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Microsoft Program Manager Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 15, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

49%
17%
16%

Interview Experience  

66%
23%
10%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
265 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager

I applied through college or university and interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details Contacted at uni to apply for program management positions. Recruiters were very friendly and prompt to reply. Scheduled an initial video chat with one of the PM leads at Microsoft. Interviewer did not seem friendly / pleased to be doing the interviewing. Chatted about their role then dove into quite tough questions. Felt on the back foot most of the interview. Questioned how I would tackle some of the more complex problems they are currently facing as a team (e.g. how I might improve Bing Search). Couple of technical puzzler style questions (bit more algorithmic than "why are manholes round"), which were a bit unexpected for a PM role. Would recommend being familiar with the entire Microsoft range and not accidentally mentioning any competitors (probably obvious, but being uncomfortable with acknowledging the elephant in the room of Google Search was a bit unexpected).

Interview Question – You have a 5-sided die. You need to produce a uniform random number between 1-7. You can re-roll the die as much as you need. How do you achieve this?   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager

I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details Mostly tested on capability to think through. Hardly evaluate a person on specialized areas (unless that job is meant to be that way). They do ask situational questions to see whether u have the maturity to handle it. There is no right or wrong in many of these questions.

Interview Question – Data structure question on B-Trees.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – no. it is a preset package when I came into Microsoft.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Singapore (Singapore)

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in June 2011.

Interview Details I was approached by a recruiter for this position. There was a series of 1 hour interviews, with 6 different people and it is usually conducted via phone conference or live meeting. I was spoke with team members from EMEA, APAC and NA.

Interview Question – I was given a business case to be completed in a week by the hiring manager. During the interview, I was asked questions about the business case with a focus on managing customers' expectation and dealing with difficult scenarios. Project management questions are asked.   View Answer


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in January 2014.

Interview Details I Applied through campus recruiting. Was contacted through a recruiter afterwards who then set up a date for the phone interview. The phone interview was very relaxed and didn't get very technical. The last question was a brain teaser.

Interview Question – nothing too difficult, interview was as expected   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Redmond, WA (US)

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in October 2013.

Interview Details I was a previous intern in IT for Microsoft and elected to interview on the Products side. I bluffed that I had standing offers with other companies which expedited my interview process. On-site interview was a full day with 6 interviewers who asked many questions and answered any I had.

Interview Question – Where do you see the company and yourself in 5 years?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I negotiated a larger signing bonus of about 150%


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Redmond, WA (US)

I applied in-person and interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details None, I had worked on the team before and the hiring manager knew what to expect. He also had very specific tasks in mind and needed help asap. I think my language skills came into play as this was a China project. I speak Mandarin natively.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager

I applied online and interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details not so great

Interview Question – given a chance to join apple, Microsoft where do u join?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – nothing


No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details I was an FTE for several years and now an external doing an informational interview. Pretty sad and disappointing to know the process is so broken. Had heard negative stories from others but didn't believe it until I became an external again. They simply do_not respond to you if they aren't moving forward with you. Not even a courtesy email. I wish they put some feedback process in place to check on these vendors-recruiters' work. They leave bad impression, which is totally against their hiring principles.

Interview Question – Your stack rank in record.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Redmond, WA (US)

I applied through college or university - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2014.

Interview Details The interview process was a great experience. My initial interview was an on campus interview where we discussed some of the information on my resume as well as the infamous why Microsoft question. We touched a little on coding, basic algorithm and implementation stuff followed by some design talk which is where I think I did the best. The following day I received an email saying I was scheduled to be flown out to Washington for final round interviews. I was asked to provide several options for interviews. My initial onsite interview was cancelled due to a conflict and had to be rescheduled. Over the next few days I was asked to correspond with Microsoft Staffing to reschedule. My interview was then moved to the following week. Microsoft put me up in a really nice hotel and offered me a stipend for food while I was there. On my interview day I met with a recruiter who gave me an overview of what to expect throughout the day. She then placed me on a shuttle to my first interview. I had a series of 4 interviews the last 2 significantly better than the first 2. After completing all of my interviews I was taking back to where I had began the day where I received a parting gift. A few days later I received the email that I would not be getting the offer. The overall experience was really good though no complaints.

Interview Question – I struggle with a technical question during my first interview that asked something along the lines how would you create and implement database that deals with multiple servers?   Answer Question


3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Redmond, WA (US)

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details Did the interview process for my internship, got an offer, did my internship, and got an offer to join as FTE at the end. The process was clear but dealing with HR folks has been quite cumbersome. Way too many people in the HR process!

Interview Question – Since I was interviewing for a Program Manager role, all the questions rotated around software development management (read the "Mythical Man Month" book!), explaining products that I like and don't like (why I like it, why I don't, how I would change, what is good, etc). People were very nice and the interviewing process was very pleasant.
Communication and social skills are a must for PMs, so if you like to work alone in front of your computer, that's not for you.
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Since I was coming straight from the internship and college, the HR didn't want to negotiate. I insisted and talked with my hiring manager...doubled my hiring bonus! Don't be shy!

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