Microsoft Telephone Interview

Yesterday I had a telephone interview with Microsoft.  It was quite a scary 25 minutes and it got my heart beating!  Having said that, it was a valuable experience and I hope it will have made me more confident in future interviews.  There is loads of advice online for how to do well in telephone interviews; hence, I am going to give you 3 tips specifically focusing on Microsoft’s competency-based interviews.  This is the third stage in the recruitment process.  Although I cannot say the specific questions they asked me, I hope you find the following tips helpful.

1) Answer – and ideally prepare your answers – in the STAR framework.  S is for situation – describe the setting you were in. T is for task – describe the challenge you faced.  A is for action – what did you do? And finally R is for results – what were the outcomes of your actions?  Remember, only use examples that have positive outcomes!  Also, the example must be from the past – not on going – this way you know the results of what you did.

2) Microsoft expect you to use different examples of your skills than the ones you gave in your initial application.  This is quite tough, as if you are like me, you will probably use you best examples in your online form, which is the first stage.

3) Relax and be confident!  I spoke to the lady who organises the telephone interviews on campus during a Microsoft event.  She explained to me that the highest rate of failure occurs during the second stage: the aptitude tests.  If you still feel nervous remember that approximately 70% of interviewees are successful and the tests you managed to pass to get the interview are also used to test financial analysts working in the city.  Hopefully that will give you some self-belief!

I hope this helps and good luck with anyone applying at Microsoft for their internships/industrial placements.

© Joshua Blatchford, author of Manifested Marketing, 13/10/2010

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