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Microsoft Australia

  • > 100,000 employees

Insider’s tips for getting a graduate job at Microsoft

Jaymes Carr

Careers Commentator
We surveyed recent graduates at Microsoft to bring you the top five tips for applying to the Microsoft graduate program.

1. Bring your enthusiasm to interviews and assessment days

Microsoft has one of the most famous origins stories of any modern business: Bill Gates and Paul Allen co-founded the company in 1975, driven largely by their passion for the emerging field of home computing. Now, even as Microsoft enters its fourth decade, recruiters are still drawn to candidates driven by Microsoft’s goal: “be what’s next”.  

"Think outside the box; they're looking for authenticity; I came from zero IT background but my ability to demonstrate enthusiasm, the motivation to learn new things, and the readiness to adapt to a new environment empowered me. "

- Graduate, Melbourne

"The actual hiring process was good, there was far more emphasis on "you as a person" and not a mark on a piece of paper."

- Graduate, Sydney

2. Be on top of technological trends

Microsoft is the world’s largest software developer by revenue, and, as such, it exerts a strong influence on various areas of the tech world. These include game development, cloud computing, software as a service solutions, hardware development, network administration, and more. While it’s impractical to become an expert in all these areas, you should be familiar with broad trends, especially those related to the role you’re targeting. 

"Look into technological trends, what's the next big technological boom, what is happening in the market at the moment?"

- Graduate, Sydney

"Don't hide your tech passion. Love Microsoft and know its goals."

- Graduate, Sydney

3. Familiarise yourself with Microsoft’s unique workplace culture

 At the Microsoft head office in Sydney, report our insiders, employees, from new graduates to national managers, keep their possessions in personal lockers and sit a different desk every day. This allows people to collaborate freely with colleagues from different departments, promoting a culture of collaboration and creativity. How will you contribute to his culture? Which of your personal attributes will help you fit into it? Considering such questions could give you a significant edge during the application process. 

"There is no sense of structure/hierarchy. Skip level management are really approachable. I am always surrounded by really smart, capable and helpful colleagues. I would never know who I will be sitting next to until I arrive in the office - oh the things you learn!"

- Graduate, Sydney

"The company's culture is the best thing about my job. Due to the flexibility, and mentality that "you have goals, how you get there is up to you", the people, managers and senior leaders are very supportive and motivational. I have never been in the office past 7pm, and can work from home several days a week. There is no such thing as work life "balance", because to balance you have to separate the two. Microsoft fosters a work life "integration" which means I can work how I want, which has lead me to be able to achieve far more than if I was chained to a desk!"

- Graduate, Sydney

4. Get ready to keep on learning!

Microsoft prioritises training for new graduates, and has the global presence to send ambitious employees around the world. So, while a graduate job at Microsoft is definitely an excellent start to your career, try to think of it also as a way to continue your education. With countless opportunities to learn, you might find yourself inspired by something you couldn’t possibly have anticipated. 

"Huge investment in developing graduates. Not only role-based skills but also soft skills. I was flown to 4 different countries for my training across 2 years."

- Graduate, Sydney

"We have amazing on the job training opportunities and also a large selection of tailored online training modules which we complete regularly. We are also able to be sent on formal training courses if we show interest. The company is very supportive of this."

- Midlevel, Canberra

"The graduate training is very comprehensive and fun, you get to travel all over the world to meet fellow Grads. However, the technical training, or role based training is very dependant on the team. Some sectors have great training, and others are getting better."

- Graduate, Sydney

5. Have some sense of where you’d like your career at Microsoft to take you

Where you go in an organisation like Microsoft is up to you: your creativity, your ambition, and your vision of where you’d like to end up. According to our insiders, it’s never too early to start clarifying that vision. Interviewers might even ask where you see yourself going within the company, so make sure to have an answer ready. 

"Capable and ambitious candidates have plenty of opportunities to move up the ranks."

- Graduate, Sydney

"If you work hard and show you are capable of doing that next role the company will make the space to get you into the role you need to be in, to ensure you are successful."

- Midlevel, Canberra