HOW TO GET A
JOB AT MICROSOFT
Careers, Hiring Process, and Salaries
As the world becomes increasingly digitized, major tech companies like Microsoft continue to grow rapidly, launching offices all over the world and creating new job opportunities daily. The company’s hiring process is tough, but one of the ways to raise your prospects of being hired is to understand how to get a job at Microsoft.
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to land entry-level jobs at Microsoft. We will discuss common Microsoft job openings, how to apply for them, and what it’s like to work for this top tech company, which was listed in Forbes as one of the top five tech companies people wanted to work for in 2020.
How to Get a Job at Microsoft
Given the company’s impressive salaries, benefits, environment, and culture, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many want to know how to get a job at Microsoft. With office locations in more than 200 countries and various careers at all levels, there are plenty of opportunities for you to grab.
To launch a career at Microsoft, the best way to start is by looking at Microsoft job openings posted on their website, selecting a position, and applying. Having clear long-term career goals and a deep understanding of the company will help improve your chances of success. The company is looking for driven team players who are willing to work hard and have a passion for technology, so ensure to highlight these qualities in your application.
Is It Hard to Get a Job at Microsoft?
Yes, it is hard to get a job at Microsoft. This company receives millions of applications annually, and with an applicant pool as vast as this, competition is tough. It also has one of the hardest job interview processes in the market consisting of several rounds. Having the right education, experience in your field and a passion for technology can improve your chances of succeeding as an applicant.
How to Apply for a Job at Microsoft: Microsoft Hiring Process
When applying for a Microsoft job opening, the first thing you should do is check for available positions. For complete job listings from all over the globe, the best place to check is Microsoft’s careers page. You can create a profile on the company website, set up job alerts, apply for available roles, and track the status of your applications.
In addition to visiting the company website, you can also use third-party websites like Indeed or Glassdoor to find openings. You can also build personal connections with a Microsoft recruiter on LinkedIn to land a job without applying. When using LinkedIn, make sure you highlight your career development experiences or projects that show your desire to learn.
If you have already identified a position that you are interested in, you can begin your application process. Keep reading to find out about the steps you need to take to apply for a job at Microsoft.
The first step to getting a job at Microsoft is to complete your application and submit your resume. Before you apply, make sure you update and tailor your resume to match the job description. Keep it concise but don’t forget to showcase your strengths, skills, and experience, and explain how they relate to the job.
If the recruiter thinks you’re a good match for the job, you will likely be contacted after a week or two for a phone screening interview. During this short call, the interviewer will ask questions to assess your level of understanding, willingness to learn, and interest.
If you’re applying for a tech job, you can expect a 45-minute interview. This interview will entail more technical questions involving data structures, algorithms, and other concepts related to your field of expertise.
If you pass the screening stage, the next step in the Microsoft interview process is an invitation for a phone interview with the hiring manager. You will usually be provided with a list of the topics for discussion in advance. If you applied for a role that involves engineering, this phone interview will be with an engineering manager or senior developer.
The next stage consists of up to five rounds of on-site interviews. Each session lasts about an hour, and you will be interviewed by a panel of Microsoft developers or managers. They will give you a mix of behavioral questions and coding exercises.
If you do well, you will make it all the way to the last interview. This is possibly the most important step of the process, as the last interviewer will make the ultimate hiring decision.
In some instances, you might be invited for an interview with HR. The HR team may ask additional behavioral and technical questions to ensure you’re the right candidate for the job. This interview will also help the HR team determine whether you are a good fit for the company in terms of its culture and values.
If you complete all interview rounds and succeed, you can expect Microsoft to contact you with a formal offer. You will have an opportunity to discuss and negotiate your salary and benefits. If you don’t hear anything from them within a couple of weeks, you can try applying again after six to 12 months.
Microsoft Careers: Job Requirements, Salaries, and Descriptions
Microsoft careers are available across various departments in over 200 countries. Open positions are constantly being updated, so make sure to check their site regularly. Keep reading to learn more about some common jobs available at Microsoft.
Level: Intermediate level
Minimum Experience Required: At least five years of software development experience
Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Systems background, or extensive proven expertise in the software development field
Microsoft software engineer jobs are plentiful and available in a wide variety of locations. As a software engineer, your job will be to develop new products, improve existing ones, and collaborate with different departments in the company. This type of role is ideal for someone who has extensive experience in the software development field.
Level: Intermediate level
Minimum Experience Required: At least three years of experience in Electrical Power Monitoring System (EPMS) or SCADA
Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Engineering discipline
As a hardware engineer at Microsoft, your job involves collaborating with engineers across various teams and departments and delivering hardware designs to solve critical business and user needs. Hardware engineers usually take their projects from concept and design to deployment.
Senior Software Engineer
Level: Senior level
Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or related field
In addition to the typical responsibilities of a software engineer, senior roles involve providing guidance and recommendations to other developers for the secure deployment of new software products. The role also involves modernizing code and coding practices for their teams. The Microsoft software engineer for senior positions is much higher to reflect the added responsibilities.
Minimum Experience Required: At least one years’ experience in program management, product management, or related experience defining and creating software features
Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or Computer Science, or related industry experience
Program managers at Microsoft have similar responsibilities to that of product managers in other companies. They are in charge of overseeing the production of new products from start to finish and collaborate with engineers, designers, and members of the marketing and customer support teams. The average Microsoft program manager salary is $105,657, according to Glassdoor.
Senior Program Manager
Level: Senior level
Minimum Experience Required: At least seven years of experience building products in Business Intelligence and Analytics, Cloud services, Productivity applications/services, Business application/services, and at least three years of experience managing enterprise customer engagement
Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or equivalent experience
Senior program managers interact directly with customers and are at the heart of Microsoft’s products and services. Their responsibilities include managing large, cross-functional teams, identifying market trends, optimizing products with the engineering teams, and leveraging their entrepreneurial experience.
Technical Program Manager
Minimum Experience Required: At least five years’ technical program management experience in a software development field and at least three years of experience working in payments or eCommerce
Education Required: Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or equivalent experience
Technical program managers are in charge of leading cross-functional teams and leading them in the creation of engineering solutions to technical challenges. This is a mid-level role that requires close collaboration with software engineering teams and technical advisors, as well as awareness of customer needs.
Machine Learning Operations Engineer
Minimum Experience Required: At least two years of professional programming experience and at least two years of experience in C#, Java, C++, Python, or other programming languages
Education Required: Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or related technical field
If you’re interested in turning machine learning intelligence into products and building large-scale services for Microsoft’s products, then this position is for you. You’ll be responsible for turning insights and algorithms into real products. As a Microsoft machine learning engineer, you will also develop tools and features to ensure an enjoyable customer experience.
Senior UX Designer
Level: Senior level
Minimum Experience Required: At least six years experience in technology solutions, practice development, architecture, consulting, and/or technology domain
Education Required: Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or related field
Senior UX designers at Microsoft are typically responsible for planning and overseeing UX teams’ strategies rather than tackling individual projects. UX designers work on creating software and hardware products that are intuitive and easy to use. They oversee the research, prototyping, testing, and launching process for new products.
Cloud Solution Architect
Minimum Experience Required: At least five years of experience in consultative technical sales and deployment projects, architecture, design, implementation, cloud support, and hybrid computing environments
Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or related field with a certificate in Cloud Infrastructure, Networking, Security, C++, C#, Java, Node.js, and Python
A Cloud Solution Architect is a customer-facing role where you will be monitoring the technical relationship between the customer and Microsoft products. Cloud solution architects are also tasked with acting as the voice of customers and becoming their trusted advisors.
Principal Software Engineering Lead
Level: Senior level
Minimum Experience Required: At least 10 years of experience in professional software development and two years of leading a team with six to 10 developers
Education Required: Bachelor’s or master’s degree in Computer Science or related field
A principal software engineering lead is a senior role that typically combines technical and management aspects. At Microsoft, these professionals are responsible for leading teams of engineers in the creation of new technologies, platforms, products, and services.
The Best Cities
for Microsoft Careers
There is a wide variety of Microsoft careers available across the United States. These range from entry-level to senior roles in various departments and with varying responsibilities. Keep reading to learn the best cities where you can pursue a career with Microsoft.
- Seattle. The Microsoft Campus, which serves as the company’s headquarters, is located in Redmond, which is part of the Seattle metropolitan area. As such, Microsoft careers in Seattle are abundant and varied in nature.
- New York City. NYC is home to the Microsoft Technology Center, housing close to 1,000 employees. There are ample opportunities in this Microsoft hub, which is geared toward providing consumers with areas to test products and engage with company employees.
- Atlanta. Microsoft careers in Atlanta are on the rise as this culturally rich city continues to grow into one of the US’s biggest tech centers.
- D.C. Metro Area. Microsoft’s presence on the East Coast continues to grow, and with it, more opportunities continue to rise. There are career opportunities in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. available for a new generation of tech innovators.
- Bay Area. Microsoft has a strong presence in the California Bay Area, with hubs in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Mountain View dedicated to innovation and collaboration with other tech leaders in the industry.
What It’s Like to Work at Microsoft
Aside from wondering how to get a job at Microsoft, many applicants are curious about what they should expect if they get hired. With plenty of job opportunities at all career levels, the average day at Microsoft may vary for each person. Generally, employees have a positive view of working at Microsoft.
What Employees Say About Working at Microsoft
According to reviews on Glassdoor, many employees feel that Microsoft goes out of its way to provide them with an excellent experience. The company offers exciting work, competitive salaries and benefits, opportunities for connections and collaborations with smart people, and focuses on diversity and inclusion.
However, not all reviews are positive. Some past and current employees complain of a lack of work-life balance while others say that office politics can be difficult to navigate.
Microsoft has an overall rating of 4.4 out of five stars on Glassdoor and ranked ninth on its Best Places to Work list for 2021. CEO Satya Nadella also received high praise and garnered 98 percent approval from employees and ex-employees. Furthermore, 91 percent of current and past employees said they would recommend working at Microsoft to a friend, giving the company a positive image as an employer overall.
Microsoft Work Environment and Culture
Microsoft hasn’t been involved in a lot of controversies and scandals like other tech companies. As the reviews from Glassdoor said, the company strives to nurture a positive work environment and culture, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusivity. Although work can be stressful and demanding, everyone gets along.
Microsoft employees operate inside a culture based on a growth mindset that enables them to work together, learn more about the customers, and make a difference in the world.
In addition, since Nadella became the CEO, there have been more conversations and open feedback happening in the workplace. However, because Microsoft is so big, each team’s experience still varies considerably.
Does Microsoft Offer Remote Jobs?
Yes, Microsoft remote jobs are available across all locations. This company prides itself on supporting flexibility and creating hybrid work environments where each employee can find the mix of workstyles that works best for them.
Microsoft acknowledges that there is no one-size-fits-all model that can accommodate all employees, especially in the aftermath of a global pandemic. That is why they offer flexibility in terms of the work site, work location, and work hours.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Get
Me a Job at Microsoft?
Yes, bootcamp graduates can get a job at Microsoft even if they don’t have a college or university degree. Microsoft hires graduates from coding bootcamps in Seattle and all over the country. Coding bootcamps are more affordable than academic degrees and take under 12 months to complete, so they are becoming an increasingly popular option.
Many big tech companies, including Microsoft, are known for hiring coding bootcamp graduates. Forward-thinking companies are looking to hire bootcamp students because they have received practical and up-to-date training and acquired the skills needed to get the job done.
There is also the Microsoft Leap Apprenticeship Program. Through this program, Microsoft recruits coding bootcamp graduates with some project development experience as apprentices and helps them develop professionally. After the 16-week apprenticeship, the company offers full-time positions to some of the participants.
What Should I Study to
Get a Job at Microsoft?
To get a job at Microsoft, your best bet is to study computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, or a related technical major. If you look at Microsoft’s career page, you’ll find hundreds of available job posts in different fields, from engineering and business to law and research. The degree you need will depend on what job you want to land at Microsoft.
The right coding bootcamp can also help you land a job at Microsoft. Regardless of your education path, you will need to have a strong knowledge of math, statistics, computer science, and other technical subjects for the majority of roles.
How to Get a Job at Microsoft FAQ
Is Microsoft a good company to work for?
Based on the reviews posted by past and current companies on Glassdoor, Microsoft is a good place for employees. Although work can be demanding like in other tech companies, the salary, benefits, work environment, and culture make it worthwhile.
Can you get a job at Microsoft without a degree?
It is possible to land entry-level jobs at Microsoft without a degree. However, you must possess the relevant skills required for the particular job you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying to be a software engineer, you must be familiar with scripting, C++, C#, and Java.
How long is a Microsoft interview process?
The on-site interview process consists of up to five rounds, each lasting for up to one hour. In total, this stage can take half a day or up to five hours. Before the on-site interviews, there are usually two phone interviews.
Does Microsoft call for rejections?
Microsoft recruiters don’t call applicants for rejections. Instead, they will send an email if you didn’t get the job. Keep in mind that they must sift through thousands of applications for each job posted. You can always reach out to your recruiter or hiring manager to follow up and check on the status of your application.