Microsoft
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www.microsoft.com Redmond, WA 5000+ Employees

Microsoft Software Development Engineer II Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 21, 2014
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23%

Interview Experience 

73%
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11%

Interview Difficulty 

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Research Triangle Park, NC

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2014.

Interview Details – The interview process first started with a recruiter who asked several questions about my current employment and what I was looking for in a job. She also gave me a high level description of the job.

Second, she arranged for a developer to call me to have a discussion which lasted in hour. During the conversation, the developer asked about my technical background and gave me 2 computer programs to write over the phone.

Next I heard from Microsoft that the phone interview went well, so they wanted to see me in person. A scheduler contacted me by email to setup the face to face interviews. The interview went from 12PM to 4PM.

I arrived at the reception and the first developer quickly took me to his office where he questioned me for 1 hour and asked me to solve a computer program on the board. I interviewed with two other developers in the same manner. I was supposed to interview with a manager, but he was on vacation

Interview Question – Describe the most challenging problem you've had and how you solved it?   View Answer

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Bellevue, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2014.

Interview Details – Standard hiring process: 1)Applied online, 2) 1 Phone Screen, 3) On site with 6 rounds of interviews. The On site experience was very pleasant, and all the interviewers were well prepared and made it look like a general discussion rather than a Q&A session. My only complaint is that the actual offer was delayed due to some internal re-organization. This delay of about 3 months made me really anxious. But my recruiter and Project manager were in constant touch which was a great help.

Interview Question – Standard algorithm based questions.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The offer was on par with my expectations and was able to bump up my sign on bonus a bit after negotiating.

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Redmond, WA

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.

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – Submitted resume at a campus career fair. Heard back a couple weeks later to schedule an on-campus interview. The on campus interview was a half hour long and had just two questions:
    1. Given two nodes in a tree, find their ancestor
    2. Given a function that does some bit operations, determine what it does and find the bug.

About 2 weeks after the on-campus interview I was informed that I would be moving forward in the interview process. This was one negative of the process for me, because I was asked to interview for a position nowhere near the locations I specified as being my preferred choices. The team I interviewed with was also quite different that the interests I discussed in my campus interview.

The hiring event consisted of 4 45-60 minuter interviews. Each interview varied a bit. Some of the other people interviewing received nearly all design questions while others had mostly coding/algorithm questions. I had a mix of design and coding questions which were done on the whiteboard.

For all of the coding/algorithm questions time and space requirements were discussed as the approach was talked through. No specific requirements were given at the start of a question, but the resulting complexities had to be discussed and justified. Some questions related to balancing the time and space requirements. Test cases were also discussed for each question ranging from use cases to catching integer overflow.

The final design question was very open ended, which I think actually tripped me up a bit because after several focused technical questions, I had trouble thinking from a broad design point of view.

Overall, I felt the interviews all went well, but with no feedback from the interviewers I can't say what it was that kept me from getting an offer.

Interview Question – 1. Given a non-negative integer array that is then shuffled and 1 element is removed, find which element was removed.

 2. Assume you are designing/writing code for some small business software how would you go about creating a clean, extensible method for calculating sales tax that can be extended easily to work in different parts of the world.

 3. (Two separate questions)
    3a. Given an integer array, remove the duplicate values and return an integer array
    3b. Test a dice role generator method

 4. Design a system for tracking employee applicants through the interview process
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – I was first contacted by a staffing member about the opportunity, followed by two phone technical interviews. One from the hiring manager and the other from a team member. Then I flew to Seattle for an onsite interview. There are 6 interviewers from 9am to 5:30pm. The first is the staffing member that originally contacted me, followed by 5 technical interviews examining my skills.

Interview Question – Nothing difficult. If you are the right one for the team then it is easy.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Negotiated using another offer.

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Redmond, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in February 2009.

Interview Details – It was 5 years ago. I really forgot the questions. They are not hard. Questions like reverse a linked list, etc. It took 5 hours, too long, after all a director asked me for coffee. It ended up that two teams gave me offer.

Interview Question – It was 5 years ago. I really forgot the questions. They are not hard. Questions like reverse a linked list, etc   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer - II Interview

Software Development Engineer - II

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in September 2013.

Interview Details – There were totally 2 rounds of Phone Interview.

1st round: "Given a linked list such that one node point to some random node, Write the clone method of a linked list."
I was able to give an approximate solution in C# using Dictionary, the interviewer was helpful and encouraging inorder for me to come to exact solution.

Couple of days later, got a call back from recruiter that I will be interviewed for 2 round of phone interview.

Interview Question – 2nd round:
"What is the data structure which suits best for the Battleship game? The board will be of size n x n, with m different ships each having k1, ..., km lengths. Each ship can either by place horizontally or vertically on the board.

The structures should be designed such that they can support basic operations for playing a game. For example, the board and a particular (i, j) coordinate representing a position on the board may be passed into a function attack(). The function should return hit if a ship was hit at that position, sunk if a ship has sunk after being attacked at that position, and miss if no ship is at that position.

Describe your design of the structures, what kind of data they store, and the runtime complexity of typical operations for playing the game (like the attack() function) as a result of your design decisions"

I was coming with an O(n) solution during attack, which was my first attempt and then I was thinking about optimization. But by then the time was over and interviewer seemed unhappy with my solution or the attempt.
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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Bellevue, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in August 2013.

Interview Details – 1st round phone interview. 2nd round onsite
On site: meet 4 people and each ask you 1 or 2 questions

Interview Question – Solve: M is a 2D matrix of integers (nXm) they are sorted in both row and column Write a function search(int s) that return the exact location of the number or Null using lgn   View Answers (2)

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Redmond, WA

I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2013.

Interview Details – The phone interview is pretty easy. only ask one coding question about binary tree. After phone interview, I went to on site interview. It was scheduled for 5 rounds. But I failed on the first three rounds, so don't get chance to see the last two people. Overall, the questions are not very difficult, most about fundamental data structure and algorithm questions.

Interview Question – Nothing really difficult.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Bellevue, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft in July 2011.

Interview Details – I was interviewing to R&D group in Bing. I had phone screen first, then onsite interview with 4 developers and managers. My interview experience was great -- everybody was very polite and asked interesting questions. Almost all interview questions was related to algorithms, statistics and machine learning. If you want to pass such kind of interview, start to solve problems on Topcoder or Kaggle.

Interview Question – Mathematically prove "Birthday paradox".   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Always try to negotiate. Microsoft is quite flexible here and 10% can be easy to achieve.

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