I’m not going into the particulars of my Microsoft interviews, the only thing I will say is that it was a very professional and I have a great respect for their process.
As a member of an Army airborne unit,75th Ranger Regiment, we jump out of airplanes. Sometimes in the middle of the night and sometimes into the water, we even sometimes jump out of helicopters onto very small drop zones.
So where is the similarity between a Microsoft interview and jumping out of a plan?
It is in the build up to the event, the anticipation.
I like to look around when we are loaded onto a C-17 or a C-130 and watch the emotions of everyone around me. You will see the guy nervously tapping his foot on the floorboard, someone fervently praying, I’ve even seen a person urinate their pants and throw up into their shirt.
In Microsoft’s preparation room where candidates wait for their names to be called to go and interview was no different to a plane full of Rangers ready to jump out and execute their mission. There were beads of sweat dripping off some of the candidates faces. Dress shirts with their armpits soaked… making me reminisce about my 8th grade history teacher.
It was great to see so many competing emotions all in one place again. And like the door opening and the jump-master signalling the call to slowly walk out the door of the plane, so to the interviewers came and one-by-one we slowly walked through the door jumping into our interviews.
Stress is underrated, find the moments you feel it the strongest an lean into it. Learn to enjoy the information it gives you and make it yours by learning to control it instead of it controlling you!