Microsoft Software Development Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Microsoft Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Dec 6, 2017
1,042 Interview Reviews

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Software Development Engineer Interview

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

Application

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in December 2017.

Interview

Started with a phone screening followed by an on site interview. Company pays for flight, meals, and lodging to Seattle for the interview, onsite interview consists of 3-5 interviews with a lunch with one of the interviewers.

Interview Questions

  • Find the closest common ancestors to 2 nodes in a n-ary tree.   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (1)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    It was a 30-min interview which consisted of behavioral and technical questions.
    Since there were both types, even though the difficulty was not great, it always seemed like there was not enough time.

    Interview Questions


  2.  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    Career fair, talked with recruiter, liked my resume, got an email and scheduled a phone screening with puzzles and simple theoretical questions
    then had an 3 on-site interviews at their branch in Cambridge

    Interview Questions

    • resume questions and alot of talking about projects I have done in detail   1 Answer
  3. Helpful (6)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in October 2017.

    Interview

    Did an on-campus interview at my college then flown out to Redmond for on-site. Met with on-site recruiter at 9 AM and started interview at 10 AM. I tried getting water at Building 28 (where my interview was) but the receptionist was unhelpful and irritated with answering questions. She then started complaining about how the posters about giving on her building was crooked. Generally not a good vibe. Technical interviews started at 10 AM. I had a total of 4 technical interviews.

    I noticed all the engineers had their own room and not an open floor plan. This shows me Microsoft isn’t very open. All the interviewers worked at Microsoft for at least 10 years and were unenthusiastic about their job. The way they talked about their job and presented themselves seems like their career only revolves around Microsoft and they have no plan to go somewhere else. They probably figured their career is stagnant and staying at Microsoft is the safest option. All interviewers didn't ask me about why Microsoft probably because they don't value a candidate's excitement to work at Microsoft. Instead, they asked why I chose computer science as a major. Overall experience was negative because interviewers weren't excited about their job. The reason interviewers worked there was because they needed a job. Even my recruiter didn't seem happy. I like to see people excited about their projects. I believe in Microsoft's mission but the people their are not very motivated.

    Interview Questions

    • Given root node to a binary tree, reconstruct it and return its root node   1 Answer
    • Given 2d matrix and a string. Write a function to check if string is contained in the 2d matrix   1 Answer
    • Run length encoding, write compression function given input array and output array of bytes   1 Answer
    • - Design an API for searching for contact information.
      - Choose a data structure for search function
      - Implement search function   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (8)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in June 2017.

    Interview

    I took the hiring event onsite hosting by Microsoft for AI & R.
    Before interviewing with Microsoft, I already got offers from several other big companies among FLAG & UAD.

    1st round feedback: good coding, good problem solving, good communication, clear answer, but NO
    the AI team member looks like is an Indian, gave a question that I ever saw than know the answer. I tried to explain to him the optimized solution. He gave me several hints that turned out to be wrong (he admit it in the interview), and finally the result is NO probability because I don't take his wrong hint and stick to the right direction. That is ridiculous.

    2nd round feedback: good coding, good problem solving, good communication, clear answer, but NO
    The AI team member looks like an Indian, gave me first question. I analyze the problem and break it down into pretty reasonable parts similar as divide and conquer. I gave her a runnable answer with Time n^2 Space 1, and evolute 4 rounds to optimize it further and further to the best solution I can get. Then she gave me second question, I provided my two runnable solutions but the interviewer ask for solution without any extra space( data structure) to use. That is tentatively make the problem harder, but finally I get the solution per her requirement.
    And finally, the result is NO for my fast problem solving and clear code and personality to get the fast and correct answer. Ridiculous!

    3rd round feedback: good coding, good problem solving, good communication, clear answer though not the best solution, YES

    The team member looks like an Asian, gave me two questions, and I analyze the question and optimize it further and further with Time and Space Complexity until the interviewer say ok to my solution. Pretty similar progress as previous two round. The result is YES.

    4th round feedback: good coding, good problem solving, good communication, best solution, YES

    I am a senior software engineer with 5 years working experience, suppose this round is a system design question, but it is still a coding question.

    The team member looks like a native American, gave me one question, and I analyze the question fist with pseudo code and then real code with best solution. The result is YES.

    Microsoft was ever a great company with excellent reputation and branding. She was justified an interviewer fairly without politics. But now, I guess the reason I got NO from first two rounds even I perform better, is that I am not Indian (personality and culture fit). How could you imagine a candidate get two NO round, with offers from 4 big companies.
    Yes, culture fit, personality reason. Ridiculous!

    My suggestions to Microsoft Hiring Event:
    1. add shadow to interviewer every round.
    2. take a picture of the coding and design result.
    3. check the performance of the candidate who got an offer from hiring event.

    Interview Questions

    • Good coding, good problem solving, good communication, clear answer, but NO for culture fit.   5 Answers

  5. Helpful (6)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    On campus interview. The interviewer asked some basic list reversal questions, didn't even look up at the board for my answers. Spent the whole interview checking email. Felt like he thought he had better things to do.

    Interview Questions


  6. Helpful (5)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    I was contacted by the recruiter for the SDE position for their hiring event. I was asked to register and will get the Online test in a week. It's been more than a month since than. I tried to reach the recruiter many times but won't respond back. Any other recruiters won't accept my application since I was contacted previously by other recruiter. I don't understand whether they really are looking for engineers or an applicant just suffers because of all this inside conflicts. It's not believable from such a good company.

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (83)  

    Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    Did an on campus interview, which was very smooth. Asked 2 coding questions on a sheet of paper and was given a chance to ask the interviewer questions. Then flown out to do an on-site interview.

  8. Helpful (8)  

    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 3 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in April 2017.

    Interview

    I got referred to a specific team at Microsoft as New Grad hiring was halted for 2016. Talked to a manager on the phone for an hour, and was asked about my resume and did a interview question. Was flown to Seattle 2 weeks later and had an onsite interview with the team at Redmond. It consisted of 5 interviews with coding and culture-fit questions. I was at the Microsoft Campus from 9AM to 4:30PM. The process was nice, and the interviews were more conversational than say Google onsite interviews. I got a call 2 days later with an offer to join the team.

    Microsoft enjoyed asking data structure questions with arrays, linked lists, strings, etc. Questions on graphs are said to be rare. Be prepared to answer any design questions, which may be follow up questions to coding questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Questions on string traversal, arrays + math were common in my interview.   2 Answers

  9. Helpful (26)  

    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+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in January 2017.

    Interview

    I was referred by a friend of mine currently working at Microsoft. I first did a 45 minute on-campus interview which consisted of one easy question plus some behaviorals. Unfortunately, Microsoft had fulfilled their hiring quota for the year, but a spot opened up in mid-December and I scheduled my on-site to be in January.

    The on-site consisted of five interviews about an hour long each, with some standard data structures/algorithm questions plus one system design question. The fifth interviewer also asked some behaviorals. The algorithm questions were probably around LeetCode Medium level.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a list of n unsorted key-value tuples which are too large to fit in memory, return the k tuples with the greatest value where n is several orders of magnitude greater than k. This list may be dispersed across multiple machines.   2 Answers
    • Given a tree of order n which is neither complete or a search tree, write a function to construct a new tree of order m in-place. Memory usage is bound to 2 times the size of the tree. The new tree must be complete, and a node A cannot be a child of another node B in the new tree if A was an ancestor of B in the old tree.   2 Answers
    • Given a list of movement commands (up, down, left, right, undo previous action), write a function that returns the final (x,y) coordinate. Followup: how would you handle other kinds of commands and undoing them? What kind of design pattern is this?   2 Answers
    • Given two very large timestamped sorted log files that do not fit in memory (possibly on different machines), merge them in timestamp order. Provide some test cases.   2 Answers
    • Describe how you would design a data experimentation platform.   1 Answer

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