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Looking for information on preparing for a job interview with Microsoft? You’ve come to the right place! I was in your shoes not long ago and it took several hours of research to uncover anything that was genuinely helpful in preparing for my interview. I can’t go into great detail about my own experience — I know you wish I would — but I can point you in the right direction to the resources that I found when I was “studying”. Feel free to jump ahead to the list at the bottom of this page, but for those of you interested to learn a bit about how I found myself at Microsoft, here’s a brief introduction:

A few weeks before the 2006 holidays began, I came home to my 1832 farmhouse in rural northern Vermont to find a voicemail from a recruiter who wanted to chat with me about my resume (I had recently posted it on both Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com). She didn’t say which company she was calling from, but made a cryptic allusion to representing a rather large company that was hiring in the search engine marketing space, to which she added “think Yahoo! and Google’s competitor”. Having worked in search engine marketing for close to two years at that point, I knew the only company she could possibily be referring to was Microsoft.

My initial reaction was suspicion; positions of Microsoft caliber don’t just fall out of the sky and land in your lap, that much I knew. I’ve read enough articles on the big M to know that they have a steady stream of applicants beating down their door on a regular basis, and that their college recruiters snap up the best and the brightest fresh out of schools like Stanford, Harvard and Yale. I graduated from UMass Boston… not exactly ivy league (although not too shabby either). Why on Earth would Microsoft be calling me?  Not that I was averse to the prospect of pursuing a position with them, quite the opposite.  It just seemed so surreal that they would be contacting me.

Imagine being a kid in the 1940s, growing up listening to NBC programs the radio, then watching them on TV.  Consider witnessing that progression and seeing how revolutionary those developments were in terms of the overall impact on society.  Imagine yourself as the adult that that child of the ’40s had become; NBC had been a part of your life for as long as you could remember.  First it entertained you with radio programs like Little Orphan Annie and Tom Mix, then it inspired you through documenting historical events like the moon landing, then it informed your political decisions and brought you late breaking news from all around the world.  Now imagine being contacted by NBC; imagine their asking you join them as they begin to forge new frontiers in the mass communication industry.  That’s what being contacted by Microsoft felt like for me — they’ve been the pioneers out there on the forefront of groundbreaking technologies for as long as I can remember.  To have a viable shot at being a part of whatever was in store for Microsoft’s future seemed too good to be true, but at the same time, too fascinating a prospect to ignore.

One year, 3,084 miles, one corporate housing apartment, one regular apartment and one home purchase later, here I am… clear across the country from everyone and everything that’s ever been familiar to me and working for one of the largest companies in the world. It’s been an amazing, intellectually challenging and humbling ride thus far.  I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting it is to work for a company that you know has, beyond the shadow of a doubt, changed the world and continues to strive toward improving the way we live, work and play. 

So what can I tell you about interviewing at Microsoft? Go through the links below and heed their advice. Was it a difficult transition to move from New England to the Pacific Northwest? At times. Do I feel like a fish out of water? Not as much as I did around this time last year. Do people know how to drive out here? Hell no… it’s flat out infuriating to know you’re in the minority in understanding that each of the highway lanes actually has a specific function. But I digress…

I suppose now would be the time for me to call out that all views expressed on this blog are my own and in no way are endorsed by Microsoft… or whatever the proper legal mumbo jumbo would be to let you know that this is not a Microsoft-sponsored blog. I love to write and I love technology, both have been my hobbies for a number of years, but I’ve gotten away from the former ever since my son was born almost two years ago. They say there’s no time like the present, so here I am. It’s been one hell of a year and I’ve got plenty to write about, so if you’re reading this shortly after 4/14/08, you’re in on the ground floor… be patient, I’ll write more as time and opportunity permits.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for your attention… now, on to the goods. The resources below are links I found while searching for content relating to preparing for a job interview with Microsoft. Some are more beneficial than others, but how it applies to you depends on the position you’re going for. Take notes wherever you find value and incorporate the advice you glean into your preparations — that’s what I did and it served me well. Good luck!

HR Staff Blog:
http://blogs.msdn.com/heatherleigh/archive/2004/04/19/116110.aspx

Microsoft employee blog offering interview tips:
http://dirtydogstink.com/blog/2006/06/15/TipsForInterviewingAtMicrosoft.aspx

Podcast interview w/ Head of Staffing:
http://www.totalpicture.com//_qt/spitasky.mp3

Microsoft employee blog w/ interview story & tips:
http://tejas.wordpress.com/2005/11/30/microsoft-interview/

Video – Recruiting staffers at MS headquarters (part 1):
http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=18472

Video – Recruiting staffers at MS headquarters (part 2):
http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=18718

Random bits and pieces on MS interviews/questions/advice:
http://www.sellsbrothers.com/fun/msiview/

Hoovers Company Fact Sheet:
http://hoovers.com/microsoft/–ID__14120–/free-co-factsheet.xhtml

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