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Microsoft Interview Questions

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2023
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About Company

On April 4, 1975, when most Americans utilized typewriters, cherished companions Bill Gates and Paul Allen discovered Microsoft, an organization that makes programs. Initially situated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Microsoft moved to Washington State in 1979 and at last developed into a significant worldwide innovation partnership.

Microsoft Corporation is a multinational technology company based in Redmond, Washington, that manufactures computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. The Microsoft Windows operating system, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers are among the company's most well-known software products. The Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface range of touchscreen personal computers are the company's major hardware offerings.

Microsoft was rated No. 21 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest US firms by total revenue in 2020; as of 2016, it was the world's largest software maker by revenue. It is one of the Big Five U.S. IT corporations.

Microsoft's corporate mission is 'to engage each individual and each association in the world to accomplish more.' This statement of purpose shows that the business is about strengthening individuals and associations. Learn more about its company values.

Why Microsoft?

Microsoft has several scholarship programmes, internships, and full-time positions available to help you develop your skills. It is well understood at Microsoft that having a diverse workforce, including those with disabilities, is critical to achieving the purpose of empowering every person and organisation on the planet to achieve greater success.

Microsoft Recruitment Process

1. Interview Process

  1. Recruiter Connect: It is highly recommended to maintain a good LinkedIn profile to get noticed by Microsoft recruiters. It is also advised to connect with existing Microsoft employees to get referrals for job positions. The candidate can also try applying on the job portal.
  2. Interview Rounds: The interview rounds start with an initial screening interview which is DS/Algo-based. The later rounds are more technical and focus on DS/Algo skills along with system design knowledge.
  3. After Interviews: The performance of the candidate is judged based on the past interviews and the verdict is decided. All of the interviewers hold a meeting to discuss and debate the ratings of candidates with the hiring manager.
  4. Hired: Once the team and you both are comfortable and ready to start, the offer letter is prepared and shared with you by the recruiters and you are HIRED!
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2. Interview Rounds

  1. Screening Interview(1 Round): A telephone interview could be conducted to see if the candidate is a good fit for Microsoft. It could even be a coding test instead of an interview. It can last 30-45 minutes and cover 2-3 DS/Algo problems.
  2. Onsite Interviews(4-5 Rounds): A series of interviews is conducted. The first few are DS/Algo-based rounds while the later ones are system design rounds. Microsoft likes to ask mostly Array/Strings/LinkedList problems so the candidate is advised to especially prepare these topics. Arriving at the most optimized solution is key here. The design rounds test the candidate’s ability to design complex systems like Gmail, YouTube, Uber etc.

Microsoft Interview Preparation

1. Interview Preparation Tips

  • Gauge Your Plans: Microsoft is a deeply diverse company that deals with several different technologies. It is necessary as a candidate to go through the entirety of the company’s businesses, what they do and figure out where one fits, and where one sees themselves going forward. Understanding how things work on the inside can help come up with the right answers during the interviews.
  • Focus On Specifics: From how you have solved certain problems in a previous project to answering how you deal with working in a team, be specific about your experiences. This gives the interviewers a closer view of who you are as a person and how likely you are to be a good fit.
  • Know Beyond Microsoft: While it is a good idea to know what is happening inside Microsoft, it is important to know what is happening in the larger technology scene as well. Having a good understanding of newer areas with potential or even existing competitors can give you the edge when answering about what you want to do inside the company. Learn More
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many rounds are there in a Microsoft interview?

There are 5 - Rounds: Screening Interview(1 Round), Onsite Interviews(4-5 Rounds). Find out more.

2. How can I prepare for Microsoft Interview?

  • Make your resume one page long and must contain information that is important. Because recruiters only have 15 seconds to scan a CV, keep it short and accurate. Only write down what you are comfortable with; do not makeup anything during the interview because the interviewer will be able to tell if you are faking it. If you're going to talk about your project, you should also talk about its intricacy. Examine it.
  • If you will be graduating from a university, Microsoft offers a particular website dedicated to student recruitment
  • Microsoft occasionally recruits at job fairs, hackathons, and other events, but waiting for any of these opportunities to occur organically can be a long process, depending on where you are in the world. You can check out to see if there are any upcoming hackathons.
  • Maintain your LinkedIn, Github, and other profiles; recruiting managers utilise tools like LinkedIn, alumni databases, and professional associations to locate qualified candidates.
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3. What should I expect at a Microsoft interview?

The interview process often begins with a phone call from an HR recruiter to discuss your interests and determine which group or team would be the ideal fit for you. This chat will also be used by your recruiter to evaluate whether or not you have a possibility of getting the job. Prepare to discuss your background and why you'd be a good fit with Microsoft.

  • The first round of Microsoft: You'll move on to the next step of the process if things with the recruiter go smoothly. Depending on the team and role you're applying for, what occurs next is different. However, if you're an industry hire, you can normally expect a phone interview, an on-campus interview if you're a recent graduate, and in some situations, an online test instead of an actual interview. They're going to go over everything.
  • Phones featuring Technical screens: This is known as the 'phone screen', but it can also occur via video using Skype. The duration of each interview will be 45 to 60 minutes. You'll be interviewed by a colleague or a future manager, who will ask you a mix of technical and behavioural questions.
    • You should expect standard data structure and algorithm questions in the technical portion of the interview, which you'll have to answer in an online collaborative text editor. You'll need to get used to not having syntax highlighting or autocomplete in the text editor during your interview preparation. It's also worth noting that you're unlikely to be asked to design a system.
    • You can expect questions like this in the behavioural section 'Tell me about yourself', 'Why Microsoft?' or 'What Microsoft product is your favourite?' And why is that? 'Microsoft interviewers, in our experience, spend more time on behavioural questions than their Facebook or Google counterparts. As a result, it's important to make sure you're prepared for common behavioural queries (more on that later).
  • Interview on-campus: If you're a student, you'll almost always be interviewed in person rather than over the phone. You'll be offered a mixture of behavioural and technical questions to answer on a whiteboard. You may have many interviews on campus in some circumstances.
  • Online coding assessment: Before advancing a candidate to the onsite interviews, Microsoft may also use online coding assessments. The company uses a number of tests, but the most popular is a three-question examination offered by Codility that you must complete in 60 to 90 minutes. You must submit a solution to the problems, which are typical data structure and algorithm questions.
  • Onsite Interview: If you qualify for the first stage, you'll spend a full day at one of Microsoft's offices, taking part in four on-site interviews. These one-on-one interviews will last approximately 60 minutes and will include a mix of people from the team you're applying to join, including colleagues, the hiring manager, and occasionally a senior executive.
  • Types of questions: Three or four of your interviews will involve code problems (data structure and algorithm questions) that you must answer on a whiteboard. The last one or two interviews will focus on system design issues. All of your interviews will include behavioural questions.
    Coding and behavioural questions are likely to be exceedingly difficult for all candidates. You might not be asked system design questions if you're a junior (SDE II or lower). And if you do, the bar will be lower than for senior or mid-level engineers (e.g. Senior SDE or above).
  • The 'as appropriate', AA or ASAPP interview: Finally, you'll have one last interview with a Microsoft executive (e.g. your hiring manager or possibly their boss). 
    • Because you will only be requested to perform this interview if your first three interviews go well, it is commonly referred to as the 'as appropriate' AA, or ASAPP interview. If you don't do well in the first three, you'll be eliminated.
    • There are two duties for AA interviewers. The first is to make sure you don't have any blind spots in your analysis. If your first three interviews have determined that you fulfil technical hiring standards but are unsure about cultural fit, your AA interview will primarily consist of behavioural questions. If you fared well in earlier interviews, the second function of an AA interviewer is to 'offer' the company to you. The idea is that if Microsoft decides to make you an offer, they want to be sure you'll accept it.

4. Is Microsoft Software Engineer interview hard?

It isn't that difficult. Microsoft, for example, is looking for a skilled software engineer who can learn quickly and adapt to new technologies.

Regardless of the programming language you use or are familiar with, They all test your software engineering basics (Data Structures, Object Oriented, Algorithms, Problem-Solving, and so on), regardless of the programming language you know or use. Someone competent is expected to be able to learn anything (including a foreign language) quickly and easily.

However, depending on your level and the position you're applying for, you should expect inquiries regarding your previous experience and design. (For example, you can't work for the Windows Kernel team as a Senior Engineer without knowing what Kernel / IO is.) They assess the candidate on a variety of factors other than technical ability, including self-assurance, communication, willingness to learn, and teamwork.

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5. How long is the Microsoft Interview Process?

The complete interview process for a software engineer post at Microsoft takes about 1-2 months on average.

6. How do I apply for a job at Microsoft?

  • The business encourages looking for jobs on the Microsoft Careers page. This website allows you to create a profile, apply for open positions, set up job notifications, and track the progress of your application.
  • If you see several desirable positions, feel free to apply to all of them.
  • If you want to take part in the employee referral programme, contact your corporate contact and have them submit your information.

7. Why do you want to join Microsoft?

For three reasons, I want to work for Microsoft:

  • The first reason is that this is where I see myself in the long run. I want to have a great career with an organisation that will allow me to learn, grow, and develop. Microsoft has an incredible history of invention and ongoing achievement, and I want to have a successful career with an organisation that will allow me to learn, grow, and develop.
  • The second reason is that Microsoft is a place where I can be myself - I am an honest person with a wide range of talents and abilities, but I am also aware that I have much more to learn. As the phrase goes, 'knowledge can be learned, but trust must be won', and I believe that by hard work and an honest approach to duties, I will be able to win the trust of my coworkers and bosses.
  • Finally, Microsoft produces some incredible things that change and improve people's lives. Being creative is one of my favourite things to do at work, and what better place to use those creative skills than Microsoft!”

8. What are the benefits of working at Microsoft?

It is an unspoken rule at Microsoft India that our employees deserve nothing but the best from us because they are the brightest minds in the world! As a result, they are provided with the best possible perks to enhance their work experience and keep them rejuvenated every day! The following are some of the benefits accessible to our employees:

  • Employees maximise their experience by forming their own group. Social and networking groups are available through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
  • Provide flexible work schedules, extensive vacation time, and holidays so you may spend time with your family or pursue hobbies outside of work. Microsoft is dedicated to providing support and time away from work so that employees may focus on the people who are most important to them.
  • Employees can broaden their knowledge on a range of topics, stay current in their area, and gain new skills as their careers grow.
  • With our world-class health care benefits and extensive well-being benefits, you and your family may attain and maintain your greatest physical and mental health.
  • Employees can benefit from the various programs designed by Microsoft such as the Tuition Assistance Program, Health Care Programs, Employee Assistance Programs, Fitness Programs, Employee Stock Purchase Programs, Child Care Benefit, Vehicle Lease, Night Time Allowance and many more.

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