I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, but not by me.  During my transition, I was asked a few times about the internal transfer process at Microsoft.  Gretchen and many others have posted about the interview process for new (prospective) employees, but apparently there isn't much about the internal transfer process.  I was surprised anyone was curious - anyone with much time under their belt at the big M knows how the process works, and I don't see how interesting it would be for someone external to MS.  However, I aim to please, so here goes (don't say I didn't warn you...)

It's pretty much like the new employee interviews you've likely read about.

"Wow", you say - "tell me more"

At the risk of being redundant with what you already know, this is how I got from there to here in 5 easy steps.

  1. A friend of mine told me he was leaving the company.  He also told me I should apply for his job.  I could have also found out about the opening from an internal jobs website, or email sent to a set of senior testers from his (and now my) manager.
  2. I sent mail to the hiring manager telling him I was interested in the position.  We had an "informational interview"  This is also known as the interview that you don't have to tell anyone about.  During an informational interview, the hiring manager determines if he would like to proceed with formal interviews, and the candidate (me) determines if this would be a good fit (sometimes you discover that the postion isn't exactly what you were looking for).
  3. We both agreed we wanted to proceed, so Human Resources got involved and sent me an email full of information.  I sent my resume to HR, and a "Permission to Interview" form to my manager.  I mentioned above that you don't need to tell anyone about an informational interview.  For the "real" interviews, however, you need manager permission (think what would happen if you didn't).  Fortunately, not only had I already discussed this opportunity with my manager, but he was more excited than I was about my fit on this team.  Not that he didn't like my work or charming personality, but he saw it as a great growth opportunity too.
  4. Several days later (it usually happens quicker), interviews were scheduled.  Seven hours over two days, a Wednesday and a Friday.
  5. Wednesday happened.
  6. Friday happened (interview details aren't that exciting).  The hiring manager told me on Friday that he'd make the offer, and I heard the official news from HR the following Tuesday.
  7. My new manager, my old manager and I worked out a transition plan.  Normally this is 2-4 weeks, and since I had a vacation planned already (read back a few posts for details), we chose a 3 week transition.  I found owners for all of my projects on my current team.  On my last day (a Friday), I packed up boxes and computers, took a long weekend, then showed up at work (on Tuesday) to unpack boxes in my new office (the items were moved for me).

That's it.  I tried to leave out too many details, and this post is still too long.

-A