Microsoft Program Manager Interview Questions

Updated Aug 24, 2015
326 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (25)  

Program Manager Interview

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

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in December 2013.

Interview

I applied through a university recruiter. (but not on campus). I have a CS background, but not even a coding question. First interview through Skype. * design question (firstly ask clarifying questions, then design it!) * what is good code? * describe a previous project Same day I found out that I am invited on an on-site interview. (which was scheduled 2 weeks afterwards). On-site interview It was a college hire event, with 12 students all applying for a PM full-time role. Each of us went through 4 interviews. All the interviewers had >15 years experience at Microsoft. 1st interview: * we talked about my CV, past projects, current projects (What difficulties I had, Why I took some of the decisions, etc) * design question - design a parking lot * why I would like to work at Microsoft * I had the chance to ask questions 2nd interview: * I had to explain something in technology that excites me. I chose a product and then I was asked follow up questions, such as: "What difficulties do you think they had when developing it?", "What's good for the user? What's bad for the user?" * I presented a previous project in details (even including prototypes on the white board). I pitched it in the beginning and then dived into details (I had 20 min time for it, so be sure you know the projects in the CV in detail!) * again, I asked questions at the end 3rd interview: * most difficult one * I had to present one of my project in detail - again on the blackboard * then, I had to present another project in 90 seconds (the interviewer told me to talk about my project, I asked what's the time limit, and he said 90 seconds - so in the end I gave kind of elevator pitch) * a question about elevators: "A CEO complains that the elevator in his building sucks - what would I do?" - I couldn't talk with the CEO to find out what's wrong, everything was normal, the other people weren't complaining. I was focused more on customer interviews to find out what was wrong, in the end I had to test it. I could not figure the question myself, so the interviewer gave me a hint (I had to think about my phone and its parameters and why I chose it) * then, I Had to think about 5 things I would improve in the elevators in that building (without knowing what the problem was) and then chose the two most important (HINT: Prioritize the list in the beginning, then it's much easier to cut off) * again, I asked questions 4th interview: * more technical, I had to explain the architecture of a software project in detail * questions to the interviewer again Tips: * be prepared with a "framework" for the design questions: firstly, you have to ask questions (about customer, business context, technology, etc). Then, design & implementation * be prepared for asking questions at the end of each interview * know each of your project in detail (challenges, technical details, situations, learnings, etc) * when you present a project, be sure to pitch it right and to present it nicely (they are not interested about the project, but about how you can present it, what was your role in it, what you learned, etc) Good luck!

Interview Questions

  • "A CEO complains that the elevator in his building sucks - what would I do?" (I own the elevator company) - I couldn't talk with the CEO to find out what's wrong, everything was normal, the other people weren't complaining. I was focused more on customer interviews to find out what was wrong, in the end I had to test it. I could not figure the question myself, so the interviewer gave me a hint (I had to think about my phone and its parameters and why I chose it)   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (6)  

    Program Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA).

    Interview

    The process was entertaining but scripted. I found all questions and answers online that allowed me to breeze through their ridiculous questions like "how many bathrooms are in Seattle" and other stupid questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Have you ever been fired from a position?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I negotiated a 30% salary increase over the offer, moving bonus and signing bonus.

  2.  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied through other source. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    nothing to add at this time that is not a standard industry practice

  3. Helpful (1)  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took a week. I interviewed at Microsoft in January 2014.

    Interview

    Telephonic interview : 1. What position? 2. Why this position? 3. why microsoft? 4. What do you like most about microsoft? 5. What microsoft product you like? 5 good and bad things about it 6. 3 fruits in 3 basket apple orange and apple oragne puzzle 7. Design an alaram for blind

    Interview Questions

    • What is your understanding of the position and what are your expectation?   1 Answer
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  5.  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

    I have a phone interview that went through my resume and asked me some technical question. In the end, asked me do I have any question

    Interview Questions

    • Add two integer together and return a integer without using any arithmetic operators   4 Answers
  6.  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Microsoft (Bellevue, WA) in January 2014.

    Interview

    Applied Online Phone screen with outsourced recruiter - Generic questions, and he had no details about the position. Phone screen with hiring manager - Gave more background about the position, went fine, but I still felt like they had no idea who or what they wanted Email later that day for in-person, noticed the position title had changed In-Person - Spent 15 minutes with recruiter and found out I was the last candidate to interview. Awesome. This was followed by 15 minute break, then 3 back to back meetings, all of whom asked the same generic behavioral questions. "Tell me about a time when you had to escalate" or "Tell me about a time you had to ask for more time to deliver a project". First interviewer was on time, next two were 15 minutes late each (no, they weren't meeting, that happened at the conclusion of the block, they were just late). They each spent an inordinate amount of time taking notes, as if that was their bigger focus than the actual interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Seriously, none. The behavioral style is great, but it's also predictable.   Answer Question
  7.  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft in January 2014.

    Interview

    I Applied through campus recruiting. Was contacted through a recruiter afterwards who then set up a date for the phone interview. The phone interview was very relaxed and didn't get very technical. The last question was a brain teaser.

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    Frankly, I knew a few people in the department I last worked. The interview process was fairly standard for Microsoft; the usual stumper questions regarding "what would you do if your job went away" and some puzzlers. Though, most of the questions were customer oriented, since it was a Technical Support role.

    Interview Questions

    • Not so much a difficult or unexpected question, but you may encounter an interviewer whose job it is to either make you NOT WANT the job or to trip you up so they can say "No Hire".   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    As an internal candidate, negotiation was fair and brief.

  9. Helpful (4)  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    1st Round: 30 minute on campus interview 2nd Round: 3-5 interviews on-site (Redmond) Application: I applied online through their career site. I also connected with my campus recruiter and kept my campus recruiter updated throughout the entire process. ~1.5 month wait between applying online and my 1st round interview 1st Round: Basic Background Questions (Grad Year, etc) Ice-Breaker Questions (non-technical, supposed to be easy and let them get to know you) Technical Questions + followups Results: 1 week wait ~1 month wait between getting the results of 1st interview and setting up my 2nd round 2nd Round: Ranges between 3-5 interviews, one of which is a lunch interview All of my interviews were non-technical in nature Results: ~3-5 business days Attire: I wore a suit (business formal) to both rounds. It's totally up to you though, I saw people in t-shirt & jeans at their second round interviews. Suggestions: 1. Be Yourself. You got past the first round after all, there must be a reason why. :D 2. Read the material they send you (for your second round), it helps you better understand the PM position and what they do. Basically, do your homework.

    Interview Questions

    • I don't think any of the questions were difficult and neither were they unexpected (they were the types of question a PM candidate would be asked). Strengths and weaknesses regarding being a PM, I was pretty honest and wasn't sure if my honestly would come back to bite me later (yup, I was THAT honest about my weakness).   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    It's a competitive offer so I didn't negotiate.

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Program Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in December 2013.

    Interview

    I had my on-campus interview at the end of October. The process was relatively smooth and they kept in contact throughout the process. About 2-3 weeks after that, they told me I made it to the final round. Due to scheduling conflicts, class projects, Thanksgiving etc. I only scheduled my on-site interview for the beginning of December. I had my on-site interview on a Monday, the recruiter called me that Wednesday with an offer. I had 5 interviews during my onsite - 3 were pre-scheduled and 2 additional interviews were tacked on as the day progressed. I would say you have better chances if you had 5 interviews, my 5th interviewer was my 1st interviewer's boss - so I knew it was a good sign. Don't be discouraged by answering things correctly or needing to have to do a lot of technical things on the spot. Since I myself am a UX/UI designer, they mainly drilled me on design challenges and when I had my more technical interview - I was able to show some of my past projects and code. Not all PM's are super technical, I spoke to other PM candidates and everyone had a really unique background and major - seemed like there was no cookie cut for what a PM has done in the past or what track they are on. Also, you go to lunch with one of your interviewers, don't mistake that for chit chat - and be strategic about what you get to eat - it is hard to discuss your background while eating pizza for example.

    Interview Questions

    • Design a vending machine for an airport. What challenges or considerations are there?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    No negotiation, the recruiter said there was no negotiation on the offer, which is understandable as a college hire and I had no other offers that were more than what they were willing to give. It was very competitive and I was pleasantly surprised.

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