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.
Many dream of joining Microsoft’s team, whether they are software engineers or professionals applying for higher positions like senior product managers. Microsoft was listed in Forbes as one of the top five tech companies people wanted to work for in 2020, even though getting a foot in the door may be difficult.
Whether you are looking for an entry-level or a senior-level role, getting a job at Microsoft is not easy. Before we discuss how you can do it, you must know what to expect if you land this dream job. The more you know about Microsoft, its growth opportunities, workplace environment, and culture, the better you can prepare.
In 1975, childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen co-founded the company that would eventually become the multinational computer technology corporation and tech titan we know today.
Microsoft Corporation, originally known as Micro-Soft, was based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and had a humble background with only two people on the payroll. The company received major recognition in 1981 when IBM released its first PC, which featured Microsoft DOS as its operating system.
Four years later, Microsoft announced its first version of Windows, the milestone that started the modern operating system many of us use today. Since then, it launched a search engine and gaming console and developed other operating systems and business applications. It has also acquired LinkedIn, Skype, and GitHub.
What’s It 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 some 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.
Microsoft Careers: Job Requirements, Salaries, and Descriptions
Microsoft is advertising thousands of open positions across various departments in over 200 countries. Here are some tech jobs in the US available in August 2021 that you might want to check out.
Salary: $117,675 (base salary)
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
In this position, you will be part of the team behind the Microsoft Cloud. You will deliver innovative solutions to address automation needs and improve the cloud delivery experience. This opportunity is ideal for someone who has extensive experience in the software development field shipping production apps.
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
This role is also based in the Microsoft’s Cloud Operations & Innovation (CO+I) team, which powers Microsoft’s cloud services. You will be implementing and managing EPMS or IOT in Microsoft Data Centers across the US region. It’s ideal for those who have experience working in large data center environments.
Level: Senior level
Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or related field
The qualified candidate for this senior-level role would be joining Microsoft’s Azure Customer Experience (CXP) Team. As posted on this job opening, you will be working with Azure CXP Program Managers, Data Scientists, and other teams to develop a customer-centric engineering infrastructure, features, and tools.
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
This entry-level career is your opportunity to work under Microsoft’s Xbox division and join the Game Publisher eXperiences (GPX) team. As the Program Manager, you will be responsible for developing innovative ways to connect gamers to the Xbox catalog and drive strategic purchase and eCommerce initiatives. You will be collaborating with engineers, business experts, and various partners both inside and outside Microsoft.
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
This Senior Engineer Program Manager role is an excellent opportunity for those who want to interact directly with customers and be at the heart of Microsoft’s Cloud services. You will be responsible for identifying support trends, building tools as part of support processes, and optimizing products with the engineering team.
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
As part of the payments engineering team, you will be at the heart of Microsoft’s commerce activity. Your role will involve planning, creating, and delivering innovative payment features to improve customer experience. It’s the ideal position for those who have a solid background in architectural design and software engineering.
Level: Intermediate level
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 Xbox gamers, then this position is for you. You’ll be responsible for turning insights and algorithms into real products. You will be developing tools and features to ensure an enjoyable customer experience.
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
If you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to showcase your seamless, elegant, and impactful design prowess, then apply to this job today. You will work as the senior UX designer in the Knowledge Management team. You will also lead the team in designing new use cases and scenarios that can enhance user experiences.
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 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 Azure Infrastructure and Applications Development Platform. It will also be your responsibility to act as the voice of customers and become their trusted advisors.
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
As the Principal Software Engineer for Project xCloud, you will lead a diverse team of software engineers from Xbox, Azure, and Store to deliver solutions for a seamless gamer experience. It’s your responsibility to manage both gaming and platform content across the Microsoft servers.
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.
This is one of the best-known tech companies worldwide and boasts an impressive reputation, so don’t be surprised if the job interview process is more challenging than you expected.
Is It Hard to Get a Job at Microsoft?
Microsoft gets millions of applications annually. With an applicant pool as vast as that, competition is tough. It also has one of the hardest job interview processes in the market. Is it hard to get a job at Microsoft? Certainly, but it’s not impossible.
How to Apply for a Job at Microsoft
Microsoft Hiring Process
When applying for a job at Microsoft, the first thing that you should do is to 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.
Aside from visiting the company website directly, you can also build a personal connection 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.
Finally, keep in mind that there are other third-party websites like Indeed and Glassdoor that also publish job listings for Microsoft. They might be a good alternative to keep track of Microsoft job openings and learn more about the company.
Due to the sheer number of applicants, Microsoft follows a structured hiring process that’s somewhat similar to that of other tech giants. Below are the steps you can expect.
The first step to getting a job at Microsoft is to complete your application and submit your resume. But 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 and skills, and how they apply 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, you may be invited for a phone interview with the hiring manager after one or two weeks. 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 so far, 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 position.
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.
What Should I Study to
Get a Job at Microsoft?
Looking 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 job listings for the company are vast. The degree you need will depend on what job you want to land at Microsoft.
If you’re aiming for engineering roles, you will need to study math, statistics, computer science, or related technical subjects. For business-related jobs, you will need to earn a business degree.
A law degree is required for those who want to apply for legal positions. Meanwhile, those who want to become part of the research team will need a PhD in Computer Science or a related discipline.
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. 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.
How to Get a Job at Microsoft FAQ
Is Microsoft a good company to work for?
Yes. 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 other tech companies, the salary, benefits, work environment, and culture make it worthwhile.
Can you get a job at Microsoft without experience?
Students, recent graduates, and those with no experience are all welcome to apply to the company. 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.