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

Microsoft Software Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Mar 26, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

49%
42%
5%

Interview Experience 

47%
44%
8%

Interview Difficulty 

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1 person found this helpful

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Redmond, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in February 2014.

Interview Details – Got contacted by a recruiting firm, asked for a phone interview the following week (I really should have declined and tried a bit later, as I was really not prepared).
Got a Skype interview.
Questions were simple though I completely messed up one of them, which meant I didn't get to go forward (and, in case you were wondering you can only apply again in 6-9 months, which I looked everywhere to find out before I actually accepted the interview, but couldn't find).

Interview Questions

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Microsoft

Interview Details – applied online, and had an on-campus interview.
Interview was about 40 minutes talking about my background and
asked 1 question and related sub-questions.

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I interviewed at Microsoft in October 2010.

Interview Details – Telephoning followed by in person

Interview Question – How to test your functionality?   View Answer

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Software Engineering Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in November 2013.

Interview Details – I passed the phone interview and went to Seattle for on-site. Algorithm questions are not hard, and can all be found here in the posts of other glassdoor users who have interviewed with Microsoft. The also asked me for some detailed questions, like "what is the STL version I am using for C++ and its details", "what is your experiences with STL boost", "When you using a receiving buffer of size 500 bytes to get data from a socket, what would happen if all the data send each time is 1000 bytes, 500 bytes, and 300 bytes". I did not give good answer to them because I have not done development coding for a while during my graduate study, and hence got rejected.

Interview Question – "what is the STL version I am using for C++ and its details", "what is your experiences with STL boost", "When you using a receiving buffer of size 500 bytes to get data from a socket, what would happen if all the data send each time is 1000 bytes, 500 bytes, and 300 bytes", etc..   Answer Question

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied through college or university and interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details – I talked to a recruiter at career fair on campus, got an email inviting me to on campus interview. The interview consisted of me going in and talking with an employee who didn't seem to care very much whether or not I passed or failed. He asked me a few cursory questions and then one technical question.

Interview Question – Write a function to print an array in a spiral.   Answer Question

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2 people found this helpful

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Redmond, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2013.

Interview Details – I first applied for the position while a recruiter was at my college for a job fair event. After that, I was contacted about a month or so later and scheduled a phone interview (or rather an online phone interview). The phone interview was all business, no personal questions. The interviewer asked me to start writing something that seemed somewhat simple, in whichever language I preferred. After a sufficient amount of time coding and asking questions (roughly 45 minutes) he had me stop and asked a couple of questions on my thought process in coding the answer. I was contacted a few days later and asked if I could fly out for an interview. I accepted and went to their headquarters in Washington.

The day starts relatively early, around 9:30AM and goes "until you're finished". The basic process is they hand you the location of your first interview, either walk you there or get you a ride there, and continue handing you off between Microsoft employees that you will potentially be working with. Usually each person asks you a couple of personal questions and at least one coding question. Some people may seem like they're ignoring you or acting strangely around you, but I believe that's all part of the interview process. Asking questions is a vital part of the process, as they want someone who is willing to understand something from top to bottom before they attempt to write code for it.

As some other reviews have said, towards the end of the day you may or may not meet with your fifth interviewer in the event that they may "be busy". Whether or not this is truly an indicator of your progress, I'm unsure. All I can say is I interviewed with four out of five people and did not receive the offer. Fortunately, I heard back the very next day, so there wasn't too much anticipation.

Interview Question – Most of the questions were difficult. Expect a lot of questions that really challenge your grasp on more advanced CS fundamentals.   Answer Question

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Microsoft

Interview Details – Test, phone interview, on-site interview (4)

Interview Question – RegExp, Sorted Matrix, BFS, Trie, Serialization   Answer Question

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Microsoft

Interview Details – I submitted my resume at an university technical fair. I got an interview a couple weeks later. The interview was at the career center and it lasted about 45 mins to an hour. Interview was one-on-one. The interview, in general, was pretty relaxed and the interviewer was friendly. Interviewer initially went through my resume and asked specific questions based off it. Afterwards, interviewer asked the more technical questions and asked if I had any questions in general.

Interview Question – There weren't really any difficult questions. However, there were some on various algorithms that were tricky.   Answer Question

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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Redmond, WA

I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2013.

Interview Details – Initial communication occurs through email. All communication until the trip to Seattle occurs through email. My interview coordinator was very pleasant, helpful, and quick to respond back. Microsoft will take care of the entire process for you (and even get you a rental car if you choose). Once in Seattle, you'll have to visit a designated area (mine was Building 111) at a certain time (mine was 8:30AM). Microsoft will keep you in Seattle for up to 2 nights.

Day of interview process is pretty well organized. You'll meet with an interview coordinator (different than the email interview coordinator) and he/she will explain the entire day to you and which team you are interviewing for. I found this person (I may have lucked out) to be very pleasant to work with. Afterwards, he/she will put you in a shuttle to go to your first interview. Microsoft told me I'd be interviewing from 8:30AM - 5:00PM, but I was instructed that I'd be done at 3:00PM. Microsoft will handle all travel to the different interview areas. This depends on your team. I was in one building the whole time.

After each interview is completed, you'll be told who you'll interview with next, where, or sometimes they'll just go get him/her for you. I interviewed with 4 people that day on one team. Each interviewer generally started off talking about himself and then began with the questions (except the last one). My last interview was pretty awful. He showed up late, unprepared, hit me with random questions until he was prepared, and then threw a technical question at me. It flustered me a little.

Interview Question – None of the questions were difficult per se. There was 2 object oriented design questions, 2 array-related questions, and 1 binary tree question. I tripped up on the binary tree question (it was with the last interviewer that flustered me up). It's an easy solution. I got it down conceptually, I just had two more lines of code to put in there.

The question was -- Find the common ancestor of two given nodes.
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Software Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Bloomington, IN

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in September 2012.

Interview Details – There was a career fair at my university ( Indiana University). I just dropped my resume and after a few weeks received an email saying that they would like to interview me.

I was asked general questions in the interview like which Microsoft Technology would I like to work on and why ?

It was a short 20 minute interview, covering mostly general question and 1 programming question

Interview Question – Write a program to implement the Integer.parseInt() function.   View Answer

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Microsoft Software Engineer interview questions and advice. All 45 interview reviews posted anonymously by Microsoft employees and interview candidates.