MACH Germany – first telephone interview

I survived my first telephone interview and now I’m really happy :-) But let’s start from the beginning …

On August 11th, I applyied for the MACH program as a technical trainee. It took just one week until I got response from the HR (human resources) department of Microsoft (on August 18th). A very friendly lady called me on my phone with the purpose for arranging an appointment for the first telephone interview. She suggested August 31st (5 p.m.) and I accepted :-) Later, I additionally got an e-mail from the HR department to confirm the appointment. Furthermore, there were some information, e.g. the name of my interviewer and that the interview is going to take about 30 minutes. I confirmed the date of the interview and started my preparation …

As arranged I was called on August 31st at 5 p.m. Ok, it was a little after 5 p.m. ;-) First, my interviewer (again a very friendly lady) introduced herself and thereafter, it was my turn. I had to present myself in some sentences and was asked about the MACH program (What is it? Why did I apply for it? and so on). The first questions were just for demonstrating my will to get the job. This was the easier part of the interview and the part in my motherlanguage (german). Afterwards, we switched to english. Then she asked me about my strengths and weaknesses, about how I deal with criticism, about my curriculum vitae or how I keep my knowledge about technology up-to-date.  One unexpected question was about if I have led a project yet. And if so, how I handled it.

To sum up, the first telephone is like a “normal” personal interview. You must proof your will for the job and that you are the “perfekt” person for it . In my opinion, there were no malicious questions. If you are well prepared, then you can look forward to the second telephone interview ;-)

I was hopefully convincing enough for the next round. We will see …

MACH Germany – application process

The Microsoft Academy for College Hires (MACH) is as an accelerated career development program designed to recruit and hire top-performing graduates across a broad range of roles, and aims to cultivate your talent utilising training, mentoring, and community support. (source: Microsoft Homepage)

During my studies at university I decided to apply for the MACH program in Germany. It is a traineeship for college graduates offered by Microsoft. There are three different fields where you can apply for:

  • Technical
  • Sales
  • Marketing

The MACH program takes two years starting in January each year.  During that time you will broaden your know-how, improve your soft-skills, establish new contacts and, of course, travel around the world ;-) Finally, you will know Microsoft from inside out and be prepared to start your career at Microsoft.

I applied as a technical MACH trainee. Because of the lack of information about the application process, I decided to share my experiences and impressions of my own (hopefully successful) way to a traineeship at Microsoft.

The overall application process is divided into three steps:

  1. The first step is a telephone interview where you get in contact with Microsoft and vice versa. It’s just like a normal interview where you have to present your personality.
  2. The next step is another telephone interview. There you must show your technical knowledge. The interview is conducted by a technical manager.
  3. In the end there will be an assessment center (AC) with other MACH candidates.

So, I have to take all three hurdles to become a technical MACH trainee at Microsoft :-/ However, the actual first step is to apply for the trainee program. The positions for every MACH program are advertised in summer (June/July). In my case, it was around July 11th. Then you can apply online at the Microsoft Career site. Search by keywords “technical”, “sales”, “marketing” and  “trainee”, “MACH”. When you found your desired position, you only need to register at Microsoft, login and upload your current resume. That’s it, no attachment stuff or similar.

Soon I will post my experience with the first telephone interview.