Company FAQ

How to Get an Internship at Microsoft

Want to work at Microsoft? Keep reading for the Simplify Team's advice on how to land a software internship at one of the largest big tech companies!

Michael Yan Leila Le
Published: (Updated: ) - 6 min read
Michael Yan is the co-founder & CEO of Simplify. Previously a software engineer at Meta, Michael dropped out of Stanford to found Simplify. He is a part-time career coach & Y Combinator alum.

Photo by Matthew Manuel / Unsplash

Microsoft offers internships in tech and non-tech fields, such as coding, software engineering, data analysis, marketing, and project management. Interns may also join the Microsoft Research team. With 122,000 full-time employees in the US, Microsoft is the world's largest software maker and offers a range of internship opportunities. Keep reading to learn about the intern experience at Microsoft and how to prepare for an internship application!

I (Michael) actually got an offer from Microsoft for a software engineer internship position my sophomore year! Keep reading for my advice :)
My offer letter email from Microsoft!

Frequently Asked Questions About Microsoft Internships

Microsoft's internship experience is highly competitive. Individuals interested in interning at Microsoft are encouraged to demonstrate leadership and passion for the industry, as well as strong organizational and communication skills. Additionally, applicants should have relevant technical skills, since many internships require working with software or programming. In order to prepare for the interview process, it is essential to research the company, understand the products and services offered, and practice problem solving and coding challenges.

  • Internship Length: Many Microsoft internships generally take place over the summer, lasting 11-12 weeks.
  • Salary: $49.21 / hr.
  • Number of Interns: Depending on the location, Microsoft hires anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of interns each year.
  • Office Locations: Microsoft internships are located in various US cities, such as Redmond, WA; Charlotte, NC; New York City; Chicago, IL; and San Francisco, CA.
  • Application Cycle: Microsoft internships typically begin in June and end in August. The Microsoft internship program usually opens applications around October or November of each year, with interviews taking place in early spring.

What Experience and Qualifications Do I Need?

Microsoft looks for talented, career-oriented individuals with a drive for success, enthusiasm for the company and its products, and the ability to think creatively and solve problems.  Interns should have strong communication and organizational skills, as well as a commitment and willingness to learn. Additionally, applicants should have a strong academic record, demonstrate programming or technical skills, and have experience in a relevant field.

Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be pursuing a degree in a technical field such as computer science, engineering, or mathematics. Relevant experience in programming, coding, and software engineering may also be beneficial. Microsoft looks for individuals who bring strong communication and interpersonal skills to the table and are passionate about technology and its potential to change the world.

What does an Microsoft internship involve?

Microsoft internships involve working with a team of professionals on a wide range of projects that help increase the company's business value. Interns may participate in software development, research and development (R&D), data engineering, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud engineering, and more. The day-to-day tasks for an internship at Microsoft can include writing code to develop applications, conducting research projects, problem solving, and more. Additionally, interns are expected to collaborate with others to develop innovative solutions, use their skills to create impactful projects, and stay ahead of the curve by staying up to date on industry trends.

When Do Applications Open?

Microsoft typically opens applications for internships several months before the start of the program. Depending on the program, applications may open in October, November, or December. To learn more about the specific timeline for the program you’re interested in, you can visit Microsoft’s website or connect with an internship program coordinator.

How Can I Apply?

You can apply for an internship through Microsoft’s online job portal. During the process, you will be asked to upload your resume, a letter of recommendation, and portfolio samples. You will also be asked to answer questions about your experience, interests, and goals. Once you’ve submitted your application, you will typically be contacted by a Microsoft recruiter within a few weeks

In order to stand out from other applicants, it is important to craft a compelling application that reflects your qualifications, passions, and interests.  Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with the Microsoft workplace culture and be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge during the interview process. Interns should keep in mind that the internship is a great way to establish connections with professionals in the industry and gain meaningful experience that can help kickstart a successful career.

What benefits are offered?

Microsoft offers a comprehensive benefits package to interns, which includes competitive salary, medical and dental insurance, and paid holidays and vacation. Additionally, interns can access on-site recreational activities, training sessions and career development opportunities. Microsoft also provides its interns with free access to its Office 365 cloud platform, and a laptop with the software pre-installed. Microsoft also offers additional financial incentives to complete internships successfully.

What to Expect from the Interview

Microsoft interviews are intensive and comprehensive. Typically, interviews are conducted by a panel of three or four individuals, and can include a mix of technical, behavior and case-based questions. It is important to review your resume and portfolio before the interview to make sure you are prepared to answer any questions asked. During the interview, be sure to use specific examples to demonstrate your experience and qualifications. Additionally, remember to be honest and stay professional in your responses

Following the interview, there may be additional assessments or technical exercises conducted. After the  entire process is complete, Microsoft will review all of your materials before making a final decision. The interviewing process for roles will be different depending on the position, but the general tips outlined above will help you to maximize your chances of getting accepted into a Microsoft internship program.  Be sure to research the company and its products, properly prepare for the interview and be patient throughout the application process.

Looking for tips on how to succeed in your virtual interview? Check out our recent blog post for some helpful advice here!

Types of Positions Microsoft Offers

Microsoft offers internships for both technical and non-technical roles. Internships are available in a range of specialized fields such as data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering, cyber security, hardware engineering, programming, and business analytics. Additionally, Microsoft offers opportunities in marketing, project management, finance, and design. The types of internships will vary depending on the division and the applicant’s qualifications.

Microsoft internships vary depending on the division and position. Typically, interns are given meaningful tasks and assignments that are similar to those of full-time positions. Depending on the division, interns might engage in research and development, software coding, testing, or data analysis. Interns in marketing or finance positions may also be tasked with creating marketing plans, developing budgets, or managing customer relationships. Design positions involve creating designs for websites, applications, and products.

No matter the division, interns have the opportunity to work with experienced professionals and  learn from them. Internships are a great way to gain professional experience while still in school, and to develop skills that will be useful in any career.

Microsoft Explore

Microsoft also offers a program for students breaking into the tech industry. In their own words:

Explore Microsoft is intended for students who are beginning their academic studies and would like to learn more about careers in software development through an experiential learning program.

The Explore program provides formal training as well as a group project experience working alongside other Explorers. Explorers will experience both core tech disciplines over 12 weeks (Program Manager and Software Engineer), rather than specializing in just one.

This is a great option for underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) looking to get into software development or program management – for more information, check out their website here.

How to Secure a Return Offer

If you are interested in securing a return offer from Microsoft, it is important to demonstrate initiative and hard work. Microsoft places a high value on self-starters and pro-active team players. Additionally, success in the internship is heavily reliant on the mentor’s recommendation. Therefore, it is important to develop a trusting and open relationship with your mentor and engage in meaningful conversations about your work. By building a strong relationship and performing tasks to the best of your abilities, you can increase your chances of securing a return offer.

A return offer at Microsoft can be an incredible opportunity for students to further enhance their skills and gain professional experience. Working at Microsoft can provide access to cutting-edge technology, empowering mentors, and unparalleled career growth. Microsoft offers competitive salaries, extensive benefits, and the opportunity to work on exciting projects with a global reach. Interns have the incredible opportunity to gain valuable insights from experienced professionals, build a strong professional network, and learn from some of the leading minds in the industry.

Want to maximize your chances of receiving a return offer after your internship? Here are some tips to help increase your chances!

Get Started With Simplify Today

When it comes to internships, Microsoft is a great place to start a successful career. The Microsoft internship program offers countless opportunities to gain technical and professional experience in a wide range of fields. To secure a return offer from Microsoft, it is important to demonstrate initiative and hard work, build a trusting relationship with your mentor, and take advantage of the resources for professional growth that Microsoft offers. With the right attitude and dedication, an internship at Microsoft can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

With Simplify, you can find the perfect internship that fits your skills, interests, and goals. Simplify simplifies the process of applying, so you can spend more time connecting with mentors, learning, and growing as you take advantage of the unique opportunities Microsoft has to offer. Get started today and take your career to the next level.

Applying to multiple positions? Simplify helps streamline the process of applying to dozens of internships. Use Simplify to autofill job applications and save hours of time when applying to jobs!