Microsoft Senior Program Manager Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Microsoft Senior Program Manager Interview Questions

Updated Jul 17, 2017
68 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (1)  

Senior Program Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
No Offer
Negative Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in January 2014.

Interview

The hiring process is haphazard. If your resume gets selected, you'll get a call from the recruiter. The recruiter will try to qualify you based on some canned questions. Your answers will be 'supposedly' reviewed by the hiring manager ( you'll never know unless you get a call for a phone interview with the hiring manager). The hiring manager will ask enough questions to see if it is worth to have you fly for an onsite. The onsite interview is the most comical process I've ever seen. You will be put through several rounds of interview with each round qualifying for the next. Everyone will input 'thumbs up or thumbs down' in the system. Consider yourself lucky if a senior person interviews you first and gives you a thumbs up because the rest of the buffoons will likely follow suit. Final interview with the executive is check the box type.

Interview Questions

  • Why you want to work for Microsoft?   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in November 2013.

    Interview

    They flew me to Seattle and put me up in a super nice hotel the night before. We started the interview process at 11 the next day.

    between 11 and 1 we were taken around the Microsoft campus in Redmond as well as given 10 dollars for lunch at their food court area. The concierge was a pretty cool dude and I was really enjoying myself.

    After that we had 4 one-on-one interviews with people from microsoft who worked in the positions we were hiring for. Besides having to wait over two hours after to hear if I received an offer, it was a pretty pleasant experience.

    Interview Questions

    • None of the questions were all that difficult and they mostly pertained to what I spoke to them about. With a program manager interview if you are confident and have strong interests in something specific, then steer the interview to a that interest. For example, I have a lot of interest with collaboration in China and whenever I brought that up, they used scenarios that had to do with doing business with China. It was great.

      The last interviewer asked me to design a calculator, which is a question someone else received in the glassdoor reviews so I would prepare for that one.   1 Answer

  2.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    Back in the day, MS had an high entry bar despite the company's constant need for anyone. These days, expect a bunch of puzzle questions and be prepared to spend the day getting probed.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (9)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA).

    Interview

    The overall experience was really good. I've had other interviews with Microsoft and they've all been great. The structure is always the same:
    First contacted by either hiring manager or recruiter followed by a short phone screen to see if the person and the resume fits.

    After initial phone screen a "loop" is scheduled with multiple interviews on the same day "on site" at Microsoft. All information about how the loop would work, who I would meet, etc was given in advance. The recruiter and the interviewers were extremely professional throughout the entire process. The Microsoft loop is described in details all over the internet so I will not go into that. I went through six interviews of varying difficulty and details before being handed over to the "asap". Once at the asap I was pretty much told that I had a job if I wanted one and that they really wanted me to join their team - this is probably not general practice so don't expect your last interview to be a "what can we do/say to make you join us"-type of session.

    Each interview had it's own characteristics, but they all followed the same pattern: ice-breaker for a few minutes, asking about my past experiences, testing technical ability by a problem solving or design open-ended question of some sort, personality evaluation type of questions, and the final 5-10minutes to answer any questions I might have (and yes, I had questions of my own - you should too).

    I was asked not only "management" related questions. There were a few more in-depth technical "problems" to solve. I did not have to do whiteboard coding, but I did have to design programming APIs and break down and try to explain a real-life client-server based architecture. No questions were really unexpected or shook me out of my comfort zone, perhaps that had more to do with my familiarity by then with the Microsoft interview structure than the actual questions - some might find it difficult and unexpected to have to go into such deep technical details when applying for what is considered to be a management position. There was none of the infamous Microsoft "brain teasers" during this interview (though I've had them in other interviews).

    Throughout the interview day I had a really good experience. The team was definitely right for me as we "clicked" on most topics, and what turned out to be a seven hour day of interviews felt more like a short lunch - I had fun during the day! The team seemed very enthusiastic about their work and really passionate about Microsoft and the product they worked on and managed to convey that to me through their actions and answers to my own questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Like I said in the above text there was no real unexpected question. The hardest one would probably be the question about designing an API from scratch on a blank whiteboard.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    There is room for negotiating the base salary and the sign-on bonus. There doesn't seem to be any room for negotiation on the other parts.


  4. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    1 hour interview that went for about 1.25 hrs. Very focussed on process as applied to a real world problem, very enjoyable actually. Describe critical features that would be core to providing business travelers who are foodies access to rooms with cooking facilities and what peripheral features and our businesses could be helpful to provide this service

    Interview Questions


  5. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through other source. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in August 2013.

    Interview

    While I was working at Microsoft as a vendor, a PM with whom I'd worked approached me to ask if I might be interested in applying for a Senior PM position he would be hiring and for which he thought I would be a good fit.

    I applied online and he indicated to HR that he wanted me in the candidate pool. They scheduled a day of interviews in the form of Lync meetings, which I found tricky because I didn't have the benefit of meeting with the interviewers face-to-face.

    I made it through the full day of interviews but didn't hear from them for weeks. I pinged my original contact a couple of weeks later and he let me know that the individual members of team with which I'd interviewed couldn't agree on the qualities they were looking for or what they hoped the person in the position would actually do so they couldn't agree that I was the person for the job. Ultimately he let me know that half the team wanted me but the other half were undecided. They opted not to hire the position at all until they could agree on the specifics about the role. I believe they still haven't hired.

    Interview Questions

    • My second interviewer led off by asking me "Which domains do you think we should focus on in our solution?" Given 1) my lack of technical expertise in the area; and 2) that I was interviewing for a management position, I thought that was a pretty tough question to start with.   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (6)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    Interview process at Microsoft is very well-organized. Typically, you go through a "loop" consisting of meeting 4 - 6 people in a day, and an "as appropriate" at the end --- that person will meet with you if you have enough "hire" recommendations from the people you've met earlier in the day. If you don't meet with a more senior person at the end of the loop, you probably didn't get enough "hires" earlier in the day.

    Microsoft is unbelievably disrespectful in the timeliness of its communications. You can HR, the people you've met, and just about anyone else to "go dark" on you for what can seem like an eternity (especially when you are looking for a job). It's just plain mysterious. People won't answer emails, or calls --- don't take it personally. There just isn't a culture of respecting people who aren't "in the fold" (unless you are a customer paying for something).

    Interview questions can vary greatly. If you are interviewing for a position in a "hot" part of the company (Xbox, for example), you can expect to meet some younger type people who are very full of themselves, and think you should feel lucky talking to them. Just deal with it. You will likely get ridiculous questions like "what is your true passion?" or "how do you want to use technology to change the world?" ... things along those lines.

    Interview Questions

    • I got an interesting question once asking me to estimate how many gas stations were in the US. I've heard that more technical jobs will really get into the details of computer science, but I haven't had to deal with that. Watch out for questions like, "what is important to you?" That isn't a question (typically) about your real values in life. I was once asked that, and came to see that what was expected was an answer like, "I just wake up in the morning thinking about how I serve my customers better". Awesome, I guess, if you live for work.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Straight forward. They hold all the cards, unless you are some kind of crazy genius developer or a true sales rain-maker.


  7. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Bellevue, WA) in May 2013.

    Interview

    Submitted application online. Contacted by recruiter to get basic information (willing to relocate? US citizen? salary requirements, etc.). Recruiter set up follow-up interview with hiring manager within 1 week. Interviewed with hiring manager who asked some technical questions like what is polymorphism? Then asked the a very generic question about how do you test a toaster? Started giving my answer, then interviewer request that I focus specifically how to test "doneness". Talked a little about different types of breads, testing without using bread, and focused on testing a toaster that was already in production vs a new toaster that is still in the R&D phase.

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in May 2013.

    Interview

    Microsoft puts you through an interview loop in which you have 1:1 interviews with at least 3 people and up to 6+. You continue through the interview process as the majority of individuals rate you as a hire. If you get 3 no hires right away then typically your loop will end. If you continue to get a majority of hire ratings then you most likely will end the day with an as appropriate interviewer which is typically someone in higher level management for the role you are interviewing for.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you collaborate with others? What is the most challenging decision you've had to make and how did you come to an answer? What decision have you gotten wrong lately and what did you do to correct it?   Answer Question

  9.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Fargo, ND
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Fargo, ND) in May 2013.

    Interview

    It is a very long interview process in very small rooms.
    The interview process is Okay, but their hiring process is more based on how you look on paper instead of your actual talent. They think they can train their product better to candidates that may have potential than hiring someone who is already doing their job for them at a consulting company where no training is needed and their employee's want this person hired.

    Interview Questions

    • One question asked is how you found yourself in a situation where you worked well with a team.   Answer Question

See What Microsoft Employees Are Saying

StarStarStarStarStar   Former Program Manager in Redmond, WA

Pros: “Talented people teams Caring and understanding”“Talented people teams Caring and understanding” – Full Review

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