. Obviously no guarantees, but I’d say it’s good.

  31. Albert says:

    Hello Heather,

    I just had a bad day (I think) in MS, because I only get to the third interviewers so I don’t think I was doing very good. Though it seems to be a little bit silly to say it here, I would like to ask if MS would consider me again if I apply again later… And, is that OK to ask the recruiter what exactly has gone wrong, if I am rejected? Because, the previous posts did mentioned that the recruiters may not response to this kind of queries. Maybe I’m not speaking at the right place with the right question but I’m just feeling so frustrated… So just ignore me if you think that’s silly…

    Meanwhile, thanks for the trip. Good to see that you people have such a beautiful HQ.

  32. HeatherLeigh says:

    I don’t think it’s silly at all. Definitely ask the recruiter if they can share any feedback with you and if there are any skills you can improve upon before applying again in the future. You can definitely apply again!

    I’m sorry things didn’t go better. Maybe the next time. I interviewed with MS twice before taking my position : )

  33. jerry says:

    I was just wondering how microsoft goes about giving offers and rejecting… Is it a letter in the mail? Or a phone call?

    Thank you for your help!

  34. HeatherLeigh says:

    should be a phone call!

  35. Jerry says:

    Do you know who it is who usually presents an offer?

  36. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yes, it’s the recruiter.

  37. Jerry says:

    Heather,

    How many days does Microsoft usually give you to review the offer…  Thank you kindly in advance~

  38. HeatherLeigh says:

    There’s not a standard number….depends on the situation.

  39. Justin says:

    Hi Heather,

    I’m so glad I found your blog. It’s been SO helpful. I’m preparing for my onsite interviews this Thursday at the main campus in Redmond. I am flying all the way across the country to interview for a position in the Microsoft AdCenter team. I’m very excited about the opportunity since I have experience in the Search Engine Marketing industry and also have experience in direct marketing in the publishing industry. I think it would be awesome to be a part of the young but growing AdCenter team! I’ve been preparing the past few days for the interviews so I’m feeling slightly nervous but really anxious for the big day.

    I’m assuming since the position is a non-technical position (more of a marketing/client management role) that I will be asked primarily work history and behavioral questions. Do you know if case study type questions are asked for this type of role? Also, if there is any other advice that you can give that would be great!

    I know I will be a little nervous come the day of the interviews, but I’m really just so excited for the opportunity to interview at one of the best companies in the world! Thanks again for the terrific blog and feel free to share any other interview tips that you can think of. I’ll make sure to post on here after the interviews to let you know how they went. Thanks and have a great day!

    ~Justin

  40. PT says:

    this is timely – i hope i get through!

  41. HeatherLeigh says:

    me too!

  42. Jerry says:

    Hi again Heather,

    Another question for you! (Thank you SO much for offering this forum to answer questions) What I am wondering about now is Microsofts temporary housing for new employees who have to move to the area. I guess Im wondering what the options are for a family of 4…

    Thanks again and have a great day!

  43. HeatherLeigh says:

    Justin – I am dying to know what happened!

    Jerry – does that mean you received an offer? I hope so! If you have not yet accepted the offer, definitely talk to your recruiter about that. If you have accepted, you would be assigned a relo consultant. I will tellyou my understanding of what is available, but since I don’t make offers anymore, I don’t actually "roll-out" relo anymore. But I relocated and I have had friends join within the last few years that have relocated. Anyway, the goal of the relo program is to meet your needs. When my friend joined from the Bay Area, with his wife and 3 kids, they got a bigger temp housing space because they had the family. When I joined, I got a 2 bedroom apartment near campus (one bedroom would have been fine but I guess that is what they had at the time). It’s all subject to availability but it seems that there are many different places they could place you as far as temp housing. The important thing is to let you relo consultant know exectly what your needs are so they can match you up with what will work best for you.

    I hope that helps!

  44. Lina says:

    Hello Heather,

    I found this page extremely helpful as most other blogs and forums only discuss technical interviews at Microsoft. I have phone interview scheduled for next week for Account Manager position, which I believe falls into Sales function of the compay.  I am extremely excited about the opportunity as my biggest dream was always to be part of the Microft team.  I have a few questions for you that I believe will help me better prepare.  You talked a lot about main interview day, but I was wondering if you have any tips/description as to what to expect at the initial phone screening for non-technical position?  My second question is specific to the Accounts Manager position.  Do you  have any tips/advises for me specific to this job?  I would appreciate your response.

  45. Robert says:

    I have an interview for PM role in 2 days. I haven’t coded in 6-7 years, and am revising to be able to describe linked lists, etc. I know I won’t be coding in a PM role, so it’s possibly a waste of time!!

    I will actually take a reference manual with me.. I’m hoping that given my work experience, it’s obvious that someone this rusty, would need to re-hash from a text book, if needed to code.

    This is frustating me big time.. I can read code, just not write it without a text book.. am kinda a PM in work life..

    Would it be wrong for me to ask to reference syntax, if asked to code? I can probably write psudeo code, and may get most of it right..

  46. HeatherLeigh says:

    Robert – unfortunately, you are asking the wrong person. I recruit for marketing (no code required for sure!). You might want to check out the jobsblog for info on the tech interview process. Sorry I can’t help more.

  47. Robert says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for the response.

    FYI – I’ve had a read of, which separates SDE with PM;

    http://www.microsoft.com/college/int_tips.mspx

    Also, great real world summary:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/techtalk/archive/2005/12/16/504872.aspx

    I think my assumption is right, there shouldn’t be many coding related questions, and if there are, given I won’t be coding, I think I can talk them out, and write in Pseudo code.

    It does seem like my ideal role actually.. Watch out google!

    Thanks again,

    Rob.

  48. Rob says:

    Hi all – apologies for ongoing posts.

    The interviews have finished, and I expressed my interest in the PM roles vs SDE and SDET. The interviewers (although mostly technical) were very accommodating, and did not ask me to code. Rather, I was explaining how I’d code the solutions to a few technical scenarios. I was very happy with this, in fact, by the end of the day, I was begging the last interviewer an Architect is I could scribble a few lines of code (having revised C all weekend). Ironic isn’t it! I think I solved most of the code Qs, and obviously could have given more efficient solutions, but hey in an interviews, remembering buckets and hash tables from my studies 7 years earlier, was miraculous enough!!

    Anyhow here’s my Q – at the end of the day, I’d finish speaking to all technical interviews, and wasn’t interviewed by the HR representative. It was a collaborative interview, so the info was always communicated between all interviewers, but 2 of the 4 in my session were requested to have an extra interview and had a HR interview earlier that day. (asking reloc questions and all).

    In my research, I’m finding that more interviews, the better, so now I’m left wondering. Did they decide that I was a go right away? Did the others need further review? Or, did the others move further?!

    Who knows.. I guess time will tell.

  49. Rob . says:

    Hi all – Thought I would add to the next chapter of my mini blog.

    I have been successful, however no roles to suitable. I guess I my assumption was very close, I did well, seem to have passed, however the interviewing was generic, and the staff interviewing didn’t feel I was suitable for their teams, but I may be for another. I guess we’ll see what happens.

    I have some great ideas for Live.com, so let’s hope they hurry, because I would love to show the new boys on the block the new tricks the older dogs can still learn.

    Cheers, Rob. 😉

    P.S. – Heather, maybe I’m more suitable for a Marketing role. Carrie R can feed you more info on my interviews.

  50. Linda says:

    Hello Heather,

    I had interview at Microsoft about 1 month ago for Sales position.  I did not get the position due to the lack of applicable experience, however all interviewers identified me as strong Microsoft hire.  Therefore, I was told that my resume will be submitted to the database of MBA students with comments from the managers and might be reviewed later during fall hiring.  My question for  you is how do I increase the chances of my resume to be reviewed by hiring managers? How often do Managers refer to this database when they have openings?  Should I just sit patiently and wait to be contacted?  What are the correct action steps that I need to take in increase my chances?  

    I would appreciate your advise.  

    Thank you

  51. HeatherLeigh says:

    Recruiters search frequenlty for candidates that have applied to specific positions. So I’d recommend finding the positions on our career site that interest you and then applying for them.

  52. Rida says:

    Hi Heather,

    This blog is amazing.. thank you for taking the time out to do this.

    I am interviewing in Canada on thursday for the position of marketing associate in Microsoft Partner Program.

    I just graduated with a BA in Speech Communication, and have some experience in marketing roles through internships.

    Could u perhaps tell me what kind of questions i should expect?..

  53. HeatherLeigh says:

    Thanks Rida! This seems to be the blog post that lives forever! I am glad people are finding it helpful.

    RE: interview questions, I’d say that it’s similar to what I described above. My assumption would be that you will get many case study questions because you are just graduation (they want to know how you think). You’ll probably be asked about your intended career path and they will almost certainly test your knowledge of Microsoft, our products and our markets. And since I know you found this blog post because you are preparing…good for you!

    I hope it goes well and feel free to come back and tell us what happens!

  54. MSPreacher says:

    Hi Heather,

    Wealth of information indeed!! i am overwhelmed by the folks who are visiting your site and sharing valuable information on the MS interview drill. "Andrews on Cheese" is awsome (Well!! Chease before an interview..Nah!! no wasy.. great advice Andy…)

    I have appread for a interview with Microsoft India for its Bangalore center. I already have two rounds of interview conducted. One by a Developer evengelist and another by Director of Tech Partner engagement… but due to a health reason, i could not attned the f-2-f interview (Was slated for 1st week of July, I have intimated MS recruiter regarding my inability to attend a fact to face interview for next two weeks. She agreed to postpone it to until i get fit..) but as much as i can recollect the above two telephonic interview went well…

    But till now i havent received any intimation,

    Please let me know if i would be receiving call from the MS guys as i am quite upbeat and confident about my Joining MS…

  55. Capricorn says:

    Hi Heather,

    Great to read your blog as usual…

    I have 13.2 years of experience in IT industry…

    I received an interview call from MS based on a referral by my friend. I was interviewed by a Developer evengelist (Telephonic) which went really well and based on that i got another call from Director of Tech Engmt partner (Telephonic again!) which also went well but due to sudden illness i could not attend the f-2-f call which was set on the same due and have requested my recruiter to postpone the f-2-f interview for next two weeks…

    Two weeks 1/2 have passed, i have asked my MS friend (Who referred me) whether i should get back to the recruiter now but he advised me to wait as he is saying that due to my inability to attend the f-2-f call, my last round (Guess so!!) or a possible offer (Hope so… Gods willing) has been put in a pipeline as other potential candidates who probably have got the job are are in waiting for their final call…

    Do you think i have done the right thing by not approching the Recruiter…

    My friend does have access to the feedback on my interview and have assured me that my interviews (Till now) went well…and that i am surely going to get the offer…

    It is since 9th of July, i am still waiting to hear from MS,

    What is you suggestion to speed things up…

  56. HeatherLeigh says:

    MSPreacher/Capricorn, you should definitely ask your recruiter about that! I think a nice e-mail reminding them of your continued interest would be appropraite. Glad you are finding this post helpful.

  57. JP says:

    Hi Heather,

    trust you are well. Great to read your blog as very useful..

    few Qs:

    – which are the leadership competencies that MS for PM role is looking for?

    – since you recruit within mktg org, which are "must have" requirements for a successful marketer in (product manager) within server division?

    Many Thanks.

  58. Capricorn says:

    Thanks a ton !! Heather for you invaluable suggestion, and i did got in touch with the recruiter… and got a call immediately after a day…

    I had my final interview (f-2-f) on Wednessday…

    Meanwhile, i would like to know,

    While my current profile is more of project/program manager at an IT service company and which has been clearly visible in my resume, the three interview sessions that i have before the f-2-f have not questioned me on this difference of role (I am trying for ISV evengelist role..)

    But in my f-2-f interview, the interviewer has clearly stated the role that i am having now and the role in offer (Highly technical, hands-on… incidentally which i am not at this point of time…

    I had atleast 45 mintues of session with the interviewer…

    What do you think my chance of getting the job in D & PE team… with my existing profile….

    Also wanted share with you that my resume has gone thru referral.

    Will apreciate your motivational reply 🙂 on the same…

  59. Wendy says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you so much for posting such useful info here! I’m so grad to see this page. But I’m not sure whether this thread is still active. I hope "yes".

    I had my final interview for the SDE internship at the beginning of last week. Now, more than one week’s passed. I wonder whether I’ve been rejected. Though I don’t think the interview questions difficult but I have to say I haven’t done well in the interviews. I’m not sure whether I should email my recruiter and I wonder whether I will receive an "reject" notice if I fail the interview.  

    It’s so painful when waiting for the result. Could you mind giving me some suggestions?

    Many many thanks

  60. HeatherLeigh says:

    I know…..waiting is THE WORST!

    It’s OK to send the recruiter a reminder via e-mail; somethin g reaffirming your interset in the job. Either way, it wouldn’t impact the outcome. But I can imagine that waiting for the result is painful. It’s likely that they have other applicants for the same spot and need to get them thoruhg the process as well. That’s probably the reason for the delay.

    Only other advice is to try not to focus on it too much or it will drive you crazy 🙂 Easier said than done, but try to distract your attention from it.

    Good luck Wendy! I hope you get it!

  61. nicole says:

    Is there a comparable blogspot for people interviewing for director positions or higher within sales or business development at Microsoft? What types of senarios could you expect after an interview with microsoft? Timeframes?  

  62. HeatherLeigh says:

    Unfortunately, there isn’t that I know of. But I would say that most of what is said here pertains to sales and bus dev as well. To be clearn, I definitely consider them separate disciplines and career paths here, but most of the advice here is relatively generic and I think sales has more in common with marketing than with something like tech.

  63. Sunny Smith says:

    Hi Heather,

    I am am having a phone interview for a marketing position with the hiring manager? What types of questions should I expect.  I have already had a phone interview with the internal recruiter. Will it be similar? Also, I have marketing experience but not marketing experience in the techie market. What are the chances they will hire outside of industry? Thanks!

  64. HeatherLeigh says:

    Sunny – they wouldn’t waste your time if they weren’t open to hiring from outside the tech industry. But I am sure they will be interested in how quickly you can get up to speed in our market space. Otherwise, I’d say to expect what I mentioned above. Know the group you are interviewing with, know their competitors and market challenges and know your resume backward and forward. Know why you are intervieing with us (the "why Microsoft?" question), be able to weave a story out of your career experience and think on your feet when it comes to case study questions. I’d take your resume and the job description and try to anticipate questions. That is my usual pre-interview exercise.

    Good luck with our interviews! I hope they go well and you let us know the outcome!

  65. Sunny Smith says:

    Hi Heather

    Do you think they will ask case study questions, since it is a phone interview?

    Thanks,

    Sunny

  66. HeatherLeigh says:

    Probably not case study but you may get some behavioral stuff. "Tell me about a time when you…"; that kind of thing.

  67. Sunny Smith says:

    Okay so pretty much the first question I got was if I experience in the industry. And after I said no,but I have the ability to learn about the industry in short period of time…etc. I got the but we want someone from the industry. Why did you call me then? Sorry just a little frustrated. I definately understand from Microsofts point of view. Thanks for your help Heather!

  68. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oh Sunny, I am sorry to hear about that. Sounds like someone didn’t read your resume closely enough.

  69. EBS says:

    Hi Heather,

    I have the face to face interview(s) upcoming for a role in sales – Partner Account Manager.  I know that the "Why Microsoft" question is very important – however, I have so many reasons as to "why" that I am having trouble deciding which answer to focus on. Could you give me an idea of a "right on" answer to this question vs. a "not quite right" answer?

    Thx,

    EBS

  70. HeatherLeigh says:

    EBS – yep, I can help. It’s always better if your answer is positive versus something negative about your current employer. If you say something like "I have always wanted to work for Microsoft", expect the interviewer to ask why. Also, you can let them know that you have several reasons but that the main one is X and give them the opportunity to ask what the others are. But I’d definitely kick it off with something that is positive and is the most motivating for you. it sounds like a softball question (and sometimes it is), but they will want a thoughtful answer. So good for you for really giving this some thought.

  71. andy says:

    interesting blog. i recently had an interview with microsoft at redmond for an SDET. loved every minute of it- from playing halo 3 in the building 19 prior to beginning my interviews to impressing my interviewers- had 5 in all. Couldn’t had been better since i got to interview with the teams i specifically requested for.

         what i can’t stand is the waiting-it’s unbearable! how long does it take to make a decision? and what goes into it? i’ve always assumed that if a candidate aces the coding and does all the "right" things-talking aloud..suggesting alternatives..etc to the point that a manager starts telling him about their current recruitment drive, then it’s a done deal.

         Another day more, and i might just have to tell the guys over at moutain view that i will sign on their dotted line whilst my heart is still in redmond.

       What else can one do to impress microsoft?

  72. HeatherLeigh says:

    Did you follow up with your recruiter? I’d try that. If you truly have a competing offer, just let them know in a non-threatening way and that you need to make a decision.

  73. EBS says:

    Hi Heather –

    Guess my "why Microsoft" answer struck a cord…got the offer and accepted! I’m excited and think that it is an excellent opportunity! Happy Holidays and thanks for the feedback on the blog!

    Erin

  74. Mayank Shyam says:

    I was interviewed by Microsoft in their Washington DC office on Oct 4th, 2007 for a Technical Program Manager position. I had two phone screening in September and I passed those. Microsoft Health Solutions Group then brought me for a face to face whole day interview in DC.

    I met 6 people whereas I was suppose to meet 5. I made the sixth round. I was happy. Microsoft staff told me that they had a lot openings and they just wanted to see where I would be a good fit. They asked me if I was being interviewed any where else. I left happily. I even sent a "Thank you" email to the Microsoft recruiter.

    Three weeks passed and they did not give me any feedback. I contacted my Recruiting Coordinator in Redmond. Finally Microsoft Recruiter called me and told me that they were not going to move forward. She did not give a reason.

    All and all my experience with Microsoft was not a good one.

  75. HeatherLeigh says:

    Erin…woohoo! Congratulations and welcome! ANd thanks for returning to let us know what happened!

    Mayank – Sorry to hear that. If it was going to take the recruiter 3 weeks to get back to you, they should have told you that up front. Obviously there are no guarantees with the interviews (getting to the final interviewer obv doesn;t mean you are getting an offer), but I agree that it sounds like the follow up could have been better.

  76. Mayank Shyam says:

    I have a poor impression about Microsoft. Thats not the way they should treat candidates. I have been to long or full day interviews at QuallComm, Oracle, Walt Disney, Peoplesoft and more. I got the result a few days after the interview. Most were positive.

    Microsoft staff need to watch out what they say. Some smaller companies that have rejected me gave me a reason for rejection. Microsoft did not give me any reason.

    I had written to the HR and cc to Steven Ballmer. I got a call from a HR lady but she was brief. It would have been better had she not called.

    Microsoft should treat everyone equally i.e. its clients, employees and job seekers. Thats how it is going to win respect from everyone.

  77. HeatherLeigh says:

    Thanks for the feedback Mayank and again, sorry that you had a negative experience. That’s not how we want people to feel after interviewing with us.

  78. Vishal says:

    Hi Heather,

    I appreciate you taking time to respond to these queries.

    I have a question regarding applying to multiple Microsoft locations. Is it OK to start interviewing for a different MS location(not Redmond) while I am currently waiting for my onsite interview for a Redmond based position? Should I inform both my recruiters before I do this? How will the positive/negative result of one(whichever finishes first) affect the other?

    Your clarification will help me a lot.

    Thanks,

    Vishal

  79. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yep, you should definitely inform both recruiters about this.  I don’t think that one would necessarily affect the other. However, from a timing standpoint, they will want to have the interviews take place relatively close together so that if both teams want to move forward, you could select a team and then work on an offer. If the teams have multiple candidates for their positions, it’s difficult for them to wait too long for the other set of interviews to happen.

    Also, the 2 recruiters should be in contact with each other to orchestrate.

    Hope that helps!

  80. Vishal says:

    Thanks a lot Heather! You are a great help.

  81. patel says:

    Hi Heather,

    i had an interview with microsoft day before yesterday. I had one hr and 3 technical. The last guy that did my interview was not quite sure where i had to proceed so he said. I dont know may be u shud go to building 19. So i m bit worried coz i have heard that if you h ave 3 tech interview you wont be selected. it was for intern SDET

    thanks

  82. HeatherLeigh says:

    you should follow up with your recruiter.

  83. Luke says:

    Hi Heather,

    I just had a phone interview for the Microsoft graduate Marketing scheme (I’m UK-based, so it would probably be Reading or London). I have a First in French & German from Cambridge and a year’s work experience abroad in project management, but no specific marketing experience, although it’s an area I’m very interested in and into which I’ve done some research. During interview, the recruiter made it clear that many applicants for the position in question would have marketing experience in the context of their degree, and seemed to imply that I was thus at a disadvantage. I’m confident I’d be able to learn these skills quickly and effectively, given my academic background. Am I being unrealistic?

    Any insight you could give would be appreciated!

    Thanks (and great work on the blog!)

    Luke

  84. HeatherLeigh says:

    Luke – I am not sure. I guess it depends on the position. I mean, I’m sure you could learn the skills. The question is whether they want someone coming in that already has them. Perhaps there’s something else in your background that they find particularly appealing.

  85. Peter says:

    Hi Heather

    i’ve just one question, yesterday i’ve the face 2 face round in a recruiter trip in my country. at the begin of the day the hr guy said that we will have 2 to 3 interviews. after my 3 interviews, some other guys (in the process too) were waiting for the hr guy or someone else. the hr comes and tell us "For you guys this is enough, but another guy has an extra interview"

    i dont know what to expect. hr guy said that i need to wait, ill do that.

    but ive readed that some guys that have only 3 interviews doesn’t get an offer or something simmilar.

    regards

    Peter

  86. HeatherLeigh says:

    Peter – you can’t read too much into it. We don’t fill out a full day of interviews if we know that the position and the person don’t match. But having one more interview than other people could be positive (making it farther through the process) or neutral (perhaps they are having trouble deciding and need another opinion).

    You probably won’t know anything until you hear from your recruiter but try not to over-analyze it 🙂 I know…that’s hard.

  87. Peter says:

    Thank you very much for  the info i’ll be waiting, for my recruiter response. how long usually takes the response with an offer or rejection?? in your experience.

  88. HeatherLeigh says:

    it varies depending on the situation (for example, whether they have several people interviewing for the same position). I think you can expect an answer within 2 weeks. After one week, I think  you could follow up with your recruiter if you have not heard anything.

  89. Tha says:

    Hi Heather,

    I interviewed with MS and got a job offer. My question is,

    I was in a job 7 years ago in which I was let go during probation as the job wasnt a correct fit and I had other problematic circumstances like visa problem etc.

    I am great performer in my current Job which I have held for the past 7 years.

    Do I have to specifically tell my recruiter about all this history?

    Will it be a problem if I tell my recruiter about this ?

    Will it be a problem if I dont tell them about this and they later find out in the background search ?

    Thanks for you Reply.

  90. Voktor says:

    Hi Peter,

    did you get any response from MS?

  91. Lynn says:

    Hi Heather!

    I’m invited for an on-site interview for the Associate Product Manager position by the Live and Search Team.  Will the interview be about how I fit the position and the search engine and internet team, or just the position itself?

    Thanks!

    Lynn

  92. HeatherLeigh says:

    Lynn – all of the above and also how well you fit Microsoft long term (more competency based thngs that let us know that you could function well in other groups as well).

    Good luck with your interviews! I hope you are excited!

  93. Lynn says:

    Oh I am EXTREMELY excited!  Thank you very much for this blog and everyone’s help.  I’m trying really hard to prepare as much as possible.

    You mentioned we can dress in a suit or business casual (whatever puts us in interview mode).  Will I be walking around much?  I don’t want to make a bad choice in wearing heels and end up limping by the end of the day! Someone mentioned a candidate took off his shoes during an interview, yikes!  

  94. Lynn says:

    Another reason I asked about walking is b/c I have a slight problem with my foot; it’s sometimes painful when walking for an extensive amount of time.  I know you mentioned shuttles and such but I just want to make sure.  

    Thanks!

  95. jammy says:

    Hi,

      I have a question which is confusing me. I recently got interviewed at MS. of the 4 interviews 3 went very well and 1 was Ok sort of. I was not sure of result, but next day, I got a mail from recruiter that they want to see my visa papers. I want to know if this means I am considered for the position or its ragular process for all if they happen to be on work Visa (I am on work Visa).

    Thanks

  96. HeatherLeigh says:

    Lynn – there should not be much walking. You may walk from a building to a cafeteria. But there are shuttles for going from one area of campus to another.

    jammy – you will have to ask that recruiter. I’m sorry, I don’t know.

  97. SEM says:

    This is the my personal favorite of the Microsoft interview blogs. I am interviewing in Redmond for the SAM position. Information has been nearly impossible to come across in regards to the exact duties of the position (even the recruiter couldn’t fill me in) and I also have heard nothing about the interviewing process for this position. Any advice you could give me would be extremely helpful.

    Thanks.

  98. HeatherLeigh says:

    SEM – what does SAM stand for? You should be able to look up a job description on the career site. I’d be pretty insistant that the recruiter send you a job desciption.

    Generally, the interview process here is consitent across roles. So what you see above should apply to your interview experience as well.

  99. SEM says:

    It is for the search account manager, focusing on paid search/paid inclusion. That I was able to gather. Gathering facts that specifically relate to client serving positions within the Microsoft adcenter division were what I was wondering about. It is a marketing position and I have been working within search engine marketing. I have just been hoping to find some interview tips that directly relate to this division of the company (programmers have no problem finding their information!)

    I guess that I can only assume my experience will mirror that of anyone else interviewing for a marketing position.

    If there is anything you could possibly help me out with, I would be forever in debt to you!

  100. Mike says:

    Heather,  

    I agree with many of the people above: this is an outstanding source of information.  Thank You.

    I am interviewing for an Associate Product Manager position and am curious about both the "case studies" mentioned above and the depth of marketing knowledge required.

    Will the case study questions be related to the area for which I am being considered, or just business in general?

    Will I be expected to discuss thoroughly the various aspects of marketing, or will the questions be more narrow in scope?

    Thank You,

    -Mike

  101. Jen says:

    Heather, you are fabulous.

    I had a phone interview with MS last week and I am waiting to hear back. The recruiter was so professional and unbelievably nice – very accomodating. I felt like I it was one of the best interviews where assessing my capabilities was concerned. This was a non technical position.

    Till the end of the interview that is. The person who interviewed me told me that he would forward my resume to a senior recruiter and only if HE likes my responses (which he had taken down) would I be called back. I don’t understand why the person who interviewed me is not making that decision. He just said that he is going to pass my resume on to his senior and then lets see what happens kind of a thing. The call lasted about 45 mins and I was dejected by the end. How could the person who interviewed me not decide on whether I should move on to the next round? If I was going to be judged on the basis of written answers, I could have emailed that to MS myself.

    If you could please throw some light on this and reduce my anxiety I would be very grateful.

    Thank you so much.

  102. John says:

    Heather,

    I was invited to a recruiting even in Cambridge early this week.  To my surprise, I never had a chance to talk to the recruiter neither I was clear as to what positions I was being considered for.   I talked to 4 tech leads, and the first three went very well and the 4th one I wasn’t able to resolve the problem I was given.  I was told I will hear back in 5 to 7 business days.  More than 40 people showed up, and I don’t even know how many positions they need to fill.

    Now, from your experience should I just forget about Microsoft because of the last interview not going well?

    Also, after an in-person interview even if the outcome is not an offer, would I hear back from the recruiters?  Or I just assume things didn’t work out if I don’t get an email in the next week?

    Your feedback is greately appreciated.

  103. HeatherLeigh says:

    Jen – sorry I didn’t respond sooner. It sounds like you had a conversations with a screener, not a recruiter. I hate to hear that you left the experience with a less than positive feeling. Did anything happen after that?

    John – with those types of events, we usually have a number of similar positions. The intent is to really get you in front of the hiring team (and it sounds like this happened). You should definitely hear back from the recruiter. If they said they would respond, they absolutely should. Please let me know if that doesn’t happen and I will ping the recruiter involved. We are usually good at executing these events so I suspect you will hear back. It’s hard to tell the result from how you think things went in the last interview. Sometimes the intervierws can be really challenging because we push people to the limit of their knowledge. So don’t give up hope yet. 🙂

  104. maverick says:

    Hi Heather,

    I am a college hire candidate (will be graduating this december..hopefully).. I went through 5 interviews with the Visual Studio Team fr a PM position. 3 days later my recruiter e-mailed me n said that my interviews went well and that Visual Studio would like to make me an offer.

    But the very next day she called me up and said that there is no offer on the table and that the team has to pause and think about further steps and she’ll let me know what happens. She mentioned again n again that i had done very well and she had jumped the gun.

    I am a bit confused now. I don’t know whether its got anything to do with me or with some internal team matter.

    But i have to say, i really enjoyed the whole experience and the opportunity to talk to brilliant people who created Azure, ASP.NET etc….

    My recruiter too i must say, has been very kind and helpful throughout and its been an enjoyable experience…i am just curious about what is happening?? Can you please shed some light on this.. Thanks…

  105. HeatherLeigh says:

    maverick – hmm, I am not sure but my guess is that it’s an internal matter. But I don’t know for sure. Just make sure to stay in touch with that recruiter (I’d say no more than once a week if things stretch on).

  106. maverick says:

    Thanks Heather….i am actually amazed…the first comment on this post is dated 22 march 2004 and its been almost four and half years and you are still answering questions…thanks again..

  107. HeatherLeigh says:

    I try to respond to all comments! I have a tool that pings me when there’s a new one, so it’s relatively easy. And you are very welcome!

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  108. maverick says:

    yeah, i am keeping my fingers crossed too..my recruiter mailed me back today and told me that she would let me know the decision, one way or the other before the end of this week, so hopefully i won’t have to wait much longer..its the waiting that kills me…

    and thanks for keeping your fingers crossed too 🙂

  109. maverick says:

    Hi Heather,

    My recruiter called me back today and told me that the delay was because the position had been filled otherwise i would have got it. 🙁

    But she said that they want me to come back to Redmond in mid-Dec to interview with the Office team. 🙂

    So it starts all over again..back to ground zero…hehe…..on the positive side, i get one more chance to prove myself… 😉

  110. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hey maverick, ground zero except you have already been through a round of interviews so you know what’s coming. I went through interviews with 3 groups before I joined. Keep the faith 🙂

  111. Murali says:

    Hi Heather,

    I had MS interview for SDET at Redmond on 18th May 2009. There were 5 rounds altogether and I was pretty sure I did well. I was told that the result would be given before the weekend (i.e. before 22nd May)..but I didn’t get any mail/phone call so far from my recruiter..How should I interpret this? Is it too early to jump to a conclusion? I am really confused and this wait is really painful..

  112. Radu says:

    Hi Heather. Thanks for this great blog!

    I recently interviewed for MS. I had to fly to Redmond from the East coast. The outcome was disappointing — I was called two days later by the recruiter and was told that the team had decided not to move forward with the hiring process. I think that both the team and I sensed during the interview that we were not "clicking" as well as we should have. I think the feeling was mutual. However, I am still very much interested in working for MS, so my question is — do you guys have an internal policy on second- and third- interviews? What is the potential impact of this disappointing outcome on my ability to interview with Microsoft in the future? Will the recruiters/HRs filter out applicants/candidates who already interviewed and were given a "no-hire" feedback?

    Thank you in advance for your time!

  113. Venky says:

    Hi Heather,

    First of all thank you very much for being such a wonderful contributor. Thank you for taking your time out to answer various questions and I hope you will be able to answer mine too.

    I wanted to know the interview process for a country marketing manager position in the middle east, that I can expect? Will I need to go to Redmond or will it be dealt in the region itself? What kind of questions can I expect, will it be puzzle based or case based?

    Thanks in advance. I love the work you do and would be highly obliged and grateful if you could answer my query.

  114. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hi Venky,

    For positions based in the middle east, the interviews should all take place in the location. The exceptions would be if the position reports up through someone in Redmond (or another location) and/or there’s a significant partner or customer based here that would be invovled in selecting the individual for the role. My guess would be that your interviews would all be in the location where the position resides.

    As far as types of questions, I wouldn’t expect puzzle type questions for a marketing position. I think you are on the right track with the case questions!

    Good luck, Venky! I hope your interviews go well!

  115. Venky says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks a lot for your very quick reply. I just wanted to know who is a CPE and CSI lead?

  116. HonestIndian says:

    Your recruitment blogs say great things about getting into Microsoft..etc etc.I also worked in US at your locations…but I find except a few committed inidividual, mostly lazy managers, who allocate more work to contractors and go for trainings or play politics of region and community grabs into their own departments.. how come those guys are getting into this highly screened barriers?

    For example, I closely work with Indian parts, horrible office politics run around the office… and low technical and with nasty attitude guys raised to higher up positions…

    can somebody write exactly true and facts about those brances…?

    I love microsoft for its innovations but lot of low valued invidividuals coming in also… can you guys introspect into company loose ends soon and wish you good luck!

  117. HeatherLeigh says:

    Honest Indian – interseting feedback. I think that we would have to know more specifics of the situation: what locations you worked at, what groups, etc., to be able to do anything about it. Feel free to shoot me an email to share and I’ll make sure to get it over tothe HR person there. I am sure that they will appreciate the feedback.

    Thanks!

  118. opa-opa says:

    Hi Heather, thanks a lot for creating this awesome blog.

    I just had a tech interview at Microsoft which I thought was going well… but ended a bit abruptly when after the 3rd interview, the guy told me to wait in the room, then came back and said the 4th guy is busy and won’t be able to meet me, and that I am free to go early. So I left, without even meeting my recruiter. And I didn’t know what to think at that point because usually when they cut the interview off early it’s a bad sign, right? But what if the guy was really busy? BTW I felt that I did well with all 3 previous interviewers (solved all their coding problems, gave reasonable answers, etc). So I totally didn’t expect this situation…

    I got an email back from my recruiter the next day saying she was sorry for not being able to meet me (supposedly she was in "training" the whole day) and that she will provide me some feedback next week.

    So I’m just wondering what you think? Should I expect the worse and just move on? Or is there some hope?

  119. Marketing Guy says:

    Hi,

    I have a bachelors degree in Computer Science and an MBA in Marketing.  I have been working with Siemens over the last couple of years after my MBA in a generalist role. I want to join Microsoft in India. What I want to find out is, are there marketing positions in India? When I say Marketing, I don’t mean sales.

  120. HeatherLeigh says:

    Marketig guy…heh, yeah, I know the difference between marketing and sales, but a lot of people don’t 🙂 Our open positions in India would be listed here: http://www.microsoft.com/india/careers/search.aspx

    Looks like there are a few open right now.  

  121. Alex says:

    Hello. I havce an interview with the TAM team, do u have any extra advice?

  122. David says:

    Hey, I just wanted to thank you for this blog. I read most of the comments and this submission and it really helped me know what to expect and I am excited to say i got a job offer!  I was extremely well prepared for the interviews and part of that was because of your help so thank you again.

    Best,

    David

  123. HeatherLeigh says:

    Awww, David! Thank you for letting me know. I truly hope that this signals your intention to accept the offer! All the credit goes to you for being smart enough to do some research before your interviews and for kicking a little you-know-what in your interviews! Yipee!

  124. Ray says:

    Hey,

    I'm a student in Canada and have an interview with a recruiter from Microsoft Enterprise Marketing, Canadian Head Office. The interview is 60 minutes long. Most of my co-op interviews are about 20 – 30 minutes long. Should I expect something very different in this interview? An aptitude test/skill testing question possibly?

    Your blog is great! Thanks for all the info.

    – Ray

  125. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hi Ray – no formal test that I know of. I think your interviewer will try to get a sense of what you are looking for in addition to getting  a sense of your fit for the role. You'll probably get some case study questions. Really, those are ideal for students. I'm surprised that anyone feels they can *really* interview you in 20-30 minutes.

    Good luck with the interview! I'll be sending good interview juju your way!

  126. Dd says:

    Hi, I have an interview today. Position as TAM. Any extra advise for me..??/ knee shacking,the whole body shacking now….

  127. HeatherLeigh says:

    Aw, I wished I saw your comment yesterday. Sorry. Don't worry about the shaking. We get that a lot. It's totally normal. I hope it went well! I feel bad for not seeing this and offering more advice but if you read some of the interview related posts on here, they probably sum up what I would have told you.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  128. MN says:

    HI, HeatherLeigh

    Greeting for the day,I am not from US but i got a email from  for Interview at Microsoft- Premier Field Engineer- Media Room, i had  telephonic interview with three different people at different time, my recruiter told me that they will let me know about the interview and will let me know what the next steps would be, if any.

    Can you you please let me know what does that means and what is the procedure for selecting the candidate from a foreign country,if make it further how many more rounds to go???

    Thank you very much

    MN

  129. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hi MN, That just means that they will get back to you with the results of the interview and let you know if they would like to have you come in for face-to-face interviews. That is my assumption, at least. I can't imagine them making a final decision just off of phone interviews.

    Good luck!

  130. MN says:

    Hi Heather thanks for taking time and replying to each and  everybody, really that's so nice of you.

    i haven't heard from my recruiter since last seven days dunno whether that's ends of my journey but whatever maybe  the result i expect the answer from them, instead of nothing

  131. HeatherLeigh says:

    No problem about responding to everyone. I just added back my setting to get an email ping when someone comments (not sure how that got un-set), so if I am online, I can generally get right back.

    As far as expecting to hear from a recruiter, as much as I would love for that to be the process, it's not feasible. We receive so many applicants that we cannot respond to each one. But if a recruiter does feel there is a match for your background, they will contact you directly. Though I have to say that a week isn't very long to wait. So don't get discouraged.

    I hope a recruiter finds a match for your background!

  132. MN says:

    Well , i am not expecting to hear from recruiter about my job application, but for the result of three round of telephonic interview that i had with Microsoft, i finished my third interview on 22 Oct still no reply,

    should i mail them and ask them for  the feedback of the interview or should i presume that my interview was not good enough to impress them

  133. HeatherLeigh says:

    Ah, OK. Yes, you should email them back, for sure! Sorry you haven't heard anything yet and yes, you should definitely expect a response. You should not have to assume. You should get a response. Why don't you email them today and if you don't hear anything by next Monday, you can send me the name of the recruiter and I will get in touch with them. My email address is heathham@microsoft.com.

    I'm happy to follow up on the phone interviews on your behalf.

  134. MN says:

    Thank you so much, i today i have mailed you the details of the recruiter, as i haven't heard from them till today

  135. MN says:

    after your mail i again asked the recruiter for feedback but no reply i suppose Microsoft is not interested in me, but what so secretive about not sharing with the interview results.

    Anyways thank you very much for all your time and guidance

  136. AC says:

    Hi Heather, I have completed 6 rounds of interview with MS people and they have called me yesterday for the final round F2F with the Director. The recruiter was very good still yesterday and told me that he will get back to me by the end of the day. I have not have received any phone call from him yet and also he is not picking up my phone calls. Does that mean I have been rejected by them?

  137. YB says:

    Hi Heather,

    I had 6 interviews on site right before Christmas. My recruiter said that after my interview she will follow-up with me in a few days with feedback, "but if you have questions in the mean time do not hesitate to reach out to me". After two weeks of silence i asked her for feedback but got no reply! I just don't understand what is a right thing for me to do in this situation…Thank you very much,

    YB

  138. HeatherLeigh says:

    If you want to send me your name and the name of the recruiter, I can ask them to folow up with you.

    AC, I hope you mean 6 interviews and not 6 rounds.

    Anyway, I sus pct that the last 2 posts are the same person/ Feel free to sendme the info by email and I will follow up. I am at Heathham at Microsoft dot com/

  139. YB says:

    Hi Heather,

    Today I received an email from them: "This was a difficult decision as you bring many excellent skills to the table, but the team felt another candidate was a closer fit to the ideal."

    Naturally, I'm upset.

    Can I apply to another position in Microsoft immediately, or I need to wait for a while?

    Thank you so much – anyway.

    YB

    P.S. AC and me – are NOT the same person:)

  140. HeatherLeigh says:

    There is no waiting period. Feel free to apply again right away! You might even ask the recruiter if the interview feedback suggests that the type of role you interviewed for is the right type of role (for example, PM, developer, etc.). That might help you select the roles to apply for; always easier to do a search on the career site with a little filtering down!

  141. YB says:

    Hi Heather,  to get feedback from you so quickl – just amazing! Thank you for this blog. It really helps people.

    YB

  142. I've been scheduled for 2 back to back days for 2 different Finance positions with different groups. Any advice? From what I hear the days can be pretty grueling and 2 back to back would be even tougher.

  143. College Student says:

    Hello Heather,

    I am considering applying for the Associate Product Manager Internship. My question is, how many hours of work would that involve? The reason I ask is because I am still in school and am wondering if the hours would interfere with school?

    Thanks!

  144. HeatherLeigh says:

    Needit…I posted a big long answer and now I don't see it here….booo! Not sure what I did! I doubt I can find it somewhere but let me see what I can do.

    College Student – they are 12 week full-time internships over the summer. All the info is on http://www.microsoft.com/college so you can find out more about the positions and apply there.

  145. Heather,

    Hopefully, you can find your previous response, because if it was lengthy I' sure it contained several helpful hints.

    By the way I've had problems logging in and posting too.

  146. Heather,

    My big days are coming up soon. Any advice or hints?

  147. HeatherLeigh says:

    Let's see if I can paraphrase…some of this may be in the post or comments above. I'm not that original 🙂 Just trying to do a brain dump here…

    1) Careful with the caffeine, etc. Can make people jittery

    2) Good night sleep the night before each day

    3) Bring a protein bar with you..put it in a pocket or somewhere.

    4) Expect that the interviewers will have talked to each other in-between each hour long interview…so you might get follow up questions

    5) I always prepared by making a list of questions I thought would be asked (why are you looking,etc) and think through the answers

    6) I always had some questions to ask the interviewers when they asked if I had any. You ALWAYS get asked. I tend to ask about their personal experiences (what kind of work they did before their current role and whether a particular type of experience in their backgrond was helpful to them, if the team communication is more formal or informal, that kind of thing). I feel like asking questions to which there is one right answer makes you run out of questions very early on

    7) Spend some time researching the Microsoft interview process (what I suspect you are doing now) and any groups you are interviewing with. They would expect you to have done this.

    8) Don't be afraid to have an opinion. Be willing toi defend it, open to changing your mind

    9) When answering  any kind of case study or scenario questions, help the interviewer understand how you got to the answer versus just giving the answer you think is right.

    I wish I had another one top-of-mind to make an even ten 🙂

    Hope this helps! Good luck with your interviews! I hope you come back and let us know what happens!

  148. Oana says:

    I interviewed with Microsoft in June last year and didn't get selected. I admit I wasn't prepared, I was nervous and I was interviewing for a SDE II position which was a little high for my level then. My friends working for MIcrosoft told me that if it were a SDE position I would have been hired. Anyhow, since then I kept applying for SDE positions and I didn't get any phones/emails, although I am careful to apply only for those that are a fit.

    How long should I wait before the recruiters start reconsidering me again?

  149. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hi Oana,

    There is no set amount of time. When you ask how long you should wait for the recruiters to start contacting you, I'm trying to understand what you mean. You are waiting for the recruiters to start contacting you before you…??? Before you apply for other jobs? Before you give up hope of working at Microsoft?

    I say never to put all your eggs in one basket. If you are actively looking for a new position, you should be reaching out to several companies. Obviously, since I work for Microsoft, I want us to have the pick of the best talent out there. But at the same time, I want you to do what is best for you as well. If you have expectations of getting a call within a specific period of time, I don't want you to be disappointed, or put off doing what is best for you.

    Whether or not a recruiter contacts you depends on so many factors and there really isn't any one reason I can point to as to why a recruiter isn't contacting you right now. Sometimes, it is just a matter of timing. Ask your friend if he/she can refer you for the open positions. If they have any questions on how to do that, have them contact me (I am in the global address book and am the only "Heather Hamilton" here).

    Now if you aren't actively looking, are happy in your job, and were only considering Microsoft because you have always wanted to work here, it's your dream company,  etc., well…I would give you the same advice about having your friend refer you (and I would caution you about applying to too many positions…5 is OK, ten would be pushing into "too many"). But then I would also say that it may be a matter of just being patient until a recruiter sees a match between your background and the qualifications of the position.

    I know, I know…someone saying "be patient" isn't that helpful. But I think that if you are trying to get a sense of whether there is something wrong on our end, I'd say don't jump to that assumption (I'd probably do the same thing and I wonder if that is just your personality like it is mine!). It's good that you interviewed and were able to narrow in on other roles. So now you have an even better idea where you should focus your efforts!

  150. Oana says:

    The "waiting" period I was referring to is the one I kept reading on internet about. I kept bumping into posts that say there is no point applying before 6 months/1 year after you got rejected, because of the fact you are not local and is too expensive to get you there . I understand that, I mean if you got rejected today probably you won't be more prepared tomorrow.

    Also if there are 7-8 jobs a week that fit my profile on which should I apply? I do have 7 years of experience working with C#, but unfortunately I haven't worked with a lot of data structures or problems that are asked during the interview, so even if I can do the actual job (which requires for instance to code in C#, which doesn't use linked lists per say) if I can't do linked lists problems i won't get hired. I know is more complex than that, the interview doesn't asses the actual capacity of doing the job, but your capacity of working anywhere in Microsoft so I am ok with that. But because of my lack of knowledge in data structures (which I am learning) i try to apply just for SDE jobs which except for those requiring C++ most of them match my profile. So how do I filter them out?

  151. HeatherLeigh says:

    OK, all good points.  I think your questions will help other people too.

    First…don't listen to the people that say there is a "waiting period". They don't know what they are talking about. Seriously. Sometimes the info you find on the internet is worth what you paid for it. People are know-it-alls when they get to be anonymous. Even more so if they feel that they should have been selected for something but weren't. They shouldn't blame a phantom "waiting period."

    When I interviewed, I flew out and met with one group. When it was decided that I wasn't a fit for that group, I was asked to fly in to meet with 2 other teams. I ended up not being able to do it due to work commitments (and frankly, not wanting to put up red flags at my job that I was interviewing), so we actualy did the interview over video teleconference. Gotta say that it was pretty darn cool back in 1999 and people are usually surprised to hear that I didn't meet my team in person until my first day. Anyway, my point is that because they thought I could be a fit for these other groups, they were willing to fly me back out.

    About the number of jobs…only apply to the ones that best fit your background. If they are looking for experience in something that you don't have, move along and focus on jobs where you meet all of the requirements. OR (becasue it sounds l ike you are earlier in your career), pick the groups that most interest you. Keep in mind that it's probably the same recruiter supporting all the similar roles in a given group, so if they see your resume, they can definitely consider you for other positions (in which cse they will ask you to apply for those other positions specifically).

    There are SOOOOO many SDE jobs requiring C++. You just have to find a way of narrowing it down. That is just my opinion. When I was rercuiting for my hiring teams, I would see someone that had applied to 50 jobs and think to myself "Really? Do they seriously think they are a match for all those jobs? And shouldn't they be more selective?" I have had people tell me that they will do any job to get into Microsoft and that really doesn't give the best impression. Fact is that the best talent out there SHOULD be selective. You want to position yourself as someone who is in-demand.

    Have you contacted your friend inside Microsoft to set up a time to talk yet? I seriously encourage you to leverage that connection. They should have insight into different groups and if they know you fairly well can help guide you based on the kind of work you would most like to do. Maybe you can set up some time to do some research online about all our products/groups and spend some time with your buddy talking about some of them to gain additional insight.

    Don't get discouraged! I know so many people here that didn't get hired on the first interview.

  152. HI Heather,

    Thanks for your advice about my interviews.

    I'm happy to report that I've been made an offer and accepted!

    Now the difficult work begins, the transition and move.

  153. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yay! I am so excited for you! There will be plenty difficult work waiting for you after you start too! 🙂

    Congratulations!

  154. Justin says:

    Hi Heather,

    At what point does MS do a background check?

  155. HeatherLeigh says:

    After the offer is accepted and before the start date, as far as I know. That's what it was when I was a recruiter and I don't think it has changed.

  156. Tim says:

    Hi,

      I was just wondering what role do referrals play in the hiring decision of a candidate. I have read that in most places, having a referral increases your chances by many times. I know of good candidates who have been rejected and mediocre candidates getting into companies just because they had a referral from an employee. I think this is unfair to many people who cannot get an referral.

    Thanks

  157. Finance says:

    I am going to have an in person interview for a finance role at Microsoft. I am not sure what to expect for the all day interview. Has anyone been through the process? I'd appreciate any guidance.

  158. I have been interviewed by three different interviewers. But some other candidates were interviewed by 4 interviewers. Does it necessarily speak of having passed the interview or failing it?

  159. I have been interviewed by three different interviewers. But some other candidates were interviewed by 4 interviewers. Does it necessarily speak of having passed the interview or failing it?

  160. Jtwin says:

    Thank you Heather and everyone else for your insights. I have an interview tomorrow that I am both excited and nervous about: this blog and its contributors have helped ease my nerves as I feel better prepared by understanding the interview process.

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