A Must-Read Guide to University Recruiting

The On-Campus Interview

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Greetings, students! You read in earlier posts about how to start finding a tech job or internship with Microsoft and what happens in the first-round interview. Let’s imagine the best-case scenario: You have now scored a final-round interview.  What happens next?

How you get here

A scheduler will contact you, discuss travel times, and make the arrangements for Microsoft to bring you to our campus. Generally, you’ll fly in the day before. That night we want you to relax and sleep well, not cram for the interview. You want to show up ready to impress, so taking it easy the night before should give you the energy you’ll need.

The morning of your interviews you’ll make your way to Microsoft Building 111 where you will be greeted by one of our concierges who will offer you coffee and snacks and make you feel at home. You’ll then meet your on-site recruiter who will fill you in on the team you’ll be meeting.  This on-site recruiter will be your main point of contact going forward, and will be a wealth of information along the way.

How your day at Microsoft works

On site at Microsoft, you will interview with anywhere from three to five people.  These interviews will be specific to a role (i.e. PM, SDE, SDET, etc.) and a business group (i.e. Xbox, Windows, etc.). You will meet with people from a variety of businesses to assess where you would fit best.  Similar to your initial interviews, these will cover a range of topics, including of course your technical aptitude, communication abilities and passion for tech.

During the day, you will have well-deserved breaks so you can check out the campus and have some fun. The one-of-a-kind Recruiting Lobby in Building 111 offers a variety of fun activities and technology for you to interact with from Xbox, Kinect, Surface, PixelSense and Windows Phone 8. Guest badges are also available courtesy of our concierges that allow you to tour our campus.  Be sure to visit Building 92 where you can check out gadgets, gizmos and geek history in the Visitors Center or purchase Microsoft gear from the Company Store. You’ll also want to stop by The Commons, the social hub of campus. With over 20 retail shops and restaurants, soccer fields and volleyball/basketball courts, great food, and numerous other perks, The Commons offers something for everyone!  After your final interview, your on-site recruiter will meet with you again to debrief and learn what you thought of the team and your interviews.

How you make the most of your trip

You want to ace the interview. But you also want to experience Seattle (or the city where you’re interviewing). During your time in Building 111, be sure to meet the concierge and get suggestions on cool places to go and things to do. Taxi vouchers and maps make it easy to see the Space Needle (for free!), hit up a live concert in Belltown, or get a taste of the local cuisine in one of Seattle’s amazing restaurants. The concierges are your resources for a fun and exciting trip to Seattle. You might also want to check out some of the local hot spots we shared with New York Magazine.

You will be on campus from about 9 am until anywhere from 3pm to 6pm. Don’t just go from campus back to your hotel and straight to the airport. Stay in town for the night, play, and take time to imagine what’s next: Can you see yourself living here? Envision your tech job, yes, but also picture your life in the Pacific Northwest (or wherever you’re interviewing).

What’s next? Your on-site recruiter will do his or her best to provide you results as quickly as possible, generally within one week.  In our next post we’ll talk about what you can expect from the offer process if you’re successful during your final round interviews.

Because fall is our busiest time of year for University Recruiting, we’re hosting a Reddit AMA next week, Tuesday November 13 – we’d love if you could join us and ask your questions.

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