I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2010.
Interview Details – 6-8 Multiple people in interview loop. Questions covered background experience, situational analysis to brain teasers.
Interview Question – Brain teasers were ridiculous. If you're a fan of IQ test, then it's a great prep. I don't think these sort of questions really test anything other than the fact that you can see patterns and answer quizzes. I got multiple offers from Microsoft, but they could have done without these silly questions. I think smart, effective people come in many forms and factors. And there are many approaches to learning and to contributing. I think MSFT's downfall is in how they recruit. Not everyone on a team should be a hungry hyper 'A' type. What sort of team environment is that? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Always negotiation and never accept 1st offer.
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – Applied online and after a month or so heard back and was invited to attend a back to back interview on campus, one with a recruiter, one with an engineer. Both were really pleasant, the engineering interview was a simple programming task done on a laptop: write a function which given a string will return if it contains correctly matched open and closed parentheses. Expanded to include other types of brackets and return if all were correctly matched.
I heard back very quickly informing me I had made it through to the final round on site assessment day. Couldn't make the first couple of interview dates offered so was eventually invited to travel to Redmond for an interview day at the main offices. Organizing travel was very easy and everyone involved was incredibly helpful.
On the day, arrived at building 111 for mid morning. Was guided around campus and taken to the commons for a free lunch. We visited the visitors center and the company store and were invited to buy up to $120 of discount merch.
We then returned to 111 for the interviews. We were each allocated a division we'd be interviewing for (this was not shared before the first interview). We were each interviewed by four interviewers who asked a variety of question covering fundamentals of computer science and some advanced material. We had a ten minute gap between each interview in which the examiners compared notes before we were launched into the next one.
Asked technical questions on a number of topics, sorting algorithms and their time and space complexities, binary trees and binary search trees, low level computer scheduling and atomicity of operations, and an abstract data type question. I've provided examples of a small number of questions below.
These were mixed in among other behavioral questions, attitudes, what do you do for fun, what's important when implementing software, how to interact with team members etc.
It was generally very broad with lots of interesting questions; I wouldn't say especially hard but thats all relative... If you know the field and are well prepared you shouldn't find anything too tough...
Don't worry about making mistakes, I know I sure made a couple, the key is checking back over your solutions as you go, work with test cases and when you identify a shortcoming, work out how you can fix it. TALK OUT LOUD! They don't care if you get stuck in a circle as long as they can see your thought process and why it's happening. If you've overlooked something they will happily drop a hint and see if you can rectify.
My biggest tip would be friendly and relaxed, make it more of a conversation than a rigid interview. I almost got the feeling they were more interested in my personality than what I wrote on the board, so make it easy for them to like you: At the end of the day the big question they're asking themselves is, 'would I like to work alongside this person', not just 'can he do the work'.
Overall, my interview was incredibly positive, everyone was super friendly and did their best to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. The company was very generous with arranging travel, accommodation etc and first and foremost Microsoft seemed an incredible place to work. Go for it, give it your best shot, what is there to lose?
Negotiation Details – Didn't seem any room for negotiation really but the compensation and benefits were already far and above what I had even been expecting having researched Microsoft
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in February 2014.
Interview Details – Great people
Interview Question – Asked how to code a program that draws a circle given a radius Answer Question
I applied in-person and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2011.
Interview Details – Was already Contracting for the same team so was very different. As I knew the role in and Out
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2010.
Interview Details – Had two technical interview over the phone. Both technical interviews where challenging but doable. I had to write the code using a web application that allow both me and the interviwere to see what I was typing. After those interviews, I had one more in-person interview with the hiring manager, this interview was not technical, we talked mostly about business topics. .
Interview Question – Write a program that multiply very large two matrix. Most of the numbers on each of the matrix are zeros (0). Must optimize for memory and speed. View Answer
Negotiation Details – I asked for a relocation package, which I was able to get. The negotiation were pleasant and professional.
I applied in-person and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – -Lots of people to meet with, sometimes feels more like a formality than actually working with them
-Questions are somewhat random, coming across as "just because we can ask you"
Interview Question – -Brain teasers View Answer
Negotiation Details – Somewhat flexible on base salary and signing bonus
I applied through other source - interviewed at Microsoft in August 2013.
Interview Details – While I was working at Microsoft as a vendor, a PM with whom I'd worked approached me to ask if I might be interested in applying for a Senior PM position he would be hiring and for which he thought I would be a good fit.
I applied online and he indicated to HR that he wanted me in the candidate pool. They scheduled a day of interviews in the form of Lync meetings, which I found tricky because I didn't have the benefit of meeting with the interviewers face-to-face.
I made it through the full day of interviews but didn't hear from them for weeks. I pinged my original contact a couple of weeks later and he let me know that the individual members of team with which I'd interviewed couldn't agree on the qualities they were looking for or what they hoped the person in the position would actually do so they couldn't agree that I was the person for the job. Ultimately he let me know that half the team wanted me but the other half were undecided. They opted not to hire the position at all until they could agree on the specifics about the role. I believe they still haven't hired.
Interview Question – My second interviewer led off by asking me "Which domains do you think we should focus on in our solution?" Given 1) my lack of technical expertise in the area; and 2) that I was interviewing for a management position, I thought that was a pretty tough question to start with. Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2014.
Interview Details – 30 mins on campus interview with an engineer, who asked 1 technical question (algorithms) and a product design question. On-site interviews: 4 separate interviews with different program managers within one group, much less scary than I thought it was going to be. The interviews want to see how you think, and they don't expect you to come up with the right answers right away.
Interview Question – Design an elevator system. Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2013.
Interview Details – Phone screen with recruiter, in person with 2 managers, Recruiter followed up with decision within 1 week
Interview Question – Everything was pretty straightforward, they asked about my background in product marketing, what I knew about the role, other product launches I've worked on, organizational habbits etc. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No room for negotiation or so the recruiter said, I was happy with the compensation though.
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2010.
Interview Details – Standard interview process, 4-5 interviews. last interview is with a decision maker called AA.
He incorporates feedback from all interviewers and makes a final call. Interviewers are usually friendly and make you comfortable. Some try to prove you wrong no matter what you say or do. Prepare well - if you are prepared and havea good resume - no reason to not be hired.
Interview Question – Inorder traversal iterative version Answer Question
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