How Long Is the Hiring Process at Microsoft? (Quick Guide)

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  • Post last modified:September 26, 2022

Microsoft can take a while to hire people, but the hiring process isn’t always as long as people fear or seem to believe. Based on my experience, and after some research, here’s how long the Microsoft hiring process should be.

The hiring process at Microsoft, from applying online to getting a job offer, usually lasts from 4 to 6 weeks, on average. Takes a few weeks for your application to get processed, then a few weeks of interviews, and about a week or so to get a job offer. If you decide to negotiate, add another week.

The recruitment process at Microsoft is generally a smooth experience. However, Microsoft consists of many companies, many locations, and different teams. Sometimes, things may change, such as budgets, teams, schedules, people getting sick, etc. and you may be in for a lot longer than expected. Try to be prepared for this.

Is Microsoft Hiring Process Slow Compared to Other Tech Giants?

man writing on white paper

While there were many reports of Microsoft being very slow with the speed of its hiring process over the last two years, the truth is, that Microsoft isn’t that bad at all. Microsoft hires from all backgrounds and they look to diversify their workforce as much as possible, so everyone can get a chance to apply.

Microsoft can be slow at hiring sometimes, but their hiring process is still generally considered to be faster than Google’s and about the same length as Amazon’s and Facebook’s.

In general, Microsoft’s recruitment process is fairly smooth. You usually don’t have to bug the recruiters for information, you’re well-informed in advance and it’s usually a good experience for most of their main locations.

The length of the hiring process at Microsoft will depend on a lot of factors, such as the role you’re applying for, the time of year, the recruitment team involved, whether they contact you or you contacted them, and whether you decide to negotiate. Any of these factors can prolong or shorten the recruitment process for up to several weeks.

Normally, if you’re a typical candidate who applied, rather than getting approached, then you’ll have to wait for the full process to complete, which usually lasts longer. If they approached you, however, they may speed this up significantly.

How Long to Hear Back From Microsoft After Applying?

Because Microsoft consists of many different companies within it, and the recruitment teams will vary in availability and quality, your times to get a job interview after applying may vary as well. It can take anywhere from a few weeks up to 90 days for your application to go through and get processed.

Usually, if you haven’t gotten a rejection email you probably haven’t yet been rejected and there is hope. Lots of people have reported having to wait months for Microsoft to get back to them, but you should never have to wait months without hearing something.

The entire application process at Microsoft is pretty straightforward. I’ve also included a few tips on how to increase your chances of successfully being contacted, as well as what to pay attention to when applying.

Overall, a few weeks is what you should be expecting for the application to be processed, however, there’s no need to stop with your applications if you’re actively looking for a job. Keep on applying to other tech companies, the other tech giants such as Google/Alphabet, or Facebook/Meta. Don’t put your hopes all in one basket, as this is considered extremely risky and unsound.

How Long Is the Interview Process at Microsoft?

The interview process at Microsoft can last from a few weeks to a month and usually includes a phone screen plus one or two onsite interviews. Typically, an onsite interview is a 3 or 4-hour panel interview with a short break of about 15 minutes between each one. This usually means 45 minutes for each interviewer plus 15 minutes of break.

You’ll be interviewed by several people, which means several different interviews. Some will test your behavioral skills and personality, others will test your technical skills. These interviewers may or may not be professional interviewers, or they may have limited time on their hands, so your experience may differ.

Recent graduates and university students may experience only one interview, of about 3 to 4 hours onsite or through Teams.

How Long to Hear Back After the Phone Screen?

Once you apply at Microsoft, you’ll be invited to do a screening test, which is usually a phone screen up to 30 minutes long. You may hear back on the same day, or after a few weeks. There’s no rule to this, but applicants typically hear in under a week.

After the phone screen, you may or may not be invited to the on-site/in-person interview, which can often be a virtual interview (through Teams, or a similar app). I wrote a good article on what can you expect and how to prepare for the Microsoft virtual interview.

How long to hear back after the in-person Microsoft interviews?

If Microsoft is heavily looking into hiring you, you may get a strong indication on the same day whether they’re likely to proceed. If you’re a typical candidate who applied, then you may have to wait from a few days up to a week before being contacted about the next phase in the process.

The time it takes to hear back after each of the Microsoft interviews will depend on a lot of factors, mostly on their interest in you, the skills of the recruitment team, and the level of the role you’re applying for.

If it’s an internship position you should hear back sooner after your interview. Keep checking your Microsoft action center about any changes in your status. Usually, it should change to complete, and then you’ll be contacted a few days later.

How Long Does It Take Microsoft to Make a Hiring Decision?

If you’ve made it through all the interviews and the hiring team informed you that they’ll be extending the offer next, it usually takes them one to two weeks to make you a job offer. This time period will depend on the HR team, their interest in you, the job position, the urgency to fill that role, and whether you decide to negotiate.

For an internship position, you should have a response within a week.

The recruiter will usually tell you when to expect to hear from them. Sometimes, they may need time to get an official letter before extending you an offer, and a few weeks to negotiate. If they haven’t informed you, you may want to follow up with a recruiter and politely ask how long to expect before knowing anything.

A company with so many employees such as Microsoft isn’t going to have a consistent timeline, so it might be different for each and every one of us. In any case, if you haven’t heard anything in about a week after your onsite interview, it might be a good idea to follow up with your recruiter.

What to Do if Your Hiring Process at Microsoft Is Taking Too Long?

It’s not impossible to have your hiring process at Microsoft dragged on for months. Microsoft consists of many different companies and many different recruitment teams. Some of them aren’t professional interviewers, they may not be as skilled in managing their time. 

Other times changes will occur, in their budgets, in teams, people get sick, etc. and you have to be ready for the possibility of a lengthy hiring process.

The first thing is to always keep in touch with the hiring team. The hiring manager should tell you how long you need to wait and when they will be contacting you. If that time elapses, get in touch again.

Be proactive. If you want a job at any of the FAANG companies, then the first thing you should do immediately after applying at Microsoft is to apply at other companies as well. Don’t rely on Microsoft to finish this quickly, and just move on. They’ll contact you eventually but be prepared for the process to be longer than expected.