Microsoft PM Interview Guide
What is a Microsoft PM?
Microsoft is a pioneer in the technology industry. Few companies can match the sheer impact a product career at Microsoft can provide with billions of users across its suite of products. But getting in isn't easy. Microsoft is known for its extremely competitive hiring. In fact, less than 0.4% of applicants make it to the offer stage.
Product managers are known as "Program Managers" and "Product Managers" at Microsoft. Although there isn't a clear distinction between the two roles, some claim that Product Managers are less technical and more business-focused and Program Managers are more technical. Since both role types undergo the same interview process, Microsoft program managers and product managers will both be referred to as PMs throughout this article. Microsoft PMs act as liaisons between engineering and end users. They partner with numerous stakeholder teams and interact with customers to identify their pain points and develop solutions. PMs develop roadmaps, analyze customer data, monitor product usage, and partner with engineering teams on technical implementation. Microsoft PMs have a significant impact on how the products they oversee are developed.
Microsoft will assign candidates based on their qualifications and prior experience to a particular organization within the company (such as Azure, Office, Xbox, GitHub, etc.). All Microsoft interviewers test candidates on the same competencies. Given that you will be paired with interviewers from a particular organization, you might be asked more questions about the projects from that organization.
Things to Know
- During every in-person interview, candidates will have access to a whiteboard to help them better express their ideas.
- You might be paired with an "as appropriate" interviewer during the final on-site interview. This interview is designed to give you more information about Microsoft and give the interviewer a better idea of how you would fit in with the team.
In this article, we describe the hiring process and interview structure.Back to top
Expect the hiring process to last, on average, four to six weeks. Our Experts can assist you in preparing for your Microsoft interview. If you haven't already done so, schedule a mock Microsoft PM interview with one of our Experts.
- Apply: When applying for the position, make sure your resume is tailored specifically for Microsoft. Don't worry! My PM Fit is here to help with resume review and writing services specifically for Microsoft PM candidates. Reach out to your network for a Microsoft employee referral.
- Recruiter call (optional): A Microsoft recruiter may get in touch with you to see if you're prepared for an interview. If you're not ready, be sure to schedule time with one of our PM Experts. Be ready to discuss your experience, answer behavioral questions, and explain why you'd like to work at Microsoft.
- Phone Interview: This phone interview may actually occur via Microsoft Teams instead of the telephone. Be prepared for behavioral questions about past experiences as well as technical questions.
- On-site interviews: For the on-site or virtual on-site interview at Microsoft, you'll be asked to attend three to four interviews in a single day. Most of the questions you'll be asked will be behavioral, but there will also be product design, strategy, technical, and analytical questions. You may also meet a “stress interviewer” who will evaluate how well you work under stress.
- "As appropriate" interview: Candidates who succeeded in the earlier on-site interviews are invited to the "as appropriate" interview. The focus of the "as appropriate" interview is to determine if you would fit into the team. You may be asked a wide range of questions, including behavioral, product design, strategy, technical, and/or analytical questions. The "as appropriate" interviewer has special veto power, making this the most crucial interview in the Microsoft PM hiring process. You won't get an offer if they decide against hiring you. However, if they decide to hire you, congratulations—the job is now yours!
- Offer and negotiation phases: Once the “as appropriate” interviewer votes to hire you, Microsoft will extend an offer! Congratulations on landing an offer! Don't leave money on the table, though. You can count on My PM Fit to assist you in negotiating a better compensation package.