Microsoft Software Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Microsoft Software Engineer Interview Questions

Updated May 22, 2017
242 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
60%
27%
11%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
53%
19%
17%
7
0
0

Difficulty

3.1
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy

242 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

Filter

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty

Filter

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty

Helpful (1)  

Software Engineer Interview

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

Application

I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in December 2016.

Interview

First round phone interview with basic questions about my experience and a logic question. Second and final round interviews were on-site, 4 interviews an hour each with a short break in between. Simple coding problems just designed to see how you think, nothing to trip you up just take your time and think through it. Also asked some PM related questions from things on my resume

Interview Questions

  • Discussed how hash maps and stacks work in Java   1 Answer
  • Graph theory problem (building a simple web crawler)   1 Answer
  • Find the column number on an excel sheet given its alphabetic label (A - 1, B - 2, AA - 27, BA - 55)   2 Answers
  • Questions about my resume, what team would I work on if I could work with anyone,   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (1)  

    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.   2 Answers

  2. Helpful (1)  

    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

    • B-trees, multi-dimensional arrays   1 Answer
    • Do you even code bro?   1 Answer

  3.  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA) in December 2016.

    Interview

    Interview process was smooth. Initial screening test to evaluate the coding skills followed by onsite interviews. The initial screening test was an online coding test of 1 hour. Expectation was to write clean code and add comments.

    Interview Questions

    • General Data-structure questions. In one round the expectation was to ask questions rather than just solving it.   1 Answer

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5. Helpful (3)  

    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.   1 Answer
    • 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).   2 Answers
    • 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.   2 Answers

  6. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineering Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    Applied at school career fair and had a 30 minute on-campus interview. I was invited for final rounds in Redmond. I interviewed with a Bing team for a big data/ ML role. Overall the experience was quite good. I had 4 interviews total. 3 were very nice and engaging the whole time. The last interviewer was awful and did not pay attention to me at all. He gave a very difficult interview question and then spent the whole time on this laptop.

    Interview Questions

    • System design question about handling jobs using multiple processors. Wrote some code based on my design   1 Answer
    • Given a sentence held in a linked list (as in each letter is a node) and words separated by nodes that are a single space, reverse the sentence.   1 Answer
    • Given a dictionary and one string, create a valid sentence from the string by adding spaces in appropriate places. Difficult because you had to know to back track recursively   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (San Diego, CA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    I went to a campus recruiting event and got an on-campus interview few weeks later. The email communication went well. However, during my interview, my interviewer first changed my schedule from afternoon to the noon. Then he was 20 min late for the interview and finished earlier.

    Interview Questions

    • Find the common ancestor in BST.   1 Answer
    • Sort elements in a stack without using any other container, except another stack.   1 Answer

  8. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took a week. I interviewed at Microsoft (Boston, MA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    Received an on campus interview after a career fair. 30 minutes 1 question written on paper. Interviewer was helpful but slightly mean. Question was not that bad but was specifically looking for the most optimal solution.

    Interview Questions

    • Implement Set() data structure and create the add() function   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (Bellevue, WA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    First interview was a on-campus screening in my university. It was about ~45 minutes in length and was asked 2 behavioral questions and 1 technical. In this interview you're asked which Microsoft teams you're interested in joining, which will later be reflective in which team will interview you in the second round. After 2 weeks I got an email from an interviewer scheduler for an on-site interview at Microsoft's headquarters at Bellevue, Washington.
    The interviews, at least for my case, was 3 back-to-back interviews with engineers from the cloud&enterprise team. Interviews were each 1hr in length and they varied from technical questions, design questions, and behavioral questions.
    Overall was a good experience, they paid for the whole trip + sightseeing + food + uber!

    Interview Questions

    • Given a computer with small memory and a file that is large in size (assume greater than the size of the computer's memory), how would you sort this file (assume the file consists of numbers separated by a space)?   2 Answers

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Microsoft (Boston, MA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    The interview was very rushed as it was only 45 minutes. Most of the questions were behavioral, that left little time for technical. So, I didn't have time to think through the technical questions. The interviewer was intimidating.

    Interview Questions


See What Microsoft Employees Are Saying

Star Star Star Star Star   Former Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA

Pros: “Very cool culture and the work I was doing was cutting edge.”“Very cool culture and the work I was doing was cutting edge.” – Full Review

Don't Miss Out On a Job You Love
Upload a resume to easily apply to jobs from anywhere. It's simple to set up.