Microsoft Corporation

4.3
microsoft.com
43 Years Old
Washington, USA
Unknown
10000+
Public

Microsoft Corporation Interview Questions & tips

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Interview Process

Test → Technical Interview

Test

Duration

30 Minutes

No. of Questions

15 questions

Experience

Easy enough.
Since it was very easy, cut off for the next round was very high.

Following this round, there was coding round, with 2 questions in 60 minutes. This was also very easy. Only boundary cases had to be kept in mind.
1. Find nth node from last in a linked list.
2. Given in number in base2 format in a string, convert it to base4 format.

Since the questions were too easy, I had completed both the coding part in 6 minutes, and after checking for all the cases again, I left the hall when 14 minutes had passed by

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

nterview started at 9 am. 21 students got through the coding round. Interviews began, few people had all their interviews( 2 technical, 1 AA), and some were sent home just after their first interview. I was still waiting for my turn.
At 3:30pm, it was my turn.
(Interview 1: Technical)
Called me to the waiting room. Interviewer came and took my CV. Asked me to wait until he had called me. After 5 minutes, he called me in.
My first interviewer was a very good observer. Even slightest movement of hands drew his attention.
(Advice: Manners are observed in all the interviews, make sure to follow basic courtesy and wear proper formals even though the company says you don’t need to)
So, after a brief intro, he asked me to tell me about myself. I began normally and started to dive into data structures and algorithms. (Advice: Tell me about yourself is the question you have to use to turn the interview to your interests. Tell Only whatever you are comfortable with, and be confident. Don’t be nervous.)
I then extended my introduction to courses I did online and projects and Machine Learning.
The interviewer asked me about machine learning. I started explaining him in a very easy, non-technical way using live examples I could get from the room itself. At one point during the explanation, when I was using a cookie as an example, he asked me weather I want to eat it. Offered me water after the explanation.
Then he asked about one of my projects in details which was related to machine learning.
(Advice: Be very through with your projects.)
Then he asked me: “A software. A box is there, with a ball moving in it. Solve it.” (Before reading ahead, think!)
I thought this is one of those questions where we have to ask many questions until the problem is clear. So I asked “Okay sir, so we have to make the ball move inside the box.” He said “No, the ball is already moving” and then he again went back to his laptop. After 3 seconds “Sir, so we need to make the ball rebound when it hits the boundary”. He said “yes, now write the code/pseudo code for this.”
(Advice: Always think out loud in an interview. Never be silent. If you are a good student, and think inside your head, or if you are a poor student and think inside your head, how will the interview differentiate?)
I wrote the pseudo code making the use of event and notifier inside class containing physics of ball and diagonals of the box. Some discussion happened here. Then he added one more ball and asked me how to handle this. I told him since I used event and notifier, I won’t have to make much changes, so my initial approach was right. Then he gave some corner test case like two balls and wall colliding all at once, what will happen etc.
(Advice: In open ended questions, often there is no good or bad solution. You should state adv. and disadv. of all the methods.
Then he asked me some simple coding question which involved creating a structure for values and sorting it.
(Advice: When you know many algorithms for a particular problem, state it with proper time complexity and adv and disadv.) I stated many sorting algorithms that could be used there and time complexity in each scenarios etc with advs of each one over the other.
“Why microsoft”, “Any other questions” etc.
(Adivce: Prepare these well)
Shook hands, told me the HR will tell you whats next.

*Was pretty confident after the first round*
After an hour (Round 2: Technical)
I went out to get chocolate(Snickers, I was hungry). Meanwhile my name was called. I was midway when someone came and told me I was called. Eating chocolate, I waited outside the interview panel for the bar to finish and then went in panting. The interview introduced himself and asked me weather I need water. I said yes and went out, finished the chocolate, drank water, relaxed and returned after 2 minutes. Greetings once again.
The interviewer had my CV. He asked my explain about one of my projects. (2 of them I explained in first round. He asked a different one.) After 20-25 minutes of detailed explanation, the interview and I sat back. Then he said “Vishal, honestly I think we cannot hire you.” *me confused* “Its not that you are not qualified enough, but microsoft IT is not qualified enough to hire you”. He added, “To say it bluntly, You are overqualified”. Then he asked about my aspirations, I told him about coding etc. He added, “that is why I asked you about the aspirations.” He asked if I am going for higher studies, I said no. Then we talked for sometime. I told him about my interests in psychology and he shared a funny story with me related to psychology. He gave me his business card and told me to email him if they don’t select me. He said I should go for research etc. Added he would help me find a better position suitable to my profile. After that, some normal discussion. Before leaving I asked him to consider me for the job. He said sure he will discuss.

*I was packing my bags outside, after 10 minutes, call for round 3*
(Round 3: AA – As Appropriate interview) – most important round
The interviewer had lots of experience. He started with giving his detailed introduction and then asked me to give mine. (Environment was fun, asked me what people think about me when they meet me, then he gave his own opinion, and few other normal conversation going around) This round was relaxed, asked me about some real life problems. He said he already talked to other interviews about my technical skills and he knows that he need not test it. Gave me a situation on how to solve it. Gave a technical question and saw my approach. Then gave a problem related to machine learning (he wanted to know if I get excited only by coding problems or can I love other aspects as well). And then finally a scenario to test how I deal with people.
(I love psychology and have done many courses on it, so dealing with people was fun part for me). Finally he was happy and said to wait outside

27.2k views

27.2k views


Interview Details

I was interviewed on Dec, 2016.

Skills Tested

Coding Skills

Communication And Confidence

Ability To Cope Up With Stress

Logical And Structured Thinking

Interview Process

Test → Test → Technical Interview → Technical Interview → Technical + HR Interview

Test

Duration

1 Hours 30 Minutes

No. of Questions

3 questions

Test Sections

Coding

Experience

The test had 3 questions as follows :
Q1. Rainwater Collection - Dynamic programming
Q2. DP / Memoization question
Q3. BFS Matrix Question

Test

Duration

45 Minutes

No. of Questions

2 questions

Test Sections

Coding

Experience

Both questions were based on implementation of puzzles and problems.

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

The interviewer asked me about my previous internships while in college and made me explain the work I did. Later on he asked me in detail about the projects I did in college.

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

I was first asked a coding question related to finding similarity in two words and I had to define the terms of similarity on my own which I did by normalizing length of LCS by the total length of the string. Then I was faced with stress checking. They tried proving me wrong even though when I was right and checked my reaction under stress.

Technical + HR Interview

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19.3k views

19.3k views


Interview Details

I was interviewed on Dec, 2015.

Interview Process

Test → Group fly round → Technical Interview → Technical Interview → Technical + HR Interview

Test

Duration

1 Hours 30 Minutes

No. of Questions

3 questions

Test Sections

Coding round

Experience

3 questions were given
1. Rain water collection problem
2. Matrix DFS problem
3. DP problem

Group fly round

Experience

2 questions were given
1. Convert number into words. Eg. 389 to Three hundred and eighty nine. Input 1-999999
2. A 2-D matrix nxn consisting of numbers is spirally sorted in decreasing order. So given a number we have to insert into the matrix so that the matrix is still sorted spirally. Write a function.

Technical Interview

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

I asked about the definition of similarity wrt the question. He replied to define it myself. So, I told him that I would find the LCS of the 2 strings and then define a threshold below/above which "we" could say them to be dissimilar/similar. There was a confusion there. I realised my mistake and stated it to be Longest Common Subsequence. He asked me to write the code. After I was done. He told me that the code was incorrect. I went through the code thrice and then I told him whether he could point out the mistakes. There were none. He was trying to see how I reacted. I didn't get too defensive. He was happy with it. Then he asked me to optimize the code. I said that for letters that didn't match in both the strings, we could define some similarity score between individual letters. He said yes it is definitely a good optimization but can you think of something simpler. I then told him that we need to normalize the LCS. He was happy that I could work on the hints he provided.

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1.8k views

1.8k views


Interview Details

I was interviewed on Dec, 2016.

Skills Tested

Coding Skills

Ability To Cope Up With Stress

Communication And Confidence

Logical And Structured Thinking

Data Structures

Interview Process

Test → Test → Technical Interview → Technical Interview → Technical + HR Interview

Test

Duration

1 Hours 30 Minutes

No. of Questions

3 questions

Test Sections

Coding

Experience

The test had 3 questions as follows :
Q1. Rainwater Collection - Dynamic programming
Q2. DP / Memoization question
Q3. BFS Matrix Question

Test

Duration

45 Minutes

No. of Questions

2 questions

Test Sections

Coding

Experience

Both questions were based on implementation of puzzles and problems.

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

The interviewer asked me about my previous internships while in college and made me explain the work I did. Later on he asked me in detail about the projects I did in college.

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

I was first asked a coding question related to finding similarity in two words and I had to define the terms of similarity on my own which I did by normalizing length of LCS by the total length of the string. Then I was faced with stress checking. They tried proving me wrong even though when I was right and checked my reaction under stress.

Technical + HR Interview

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16.6k views

16.6k views


Interview Details

I was interviewed on Apr, 2017.

Skills Tested

Problem Solving Abilties

Algorithmic Approach To Problem Solving

Data Structures

Interview Process

Technical Interview → Technical Interview → Technical + HR Interview

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

We dicussed what can be the various approaches for string compression and then I was asked to code the encoding and decoding functions for the same.

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

Again, it was a coding round.We discussed the approach, then I wrote the code and further discussions on optimisation.

Technical + HR Interview

Interview Experience

It was a short HR round but it was technical. Projects mentioned in the resume were discussed. Ideas, approach and concepts behind it were asked.

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10.1k views

10.1k views


Interview Details

I was interviewed on Aug, 2016.

Interview Process

Test → Technical Interview → Technical Interview → HR Interview → Technical Interview → Technical Interview

Test

Duration

1 Hours 30 Minutes

No. of Questions

60 questions

Test Sections

Quantitative Analysis | Analytical Reasoning | Computer Science

Experience

Computer Science Section has questions based on Networking, Database, Microprocessors, Software Engineering

Technical Interview

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3.1k views

3.1k views


Interview Process

Test → Technical Interview

Test

Duration

3 Hours

No. of Questions

3 questions

Test Sections

Coding

Experience

3 coding questions involving trees, stack and queues. Solving 2 was a qualifier for the next round.

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16.2k views

16.2k views


Interview Details

I was interviewed on Aug, 2016.

Interview Process

Test → Technical Interview → Technical Interview → HR Interview → Technical Interview

Test

Duration

1 Hours 30 Minutes

No. of Questions

60 questions

Test Sections

Quantitative Analysis | Analytical Reasoning | Computer Science

Read more

3.1k views

3.1k views


Interview Process

Test → Technical Interview

Test

Duration

1 Hours

Test Sections

Analytical Reasoning | Quantitative Analysis | Computer Science Related

Experience

This was an Online Test. The Computer Science Section had all topics included like networking, database, Software Engineering, Microprocessors.

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3.1k views

3.1k views


Skills Tested

Object Oriented Programming (OOP) Basics

Basic C/C++

C Programming

Algorithms And Data Structures

Interview Process

Test → Test → Test → Technical Interview → Technical Interview → Other Interview

Test

Duration

30 Minutes

No. of Questions

15 questions

Experience

The MCQs were based on C.C++,Java and some Operating System questions. Around 200+ from our college sat for this round.

Test

Duration

90 Minutes

No. of Questions

2 questions

Experience

After the first round around 100 (consisting of the internship students as well) students were shortlisted for the second round
Everyone got different sets of questions. The questions I got were :
Given two arrays were digits of one array represent a number,maximize the number by replacing it with elements of second array.
eg:
arr={3,1,4,5,6}
rep={1,9,5,2,3}

after replacement
arr={9,5,4,5,6}
one digit of rep can be used to replace only once.
For this almost everyone who got this question used a brute force method.But I had used a different approach .I constructed a max heap of rep array.And ran a loop checking if the max element of rep was greater than the element in arr and then replaced it in arr and deleted the same from the maxheap.

Given a matrix ,where each cell represents a value of strength.The value could be positive negative or zero. At each cell the strength value is added.You have to reach from point (0,0) to point (m-1,n-1) if at any point the strength becomes zero or negative then you cant proceed further.Find the minimum strength required before starting to reach the end of the matrix.
eg . {{ 1,-3,0},
{-2,1,-1}} Ans: 2 ( (2+1+(-2)+1+(-1)=1 path taken )
I gave a DP solution but was unable to pass a few test cases in this question

Test

Experience

Around 30 students consisting of students from other colleges as well were called On-site. This was a written round.Everyone was given around 45 mins and 1 question.
Given the root to a binary tree, a value n and k.Find the sum of nodes at distance k from node with value n.
This is similar to this question on geeks ->http://www.geeksforgeeks.org/print-nodes-distance-k-given-node-binary-tree/
I was able to do this quite quickly :D I even explained my answer to the HR and he asked me to write different types of test cases to exhaustively check if my code works on all of them.
After this round around 14 people were shortlisted

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

These were fairly easy questions . I knew the solutions and explained it to the interviewer.He asked a few questions on them , seemed satisfied.Asked me if I had any questions for him . So I asked him about the different technologies that a new SDE would work on and things like that. I had a pretty good discussion with him he told me many things from his end too.
I made it to the next round then :D

Technical Interview

Interview Experience

He told me to take my time and give the solution. I gave him a solution of considering the text as a linked list of words . Where each node in the linked list contained the word string and an index .And for every node in the linked list I will have Trie structure. I used trie for efficient search.What I suggested was that I use the trie whenever the user enters a word and insert it into the trie and the leaf of that word will contain the index of that word plus the pointer to that node in the linked list . If suppose the trie already has the word then i increase the word count in the leaf and the leaf will contain a vector that has the list of indexes where the word has occurred and the list of pointers where the word is present in the list.I wrote the code and explained how it can handle all corner cases . We discussed the the solution and he asked me certain questions on different test cases . My approach handled them well. He seemed satisfied . He added to the question that the search query could contain words or phrases . So my use of indexes could handle the phrase search :) . I also suggested that instead of Trie data structure we could use a Ternary Search Tree as that would be more space efficient

Other Interview

Interview Experience

This was a HR+Technical Interview

The interviewer was quite experienced and very pleasant. He asked me how my previous rounds went.He was going through my performance review from the previous rounds. He took a glance though my CV and asked me about the projects I did. He saw that I had interned at IITB so he asked me a lot on that project. He also asked me some basic HR questions like Why should Microsoft hire you ? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?.He was very impressed with my academic record and my AIEEE rank. Asked me how I handled my 12th board exams and entrances.He made it very comfortable and was almost chatting and getting to know about me.
Question 1:
Thankfully I was just going through this question just before this round :D . I suggested the solution using Trie and Min Heap.
Similar to -> http://www.geeksforgeeks.org/find-the-k-most-frequent-words-from-a-file/
Question 2 :
First I gave him the brute force approach . Similar to ->http://www.geeksforgeeks.org/root-to-leaf-path-sum-equal-to-a-given-number/
But I knew it wasnt using the fact that we have a Binary Search tree . So the interviewer gave me some hints - like what is main criteria of a BST . I immediately figured out that the minimum path will always be on the right side of the node because it has the larger value. I told him the solution he seemed satisfied.
He then asked if I has any questions for him . So I asked him about where I can improve myself , he said I didnt need any improvement I am doing very well and that I should jus keep doing what I am doing :D That certainly made my day :) I asked a couple more questions about Microsoft and then left.

Finally after a week the results came I received the mail that I had been shortlisted for a Full Time Position :D

Overall Experience

Be confident in the interview . Have a smiling face and be adaptable to the question . The interviewer can anytime change or twist the question just to confuse you.
The interviewers are very helpful , if you feel stuck communicate with them ..explain your approach they will give you hints.
When the interviewer gives the question listen to it carefully do not immediately rush to writing the code .. ask him about the different criteria and restrictions pertaining to the question.
Lastly , hard work goes a long way ! Never loose hope. I got placed in Oracle Applications and Microsoft after being rejected by almost 6 companies :) And believe me those interviews also taught me a lot .
Learn from your failures and don't lose hope :)

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59.9k views

59.9k views


Interview Details

I was interviewed on Mar, 2017.

Interview Process

Test → Technical Interview

Test

Duration

30 Minutes

No. of Questions

20 questions

Experience

Basically, a logical aptitude test

Technical Interview

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9.9k views

9.9k views


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