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Microsoft Program Manager II Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Mar 26, 2014
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Accepted Offer

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Difficult Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
Redmond, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2011.

Interview Details – Since I was in Europe I had four online meetings via Lync. The first three were with the Program Manager Leads and they gave me a real world problem that could be solved in different ways. I had to go through the process to get to a solution. That included asking questions to stakeholders, brainstorming and coming up with a solution.

It was fun to do the interview.

Interview Question – How would you solve this problem.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No room for negotiation

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3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
Bellevue, WA

The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2012.

Interview Details – A recruiter reached out to me with a program manager opportunity on her team. She asked if I would be interested in a technical phone screen with the hiring manager. One week later, I spoke to the hiring manager and he described the opportunity and asked about my background. The meeting was scheduled for 60 minutes but we talked for 90. Great conversation.

Recruiter called me back one week later and mentioned the team was interested in having an in-house interview. The position needed to be filled quickly so the onsite interview was scheduled for the following week.

On the day of the interview - I was scheduled for 4, one on one interviews (HR, dev manager, Sr. PM, and Group Manager). The first being the HR manager who asked typical HR questions. The second interview was with the development manager who focused on my technical background and had me solve a problem the team was actively working on. I then met with the hiring manager who I had previously spoken to. I answered a few design questions on the white board before heading to the cafeteria for lunch. My last scheduled interview was with the group manager who was very personable and wanted to know my work experience/background and wanted to know my reason for wanting to work with Microsoft. Near the end of the 60 minutes, the group manager looked at his email and let me know I had one more interview that day. He escorted me down to the reception area and I would meet with another person in 90 minutes. Turns out it was the Division Manager, I guess things were going well. After the interview, I was lead to the lobby and told I would hear from HR within 5-10 days.

Overall, the team had a great dynamic and were very outgoing and encouraging. They were very eager to answer questions and tell me the great benefits of working with Microsoft.

The HR manager called me back within 3 days and offered me the job.

Interview Questions

  • What's my favorite website? What do I like about it? How would I improve it?   Answer Question
  • Describe something within my career that I was most proud of? What did I learn from the process? How would I have made it better?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
Seattle, WA

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

Interview Details – The interviewer is very friendly, he asked two questions, one is problem solving and the other is design problem: 1. what is the angle between minute hand and hour hand when time is x hour and y minute. 2. Design the expedia for airport. These are all traditional interview questions and the second round for the PM intern position is on-site interview at Seattle headquarter. Microsoft is a very generous company!

Interview Questions

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
Redmond, WA

The process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in December 2008.

Interview Details – Phone screen with the recruiter was primarily around scheduling. Interview was the standard day long affair with a good hour and a half spent waiting in the lobby due to scheduling problems. I find that to be fairly tacky, I'd never allow it for my candidates, but that is how Microsoft does things.

Interviews were fairly easy, some design questions which are typically won by having a good stream of ideas and the ability to defend some of the ideas (I don't think most interviewers consider it a bad thing if you reject one of your own ideas).

Interviewers would sometimes throw random analytical problems at me as a response to something I'd said. For example, we were talking about ordering of search results and he asked out of the blue how many possible orderings there were of a list of n search results (hint: n!).

Microsoft interview feedback is all sent immediately upon completion of the interview so the following interviews sometimes touched on information in the previous ones (also: it is important to do well on the first few because their hire/no-hire suggestions will influence following interview results).

Interview Question – design an experiment to optimize the quality of search results on a google-like search engine.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – After reviewing their salary curve (it has been leaked on line) and talking to people currently employed there, I decided the salary was as good as I'd get so asked for a higher signing bonus which they agreed to within hours. Perhaps I should have asked for more.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2007.

Interview Details – Very straightforward, but that was only my experience as a mid-career new hire.
As I understand from others, the interview process can be very tricky.
The best way to get a position here is to start as a paid intern and spend a summer working on real projects.

Interview Question – What is your major weakness and how would that apply to this job?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
New York, NY

The process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in November 2007.

Interview Details – Three interviews scheduled ahead of time with a list of names and titles given in advance. At the end of the third interview I was told there would be a fourth and final interview. Each interview lasted about an hour and it helped to have some snacks and soda throughout the day for stamina. Lot's of general program manager'ish type questions and it helped that I read The Zen of Program Management in advance to answer these. Not too many logic or case study type questions.

Interview Question – What did you like least about your last position?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Received an additional $5,000.00 after holding back a few days on accepting the offer.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
Redmond, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2009.

Interview Details – I had 6 interviews, 5 during the first day and then a last one called "as appropriate". The last one means you basically passed the interview process and get a chance to get to know the GM of the unit to ask some though questions (both ways).

The questions during the interview ranged from behavioral skills to technical details. It wasn't uncommon to talk about past experiences and challenges, reasons to join the group, design scenarios and coding challenges.

Overall I felt the interview very professional and timely.

Interview Question – Why should I hire you?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Yes. Microsoft has deep pockets and has a very wide range of negotiation possibilities (stock awards, signing bonus, salary, etc)

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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Microsoft in August 2008.

Interview Details – The interviews over the phone and face to face were smooth, but quite tiring. I had 5 interviews face to face in Redmond, and I was asked technical (pseudo code) and program management questions. I talked with developers, testers, and PMs. The interviewers were very friendly, and were able to feel relaxed, helping me to answer questions more clearly.

Interview Question – How would you make other people on different teams to follow a schedule that you set, knowing that they don't report to you, and have different priorities?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I found out that you cannot negotiate extra vacation days, since I was told it is company policy. Not sure if that was just in my case, since some other folks told me that they were able to get more days.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Microsoft in August 2008.

Interview Details – It was good. i did a phone interview with the hiring manager and we decide to setup VTC (Video Telecom Conference) and I finished the interview remotely with the hiring manager, a test lead , 2 senior level manager

Interview Question – If give you 1 million $ and ask you to change 1 thing for search, what would you do?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager II Interview

Program Manager II
Córdoba (Argentina)

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2010.

Interview Details – 3 interviews with direct report, indirect report and colleague.

Interview Question – None.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Two phases, with HHRR about salary, with direct report about SLA.

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