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Microsoft Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Mar 2, 2015
Updated Mar 2, 2015
663 Interview Reviews

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46 people found this helpful  

Software Development Engineer Interview

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

I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details

I initially had a on campus interview at my university. It was short 30 minute interview where they went over my resume and had a quick technical question.
I heard back around 3 weeks later, mainly b/c I had a offer that was on the verge of expiring. They flew me out to the Redmond campus that same week.
The day of the interview, I arrived on site around 8am and had a quick chat with HR. They told me which team I was interviewing for and sent me to the building for the interviews. I had 5 interviews and 1 lunch interview. This lasted until around 3PM.
I received a call the next day and was extended an offer.

The technical questions asked:
On-campus interview:
    remove duplicates from an unsorted array
On-site interviews:
    implement strtok
    reverse string(ie. hello world => world hello)
    find lca for bst
    find first non repeating character in string
    given a list of characters and the function toLower, implement toUpper
    check for palindrome in string and singly linked list
    check if binary tree is bst

Interview Questions
Negotiation Details
I did not negotiate, the compensation package was good enough
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    A applied online through their website and after 2 weeks they contacted me for Skype interview. The interview was very enjoy and took about 15 minutes. This was HR interview. We talked about resume and my background. In the end of the interview, she asked me a simple quiz question about marbles.

    Interview Questions
    • You have 9 balls, equally big, equally heavy - except for one, which is a little heavier. You have a pair of balance scales and how you identify the heavier ball?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    I went through the college recruiting process. Microsoft was among the companies that set up stations at our computer science major recruiting fair where I signed up. The first round was on campus: lasted about 40 minutes, and was easy for a computer science major. About a week later, a recruiter emailed me to tell me that I was being invited for on-site interviews in Redmond (Seattle), WA. The recruiters are extremely fast and helpful in communicating; interestingly, Microsoft's recruiting process outdoes other companies (Google, FB etc) completely in efficiency and generosity. You're flown out to Redmond and stay in a really comfy hotel with a generous spending budget.

    Now, it's good to know how on-site interviews work: you begin your day early by meeting with your recruiter, who you should befriend since they are "on your side", so to speak, and their input can matter in the decision process. Then, you have consecutive technical interviews lasting about an hour each. You don't have to do perfectly in all of them, but I had a very strong feeling that the first 2 are the most important. The first one is particularly important. If you are doing well, you will get a 4th and sometimes 5th technical interview. If you're lucky, you will afterwards get a final interview with a manager of sometimes, like in my case, a really impressive big boss type person. This big boss can basically hire you on the spot, and its pretty cool that you get to meet someone like this.

    Don't forget that for Microsoft, as well as other companies, several things matter for college recruiting; your interviews, first and foremost, but also your coursework, projects, grades, internship experiences, etc. Also, knowing more math than average CS majors helps.

    The next day I found out that I was getting an offer, and the next business day after that my recruiter called me with the details over the phone. Microsoft really, really wants smart new grads. The company and culture has REALLY been improving the past few years, and they want smart new grads to keep that up. Offers are actually more generous than at other competing companies.

    In my case, you might really like the people you meet or have a personal connection with the big boss type person at the end, in which case your offer could potentially be for the team you actually interviewed with. In this case, you have a choice whether you want to be with that team or go back in the general "hired" pool which is distributed into teams at some later point.

    Interview Questions
    • Thing of a simple O(n^3) algorithm for finding the longest palindrome in a string. Now a O(n^2) one. Now a O(n log n) one.   View Answer
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    Very good Interview, few basic algorithms and questions from strings. Got call after career fair, and had interview the next day. Was mostly a technical round. The interviewer really helped solving the questions

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in February 2015.

    Interview Details

    Sent in application for SDE, SDET, and IT positions in October. Near the end of January a recruiter called me to schedule a phone interview. 30 minute phone interview with an Engineer from the team I interviewed with asked basic questions:
    - How do you troubleshoot your home network?
    - How would you describe virtualization to your grandmother?
    - Questions about projects on my resume

    The next week I was selected for an on-site. All expense paid trip to Redmond. Flew me in, stayed 3 days 2 nights in a sweet hotel, rental car, fancy meals, the works.

    The on site interview was with 4 engineers from the same team. 45 minute interviews with each one. Most of them were simple conversations. If you make it to this round it's basically a culture fit. They didn't ask a single code question and none of those stupid "How many golf balls fit in a school bus" type questions. The whole team was really good. Less than a week later the recruiter contacted me with an offer. They're looking for people that love what they do and love to learn and grow on their own. It's the whole culture they support up there.

    Interview Questions
    • Design a service to automate the interaction between locked and encrypted Nokia Phones and Microsoft.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  6.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    The interviewer was very nice and I was asked a simple problem about tree traversals. Unfortunately, my mind went blank so I didn't get to the answer straight away. Ended up figuring out the principles for the solution, but didn't have enough time to code the solution.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    Skype interview.
    4 onsite interviews in Seattle. (Binary trees & linked list questions)
    Seriously - solve all of the problems you can find without the solutions.
    Stayed at the Marriott Hotel two nights. Flights and all taken care of.
    Recruiter was incredibly nice and supportive throughout the process.

    Interview Questions
    • Find a loop in a linked list and fix it.
      Set all nodes at the same depth to have a field "next" pointing to the next in the children.. (BT)
       
      Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview Details

    Submitted resume on school website, got an on-campus interview after two weeks. The interview lasted half an hour. Interviewer asked some behavioral and technical questions, also asked about general background, if you have taken hard-core programming courses, etc.

    Interview Questions
    • Fixed-size array queue, what if you are running out of time to complete a project.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    The process started at my university career fair where I gave out a resume. They gave me a t-shirt

    They got in touch a week later to schedule an on-campus interview at the university career services building. The interviewer asked one general thinking question (not coding) and one coding question. They also asked about my resume and research.

    Three or four weeks later I was contacted by an interview scheduler to setup an interview in Redmond. Due to the holiday season, I wasn't able to schedule the interview until a month later in January. The scheduler was not my recruiter and just was setting up the travel and timing. They flew me up and back and put me up in a hotel for 2 nights / 3 days.

    On their campus I first met with my recruiter in their recruiting building number 111. They informed me of which team I was interviewing with and stated that I should expect 4-5 hour long interviews (with one extended to 90 minutes to include lunch). In the recruiting building, while waiting to meet with a recruiter, you can play Xbox games, try out Windows Mobile products, and speak with a concierge who can help with sightseeing in Seattle or nightlight or transportation.

    The interviews were each with someone from a different sub-team inside the group I interviewed with. Each person had me do a coding question, and some also asked algorithmic or conceptual questions (which didn't require explicit coding). Everything was on the whiteboard. I had 5 total interviews, and had time in 4 of them to ask questions of the interviewer about their team.

    After the interviews I met with the recruiter again, and explained that I had immediate deadlines. They agreed to get in contact with the team and get back to me while I hung out in the lobby and relaxed. They came back and informed me that the team was very interested and would be making an offer.

    The offer arrived the next day, with fairly standard compensation and bonus/stock. I ended up declining the offer.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe how you would count the words in this newspaper [pointed to a physical newspaper]?   Answer Question
    • How would you search a database for a matching string ignoring certain punctuation/special characters? What pre-processing would you do?   Answer Question
    • Determine the best move for a player in a probabilistic game, with given probabilities for each outcome of each player's move.   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    Compensation was fairly standard, lower than the Bay Area, but normal when factoring in cost-of-living differences. I decided to go with a different company/team.

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Microsoft in February 2015.

    Interview Details

    campus career fair and got an on campus interview the following week. I was told they would come back to me about next round in about 3 weeks.write the data structure for LinkedList, find the mid of the linkedList, find if there is a cycle, what if the cycle is too large and you dont care about space, then how can you optimize the algorithm

    Interview Questions
    • write the data structure for LinkedList, find the mid of the linkedList, find if there is a cycle, what if the cycle is too large and you dont care about space, then how can you optimize the algorithm   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

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