Joining Microsoft

This week I joined Microsoft. It is something I have been trying to do since my 2nd year of CS degree and failed, so it feels even better now.
After 2+ years working on application security at Palo Alto Networks, I decided I needed a bit of refreshment, and grabbed myself a seat at the cloud security group at Microsoft (defender for cloud).

I feel very lucky to have this opportunity, but besides being lucky, I thought I’d share a few tips that helped me prep for the interviews, I’ll be concise - I promise.

  • Don’t interview too much (if you have the luxury to) - I didn’t interview too many companies in parallel, I had 2 weeks to prepare only for Microsoft. Note that I wasn’t under pressure to find this job so I could allow myself to take the time.
  • LeetCode premium was very useful, I covered the basics to refresh my memory and then went on to complete the Microsoft Interview track of questions.
  • Reading “System Design Interview – An Insider’s Guide” by Alex Xu, helped me understand the structure of system design interviews, and was a great material overall.
  • Behavioral questions matter - I spent a lot of time articulating my stories in the STAR method, and trying to align them with Microsoft values. I even went as far as to practice speaking them, since I noticed I tend to tell too many details or get technical where it is unnecessary.
  • You must have some questions for the interviewer - you are also interviewing your interviewer, do your research, and ask thoughtful questions. For example, if you know what product you are interviewing for, you can look it up, understand what it is about, and ask specific questions about it.
    In regards to questions, the company’s values are also super important, you can ask questions like “Given <<company’s value X>>, how does it apply in <<this scenario>>?”

That’s it…

btw, I love mentoring others so if you are interested, let’s chat.