Careers at Microsoft
Candidates can join Microsoft at a student or experienced hire level. The entry requirements depend on the role itself.
At the undergraduate level, opportunities are offered as internships. These careers often specify when a student needs to graduate. Depending on the type of role, certification in a Microsoft product is also required.
Many internship roles require candidates to be studying a specific degree subject such as computer science or engineering. The duration of internships varies according to the role but can be up to two years in duration. Some internships are also linked to a candidate’s university degree.
Graduate opportunities are also offered at Microsoft. These roles are often specialist roles requiring candidates to have studied a specific degree such as computer science or engineering. Postgraduate qualifications such as a Masters or Ph.D. are stated as desirable, with a Ph.D. often preferred.
Opportunities for MBA students are also offered, as are ad-hoc student opportunities where students can work as part of a team at Microsoft while completing their degree.
Again for these opportunities, a relevant degree subject is often specified.
Internships and graduate roles are offered in a variety of sectors such as:
- Software Engineering
- Customer Success
- Research (roles are often specific to a type of research such as industry or systems)
It is worth noting that the type of opportunities can also vary according to the country; however, most countries offer internship and graduate programmes.
Microsoft Application Process
The application process at Microsoft is a rigorous and defined process consisting of distinct stages.
Each stage assesses the skills, competencies, or attributes required for success at Microsoft. While there may be specific skills evaluated according to the role applied for, the core competencies that Microsoft look for are:
- Desire to learn and succeed
- Willingness to work hard
- Interest and passion for technology
- High intelligence, knowledge, and solid skills in your chosen field
Candidates can apply for more than one role at one time, and Microsoft also accepts applications for roles where candidates may require a visa or relocation costs.
While all roles may not be suitable for visa allocation or relocation funds, applicants are encouraged to apply for positions they are interested in or qualified for.
The stages of the Microsoft recruitment process are:
- Online application
- Phone screening
- Microsoft logical reasoning test
- Microsoft situational judgment test
- Microsoft technical test
- Video interviews
- Assessment day
Microsoft online application
The first stage of the application process is the online application.
Candidates search for their desired position on the Microsoft careers website, create a personal profile, and then apply via this job vacancy. As part of the application, candidates can either upload their CV or apply via their LinkedIn profile.
When applying, it is essential to ensure your CV or LinkedIn profile is up to date and details the most relevant information first. Also include achievements in your roles and highlight skills pertinent to the job applied for.
The online application may also require candidates to answer questions on why they have applied to the role and what interests them about working at Microsoft.
Microsoft phone screening interview
If successful at the application stage, candidates will be contacted for an initial phone screen discussion.
The phone screen aims to discuss a candidate’s online application and ask questions relating to the skills and competencies required for the role.
The length of the phone screen depends on the role applied for. For example, some specialist roles require a longer initial conversation and assessment as technical questions are asked as part of this stage.
Microsoft Aptitude Tests
Microsoft logical reasoning test
The logical reasoning test is an aptitude test that assesses a candidate’s ability to look at a series of diagrams, analyse these and then decide on what diagram comes next according to the pattern, rule or sequence identified.
The Microsoft logical reasoning test is a timed test. There are 24 questions and 25 minutes to complete the test.
Each question is presented as a series of 5 images with multiple-choice answers. Candidates work out the pattern, sequence, or rule from the five images and then select the image they believe to be correct from the multiple-choice answers.
Microsoft situational judgment test
The situational judgment test is different from the logical reasoning test in that it is not an ability test. This test looks at a candidate’s traits, characteristics, and behaviours on how they prefer to work.
Questions are scenario-based, with the scenarios being similar to those faced when working at Microsoft. Candidates are then presented with a series of answers and are asked to select the solution that best represents how they would react in the situation.
It is important to remember that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to situational judgment tests. The test assesses a candidate’s responses according to the values and way of working at Microsoft.
As with the logical reasoning test, the situational judgment test is timed and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
Microsoft technical test
If a candidate has applied to a specialist role such as engineering, they may be asked to sit the Microsoft technical test.
This test assesses the specific technical skills specified in the job description and as required by the role. Examples of the skills evaluated could include coding or programming. The test format will vary according to the position itself but will assess a candidate’s practical skills and knowledge in the specialist area.