Follow proven recommendations and tips from Graduates First, a team of organisational psychologists and recruiters, to get your job with Mircrosoft first time.
Microsoft is an American multinational technology company; it develops, manufactures and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers and services. With almost 125,000 employees worldwide it is one of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world. There are plenty of career opportunities at Microsoft for graduates and professionals. However, Microsoft receive tens of thousands of applications for their job postings and the competition is very fierce, with Microsoft often attracting the top students and professionals. If you want to be successful you need to make sure to perform at your best in every stage of the recruitment process.
Follow our step-by-step guide to receive expert tips for each of Microsoft’s 5 recruitment stages:
This part of the recruitment process is your first chance to set a good impression and stand out from your competition. The online form will ask you to provide details of your education and any academic results, work experience and may potentially include some motivational questions, depending on the business area you apply to.
Throughout your application refer to skills and competencies outlined in the role description. Although this will differ across roles, examples of these may include: numerical ability, good communication skills, etc.
Tip: Apply as early as possible; applications are often reviewed on a rolling basis. By doing so, you increase your chances of progression to the next stage of the recruitment process.
Motivational questions that you may be asked as part of this stage may consist of questions like the following:
What is your motivation to work at Microsoft?
Why do you want to apply for this particular role?
Online Aptitude Tests
These will vary depending on the role you apply to. They may include Microsoft’s:
Microsoft’s Situational Judgement Test will provide you with a number of scenarios that you are likely to encounter when working for Microsoft; it will require you to identify the best and worst courses of actions. You will need to use your common sense, and appreciation of what it takes to excel in a professional environment, to give satisfactory responses.
Tip: Microsoft’s Situational Judgement Test is written in a way that makes all answers seem desirable. Always bear in mind which response is the most practical and demonstrates the key characteristics of an ideal candidate.
Remember: You will only need around 30 minutes to complete this test.
For more hints on how to pass a situational judgement test, visit our Youtube channel
Microsoft-style Situational Judgement Test Example
Microsoft’s Logical Reasoning Test, often referred to as a Diagrammatic or Inductive Test, will expose you to 5 diagrams with varying shapes and ask you to identify the right pattern and indicate what comes next in the sequence.
What makes the Microsoft Logical Reasoning Test difficult is that there is no limit to how abstract these patterns and trends can be. They will usually evolve around the size, arrangement, movements and colours of two and three-dimensional shapes.
Tip: Some patterns are likely to differ in more than one of the aforementioned categories so be extra careful!
As it is very abstract, the best way to prepare for the Logical Reasoning Test is by practicing sample questions. By doing so, you will familiarise yourself with some of the most common questions types, become more comfortable and get used to thinking under time pressure.
For more hints on how to pass a logical reasoning test, visit our Youtube channel
If you are looking for a Microsoft-style Logical Reasoning Test with answers, worked-solutions and professional score reports including personalised tips based on your performance, then Graduates First has it covered.
In the example above you will have ONLY around 45 seconds to notice that:
the arrow moves around the diagram
shapes change from triangle to circle to square and
the long line is either horizontal or vertical, and then to find the right answer! There is a lot of time pressure which often leaves candidates anxious and harms their performance.
Got the answer? Check it out at the bottom of the page.
For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to Microsoft aptitude tests, register with Graduates Firstand take your FREE Logical/Inductive Reasoning Test now!
C. Microsoft Technical test
Depending on your previous experience and the particular position you are applying to, you might also be required to take some technical tests. These aim to examine your practical skills, and will most likely involve some coding knowledge and other skills relevant for your position. It is best practice to read the position opening description and try to think of some of the key skills that are crucial for this role, as you may be asked to demonstrate these during the assessment process. This is a good way to predict what you may be asked to do during Microsoft’s Technical Test, in addition to the application process in general.
If you have successfully passed the online tests stage, you will be invited to Microsoft’s Video interview. This is a perfect opportunity for you to show demonstrate your interest and the potential skills that make you suitable for the particular role that you applied to.
In Microsoft’s Video Interview you are likely to be given 15 questions with a time limit of 3 minutes per question. These questions will be competency based (CBI) and will be focused around your CV and personal motivations, so review your CV and prepare examples of situations where you demonstrated key skills of ideal candidates. Examples of these are as follows: teamwork, determination, creativity, initiative, resistance, leadership etc.
You will be taken through a series of questions by first having a short period of time to analyse the question, and then given strict time limit to record your answer. Remember that keeping an eye out for time is crucial! It is better to conclude earlier and miss one point than be automatically cut off in the middle of your sentence.
You should prepare some ideas of examples that you can later use during your interview based on the most common types of interview questions.
Tip: Practice your tonal quality, body language, and ability to maintain eye contact beforehand, as these are all crucial to get right! One way of doing this is by creating mock video interviews and asking your family and friends to rate you on your performance.
Want to know what questions could come up in your interview? Graduates First can help with the Question Identifier Tool (QIT). You can buy it by following this link.
The Microsoft Assessment centre will be a chance for you to network with professionals working at Microsoft learn more about the work culture and environment. It is the perfect time for you to get a better insight into what it would be like to work there.
The exercises you might be expected to take are as follows:
Microsoft Group Exercise
This exercise will examine your ability to work as part of a team. Throughout this task various Microsoft employees will observe you and how you solve problems, when required to work with others. It is important that you are confident to share and argue for your ideas, but also be ready to contribute to somebody else’s input. Most importantly, speak clearly and do not interrupt anyone!
Tip: Try to persuade others towards your ideas and also ask critical thought-provoking questions, but only do so when it feels natural. You need to appreciate that other people on the team are just as important.
This exercise will mainly test you on your communication skills. Your assessors will also be looking at your body language and tone to see how you would cope with delivering professional presentations, taking part in group discussions and explaining your point of view.
Presentation Exercise tip: Always stand straight, make regular eye contact with everyone in the audience and do not speak too fast.
This stage of the recruitment process will consist of a one-on-one interview with managers or senior staff.
Tip: Your interview should last up to 30 minutes. Although it might seem long, remember to refer to specific arguments following the S, T, A, R method: describe the particular situation, the task you were faced with, and what action you took to resolve it, concluding with the result of your work.
At the end of your interview you will be given a chance to ask questions. You must definitely use this opportunity! This is a way of showing that you are interested and motivated, so prepare some thought-provoking and interesting questions beforehand. You can also ask your interviewer about their career path.
Our proprietary tool will help you identify questions that are likely to come up during your interview. Check out our Question Identifier Tool (QIT) here.
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