Microsoft Interview Questions & Reviews in Seattle, WA
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Senior Software Development Engineer In Test Lead Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
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.
Software Development Engineer (SDE) II Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
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
Senior Software Development Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
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.
Explorer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
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).
Software Development Engineer (SDE) Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
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.
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
Technical Writer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
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
Program Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
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%
Senior Service Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft.
Interview Details – Got contacted by HR and took the telephonic few days later, was flown into Seattle(all expenses paid) for face to face. This is the lengthiest face to face you will find, some repetitive questions, for some reason I think Microsoft interviewers really want you to follow their chain of thought, there are 10 ways to solve a problem and would like to hear till you get to their way, the interview as such was not difficult but tedious because after 2 different hourly technical interviews your brain needs a break but it goes on and on followed by lunch interview and few more technical and hiring manager etc etc. If you really want to judge the technical skills an hour is just enough or may be two at max, no point in leaving someone brain-dead and still follow up with more interviews.
Interview Question – There was nothing difficult as such they really are not doing any rocket science, but if they are picky on some technology they will grill you on it, ex. f5 load balancers, if its on your resume better know it in and out and i dont mean load balancing methods, much beyond that. Questions such as application slowness issues through F5. Answer Question
Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in November 2011.
Interview Details – There is phone interview first. It helps people in each side to know other better. Candidate also gets chance to ask about details about the work.
Then there is onsite interview with 3-4 rounds. Candidates are asked about algorithm, coding, design questions. Algorithms are not so hard, but need some thinking to come out good solution. Candidates are asked about understanding about programming language and database.
If everything goes good, candidates will see the hire manage at last. Then wait for 1 - 2 weeks for the offer.
Interview Question – Challenging algorithm question. Answer Question
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