July 4, 2006

MS Interview - Round 3, Communication Skills

After getting technical interviews (both) finished, I got a call from MS HR that next, I will have Communication Skills round of an interview. It will be 15-30 minutes in total and interviewer will primarily scan your communication skills and customer/client handling skills. Seems that they are very much concerned about any communication with the customer. So, before pushing us to their customers, they scan us thoroughly whether we are capable of handling different situations or not.

This was the first time I heard an interview titled - "Communication Skills". So, I was a bit confused how will they know that I am proper or not.

The lady named Mariam called me up and started with questions to introduce myself. Then she asked me whats my goal in life and about long term goal.

Then she told me, she would take a test to see how I would behave with customer. She said, we would create one dummy scenario where I need to talk to customer. She just told like this and told me, jigar suppose your phone is ringing :-)

I said, "Hello, myself Jigar from Microsoft (I felt proud saying this... :-)) How may I help you today ?" She told in totally US accent that she wanted to confirm whether she has the latest version of Word installed on her machine. It was really strange for me to hear this as I dint think she would take such scenario. I gave her small steps and shown her way to confirm that she has latest version or not. In response to my questions she told she has Office 2000, I asked her to get Office DVD/CD from Administrator and install it, the installation is streight-forward. And she told its OK and we came out of the dummy phone call :-)

It was really a "first-time" experience for me to talk like this. I was feeling like, I just worked in a call centre !!

After that she asked me difficult question (in my opinion, its a difficult question), her words were,
"In your opinion, how does Technical expertise and Customer satisfaction are important in IT industry ?"

I was in the mindset that couldnt get a good reply to this instantly. In fact, i was not getting the root of the question, asked her the question two times in search for some more information if she gives but both times, she repeated the same sentense :-(

I gave "not so satisfactory" (according to me) answer and interview concluded. She thanked me to give time and wished for good day.