Interviewing and Hiring Microsoft Certified Candidates

Interviewing and Hiring Microsoft Certified Candidates

What are you looking for when you hire new staff for your IT department? Greater employee productivity? Higher customer satisfaction? Less network downtime? Reduced support costs?

Whether you are hiring an IT professional, a developer, or a database administrator, hiring candidates with Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) credentials can have a significant positive impact on your organization.

Studies have shown that organizations in which the majority of team members are certified by Microsoft report significant improvements in delivering projects on time and within budget, in addition to having lower turnover and being less dependent on ad hoc external support.

Learn how hiring an MCP can benefit your organization

What MCP certification means

An MCP certification on a candidate’s resumé shows that the candidate has at least six months to a year of experience, has additional Microsoft training, and has passed a number of certification exams. In addition, each certification designates training and skills in specific areas.

Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technicians (MCDST) have the technical and customer service skills to troubleshoot hardware and software operations for desktop environments running on the Windows operating system.

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrators (MCSA) can manage and troubleshoot network and systems environments running on the Windows operating system. Specializations include Messaging and Security.

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE) design and implement the infrastructure for business solutions based on the Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 platforms and the Windows Server system. Specializations include Messaging and Security.

Microsoft Certified Database Administrators (MCDBA) are trained to design, implement, and administer Microsoft SQL Server databases.

Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCT) are certified to deliver quality Microsoft training courses for IT professionals and developers.

Microsoft Certified Application Developers (MCAD) use Microsoft technologies to develop and maintain department-level applications, components, Web or desktop clients, and back-end data services.

Microsoft Certified Solution Developers (MCSD) are trained to design and develop leading-edge enterprise solutions using Microsoft development tools and technologies in addition to the Microsoft .NET Framework.

Microsoft Office Specialists (Office Specialists) are globally recognized for demonstrating advanced skills with Microsoft desktop software.


Suggested interview questions

Asking candidates about their MCP credentials can reveal a great deal about a candidate’s qualifications. By asking targeted questions about the certification, interviewers can gain valuable insight into the candidate’s skill set and determine the candidate’s commitment to career development. You may want to include the following questions during an interview with an MCP.


In which applications are you certified?

Which application is your specialization? Which applications do you find most useful?

How would you apply your knowledge in our IT environment, given our business goals?

How long have you been an MCP? When did you get your certifications?

May I have access to your certification transcripts?

Skills and qualifications

How does your MCP certification qualify you for this position?

How does your technical experience, combined with your certification, help you to be the best candidate for this position?

How do your technical skills differ from the skills of your peers who are not MCPs?

What was your goal in becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional?

Career development

Do you plan to earn any other Microsoft certifications?

Do you have plans to upgrade your certification?

Have you used your certification in a professional environment? Describe the projects you have worked on.

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