Microsoft Interview Questions

Updated Jul 1, 2015
4,290 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in May 2015.

    Interview

    A recruiter called me to schedule a phone screen technical interview with a developer team lead. The technical interview was supposed to be an hour but lasted an hour and a half; the team lead was very interested in my project work, and the overall impression was very positive, even though no coding was tested during the phone screen. Before I stepped into the office, I got the e-mail request for me to fly to Seattle and meet the team the following week. Scheduling was very easy to work with and I had no issues getting to Seattle; a rental car was even booked for me, and meals and parking can be expensed. The first interview was with the recruiter, who was very friendly and provided some insightful information on how the interviews work and a schedule with the people I would meet. She also mentioned that there were multiple teams monitoring these interviews and that if I did well in the interviews there would be additional interviews that were not on the schedule. While there was a lunch interview that was a bit more casual (no whiteboard = no coding), I didn't let my guard down; all other interviews were highly technical and required coding or analyzing code. I eventually met double the number of people I was scheduled for and the interviews lasted 7 hours. It was a gruelling day, and one interviewer asked me questions outside of my knowledge zone, but it was extremely insightful as to the difficulty level of a first-tier software tech company interview, and I learned a lot of what was being expected at Microsoft.

    Interview Questions

  2.  

    Software Engineer II Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in May 2015.

    Interview

    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.

    Interview Questions

    • 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
  3.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in May 2015.

    Interview

    There was a initial phone interview and then there is an on-site interview.
    The on-site interview was in 3 parts each increasing in difficulty.
    1.) basic introduction and a simple problem
    2.) question related to the group's work
    3.) A design question.

    Interview Questions

    • 1.) find a first repeating string in a large text file.
      2.) Check if the given cordinates on a map correspond to the correct address (where address or cordinates are provided in a tab separated file)
      3.) Design a game like angry birds
       
      Answer Question
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  5.  

    Technical Account Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Reston, VA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a weekinterviewed at Microsoft (Reston, VA) in May 2015.

    Interview

    The interview was in an Open House format. After checking-in with the recruiters, you are to visit all applicable groups in the meeting rooms. At each table you will meet professionals of the discipline and get the opportunity to ask questions about the positions, discuss the company, and talk about your experiences.

    Interview Questions

    • What is your experience with SQL Server and Windows Server?   1 Answer
  6.  

    Product Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in May 2015.

    Interview

    1: Phone Screening. 2: Group Interview. 3: 1 on 1

    My experience:

    I received an e-mail stating that I was one of the people chosen to come in for a 1 on 1 interview, and to expect a call. And that the interview was to be conducted in the next two days.

    I missed the call but, immediately called back. The mgr was busy and was told that I would get a call back. When I tried to call the next day, the mgr wasn't there. So, I am confused as to where to go from here. I guess I am going to have to wait and see.

    Interview Questions

    • What would u ask someone who wanted a laptop?
      Why should we hire the person next to you?
       
      1 Answer
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Technical Evangelist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    Initially had interview with a Microsoft Recruiter. Once they determined my qualifications I was then directed to do an interview with another Senior Technical Evangelist. After that, I was required to do 3 more interviews with Management. I received an offer 4 days after this. The entire process took a few weeks.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you consider yourself a technical expert on the matter?   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (4)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    First interview was in University, they asked a matrix question from the "Cracking the programming interview" book. Afterwards they flew me to Redmond for the final round. They literally paid for everything: Hotel, flight, rental car, taxi, space needle ticket, meals and so on. During the day I had 5 interviews back to back. The questions are very standard but covers almost all data structures and algorithms. Still they are much easier than the ones i got from Google. Overall the interviewers are very nice and helpful. They made the interviews seem like a work place discussion rather than tests so i was very relaxed and confidently talked my way through it. Got an offer within a week.

    Interview Questions

    • Questions can mostly be found on geeksforgeeks, the topics include binarytree, recursion, 2d array, suffix trie, hashing etc.
      1. implement "atoi"
      2. the skylines problem
      3. two lines on a 2d dimension, given their end points, check if they intersect (this is more of a math problem but i just coded it up in C++)
      4. binary tree modification, make all parents' values be the sum of their direct children.
      there are more but I can't remember.
       
      Answer Question
  9.  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    The overall conversation with Microsoft was quick and smooth. I got an interview after an online test on basic probability and statistics knowledge. Then I was invited to a technical interview with an analyst.

    Interview Questions

  10. Helpful (5)  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    Got an email for an on campus interview after career fair. The interview was in 2 parts: programming and design. He was comfortable with C and not too much with Java, the language I was comfortable in. He even asked me to program in notepad since he didnt have a java ide. The question involved pointers and memory management but in java, the JVM handles it for you so I was unable to answer. For the design question I found it hard to understand what he wanted but after asking for clarification it went pretty smooth. In the end, the interviewer was very helpful and understanding.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (1)  

    Data Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a weekinterviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    There are multiple steps in the interview process. Initially a recruiting scout in one org reached out and gather initial information, e.g. career goal, past experience, salary expectation etc. Then, she collected the resume and broadcast within her org. A few recruiter reached out to set up first phone screen. I talked the manager and got an on-site. I met with 4 person in total including recruiter. Had lunch with the sr. manager. The interview took a whole morning. I was there around 9:30 and got out around 1:30.

    Interview Questions

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