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Microsoft Job Interview Questions: 7 Common In-Demand Questions and STAR Answers

Microsoft is a desirable prospective employer due to its revolutionary products, global impact, and commitment to innovation and diversity. Did you know Microsoft has over 200,000 employees worldwide?

Top interview questions to expect

1. Tell us about a time you faced a complex problem at work and how you approached solving it.
2. Describe a situation where you had to work as part of a team to achieve a shared goal.
3. Give an example of a time you had to adapt to a changing environment or situation.
4. Describe a time you took initiative to improve a process or system.
5. Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or colleague.
6. Describe a situation where you had to make a difficult decision.
7. What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how do you plan to overcome your weaknesses?

Check the latest questions for this role:

Answering interview questions with STAR structure

The STAR framework is a commonly used method for answering behavioral interview questions. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It is a compelling way of discussing specific actions you have taken, particularly when the interviewer can’t directly observe your skills and abilities.

Sample answers to above interview questions


1. Question: Tell us about a time you faced a complex problem at work and how you approached solving it.

Example Answer: In a previous role, I encountered a challenging situation when our company launched a new product, but sales were not as expected. Using the STAR method, here’s how I approached the problem:

Situation: As part of the marketing team, I was responsible for promoting the new product. However, initial sales figures were disappointing, leaving us concerned about meeting our targets.

Task: My primary task was to identify the root cause of the low sales and develop strategies to increase demand for the product.

Action: To address this, I analyzed market data, customer feedback, and sales trends to understand the reasons behind the poor performance. Based on my findings, I suggested improvements to our marketing campaign, including refining our target audience, optimizing our messaging, and increasing our online presence.

Result: As a result of these actions, sales began to improve steadily. Within a few months, we had exceeded our initial sales targets, demonstrating the effectiveness of the strategies I implemented.

2. Question: Describe a situation where you had to work as part of a team to achieve a shared goal.

Example Answer: During my time at a previous company, I had the opportunity to be part of a cross-functional team tasked with developing a new software feature. Here’s how I contributed to the team effort:

Situation: The team consisted of engineers, designers, and product managers with diverse backgrounds and expertise. Our goal was to create a user-friendly feature that would enhance the overall user experience.

Task: As a software engineer, my primary task was to develop the technical aspects of the feature, ensuring its functionality and efficiency. I also collaborated with designers to ensure the feature aligned with the overall product design aesthetic.

Action: Throughout the project, I actively communicated with team members, sharing my knowledge and expertise while seeking their input and feedback. I also took the initiative to identify potential challenges and propose solutions, ensuring we stayed on track to meet our deadlines.

Result: Thanks to our collective efforts, we successfully delivered the new feature on time and within budget. The feature received positive feedback from both internal stakeholders and end-users, resulting in increased user engagement and satisfaction.

3. Question: Give an example of a time you had to adapt to a changing environment or situation.

Example Answer: In my previous role, I experienced a situation where I had to adapt to a sudden change in the company’s business strategy. Here’s how I navigated the transition:

Situation: The company underwent a major restructuring, resulting in significant changes to our team structure and responsibilities. As a result, I found myself in a new role with a different set of expectations and deliverables.

Task: My task was to quickly adapt to the new role, learn new skills, and establish myself as a valuable contributor in the new team.

Action: To achieve this, I actively sought opportunities to learn and grow. I reached out to my manager and colleagues for guidance and support. I also took the initiative to take on additional responsibilities, demonstrating my willingness to contribute to the team’s success.

Result: Through my adaptability and commitment, I successfully transitioned into the new role. I was able to quickly grasp the required skills and knowledge, earning the respect and trust of my new team members.

4. Question: Describe a time you took initiative to improve a process or system.

Example Answer: During my previous employment, I identified an opportunity to streamline a repetitive and time-consuming manual process. Here’s how I took the initiative to improve it:

Situation: In my role, I often had to manually compile data from multiple sources and generate reports. This process was inefficient and prone to errors.

Task: My task was to find a way to automate the data compilation and reporting process, saving time and improving accuracy.

Action: I conducted research on various software tools and identified a suitable solution that met our needs. I then took the initiative to learn the tool, develop a workflow, and implement the automation.

Result: The automation significantly reduced the time spent on data compilation and report generation. The improved process also eliminated errors and enhanced the overall efficiency of the team.

5. Question: Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or colleague.

Example Answer: In a previous customer service role, I encountered a challenging interaction with a particularly demanding customer. Here’s how I handled the situation:

Situation: A customer contacted me with a complex issue that required extensive research and troubleshooting. The customer was frustrated and impatient, making it difficult to communicate effectively.

Task: My task was to address the customer’s concerns, resolve the issue, and maintain a positive customer experience.

Action: I actively listened to the customer’s concerns and empathized with their frustration. I then took the initiative to thoroughly investigate the issue and provide a detailed explanation of the solution. I also kept the customer updated throughout the process, demonstrating my commitment to resolving the matter.

Result: Through my patience, empathy, and effective communication, I was able to resolve the issue to the customer’s satisfaction. The customer expressed appreciation for my efforts, and the interaction ended on a positive note.

6. Question: Describe a situation where you had to make a difficult decision.

Example Answer: During my time at a previous company, I faced a challenging situation where I had to make a difficult decision that impacted multiple stakeholders. Here’s how I approached the situation:

Situation: Our team was working on a project that had the potential to significantly impact the company’s bottom line. However, there were two viable options with different advantages and disadvantages.

Task: My task was to make a decision between the two options, considering the potential risks and benefits of each.

Action: To make an informed decision, I gathered information from various sources, including team members, stakeholders, and market research. I carefully weighed the pros and cons of each option, considering the potential impact on the project’s success, the company’s reputation, and the well-being of the team.

Result: After careful consideration, I made a decision that I believed was the best choice for the project and the company as a whole. The decision was well-received by the stakeholders, and the project went on to be a success.

7. Question: What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how do you plan to overcome your weaknesses?

Example Answer: It’s important to be honest and self-aware when discussing your strengths and weaknesses during an interview. Here’s how I would approach this question:

Task: The task is to provide a balanced and authentic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses, demonstrating self-awareness and a commitment to personal growth.

Action: I would start by identifying my key strengths, such as my analytical skills, attention to detail, and strong communication abilities. I would then acknowledge my weaknesses, such as a tendency to be overly perfectionist at times and a desire to take on too much work. I would also explain how I am actively working to overcome these weaknesses, such as seeking feedback from colleagues, delegating tasks effectively, and practicing mindfulness to manage stress.

Result: By demonstrating self-awareness, honesty, and a commitment to personal growth, I aim to leave a positive impression on the interviewer and show that I am dedicated to continuous improvement.

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