Microsoft Interview with a December Candidate

January 26, 2007 at 3:14 am | Posted in Egypt, Microsoft | 6 Comments

I am sure some of you may be wondering about what the interview process is like. On the JobsBlog Priya has an interview with one of the candidates she met and interviewed in Egypt. Her name is Mona and she was offered a position as SDET in the .NET Developer team.

I noticed one thing though…they now do the interviews it seems at the Smart Village (I am guessing at Microsoft HQ there)…Mine was done at the Four Seasons…Much better setting in my opinion πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I thought some of you might be interested as Microsoft will be interviewing in Egypt in March and I know some of you are interested! If you know me and would like a referral don’t hesitate to ask…Good luck, and if she can do it then so can you!

Also, I wanted to point out Moe Shall’s blog. He got accepted too this past December and has just started a blog, so you may want to keep track of it to see his story.



  1. Hi Ali,

    Congratulations, your blog is terrific! =D

    I have passed in the phone screening interview about one month ago. At that time, the recruiter said that the database group would be coming to my region (I got really excited because I really love to work with database and conduct research in the are of database)

    I’ve mailed the recruiter recently, and he said that only the Office Business Platform group will come (not the database group) 😦

    What should I do now? the group I really want to work is the database group (SQL Server product unit, I think). Should I tell this to my recruiter?
    once inside MS, is it possible to move from one group to another? How should I handle this situation to avoid losing the opportunity?

    thank you very much for your time and consideration,


  2. Ron – Glad you enjoy my blog. It is okay to tell your recruiter you are interested in the database group. I don’t know about your particular case, but the one for Egypt/Middle East told me they don’t necessarily only look for good fits for the current team, but also try to look for good fits in other areas. Having said that though, I think its a bit harder, as you need to make a really good impression for the recruiter to try to sell you to a hiring manager (who hasnt met/seen you)…

    At MS it is flexible (and in some cases encouraged) for you to switch to other teams. You do have to complete at least one year with your team, but after that you can if you wish seek out another team. You still have to get interviewed and accepted – but if you’re able to get into MS in the first place, this should be okay with you πŸ™‚

    Before you shut out your current opportunity, try to find more about the team and what they do…It may not be your dream product group, but I bet you anything you will still find it interesting and very challenging. To be honest, at first I wasn’t very excited about Windows Serviceability team when I first heard about it, but now that I’m here its quite exciting and fun πŸ™‚

    Good luck and hope you do well.

  3. Hallo again Ali,

    Thank you very much for your insight. It is always helpful to count on a perspective of an insider! πŸ™‚

    Just to let you know: The prospective group is the Office Business Platform (OBP). Products in the OBP Group include SharePoint, Project and Dynamics CRM.
    Unfortunately (and sincerely) not a group I’d love to work with 😦

    Possibly I can be shutting out the opportunity, but I will speak candidly with my recruiter. At least he’ll see I’m being open. Here is what I intend to email. Please, let me know what you think.

    (…) “During our phone interview you mentioned about the database group. I really got excited because I love to work with SQL Server and conduct research in the area of database systems. Are you guys coming to look for good fits only for the OBP group?

    I’d have still a couple of questions for you =D (general questions that can help other people to get to know better MS too):
    – Is there a “work from home” policy at MS? have you already experienced that?
    – In average, how many hours do you work a day? I mean, is it just work, work, work or you can live a real life and still work at MS?

    sorry for being so curious =D

    thanks again,


  4. Since you consider me an insider, I feel like I should just say that all of the comments by me, are solely my own opinion and have nothing to do with my employer, Microsoft πŸ™‚

    I encourage you to speak candidly with your recruiter, but I believe you need to make a decision – do you feel that the OBP platform is something that you would be willing to work on or not? If its not your cup of tea, then thats fine. Discuss it with your recruiter and see what options are avilable.

    Regarding the work at home policy. It probably varies differently depending on the team/product group you are on. In general though Microsoft (and my leads) are very flexible. If you need to stay and work at home you can. We had a few days when there was lots of snow/ice and most of MS was working from home. Usually though MS has many meetings/trainings that you need to attend, so there are some days you need to come in. But as long as you are getting your work done it’s fine.

    As for how many hours a day I work, it really depends on my workload. If I have lots to do, then I may stay longer, if it is not so much I leave around 5-6pm. When I came on board there was never a “you have to work X amount of hours a day”. You are free to set your own work/life balance. In my product group as well, our work is seasonal (revolves around patches/hotfixes/SP released) and I guess this will be the same for any product group (as you approach a release you crunch).

    Also, it’s a lot of fun at Microsoft – we often meet and go play foosball in the middle and/or end of the day to just unwind. In a couple of weeks (Feb 10-11) there is a Puzzle Hunt, which I plan on joining with a team (basically 36 hr puzzle/treasure hunt kind of thing over the weekend).

    So basically we work hard and we play hard too πŸ™‚

  5. Hey Ali,

    Thanks for recommending my blog to your readers ;), i hope it will be of help to all readers.

    Hi Ron πŸ™‚
    Regarding your question about moving to the Database Unit (SQL Server Team), i asked Microsoft’s HR interviewer during my in-person interview (December, 2006):
    “The interviewrs are coming from the Dev Div team, and if there is an offer for me, it will be in the Dev Div Team, WHAT IF I WANT TO MOVE TO ANOTHER TEAM, say XBOX?”

    She replied: “THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME”..
    So, i encourage you to go for whatever team will be interviewing you, then, move to the team you like πŸ˜‰
    Good Luck Ron πŸ™‚

    Ali, i would like to thank you again πŸ™‚

  6. Hey Moe,

    Thanks very much for your tip! I wish you all the best.

    greetings from Brazil,


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