Getting a job at Microsoft requires a combination of passion, curiosity in technical wizardry and soft skills, entrepreneurial spirit, and demonstrable qualifications for the specific job you are applying for.
- Microsoft is on an aggressive expansion path globally with over 221,000 employees as of 2022 and is expected to continue hiring in operations, research, and development growth areas.
- Microsoft hired over 19,000 employees in 2021, bringing the total number of United States employees to around 122,000.
- Globally, Microsoft hirings are on the rise, with over 21,000 employees added within 2021, bringing the total to over 99,000.
- You can get a full-time position in the four business units at Microsoft, which include operations, marketing, research and development, general, and administration.
- Microsoft’s business segments and product portfolio covers a wide range of enterprise and consumer software, services, and hardware.
Microsoft offers career opportunities in over 40 disciplines, which can complicate the process of applying for a job at Microsoft. Each year the organization receives over 2 million job applications, with less than 10% getting selected to interview.
Whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced professional looking to get a job at Microsoft, one thing is clear; you need to stand out from the rest of the competition. This guide covers how to get a job at Microsoft, what you can expect in the application and interviewing process, and possible career opportunities at Microsoft.
How to get a job at Microsoft
The company’s hiring process varies depending on the specific career; however, most careers begin with a job application or getting discovered by Microsoft recruiters. Shortlisted applicants then undergo multiple rounds of interviews that can take up to 6 weeks. The following steps outline the general process of applying for a position at Microsoft:
Update your resume to fit the job description
The only way recruiters are able to sift through the millions of job applications they receive is by screening resumes for a general fit for each role available in the company. They then spend around 6 to 30 seconds reviewing the total content.
Recruiters often look for red and green flags in candidates’ resumes. Update your resume to avoid falling into the red flags category of candidates with singular experiences. Instead, opt for a willingness to diversify your experiences even though they fall outside of your past positions.
You must avoid the “resume of perfection” trap where candidates poetry themselves as know-it-alls. Instead, opt for a learn-it-all approach, whereby your resume has to express your motivation to grow and learn constantly.
The presence of useful keywords like “learning” and “growth” in your resume triggers green flags, especially in the “interests” section of the resume. Remember to include a short statement on your values or five words that describe you. Another green flag is adding a bulleted list of hobbies that show your interests outside of the immediate role you are applying for.
Apply for available Microsoft careers
Having gathered all the appropriate documents, you should proceed to apply for the position that you are interested in. Visit Microsoft careers page to see available positions, and the website will direct you on how to create an applicant profile. This will give you access to the right guides, job description and point you in the right direction while also giving recruiters insight into your experiences and interests.
Prepare for the interview with the hiring manager
Microsoft’s new hiring approach adopts the sharing of interview content with the applicant before the interview, allowing candidates to think clearly. The Microsoft interview process also uses real-world problems that the company is currently working on. You can expect the Microsoft interview process to take an interactive approach, keeping you engaged and thinking on your feet.
A major part of the preparation process involves visiting Microsoft’s career website and researching the company’s core competencies, the vision of the future, and Microsoft’s culture. The information provided makes it possible to do your due diligence on the job description and how the position you are interviewing for contributes to Microsoft’s goal of working as one toward empowering billions globally.
Ace the interviews
Microsoft contacts successful applicants via email, phone call, or Linkedin. You will be assigned a recruiter who will contact you for the first interview, which is divided into two parts. During the first session, the Microsoft recruiter will ask you to review your resume while answering multiple behavioral questions that gauge your openness to curiosity, learning, and leadership qualities. This initial interview may differ if you apply for technical roles, whereby they may ask technical questions on data structures and algorithms.
After the initial phone screening, qualified applicants get invited to another phone interview, and your Microsoft recruiter will share potential questions and topics to be covered ahead of the interview. During this interview, a hiring manager or an official from the hiring team will participate in the phone screening, so remember to show great communication skills and professionalism.
Qualifying applicants get invited to on-site interviews, which are usually conducted on any of the Microsoft campuses depending on your location. The interviews consist of multiple back-to-back rounds where you will meet several managers or developers depending on the role you are applying for.
The human resource (HR) interview is the final round which is mostly done as a formality to test additional behavioral questions and determine if you are a good fit for Microsoft. It’s advisable to be yourself and demonstrate your thinking during this final interview. Technical applicants may be required to go through an “As Ap” who, in most cases, is a program manager or a senior tenured Microsoft employee. During this step, you may have to demonstrate your knowledge of the tech landscape and how Microsoft operations are affected.
The offer and salary negotiations with Microsoft employees
Within a week after the final interview, you should expect to hear from the interviewer. Microsoft will send an offer, but if that fails to happen, you have to wait for 6 to 12 months before reapplying for the same position.
The offer includes a base salary, sign-on bonus, and new-hire equity. You can negotiate for better terms depending on your level, which will determine the target bonus and other perks.
Tech jobs at Microsoft
Microsoft advertises thousands of career positions globally. Here are the best tech jobs in the US that you can apply for at Microsoft:
Digital cloud solution architect
National median wage (2021): $120,520
Digital cloud solution architects design and deploy cloud solutions for organizations. The career requires in-depth knowledge of cloud architecture, networking, cloud-based delivery systems, back-end and front-end platforms. A cloud solutions architect is also responsible for bridging gaps between a firm’s computing problems and available cloud solutions.
Microsoft is always on the hunt for Azure cloud engineers and architects to work on data center migrations, architecture design, networking, and database administration. Professional experience in related work is required, or a provable internship in cloud solutions is required for this Microsoft position. Education qualifications include a bachelor’s in computer science, computer engineering, information technology, or any other related field.
Technical specialist manager
National median wage (2021): $120,520
A technical specialist manager works alongside network systems analysts to design, review and troubleshoot computer networking operations in an organization. The role involves working with technical programs to develop networking and computing solutions that resolve problems without having to result in downtime.
A technical specialist is expected to analyze all procedures that rely on a company’s computer network and ensure that the entire network runs efficiently. They also assist with delaying management software. A degree in electrical or computer engineering, computer science, or related fields is required as well as networking certification from accredited sources such as SISCO.
National median wage (2021): $120,730
Microsoft is always looking for software engineering talent to work on developing computer systems software. Most of the software engineers at Microsoft get to work on Windows operating systems and other Microsoft applications such as Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365.
The organization offers tens of software engineering positions ranging from operating systems to gaming, network control systems, and middleware. A software engineer job description at Microsoft requires you to be well-versed in coding, programming, and computer science fundamentals. Depending on the position you are applying for, additional rock solid skills may be required, such as debugging, information analysis, data structures, and algorithms.
National median wage (2021): $100,910
Data scientists work with large data sets to find trends and patterns that provide useful insights. As a data scientist, you get to create data models and algorithms that can predict outcomes using machine learning techniques.
Microsoft Azure networking teams require data analytics to innovate high-performance computing and visualization systems. The position also requires you to have technical skills in designing telemetry systems and analyzing data from multiple sources. Data scientists work alongside software engineers to design distributed software services that complement Azure data centers and Cloud Edge technologies.
Cloud security engineer
National median wage (2021): $102,600
Cloud security engineers design and implement cloud workloads that maintain secure cloud infrastructure. This option requires one to have a deep knowledge of all aspects and the latest concepts in cloud security, such as access management and configuring network security defenses.
To become an Azure security engineer, you need to pass the associate certification exams that test your expertise in implementing Azure security controls. You also need experience in hybrid and end-to-end cloud infrastructure. Cloud security engineers get to work alongside the Azure teams to implement cloud-based security and management solutions.
National median wage (2021): $120,520
Network engineers implement and oversee a company’s computer networks. Network engineers supervise network administrators in planning, designing, and rolling out network upgrades. It’s their job to ensure that the network’s technical specifications meet the company’s daily needs, and they also deal with maintenance and troubleshooting efforts.
Microsoft’s network infrastructure is spread across cloud computing, hardware development, research, and software development. As a result, the company is always on the lookout for additional network engineers. The network engineer’s role requires a degree in computer science or information systems engineering, and some technical positions might require tech industry certification.
Machine learning engineer
National median wage (2021): $131,490
Machine learning engineers work alongside the data science team in an organization to research, design, and build artificial intelligence (AI) models. Their objective is to improve prediction accuracy and provide data-backed insights.
Microsoft has a wide range of machine learning applications, from facial recognition to gaming and ad campaign designing. In fact, Microsoft is one of the largest employers of AI experts in the United States. These positions require proficiency in designing and deploying scalable machine learning models, analyzing new data sources, and automating detection algorithms. The machine learning industry is always changing, with new techniques and libraries getting introduced frequently, so you must be in touch with the latest AI tech stacks.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How hard is it to get a job at Microsoft?
Microsoft employment opportunities are highly competitive, with the organization receiving more than 2 million applications annually. Microsoft also has its hiring managers with access to the vast global applicant pool, who are always on the lookout for exceptional talent.
Do applicants require coding skills to apply for a job at Microsoft?
Only technical positions require coding skills at Microsoft. The organization looks for applicants with a strong desire to learn, an entrepreneurial spirit, a willingness to work hard, and a passion for tech.
What degree do you need to get a job at Microsoft?
While not all positions at Microsoft require a degree, academic qualifications are necessary in order to qualify for a job at the company. You can apply with a certificate from an accredited institution, especially if the desired position contributes to your upward mobility. Internship positions require the candidate to have completed the first or second year of a bachelor’s degree in order to qualify.
Can you apply for a job at Microsoft using a coding bootcamp certificate?
Yes, Microsoft offers jobs to applicants who have completed coding bootcamps as long as they possess the hands-on technical skills required for the specific job at Microsoft you are applying for.
Microsoft is one the best tech companies to work for, with the most current and former Microsoft employees praising the company’s work environment and ethics. With its multitude of projects and revenue streams in cloud computing, gaming, software development, operating systems, hardware sales, and many more, the tech conglomerate is always searching for new talent to hire. There are positions for all levels running from internships to entry-level positions and senior coding, engineering, and managerial roles.