Microsoft Account Executive Interview Questions & Reviews
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Account Executive Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – Quick after shortlisted. Hiring mgr/team put in a lot of work to put together the onsite interview. All interviewers were prepared and addressed specific areas of the role. Friendly people and put me at ease immediately. Hiring mgr and recruiter spent time preparing me for the day.
Interview Question – The interview which isn't on the agenda and not prep'd for. You get there only if you get the thumbs up from all the previous interviews. Answer Question
Account Executive Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 3+ months - interviewed at Microsoft in February 2011.
Interview Details – Very formal process here:
After a resume has been found suitable, External or Internal, the Primary or Secondary Recruiter completes a HR screen and assesses suitability and validity of the resume for immediate or future open positions and communicates accordingly with the candidates. The next logical step could be a resume review by the sales interviewers or hiring managers for external candidates and an informational interview for internal candidates.
When a resume is found suitable the recruiting coordinator initiates the interview schedules by sending the resumes hiring manager or to a designated interviewer as agreed with the hiring manager. The recruiting coordinator usually is in phone conversation with the candidate to verify a good fit and interest in the position.
On completion of at least 3 rounds of in-person interviews with the surround sales team, one technical and at least two sales personnel will interview the candidate individually. Based on a positive feedback which confirms the candidate's expertise in the skills and competencies as described in the job description, the recruiting coordinator typically schedules a in-person meeting with the hiring manager.
The hiring manager reviews the feedback of the previous interviews, submitted electronically, and interviews the candidate to make a hire or no hire decision from a position and role perspective. He / She would also assess the candidate's fitment to the group, the specific assignment that the candidate is being interviewed for and provide recommendations. After the hiring manager has found a candidate suitable an “As Appropriate” (AA) interviewer interviews the candidate for long term fitment to Microsoft.
If the candidate is selected by the AA interviewer, he/she along with the hiring manager and the Senior Recruiter together discuss the specific details of the offer and start the offer process.
On completion or termination of the interview loop when a candidate is hired or not hired the recruiting coordinator updates the feedback tracking tool with the final updates the offer details or dis-positioning details of the candidates and closes the interview process formally and sends appropriate communication to the candidate and other involved in the process.
Interview Question – Behavioral questions are targeted at past behavior. These types of questions
provide an opportunity for the interviewer to get actual, concrete examples
from past experiences. The basic premise is that a candidate's past
behavior/performance is a good predictor of future behavior/performance.
Hypothetical questions are targeted at how a candidate would act in a
future-oriented and realistic business situation.
Cross Boundary Collaboration is the practice of effectively working with
individuals and organizations outside of one’s immediate work area or span
of control. People who exhibit this competency create increased benefits and
successes through collaborating and sharing ideas and resources.
Impact and Influence is the ability to generate support from others to
achieve the desired business outcomes. It also involves taking advantage of
opportunities to make a difference and have an impact. People who exhibit
this competency apply it in a planned and strategic way — never randomly.
They motivate people to want to follow them even when they don't have to.
Interpersonal Awareness is the desire to understand other people. It is the
ability to accurately hear and understand others’ spoken and unspoken or
partly expressed thoughts, feelings, and concerns. People who exhibit this
competency understand the reasons for another’s behavior, even when that
behavior is subtle or complex.
Business Acumen is understanding how a company operates, financially and
strategically, within an industry. People who exhibit this competency
recognize the implications of external market changes for internal systems
and recommend possible courses of action. They are adept at analyzing key
business drivers, and they build personal credibility based on business
People Acumen is the insight about and perspective on human behavior that
make it possible to identify, acquire, develop, and retain top talent that
will enhance organizational performance.
Systems Thinking. People who demonstrate this competency identify the root causes of problems through an expanded, holistic view instead of looking at smaller, discrete
parts or symptoms in isolation. They take into account the full range of
interactions among all parts of an issue or challenge.
Trusted Advisor is who the person, the client, or peer consults for
reflective thinking and insight. People who exhibit this competency have a
unique perspective on people systems issues. They guide others' thinking,
facilitate the resolution of difficult issues, and help clients and peers to
fully develop their own capabilities. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – The negotiation was informal, over the phone is discussing the entire compensation plan to include, base salary, commission of RBI sales, and of a CBI bonus. I also negotiated a stock ‘grant” which was vested over five years and a cash bonus vested over two years. Over a casual conversation, the Manager will verify the offer verbally before he places it in the system so that it will be approved by Corp, then set to you for approval via email. You can obviously understand that the Manager will want to get a verbal from you before this process so it speeds everything up.
In an overall sales position total obtainment, there is a standard base salary, which determines the level between L-59 to L-65. They may use letters in this case which would translate to the actual ‘level’. Then there is the RBI and CBI bonus. The RBI and CBI bonus, for sales plans, 76% of your base salary. In this 76% equation, RBI is the sales bonus for actually revenue sold and is 51% of the total 76% equation. There are kickers after you reach OTE, but doesn’t effect CBI. The CBI bonus is the ‘political and tenure bonus’ and is determined, by management, on how well you did with customer satisfaction, internal obligations and essentially, your manager discretion. CBI is multi-faceted combination of a stock bonus, cash bonus and potential pay raise. With all this combined, you acquire OTE, if you make 100% of your committed quota. For US Defense sales with US National Security Clearances, there is a added 22-26% security bonus.
Please keep in mind several important factors in OTE. It’s deceptive, and the Manager knows this, but won’t disclose… First off, any stock grant you receive during the negotiation or at the end of year review (which happens in Sept) will be amortized over a five-year period, with the first vesting occurring in the future year. You will not se the first vested allocation for one year, so deduct that from your first years total comp. Secondly, CBI is a witching game and determined by a socialist ranking game. The rankings and the EOY are 1-5, with 1 being top performer and 5 being your on a ‘plan’. Only 10% of the managers DR’s can allocate a 1 rating, and 20% to 2, and 30% to 3. The ranking determines a tiered level of CBI bonus allocated, and even this is determined by your manager. For example, you could be a ranking of 3, but get a low allocation or mixture of stock, cash and raise. For a serious and real example of this… read Vanity Fairs article in the “downfall of Microsoft innovation”. I lived through it as a top performer, and it’s a political mess that senior ‘C’ level exec’s designed to remove the waste… but didn’t calculate political capital between the managers . SO in ending, don’t believe the OTE total comp package… just deduct or expect a very low allocation your first year.
Account Executive Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2010.
Interview Details – The interview process consisted of a 1 hour presentation of the role, a half hour phone screen and then 5 interviews all with sales managers, directors and HR. Though everyone was nice, five hours of interviewing was a bit exhausting. The standard questions were what are your career goals? Walk me through your resume.etc. However, most of the interview focused on selling and relationship building skills. Several give me an example of questions- leadership, dealing with a difficult employee, an accomplishment your most proud of etc. They also asked several relationship based selling questions- What tactics do you use to build relationships with customers etc. I have a bacground in sales so this part wasn't very difficult. I didn't receive an offer but I think it was mainly becauwe I didn't display enough passion for tech and the company. Even if you have relevant experience I think this is extremely important to them
Interview Question – What do you have that all of the other top candidates don't have if you take out, background, experience, leadership, customer passion and most everything else? Answer Question
Account Executive Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2011.
Interview Details – Headhunted from oil and gas company, had 6 interviews in total, took about a month
Interview Question – What is your name? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Offer was standard plus sign on bonus
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