What the Microsoft Interview is like — with sample questions

I’ve worked at Microsoft for 13 years, with most of that time as a Program Manager, and I’ve both interviewed and conducted interviews throughout my years. I walk through what a typical interview day looks like, how many interviews you’ll have, give some sample questions, walk through a good way to structure a response, and talk about how I assess a candidate.

How I got my job at Microsoft: https://youtu.be/FvFpH4ZLda0

A good way to structure an interview question response using the STARS format:
• Situation – What’s the background?
• Task – What were you responsible for?
• Activity – What did you actually do?
• Result – how did things turn out?
• Self-aware – what would you have done differently?

Competencies and sample interview questions:

Communication
• Tell me about the most challenging situation that you have experienced, when you had to persuade someone to accept your point-of-view.
• Please describe a situation where you led a cross-functional task force or project team.
• Please describe a situation where you needed to convince a teammates to adopt a plan, strategy, or point of view.

Customer Empathy
• Describe the strategies you have used to gather information that increased your understanding of current and future customer needs.
• Describe a time when you were involved in the resolution of a complaint from either an internal or an external customer.
• Describe the strategies you have used to gather information that increased your understanding of current and future customer needs.
• Tell me about a time when you fell short of meeting a customer’s needs.

Detailed Design
• Tell me about the most unusual or creative idea that you’ve come up with.
• Tell me about a time you were assigned a project you had to complete very quickly, yet you did not have all the information you needed.

Coachability and Teamwork
• Describe a time when you worked on a challenging cross-functional team that produced an exceptional deliverable.
• Tell me about a time when you experienced conflict with a team member.

Partnering / Conflict resolution
• Describe a time when you worked on a challenging cross-functional team that produced an exceptional deliverable.
• Describe how you have collaborated with others outside of your immediate team to resolve a critical issue.
• Tell me about a time when you experienced conflict with a team member.
• Tell me about a time when your attempt to collaborate across teams was unsuccessful.

Drive for Results
• Tell me about a time when you successfully removed an obstacle that interfered with your ability to complete a task effectively.
• What has been the most difficult assignment or task in your career so far?

Influencing for impact
• Tell me about the most challenging situation that you have experienced, when you had to persuade someone to accept your point-of-view.
• Describe a time when you had to persuade someone to complete a task, but had no formal authority over their work.

Planning, Organizing, and Executing
• Tell me about a time when you aligned multiple stakeholders to achieve an objective.
• Tell me about a time when you did not meet a planned milestone.

Writing your resume? Check out the following video with tips on how to write a great resume: https://youtu.be/9eEv6bCtLmc

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