Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
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Helpful (1)No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Raleigh, NC) in September 2015.
The whole process, from applying online to getting the results of my interview, took four weeks. After applying online I was contacted about doing a phone interview a few days later. The phone interview was with a team lead who was pleasant, asked me a little about myself, asked me a straight forward programming question and then describe the team. After I got the thumbs up from the phone interview Microsoft made arrangements for me to fly up and stay in a hotel for two nights to do an on-site interview a week and a half later. The on-site interview was for four and a half hours with four interviews, each with a different senior developer or team lead. All four asked a coding question which weren't exceptionally difficult, but were challenging enough. As I talked through the problems they helped me along the way, which made me feel uneasy about how well I was doing, which made it worse. After a week I received word that they were going to decline on an offer and I could apply again in six months.
- Write a function that takes an array of integers and a target integer and returns true if any two integers in the array add up to the target integer. After probing, it was stated that the integers are signed. 1 Answer
- If it didn't exist in .NET, how would you implement the dictionary class? 1 Answer
- No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Bellevue, WA) in July 2015.
It is a telephonic (first) round took for an hour. Asked questions on all areas of C# programming, solving puzzle, Web API, Restful, SQL, Azure components and design scenarios. HR did not give any prior intimation to get prepare myself. Interviewer called me and ask am I ready to take interview and I just proceed for it.
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in July 2015.
I had a great experience interviewing with Microsoft. The questions were both technical and analytical in nature. A lot of focus on algorithms and design, as expected. I had a presentation and 6 interviews in one day. First few interviews focused on technical details, while the later ones where more about scenarios and discussing my approach in given scenario.
- Few questions: * Given huge array, find nth smallest number. Variations: (1) given unbounded stream of numbers. (2) given terabytes of data such that it does not fit on single machine. * How would you design a Solitaire game. * Random permutation generator, weighted random number generator (based on a CDF). Answer Question
- Declined OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in July 2015.
I was contacted by a recruiter - that was a career hold in MSFT HQ. After talking to recruiter, there is a phone screen to write two functions before they asked me to go onsite. The onsite interview process did not take long - I talked to 4 senor engineers and finished the event in the afternoon. The questions are not particularly difficult, compared with other Bay Area SW companies.
- linked-list merge Answer Question
- Declined OfferPositive ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Microsoft.
Got contacted by the recruiter with the online test first, I finished all six or seven questions. Then been invented to onsite interview for roughly half a day. Good Experience. No phone interview in between, that's is. Thank you.
- System File Coding Answer Question
- No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in June 2015.
Got a call from the recruiter, who setup a phone screen with one of the members of the hiring team. That process took about a week After clearing the tech screen I was invited onsite for a round of interviews , the entire process took about 2 weeks Round 1 - Dynamic programming and the interviewer doesn't acknowledge the concept of using an array of 256 characters and wants me to throw in the phrase "we will use a Hashmap". A question which if solved genuinely takes a few hours and cannot be finished and tested in 40 mins unless we are copying it from leetcode Round 2 - Design the game of boggle and return a list of all the words that are of length 3 or more, i gave the recursive solution by the end but the interviewer is looking for a better solution ( recursive but less lines of code), a question which cannot be coded and tested in 40 mins Round 3 - What is a binary search tree ? why do we use them ? Write code to check if a given binary tree is a binary search tree ( gave the solution using in-order traversal but the interviewer thinks that the code is hard to read and isn't maintainable and writes a line of code using the Enumerable class of C# He then goes on for 30 minutes on a NP complete problem and did not have a clear idea of what he was asking, " we use constraints" and "these are problems open discussions" were the 2 phrases iterated throughout A negative experience
- cant disclose as i signed a NDA Answer Question
- No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in June 2015.
Referred by friend. Took a standard coding question on phone. 2 days on-site interview. 1 day for HR only, 1 day for techniques. 2 Technique interview, 1 lunch, then told me you'd better begone. I was very unlucky. I know senior guys in Microsoft tend to ask puzzles, I met a senior like this. Furthermore, he was in VERY BAD MOOD. Because of Friday? My current job is despised like a baby game for him. He kept yelling why you do NOT know this windows system function, why you do NOT answer my question in the way I like. And he explained his work with a stupid pride. Overall, background not matching. Completely waste of time. But it is my fault at first place. I should not even apply, as a pure Linux application developer and Windows-hater. More sadly, all the technical questions in the first 5 pages of Glassdoor Microsoft interview are not asked. So it is hard to know how to prepare.
- Write 4 locker functions: acquire_read_lock, acquire_write_lock, release_read_lock, release_write_lock. Use Windows specific helper functions. 1 more brain teasing puzzle. 1 Answer
Helpful (3)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in May 2015.
This was an internal interview process, so it started with an informational with the hiring manager (~1hr discussion around what the team does, what my current responsibilities were, and why I was interested in the position). Next, there were 3 technical interviews, all about an hour long. Finally, there was a interview with the Engineering Director for that group - that lasted 1.5 hours, and we discussed why I thought I would be a good fit for that team.
- Imagine a random distribution of water droplets spread across the whiteboard, design an algorithm to create the maximal enclosed area by connecting the water droplets with lines. 1 Answer
Helpful (1)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied online. The process took 3+ weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in May 2015.
I applied to a lot of roles on the Microsoft Career Site. Out of the blue, I got an email followed by a coordinated call from a MS recruiter for a role I hadn't applied to. He explained the role the best he could, asked me a few simple data structure related questions and once I passed that, scheduled a phone screen with someone from the team. The phone screen was probably the hardest interview of them all. The coding question was simple, however, I came up with a non-optimal solution. I was able to rework the whole solution to an optimal one in the end. Next, he asked me some OS concepts that were pretty generic and you should know from any undergrad OS course you should have taken. Since I'd used Java as my coding language, he was wary of my abilities to handle pointers. He asked me about it and I told him that it'd been a while since I'd used them, however I was willing to answer any questions he had to test my knowledge on it. He asked me a data structure manipulation question (it shows up on many interview reviews posted here) using pointers. I had 5 minutes remaining on the call, so I did the best I could. He seemed satisfied with the solution and passed me. The on-site interviews: I drove to the office with the rental car they provided me and waited in the lobby for the recruiter. He spoke to me about what the day would look like and what I should expect. He explained that there were 4 tech interviews scheduled and if those went well, there would be a fifth one with a high-level manager. The first interview was easy, nothing much to report. Next was a lunch interview. I ended up answering all his questions and only then ate so as to not get distracted. Was a decent pizza from the cafeteria too. :) The third interview was a simple data structure manipulation question. No way that any decent CS major could screw this up. After the coding, he asked me a LOT of OS related questions. The fourth interview (and what I feared would be my last one) was the best one of the lot. The guy was pretty high up in the team and has so much energy. He started off with explaining his background and what the team does in great detail. He also asked me about my last three rounds and what I thought went well or what I could have done better. His coding question was fairly easy and I took my time and asked clarifying questions to make sure I knew exactly what he wanted. The last thing I wanted to do was screw up an easy question with a senior team member. I did end up getting to the fifth round. This was the most relaxed of the lot and the manager spoke a lot about the culture in the company and answered a lot of my questions about the role and the team. Just remember that if you can't think of asking any questions, explain that you've already asked question X or Y and this is your understanding. Sitting there with a blank expression just makes the interviewer think that you're not really interested in the role since he doesn't know what you've asked the other interviewers. After the last interview, he escorted me out of the building while we made small talk. He said that the recruiter will get back to me by possibly tomorrow. But this point, I guessed that their hiring decision was made and it was up to the recruiter to get back to me in his own time. As I sat in my car in the parking lot, I sent the recruiter an email thanking him for being very helpful and responsive through the process and that it was a pleasure working with him. A few notes: in case you didn't know, the company laid off a huge number of testers last year in their org restructuring, therefore, all devs should take on the responsibility of testing their own code thoroughly. I had this at the back of my mind and made sure that every line of code was tested as well as every corner case was at least discussed, if not taken care of (sometimes you can't write all the error checking conditions in a short span of time). So, while it may seem that the questions were easy, without clarifying questions and high-coverage test cases, you will not get an offer. One last thing is have a lot of questions prepared: what exactly is the role's duties, what is the org structure, what is the deployment cycle and workflow. Even questions like what was their worst deployment and what happened shows an interest in how the team operates (not all questions have to be interviewer pleasing!) Above all, treat the interview like a conversation between new acquaintances/friends. They want to gauge if they want to sit in an office/cubicle across from you everyday, so that interest and camaraderie is important to them as much as it is to you. This will also relax you and improve your thought process since you'll respond to any hints they may give you in case you get stuck. Finally, have fun.
- Since I signed an NDA, I will not really post any questions. But I can tell you that you need your data structures down pat (not red-black trees or anything that complex). While you can memorize all the questions and algorithms out there, understanding the high level aspects of them (backtracking, dynamic programming, simple string manipulation, etc.) pays off when you encounter a question you've never seen before. Third, you need to know what your team does to know what they can ask. If it's a system development role, you need to brush up on your OS fundamentals, networking etc. Finally, prepare for any behavioral questions you could be asked. There are a ton out there online and they pretty much cover all the ground. Linking these answers to specific projects on your resume is certain bonus points. Answer Question
Helpful (1)Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 8 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in April 2015.
The interview process took 8 weeks. I was referred by a friend and was contacted by an engineering manager first. We set up a phone screening for the week after. Then two weeks went by and then I was contacted by a recruiter. She wanted to setup a phone screening but then after a few weeks she told me the hiring manager wanted to go to on-site after hearing about my phone screening. Some how I got lost in the flow of things. They flew me out the next week, very short deadline and notice, for four interviews. After my fourth interview they tacked on a fifth. The last was with the hiring manager. He told me normally when he meets recruits it is a good thing so I should not worry, however he did not want to give out an offer yet. He wanted to see where to put me. He said I was good but not what he normally hirers, i.e. not a new grad or experienced professional. I was changing from teaching in Academia for five years. After I got back on Tuesday, I was informed on Wednesday night, 3 hour time difference, that my recruiter received my feedback and wanted to schedule a time to talk the next day. We talked on Thursday where she gave me an offer for SDEII. Very exciting. I did negotiate but not on the yearly salary or bonuses as they were very competitive and above what I was expecting.
- I will abide by the NDA so I will not disclose the actual questions. I can say that I was asked some fairly tough questions. One was an actual problem they were asked to do, he should me the design requirements. The last of the four said she normally does not ask this difficult of a question but for me she would. It was tough. I will say study your basic data structures and algorithms like sorting, searching, trees, recursion, and design patterns. Answer Question
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