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Microsoft Senior Program Manager Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 19, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

46%
30%
7%

Interview Experience  

77%
13%
9%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
24 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager

Interviewed at Microsoft

Interview Details – phone call, follow up in person to fly out, met with managers at different locations, did not meet with actual manager that would manage me which was weird. Very quick response after interview but a very very long time between that follow up and the actual offer due to the background verification, this can take up to 2 to 3 weeks.

Interview Question – situational questions from job verification (not difficult but expect them)   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – no negotiation possible


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – Hiring at MSFT is fair, well-organized, and it extracts what we need to know from potential new-hires. It may seem grueling to the candidates, but we get about 6 hrs to determine if you are awesome and can help us move the needle.

Interview Question – In 2005, I didn't know much about replicated systems and how to upgrade a server farm, but now this seems to be common knowledge.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2014.

Interview Details – I was contacted about a job opening by someone I knew in the company. I uploaded my resume for the position, and a few weeks later was contacted by HR to be screened, and invited in to be interviewed. One of the interviews was conducted via Skype, but the others were in-person. The interviewing was thoughtful, and questions included my skills knowledge to fulfill the technical aspect of the role, strategic thinking, innovation and creativity, and questions that would indicate how well I might fit into the team.

Interview Question – Not a difficult question nor unexpected, but I was asked what was the highest level executive to which I had ever presented.   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied in-person and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2010.

Interview Details – HR could be a bit disorganized, but the actual interview loop was relatively smooth. Definitely bring your resume as HR is unreliable about this -- even for internals.

Interview Question – Using a satellite photo, tell me how many blades of grass are in a square meter of the turf outside this building.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – The group seemed demoralized and uncertain about their futures.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager

I applied in-person - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2012.

Interview Details – behavioral questions
situational questions
design question
resume based questions


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in July 2011.

Interview Details – employee referral lead to informational (1:1) interview.
a formal interview loop was established with 5 different people (peers, developers, managers)
a final as appropriate interview with a senior director for the parent group.

Interview Question – Create the design specifications for a Car.   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

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

Interview Details – They flew me to Seattle and put me up in a super nice hotel the night before. We started the interview process at 11 the next day.

between 11 and 1 we were taken around the Microsoft campus in Redmond as well as given 10 dollars for lunch at their food court area. The concierge was a pretty cool dude and I was really enjoying myself.

After that we had 4 one-on-one interviews with people from microsoft who worked in the positions we were hiring for. Besides having to wait over two hours after to hear if I received an offer, it was a pretty pleasant experience.

Interview Question – None of the questions were all that difficult and they mostly pertained to what I spoke to them about. With a program manager interview if you are confident and have strong interests in something specific, then steer the interview to a that interest. For example, I have a lot of interest with collaboration in China and whenever I brought that up, they used scenarios that had to do with doing business with China. It was great.

The last interviewer asked me to design a calculator, which is a question someone else received in the glassdoor reviews so I would prepare for that one.
  View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

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

Interview Details – Back in the day, MS had an high entry bar despite the company's constant need for anyone. These days, expect a bunch of puzzle questions and be prepared to spend the day getting probed.

Interview Question – Too long ago to recall   Answer Question


4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – The overall experience was really good. I've had other interviews with Microsoft and they've all been great. The structure is always the same:
First contacted by either hiring manager or recruiter followed by a short phone screen to see if the person and the resume fits.

After initial phone screen a "loop" is scheduled with multiple interviews on the same day "on site" at Microsoft. All information about how the loop would work, who I would meet, etc was given in advance. The recruiter and the interviewers were extremely professional throughout the entire process. The Microsoft loop is described in details all over the internet so I will not go into that. I went through six interviews of varying difficulty and details before being handed over to the "asap". Once at the asap I was pretty much told that I had a job if I wanted one and that they really wanted me to join their team - this is probably not general practice so don't expect your last interview to be a "what can we do/say to make you join us"-type of session.

Each interview had it's own characteristics, but they all followed the same pattern: ice-breaker for a few minutes, asking about my past experiences, testing technical ability by a problem solving or design open-ended question of some sort, personality evaluation type of questions, and the final 5-10minutes to answer any questions I might have (and yes, I had questions of my own - you should too).

I was asked not only "management" related questions. There were a few more in-depth technical "problems" to solve. I did not have to do whiteboard coding, but I did have to design programming APIs and break down and try to explain a real-life client-server based architecture. No questions were really unexpected or shook me out of my comfort zone, perhaps that had more to do with my familiarity by then with the Microsoft interview structure than the actual questions - some might find it difficult and unexpected to have to go into such deep technical details when applying for what is considered to be a management position. There was none of the infamous Microsoft "brain teasers" during this interview (though I've had them in other interviews).

Throughout the interview day I had a really good experience. The team was definitely right for me as we "clicked" on most topics, and what turned out to be a seven hour day of interviews felt more like a short lunch - I had fun during the day! The team seemed very enthusiastic about their work and really passionate about Microsoft and the product they worked on and managed to convey that to me through their actions and answers to my own questions.

Interview Question – Like I said in the above text there was no real unexpected question. The hardest one would probably be the question about designing an API from scratch on a blank whiteboard.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There is room for negotiating the base salary and the sign-on bonus. There doesn't seem to be any room for negotiation on the other parts.


5 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – Interview process at Microsoft is very well-organized. Typically, you go through a "loop" consisting of meeting 4 - 6 people in a day, and an "as appropriate" at the end --- that person will meet with you if you have enough "hire" recommendations from the people you've met earlier in the day. If you don't meet with a more senior person at the end of the loop, you probably didn't get enough "hires" earlier in the day.

Microsoft is unbelievably disrespectful in the timeliness of its communications. You can HR, the people you've met, and just about anyone else to "go dark" on you for what can seem like an eternity (especially when you are looking for a job). It's just plain mysterious. People won't answer emails, or calls --- don't take it personally. There just isn't a culture of respecting people who aren't "in the fold" (unless you are a customer paying for something).

Interview questions can vary greatly. If you are interviewing for a position in a "hot" part of the company (Xbox, for example), you can expect to meet some younger type people who are very full of themselves, and think you should feel lucky talking to them. Just deal with it. You will likely get ridiculous questions like "what is your true passion?" or "how do you want to use technology to change the world?" ... things along those lines.

Interview Question – I got an interesting question once asking me to estimate how many gas stations were in the US. I've heard that more technical jobs will really get into the details of computer science, but I haven't had to deal with that. Watch out for questions like, "what is important to you?" That isn't a question (typically) about your real values in life. I was once asked that, and came to see that what was expected was an answer like, "I just wake up in the morning thinking about how I serve my customers better". Awesome, I guess, if you live for work.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Straight forward. They hold all the cards, unless you are some kind of crazy genius developer or a true sales rain-maker.

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