Microsoft
3.6 of 5 7,019 reviews
www.microsoft.com Redmond, WA 5000+ Employees

Microsoft Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

34%
20%
17%

Interview Experience 

60%
26%
12%

Interview Difficulty 

3,165 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Finance Manager Interview

Anonymous Employee
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2014.

Interview Details – Had two phone interviews and then the on-site loop of 5 interviews plus a final interview with the head of the group. The first phone interview was a screener with the recruiter, second was with the hiring manager of the group I would be joining. Both were situational, behavioral, no real technical questions just tell me about your work experience and what about Microsoft/this role attracts you/why are you leaving your current company.

The loop was a bit different. The first interview was with the most junior member of the team which was the most technical. He wanted to know if I'd done my homework about himself and the team (luckily I looked them up in linkedin beforehand). His first question was "what do you know about me?". And then some additional technical questions about the role . He was friendly and gave feedback when I asked for it.

I went to lunch with the hiring manager. She told me it was more a technicality because she had already gotten a good feel for me over our phone conversation, but she still wove in situational questions over the meal. It was slightly awkward to eat and talk - so I didn't end up eating very much but it was a long day so keep this in mind.

The rest of the interviews seemed like technicalities. People were friendly and asked about my resume, why msft, only one of them in a different building was slightly stressful. This person kept firing questions at me one after the other - things like "what are your strengths/weaknesses", "tell me about a difficult manager you had", "tell me about a project you worked on where you had to gain buy in from and engage different parties" and he didn't allow me to ask questions.

Overall I liked the process. I liked the fact that I was able to meet the full team I'd be working with. I got a feel for the young fun culture of the company and also how hard working everyone is. The final interview with the head of the team was more informational. She was selling me on why I should choose Microsoft and trying to prepare me for a higher workload in her group and to make me fully aware of the limited scope of the role. I found her friendly however, approachable and real. She did 90% of the talking.

It helped me to have other interviews lined up in the pipeline with other competitors. Also having offers, even from lesser companies. In the end I told Microsoft if their offer was competitive enough I wouldn't interview with Amazon and they came in very competitive.

Interview Question – Tell me all the cogs used for an Xbox live video purchase.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate slightly on signing bonus and signing stock, but not on base salary. The original offer was competitive and they were fair with me even though I told them my current salary. I believe this was because I was interviewing with Amazon as well and had another offer from a different company. If i could do it again, I wouldn't tell them my current salary.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Finance Director Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2012.

Interview Details – My resume was hand-forwarded to recruiting by a current Senior Director. First contacts came from multiple internal recruiters representing different groups inside the Company. Those calls were followed by phone screens with carious hiring managers. Ultimately , I was flown across country twice for in-person interviews. The first trip I met with 4 people including the hiring manager. The second trip I met with a senior HR person and a division CFO.

Interview Question – There were no "trick" questions. Come prepared having done your own independent research about the particular division where you are applying. Be prepared to talk in detail about your prior roles including what impact your work had on the business and what specific skills you possess that are relevant to Microsoft's needs.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Microsoft has pretty tight compensation/offer guidelines. Expect to take a pay cut if you are a Director or VP at another company. They almost never hire externally above the lowest Director level. Too much internal competition for those roles. That being said, negotiate as hard as you can, because once inside, it is hard to make big leaps upward quickly.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

3D Artist Interview

Anonymous Employee

Interviewed at Microsoft

Interview Details – Contacted by outside contractor. Set up an interview. Only one interview. Looked at resume and online website to get an idea of what type of artist I was. Explained what the job would be to me, showed me a video so I could get a better idea. Asked me what my personal interest were and if they thought I could handle the work.

Interview Question – Asked if I could work with attention to detail, while still being able to work quickly.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Seattle, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2010.

Interview Details – I dropped my resume at campus fair and went to Seattle for a group interview.

There 4 rounds of interview. 2 of them are coding and the other 2 rounds are testing.

Interview Question – how to test onenotes   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Microsoft

Interview Details – applied online, and had an on-campus interview.
Interview was about 40 minutes talking about my background and
asked 1 question and related sub-questions.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Director Interview

Anonymous Employee
Redmond, WA

I applied through other source and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2010.

Interview Details – Expect multiple rounds. Initially informational. Then with Hiring Manager. If he/she is no-go you're done. If Hiring Manager believes you're a qualified candidate, then he/she will bring you in for a "loop" with 5-7 people. The last person is the partner/manager who has to "sign off" on your hire.

Note, Microsoft will almost always bring 3 people through on a loop. Best case scenario, you have a 1/3 chance of getting the job if you make it through the loop.

If you don't make it to the end of the loop - e.g. the "partner/manager is suddenly unavailable and called into a meeting" - then you're out. The loop participants decided it wasn't worth the partner/manager time to spend with you. You got a thumbs down.

Interview Question – If you're not ready to answer tough questions, then don't expect a job at Microsoft. Do your research on the interviewers, know the competition, and have opinions (but be open to others feedback)   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Negotiate up another level. Levels are super hard to move once inside Microsoft. Thus, better to move up a level, than to get more pay.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test Intern Interview

Anonymous Employee
Redmond, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Microsoft in December 2013.

Interview Details – One on-campus interview, then one on-site all-day interview (Redmond in my case).

Interview Question – Test a bicycle.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer - Contract Interview

Anonymous Employee
Redmond, WA

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – 4 rounds of interview for .net developer with algorithms and .net architecture questions.

Interview Question – LinkedList with c# coding.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Intern Microsoft Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2014.

Interview Details – I applied online, they contacted me and set up a phone interview. after that they flew me to Seattle for a day of 4 back to back interviews.

Interview Question – Every question was about trees. Know your trees!!!   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Engagement Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – The whole process was handled in a very professional manner. The recruiter had initial phone screening, and then setup in-person interviews (1 whole day). He also prepped m on what to expect during the day of the interview. The interviews were 1:1 discussions, and interviewers where very open in discussions. Most of the questions were expected. I believe there were 5 or 6 candidates interviewed on the same day for that position.

Interview Question – Give me an example of a challenging situation with a client, and how did you handle it?   Answer Question

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