Microsoft
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www.microsoft.com Redmond, WA 5000+ Employees

Microsoft Software Developer Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 10, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

36%
17%
8%

Interview Experience 

61%
27%
10%

Interview Difficulty 

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1,324 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer
Redmond, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2010.

Interview Details – It takes 2 weeks, the hiring process is standard, nothing out of ordinary. They flew me up there from bay area in sf ,ca. The questions mainly are technical question, which is pretty simple. Most of managers dont remember some of the stuff themselves. But be prepare with some of ur projects and technical terms and process.

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

Interviewed at Microsoft

Interview Details – This is a phone interview, and It is about 30 minutes long.
There are some technical questions and basic data structure questions.Then there is a question about the course project I have done and some extended topics.

Interview Question – I applied online and set me a 30 min on phone interview. There are two data structure questions and some other questions about course projects I have done.   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Development Engineer In Test Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – Campus Interview. 30 mins
MSFT also hosted interview prep session on campus before interviewing candidates, take advantage of it.
Behavioral question: describe the most difficult task you have overcome, or most annoying bug you resolved in projects.

Interview Question – Technical Question : Remove duplicate entries from a single link list   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

I applied through college or university and interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – I applied from college and set me a 30 min on campus interview. It is a one to one person interview. Asked me to talk a database project. He gave me a pen and some scratch papers to tell the detail and asked me some basic SQL questions.

Interview Question – Just some basic questions nothing expected   Answer Question

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No Offer

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Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer (SDE) Interview

Software Development Engineer (SDE)
Redmond, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2014.

Interview Details – Contacted by recruiter through school. Had a simple HR screening interview before onsite. Onsite had 4 interviews, questions were mostly algorithmic.
Interview questions:
1. Given an unsorted array of numbers from 1-n with a number missing, find the missing number.
2. Given a dictionary and a function that returns if a work is in the dictionary, create a function that takes a non-space delimited string and outputs the same string with words separated by spaces.
3. I forget the 3rd one.
4. Given a matrix of 1s and 0s, replace every value in a column or row with 0 if 0 is in it.

Interview Question – Given a dictionary and a function that returns if a work is in the dictionary, create a function that takes a non-space delimited string and outputs the same string with words separated by spaces.   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Madison, WI

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2014.

Interview Details – 1. Given two tree. To judge one tree is another tree's subtree.
2. Given a maze (2D matrix have some block at some position), start position and end position. To find a path.
3. Given a binary tree. Find the length of the path with maximum path sum, the path may start and end at any node.

Interview Question – Too nervous to get a solution quickly and bug free.   View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET)

I applied through college or university and interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – Interview on college campus through University Recruiting. First interview was nice and consisted of single technical coding question. Second round interviews in Redmond were more difficult and focused on data structures. Hard bu fair questions.

Interview Questions

  • First round interview asked to write program that took a file of text, and then counted and stored all words from file.   View Answer
  • Given a array of integers, write code to find the max possible sum of sub-arrays. Use arithmetic progression.   View Answer
  • Given any two nodes in a binary tree, develop program that determined their highest common ancestor.   View Answer

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No Offer

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Average Interview

Software Development Engineer I Interview

Software Development Engineer I

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2013.

Interview Details – This was through a college recruitment. Phone interview to assess for a technical internship. Mostly behavioral type of questions. Asked some questions about my preferences in language; details about projects, what they did, any team mates that I worked with. I had to . Then a small brain teaser about dividing up some sticks.

Interview Question – Silly brainteasers that depend mostly on how well the interviewer can communicate with you. My question was paying workers with gold bar segments and you can only cut it 2 times.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Research Triangle Park, NC

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2014.

Interview Details – The interview process first started with a recruiter who asked several questions about my current employment and what I was looking for in a job. She also gave me a high level description of the job.

Second, she arranged for a developer to call me to have a discussion which lasted in hour. During the conversation, the developer asked about my technical background and gave me 2 computer programs to write over the phone.

Next I heard from Microsoft that the phone interview went well, so they wanted to see me in person. A scheduler contacted me by email to setup the face to face interviews. The interview went from 12PM to 4PM.

I arrived at the reception and the first developer quickly took me to his office where he questioned me for 1 hour and asked me to solve a computer program on the board. I interviewed with two other developers in the same manner. I was supposed to interview with a manager, but he was on vacation

Interview Question – Describe the most challenging problem you've had and how you solved it?   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET)
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2010.

Interview Details – Initial Call:
I was referred to a (techincal) manager internally who contacted me directly. After a a casual chat he sussed out that I would need to brush up on data structure / algorithms and would call me back in 2 weeks. I picked up my algo/datastructures textbook and read through it and worked through writing simple algorithms on paper during my commute.

Official Screener:
During my official technical screening (figuring out whether they'll fly you out to redmond or not) they asked me the standard linked list question - detect if there's a loop, etc. and then asked me to create a system to organize a bunch of objects with different classifications. I ended up coming up with a dewey decimal system. I was also asked finding the common ancestor in a binary trees.

On Campus:
I got setup with somebody from HR as my first interview. I was told I could ask her anything to help me through my interview process. I asked her some random questions like " should i not mention that my last project was using google apis". To which she replied that Microsoft respects any good technology so just because they're competing, don't be afraid to talk about it.

Tech Interviews:
1. Write a function to list all prime numbers up to a maximum. Finished it in 15 minutes and then was asked to write test cases for it. I filled up one whiteboard.
2. Non-coding - was asked to test a webpage with a single inputbox and a button.
3. Remove a character from a string. Test it.
4. Walk a binary tree, breadth first. Test it. (I ran out of time with this one)
5. My as-appropriate asked me a technical question because i didn't do so well on my last question. He asked to merge two link lists. I answered it with no troubles.

My As-appropriate walked me out and waited for a shuttle with me while telling me all the seattle spots to hit up.

HR got back to me a few days later, gave me an offer and laid out the benefits of the job.

Advice:
The interviewers are interested in solving the problem, but they're very interested in "how" you solve the problem. Talk out loud. Make sure you understand the question. Walk through an example first. Write out psuedo code, then code it for real. Organize your test cases in categories.

Interview Question – Walking the binary tree. I wasn't expecting this question and should have brushed up on my trees a bit more.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – no negotiation.

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