29 July, 2020
By Mike Simpson
Microsoft… one of the OG tech behemoths. Founded in 1975, the company has been responsible for stunning innovations over the decades. If you want to be a part of future discoveries, that means facing off against the Microsoft interview questions.
In reality, simply facing off against them isn’t enough. After all, Microsoft attracts around 2 million applicants a year. That’s a ton of competition.
So, what does that mean for you? Should you be freaking out? Or is there a way to come out on top?
Luckily, it is possible to stand out from the crowd. And how do you do that? By handling the Microsoft interview questions like the pro you know you are, of course. Come with us as we explore what it takes to come out ahead when trying to land one of the exciting Microsoft jobs.
How to Answer Microsoft Interview Questions
Alright, we know that you’re here for example Microsoft interview questions, and we are going to get to that. But first, let’s pause for a moment and focus on something else that’s ridiculously important: how to handle the interview questions you’ll face when trying to secure one of the available jobs at Microsoft.
Why would you want to do that? It’s simple, really. Microsoft hires people for all kinds of roles. Along with tech positions (obviously), the company has administrative, financial, human resources, and a ton of other specialist positions throughout the company. It’s a giant of a business, so it has to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, ensuring every base is covered.
And why does that matter?
Well, it means not everyone faces the same Microsoft interview questions. While everyone may encounter certain basics, the majority of your interview will focus on the role you want to land. For example, tech interviews are going to differ from administrative interviews; that’s just a fact.
So, that’s why learning how to answer Microsoft interview questions is so ridiculously important. When you have a great technique, you’re more agile, allowing you to craft great responses that speak to the job you want with greater ease.
The first step for preparing for any interview is research. That’s the foundation for handling any job interview questions like a pro. Review the job description to refresh your memory about any must-haves. Look for insights about other priorities, like traits that are referenced repeatedly throughout the vacancy announcement.
Next, take a quick trip to Microsoft’s website. Dig into the company’s mission and values statements, giving you insights into the company’s culture. You can also explore Microsoft’s social media pages for additional information. Look for posts about recent achievements or content focused on the company’s culture.
Your goal should be to glean as much info about what Microsoft finds important as possible. That way, you can speak to those points when you answer the Microsoft interview questions. When you do, your responses will be as relevant as possible and may stand out against other candidates who didn’t go the extra mile.
When it comes time to handle the Microsoft behavioral interview questions, don’t panic. Sure, these can be tricky beasts, but they aren’t as hard to deal with as you might think. If you take the STAR Method and sprinkle in a healthy dose of the Tailoring Method, you’ve got a recipe for success. Your answers, compelling, complete, and relevant, which is exactly what you’ll need if you’re going to snag one of the Microsoft jobs you have your eyes on.
Top 3 Microsoft Interview Questions
Enough about strategy. It’s time to get to the main event: the example Microsoft interview questions and answers.
Now, like we mentioned above, Microsoft hires for all kinds of positions. Each of the jobs at Microsoft is going to have a unique set of interview questions. That’s why, along with reviewing the Microsoft interview questions, you should also explore lists for your specific role. So, if you’re trying to land a program manager, financial analyst, marketing, or any other kind of job, dig into the specialty.
However, you should also review the questions that many Microsoft interviews have in common, like the ones we’re discussing here. Let’s start with these, the top three Microsoft interview questions you might encounter:
1. Do you use Microsoft products or services? If so, which is your favorite, and why?
This question is fairly straightforward, allowing the hiring manager to gauge your familiarity with Microsoft’s product or service lines. However, it also serves as a unique opportunity.
Since the question is relatively open and broad, you can steer it in nearly any direction. That means you can use it as a chance to highlight relevant skills or traits that you want to showcase that you may not be able to work in otherwise. Additionally, you can tweak your approach based on which of the Microsoft jobs you are trying to land, allowing you to discuss a product or service that aligns with the nature of the role.
“Yes, I use Microsoft products and services. If I had to pick a favorite, I would choose Microsoft Office 365. I appreciate any tool that allows me to work efficiently. Since documents created with Office 365 are cloud-stored, I can access them with any internet-connected device, including while on the goal. Since time management and adhering to deadlines is critical to me, it’s an ideal solution that ensures I can continuously exceed expectations, no matter where the day takes me.”
2. How do you build and maintain functional relationships with colleagues working in other locations?
Microsoft is an international company with employees scattered all around the globe. Plus, many Microsoft jobs are remote, allowing the person in the position to work without ever setting foot in the office.
Hiring managers want to know that the candidates they choose can coordinate effectively with colleagues with ease, including those they may never meet in person. That makes this question incredibly important for a surprising number of positions.
“I’ve found that communication is the key to building and maintain all professional relationships, particularly when working with colleagues in other locations. In my last role, I made use of a wide variety of platforms to remain connected with my coworkers. I found collaboration software to be incredibly beneficial, allowing us to have off-the-cuff discussions, share documents, and more.
However, since having strong bond can boost our effectiveness, I also took additional steps to forge meaningful connections. For example, I coordinated monthly video-based team gatherings that were more casual. This allowed us to have a virtual water cooler-esque experience, adding a social element that made us feel like a cohesive unit.”
3. What steps do you take to keep your skills current?
Technology moves shockingly quickly. While many companies like Microsoft offering training to their employees to help them sharpen their skills, they can’t handle it all.
Hiring managers favor candidates who are motivated to learn on their own. That’s why they ask questions like these; they are trying to figure out if you are the master of your own learning destiny, or if you’re happy to sit back and wait for your employer to do that form you. If a candidate falls in the latter category, they can usually kiss that Microsoft job goodbye.
“I use several approaches to ensure my skills remain current and relevant. First, I subscribe to industry newsletters and follow thought leaders on social media. This allows me to stay apprised of emerging trends, creating opportunities for me to discover new skills that, while they may not be critical today, could be vital tomorrow.
Additionally, I’m constantly studying and honing my skills. I read articles, take advantage of free online learning resources, and handle personal projects in relevant niches. This allows me to learn, grow, and enhance what I bring to the table, ensuring my capabilities are always up-to-date, if not on the cutting-edge.”
22 More Microsoft Interview Questions
Here are 22 more Microsoft interview questions you might face off against, depending on the role:
- Why do you want to work for Microsoft?
- What steps would you take to correct a slow startup issue on a computer running Windows 10?
- Name an application with a UI you admire. What about it do you appreciate?
- If a sales rep in your department gave a valued client an incorrect sales quote, how would you remedy the issue?
- Explain recursion in a way that a non-technical person could understand.
- Tell me about a time you had a difficult relationship with a colleague. What steps did you take to ensure any challenges were resolved or, at a minimum, did not interfere with your ability to perform?
- If you only had 90 seconds, how would you explain the cloud to someone?
- Name something unique that you bring to the table.
- Describe your most challenging project. How did you ensure it was a success?
- Imagine Microsoft is creating a new wearable product. Design the corresponding research plan.
- What do you hope to find in your next position?
- What motivates you to excel in a role?
- Name a product or service that you believe was marketed well. What about the campaign stands out to you?
- If Microsoft wanted to introduce a data analytics product to small businesses, how would you market it to drive interest and highlight its virtues?
- If you were given an array featuring 10^5 numbers, and we erased two of the numbers, how would you identify the missing ones?
- Tell me about a project where your initial assumptions ended up being incorrect. What steps did you take that revealed this? How did you ensure you moved forward properly after?
- What is your favorite piece of technology? Why do you enjoy it?
- If you could change one thing about [Microsoft product or service], what would it be and why?
- When you conduct user research, how do you account for your own biases?
- How do you go about securing buy-in from stakeholders?
- What is a stack?
- How would you write a script that reversed the contents of an array?
5 Good Questions to Ask at the End of a Microsoft Interview
As your interview for one of the available jobs at Microsoft comes to a close, you’ll typically get a chance to flip the script. When the hiring manager asks if you have any questions, you better be able to respond with a resounding “yes.”
Because having questions makes you look engaged and enthusiastic. After all, you want to know more, and hiring managers consider that a good sign.
If you don’t know what to ask at the end of your Microsoft interview, here are five great questions you can keep in your back pocket.
- How would you describe Microsoft as an employer?
- When you first started with Microsoft, was there anything about working for the company that surprised you?
- Can you tell me what an average day in this position looks like?
- What do the most successful employees in this role have in common?
- How would you define success for this job?
Putting It All Together
The road to any of the intriguing Microsoft jobs all starts off the same, with the Microsoft interview questions. By using the information above, your odds of standing out from the crowd go up dramatically. So, take advantage of every tip, and practice your answers until you have them nailed down. You’re a great candidate, and, with a bit of preparation, you can make sure that the hiring manager sees that, too.
As always, good luck!
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Check out our other articles in our Company Specific Interview Series:
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