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CAREER PLANNING

How to Get a Job at Microsoft 

Microsoft is renowned as one of the biggest tech companies in the world. As such, it is something of a matter of prestige to be hired. Getting a position with Microsoft means you beat out potential thousands of other candidates for a single position. The process can be extensive, with several rounds of interviews between applying and receiving an offer.

You’ll need to be able to prove to the recruiters at every stage that you have the skills that set you apart in this massive candidate pool.

That’s why today we’re going to take a look at what it takes to get a job at this tech Giant. We’re going to explore what you can expect from the recruitment process and the different positions available at Microsoft. Along the way, we’re going to look at what you can do to develop your skills and experience to make you the right candidate for those positions.

How Many Employees Does Microsoft Have? 

As of September 2022, Microsoft employs approximately 221,000 people in full-time positions around the world. Every one of them went through the daunting Microsoft hiring process that you will, and they came out the other side a full-fledged Microsoft employee. With effort, you can too.

Don’t worry if you don’t get the offer your first time. Many employees for the tech giants such as Microsoft try and try again before they finally land their dream job. It’s this persistence that Microsoft recruiters look for in their candidates alongside a desire to learn, grow and adapt with a real passion for technology.

Microsoft recruiters are also looking for technical and analytical skills that allow a person to learn through hands-on experience. If these traits describe you, Microsoft would love to have you. 

How Hard is it to Get a Job at Microsoft in 2022? 

Forbes listed Microsoft as one of the top five tech companies people wanted to work for in 2020. Now it’s 2 years later, and it remains true today. As such, they receive millions of applications every year to fill their open positions.

This makes it a difficult task to get a job at Microsoft, especially if you’re light on education and experience.

Due to this high competition, the Microsoft hiring process involves 4 to 5 rounds of interviews before you’ll land an offer. According to Zippia, this process takes a median of 22 days for non-technical positions and 32 days for technical positions.

However, despite competition and inherent difficulty, getting a job at Microsoft is still very much an attainable goal. To join the discussion on how to get a job at Microsoft, Reddit’s community of techies discuss the subject somewhat regularly.

Microsoft Jobs Salary 

One of the major benefits of working for Microsoft, beyond the prestige, is the more than fair salaries offered to full-time employees. 

Role Salary*
Entry level$73,000 – $103,000**
Research $93,000 – $281,000
Mechanical engineer$155,000 – $193,000
Technical sales $126,000 – $122,000
Data science$138,000 – $236,000
Software engineering $153,000 – $239,000

*Range estimates created using Glassdoor

**Entry level estimate ranges across roles.

How to Get a Job at Microsoft Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Look at Microsoft’s Company Job Qualifications 

To start your journey from candidate to new hire with Microsoft, you’ll begin like any other job hunt. Begin by comparing how you measure up to Microsoft’s desired qualifications.

Microsoft primarily divides its job postings into preferred qualifications and required qualifications. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

  • Digital Sales Representative – Cloud Acquisition 
    • Required: Extensive sales and negotiation experience
      • Or a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management or a related field with 1+ years of sales experience.
    • Preferred: A Bachelor’s in Business Management or a related field with 3+ years of sales experience. 
  • Data Analyst 
    • Required: Either 1-year experience and a Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related fields 
      • Or  2+ years of experience in research, marketing, data science, or finance 
    • Preferred: 4+ years of experience and a Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related fields 
      • Or 5+ years in research, marketing, data science, or finance.
      • Or 3+ years in research, marketing, data science, or finance with a Master’s degree in business, marketing, or related fields. 
      • An MBA or equivalent with a strong academic background.
  • Principal Researcher 
    • Required: Ph.D. in applied mathematics, computer science, or a related field. 
      • Relevant post-PhD experience in the field. 
      • Working knowledge of python. 
  • Preferred: People management experience.  

If you find that your experience and qualifications already match the criteria of the position you’re looking for, go ahead and skip to step 4. 

If you find yourself on the other side of the coin, you still have options to pursue a career with Microsoft. In these next steps, we’ll look at how to get a job at Microsoft without a degree or experience. 

  1. How to Get a Job at Microsoft Without a Degree 

Take a second look at the qualifications of the first two positions we discussed. You will notice that Microsoft is willing to accept equivalent experience in some cases instead of a degree. This is because Microsoft is looking for skilled candidates, not good grades.

Begin by developing your skills either through entry-level positions. These jobs are not ideal, but allow you to earn the necessary experience to get you considered in the Microsoft hiring process. 

Alternatively, you could expand your skills through other approaches. For example, Microsoft is the third largest employer of Quantic graduates, and only 43% of those students possess Master’s degrees.

  1. How to Get a Job at Microsoft with No Experience

Perhaps you already have the degree, and you’re just struggling to find a position that works for you. Similar to getting a job with no education, no experience means you’ll need to pursue internships and entry-level positions.

Applying for an internship also gives you a good opportunity to make an impression. It gets your foot in the door, and you’ll be able to learn what the company is looking for firsthand. However, these positions are not easily won either. You’ll have to prove you have what it takes, i.e. the passion and knowledge of technology, to beat out your internship competition.

If you’re looking for another way to ahead of the competition, consider expanding your skillset with an MBA through Quantic. This provides you with an education to see the big picture and a network-first approach to making meaningful connections with other skilled and ambitious individuals like yourself.

As such, you’re more likely to meet someone while pursuing your MBA with Quantic that can help open doors for you at businesses such as Microsoft in the future. 

  1. Decide What Type of Role You Want 

So you have the qualifications. It’s time to decide which role best suits you. Thankfully, Microsoft has hundreds of open positions for you to consider.

These include

  • Researcher
  • Scale Customer Success Associate
  • Data Center Technician
  • Strategic Account Strategist
  • Presales Specialist
  • Product Manager
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer 
  • HR Consulting Manager
  • Data Scientist 

Each of these roles has unique requirements and qualifications. To help you help land your dream Microsoft job, here’s some advice for four of the roles you can pursue at Microsoft. 

How to Get a Software Engineer Job at Microsoft 

First up, to get any software engineer job, you’ll need to learn how to code either through formal education or free resources. The safest languages to start with are either JavaScript or Python due to their high demand, but the choice depends on your interests. However, if you’re looking for bonus points with Microsoft, it wouldn’t hurt to learn that language they created: C#. 

Afterward, you’ll be able to land your first programming job or an internship to further your experience toward being ready to apply for a position with Microsoft.

However, getting a job at Microsoft is more than technical skills alone. Microsoft is looking for team members that understand their roles and the effects their work has on the whole organization. Quantic’s software engineer MBA graduates not only learn this valuable skill but see their promotion prospects grow. 

Here’s what the typical Software Engineer Career ladder looks like…

How to Get a Mechanical engineering Job at Microsoft

To become a mechanical engineer for Microsoft, you’ll need to meet some basic qualifications. These include a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a college-level understanding of a niche within the engineering field. This could include knowledge of  HVAC systems and the operation of facility environments’ heating and cooling systems for example.

To achieve this, seek out other work on projects involving building and supporting the infrastructure of tech-oriented environments, and build your experience in supporting tech and development. 

How to Get a Technical Sales Job at Microsoft 

To get a technical sales job with Microsoft, you’ll need to be able to understand and explain the systems you’re pitching in great detail. As such, Microsoft is looking for individuals who possess computer science or related degrees to fill these positions.

However, if you can prove technical aptitude with a marketing degree, you also stand a chance of being hired for this position. 

How to Get a Job at Microsoft Research 

For those interested in pursuing a career in research with Microsoft, it’s best to start while pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer science or a related field. During this time, you can apply for an undergraduate research internship in computing or similar fields. Whether this is from Microsoft or not is up to you and your qualifications.

However, a research internship is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and build experience at the same time. 

  1. Explore Microsoft Careers 

If you’re not sure what role might suit you, or how your qualifications stand up to Microsoft’s expectations, check out Microsoft’s career page. There you’ll be able to see all of the positions available around the world and their requirements. 

  1. Work on Your Resume 

The key to crafting a good resume for a Microsoft position is to craft it according to the job description provided. Using the same keywords between the minimum and preferred qualification categories, your resume is more likely to stand out to recruiters and resume screening algorithms.

Additionally, Microsoft recruiters look for certain key aspects in a resume. These include clean formatting, an elevator pitch introduction of the candidate, a reduced skill section, and simplicity.

For more advice on how to craft a professional resume, check out our 6 steps to a professional resume. 

To get a jumpstart on your resume, grab a professional resume template here. 

  1. Apply Online

Here’s what you need to do to apply for a Microsoft position online. 

  1. Open the Microsoft Career Page and select “explore career opportunities.” 
  1. From here, you’ll be able to select to either explore professions or locations 
  1. Selecting professions will present you with a page of all the disciplines Microsoft hires 
  1. Choose a discipline you’re interested in and then select the position. 
  1. Sign in to the portal and create a profile
  2. Upload your resume and complete the necessary forms including contact information and professional experience.
  3. Interview – Microsoft Interview Process 2022 

Including assessments, Microsoft’s interview process involves approximately 6 rounds. 

  1. Recruiter Contact – This step may be skipped in favor of an online assessment. However, should a recruiter reach out to you directly, you can expect a short conversation regarding yourself and your interests. This acts as a brief preliminary screening.
  2. Online Assessment – The first round of interviews will be remote, either through an online Codility test or a phone screening, sometimes both. 

The Microsoft Codility test is specifically for positions such as software engineers and consists of 2-4 coding questions to solve in 60 to 90 minutes.

The screening interview will likely be held over Microsoft teams or Skype. It will last for about 30 minutes and cover behavioral assessments, coding problems (for relevant candidates), and conceptual questions. Common questions include “explain recursion to a 5-year-old” and “what is a linked list?”

  1. On-Site Interviews – The remaining 4-5 interviews will be conducted onsite, each lasting approximately 1 hour. These interviews will feature more coding questions for software engineers and behavioral interview questions.

The best way to prepare for this process is to read extensively about the position for which you applied and review potential material. 

  1. Offer 

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. The hiring team has made you an offer. Assuming the terms of your employment are everything you’d hope them to be, you just need to accept. Look forward to onboarding and your new dream job at Microsoft. 

Conclusion 

At the end of the day, getting a job at Microsoft is a daunting task no matter how prepared you are. But it’s not impossible. With the right education, experience, and sticktoitiveness, you can work for one of the biggest and most successful companies in the tech industry.

If you find yourself looking for a way to make yourself stick out from the crowd that applies every year, take a look at what an MBA with Quantic can do for your career. 94% of our alumni report meeting their career goals post-graduation. 


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