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Microsoft Senior Program Manager Interview Questions

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

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5 people found this helpful  

Senior Program Manager Interview

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

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details

Interview process at Microsoft is very well-organized. Typically, you go through a "loop" consisting of meeting 4 - 6 people in a day, and an "as appropriate" at the end --- that person will meet with you if you have enough "hire" recommendations from the people you've met earlier in the day. If you don't meet with a more senior person at the end of the loop, you probably didn't get enough "hires" earlier in the day.

Microsoft is unbelievably disrespectful in the timeliness of its communications. You can HR, the people you've met, and just about anyone else to "go dark" on you for what can seem like an eternity (especially when you are looking for a job). It's just plain mysterious. People won't answer emails, or calls --- don't take it personally. There just isn't a culture of respecting people who aren't "in the fold" (unless you are a customer paying for something).

Interview questions can vary greatly. If you are interviewing for a position in a "hot" part of the company (Xbox, for example), you can expect to meet some younger type people who are very full of themselves, and think you should feel lucky talking to them. Just deal with it. You will likely get ridiculous questions like "what is your true passion?" or "how do you want to use technology to change the world?" ... things along those lines.

Interview Questions
  • I got an interesting question once asking me to estimate how many gas stations were in the US. I've heard that more technical jobs will really get into the details of computer science, but I haven't had to deal with that. Watch out for questions like, "what is important to you?" That isn't a question (typically) about your real values in life. I was once asked that, and came to see that what was expected was an answer like, "I just wake up in the morning thinking about how I serve my customers better". Awesome, I guess, if you live for work.   Answer Question
Negotiation Details
Straight forward. They hold all the cards, unless you are some kind of crazy genius developer or a true sales rain-maker.
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1.  

    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 weeksinterviewed 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
  2.  

    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
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in April 2013.

    Interview Details

    I had first round of phone interview with the HR contact. On the phone, she asked me general questions about my experience. She asked me why I am leaving my current job and then also asked why I wanted to work for Microsoft. Once I cleared that, I was called for an in-person interview or the "loop" as they call it. The loop was set up with 4 people and then the last interview was as-needed one. During the loop i interviewed with Group program managers and the engineering manager. I was told if there is a need for as-needed interview it will scheduled for the next day.

    My first 4 interviews went well. Each ran over an hour with detailed questions on my job experience. They gave me specific scenarios/situations. A couple of technical questions.
    By the time all 4 interviews were done i was exhausted. Be prepared it can be a very long day..

    My last interviewer (4th one in the loop) told me i have the final interview the next day. That meant i had done well so far or they wouldnt have let me go ahead.

    the next day interview was with a principal engineering manager and that lasted for 45 mins.

    I heard from the HR back in 3 business days and I got the job.

    Interview Questions
    • Unexpected questions were more like what will you change in Microsoft if you were the CEO and why?
      What you dont like about Microsoft?
       
      Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I didnt need negotiation because the offer was matching my expectations. They are pretty generous and match the competitors.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5.  

    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 4 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in April 2013.

    Interview Details

    Overall very smooth and streamlined hiring and interview process. The recruiter that setup the hiring process was on top of everything. I had two phone screens followed by a full loop.

    Interview Questions
    • Design a scalable system to collect all feedback for the Office product system.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Phone Interview
    All Day Interviews (including "as applicable" at the end)

    Interview Questions
    • Word Problems that have nothing to do with the position so you can't predict what they will ask.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation required
    Accepted Offer
  7.  

    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 2+ monthsinterviewed at Microsoft in March 2013.

    Interview Details

    Was contacted for the Windows Team program management job, the role was very vague, passed the phone screen and went on site for an interview. Lasted all the way to the end 9AM to 5PM with no break, bumped in other candidates for the same role multiple times. The interview process is exhausting, everyone ask similar questions in different way. Was left hanging for over 3 weeks without an answer and with an HR guy that didn't really answer email or phone calls.

    Interview Questions
    • Tell me something I don't know for exactly 5 minutes   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    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 2+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in February 2013.

    Interview Details

    Expect at least 4 to 5 interviews. Interviewers are knowledgable, so don't try to make up your answers. Just be honest with your answers, and if you don't know just say so. Some positions are harder to get than others, so do your homework before applying. :)
    By the way, better be prepared to answer some Fermi problem type of questions.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in February 2012.

    Interview Details

    Microsoft recruiting is an extremely well run organization. Had a pleasant chat with a recruiter who contacted me out of the blue. Followed up with phone conversations with internal recruiting and the hiring manager. After phone screens, Microsoft provided totally pain free travel for the onsite interview, which consisted of the standard MS "loop." The loop itself was just a series of pleasant conversations with smart people. Received an offer 2 business days after the loop, and happily accepted a compensation package that was on the impressive side of generous. Easily the best recruiting and interview experience I've been through in the software industry.

    Interview Questions
    • Standard conversational questions about software development best practices.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Felt no need to negotiate. Opening offer matched my expectations exactly.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied in-person – interviewed at Microsoft in January 2012.

    Interview Details

    behavioral questions
    situational questions
    design question
    resume based questions

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

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