Microsoft Interview Experience | Full-time Software Engineer, New Grad

Hey, what’s up folks Today I want to talk about my review experience with Microsoft for a full-time software engineer position I’ll start with a timeline of events and then I’ll go to more details about each step [upbeat music] So a friend of mine asked me if I want a referral on July 28th And I apply in the first week of August I heard back on August 18 and scheduled my first round on-campus interview On October 3rd I had my first round 30-minute interview at my university I heard back on October 9th and scheduled the second round on-site interviews On November 9th I flew to Seattle and on the next day I had four 45-minute interviews at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond I heard back on November 15th/16th that I passed the interviews and got an offer Now I want to talk about the steps in more details It all started with the referral It was a short application form where I need to fill out with my basic info and resume Three weeks later everyone I know who applied through a referral got a first round interview I studied some for this interview mainly by practicing coding interview questions with my friend, reviewing some common algorithms and data structures, and doing some questions by myself Then there was the interview. It was only thirty minutes, so it was quite short It started with some generic questions about my resume Then about 20 minutes’ technical questions on a white board I originally thought there will be only one question But it turned out that I was asked multiple questions The interviewer started with easy questions and gradually added constraints and asked for modifications to the original solution Although the questions weren’t that hard I was sure that I screwed it up after because I didn’t implement one of the questions correctly That’s why the invitation to the second round interviews was a surprise I picked the date for my second round interview, which turned out to be a pretty bad day because I had to do three midterms during the week before my interviews I also filled out some traveling information so that Microsoft could book the flight tickets and hotel room They cover almost all the travel expenses and they give you $75 per day for food and then … … some money for sightseeing that I don’t remember anymore I only got to know about the schedule of my reviews a few days before I got the morning interviews which started at 8:00 a.m. but we needed to go there and get to the recruiting building at 7:30 so that we could have breakfast and all Yeah breakfast was covered that day So I woke up early. It was around 6:30 I guess And then I got ready and went to their campus It was quite interesting because the day before I was scared that I’m gonna miss it or I’m gonna be late, whatever So I booked, um, I reserved a taxi online But then the day of my interview the driver called and said the traffic was pretty bad So he couldn’t make it and he told me to just go downstairs, and then there should be taxis waiting outside the hotel So then I went downstairs and yes, there were taxis and those drivers know that we are interviewers, and we’re trying to get to the Microsoft campus Then I have breakfast there and just waiting outside for the interviews They grouped people according to what position they’re interviewing for so I was grouped with everyone who was interviewing for software engineer positions either interns or full-time positions And soon the interviews started. The first one, I thought, was pretty conversational I got a relatively easy question about object-oriented programming design Second one wasn’t that hard either It was a probabilistic programming question although the engineer asked me to use C, or C++ or Java And I usually use JavaScript for my coding interview questions so it was kind of a surprise After the second interview, I started to get a little bit tired so when the third interview came I was having a little bit of trouble thinking clearly but I managed to pull it through and I just talk out loud as everyone would tell you talked a lot to the Interviewer talked about my thought process, and I would be like oh okay I know there’s a bug I’m gonna test it out and so on And for this third interviewI also had to change my programming language so I wrote in this C like or C++ like language that wasn’t really C or C++ But it was all right for whiteboard coding Luckily the last interview wasn’t hard either The interviewer actually provided some feedback, which I greatly appreciated And he said the question was aimed at testing our understanding of data structures to see if we can pick the right data structure for the question and then also to see if we can talk aloud and communicate about our thought process So it is really important to talk about what you’re thinking how you’re approaching a problem and all that at an interview Because each interview was 45 minutes we had about 10 to 15 minutes’ break between the interviews And during that time we would just hang out with the recruiters outside of the rooms And after the last interview it was 12 o’clock and we went to the Microsoft canteen for lunch And we had each one of us had $10 in a card that we can use for that lunch After lunch everyone got a free hoodie [upbeat music] and a discount card That was it So after the interviews I went around. I went to a shopping mall You could also go sightseeing as I said you can get some money to do sightseeing for free and then you can also eat out cuz you have 75 dollars for the day and Microsoft already covered breakfast and lunch As I said before I didn’t really have time to study for this interview So I guess I was quite lucky to not get super hard questions and that I passed the interviews without really studying To be honest I felt pretty good after the reviews, and I thought I might be getting an offer But I waited for a few days I did my interviews on Friday after the weekend on Monday Tuesday, Wednesday I was waiting all the time for something to come cuz I know if Microsoft wants to send me an offer they will do it quickly probably within a week It was in a nerve-racking process, but luckily I was correct On Wednesday, I got a phone call from the recruiter But I didn’t realize that she called me until a few days after that So I missed a phone call. On Thursday morning, I got an email offer from the recruiter And that’s all about the whole interview process [upbeat music fading out]

18 thoughts on “Microsoft Interview Experience | Full-time Software Engineer, New Grad

  1. Thanks for sharing! I've been worried about not having much time to study either – I keep hearing the questions are fairly easy (from others, from glassdoor, etc).
    I appreciate some insight on the day's timeline. They haven't told me much other than what time to be there, who I'm meeting with, and what building. Good to know on hearing back, too. I was wondering how long – about a week, I guess?
    My interview is this Friday!

  2. Hi Mandy, can I ask what type of technical questions come up in the phone interview? Do they tend to simpler than on-site questions?

  3. Were they pretty adamant about you coding in their language of choice? Or did you choose to change your language because they asked, and you had knowledge of the other languages?

  4. Hey, if you don’t mind me asking, what kind of questions did they ask you about in the technical part of the on campus interview?

  5. I will say you are quite lucky to get an offer with the kind of interview experience you had with Microsoft. I applied for an intern position at Microsoft and I got rejected after the 3rd round. During the on site interview they asked me to reverse a linked list which I did it correctly . The interviewer then made a loop in the linked list and told me to modify the code . I did that but with some help from the interviewer which was not good. I cleared that round and then in the next round I was asked to code a tricky binary search tree problem which I did code correctly but I could not opitmise it within the given time. Apart from this I was asked stands OOP questions too. In the end I got a rejection letter with a feedback stating that I need to work more on my coding and some concepts in depth.

  6. pleb devs after onsite: takes shower with the phone to not miss that call
    Mandy: "didn't reliaze she called me until a few days after"

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