Microsoft Senior Program Manager Interview Questions

Updated Aug 26, 2014
Updated Aug 26, 2014
39 Interview Reviews

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Senior Program Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Redmond, WA
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
Application Details

I applied online - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details

1. Submit dozens (or maybe hundreds?) of applications over several months
2. Contacted for phone screens for maybe 5 applications
3. Two phone screens led to in-person interviews
4. In-person interviews are most of a full day, meeting with 4-6 people for an hour each.
5. They have one last interviewer held in reserve at the end of the day, not on your schedule. If the other interviewers judge you to be good enough, this "as appropriate" person (generally the most senior person, probably the final decision maker) will take time to interview you as well. If you don't meet with this "as appropriate" interviewer, you probably were judged to be not good enough to take time with & won't be getting the job. I imagine there are occasional instances where the "as appropriate" person has a last-minute conflict.

Negotiation Details
I was able to negotiate a little bit on the amount of stock included in the hiring incentives.
Accepted Offer
Neutral Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  London, England (UK)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took 3 days - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2008.

    Interview Details

    Phone interview
    Series of 1:1 interviews in one day
    Final 1:1 interviews

    Interview Questions
    • How would you work out how many queries on Bing are related to Music and Entertainment?   View Answers (2)
    Negotiation Details
    Take it or leave it
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2010.

    Interview Details

    I interviewed in 3 different groups. In each case the interviews were conducted over 1-2 days, consisting of 4-5, hour long, 1:1 interviews. There is much information on the net about Microsoft interview and I'd say the interviews were 'standard' for Microsoft.

    What surprised me the most about the interviews was the utter lack of professionalism displayed by the first two teams. A couple of examples:
    - a hiring manager didn't show up for a morning interview and didn't bother to call the coordinator or me
    - as our rescheduled interview was about to begin, the same manager left me waiting for 15 minutes while he chatted with a team member outside of his office
    - a second manager left me standing outside of his office for 30 minutes while he loudly chatted on the phone, feet up on his desk, about his weekend. When we started the interview he offered no apology.
    - about half of the interviewers did not review my resume before we started talking

    In general, the interviewers were unprepared and unprofessional, even arrogant. I was surprised by the number of sophomoric interview questions and meaningless riddles and almost total lack of interest in exploring my decade+ of highly relevant experience.

    While I did accept a position in another group, I'd say the overall experience was extremely disappointing and reflects very poorly on Microsoft's culture.

    Interview Questions
    • I honestly don't remember the details of the interview questions.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in February 2008.

    Interview Details

    Microsoft interviews usually consist of 3-5 interviewers from the same discipline the candidate interviews for. They are a mix of technical questions related to programming basics and business decision type questions. The culture varies from group to group, but in general it is a very friendly if geeky experience. They use big white boards and they expect their candidates to use the boards to program or draw architecture boxes and lines. They also expect candidates to vocalize their thought process and ask for clarifying questions. Silence during an interview is bad. Dress codes are very casual so don't bother with a suit unless you're applying for a marketing position.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  4. We want your feedback – Is this interview information helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    Hiring at MSFT is fair, well-organized, and it extracts what we need to know from potential new-hires. It may seem grueling to the candidates, but we get about 6 hrs to determine if you are awesome and can help us move the needle.

    Interview Questions
    • In 2005, I didn't know much about replicated systems and how to upgrade a server farm, but now this seems to be common knowledge.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted about a job opening by someone I knew in the company. I uploaded my resume for the position, and a few weeks later was contacted by HR to be screened, and invited in to be interviewed. One of the interviews was conducted via Skype, but the others were in-person. The interviewing was thoughtful, and questions included my skills knowledge to fulfill the technical aspect of the role, strategic thinking, innovation and creativity, and questions that would indicate how well I might fit into the team.

    Interview Questions
    • Not a difficult question nor unexpected, but I was asked what was the highest level executive to which I had ever presented.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    Back in the day, MS had an high entry bar despite the company's constant need for anyone. These days, expect a bunch of puzzle questions and be prepared to spend the day getting probed.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Redmond, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 week - interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    The overall experience was really good. I've had other interviews with Microsoft and they've all been great. The structure is always the same:
    First contacted by either hiring manager or recruiter followed by a short phone screen to see if the person and the resume fits.

    After initial phone screen a "loop" is scheduled with multiple interviews on the same day "on site" at Microsoft. All information about how the loop would work, who I would meet, etc was given in advance. The recruiter and the interviewers were extremely professional throughout the entire process. The Microsoft loop is described in details all over the internet so I will not go into that. I went through six interviews of varying difficulty and details before being handed over to the "asap". Once at the asap I was pretty much told that I had a job if I wanted one and that they really wanted me to join their team - this is probably not general practice so don't expect your last interview to be a "what can we do/say to make you join us"-type of session.

    Each interview had it's own characteristics, but they all followed the same pattern: ice-breaker for a few minutes, asking about my past experiences, testing technical ability by a problem solving or design open-ended question of some sort, personality evaluation type of questions, and the final 5-10minutes to answer any questions I might have (and yes, I had questions of my own - you should too).

    I was asked not only "management" related questions. There were a few more in-depth technical "problems" to solve. I did not have to do whiteboard coding, but I did have to design programming APIs and break down and try to explain a real-life client-server based architecture. No questions were really unexpected or shook me out of my comfort zone, perhaps that had more to do with my familiarity by then with the Microsoft interview structure than the actual questions - some might find it difficult and unexpected to have to go into such deep technical details when applying for what is considered to be a management position. There was none of the infamous Microsoft "brain teasers" during this interview (though I've had them in other interviews).

    Throughout the interview day I had a really good experience. The team was definitely right for me as we "clicked" on most topics, and what turned out to be a seven hour day of interviews felt more like a short lunch - I had fun during the day! The team seemed very enthusiastic about their work and really passionate about Microsoft and the product they worked on and managed to convey that to me through their actions and answers to my own questions.

    Interview Questions
    • Like I said in the above text there was no real unexpected question. The hardest one would probably be the question about designing an API from scratch on a blank whiteboard.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    There is room for negotiating the base salary and the sign-on bonus. There doesn't seem to be any room for negotiation on the other parts.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    1 hour interview that went for about 1.25 hrs. Very focussed on process as applied to a real world problem, very enjoyable actually. Describe critical features that would be core to providing business travelers who are foodies access to rooms with cooking facilities and what peripheral features and our businesses could be helpful to provide this service

    Interview Questions
    • How to provide test process to a Toaster assembly line   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Bellevue, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2013.

    Interview Details

    Submitted application online. Contacted by recruiter to get basic information (willing to relocate? US citizen? salary requirements, etc.). Recruiter set up follow-up interview with hiring manager within 1 week. Interviewed with hiring manager who asked some technical questions like what is polymorphism? Then asked the a very generic question about how do you test a toaster? Started giving my answer, then interviewer request that I focus specifically how to test "doneness". Talked a little about different types of breads, testing without using bread, and focused on testing a toaster that was already in production vs a new toaster that is still in the R&D phase.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

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