Microsoft Software Development Engineer Intern Interview Questions

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Helpful (6)  

Software Development Engineer Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in January 2008.

Interview

I got my first interview by persistently approaching Microsoft at my university's career fairs. My first interview was a typical screening interview, but face-to-face on campus instead of the usual phone interview. I was asked open-ended questions, such as how I would design an alarm clock for a blind person and what my favorite computer application was and why. The next stage of the interview process was a fly-out to Microsoft's headquarters for a full day's worth of interviewing. All the travel and lodging was paid for by Microsoft and was organized very well. I had a recruiter at Microsoft who was in charge of planning my interviews, talking with the interviewers and making the final hire decision. He was a bit pushy, but I can't say that's representative of all Microsoft recruiters. I got to the recruiting building in the morning and met my recruiter face-to-face with a few other students who were also interviewing for internships. We were given the name of our first interviewer and a description of their group and then shuttled off to different buildings to meet them. All the interviews took place in the interviewer's day-to-day office, which was nice because I got a chance to see their normal work place and get a feel for the company culture. Microsoft is actually very laid back compared to what I had imagined. There are no cubicles, all of the full-time employees get their own office. The dress is very casual, and the normal dress seems to be a polo shirt or t-shirt and jeans. I decided to dress business casual that day (a collared shirt tucked into khakis) even though everyone had told me to wear a suit. Even then, two of my interviewers commented about how dressed up I was! The building I interviewed in had an XBox lounge (they bought a Wii too later that summer) and a kitchen stocked with free coffee and soda on each floor. My first two interviews were about an hour each and were pretty standard technical interviews. My third interview went a bit longer because we went out for lunch and talked casually (although this was still considered part of the interview). When we came back from lunch, I still had to answer a technical question before I set off for my fourth interview. My first three interviews were all with the same team and took place in the same building, but my fourth interview was with a different team. At the end of the day, I went back to the recruiting building and waited for the results of my last interview to come back to my recruiter. I did well enough that I got offers from both teams I had interviewed. Note that my recruiter said that it usually takes about a week to make a decision on hire or no-hire for an intern, so this was an exception. However, this actually wasn't all too helpful because they still only gave me one week to make a decision! My recruiter really pushed me to make a decision as soon as possible but didn't respond to my emails for the first half of the week (in his defense, he was sick), so I pushed my decision a bit longer than a week. I wish I had been given more time to interview with other companies, but I didn't push my decision any further and decided to accept the offer (after all, it was a pretty good offer).

Interview Questions

  • Connect Four is a game where two players take turns dropping their color discs into a vertically suspended grid. The game ends when a player adds a disc to the playing grid that connects four discs of their color. The connected discs can be in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line. Write a function to be called after every turn that returns true if the game is over (and false otherwise).   3 Answers
  • Write an algorithm that does an in-order traversal of a tree recursively. Now, write the same algorithm iteratively.   4 Answers

Negotiation

The offer was non-negotiable.

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (3)  

    Software Development Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in April 2010.

    Interview

    I submitted an application through the MS Career site, a short time later (2 weeks) I got an email from a Microsoft recruiter asking for a technical phone screen. The phone screen was handled by an hr person, they asked pretty basic questions. More along the lines of what is the difference between a queue and a stack than a linked list and an array. Nothing tricky, but if you are working in a specific area, you may want to do a refresher. He also asked me what I wanted to do at Microsoft etc. Ten days later, I got the email so that we could set up an onsite interview. They also asked me what They flew me out to Redmond, where I finally learned which group I was going to interview with. I then had four one on one interviews, culminating in an interview with a product manager. Three days later I got an email saying they were interested in having me, but eventually I had to decline. All the interviewers I spoke to seemed nice and sociable, they were all willing to talk about their work and ask about my research. They all had offices instead of cubicles and appeared to have been there a while (30+). Preparation is important, an interview should not be a technical learning experience. 1. Interview Questions 2. Career Cup 3. Glassdoor.com 4. Programming Pearls Don't be cheap, spend some money. Be nice to everyone, puts you in a good mood for a long day. Speak up, especially when you are trying to answer questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Implement a queue, with a constraint. I am not sure but I think it was smallest or something   Answer Question
    • Build a binary tree with a sibling link. so that you have a linked list connecting all the nodes on a given level.   Answer Question
    • Store the words in a document.   1 Answer
    • Tile puzzle. What data structure represents its, defend your choice. And how to solve it, given a function that tests if it is done.   Answer Question
    • Test a spiral bound notebook   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    "Better" offer from a different company.

  2.  

    Software Development Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in October 2010.

    Interview

    Microsoft came to my college's career fair, and I dropped off my resume with them there after talking to the college recruiter for awhile. About a week later I had an on campus interview. The interview was a about 10 minutes of talking about myself and what I wanted to do, and then he asked me to code a question about strings in c. After this they emailed me about to weeks later and asked me to come on site for the second round interview. They flew me up to Seattle all expenses paid, and put me up in a nice hotel. The actual second round was for me a series of 4 interviews. I was told there would be any number between 3-5 interviews depending on what they wanted to see. The team I worked with seemed very laid back and relaxed. They didn't really seem to care whether I had the most correct answer or not as long as they could see what I was thinking. Overall it was a very positive experience.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you design a database for a highschool?   Answer Question
    • A question about finding the shortest path between two points on a graph. With no information about where the second point was located in relation to the first problem.   1 Answer
    • Describe MVC (Model-View-Controller)   Answer Question
  3.  

    Software Development Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Microsoft in January 2012.

    Interview

    On-campus interview in November. Couple questions about why Microsoft and why SDE. One coding question, be sure to think of end cases and when you might possibly overflow. Heard back in a week that they wanted to bring me on campus for an interview, but that it would take some time because they were completely booked. Flew to Seattle in late January. I had already received an offer elsewhere and tried to expedite the process as much as possible. Met with a recruiter at 10am, then 4 back-to-back interviews about coding, open ended design, and a behavioral with the hiring manager. Finally left the campus at 6pm. The recruiter said she'd call me with my results within one to two days. Called me on the second day, no offer.

    Interview Questions

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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Software Development Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in January 2011.

    Interview

    Submitted resume through college, got an on campus first round interview with a PM from the Office team. Got asked a basic question to reverse a string. Then got invited for an on-site interview. All paid for trip to Seattle. On interview day I went through 3 1-1 interviews each one hour long.

    Interview Questions

  6.  

    Software Development Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in December 2011.

    Interview

    Did one interview at my university. Went to Seattle and had 4 on-site interviews.

    Interview Questions

    • Consider a game of nxn tic tac toe. Given a move and the player who made the move, return whether it was a winning move or not. There is an O(1) answer.   Answer Question
    • Write the functions for a circular queue.   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Software Development Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in November 2012.

    Interview

    Soon after I cleared the campus round I was called for the on site interview at Redmond. There were four interviews, 1 hour each. All the questions were coding based, you just have to be comfortable with writing code on a white board.

    Interview Questions

    • Print a binary tree level by level in zigzag order   3 Answers
  8. Helpful (3)  

    Software Development Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in February 2013.

    Interview

    Applied online via website. Got a request for a phone interview about a month later. Phone interview was about 30 minutes and mainly asked like what parts of software you like dealing with (UI, Backend, Application layer etc) and then a test question (how would you test a ____ ) and a small math/logic brainteaser. Got an email about 3 weeks later saying they would like to skip the next round of phone interviews and fly me out to Seattle for final rounds of interviews. Due to the holidays, the process got delayed a bit, but I set up flight/hotel and my day of interviews. The whole trip was excellent, I felt like I was really being taken care of. They will reimburse a generous amount of money for things like food, transportation around the city. They even gave me some taxi vouchers on my interview day so I could explore Seattle and I wouldn't even have to pay, and it would get billed to Microsoft directly. The on-site interview day is a long and challenging day, yet it was still enjoyable. You start out in the recruitment building where all the other candidates will be as well. You'll get individually called out by your recruiter who you meet with first. Then you are taken via Microsoft Connect vehicles to the building in which your team you will be interviewing with works. I had 4 interviews, all technical. Every interview started out with a bit of resume talk, future plans and things about your time at school. Then we did 1 or 2 programming problems each. The technical problems are pretty industry standard, ranging from string manipulation to data structures, to graph theory. Just be sure to talk your way through them with the interviewer. All the interviewers asked even more probing questions to see how much you know about a subject. They asked me all the way down to actually implementing a hashing function when the topic of HashSets came up. But remember, it's okay to admit you don't know at a certain point! They seem pretty agnostic about what language you use, and one interviewer even started the interview by saying that he is not a compiler, and will not care if there are small syntax errors. That was reassuring and put my mind to ease for small things. There is also a lunch interview where you get some a lunch voucher to pay for you and your interviewer's lunch. Very light discussion during lunch, mostly about resume and past projects. After all this, you will meet with your recruiter back at the recruitment building. My interviews went from 10am-5pm. Like previously stated, they gave me some taxi vouchers and I explored Seattle all night before returning to my hotel and catching my flight back the next morning. I can't wait to start!

    Interview Questions

    • They're not trying to trick you, just trying to see you think critically. For example, instead of iterating over a string from left->right, a certain solution could perform more efficiently by iterating right->left.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Did not negotiate, it was above my expectations anyway.

  9.  

    Software Development Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in December 2010.

    Interview

    Recruiting personnel were top notch. The process of flying out to Redmond was smooth and easy. I was never lost or confused about where to go. The series of 4 interviews was challenging and mentally exhausting, but I felt pretty good about it all--even after tripping up a bit on some questions.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you write a program to show a stack trace given a raw stack dump.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No negotiation was possible. The compensation was already very high.

  10.  

    Software Developer Engineer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Microsoft (Bellevue, WA) in March 2011.

    Interview

    They put me up in nice hotel but actually switched my hotel at the last minute. There were about 4 45 min interviews with the Xbox connect team which we were randomly assigned to. 3 were technical (one about databases, one about C, one about some basic java algorithms) and 1 was goals/strengths oriented. As has been stated before, they will really delve deep into anything that you say you "know" so make sure you know it

    Interview Questions

    • What is the difference between malloc and calloc.   1 Answer
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