Microsoft Interview Questions & Reviews
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Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through college or university and interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – good hiring process ,very planned and hospitable.
well organized and paid for all the expenses ,communication was good and prompt and no hassle.
one phone ,one on campus and 6 onsite interviews.
Interview Question – Technical coding question Answer Question
Software Development Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2013.
Interview Details – I was initially screened at my college career fair. My work in Computer Vision piqued the interest of an employee at the MS booth (they were all former students from my Uni). I was then set up for an on-campus screen.
On-campus screen: The interviewer introduced himself and eventually jumped into a coding question. I did badly and I was rejected as I very well expected
Interview Question – Make an exact copy of a linked list which has an additional 'random' node apart from usual the next node. Answer Question
Product Advisor Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2012.
Interview Details – It was all pretty jumbled, you first interview over the phone for about 45 mins with some third party company, then you are sent to a Skype call with someone. This was my experience with a new store opening. Existing stores will simply bring you in for a face to face meeting. All pretty run of the mill.
Interview Question – Nothing it was all pretty basic View Answer
Negotiation Details – None, they offered the maximum amount, this however has changed and I can't speak to the process.
Very Easy Interview
Senior Technical Account Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Microsoft in September 2010.
Interview Details – Phone screen followed by a one on one... I went in with the attitude that I really did not care if they made the offer or not, as I already had an offer that I was perfectly happy with from ATTWS, and I got the job!
Interview Question – The Interview process and questions were pretty predictable... View Answer
Negotiation Details – Cut and dry... I had an offer in hand from another company and they had to match and exceed it... and like magic I walked away with thousands of dollars more per year!
Senior User Experience Designer Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – The initial interview was a 30min phone interview with the manager. Afterwards, they sent over a design challenge where you were to solve the problem using your creative skills.
Given that this was for a UX position, you were to show your thought process, user flow, wireframes, and high fidelity designs. They expect you to take your designs into prototypes but do not explicitly tell you, it's a characteristic they look for. The task shouldn't take more than 5 hours, but most people spend well over that amount, and you should have it completed within the next day or two.
After I submitted my solutions, we had another phone interview where I walked him through my presentation and he would give me feedback. The manager asked a lot of why questions and then challenged me to go further with some portions of the design. He then asked me to do another revision with his feedback and to send it over when I was done and a MS recruiter would be in touch.
About 5 days later the recruiter reached out to me and said that they would like to bring me in for an in-person interview. After we found a date, I was told it would be a full-day of interviewing. I was also told to bring a portfolio presentation to showcase my work (about 3-5 pieces) that would take about an hour.
The interview day came and I met with the recruiter. He gave me a sheet of my interview schedule (2 presentations with a panel, and 4 one-on-ones). He mentioned that after the first 2 presentations the group would get a general understanding of how the interview is going, and at this point some people are asked to leave. Each interview is a gatekeeper to the next step.
The first presentation was easy, it was mostly with other designers on various teams that I would be interacting with. People asked questions about the work, why I went with this direction, what my design tools are, etc.
The second presentation was much harder, it was with all of the team managers and I was to present my design exercise. As I walked the group through my process they would ask questions and I was to elaborate for a design decision I made. As I presented my last slide they then proceeded to ask "what if..." questions that were really rough. They would change the scope or ask to think of doing something completely different. It's more of a task to see how well you respond to criticism and how fast you can think on your feet. They gladly pointed me to the whiteboard and I drew various scenarios with what I would do. It was very challenging as I would finish with one scenario someone asked, someone else would as "but what if you wanted to do..." and you would go through that process.
After the second, long, interview I was to have lunch with another manager. As we walked and ate lunch, I went over what I was passionate about, what I thought about MS, where I saw the future going with technology, etc. The manager then went over the MS philosophy and what products I would be working on, and was mostly a "personality fit" interview. After that I had another interview with another manager who would give me another design exercise that I was to solve in an hour. This one was harder as the details were very vague and I had to ask a lot of questions. After that, I had another interview with another manager where they were open to any questions I wanted to ask and was more of a "you've done a great job so far, now you're meeting with the division director". This last one was one of the hardest as I presented my portfolio and design exercise to the director of the entire division. He sat mostly silent, no expressions given, and asked few questions. Afterwards, he shook my hand and said "you did good" and walked me out.
I was now done. I had no idea how well it went, but I figured it went well enough to interview with the director. The recruiter called me the next to day to see how I was feeling about the position and how the rest of the interview went. He mentioned that after the group decides whether they would give me an offer, it would be about 3-5 days before I heard from them. 2 days later I got a call from the recruiter saying that they would like to give me an offer. He explained all of the initial benefits of MS and how compensation would work. I told him that I would gladly accept and began offer process (which took about a week long).
Interview Question – They kept changing scenarios for a design exercise that made you think on your feet and was a test to see your response to harsh criticism Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation, just an offer.
Intern Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2013.
Interview Details – First, Microsoft representatives visited my university for a resume review. They basically reviewed my resume and gave me some guidance about the things to put and to remove from there. Then, they invited me to a small competition, it had nothing to do with the internship, to solve some problems, and they gave the winners some coupons. Then, they sent me an Email to sign up for a secondary interview at my university after which I could qualify for an interview at Redmond.
Interview Question – It was not hard. He asked me to design and implement two simple functions enqueue and dequeue in any programming language I preferred. View Answer
Software Development Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – I attended a conference and noted down the presenter's email id as I was really impressed with the work they were doing. When looking for full time, I contacted the person for any openings in their team. Fortunately, I heard back from them and got a phone screen schedule within one week.
Phone Screen was easy and mainly focused on the projects i wrote in my resume and some algorithmic problems related with those projects.
Within one week, I heard back from them that I was through first round and need to come to Seattle for face to face interview. They were really helpful in scheduling the interview according to my convenience.
Microsoft takes care of their their employees and potential employees as well in my case. Wonderful and systematic scheduling. I landed in Seattle.
Whole day was set aside for interviews, I had 5 in total including the famous 5th interview which is a positive sign as mentioned by many here. First interview, little variation on the level order traversal which i was able to code it with some help from the recruiter who was really nice. You will have to write the code on board so I would suggest do some "Actual" coding preferably on some IDE which shows only syntactical errors and runs the program. Eclipse is sometimes too helpful which let's us forget minor mistakes.
Second round was a real life project problem related with quick ip lookup, for which I have default solution, Tries. I told each and every pros and cons of using tries and the interviewer was satisfied. I stumbled a little while implementing it but eventually was able to do that with of course the help of interviewer.
Oh yeah one more thing each interview is approximately 45 mins to 60 mins long and lunch time discussion is also part of the recruiting process. So don't lose your head thinking that it's not part of the process.
3rd interview which included the lunch discussion as i mentioned above. I was not aware of it but since interviewer only discussed my projects on resume, i was happy to talk about them. But was really thinking why the lunch is so much work. Later i realised when interviewer said, let's go back to the office and continue the discussion. This was the toughest round as interviewer went in to very specific details about my projects so one tip do remember some of the tools names, just to name drop them ;)
4th round was a short one as the 3rd one went for one and half hours. This one was comparatively lighter and mainly focused on design problems.
Then came, the nerve wrecking wait as they told me to wait so that they all can discuss how i performed and decide on the last interview with the 2nd line manager. Thankfully manager came soon and ask me to wait for 2nd line manager. That discussion was very informal sort as he was selling me Microsoft and why I should come and work there. Happy sign always ! :)
Then I came back to my awesome hotel as I had my flight back same day in the evening.
Almost next day itself the HR contacted me and I missed her call. I really thought I did'nt get through but thankfully Hr called me back next day and told me I am through !!
Only advice I can give you is "CODE" ! there is no way around it! If you want to work as SDE you need to know Algorithms and Data Structures ! Language is no issue but you must know how to implement it. At least able to discuss why to us and why not to use a particular data structure.
Interview Question – Very Detailed discussion on most interesting project in your career Answer Question
Negotiation Details – It's Microsoft, they take care of it very well. Didnt negotiate as the offer was above market trend.
General Manager Marketing Interview (Positive Experience)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2010.
Interview Details – I joined as a director. I knew an executive who sponsored me. Before that I could not get recruiting to even answer my mails. This is common since the recruiters are often note great at filtering interviews and seem to have no centralized data base they look at when trying to find candidates. Actually they do have a data base but no good way of finding people inside it and matching it to role requirements.
Interview Question – If you were dropped into a forest fire with a bucket and a piece of rope what would you do View Answer
Negotiation Details – Not very much negotiation as the hiring manager knew I wanted to leave my other compay. I walked away from a lot of stock and did not get compensated. Actually they could have given me a much richer stock award and signing bonus.
SQL Support Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Microsoft in September 2010.
Interview Details – The process is long but there is a lot of reason for that. They need to make sure that you will be able to keep up with the job
Interview Question – Some technical questions are confusing but also because the interviewer doesn't know the answer either in detail and they only have some sort of "script" in paper Answer Question
Negotiation Details – There is no real negotiation, it is what it is
Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET)D Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Microsoft
Interview Details – extensive phone interviews followed by lots and lots of in person interviews - i interviewed with at least 30 people when all was said and done and got glowing recomendation from 29 - person expressed some concerns and that was enough to almost kill the opp. had to go back and interview with 10 more people and finally got offer
Interview Question – weakness View Answer
Negotiation Details – short
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