The Microsoft Interview Process

By Deane Barker on August 12, 2008

My Interview Experience at Microsoft: This is a really interesting account of one guy’s 9.5 hour interview process with Microsoft.

[he] explained the day’s events. He gave me a piece of paper with an interview schedule that went through the 2-3pm slot. He said, “I can’t tell you who comes after this. If you do well, the last interviewer will take you to the next person. If you don’t do so well, they’ll take you back here and we’ll talk about it.” Yikes.

Man, Microsoft interviews people hard. They kicked this guy’s ass for a full day. Sounds like he was crazy prepared for it too.



  1. Yep. I’ve worked at Microsoft twice, separated by ten years or so. The company has become so fetishistic about process that the interview itself has been processized in the interest of finding candidates who can focus on process and who are willing to play silly games in the interest of further elevating process over result.

    Today’s Microsoft is full of people who are incredibly talented… at navigating a complex and artificial interview process. And on their first day of work, being the process fetishists that they are, they set out to add even more layers of process and more cunning twists to the interview process, all in the hopes of never having to leave the world of meta-meta-meta-meta-meta-process and actually do something.

    One day, when Microsoft is as relevant as the Remington Typewriter Company, someone is going to write a book about how a bunch of smart people decided that if more process would help their medium sized company grow, then a corporate culture that focuses on facilitating expansion of process would be a brilliant long term solution.

    These days I just consult for ’em. They pay well, but they are incapable of actually putting any work into product. They do love my ideas for expanding process, though. Maybe because the people I work with were selected for their interest in 10 hour Kafka-esque interviews.

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