Microsoft Interview Questions & Reviews
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Software Development Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in August 2014.
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
Software Engineer II Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
Interviewed at Microsoft
Interview Details – Most efficient and professional interview loop I have ever seen. Was flown in from across the coast on a direct flight and was provided accommodation in a 3* hotel over night. They paid for my cab, lodging and also paid for a day of sight seeing in seattle. All in all a great experience for the entire day.
Interview Question – Write an algorithm to check if 2 rectangles are overlapping given their left and right edge coordinates Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation as I was a fresh graduate student
Research Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2014.
Interview Details – A manager contacted me from MSFT and informed me that they are looking for research interns. I had two interviews. One coding interview and one data science interview. The coding interview was not very challenging however the data science interview was hard!
I got an e-mail about a week after my last interview with an offer.
Interview Question – I cannot disclose any explicit information about the questions. However I can suggest people who are interviewing for data scientist-like positions to do a quick review of popular statistical techniques and be prepare to answer questions like "So why this method work?" or "Can you sketch a proof of why this method work?". Be creative and do not be afraid to answer questions with out-of-box thinking. There are many good sources online for interview questions for data scientists. You can review the most common questions in a day. So do it! It'll pay off. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation. The salary and benefits are very generous.
Product Advisor Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied in-person and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – I had 4 interviews with various personnel including the store manager and the assistant managers. Many questions about my past customer service skills and interactions where asked. Further, they wanted to know what kind of technical/computer background and skill level i had. They asked what my previous hourly wage was.
Interview Question – Where do you see yourself in 5 years if hired with our company Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Not much negotiation, it was a take it or leave it offer.
Explorer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
Interviewed at Microsoft
Interview Details – I got a call for interview on my university campus. After I passed that one, I was flown out to Redmond for 3 rounds of interviews with people from all 3 disciplines (PM, SDE, SDET)
Interview Question – I was asked about how you can test a product like excel. Answer Question
Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
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.
MIcrosoft Explorer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – Initially applied online, didn't get a response for a good month or so. A recruiter reached out to me and scheduled a college campus interview that was composed of straightforward CS questions (e.g. difference between an array and linked list) and a brainteaser (which I did not get). Same recruiter followed up a couple of days later letting me know I'd been selected for on-site interviews. A week later or so I flew to Microsoft HQ in Redmond, where I had three 45-minute interviews: one focused on testing (e.g. design a remote control and how to test it), one focused on software development (focused heavily on hashing and string manipulation), and one focused on program management (e.g. how would you change a product and why). Received a call with my offer the next day.
Interview Question – 1) Given 2 strings, remove every instance of every letter in the second string from the first string. Then do it without shifting letters in the first string or creating another string.
2) What is the most efficient way of checking if a letter in the second string is in the first string in the previous problem? What if you're using all ASCII characters? What if you're using the entire Unicode character set? View Answer
Software Development Engineer II Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
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.
Software Development Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
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
Senior Marketing Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2013.
Interview Details – Great set-up and follow-up. I went through three 1-hour long interviews and then a 2 hour long interview with a GM. Interviewers were professional, personal, interested and asked good questions.
Interview Question – Mostly we talked through my experiences and resume. View Answer
Negotiation Details – I negotiated a $5K bonus.
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