6 Ways to Win Microsoft's Favor

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2007-11-02 Print this article Print

Want to slam-dunk your next interview with the Redmond, Wash. software giant? It's as easy as one through six.

In an Oct. 30 blog entry on Microsoft's JobsBlog, technical recruiter Janelle Godfrey wrote that one of the most common questions she is asked on recruiting trips is what Microsoft looks for during an interview. She responds with six suggestions.

From encouraging confidence, having good problem solving skills, knowing your resume front to back, being honest and having questions for the interviewer as well, none of the advice is outside the realm of what you would want in any interview, but when it comes with the Microsoft seal of approval, it's worth tuning in.

Godfrey says that she often asks people how they would design a cell phone for a 5-year old in an effort to get them thinking. She wants you to clarify and ask questions back. "Relate these questions back to the software lifecycle (i.e. researching, design, testing and implementation). Keep talking for as long as you can."

Encouraging interviewees to know their resume thoroughly seems more about catching people who lie, which sounds surprisingly common.

"If you have 20 different programming languages listed and you claim you are advanced in all, then be ready to answer a question on it. If you aren't that confident, or if you've only HEARD of a language and never worked in it, then list it that way or keep it off," Godfrey wrote.

Godfrey said she likes to be asked questions.

"Questions show that you are listening and taking it all in. Maybe you thought about something to ask the night before, or maybe you came up with something on the spot. In an interview I talk about a lot of things, so I know I would have questions for me."

Last but not least, Microsoft wants to see you enjoying yourself. "You don't have to be so serious," said Godfrey.

Easy for her to say, huh?

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