“We look for curiosity, a collaborative and open mindset, passion for technology, problem-solving ability, self-drive and initiative. In general, we look for people who can embrace our culture by loving what they do and doing what they love,” Skype spokesperson told women’s lifestyle magazine Cosmopolitan.
For each location we try to find local talent to hire into the local office, but often the best talent for the role may not be located there and so in these cases we offer relocation.
With the continuous rise of social media, candidates have access to read and see more about our business than ever before. If a candidate has enough interest to apply for a role in the Skype product group, they should know some of the company’s key facts and recent news. I often ask candidates, “What is it about Skype and Microsoft that interests you?” which gives me a good idea of whether they genuinely care about what’s happening at our company or whether they’ve just clicked the apply button.
One question we sometimes ask is, “How would you improve Skype?” This is a great indicator of how much a candidate uses Skype and how innovative and creative they are. I would expect a candidate to either actively use our product or at least have played around with it to get a feel for how it works (and doesn’t work) and how it could be improved.
One mistake I regularly see is when candidates make up answers or guess answers. It’s always better to be honest with the interviewer and admit that you do not know the answer. It goes a long way and helps the interviewer move on to other questions or a related topic that you may know the answer to.
Diversity and inclusion is absolutely the heart of our business. Microsoft has always been about recognizing the value that different life experiences and viewpoints bring to our business. We seek out people from diverse backgrounds and encourage them to take risks and approach challenges unconventionally.
There are lots of attributes and skills candidates can demonstrate through their social activities and nontraditional experience. For example, a candidate may not have had the opportunity to lead a team in a business environment, but they may have led sports teams outside of work. This can lead to very insightful conversations that demonstrate leadership qualities and potential. Plus, this also shares more insight into what people are passionate about and helps to build rapport during interview processes.
For engineering, our dress code is casual, so we expect candidates to come in attire that they feel comfortable wearing. However, for some of our sales and client-facing roles, it may be more appropriate to be smartly dressed. We do not have a formal dress code and leave that up to candidates to decide.