Microsoft

  www.microsoft.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Microsoft Software Developer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 19, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

36%
19%
8%

Interview Experience  

61%
27%
10%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
1,507 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in August 2014.

Interview Details – The recruiter had a quick chat with me before arranging for a technical interview for evaluating my problem solving/algorithms/programming skills. The technical interview was conducted over phone and collabedit. I was given a programming problem (to be solved in the language of my choice). I used JavaScript to write the solution. The interviewer pointed out the need for optimization and gave some hints. I quickly figured out a fairly optimized code.

The interviewer didn't sound too impressed with my performance. As the problem was fairly simple, he probably expected me to write a perfectly optimized code on the first shot. In my opinion, I exhibited the ability to discuss and think through solutions, rather than being well-versed in solving a certain class of problems.

There is no telling what works.

Interview Question – Nothing unexpected or particularly difficult. What is really hard is that the transparency is one way. You give your answers and you will never get to know what the interviewer was expecting to hear.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET)
Mountain View, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – Very fast process for me, but have heard that it went slow for some others. So varies.
Got a phone screen with some technical questions, then an onsite within a few days, and an offer a few days after that.
The interviews were good, lots of whiteboard coding questions but good questions, nothing stupid. Some basic sanity checks, i.e. very simple questions, some slightly more complicated (e.g. rearranging linked lists). Long day.
If one or two interviewers give a solid thumbs down they often stop the process so they do not waste time, so if the interview is shorter than expected then expect bad news. If you make it to see the hiring manager it is a good sign.

Interview Question – Honestly don't remember, but I was not stuck anywhere so there was nothing too ridiculous. But they do expect you to think of edge cases and test cases, especially for an SDET.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I did not negotiate but should have. I asked for too little and got it. Research the market and ask for slightly more than you want.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in August 2013.

Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter from Microsoft, who found my profile on LinkedIn. He sent me an online test for me to take, which I passed. Then his colleagues scheduled the on-site interview in Redmond, Washington.

The interviews went well. I had a good rapport with the four interviewers. Each interview consisted of a few minutes of information questions, followed by a coding question that you have to do on a whiteboard. I answered all but one of the coding questions correctly, as far as I could tell. No matter how much you prepare, a lot of it comes down to luck -- you never know how much a question can stump you, even if the interviewer is helping you. I did study and practice some questions before the interview, but I can't say that it really made much difference.

Interview Question – I was asked a question about hashing that required a clever solution that used bit shifting. I think the interviewer may have realized that it was too hard to give candidates a chance to demonstrate their skills.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No, I didn't try to negotiate, probably to my detriment. I wanted to leave my current job quite badly and would not have wanted Microsoft to call my bluff and stay at my previous employer.


Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in July 2014.

Interview Details – Contacted by recruiter, whole process took about 1.5 month. After phone interview, recruiter told me I 'll have 3 rounds for onsite, but I actually got five rounds, each one for 1h... All interviewers are really nice people.

Interview Question – Normal interview questions, not hard. 1. Search element in rotated sorted array. 2 Find top two biggest elements in array. 3. Inorder tree traversal (implement iterator). 4. LinkedList operation...Forget other questions, but they are all pretty easy.   Answer Question


No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET)
Redmond, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 8 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2013.

Interview Details – Felt highly disorganized. Issues with email/reminder system and several communication problems with pre-interview process. Might have been something like a bad email responsible, but either way, the experience was not good, and resulted in stressors such as "are you coming to the interview next week?" (I had no idea...), and an unfortunate surprise that I was being interviewed for SDET, not SDE, which was something I had explicitly not indicated an interest in.

There were 4 interviews. Was late to one of them thanks to the whole process starting late starting with interviewer #1... could tell this made a negative impression, but there was nothing to be done.

One interviewer really did not appreciate being asked about stack rank and took it as a sign of fear /poor work ethic, although others were more receptive.

Overall, not impressed and felt like they wasted my time, but the feeling was apparently mutual. They were very good about reimbursements and accommodations though, but I wouldn't consider interviewing there again.

Interview Question – There was some sorting thing using an array. It's been a bit too long so I don't really remember. Also some test-related questions for which I was unprepared.   Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2014.

Interview Details – At the University job fair, I talked to a recruiter, who was impressed by my resume. He assured me he would recommend me for the position. A few days later, I got an email from the campus recruiter that I had been selected for the first round of interviews. The next step after my successful first round was to be interviewed on campus, but that was delayed (see later).

Interview Question – Given an array of integers, define an algorithm that deduces whether a given sum can be attained by adding two numbers in the array without using data structures.   View Answer

Reason for Declining – I didn't quite decline. I was interviewed in Spring of 2014, and they liked my interview. Unfortunately, they ran out of space for the Summer of 2014, so instead they promised to interview me in September of 2014 for the following summer (2015). It just so happens that I'm not looking for a software development job next summer anymore, and so I probably won't go for the second round of interviews.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET)

I applied online and interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – After my graduation, I posted my Resume at Microsoft's global career website, HR contacted and scheduled phone screen that was an hour long, I was invited for onsite interview full loop, the onsite loop involved first some information exchange with HR person, then I was approached by would be manager, he welcomed at the reception and sent over to another member on the team to be interviewed, I had 3 interviews back to back and one of them has been a lunch interview, then I met the would be manager (a test lead) again for the fourth interview, all first four interviews were whiteboard sessions, and we also chatted on my resume, past experience, general questions like where do see yourself in five years from now, etc etc. All the programming questions were on data structures and algorithms and core CS concepts. My fifth interview was with hiring manager (a Test manager), he also sent me to board for another whiteboard session, then asked me various test questions, like give test cases for testing the keyboard, coffee mug, MS Paint, then he started over resume and asked me questions on my research assistantship experience and projects that I completed there. All the interviewers were very respectful, between each interview they asked me if I cared for a drink. It ended up very happy and memorable experience, I was offered the job!

Interview Question – Should we ship the product that has known bugs and issues?   View Answer


No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2013.

Interview Details – First contacted by a Microsoft recruiter to vetify that I qualify for the advertized job. I git contacted by email by the recruiter a week later to set up a technical interview. Tge interview was online where you need to solve real time a question the interviewer asked

Interview Question – Area of consecutive sub matrix   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Bellevue, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 7 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2014.

Interview Details – I wen through the full interview process, from recruiter screen up to the full day in person interviews in Bellevue (the position was for the Dynamics AX platform).

My initial technical screen was pretty standard, the question was determining if two strings were anagrams of each other. Aside from this I was able to speak with the senior engineer who was interviewing my about the position and some pro's and con's which was really great. He provided some good insight for me.

After the technical screen I was invited in for full day of interviews in Bellevue. I flew out to Seattle and stayed for 2 nights. The entire travel process was great, they covered everything and put me up
in a nice hotel. The interview day was long, I had a series of interviews each testing different areas.
All of the interviews were with senior engineers with 5 - 20 years experience.
The first interview covered SQL, I was given a schema and asked to point out any issues/improvements and then write some queries.
The next 2 covered CS based questions like algorithms, runtime analysis .. etc.
Next I had a lunch interview where I was able to talk with another engineer about his role and get a little more of a sense of the day to day life.
Finally I had one more algorithms based interview and that was the end.

Overall I found that the interview process was very well done and the hr staff at Microsoft were really easy to deal with. When it comes to the atmosphere at Microsoft it has a really corporate feel to it and truthfully it was not my top choice having been there but that's more of a personal preference.

Interview Question – Given a number write a function to convert that number to a string that would be seen on a cheque.
Example:
2376 becomes two thousand three hundred and seventy six.
  Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET)

Interviewed at Microsoft

Interview Details – Initial screening was done by an external company. They were polite but seemed to follow a script. They possibly did not understand the technical questions. In the end, I am not sure if the answer given was wrong or just did not meet their scripted answer.

Interview Question – Puzzle to tests data structures   Answer Question

Worked for Microsoft? Contribute to the Community!

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.