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Microsoft Interview Questions & Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated Jul 22, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

32%
20%
18%

Interview Experience  

67%
21%
10%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
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Relevance Date Difficulty
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer In Test Lead Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer In Test Lead
Redmond, WA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in September 2010.

Interview Details – I was very impressed with the efficiency of the hiring process.
After submitting my resume on Microsoft.com/jobs, I did not hear from the team I applied to. But within a week, I was contacted by a different team about a job that was a better fit. There was a technical phone screen which included homework to write code and email it in. Then I was invited to fly to Redmond for an interview. I met with six interviewers in one day, which included my manager, a couple peers, and a direct report. It was a grueling day, but there were no big surprises or questions I was not prepared for. During the interviews, it became clear to both me and to the interviewers that I was qualified for more than the position they were hiring for. They had the flexibility to change the scope of the job (and the level) to better fit my qualifications.
The whole process - from first visiting the web site to getting an offer took about a month.

Interview Question – There was a detailed technical question about a test strategy for a complex system built with a domain-specific language. When I answered in general terms, the interviewer kept pressing for more specifics and detailed examples. I finally realized that she didn't really understand the problem. I confronted her with "This is your job, isn't it? And you don't know how to do it!" She admitted I was right.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate for special needs on a relocation package.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer (SDE) II Interview

Software Development Engineer (SDE) II
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in July 2014.

Interview Details – This is just a phone screen in which the interviewer asked basic questions. I was actually not very interested because I had just learned that 18,000 people are being laid off from their jobs. One interesting question was: If a single bit has two possible values (0 or 1) than how many possible values in an 8-bit byte?

Interview Question – Write a function to remove duplicates from a list of characters.   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Senior Software Development Engineer
Redmond, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2010.

Interview Details – It takes 2 weeks, the hiring process is standard, nothing out of ordinary. They flew me up there from bay area in sf ,ca. The questions mainly are technical question, which is pretty simple. Most of managers dont remember some of the stuff themselves. But be prepare with some of ur projects and technical terms and process.


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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Explorer Interview

Explorer
Redmond, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in November 2013.

Interview Details – I had a really positive interview experience. I gave my resume to the recruiter at our school's tech fair. I was called for a follow-up basic behavioral interview. Two months later, I was flown to Seattle to interview with a lot of other Explorer potential candidates. They treat you really nice (think king-size hotel room), taxi vouchers, limos to the interview site, and big food stipends)

I had 3 interviews: 1 PM, 1 Dev, 1 Test. Got my results in a couple days!

Interview Question – How would you redesign the file system?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Not much to negotiate. They had a very good offer (salary, stipends, benefits, etc).


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer (SDE) Interview

Software Development Engineer (SDE)
Redmond, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2014.

Interview Details – Contacted by recruiter through school. Had a simple HR screening interview before onsite. Onsite had 4 interviews, questions were mostly algorithmic.
Interview questions:
1. Given an unsorted array of numbers from 1-n with a number missing, find the missing number.
2. Given a dictionary and a function that returns if a work is in the dictionary, create a function that takes a non-space delimited string and outputs the same string with words separated by spaces.
3. I forget the 3rd one.
4. Given a matrix of 1s and 0s, replace every value in a column or row with 0 if 0 is in it.

Interview Question – Given a dictionary and a function that returns if a work is in the dictionary, create a function that takes a non-space delimited string and outputs the same string with words separated by spaces.   View Answer


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Technical Writer Interview

Technical Writer
Redmond, WA

I applied online and interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – After a 30 minute phone interview, I was asked to come in for an 8-hour interview in Redmond. I was interviewed by 6 people on the team and even interviewed during lunch. I found out later on that they were really looking for a programmer/writer so that they could get away with paying a dev the pay of a tech writer.

Interview Question – The most difficult was when a programmer came in to interview me and asked me to read code on the board. I am a technical writer, so I didn't read code.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2013.

Interview Details – I was a previous intern in IT for Microsoft and elected to interview on the Products side. I bluffed that I had standing offers with other companies which expedited my interview process. On-site interview was a full day with 6 interviewers who asked many questions and answered any I had.

Interview Question – Where do you see the company and yourself in 5 years?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I negotiated a larger signing bonus of about 150%


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview

Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET)
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2010.

Interview Details – Initial Call:
I was referred to a (techincal) manager internally who contacted me directly. After a a casual chat he sussed out that I would need to brush up on data structure / algorithms and would call me back in 2 weeks. I picked up my algo/datastructures textbook and read through it and worked through writing simple algorithms on paper during my commute.

Official Screener:
During my official technical screening (figuring out whether they'll fly you out to redmond or not) they asked me the standard linked list question - detect if there's a loop, etc. and then asked me to create a system to organize a bunch of objects with different classifications. I ended up coming up with a dewey decimal system. I was also asked finding the common ancestor in a binary trees.

On Campus:
I got setup with somebody from HR as my first interview. I was told I could ask her anything to help me through my interview process. I asked her some random questions like " should i not mention that my last project was using google apis". To which she replied that Microsoft respects any good technology so just because they're competing, don't be afraid to talk about it.

Tech Interviews:
1. Write a function to list all prime numbers up to a maximum. Finished it in 15 minutes and then was asked to write test cases for it. I filled up one whiteboard.
2. Non-coding - was asked to test a webpage with a single inputbox and a button.
3. Remove a character from a string. Test it.
4. Walk a binary tree, breadth first. Test it. (I ran out of time with this one)
5. My as-appropriate asked me a technical question because i didn't do so well on my last question. He asked to merge two link lists. I answered it with no troubles.

My As-appropriate walked me out and waited for a shuttle with me while telling me all the seattle spots to hit up.

HR got back to me a few days later, gave me an offer and laid out the benefits of the job.

Advice:
The interviewers are interested in solving the problem, but they're very interested in "how" you solve the problem. Talk out loud. Make sure you understand the question. Walk through an example first. Write out psuedo code, then code it for real. Organize your test cases in categories.

Interview Question – Walking the binary tree. I wasn't expecting this question and should have brushed up on my trees a bit more.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – no negotiation.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Senior Technical Account Manager Interview

Senior Technical Account Manager
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Microsoft in September 2010.

Interview Details – Phone screen followed by a one on one... I went in with the attitude that I really did not care if they made the offer or not, as I already had an offer that I was perfectly happy with from ATTWS, and I got the job!

Interview Question – The Interview process and questions were pretty predictable...   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Cut and dry... I had an offer in hand from another company and they had to match and exceed it... and like magic I walked away with thousands of dollars more per year!


2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior User Experience Designer Interview

Senior User Experience Designer
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – The initial interview was a 30min phone interview with the manager. Afterwards, they sent over a design challenge where you were to solve the problem using your creative skills.

Given that this was for a UX position, you were to show your thought process, user flow, wireframes, and high fidelity designs. They expect you to take your designs into prototypes but do not explicitly tell you, it's a characteristic they look for. The task shouldn't take more than 5 hours, but most people spend well over that amount, and you should have it completed within the next day or two.

After I submitted my solutions, we had another phone interview where I walked him through my presentation and he would give me feedback. The manager asked a lot of why questions and then challenged me to go further with some portions of the design. He then asked me to do another revision with his feedback and to send it over when I was done and a MS recruiter would be in touch.

About 5 days later the recruiter reached out to me and said that they would like to bring me in for an in-person interview. After we found a date, I was told it would be a full-day of interviewing. I was also told to bring a portfolio presentation to showcase my work (about 3-5 pieces) that would take about an hour.

The interview day came and I met with the recruiter. He gave me a sheet of my interview schedule (2 presentations with a panel, and 4 one-on-ones). He mentioned that after the first 2 presentations the group would get a general understanding of how the interview is going, and at this point some people are asked to leave. Each interview is a gatekeeper to the next step.

The first presentation was easy, it was mostly with other designers on various teams that I would be interacting with. People asked questions about the work, why I went with this direction, what my design tools are, etc.

The second presentation was much harder, it was with all of the team managers and I was to present my design exercise. As I walked the group through my process they would ask questions and I was to elaborate for a design decision I made. As I presented my last slide they then proceeded to ask "what if..." questions that were really rough. They would change the scope or ask to think of doing something completely different. It's more of a task to see how well you respond to criticism and how fast you can think on your feet. They gladly pointed me to the whiteboard and I drew various scenarios with what I would do. It was very challenging as I would finish with one scenario someone asked, someone else would as "but what if you wanted to do..." and you would go through that process.

After the second, long, interview I was to have lunch with another manager. As we walked and ate lunch, I went over what I was passionate about, what I thought about MS, where I saw the future going with technology, etc. The manager then went over the MS philosophy and what products I would be working on, and was mostly a "personality fit" interview. After that I had another interview with another manager who would give me another design exercise that I was to solve in an hour. This one was harder as the details were very vague and I had to ask a lot of questions. After that, I had another interview with another manager where they were open to any questions I wanted to ask and was more of a "you've done a great job so far, now you're meeting with the division director". This last one was one of the hardest as I presented my portfolio and design exercise to the director of the entire division. He sat mostly silent, no expressions given, and asked few questions. Afterwards, he shook my hand and said "you did good" and walked me out.

I was now done. I had no idea how well it went, but I figured it went well enough to interview with the director. The recruiter called me the next to day to see how I was feeling about the position and how the rest of the interview went. He mentioned that after the group decides whether they would give me an offer, it would be about 3-5 days before I heard from them. 2 days later I got a call from the recruiter saying that they would like to give me an offer. He explained all of the initial benefits of MS and how compensation would work. I told him that I would gladly accept and began offer process (which took about a week long).

Interview Question – They kept changing scenarios for a design exercise that made you think on your feet and was a test to see your response to harsh criticism   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation, just an offer.

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