Microsoft Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Sep 16, 2014
Updated Sep 16, 2014
1,485 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Software Development Engineer II Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. 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 Questions
    • 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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. 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 Questions
    • 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
    Declined Offer
    Easy Interview
  3.  

    Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

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

    I applied through college or university. 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 Questions
    • 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
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. 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 Questions
    • 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
    Reasons 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.

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  6.  

    Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online - 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 Questions
    • Should we ship the product that has known bugs and issues?   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. 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 Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. 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 Questions
    • 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
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    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 Questions
    No Offer
  10.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    This was a technical interview that I met with the person in his office.
    He was nice, greeted me and asked a few questions about what I did in my previous jobs. While solving the problem, he helped me with some small hints or questions. I felt more like brainstorming with a work friend rather than being interviewed, which was nice. In the end he thanked and told he is going to let the lead know and they are going to follow up with me with details.

    Interview Questions
    • Given a database, where we know some portion of data (e.g. say 20%) is accessed more than the other portion of the database by the client. We have a frontend that client requests data from. Design a data structure that will increase the efficiency of access of objects. And we know that we can only hold on to n elements in memory.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
  11.  

    Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

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

    I applied through college or university. The process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    I was being interviewed for a summer internship with this title, they flew me up to Washington for an in-person group interview after a screening interview at my college (which I got through handing a resume to a recruiter through the career fair). This screening interview was fairly simple, one technical question, some questions about what I'd like to work on, etc. Everything is paid for when you're up their, car, hotel, and food.

    In person interview was a 5 rounds that either lasted throughout the morning or afternoon (there were two groups of interviewees from colleges across the country) and you spend about an hour with each person, and by the end they tell you on the spot if you've passed or failed.

    Each interview asks some type of technical question where you solve an algorithm, everyone asks for a self evaluation on how you think you're doing at this stage in the interview.

    Office where I interviewed was fairly interesting, one section had meeting rooms that all referenced video games from Halo to Half Life, there was also one of those Microsoft tablet tables with games on it, as well as an Xbox 360 running Halo. They serve some food, but it's not worth remembering, and there's breaks in-between interviews where they very much discourage you from discussing any of the questions being asked.

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing too difficult about the technical questions, I came from a public school in CA near the start of my JR year, and by the end of the year every type of question that was asked was covered in class. They don't look for the absolute best answer, as long as it's not overly complicated.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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