Microsoft Research Software Development Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Microsoft Research Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated May 4, 2017
13 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (1)  

Research Software Development Engineer Interview

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

Application

I applied online. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA).

Interview

First, one of the team members called me on the phone and we had a short chat about what the role requires and my resume. Then I had a standard phone call with an HR person who set up the technical phone interview as the next step. After this step, I got invited to go onsite. After five rounds of interview we called it a day, and within a week I received an offer.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (1)  

    Research Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    Very pleasant interview process. Since I'm about to graduate with a PhD, I interviewed with two teams: one a very research-y team, and the other a software development team. Both interviews were extremely pleasant. The interviewers were genuinely nice, and allowed me plenty of time for me to ask them questions about the team and the role I would play.

    In terms of actual questions, the research-y team had most of the interviewers asking me about my ideas on the research problems they were trying to solve, with only one actual "coding" interview, which dealt with the standard tree traversal questions, and the design for a battleship game, with the challenge question being about how to scale up the battleship game to a large grid. The other team had more coding style questions, but most of them were not about writing code per se, but more of designing data structures and algorithms to solve specific problems in distributed sorting, google doc style spreadsheets, etc. Lots of puzzle/brainteaser questions from this team as well.

    Overall, a great interview experience!

    Interview Questions

    • Design for a google doc style spreadsheet, with a focus on how to handle multiple concurrent edits and formulas on the spreadsheet.   2 Answers

    Negotiation

    The offer in itself was quite good, but I did try to push them a bit, got a modest increase, accepted.


  2. Helpful (1)  

    Research Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in June 2011.

    Interview

    1. introduce background;
    2. the research has been done;
    3. Design questions:
    3.1. data center network;
    3.2. sync in distributed systems;
    3.3. TCP / IP performance;
    3.4. Routing;
    3.5. coding: dynamic programming

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    Told the HR I have 7 offers, and each of the salary.


  3. Helpful (2)  

    Research Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in November 2008.

    Interview

    The process started with submitting resume at career fair, then had a on-campus interview. Basic questions were asked about projects etc, followed by writing code for a simple problem. After 2 weeks got a call for on-site interview. Was told there would be 3-5 interview in Redmond office with Live Search Data Mining group. The recruiter had no idea how different the interview process would be compared to SDE position. As such i brushed up on my research more than the algo+data structure parts.

    On the day of the interview, I arrived early in the morning and went over simple hr type questions ie. why msft, why would i choose them over others etc. I was given the name of the my first interview and told that each interview would take me to the next one (depending on how well i did). Also the interviewers would discuss the area they covered in the interview and how i performed with the next interviewer (and have me sit in the lobby when the discussed this).

    The first interviewer was the dev lead and went over my resume, ask some questions about my projects then saw that i had TA for cryptography a while back at school, so asked me to design a card game online where the player cannot cheat. this was followed by a prob. question and to write code for it. After that he took me to the next interview. This person too was a senior member of the team. He asked another algo/coding question, which i barely managed to get done in the time we had. Next interview was lunch interview, this is 1.5 hrs compared to previous 1hr ones. He went in lot more detail about my research work and what they do. This was followed by a couple of simple coding question when we got back to his office, but i performed quite poorly there. After that he took me to the next interview, this started with a simple coding question which he made progressively harder till i was stuck. After i was done he said this was my last interview of the day and he accompanied my outside to the recruiting shuttle. He basically said even though this position involved research, coding part is more important, and i didn't perform as well. After i went back to the recruiting building, the recruiter wasn't there but had left a packet of info about Seattle (based on a survey i had to fill in before the interviews). After 2 days i got back a mail from the recruiter that there would be no offer.

    All the coding questions i was asked were standard and available on various ms/google questions site (which i didn't prepare as well on). Also just don't solve the questions there, think about all possible follow up questions, can you improve it space/time, would caching/ locality help, special cases (uniform distribution of numbers etc).

    Interview Questions

    • Binary search in rotated sorted array. (on-campus question)   Answer Question

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  5. Helpful (2)  

    Research Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in May 2008.

    Interview

    25 candidates in total. Took everyone out to a very expensive restaurant the night before (~$80 per person). Provided a limo to get to the interviews in the morning. Interviews were relatively easy (4 in total). Early ones asked about my research, and the later ones seemed more like a formality as they mostly just asked rehashed algorithm questions that I had seen on websites. Overall the interview process was a piece of cake.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe your research to me   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I was told up front that the offer was "non-negotiable". Since I had no other offers at the time, I didn't feel I was in a good position to bargain. For others, I would suggest getting a second or third interview with a different company set up around the same time, so you have more power.


  6. Helpful (2)  

    Research Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cairo (Egypt)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Cairo (Egypt)) in March 2016.

    Interview

    - Technical test composed of 8 questions in 2 hours on hackerrank.com. 1 question on probability, 1 question on algorithms, 6 coding questions; mainly on arrays, linked-lists and BST as well as a math problem.
    - Invited for an onsite technical interview, It was at least 3 interviews. First Interview was about algorithms and how to solve a problem till you write its code. Second was a design interview, mainly about OOP. I couldn't pass the second interview, so I don't know what the third interview was supposed to be about.

    Interview Questions

    • 1) Array of length n, its elements are x-powers of the range (1 to n+1). There is one repeated element, find it.
      - The interviewer helps you till you reach the final solution, but he keeps asking about time and space complexity of each move you do. He may ask you to implement system functions like pow, sqrt and so on.  
      Answer Question
    • 2) Can static functions work on non-static members?   Answer Question
    • 3) Design a logger class.   Answer Question
    • 4) What's n-tier applications?   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Research Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Beijing, Beijing (China)) in October 2015.

    Interview

    An engineer asked me about the computer fundamentals, and then a researcher asked me the details of my research work as well as some coding problems. They were very nice and it was a nice experience. The interview was not so hard, but I was expected to have a good understanding of computer science and algorithms. I was also expected to have some experiences of research.

    Interview Questions

    • difference between threads and processes, sorting algorithms, memcpy and its corner cases.   Answer Question

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Research Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cairo (Egypt)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Cairo (Egypt)) in July 2014.

    Interview

    I applied online. First I took an online challenge of 3 algorithms problems hosted by Hackerrank, I passed it and then I was invited to the company to an onsite interview. I did two back to back interviews each one lasted around an hour and I was offered free drinks during my tour in the company.

    Interview Questions

    • An array of n + 1 elements contains n unique elements where each element occurs once except one element occurs twice. Describe a linear algorithm to get that element.   Answer Question

  9.  

    Research Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Microsoft (Beijing, Beijing (China)).

    Interview

    There are 8 round test, 45 min for each.
    First, there are 2 developer to ask me question about mathematics and programming, not quite hard but they are considering your basis. Such as how to calculate the Pi, and reverse a string.
    Then, followed by researchers to ask me my vision and other question related to your background. The researchers might ask question related to his own research. For example, a researcher ask me how to broadcast message to other node and avoid redundancy and collision, just because he is research in sensor network.

    Interview Questions

    • To avoid redundancy sent in sensor network and collision detection   Answer Question

  10.  

    Research Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bengaluru (India)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Bengaluru (India)) in August 2011.

    Interview

    I was asked questions only on data structures like binary search trees and linked lists , stacks and queues...then a little of C coding questions....every round they expect code without bugs...questions like write test cases were also asked.....

    Interview Questions

    • Given a preorder traversal construct a valid binary search tree   1 Answer

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