Wednesday, November 10, 2004

My Microsoft Interview

My Microsoft Interview

My second interview process at Microsoft started off with the typical scare (I'm not going to go into my first interview experience, but I will say I was offered a position at Microsoft but did not accept it).  I need to realize that traffic going to Redmond from my home is really bad around 8:15.  I thought I had left plenty of time, but still barely made it with a minute or two to spare.  (When will I learn?!)  I did wear a suit again, this time a really expensive Hart Schaffner and Marx number (that looks very good on me, if I do say so myself!)

My second interview seems like it went according to the typical MSFT process.  I still didn't get a puzzle question, but that's okay, I probably would have bombed it anyway!

The interview started at 9:00am with Cody Horton in Building 19.  I actually walked past one of the Moon Gals' office when going to Cody's office, but I can't remember which one!  Anyway, I chatted a while about things with the recruiter, then he sent me on the shuttle over to building 44.

In building 44 there was a bit of a mix up as the first person on my interview list was out that day, so things were a little bit off kilter, but after that things went smoothly.  I chatted with a peer of my boss named Joanne, then a gentleman from another group (whose name escapes me now).  After that, I met with my future boss, Chase Carpenter, then went to lunch with one of the technical guys on the team.  We had lunch at Claim Jumper, that bastion of light lunches, and we found out that we both had a somewhat similar background (a liberal arts background).

After lunch, I had one more scheduled interview, and then was asked to wait to speak to one other person.  After that, they asked if I could wait around for a little longer to talk to my future boss' boss.  I think that getting to that point is the key that they are considering you.  If it is a competitive situation, it's not a guarantee, but if you are the only candidate and talk to your boss' boss you are likely going to get an offer.

The interviews for the program manager position were much more focused on scope negotiation, dealing with slippages, phasing, communication, etc.  There was not as much security, but I think they had a good feeling about my skills since a) I had been offered a position by the Security Center of Excellence, and b) I have a reasonable resume.  A MSFT PM has solution architecture and project management responsibilities, and at least from the interview, they were more concerned about the PM aspects of the position.  I think I did relatively well throughout the interviews.

By the time I met with Jeff Newfeld, I was pretty beat.  I started in with him after 5:00, and had been "on" almost the entire day.  It was pretty exhausting, but I was happy when things were over close to 6:00.

On the whole I think I did pretty well, but was told that there was another candidate, so I wouldn't hear anything until the end of the week.  Didn't I do this waiting game 3 months ago?!

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