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New Graduate - Software Development Engineer In Test Interview

New Graduate - Software Development Engineer In Test
Redmond, WA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in September 2012.

Interview Details – Altogether there were three interview rounds that lapsed a span of 1 month.

Round 1 was a 30 minute phone interview that consisted of multiple HR questions and two logic questions. The HR questions were basically me talking about my past projects and difficult problems I encountered and how I overcame them. The logic problems are as follows:
1. Someone codes and interface that consists of 3 input text boxes and a start button. When the start button is pressed a triangle will be drawn on the screen. Each side of the triangle will correspond to a length in one of the input boxes. How would you test this program?
2. You are in a room by yourself and someone walks into the room, asks you to find the temperature, and leaves. How would you find the temperature in the room without leaving the room?

Round 2. So after waiting my 2 weeks for the results I made it past the first round. Because Microsoft does not visit my area (Southern Ontario, Canada) to recruit, my second interview was another phone interview. This one however consisted of a 1 hour HR phone interview followed by a 1 hour break then a 1 hour Technical interview. The first hour I spoke with a PM and he asked me a few questions about myself and about situations and my resume. Pretty standard HR interview. The second interview was definitely the MOST challenging of all the coding questions.

Question:
We have a quadtree algorithm and we are assuming that the boxes are labeled 0 (top left), 1 (top right), 2 (bottom left), 3 (bottom right) 'n' times. Write a function that when given an array input of n size (ie. [0,0,0,0] or [0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0] would be the top left corner) would determine if the corresponding box has at least one side touching at least one of the outermost walls.

Round 3. So I made it through Phase 2 (much to my excitement/surprise) and the third round was an interview in Redmond, WA on the campus. The interview started at 8am and after talking with the recruiter for a bit consisted of 2 interviews 1h15m each with a 15 minute break in between. Both involved coding and HR questions with only one interviewer.

Interview 1:
Write a function (in your preferred language C, C++, or Java) that will take the given string and return the reverse. (ie. input:"abc def ghi" output:"ihg fed cba")
Optimize the above code (if possible).
Now knowing that the original function you wrote in pt1 is being used by other programs and cannot be modified write another function that when called will utilize the function from pt1 to only reverse the words in the sentence. (ie. input:"abc def ghi" output:"ghi def abc")
Test your code.

Interview 2:
Write a function that when given a string will return the position of the starting point of the largest reoccurring character. (ie. given:"AAABBCCCCD" would return 5 (starting point of C))
Test your code.

Interview Questions

  • Someone codes and interface that consists of 3 input text boxes and a start button. When the start button is pressed a triangle will be drawn on the screen. Each side of the triangle will correspond to a length in one of the input boxes. How would you test this program?   Answer Question
  • You are in a room by yourself and someone walks into the room, asks you to find the temperature, and leaves. How would you find the temperature in the room without leaving the room?   View Answers (3)
  • We have a quadtree algorithm and we are assuming that the boxes are labeled 0 (top left), 1 (top right), 2 (bottom left), 3 (bottom right) 'n' times. Write a function that when given an array input of n size (ie. [0,0,0,0] or [0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0] would be the top left corner) would determine if the corresponding box has at least one side touching at least one of the outermost walls.   Answer Question
  • Write a function (in your preferred language C, C++, or Java) that will take the given string and return the reverse. (ie. input:"abc def ghi" output:"ihg fed cba")
    Optimize the above code (if possible).
    Now knowing that the original function you wrote in pt1 is being used by other programs and cannot be modified write another function that when called will utilize the function from pt1 to only reverse the words in the sentence. (ie. input:"abc def ghi" output:"ghi def abc")
    Test your code.
      View Answers (2)
  • Write a function that when given a string will return the position of the starting point of the largest reoccurring character. (ie. given:"AAABBCCCCD" would return 5 (starting point of C))
    Test your code.
      View Answer

Negotiation Details – Did not attempt to negotiate the offer.

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