Please share the secrets of the Microsoft interview process.
January 27, 2011 2:27 PM Subscribe
Do you work at Microsoft? Please share the secrets of the Microsoft interview process. Because it's not working for me.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to work & money (29 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I've been through five in-person, all-day interviews with Microsoft's games groups over the past five years. I have failed at each one, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. I've been successful in other interviews over the same stretch of time with other companies. But I really, really want to work for Microsoft for several family-related and professional reasons.
The failures seem to center around the following:
1) The hiring manager likes me on the phone (after all, he brought me in), but his opinion gets trumped by the team.
2) There was a misunderstanding somewhere, and I'm not actually technically suitable for the role ("Oh wow, it turns out we're looking for a person with experience in X"). Note that this isn't uncovered during any part of the previous process, as if everyone -- hiring manager included -- is looking at the resume for the first time.
3) During the interview, I'm asked to demonstrate problem-solving skills, but the open-ended problem presented really isn't as open-ended as it seems. It's like I'm being asked to read someone's mind.
I was once asked to design a new Boeing 747. OK, I said. Boeing sells planes to airlines and not airline travelers. So, I focused on making the plane more economical, safer, quicker to turn around on the ground, more likely to be on time and a real selling point for an airline's passengers. I thought I was being smart by focusing on Boeing's true needs.
Nope. Apparently the guy wanted planes that could ... I don't know. Be invisible. Fly underwater. Run on fairy dust. I'm not an aircraft engineer, and neither was he. But the real, actionable ideas were greeted with disdain.
I feel like I'm being played.
What's going on here? What am I not getting about this process? Are hiring managers divorced from the actual hiring process? Is no one vetting the resumes? Are there so many applicants and so little pressure on hiring managers that they can burn enormous amounts of time and resources? Is there a "Microsoft Interview Class" you all take? What are they teaching you there?