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Microsoft Software Developer Interview Questions

Updated Dec 21, 2014
Updated Dec 21, 2014
1,651 Interview Reviews

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  1. 25 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    I initially had a on campus interview at my university. It was short 30 minute interview where they went over my resume and had a quick technical question.
    I heard back around 3 weeks later, mainly b/c I had a offer that was on the verge of expiring. They flew me out to the Redmond campus that same week.
    The day of the interview, I arrived on site around 8am and had a quick chat with HR. They told me which team I was interviewing for and sent me to the building for the interviews. I had 5 interviews and 1 lunch interview. This lasted until around 3PM.
    I received a call the next day and was extended an offer.

    The technical questions asked:
    On-campus interview:
        remove duplicates from an unsorted array
    On-site interviews:
        implement strtok
        reverse string(ie. hello world => world hello)
        find lca for bst
        find first non repeating character in string
        given a list of characters and the function toLower, implement toUpper
        check for palindrome in string and singly linked list
        check if binary tree is bst

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    I did not negotiate, the compensation package was good enough
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    I applied through university career fair in mid-September and got the first-round interview in late-October.

    The interviewer asked me two questions. Both of them are not hard and I have seen both of them before. The first one is maximum subset sum and the second one is to write a program to transpose a matrix. I answered them correctly and quickly. The interviewer then asked me if I have seen similar problems before because he thought I answered them "Too quickly and correctly". I didn't want to lie to him so I told the truth that I really saw them before. He said nothing.

    A few days later, I received an email saying I performed excellently in the interview but the quota of internship for my university is full. I am not sure if Microsoft is only comforting me or he really thinks highly of me. But the fact is, I was rejected.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  3.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    I reached out to them via a campus recruiter. Heard back quickly. Scheduled a quick phone call interview, which was mostly behavioral. Asked a few basic questions such as heap vs stack and java vs C++. Then heard back a month later that they were not interested.

    Interview Questions
    • Was asked how many bits needed to represent 100,000 in binary   Answer Question
    No Offer
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    The onsite interview was amazing, you first get there and sit in the main lobby for about an hour. Here they want you to play with some of the stuff such as playing video games on their xbox one. They give you free coffee and drinks while you wait. They do this to help your relax. After this you talk to a recruiter for a while and he explains what team you'll be interviewing for and how each interview will happen.

    The interviews were pretty nice, they were semi-difficult questions. Most of them were based on strings with a couple of graph theory questions. Some of the questions are based on your resume experience. If you get walked out after lunch the process is over, at the last interview you'll talk to your future potential manager.

    Interview Questions
    • Develop a parallel file reader/writer between multiple threads.   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    Had an offer from Google for a full time position.

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Was contacted by campus recruiter, did in person interview which was followed up with an invitation for an on campus interview. That interview consisted of five one hour meetings with various team members within the team I was applying for. The interviewers were polite and offered helpful feedback throughout the process.

    Interview Questions
    • The most unexpected question was being asked how to conduct a testing suite efficiently using x number of machines. However, this turned out to be a disguise for a bin packing problem.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    Oncampus Initial Screening round followed by 5 onsite rounds and 1 lunch interview. All onsite interviews are based on algorithms, data structures. Expect to write code with minimal errors and make sure all the corner test cases are passed.

    Negotiation Details
    Still thinking whether to accept or not as I have other competing offers.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Microsoft in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    I am a mechanical engineer by training with past programming experience for primarily personal projects (video games and such) in multiple languages. I'm currently in a PhD program finishing up the masters portion. I casually chatted with a recruiter at a university career fair who told me that he will pass on my resume and that there "may" be something for me at Microsoft but he doesn't know what. He told me to contact the university recruiter in a few days and she might be able to help me better. They called me for a screening interview for an internship the day after.

    I'm not - what I like to call - "classically trained" when it comes to computer science. I prepared for the screening interview by going through the MIT OCW Algorithms and Data Structures course and also reading Miller and Ranum's "Problem Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures." The screening interview went better than expected. Among other things, I was asked to design a parking lot and write code for detecting palindromes.

    A few weeks later I got a call for a final round interview. It took a while for them to schedule an interview and they gave me a date which was 3 days after a major deadline with my sponsor and so I requested a later date. The scheduler worked with my availability and got me a date that worked. They flew me to Redmond for an interview with the Bing team (I wasn't given that information until the morning of the interview). I was supposed to get 3 to 5 interviews. My first interviewer was late because he missed an email sent by the receptionist. Everything after that went smoothly. I got through all 5 interviews. The third interview was over lunch (we wrote code after, not during). The fifth interview was with a program manager. The questions seemed relatively easy. The topics were: queue design, common ancestor search in a tree with no underlying structure, mixed uni and multi byte character strings, detection of unique addresses, and linked list scanning and element removal. Some interviewers wanted me to just solve a problem as well as I could. Others were looking for a discussion of the problem (one of which was actually very interesting and have the interviewer some new ideas).

    At the very end I asked the hiring manager some subtle questions about my performance and what kind of competition I was facing. It's nice to be told that there is a "high probability" of them making an offer :)

    Interview Questions
    • Suppose you have a string which has characters that are either one or two bytes long. A one byte character has 0 as the left most bit. The first byte of a two byte character has 1 as the left most bit but the second byte's left most bit (LMB) could be either 1 or 0. Implement an algorithm for removing 1 character from the end of the string. How would you do it while scanning backwards from the end of the string.

      Followup: What if you needed to do this repeatedly? Is there some way you could reduce the time complexity to constant?
       
      View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    This is for an internship. No negotiation permitted.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  9.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Microsoft in December 2014.

    Interview Details

    I first applied through college job fair then was interviewed on campus couple weeks later where I was asked two questions one about writing an algorithm to count the height of a binary tree and the other about making an algorithm that spits out the binary of a given number. Then I was interviewed in Redmond about a month later where I was interviewed by four different people each one asked me a technical questions that wasn't that bad. Read the next section for the questions.

    Interview Questions
    • Four technical questions:
      1) Given an MxM array make it rotate in a certain way. The rotation was a little complicated and I couldn't answer this question very well. The interviewer did not do a very good job explaining it.
       
      Answer Question
    • 2) Write a new version of strcpy where it will return the null terminator no matter what. Did a better job on this one the guy said he was evaluating for correctness not only for idea.   Answer Question
    • 3) Given a string with many words make a function that would reverse all of the letters in every word. For this one I first wrote a crappy algorithm that takes O(n^2) but then I did a better one that worked in linear time.   Answer Question
    • 4) This guy was more complicated he first asked me different questions about object oriented programming. I did not know what a virtual class was. He then asked me to do some string manipulation and kept making the problem harder until we ran out of time. The problem he started off with was write an algorithm that counts how many repeated letters are in a string and kept going from there.

      -- There was very few behavioral questions about my favorite projects.
       
      Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    Had 5 45 minute interviews back to back with 15 minute breaks in between. The interviewers talk to each other while you are taking a break before the next one comes to get you. Mix of personality/behavioral and "What would you do in this scenario..." questions. Very laid back interviewers dress is casual and you can just act like you're having a normal conversation... while also writing code on a whiteboard.

    Interview Questions
    • Question about Data encryption over HTTPS websites and he drilled really deep asking questions like how secret and private keys work, how the secret key is shared, and how encryption of data actually takes place on websites.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    not much negotiation as it was for an internship
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    interview process can be found everywhere in the internet. 1 on campus interview, and 4 rounds onsite interview. I've finished all questions perfectly I think. But received the rejection letter two days later. So confuse. I don't like this interview experience. Not because I didn't receive the offer. Because I don't find the way to improve myself. I really want to know where the problem is.

    Interview Questions
    • all question are not very difficult, but they are interest   Answer Question
    No Offer

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