Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
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Helpful (5)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through other source. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Microsoft.
The process starts with "informational" interviews where you are vetted, either by HR or the hiring manager. If you are chosen as a finalist you will go through an "interview loop" with a half dozen or so people. If the hiring manager is on top of it, he/she will have a strategy where each of the interviewers is asked to explore (aka: drill down) on a particular area of expertise, as well as a specific core value. (This is the company core values, such as integrity, transparency, etc..) They will ask for examples of how you've dealt with different situations, including examples of things that did not go well and how you responded. They will ask about strengths and weaknesses. They are usually prepared and in the majority of cases are friendly (and many are as nervous as you are). It's more important to demonstrate how you think than what you actually did. Do your homework and be prepared. After each interview, the interviewer is supposed to post their "hire" or "no hire" recommendation for the rest of the upcoming interviewers, with comments to explain your rating, as well as instructions for the next interviewer, e.g. "drill down on the candidate's experience with people development and collaboration skills". People are inconsistent in this process and so you won't know if the next interviewer did or did not see comments from the prior interview. Assume they did and if there's something you want to clarify that you thought didn't go well, do it. E.g. "I would like to clarify my comments to the prior interviewer regarding my experience with ABC. In addition to 1, and 2, I also did 3 and 4 which may have more relevance to this role." There is always the "as appropriate" interview which generally is the GM or VP (depending on the level you're interviewing for) whose valuable time isn't given to candidates that are not likely to make the cut. If you get the "as appropriate" interview, you're doing well!
- Unexpected: "When you look at your core circle of friends, are they from school, work, organizations, or other activity?" I'm really not sure if they were allowed to ask this, but I was certainly not prepared for such a question. Answer Question
You can negotiate within parameters. There will be a salary range and you can explore the top level. Signing bonuses are available, ask for it. Remember to negotiate vacation for senior level positions. Discuss what "level" the position is and cover the criteria for the next level to see if you're actually there and could be bumped a level at the outset, or add a clause to get an interim level-bump after six months (if the annual review period is further away).
- No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a staffing agency – interviewed at Microsoft in April 2014.
The interview process is lengthy and involves many people. And, everyone has to like you. Typically there is an interview loop consisting of at least 5 people (at least in this group). After each interview, the interviewer writes a report and it goes immediately to the others in the loop. How this report is written can have a direct impact on whether you have a opportunity to move forward. If you are "off" with one person your chances of progressing down the line are limited.
- Describe a significant failure in your career and what you learned from it. Answer Question
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ months – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in April 2011.
Eight calls over six weeks with recruiter and hiring manager. One day of interviews with six people in Redmond. Offer made same day.
- None - to be honest despite a large number of people the questions were straightforward 1 Answer
Negotiated salary up a little and stock up a little. NOTE - decline the relocation - tax implications are so bad and fees are so padded you are actually better off paying for it yourself.
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied in-person. The process took 2 days – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in November 2010.
This was an internal interview process.
6 Different stakeholders particiapting in it
- As a manager who you will hire in your new position? 1 Answer
Remmember that lateral moves in MS don't imply any level or salary improvement, only the posibility
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in August 2009.
Microsoft is very thorough and has a lot of hiring experience. They added over 50,000 employees in 2000-2010, and even though recently they have had lay-offs they are still hiring. I found the process to be pretty straight-forward and clear. They are, of course, a big company. So sometimes the communication can break down. For example, recruiters are reassigned due to re-orgs and applications get dropped. This is normal, you just have to stay on top of it. You need to bring your A-game into the interviews and be very prepared, knowing all the details about the group and company. Even if you think you've done your homework, keep going. You've probably not uncovered all the minute details that affect your interviewer.
Overall, a great company with a solid recruiting team.
- You've recently joined a business group that is struggling to deliver an online service. The product team says everything looks good and doesn't know why the service is failing. You have two weeks to figure it out. What do you do? 1 Answer
- No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
The process took 1 day – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in March 2009.
Process was very straightforward with them scheduling a series of 6 one hour interviews. Each interviewer drilled into a particular topic and is was clear that the earlier interviewers were giving the later ones areas to probe.
After the interview, the process of getting to an offer took a couple weeks. They had another candidate they preferred and did keep me hanging while they tried to close this person first.
- Why would you want this job when it is in an area where Microsoft has a poor track record of success? 2 Answers
Helpful (1)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied online. The process took 2+ months – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in March 2008.
Straightforward and unexpectedly easy. 4 interviewers with one "as appropriate" at the end. All packed into one day. I received my offer the next day.
- Nothing stands out as difficult . . . typical questions included what failures have you had, examples of dealing with complexity and ambiguity, scenario-based questions, strengths and development areas. Best question was "what do you stand for?" Answer Question
Yes, I was able to secure much more stock than originally offered.
Helpful (1)No OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied in-person. The process took a week – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in January 2008.
First round is with 3 individuals who can then vote 'no' and then no further interviews are conducted.
- If you had to sell a new TV model to the world, what is your market size by geography? To determine this #, I had to know the approximate population of the world in each region (Asia, North America, Europe, India, etc). I barely could recall the population of the world at that time! (I've since committed it to memory) ;-) Answer Question
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months – interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in January 2008.
The gateway is usually a recruiter then the hiring manager. Afterwards there is a loop with 4-5 people. Each usually has a different role in the evaluation.
- Nothing special Answer Question
I took what they gave me. It was above and beyond what I'd ever earned.
Helpful (1)Declined OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
The process took 4 weeks – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in August 2007.
This was an internal interview. It is totally up to the candidate to source jobs, get interviews, follow up, etc. HR is totally useless for moving around internally and there really isn't any internal recruiting support. External candidates get more support interviewing at MS than internal ones do unless you happen to have a good manager who takes an interest in your career (few do). .
- Why are you looking for a new job. Answer Question
Reasons for Declining
Decided to leave the company instead
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