Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
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Helpful (1)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied in-person. The process took 1 day – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in June 2011.
Interview consisted of a manager interview, a peer interview, a peer+ level interview and finally the "as needed" general manager interview.
- What is your 30 day/60 day/90 day plan for this job? 1 Answer
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Microsoft (Bellevue, WA) in June 2011.
I worked at MSFT for 6 years and left about 5 years ago. The hiring manager for this position and I had a mutual friend, thus the interview. I had a phone interview with recruiter then a scheduled full in-person loop with 5 team members. All interviews went well and I made it to the 'as appropriate' interviewer. Typically at MSFT they reserve one high-level person to pop in as the last interviewer if everyone else has given you a thumbs up. Recruiter then went and checked my references. All seemed good, but she called back quickly and said that the team decided to go with another candidate, which seemed odd. She didn't give detailed feedback as to what I was missing vs the other candidate.
- Why do you want to come back to Microsoft? Answer Question
Helpful (7)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in February 2011.
After submitting my resume, I got contacted for a phone interview (I don't live in the Redmond area). The phone interview was with an HR person and lasted about 45 minutes. There wer typical behavioral questions (tell me about a time when..), and also a few marketing questions about products that I thought were marketed well, how I would improve those products. There was also a question about designing an alarm clock for the blind.
A few weeks later I received an email saying I made it through to the 2nd round. I went to the campus in Redmond as part of an interview day. There were 4 interviews scheduled for everyone participating in that day (all within the group I was applying for), each one lasting from 45 minutes to an hour with short few-minute breaks in between. All the interviewers were nice, but each interview was very different. They were all people that worked in the group that I was applying for (not HR).
My first interview was behavioral (tell me about a time when...), and asked very typical questions about why I wanted to work at Microsoft. It was very conversational, and it felt more like we were just talking about my resume, my skills, and my interests, rather than a formal interview.
The second interview was a case interview. My interviewer drew out a real Microsoft business problem on the white board and asked me questions about how I would approach the problem, what other information would I need, and what action I would recommend. After saying a few things, I got stuck, but my interviewer guided me along towards different areas to consider. In the end, there was something important that I had missed and my interviewer let me know what that was. There were also a few random questions like, describe a process to me as if I were a 7 year old child. I didn't think I did well in this interview, but it couldn't have been that bad because later I got the offer.
The third interview was very focused on marketing (I was applying for a marketing position). I was asked about products that were marketed well and poorly. I think it was crucial to use a framework in answering this question (marketing mix), but again, the interview was very conversational, and my interviewer guided me in certain directions when I ran out of things to say about a certain product. There were also questions that tested creativity like, what are all the ways you could market ping pong balls if they could no longer be used for ping pong?
My last interview was the least structured. My interviewer basically let me have the entire hour to ask any questions I had about Microsoft. The interviewers talk to each other after each interview, so maybe I had already gotten a "Yes" from the first 3? Even though I only had a few questions to start with, as we talked, it became conversational so I asked additional questions based off the ongoing conversation. I think this was to gauge my interest in Microsoft and show that I knew enough about it to ask intelligent questions.
Some people in my group got called back for a 5th interview, and we all thought that a 5th interview meant that you did well (and only 4 interviews meant you were cut), but that turned out to be untrue, since I only had 4 interviews and I got an offer. To prep for the interviews, I would just prepare for business cases, marketing cases, research the company, research your group, and show your interest in technology and in Microsoft.
- There is a business unit within a large software company (Microsoft) that has X revenue, their expenses are increasing, their competitors are creating lower cost products, and their suppliers are putting pressure on costs from the supply side (there were a few other circumstances I don't remember). What would you do? What other information would you need? What questions would you ask? Answer Question
- How else could you market ping pong balls if ping pong itself became obsolete? (List many, then pick one and go into detail) Answer Question
- What was the hardest qusetion you were asked in the interview loop today? Answer Question
- Think of any process that you are familiar with (doesn't have to be software related) and explain it to me as if I were a 7 year old child. Answer Question
- What is a product you think is marketed well? How would you improve the marketing for it? Answer Question
One of the first things my recruiter said to me when I got the offer was that it was not negotiable at all. I actually received a better offer from another company, but ended up choosing Microsoft because of the culture and company reputation. I think they know they have that going for them.
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
The process took 1 day – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in February 2011.
This was a 30 minute screening interview. The interviewer was nice, and started the interview off with a behavioral question. "Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline". Then the interviewer asked me to design a microwave. I asked him questions like "who is our target audience". I'm not sure what he was looking for, whether he wanted to know technical skills or requirements gathering. It was all pretty vague. After that, the interviewer asked me to write a method that would remove every other node from a doubly-linked-list. I received an email about a week later letting me know they did not want to hire me.
- Design a method that removes every other node from a linked list. Answer Question
Helpful (2)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in September 2010.
3 rounds of interviews, all were pretty easy. The interviewers asked questions like:
Why do you want this job
What do you think about [specific division you're applying to]'s [specific problem]? How would you solve it?
I got a few macro-level questions about the industry and company strategy, but that probably varies by position.
- Asked specific questions about high level tech trends & things in the news Answer Question
One back and forth, and done. They are more flexible on levels than they are on salary from what I've noticed. Always go with the levels -- managers change so often that you can often request a pay increase in 6 months or so. However, if you're stuck in a lower level and already making the max pay, it's much harder to jump levels.
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 2+ months – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in July 2010.
Applied online, said I knew someone who worked there (true.) Lots of questions about why I had returned to Seattle after being gone many years. Was not asked the typical 'trick' Microsoft questions you find online. It seemed they really wanted experienced people who knew content (writing, grammar, etc) and throwing developer-type trick questions at interviewees was not the way to get a good hire. I showed several writing samples, etc. It was a positive experience, but I found another job before they offered me anything.
- Why did I want to be a content editor, (more of an individual contributor) rather than a senior-level content manager? 1 Answer
Helpful (3)No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 2 days – interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in March 2010.
The first round was held at our univeristy's career center and was a very short 30min 1:1 interview. Very casual, we talked about our backgrounds and then the interviewer proceeded to ask me a couple questions. 1) why microsoft and 2) favorite microsoft product + how would you improve this product (hint: they are looking for the marketing mix in your response)
2nd round was in seattle. I was in the hotel for 2 nights but only one day of interviews. Interviewed with three separate people for 1:1 interviews. We also had a group dinner which was very informal, and some of the interviewers were there (only 1 of my 3 showed up). THe interviews themselves all followed the same format - very behavioral based. Informal and the interviewers were very nice and caring. I had a great impression of Microsoft, their offices, people, and the way they treat their employees.
Helpful (2)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 2 days – interviewed at Microsoft (Bellevue, WA) in March 2010.
Interview process consisted of several 1:1 interviews with different members of the team. Questions mostly ranged from business strategy cases to various problem solving questions around the team's business. About 8 interviews in total. Had a fun day discussing several ideas with the teams. Be prepared with your analysis around several aspects of the industry.
- Should we launch a product in XYZ market? Why or Why not? Answer Question
Not much given the market.
- No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in March 2010.
First round was 30 minute phone interview with HR. She asked basic questions such as why MSFT, what's your favorite MSFT product, what's your career plan, tell me a product that was marketed very well.
Second round was 30 minute phone interview with Senior Product Manager. He asked me to give an example of a technical product that was marketed very well, and how would I compete with it if I were a competitor. He also asked how did I evaluate whether a marketing campaign is successful.
I haven't got feedback after second round.
- Tell me a technical product that was marketed very well. What exactly did they do? Answer Question
- Declined OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
The process took 2 days – interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, OR) in January 2010.
There was an interview on campus. After passing the initial screening, the next round was at HQ in Redmond. The interview consisted of meetings with HR as well as group managers from different divisions (e.g. SQL Server, Xbox, etc). Presumably this is to determine which group is the best fit, after passing the "fit test."
- Case question involving a diagram of a busy intersection and a retail outlet at one of the corners. The objective was to maximize the number of people to come in to the store. Answer Question
Reasons for Declining
Was not interested in the group that ended up extending the offer
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