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Microsoft Interview
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30 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

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Microsoft Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What questions do you have for me?

      It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review Microsoft's corporate and career websites and other online resources to ensure the queries you have are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers for from merely watching a video on Microsoft's website!

      Here are some sample questions:

      - When would you like to have this position filled?
      - How long has this role been vacant?
      - Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
      - What is your favorite part about working here?
      - What is Microsoft's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
      - Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
      - What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years?
      - Is there any reason why you would not hire me?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I appreciate you opening the floor for questions. I am wondering what your timeline is for a decision on this opening? Also, what was the biggest struggle the last software engineer encountered in this role?"

      Anonymous Answer

      "What are the three biggest challenges you face in your average day? What is your favorite and least favorite part of working at Microsoft? I've noticed that Microsoft has shifted over the past few years with your CEO Satya Nadella. Particularly, it seems that Microsoft is prioritizing the expansion across all devices of its office and cloud products while steering away from Windows. How do you see Microsoft changing in the next five years? Do you think there will ever be a Window-less Microsoft?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      These are all EXCELLENT questions. Very well thought out and insightful. Nice work!

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  2. 2.

    Microsoft hires and develops the best, most globally diverse talent. Do you have experience working with those different from you?

      In addition to Microsoft's expansive employee network, they also put a lot into their diversity and inclusion program. As they say on their careers website, 'We don't just value differences, we seek them out and invite them in.' Discuss with the interviewer any experience you have with diversity and inclusion; whether that be with training, workplace exposure, or being a visible minority yourself. Share how you celebrate diversity and remain inclusive.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a visible minority myself, I make a conscious effort to include others in learning about my unique culture. Also, I am broad-minded with it comes to the needs and differences of others. Diversity to me is not simply a matter of culture but also of gender identity, age, and more. I am conscious of being sensitive to others in every action that I take in the workplace."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I appreciate the extensive effort that Microsoft makes when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I embrace those different from me and utilize those differences as learning opportunities. I am sensitive to the needs of others and empathetic to the fact that everyone walks a different path, whether that be related to gender identity, sexual orientation, heritage, and more."

  3. 3.

    What is your favorite Microsoft product?

      As any other company would, the interviewer at Microsoft wants to see that you have an interest in the products provided by Microsoft. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Because it is an open-ended question be mindful of keeping your response to the point. Mention the product you love most, what the most significant feature or benefit is, and how you use the product in your personal or work life.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I would say that the product I love and use the most, is Microsoft Azure. When your organization released Azure in 2010, I jumped into it right away. I was thrilled to see a cloud computing service created by Microsoft. Then, as more releases came out, I dove into Azure IoT Edge, giving me a useful ability to run Azure services and artificial intelligence on IoT devices."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current office environment, as well as in my personal life, I used Microsoft OneNote daily. I greatly appreciate that OneNote allows for multi-user collaboration and easy document sharing. It's been a complete lifesaver on multiple projects, and has saved me a great amount of time."

  4. 4.

    Tell me about the most rewarding experience you have had, working in a team environment. What made it so satisfying?

      The Microsoft interviewer wants to hear that you feel accomplished through teamwork. Talk about a time when you felt fulfilled through a team setting or project collaboration. An example may be a time when you worked on a team project in university or a recent work collaboration. Discuss the positive results of the teamwork and how you attained a positive outcome as a group.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My software development team was not getting along, so I collaborated with a team-building service, where we had a day full of development exercises, meant to draw our team closer to each other by developing a sense of trust and camaraderie. This experience was incredibly rewarding because I saw relationships and bonds quickly form. I had a plan in place for keeping the momentum over time, which also worked well."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The most rewarding teamwork experience that I have had was in my last year of university. We had a project due, in teams of 4, which accounted for quite a large part of our grade. I believe everyone pulled more than their weight because so much was at stake. Teamwork is very rewarding when everyone has something significant to win, or lose."

  5. 5.

    Name for me one Microsoft product that is not part of the Microsoft Office Suite.

      As an eager candidate, being able to name a product that is not part of the Microsoft Office Suite should be a simple task. The interviewer is asking you to dig deeper and talk to them about products that may not be as well-known or obvious to the everyday user.

      Some of these products include:

      - Productivity tools such as SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics
      - Xbox Game Studios including the Minecraft and the Halo series
      - Servers such as Microsoft Azure and Skype for Business
      - Social media solutions such as LinkedIn (purchased in 2016)
      - Educational products like Microsoft Student and Creative Writer
      - Software such as GitHub, IronRuby, IronPython and JScript

      Discuss which Microsoft product you are most familiar with. Bonus points if you currently use a few different ones, aside from the commonly used Microsoft Office Suite.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am familiar with a handful of Microsoft products outside of the typical Office Suite. The products which I use most include the Xbox games Minecraft and Halo. I have been playing Halo since my late teens, so it was likely my first real introduction to Microsoft products. In my career, I used Azure daily, and have a genuine appreciation for the solutions it brings."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current job, I use Microsoft Dynamics nearly every day. More specifically, Dynamics 365 for Sales. The features that I use most often include the embedded insights, customer view, and the upselling opportunities highlighted so easily on the main customer screen."

      Anonymous Answer

      "One Microsoft product I use all the time is OneDrive. My OneDrive account is a saving grace for me, especially as a college student. I can store all my Office files and more on OneDrive and access that information online wherever I go. Over the past two years, I have had to get my computer fixed twice, so having OneDrive was my saving grace for keeping up with work on my phone or other computers."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good answer! You show a solid understanding of the Microsoft product line, and from personal experience which is always a welcome touch.

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  6. 6.

    Workplace culture is an essential topic at Microsoft. Tell me about your ideal work environment.

      Microsoft aims to 'work as one.' They strive to build a community that positively impacts the world. Connecting in and out of the office in Microsoft community groups is just one way that Microsoft puts effort into making a harmonious workplace environment. Microsoft employees create a sense of community through curiosity, innovation, and constant growth. The interviewer would like to ensure that their culture and workplace environment is a fit for you. Discuss your preferences with the interviewer, clearly describing your ideal work environment.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that your work environment is very collaborative. I come from a similar climate and find that I can be very productive when there is the 'buzz' of a team around me. I appreciate that Microsoft drives community efforts, creativity, and constant growth."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am productive in work environments where there is little nepotism or hierarchy. I want to continue to be the type of manager who has an open-door policy where my staff can feel comfortable coming to me with questions and needs."

  7. 7.

    What is the biggest challenge Microsoft faces today?

      It may seem that Microsoft has it all! They create a massive variety of products, and they have the market for services that most people in the world use daily. You will have to conduct some research and put effort into understanding what could be keeping Microsoft executives up at night. Talk to the interviewer what you believe is a current challenge for their organization. Having the right answer is not the biggest concern in your response. Primarily, the interviewer is looking for proof that you are engaged in how Microsoft keeps its space in the tech sector.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "From what I have read lately, I believe that one of the biggest challenges Microsoft faces today is making the Windows Phone platform more useful by integrating Cortana, your digital personality, into the equation. There are many strides Microsoft is making in AI, and it won't be long before this pain point is well-addressed."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that after Apple's 'What's a Computer?' video campaign, it became a bit of a challenge for Microsoft to have customers' continue to think of personal computing as a term relevant to them. Today, to maintain relevance in the traditional desktop domain is a challenge and one that I believe Microsoft works hard to overcome, every day. Finding ways to engage with non-Windows, and non-PC users is a challenge; however, I look forward to joining Microsoft in this mission."

  8. 8.

    Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment?

      If you work for a larger company, especially an enterprise like Microsoft, you have been asked to work on a project with teams from another department. Your ability to work with cross-functional teams will be a significant asset to Microsoft. Maybe you headed a project which required you to collaborate with the members of the engineering and sales teams. Share any challenges that came up and what you learned from the experience.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Exposure to cross-functional teamwork in my current position is widespread. I believe that when expectations are communicated clearly from the beginning, a cross-functional team project can be very successful. I go into these types of projects with an understanding that everyone has their strengths and limitations based on their expertise and job function."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The software company which I currently work for is highly collaborative. We are a funnel focused organization, so we have our Corporate office, our Business Development Department, Account Based Department, and also our Call Center. Goals are clear, and we all understand how each department works to complement the other."

  9. 9.

    Why are you the best candidate for Microsoft?

      Microsoft gets around 2 million job applicants every year. This volume means that competition for this role will be tough, and the interviewer wants to know precisely why they should hire you over anyone else.

      Bragging about yourself in an interview can be tough to do, but this is your time to shine! Which characteristics and career accomplishments have made you a stand-out candidate? Perhaps you have received some academic awards or have been given individual accolades in your most recent position. There is nobody like you, and now you need to express that to the interviewer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am the best candidate for you because I have a consistent history of exceeding my professional goals primarily due to my interest in continues education. I have been promoted two times in the last year which is nearly unheard of in my current company. In addition to these successes, I have excellent programming skills which I will put to work immediately after being hired by Microsoft."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am the best candidate for you because I show levels of dedication and follow through that is uncommon in the workplace. As a manager, I embody Microsoft's mission statement 'to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.' My team members are always very responsive to my upbeat and open approach. You will not be disappointed in my performance if you choose to hire me."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I think two things make me an excellent fit for this position. • I have several years of experience as PM and have consistently shown success in the role, delivering high-quality products with great customer satisfaction. • I love working with the customers, understanding their pain points, and figuring out how using technology can simplify their life."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good! It seems you have brought in some of the requirements from the job description as well.

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  10. 10.

    Discuss a tech product that you do not like, and how you would improve it.

      We all know that it's one thing to be opinionated, and then it's another ballgame to have an opinion and know what to do about it. The interviewer would like to see that you have the ability to see opportunities for change, rather than remaining in a negative, 'I don't like it' mentality.

      Discuss a tech product that you do not particularly enjoy, and offer up a couple of suggestions for improvement. Your opinion should be on a product unrelated to Microsoft.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Tech can be life-changing, and it can also be an utter failure. My least favorite tech purchase in the last year would be the Google Pixel Slate. I understand Google was trying to compete with the Microsoft Surface Pro, and the iPad but at its price tag of nearly $1,600, I found that it felt short. One factor I would change is to increase the application support offering. Also, I would have made materials and designs in-house versus through third-party developers. This choice would have made for much better graphics and a more beautiful looking user interface."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I recently purchased an Apple Homepod and was disappointed by the lack of offering. Compared to less expensive alternatives, such as Google Home or Echo, I found that the Apple Homepod was more of a glorified speaker. If I were to improve this product, I would give it a more robust database of information, like the Google Home device. I would also allow third-party apps on the device. These days, more than ever, people are savvy buyers and will choose the item that offers the most variety and ease of use, critical in our quest to streamline our everyday lives."

      Anonymous Answer

      "One tech product that I'm not a huge fan of is Siri. Of course, Siri was an innovative product in the tech world when it came out, as it was the first virtual voice assistant. However, I find that Siri usually redirects me to the Internet when I ask questions. On the other hand, I've found that Amazon Alexa has a much more robust database of information, and it tends to remember the information I have provided in the past. I would love to see Siri incorporate these features, as it would be great to have an Amazon Alexa right within my phone."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You make some excellent points here; your answer is thoughtful and well supported.

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  11. 11.

    How would you explain the cloud to someone with zero internet knowledge?

      Technical terms and methods can be confusing to anyone outside of the industry. Some say that if you cannot quickly explain what you do in layman's terms, then you do not understand it well enough. You should be able to explain everything that you do, on a Grade 8 level. The interviewer is testing to see if you can do this. Keep your reply brief and try to keep your words under three syllables!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "If I were to explain cloud computing to someone outside of the industry, I would say that cloud computing is a way to deliver services over the internet. For instance, we use cloud computing when we store photos online, and even when we use different apps on our phone."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My mom recently asked me what cloud computing was and so I told her that she uses cloud technology every time she asks the internet to perform something on demand such as saving pictures online, access files online, or even playing certain games on her phone."

  12. 12.

    What do you know about Microsoft's nearly 50 community groups and employee networks?

      Microsoft offers an enormous amount of community groups and employee networks to their employees. On the Microsoft careers site, you can see that they boast over 40 employee networks and eight global employee resource groups. Microsoft believes in embracing different experiences and ideas by fostering diversity and inclusion efforts. The Microsoft community groups provide everything from networking opportunities to cultural awareness training. Discuss what you know about Microsoft's employee network and be sure to express interest in a group or two.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have read all about Microsoft's community groups online and am highly impressed with the cultural coverage and employee participation. A couple of groups that stood out most to me include The Hispanic/Latinx Organization of Leaders in Action (HOLA) and the Community of Women group."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I appreciate that Microsoft has such a connected and engaged group of employees. To have seen that your organization offers a diverse and culturally sensitive environment is special to see, both as a veteran and as a member of the Asian community. Right away, I know I would join the Asians ERG and Military Microsoft."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I have read about the variety of community groups you have at Microsoft, and it is heartening to see that Microsoft prides itself on a culture of inclusivity. One group that stood out to me is Women@Microsoft because I think it is important to breakdown the barriers between women and tech by empowering the slow-growing minority of women in tech and encouraging young women to enter the tech sphere."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your answer shows the deep dive that you have done into Microsoft's culture and offering. Fantastic answer.

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  13. 13.

    Which technology stack do you work with, in your current job?

      The options are endless when it comes to technology stacks. Likely, you have your tech skills listed on your resume; however, this question gives you the opportunity to let your expertise shine. Discuss which technology stack you currently work with, being sure to draw a line between your experience and the requirements listed in the Microsoft job posting.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current role as a back-end developer, I work with a classic stack consisting of Java, PHP,.Net, and SQL I see in your job posting that you seek a developer with expertise in all four of these systems. I can confidently say that I am an advanced user in this tech. Also, I can perform many tasks using HTML, CSS, and Javascript."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have a well-rounded career in back-end and front-end technology with a robust understanding of all software development stages. My expertise is in Ruby, Java, X, JQuery, Apache, C#, Linux, CSS, MYSQL, and more. I can confidently say that I exceed the minimum requirements in the job posting and look forward to further displaying my skills."

  14. 14.

    How is Microsoft infusing AI into our products?

      The interviewer would like to see the depth of research you have conducted on the Microsoft products, before coming to your interview. There are many ways that Microsoft is infusing artificial intelligence into their products. Some examples include machine learning to give Microsoft Dynamics users a leg up when it comes to anticipating their customers' next move or near-future need. Another instance of AI in the Microsoft organization includes their AI for Earth program. Show the interviewer that you are eager and excited to learn more about the strides that Microsoft is making in the artificial intelligence space.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I was reading about Microsoft's AI for Earth program and am fascinated by what your organization is doing to positively impact agriculture, water supply, biodiversity, and climate change. This AI program has taken over mundane tasks such as species identification, and high-resolution land cover mapping. I genuinely appreciate that this development allows researchers and scientists to work on solutions and creative innovations that benefit planet earth."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "After using Microsoft Dynamics in my previous two positions, I quickly saw how Microsoft was using advanced AI in this program. For instance, your AI customer service assistants allow sales professionals to remain productive while avoiding escalations of customer issues. This data enables businesses to make smart recommendations. Also, with Dynamics' machine learning driven recommendations, I could better upsell and identify cross-selling opportunities."

  15. 15.

    What do you know about Microsoft's flexible employee perks?

      Microsoft is well known for its excellent workplace culture and generous employee benefits. Microsoft has perks which include:

      - Up to $800 per year for wellness-related expenses, over and above health and dental benefits.
      - 24-hour nurse line
      - Student loan refinancing program
      - Bus fleets and other commuting options
      - Twenty weeks paid time away for birth mothers, 12 weeks paid parental leave for all other new parents, including adoptions and foster placements.

      Discuss what you know about Microsoft's flexible employee perks, and show excitement for the perks and benefits that mean the most to you.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I had often heard that Microsoft offered generous employee benefits and it wasn't until I looked online, after seeing your job posting, that I looked into it. I must say, I am thoroughly impressed. As an adoptive parent myself, it was great to see that you offer paid paternal leave for adopting parents. I would love to learn more about your employee resource groups as well."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Microsoft is famous for its amazing employee benefits and perks! First, as someone who had to take unpaid time off a few years ago to care for an ailing parent, I was impressed to see that your company offers four weeks of paid caregiver leave. As someone who believes in community and giving back, I look forward to participating in your employee network events and your generous volunteer matching program."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I know that Microsoft provides employees with an incredible range of employee perks, including paid healthcare, retirement plan, and matching on philanthropic endeavors. As someone who is always hungry to learn more, I am most drawn to Microsoft's abundance of educational resources, including offerings of college and professional development courses."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Another full response backed by a great amount of research. Awesome job.

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  16. 16.

    What do you know about Microsoft's Unconscious Bias training program? Do you understand what unconscious bias is?

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  17. 17.

    What role do you usually take in team projects?

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  18. 18.

    Microsoft attends many university outreach events to find top talent. How would you 'sell' Microsoft to a talented graduate?

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  19. 19.

    If your current company shut down today, what would you do to quickly adapt?

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  20. 20.

    How do you handle critique, constraints, and new data?

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  21. 21.

    Tell me about the most exciting project you have worked on this year and the most significant thing you learned from it.

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  22. 22.

    At Microsoft, we prefer to hire those with an education in computer science or another related field. Walk me through your post-secondary education and training.

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  23. 23.

    We encourage innovation at Microsoft. What does innovation mean to you?

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  24. 24.

    How do you keep up-to-date on new technologies and trends in this industry?

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  25. 25.

    What do you believe Microsoft does best?

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  26. 26.

    Where would you like Microsoft to take you, in your career?

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  27. 27.

    What would you consider to be your technical specialty, and how will it benefit Microsoft?

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  28. 28.

    This role with Microsoft is highly technical. What is your understanding of this position and the responsibilities that come with it?

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  29. 29.

    In your opinion, what is the biggest launch from Microsoft in the past three years?

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  30. 30.

    What is Microsoft's company mission, and what does it mean to you?

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