Microsoft Product Manager Interview Questions

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4 people found this helpful  

Product Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Redmond, WA
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
Application Details

The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in February 2011.

Interview Details

After submitting my resume, I got contacted for a phone interview (I don't live in the Redmond area). The phone interview was with an HR person and lasted about 45 minutes. There wer typical behavioral questions (tell me about a time when..), and also a few marketing questions about products that I thought were marketed well, how I would improve those products. There was also a question about designing an alarm clock for the blind.

A few weeks later I received an email saying I made it through to the 2nd round. I went to the campus in Redmond as part of an interview day. There were 4 interviews scheduled for everyone participating in that day (all within the group I was applying for), each one lasting from 45 minutes to an hour with short few-minute breaks in between. All the interviewers were nice, but each interview was very different. They were all people that worked in the group that I was applying for (not HR).

My first interview was behavioral (tell me about a time when...), and asked very typical questions about why I wanted to work at Microsoft. It was very conversational, and it felt more like we were just talking about my resume, my skills, and my interests, rather than a formal interview.

The second interview was a case interview. My interviewer drew out a real Microsoft business problem on the white board and asked me questions about how I would approach the problem, what other information would I need, and what action I would recommend. After saying a few things, I got stuck, but my interviewer guided me along towards different areas to consider. In the end, there was something important that I had missed and my interviewer let me know what that was. There were also a few random questions like, describe a process to me as if I were a 7 year old child. I didn't think I did well in this interview, but it couldn't have been that bad because later I got the offer.

The third interview was very focused on marketing (I was applying for a marketing position). I was asked about products that were marketed well and poorly. I think it was crucial to use a framework in answering this question (marketing mix), but again, the interview was very conversational, and my interviewer guided me in certain directions when I ran out of things to say about a certain product. There were also questions that tested creativity like, what are all the ways you could market ping pong balls if they could no longer be used for ping pong?

My last interview was the least structured. My interviewer basically let me have the entire hour to ask any questions I had about Microsoft. The interviewers talk to each other after each interview, so maybe I had already gotten a "Yes" from the first 3? Even though I only had a few questions to start with, as we talked, it became conversational so I asked additional questions based off the ongoing conversation. I think this was to gauge my interest in Microsoft and show that I knew enough about it to ask intelligent questions.

Some people in my group got called back for a 5th interview, and we all thought that a 5th interview meant that you did well (and only 4 interviews meant you were cut), but that turned out to be untrue, since I only had 4 interviews and I got an offer. To prep for the interviews, I would just prepare for business cases, marketing cases, research the company, research your group, and show your interest in technology and in Microsoft.

Interview Questions
  • There is a business unit within a large software company (Microsoft) that has X revenue, their expenses are increasing, their competitors are creating lower cost products, and their suppliers are putting pressure on costs from the supply side (there were a few other circumstances I don't remember). What would you do? What other information would you need? What questions would you ask?   Answer Question
  • How else could you market ping pong balls if ping pong itself became obsolete? (List many, then pick one and go into detail)   Answer Question
  • What was the hardest qusetion you were asked in the interview loop today?   Answer Question
  • Think of any process that you are familiar with (doesn't have to be software related) and explain it to me as if I were a 7 year old child.   Answer Question
  • What is a product you think is marketed well? How would you improve the marketing for it?   Answer Question
Negotiation Details
One of the first things my recruiter said to me when I got the offer was that it was not negotiable at all. I actually received a better offer from another company, but ended up choosing Microsoft because of the culture and company reputation. I think they know they have that going for them.
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

    The process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in February 2011.

    Interview Details

    This was a 30 minute screening interview. The interviewer was nice, and started the interview off with a behavioral question. "Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline". Then the interviewer asked me to design a microwave. I asked him questions like "who is our target audience". I'm not sure what he was looking for, whether he wanted to know technical skills or requirements gathering. It was all pretty vague. After that, the interviewer asked me to write a method that would remove every other node from a doubly-linked-list. I received an email about a week later letting me know they did not want to hire me.

    Interview Questions
    • Design a method that removes every other node from a linked list.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 days - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2008.

    Interview Details

    There were 5 interviews in one day. Some technical, some casual with an as appropriate interview with the group manager.

    Interview Questions
    • How would you get authentication to work across domains   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Bellevue, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 days - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2010.

    Interview Details

    Interview process consisted of several 1:1 interviews with different members of the team. Questions mostly ranged from business strategy cases to various problem solving questions around the team's business. About 8 interviews in total. Had a fun day discussing several ideas with the teams. Be prepared with your analysis around several aspects of the industry.

    Interview Questions
    • Should we launch a product in XYZ market? Why or Why not?   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Not much given the market.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  4. We want your feedback – Is this interview information helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2010.

    Interview Details

    First round was 30 minute phone interview with HR. She asked basic questions such as why MSFT, what's your favorite MSFT product, what's your career plan, tell me a product that was marketed very well.

    Second round was 30 minute phone interview with Senior Product Manager. He asked me to give an example of a technical product that was marketed very well, and how would I compete with it if I were a competitor. He also asked how did I evaluate whether a marketing campaign is successful.

    I haven't got feedback after second round.

    Interview Questions
    • Tell me a technical product that was marketed very well. What exactly did they do?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    One day of interviews, 5 in all, with an as-appropriate at the end.

    Interview Questions
    • How would you design a new user interface for a bank application   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
  7.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    The process is run tight with 4-6 people on the interview loop. Most questions are case questions (similar to consulting)

    Interview Questions
    • how do you weigh an air plain without using a scale?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    very little room for negotiation
    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    first round interview at b-school. usual process. one skills interview and one case interview. second round (final round) at microsoft in redmond. typically four to five interviews with the team. two interviews with peers, which are typically case interviews. one interview with hiring manager which was mostly getting to know you type stuff, and opinions on various related industry topics. One with hiring manage's manager (can be director or general manager), depending on if you've been okayed by the majority so far or not. can have a fifth interview as well, but not in all cases.

    Interview Questions
    • nothing too out of the blue. as long you are well prepapred for a typicaly marketing interview out of business school.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Was able to negotiate salary a little bit.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Had an on-campus interview. The interviewer was a senior product manager. He was really friendly and easy to get along with. Shortly after, I was flown to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, all expenses paid. They chose which group they thought would be the best fit for me. Unfortunately, I do not agree with their decision and I think it affected the outcome a lot. I had 6 interviews in one day. The first interviewer was grumpy, but everyone else was really welcoming and informative.

    Interview Questions
    • I had a highly technical background so I was surprised when they placed me in a windows third party negotiating product manager role. They asked about negotiating techniques. I tried to answer as best I could, but I didn't have a solid foundation for this question.   Answer Question
    No Offer
  10.  

    Product Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    The interview process consists of 5 to 6 individuals interviewing you during the course of a day. Generally, you interview with each person in their office. There is also an "As Appropriate (AA)" interview at the end of the day, if it looks like you may be a hire. The AA will have the final decision on whether you should be hired. You generally will not be told who the AA interviewer will be and it will not show up on your schedule. If it looks like you will not be a hire, then you will not be sent to the AA. At the end of each interview, the interviewer is supposed to write up how the interview went, pros & cons, and whether they give you a "Hire" or "No Hire". Generally, if they have doubts they are supposed to say "No Hire". Since each subsequent interviewer can read the prior interviewer(s) comments, it's important to do well on each interview. There are times when an interviewer will not be sure whether to give you a "Hire" or "No Hire" and will look at earlier interviewers to see their comments/opinions. So a "Hire" or "No Hire" rating can snow ball from the first person you interview through any or all subsequent interviews. Note also the AA may not be the hiring manger, i.e. may not be the person you will be directly working for, so it's important to know who the hiring manager is prior to your interview.

    Even though Microsoft is a casual work environment, interviewees are generally expected to dress up, e.g. suit & tie, for the interview.

    Interview Questions
    • If you inherited a car wash and surrounding property, would you keep it, sell it, or do something else with the property? What would make the most business sense?   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

See What Microsoft Employees Are Saying

 Former Industry Marketing Manager in Redmond, WA

Pros: “I enjoyed working in an environment where everyone on the team had an immense amount of pride and dedication to the product. Very supportive management, generous salary and perks, and…” Full Review

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