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 through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in July 2011.

Interview Details

employee referral lead to informational (1:1) interview.
a formal interview loop was established with 5 different people (peers, developers, managers)
a final as appropriate interview with a senior director for the parent group.

Interview Questions
  • Create the design specifications for a Car.   View Answer
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1.  

    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
  2.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    The process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2010.

    Interview Details

    Was contacted to do a Technical Phone Screen. Almost two months later got asked to fly up for an interview. Was given a specific position. On the interview day was told that I would be interviewing for several positions on several different teams. Only one of the interviewers was on a team related to the position I was asked to interview for. Had a total of four interviews and was told that was it for the day.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    I applied in-person. The process took 3 days - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2010.

    Interview Details

    HR could be a bit disorganized, but the actual interview loop was relatively smooth. Definitely bring your resume as HR is unreliable about this -- even for internals.

    Interview Questions
    • Using a satellite photo, tell me how many blades of grass are in a square meter of the turf outside this building.   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    The group seemed demoralized and uncertain about their futures.

    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Redan, GA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redan, GA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2010.

    Interview Details

    Phone Screen in E&D scheduled for 1 hr...hiring manager had unexpected conflict arise, cut to 30 minutes. Very enjoyable chat, but way too brief. At conclusion was told that we needed to schedule another hour to talk. Next morning recruiter says that we're not moving forward. Very surprised, disappointed and rather disturbed in this outcome.

    Interview Questions
    • What sort of specifications would I create for the team?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2009.

    Interview Details

    A friend at MS signed me up for Employee Referral program and applied for several Program Manager positions. After 3 weeks of not hearing anything, I received an email from MS Recruiter stating they were interested in my qualifications. A few days later, I had phonescreen with hiring manager, it lasted 30 min and went very well. Questions asked were 1) tell me about yourself, 2) why are you interested in this position, 3) what are your strengths. Then I was asked to come onsite.

    During this time, I prepared a lot for this interview. I knew of 3 people who works at MS and asked all about interviewing process; I had 30 min phone discussion with them and asked them lots of questions on what to expect during interview such as write on board, ask questions, smile & stay interested in the product and technology, et.c. I read the blogs on MS website on interviewing tips, that was helpful. I read a lot about the product for which I'm interviewing, even found MS contacts from one of the conferences I attended and interviewed them as well since they had experience with it.

    2 weeks after phonescreen, they flew me up to Redmond from San Diego and put me at hotel in Bellevue. It was a very nice experience -- paid for meals, lodging, transportation. I stayed 3 nights and 2 days: the day prior to interview, I toured the campus, Bellevue, and downtown Seattle. Recruiter called me and said I will talk to only 2 people, then get a break:

    Next day was the big day. I was greeted by a Group Program Manager and interviewed with him. He spent a lot of time talking about himself, the organization, and the role. He spent the last 10 min asking me only 2 questions: 1) describe a time you had dealing with someone who didn't collaborate, 2) business strategy on the product. Next person was Dev Mgr and took me to lunch (no interviewing, just chatting), then went back to his office for only 3 questions: 1) experience with product design & how I did it, 2) code leverage/borrow experience, 3) usability & user feedback experience.

    After this, they told me to take a break. This meant that if I failed, they would send me home. 20 min later, they brought a PM Lead, and my 3rd interview continued in her office. She asked 1) about my experience as a PM, 2) another design question, 3) how to improve the current product. Then she took me to the hiring manager's office, but this wasn't an interview, so we chatted, I asked about the job specifics & questioned him as a manager. Then he sent me home.

    I already felt I failed since only 3 people interviewed me, even though I felt good in all my answers. Next day, recruiter emailed me saying I didn't make it. When I asked for comments from team or reason for not selecting me, she didn't provide.

    Overall, my experience was good and they took care of me real well throughout the process. The questions were not difficult if you prepared, but perhaps I didn't take initiative to write on white board as often as I should. I believe they already made up their mind based on this or perhaps they didn't like some of my answers. They didn't ask me any brain teasers or puzzles. They key is to know your PM skills well and relate to questions they ask, and be as detailed as possible by using white board to help explain. Focus on product design experience, how to take in customer input/feedback to design, how to resolve disparate customer feedback, improvements in the product you are interviewing for, business strategy around the product (competition, opportunities, challenges, etc.). I believe my experience was more in fit not about your qualifications, so if you do well communicating, explaining, and show you're collaborating & listening, you'll be a good fit.

    The campus is amazing, there are lots of young people in their 20's, 30's, with many product groups. MS is huge, so perhaps I will try again as my experience here will help me next time.

    Interview Questions
    • What did you think of the business alliance between partner company X and MS do to the Mobile division?   View Answer
    • How would you improve the product?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 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 through other source. The process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in July 2009.

    Interview Details

    Recruiter reached out after seeing my profile on Monster. First phone interview - asked me some riddles, then some technical questions. Then got to face to face in Redmond. Flew over to Seattle (all travel arrangements made professionally and administered by a recruiting helper and over web.

    I was told I will keep getting more interviews through the day if I do well. I did first two well, third was good but he got mad when I corrected his question. 4th one was lunch and chat. He told me I will receive next set of interviewers but after waiting 20 minutes, the second interviewer came back and sent me back saying there was a snafu. Recruiter confirmed I did not get the job a day later. Expenses were reimbursed promplty after submitting receipts online.

    Interview Questions
    • How do you create secure voice communication over IP cloud?   Answer Question
    • If I am your supervisor and am really bad to you, how do you deal with it? No, even after you have a heart to heart conversation I am even worse. What do you do?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    I applied in-person - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2009.

    Interview Details

    Lightweight. Initial engagement was as a contractor, later transitioned to FTE.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    2 painless iterations.
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  9.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

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

    Interview Details

    Interviewed with direct hiring manager, a peer from the team, a hiring manager from another team, and the manager of the IT group that this team worked with

    Interview Questions
    • Had to write a SQL query on the board to show I had that skill; had to describe how to create a pivot table linked to a SQL db or an Access DB, had to display expertise in MS Project.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Not much room for negotiation. I was able to get more stock shares than they originally offered but the starting salary was pretty set.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in September 2008.

    Interview Details

    You get 5 interviews and a sixth one that is not on the schedule. If you make it to the sixth one, it means you can potentially be hired as the last interview is with the decision maker. It will get this far only if the initial 5 were strong enough that you can potentially be hired

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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