A Must-Read Guide to University Recruiting Part II: The First-Round Interview…then what’s next?
By JobsBlogger Anthony Rotoli
In my last post, we talked about how you set the wheel in motion toward the goal of interviewing with Microsoft. Now let’s talk about what to expect in a first-round interview.
One of our recruiting coordinators or, on occasion, your campus recruiter, will reach out to you to schedule a time. This interview will take place in person, on your campus or by phone. It will last about 20 to 30 minutes and will cover a range of topics to help us get to know you better.
During the first round of interviews, we will consider you for a broad range of roles. If you’re being interviewed for a position in software development, we’ll evaluate you for all three of our core development roles: Program Manager, Software Developer, and Software Developer in Test. If you have specific interest in one of these roles, feel free to tell us. But keep an open mind: Our interviewers are pros when it comes to matching your abilities to the best fit.
James Decker, a Penn State freshman who will intern with us next summer, considered the first-round interview an opportunity to learn about Microsoft. “I was pretty much interested in any experience working on software,” James explained. ”
Tell us what you told us
We want to hear the detail behind your resume. Make sure you’re comfortable describing everything you included. If you claim to be proficient in Java, expect to have those language abilities tested. If your resume said you’re the president of your local ACM chapter, we may ask about your leadership style.
“I had really expected more in-depth technical questions and brain teasers,” James said. “But there were more questions about my interest in the company and what types of projects I would like to work on. There were fewer questions about my ability to program, and more about what I like to program.” He added, “The interviewer asked what languages I liked to program in, and what area of Microsoft I would like to be a part of.”
Think on your feet
We will also focus on your technical aptitude and problem-solving abilities. When you’re presented with these types of questions and problems it’s important to think out loud. We want to know how you approach challenging scenarios and understand your thought process as you work toward a solution.
Share your inspiration
Finally, this is a great opportunity to demonstrate your passion. At Microsoft we get excited about contributing to cutting-edge technology that will impact the world, and we’re looking for people who share our enthusiasm. Be ready to tell us what technologies fascinate you and where you see tech heading in the future.
Above all, stay positive. James’ advice to students applying for both internships and full-time positions: “Be calm and try not to overthink this stage.” James received his results for the first-round interview in less than a week, and was in Redmond interviewing within a month.
After YOUR first-round interview, we aim to provide interview results within one to three weeks. In our next post we’ll discuss what to expect during final-round interviews and how to make the most of a few days in Seattle!
I’m going to host a Reddit AMA for candidates to ‘Ask Me Anything’ about university recruiting soon – stay tuned for the date and details. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter @anthonyrotoli – where I share highlights of tech news and ramblings about Seattle weather, local concerts, etc.