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Microsoft Software Development Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 08, 2014
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Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Sydney

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2013.

Interview Details Submitted resume. Initial interview with recruiter consisted of resume review and a couple of brain teasers. Interview with engineer consisted of a coding question.

Final interview day in Sydney consisted of 3 interviews with engineers.

Interview Questions

  • N people in a party consisting of celebrities and normal people. All normal people know the celebrities but celebrities don't know anyone but themselves. Write code to find the celebrity.   Answer Question
  • Given an integer as input, return the number of 1s in the input's binary form.   Answer Question
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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Sydney

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

Interview Details I handed my resume to the people at the Microsoft stand at my University's career fair and got an email a few weeks after asking me to come to the initial screening. I got to talk to one person about myself for half an hour, including my approach towards software engineering and why encapsulation is important etc. The next half hour was spent solving a simple C problem and talking about the differences between Java and C++.

A few days later I was invited for a full interview in a month. It was a four hour marathon session with four software developers.

Interview Question – This one took me by surprise: write a function in C that will verify if an IPv4 address is correct or not.   View Answer

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6 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Sydney

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2013.

Interview Details My first interview was a brief phone screening which was just about me and my projects.

I was then invited to join an online group meeting on Microsoft Lync which is similar to Skype, during which a member of HR spoke to all candidates. They discussed the next interview process and answered any questions asked by the candidates (there were about 35 candidates).

A date and time was allocated by follow-up email for each of us to attend the interview in the Sydney Office. On my interview day, there was a total of 5 interviewers (all senior members of the Microsoft team), and 5 interviewees. We each received 3-4, 1on1 interviews in separate rooms, rotating between the interviewers. A decision may be made after 3 interviews or you may be given a final 4th interview if needed.

I went through a total of 4 interviews, 45 minutes each with 15 minute break in-between. The breaks were spent with the other candidates and a member of the HR who discussed about Microsoft’s work and workplace.

The interviews generally went like so:
First 5-15 minutes:
• The interviewer introduces themselves and their job.
• Asks about you, your projects and your past work (basically your resume).
Next 25-35 minutes:
• Interviewer gives you 1-2 problems, you are to provide your implementation on the white board.
• Interviewer asks you to give test cases to your implementation.
Final 5 minutes:
• Any questions you may have for the interviewer.

My Interview Questions:
1. Write a function to determine if a string is a Palindrome
2.
    a. Give a list of expected functionality for the “Linked List” data structure
    b. Write a function to reverse a Linked List
3.
    a. Write a function to determine if a number is prime.
    b. Write a function to reverse an integer (i.e. 123 = 321), with O(1) space complexity.
    c. Write a function to round a float to the nearest integer (i.e. 3.14 = 3, 3.56 = 4).
4. Write a function to print all paths of a binary tree to a certain depth/length.
Example,
Input:
The following binary tree, searching to a depth of 3
      5
     / \
  3 7
 / \ / \
1 2 5 8

Output:
5-3-1
5-3-2
5-7-5
5-7-8

Interview Questions

  • Write a function to reverse an integer (i.e. 123 = 321), with O(1) space complexity.   Answer Question
  • Write a function to print all paths of a binary tree to a certain depth/length.   Answer Question
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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Adelaide

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in December 2012.

Interview Details Submitting resume at campus recruiting. Two stages. Interviewing with one HR officer and one technical officer. Question includes why Microsoft, what makes good code/bad code, your favourite coding languages, puzzles. Technical questions involve how you deal with problems while coding, arrays, queue implementation .... More thorough technical interview in the final round.

Interview Question – How do you test a website?   View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer
Sydney

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Microsoft in August 2012.

Interview Details I got the interview through university career events applications. I guess you have a better chance than applying online if you apply through your university. The interview had 2 rounds; the first round was mostly about my background and what I like and dont like about microsoft and how can I improve it. In addition to some technical questions and some design questions like design a clock for blind users.

Interview Question – Questions about hardware, memory allocations, pointers!   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Pittsburgh, PA (US)

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Microsoft in March 2014.

Interview Details The interview was on campus. The interviewer was nice and easy. He asked a few really short behavioral questions and then went to the programming question. There was only one programming question which was to write a simple fizz buzz program, in any programming language. I chose C. He then asked where in the code could go wrong.

Interview Question – where in a C program could go wrong   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Seattle, WA (US)

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in April 2014.

Interview Details 4 rounds of interviews. First to find a solution to a Sudoku. Second round is to give you a word and a 4 * 4 grid with each square is an character, you can go up, down, left, and right, to judge whether the word can be found in this grid. Third round is to design an online shopping system. Final Round is to find all prime numbers from 1 to 1000.

Interview Question – The second round, give you a word and a 4 * 4 grid with each square is an character, you can go up, down, left, and right, to judge whether the word can be found in this grid.   View Answer

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3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Microsoft in May 2011.

Interview Details couple of phone interviews. After I cleared them, they scheduled the main interview. Had five rounds in the main interview. All of them involved algorithms, data structures and coding. I did four of them pretty well and one not so good.

Interview Question – You have an existing set of words. You are then given two words (word1 and word2) as input. Can you provide and algorithm to transform word1 to word2 in several steps such that the intermediate word generated in each step belongs to the existing set of words. At each step, you are allowed to only modifying one character, or add one character or delete one character. If you feel such an algorithm can exist, can you also provide me an algorithm which can transform word1 into word2 in minimum number of steps.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

Interviewed at Microsoft

Interview Details Questions were not asked clearly. He didn't care at all to clarify questions and even sounded rude on that, when I asked for further clarification, he just repeated the question, never tried to even rephrase it!

Interview Question – Memory allocation   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer Interview

Software Development Engineer

I applied through college or university and the process took 6+ months - interviewed at Microsoft.

Interview Details I got in contact through a fair at college. After I gave them my resume there, they reached out for a phone interview. The phone interview was relatively average. After the phone interview, they sent me an email saying I got past the phone round and they wanted me to go to Redmond, but they had no positions available anymore, so I could try again next year and bypass the phone round.

The next year I went to Redmond and toured campus and interviewed with 4 or 5 people. Each asked different questions. Two of the interviews were technical and the rest were just discussion.

Interview Question – They asked my to create a minesweeper game.   Answer Question

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