The tech company, which employs approximately 73,000 people in the U.S. and over 125,000 people worldwide, receives thousands of applicants a day.
“We’re always, always hiring,” Chuck Edward, Microsoft’s head of global talent acquisition, tells CNBC Make It. “We don’t screen people out. We screen people in.”
Here are three skills the HR chief says prospective candidates should highlight in an interview to score a coveted position at the company:
1. Show that you have a growth mindset
What started as a company focusing solely on computer programming has now become a technological behemoth that creates new gadgets and apps like artificial intelligence for the visually impaired.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Microsoft favors applicants who, Edward says, “embrace the future.”
He explains that this growth mindset is fostered from the top down, starting with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Edwards says that applicants looking to score a job at the company should show how they have progressed within a role or within a company.
2. Demonstrate a customer obsession
The HR exec says that a “true customer obsession” is paramount at Microsoft. So how can one illustrate this? Edward suggests highlighting jobs where you’ve had a client-facing role, such as consulting.
He also recommends focusing on instances in which you have taken on “more challenges,” “gotten things done through others” and shown how you have solved problems for customers in the past.
Notably, a customer-centric approach has been important to Microsoft for some time. For example, Nadella told Fortune in 2016 that he always reserves time to meet with children. That’s in part because they are the next generation of customers and because it “keeps him grounded.”
He also attends tech summits because it gives him a chance to gain necessary insight on how customers are using Microsoft products, according to Fortune.
3. Prove that you’re a learner
Edward says that the concept of learning, rather than knowing, is a vital part of the company’s ethos and has been modeled and reinforced time and again. He calls this Microsoft’s “secret sauce.”
“How can we be convinced that you’re a learner?” he asks. More importantly, “How do you get others to join you and learn with you?”
Now, obviously, a person applying to work in quantum computing or AI will need a “classic skill set,” says Edward. But “not everyone will have every skill.” That’s where this ability to learn comes into play, he says.
Edward says that your resume should also describe your past leadership experience and how you have “achieved results, progressed and learned.”
Other crucial skills the company looks for include the ability to create clarity and collaborate with team members.
The HR chief explains that these skills show aptitude, which people from different backgrounds possess. This widens the demographic of people that the company employs, he says.
“It’s not always tech expertise,” says Edward, “[but rather] passion for what tech can do. That opens up a huge palette of people we can hire.”
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