Microsoft Engineering Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Microsoft Engineering Interview Questions

Updated Mar 23, 2017
2,782 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Software Development Engineer II Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in December 2016.

    Interview

    Got referenced by a friend from MS. A recruiter quickly reached me with online screening test. After passing the test got an invite onsite. Had 5 interviews 1h each onsite. All of them were 1:1 with different engineers and managers. Whole process took 2 month, but could be faster, since I went for 2w vacation in the middle.

    Interview Questions

    • Basically all interviewers asked a generic question to design some generic system/service with further drilling down into particular details of the design and implementation of certain algorithms. Some examples are: Dijkstra shortest path; working with hashtables, unit testing.   1 Answer
  2.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 8 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in December 2016.

    Interview

    I applied at my universities career fair.

    First was a 30 minute on-campus coding interview. The problem was equivalent to a leetcode easy, and the follow up was around a medium.

    After that, I was contacted to do an onsite. I was expecting a lot of algorithms, which is what I studied for. However, to my surprise, most of my interviews were behavioral. I had one brain teaser I didn't do too well on, but the rest I feel went very well.

    In the end, I didn't get an offer. I suspect this is due to a couple factors: it being very late in the interview cycle (not too many positions left) and lack of algorithms. I couldn't differentiate myself enough from the students that went to better schools solely based off behavioral questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Preorder, Inorder, and Postorder traversal of binary tree.   Answer Question
  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA).

    Interview

    After an online coding test was flown out to Redmond, WA for a "recruiting event". Showed up on the day of the interview to a jam packed arena of almost exclusively foreign candidates. We were subsequently stuffed into awkward waiting rooms. As we stared each other down in suspense I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Was placed in a room and interviewed by four people back to back. Overall interviewers were nice with the exception of one who didn't seem to like my face. Questions were very difficult and similar to what can be found in Cracking the Coding Interview.

    I would have given the overall experience a neutral rating except for being repeatedly ignored by the recruiters after the interview. Had I really been hoping for the job it would have been an excruciating wait and for that reason I have to give a negative.

    Having been in the industry for a decade I'm not prepared to ace questions based around what I learned in school, not sure what else to say.

    Interview Questions

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  5.  

    Software Development Engineer - New Grad Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    The interviewers were really nice and made me super comfortable. The whole process was very convenient and sensible. I felt that even though the interviews in itself were pretty standard and easy, one has to have a perfect performance, i.e. 10 on 10, or you just won't get an offer.

    Interview Questions

    • Very basic questions on data structures and algorithms.   2 Answers
  6. Helpful (3)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    30 minute on-campus interview. Had very brief introductions, an algorithm question, and a couple of minutes for questions. Overall, the very short amount of time left me feeling rushed and with a bad taste in my mouth, since it was clear that the only thing that actually mattered was the single algorithms question.

    Interview Questions

    • Q: In an array that has one value for more than half of its elements, how can you find that value?   1 Answer
  7. Helpful (3)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    I had 4 interviews with Microsoft in Seattle. Each interview was 45 minutes. At the end of each interview, I was given 15 minutes to rest in between. To begin each interview we went over my resume and then went straight into a technical question on the whiteboard. Each of these tested my knowledge of algorithms and data structures.

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (2)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in La Jolla, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (La Jolla, CA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    I attended the MS 30 min on-campus interview last week. I prepared a lot of behavior questions before but it turned out that the interviewer didn't ask any behavior questions. The coding problem he asked me was to find the next larger element in a BST. He didn't even defined the BST and the function declarations for me, so I had to define it by myself.

    Interview Questions

    • The coding problem he asked me was to find the next larger element in a BST.   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    The MS HQ interview is a joke. Nobody who interviewed me seemed to care about what was on my resume, only whether I was able to write algorithms to solve archaic game/puzzle problems on the spot. The "real" answer to all the problems posed should've been "If presented with something like this in the real world, I'd search it online and move onto a real engineering problem".

    It certainly didn't help that not a single one of my interviewers were native English speakers, so in some cases I was having trouble understanding what they were even trying to get me to do with the limited time I had to do it. To add insult to injury, they didn't even tell me what position(s) I was interviewing for. The whole thing felt like I was in an overseas detention site being interrogated by math professors in a cramped room for four long hours.

    About halfway through I stopped caring if I got the job or not because it was obvious myself and the ~70 others there were just another batch of interview candidate numbers, differentiated by whether we had memorized answers to coding interview questions or not.

    The upshot of the whole process was definitely that I got an all-expenses-paid mini-vacation to the Seattle area and got to stay in a swanky hotel.

    Interview Questions

    • Write a generalized algorithm to solve the Tower of Hanoi.   Answer Question
    • Given an arbitrary polygon and a point within it, write an algorithm to find an inner triangle enclosing the point where one of the arbitrary vertices has the smallest angle possible making up two edges of the inner polygon (yes, that confusing).   1 Answer
    • Given a matrix of substrings, find the longest word in an arbitrary dictionary array when starting from an arbitrary point in the matrix with the ability to only move right or down from the starting point.   1 Answer
  10. Helpful (1)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Diego, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (San Diego, CA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    They come and host office hours at my school, and I talk to a recruiter. I tell him about what I love, especially math, and I apply online to the Explore program. I get contacted about an interview for the regular SWE position, and I'm overjoyed. They met me at a local center at my school, and asked me questions about my resume. They were super nice and I loved every part of the experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Reverse words in a sentence so like
      ex: to be or not to be
      return be to not or be to
      Note: I'm a freshman in college and he knows I don't know much so I got an easy question  
      1 Answer
  11. Helpful (1)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in El Paso, TX
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (El Paso, TX) in November 2016.

    Interview

    White board interview at local university. Reverse an integer. Looking for optimized solution and definitely no tostring type of solution. They want to hear you think out loud and are willing to help you.

    Interview Questions

    • Reverse an integer. Looking for optimized solution and definitely no tostring type of solution   1 Answer

See What Microsoft Employees Are Saying

Star Star Star Star Star   Current Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA

Pros: “Good career growth. Socially conscious and diverse.”“Good career growth. Socially conscious and diverse.” – Full Review

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