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How difficult is it to get a job at Microsoft or Google?

ssk13809ssk13809 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
edited November 2011 in Engineering Majors
1. Well, what kind of qualifications do you need to get a job here? And I'm mainly talking about the technology related jobs like software engineer.

2. What about the non-technology heavy jobs, like the finance/sales/marketing department jobs in these firms? Is it a little easier? Or as tough? Or a lot easier?

3. What about an internship? Pretty difficult too?

I tried doing some research, but no clear answers. So how hard is it really to get a job at these firms.
Post edited by ssk13809 on

Replies to: How difficult is it to get a job at Microsoft or Google?

  • KickbackKickback Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    1) One of my TA's applied to Google, but he said the hire the majority of those from where they recruit. The schools they recruit from:
    UC Berkeley
    UT Austin

    I don't know about Microsoft, but I'd assuming roughly the same thing would happen

    2&3 - No clue
  • LaceroLacero Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    If you know your Algorithms, Data Structures and OO inside out, I don't think landing an internship at Google/Microsoft should be too much of a problem. The students I see getting positions there are usually the ones who have been coding since middle school.

    To my knowledge Google/Microsoft don't really look at GPA when selecting candidates to interview.

    A full time position is probably a lot harder since they can't kick you out when summer is over.
  • md5fungimd5fungi Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    I know people that have gotten software engineering internships at Microsoft (Not sure about full-time, but I'm an EE so most people I know aren't interested)... I've never met anyone personally that has gotten any position with Google. From what I've heard, getting a job at Google is very difficult and very competitive, and if you get an interview I think you should give yourself a pat on the back.
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    Google hires from wayyyy more colleges that those posted above. Here is a good page about their hiring process and what they look for:


    Microsoft hires more students from the University of Waterloo, than any other college:

    About UW | University of Waterloo
  • fortifyfortify Registered User Posts: 1,161 Senior Member
    How do you know that Microsoft hires the most from Waterloo? The articles just says top source
  • fortifyfortify Registered User Posts: 1,161 Senior Member
    I looked at facebook careers and they list some schools that they visit

    [url=http://www.****/careers/university.php]University Recruiting | Facebook[/url]

    Check the list at the bottom
  • AuburnMathTutorAuburnMathTutor Registered User Posts: 1,770 Senior Member
    I actually had the opportunity to interview with Google, but turned them down (for a variety of reasons). I was surprised when I got an email from them at all, because I didn't remember every applying to the company. Apparently they have informants who get resumes posted online for career fairs at otherwise big-name events. They must, or I have no idea how they would have heard of a modest student from a modest school in rural Alabama.

    EDIT: So if you want to increase the chances of getting an interview, I'd recommend trying to get your resume places that people notice. For instance, I was a student volunteer at SC09 (it may have been ~50/100 of us, undergraduate and graduate, from around the country) and they had a job fair featuring a few big names, and forget about the convention to go along with it. There are a lot of things like this to do, and being involved in something like this may be a good way to be seen by a lot of people if your school isn't one they recruit at heavily.
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    fortify- personal, direct knowledge (I'm a researcher at another Canadian university). But I have also read it. It may have changed in the past year but it was factually true until 2008. If it has technically changed, the point is still the same.

    Bit of scouting about, but here is a quote from Bill Gates:
    "Waterloo is a special relationship for us," Gates told CTV News. "Most years, we hire more students out of Waterloo than any university in the world, typically 50 or even more."

  • ivnpolarisivnpolaris Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    waterloo is best in its math, which is a great fundament for computer science..
  • CountingDownCountingDown Registered User Posts: 12,461 Senior Member
    I can tell you Google goes to other schools besides the ones on that Facebook list...

    Being involved with a team that gets to the ICPC World Finals can also be helpful in getting an interview opportunity.
  • yagottabelieveyagottabelieve Registered User Posts: 549 Member
    It can be very difficult to get a job at Google or Microsoft. Like applying to a top tier school, there is fierce competition. Many arguably talented people are not hired. Furthermore, the interview process can vary quite a lot. You may get "impossible" brain teaser questions, algorithm questions, questions about specific programming languages or operating systems, questions about trends in computing, ... the list goes on and on.

    I would recommend that people interested in working at Google or Microsoft read the blogs of people who work there and ask them questions.
  • arcadefire1027arcadefire1027 Registered User Posts: 1,827 Senior Member
    I've just been offered an internship position with Microsoft and am currently interviewing with Google, so I can speak a little about my experience.

    It depends who you are as to how hard it is to get jobs with these companies. To be honest, I think it helps a lot to go to a well reputed school. Both companies definitely hire from less prestigious schools, but you may need to work a little harder to secure an interview. Going to a good a school and having a good GPA will get you an interview with both companies. A friend of mine with no work experience but a good GPA at UCLA was able to get interviews with Google and Microsoft. I had some work experience from last summer which I think helped me out. By "good GPA", I am talking above 3.8, though I think a 3.5 will be good enough to secure an interview. I'd bet that less than a 3.5 is good enough too, though in this case you may need some good experience to offset your GPA. However, if you actually want to get an interview, DONT JUST APPLY ONLINE. Go to any events Microsoft or Google is hosting at your school. Talk to recruiters, give them your resume, follow-up, etc.

    Once you actually get the interview, you'll have a phone screen. With Microsoft, the phone screen was mostly behavioral (though there were a few problem solving questions). Google's phone screen was far more technical. Once you pass the screen with Microsoft (I can't really speak to how hard it is to do this...), they'll fly you out for a full day of interviews. Obviously, these are pretty tough. They highly value technical skills, communication skills, and a drive to learn. Communication skills seem pretty key.

    Although I'm speaking about internships, note that Microsoft hires 85% of its interns so the interview process for interns is difficult.

    Feel free to ask me if you have any questions!

    Note: I'm actually working as a "Program Manager" at Microsoft, not a software developer. This is still in the software engineering side of things, though it's not straight programming.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,552 Senior Member
    Google and Microsoft are hardly the only companies in the computer industry, though they (and Apple) may be the most well known to the general public.
  • yashar22yashar22 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    So for anyone who does work at Microsoft (like @arcadefire1027), how are the interviews when they fly you out to Redmond?

    I applied for the Program Manager position and I'm going up there pretty soon. From what I understand, this position is highly technical but it's more focused on design than coding. So is the interview to scale? or did they still ask you to write a lot of code?
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    Friend's kid is working at Google. Did his undergrad at University of British Columbia in computer science.

    I just saw Google World. They claim to receive 1,000,000 applications a year! They also explained that the process of actually getting hired was a very long one, lots of steps, with lots of interviews and such.
This discussion has been closed.