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Inside the Microsoft Interview Process: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Last updated on: 
February 12, 2024
|
by 
Abhinav Rawat
The fast well prepared banner
About The Author!
Abhinav Rawat
Abhinav Rawat
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart. The skilled and experienced mastermind behind several successful product designs for upscaling the ed-tech platforms with an outcome-driven approach for skilled individuals.

Microsoft is among the most well-recognized tech firms that have dropped several theoretical questions and stressful brain teasers over the years. However, the interview process of Microsoft still stands as the toughest one to clear.

Not even 2% of candidates can clear Microsoft's interview process. However, the chances can be increased by clearly understanding the structure of the interview process and preparing for each round.

It is crucial to prepare yourself well for Microsoft’s interview process for experienced as well as fresher. You should have a combination of problem-solving skills, technical knowledge, and an in-depth understanding of the products and services offered by Microsoft. This will eventually increase the chances of your success, and you must also display your abilities well.

If you want to nail Microsoft's interview of a Microsoft data scientist, ensure to learn their aims, core values, and the developments made recently. Give your answers as per the job position that you have applied for. In addition, study the typical interview questions asked at Microsoft, with online resources and forms providing clues on what you must expect during your interview process.

In this article, we’ll learn:

  • Understanding the Microsoft Interview
    • Technical preparation
    • Study company values
    • Behavioral questions
    • Problem-solving skills
  • The Microsoft’s Interview Process
    • Step 1: Screening Call
    • Step 2: Technical Phone Interview
    • Step 3: Virtual On-site Interview
    • Step 4: Final On-site Interview
  • Preparing for the Microsoft’s Interview
  • The STAR(R) Framework
  • Understand Microsoft’s Culture
  • Upskill your Technical Concepts for the Microsoft Interview with IK
  • FAQs About the Microsoft Interview Process

Understanding the Microsoft’s Interview 

It is essential for you to have a detailed understanding of the interview process at Microsoft. Here are some of the key points that you must consider:

  • Technical preparation: The interviews taken at Microsoft consist of technical assessments. Hence, you must be prepared to present your skills in data structures, coding, algorithms, and other essential concepts. To sharpen your skills practice from online resources and coding challenges.
  • Study company values: Before presenting yourself for the interview, be familiar with the core values and goals of Microsoft. This will ensure that you align your answers with their requirements and show how you will be contributing to the company’s success.
  • Behavioral questions: Be prepared to encounter behavioral questions that will test your behavior in regard to how you handle real-world situations at your workplace.
  • Problem-solving skills: Microsoft prefers candidates who have robust problem-solving abilities. Hence, prepare yourself to clearly explain the process as to how you tackle complex situations and focus on showcasing your abilities.

Apart from the points discussed above, it is crucial that you remember each interview varies on the basis of the position and team. Hence, structure your preparation on the basis of your position and make sure to describe in detail about what contributions you will make to the company.

The Microsoft’s Interview Process

Refer to the points below and understand the procedure of Microsoft's interview.

Microsoft Interview Process
Interview Kickstart

Step 1: Screening call

At the beginning of Microsoft's interview, a recruiter acknowledges your CV and connects with you for a screening call. In the screening call step, you simply need to answer some basic questions and some behavioral questions. In this process, the recruit acknowledges your curiosity and capability to learn about you. 

They even monitor your problem-solving skills, team collaboration skills, and leadership abilities. This interview might take around 15 minutes. The recruiter might even discuss some technical questions with you to monitor your technical skills based on algorithms or data structures.

Step 2: Technical phone interview

Technical role candidates often go for the second round of phone interviews with Microsoft’s hiring representative. This call might happen in 1 to 2 weeks after the initial screening call. The recruiter provides you with an interview agenda that informs you about the questions and topics that might be discussed and what they expect from you. Ensure to do good research about the provided topics. Microsoft monitors that its technical candidates must have deep technical knowledge and must be capable of representing solutions and pointing out pros and cons.

Step 3: Virtual on-site interview

The on-site interviews at Microsoft are performed remotely. This process might include 4 to 5 interviews on a single day. Two interviewers carry out these interviews. Basically, the developers and the senior managers look after these processes and ask coding exercises and behavioral questions. These interviews might continue to get harder with senior and other higher-ranked interviewers.

Step 4: Final on-site interview

The on-site interview is also called an ‘As Appropriate’ interview. This is held with the senior manager, who holds the authority to extend you an offer or veto your entire candidacy. During this process, the successful candidates receive the offer letters in around one or two weeks and are then hired.

Preparing for the Microsoft’s Interview

Microsoft assesses six key competencies crucial for success in both the company and its employees during the interview process.

  1. Highlight instances where persuasive communication has led to successful outcomes, showcasing your ability to influence and impact others.
  2. Illustrate a strong commitment to achieving goals, tackling challenges, and ensuring accountability to exemplify the drive for results throughout the interview process.
  3. Emphasize a customer-centric mindset by aligning personal goals with Microsoft's mission of empowering individuals and organizations to achieve more.
  4. Demonstrate your judgment by discussing experiences where you effectively addressed complex problems and made well-informed decisions using business acumen.

The STAR(R) Framework

Master the STAR(R) framework to provide clear, focused, and specific responses to Microsoft's open-ended and conversational questions during the interviewing process:

  1. Situation: Clearly outline the context and details of the situation you faced.
  2. Task: Describe the specific task or goal you were required to accomplish.
  3. Action: Detail the actions and processes you undertook to address the task, emphasizing your role and decision-making.
  4. Result: Articulate the outcomes of your actions, highlighting achievements and impacts.
  5. Reflection: Conclude by reflecting on the experience, showcasing what you learned or how you grew from the situation.

Adhering to this framework will align your responses with Microsoft's recommended approach and enhance your interview communication.

Understand Microsoft’s Culture

Microsoft seeks individuals aligned with its cultural values, emphasizing:

  1. Growth Mindset: Demonstrate your ability to acquire skills and maintain a growth mindset rapidly, showcasing your commitment to continuous learning and adaptability.
  2. One Microsoft: Emphasize your collaborative nature, showcasing your commitment to finding common ground, building with others, and contributing to the cohesive movement of a diverse organization toward success.
  3. Customer Obsession: Illustrate your awareness of customer perspectives, experiences, and desires, emphasizing your dedication to prioritizing customer needs even in roles that may not be customer-facing. Incorporate insights from customers to showcase your customer-centric approach.

Upskill your Technical Concepts for the 

Microsoft Interview with IK

Navigating a Microsoft new interview process in our tech-driven era requires the right mindset and approach, and success hinges on preparation and understanding Microsoft's core qualities. Focus on honing the technical skills and knowledge pertinent to your role. Familiarize yourself with Microsoft's products, tools, and systems, demonstrating enthusiasm and adaptability to their environment. 

Practice coding exercises and algorithmic problems to enhance problem-solving skills, aligning yourself with the types of questions likely to be encountered. Recognize the significance of behavioral interviews, as Microsoft places emphasis on culture and teamwork. Prepare with Interview Kickstart for your Microsoft Interview to articulate past experiences in various settings, showcasing your ability to overcome challenges and contribute positively to collaborative environments.

FAQs About the Microsoft Interview Process

Q1. How many rounds are included in Microsoft's interview process?

Around 4 to 5 rounds take place during Microsoft's interview procedure. It includes both virtual as well as on-site interviews.

Q2.  Is Microsoft's interview tough to clear?

Yes, to clear Microsoft's interviews is a tough task and very few candidates are able to clear these interviews in a single round. However, if prepared well, you might increase your chances of getting hired.

Q3. Does Microsoft hire freshers?

Microsoft provides a wide range of career passes for freshers to choose from. The key domains provided by Microsoft for freshers include IT and human resources.

Q4. How long is Microsoft's hiring process?

The full Microsoft interview process can take two weeks to a month from your initial response back, before you receive an offer.

Q5. What do you think are the 3 qualities to work at Microsoft?

The three qualities to work at Microsoft are:

Influencing for impact: compelling and encouraging others through effective communication.

Judgment: Making knowledge-based decisions by effectively scoping challenging situations and applying business acumen. 

Adaptability: The capacity to respond quickly and nimbly to unclear and unpredictable circumstances or issues.

Posted on 
February 7, 2024
AUTHOR

Abhinav Rawat

Product Manager @ Interview Kickstart | Ex-upGrad | BITS Pilani. Working with hiring managers from top companies like Meta, Apple, Google, Amazon etc to build structured interview process BootCamps across domains

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