Microsoft Interview Questions & Reviews in Mountain View, CA
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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.
Senior User Experience Designer Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2013.
Interview Details – The biz guy came to interview and ask real-projects that they are working on for free consulting.
Because he's biz guy, he only ask biz question for a candidate who applied to designer position
Interview Question – What should we do in order to be profitable against competitors? Answer Question
Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in December 2012.
Interview Details – Applied online initially, was contacted within a few days by a recruiter that dealt with University recruiting from my alma mater. Recruiter was very helpful in explaining the different positions in SW (SDE, SDET, & PM) and spent the phone interview with him deciding which position best fit my interests. No technical questions on phone interview. Contacted me shortly after to let me know a position was available for SDET at the Mountain View location. Set up in person interview and flew out to see them.
Spoke with an amazing team that worked on Outlook. Had a total of five interviews throughout the day.
1) First interview, great guy. Really fun to talk to, discussed testing, reliability via redundancy and other issues and challenges of distributed systems.
Technical Question: how would you test the responsiveness of one node from another node in a network of two connected servers.
2) Second interview, also a great guy. Worked on test automation and talked to me about various testing schemes and benchmarks they observe and work on.
Technical Question: how would you test that two strings are anagrams of each other.
3) Third interview, really nice guy too but he was fiddling around with his phone while I was working on the technical problem on the whiteboard which made me feel like I was a high school teacher trying to get him to understand and pay attention. Talked about his work testing the products on various consumer personal electronic devices.
Technical Question: describe and implement a search algorithm. (I picked quicksort)
4) Fourth interview, cool guy. Talked about the company and opportunities in the future. Grilled me on academics (my GPA, why it was what it was, what else I was doing in college, etc.)
Technical Question: picked one of the projects on my resume and asked me to explain it to him as if he's a 6th grader.
5) Fifth interview, also a really great guy. Fun to talk to also spoke with him about Microsoft the team and what they were doing. He was an international transplant so I asked him about opportunities across the globe with the company. I forgot how to do the simplest brute-force solution for the problem and spent A LOT of time on the question trying to figure out a generalized pattern that would serve to give me an efficient algorithm. He presented me with the simplest, recursive, "try every board configuration" solution, mentioned that I know Dijkstra found the solution to it, but I can't remember it. He chuckled a bit.
Technical Question: 8 queens problem.
Outside of the actual interviews and on-campus experience which was the best part of my trip everything else sucked, nobody's fault though just a couple of those Acts of God that come with travelling. For example, on my drive to the interview I got caught for 45 minutes on the OFF RAMP to the campus. Not even the highway traffic, just the one off ramp had morning rush hour cause I guess Google and some of the other guys also had their campuses down the street.
Interview Question – Standard technical questions if you do your homework (literally and figuratively) you should be fine. Answer Question
Hardware Quality Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – 5 interviews with various levels of interviewers (engineers, directors, gms..). I loved the interview process because it was not the typical behavioral stuff. The conversations were pretty laid back, which I liked. We talked about some technical topics (mechanical, electrical) and my interests. The least senior person that interviewed me asked me some brainteaser type questions. They weren't too hard. I really liked the people that I met and the culture, which seemed pretty non-bureaucratic.
During the interview process they took us to a nice dinner and treated us really well. I enjoyed the recruiting process.
Interview Question – How did you get hired for your previous job (internship) without having experience? View Answer
Very Difficult Interview
Program Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2013.
Interview Details – The hiring and interview process were top notch. Each interviewer I encountered was very knowledgeable and challenged my abilities. Also, my recruiters were all extremely helpful in providing me with additional resources to help me prepare for the interviews. I cannot say enough positive things about the experience I had.
Interview Question – None of the questions that I encountered were out of the ordinary but all were very challenging and required a variety of skills to complete (data structure knowledge, customer apathy, etc.) Answer Question
Software Development Engineer/Internship Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2014.
Interview Details – 2 on-campus, 1 on-site interview
Interview Question – Pretty almost all questions were basic. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation
Reliability Engineer Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in November 2012.
Interview Details – After a screening, a phone interview was given. The phone interview required talking through a few basic problem solving situations and physics applications. The next step was flying out to their Mountain View campus in California for a day of interviews. There's 4 interviews that are 45 minutes each with a 15 minute break between interviews. Only one person I interviewed with was an actual reliability engineer. Keep in mind I originally applied for a hardware engineering position, but they changed the position the morning of the interviews. I was wanting to be a hardware engineer, not a reliability engineer. The interviewers asked very detailed questions about previous classes taken and required a few problems worked out for them on a board.
Interview Question – One interviewer quizzed me on my resume. This included dates listed and job descriptions listed. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – They changed the position when I was on site.
Account Technology Specialist (ATS) Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2013.
Interview Details – Phone screen followed by phone tech review - fairly easy. Flew me into Mountain View campus for 6 hours, interviewed with other ATSs - 2, 45 minutes, then interviewed with 2 account managers. All interviews 1:1 and 45 minutes in length.
My resume is more of a marketing document not a chronically history of my career (22 years), so interviewers got a bit stuck with trying to connect the dots. I would have rather had all interviewers at once instead of rehashing the same topic - my history.
They asked why do I want to work for MSFT since my own consulting company is so successful. I stated I wanted to have a greater impact on society. They asked the same question again and again which gave me the impression they were not making an impact on society nor happy with their role. Who knows.
Lunch provided. Some travel expenses paid. Had 90 minute break between interviews which sucked. Hard to carry interest after sitting in a room alone for 90 minutes. Two positions where open, maybe three. After not getting the job I was told that they are only going to fill one o f the positions and the person given the offer had more sales experience which is fine. My background is more technical / solution architect and the role appears more like hand holding enterprise clients then designing or even project management. Seemed like a shallow role.
PS: LinkedIn was highly leveraged by both myself and the interviewing team.
Interview Question – How do you persuade difficult people? View Answer
Software Development Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in July 2009.
Interview Details – went to campus interview. Then was invited to onsite interview. The interview started at 9:AM, ended at around 6 PM
Interview Question – don't remember any more Answer Question
Negotiation Details – no negotiation for people directly from school. industry hire may be different. However, in general, Microsoft prefer to hire from school
Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) II Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Microsoft in December 2009.
Interview Details – Hire process is very well defined and clear. Nowadays, there is no non-job related questions should ask. and most questions to figure out how good your programming knowledge are.
Interview Question – Should able to write code of Quick Sort in limited time. View Answer
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