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Microsoft Senior Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated 5 Mar 2019
61 Interview Reviews

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Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA (US)
No Offer
Negative Experience
Easy Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA (US)) in March 2015.

Interview

Short phone conversation with recruiter/HR, which lead to a Skype-based technical screening/interview. After passing the technical screen, I was flown out to Seattle for on-site interviews. Two one-on-one interviews in the morning, followed by a lunch-based "team-fit" interview, then an afternoon interview with the hiring manager. Each interview was roughly an hour long, with a short break between each.

Interview Questions

  • Given a particular (naive) run-length compression algorithm. How can you improve the compression ratio of this algorithm without affecting certain properties (streaming, performance, etc.). Discuss.   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (9)  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA (US)) in August 2015.

    Interview

    There were overall 3 interviews as I am an internal candidate. First two were focused on data structures, the third one is about a design. Total 3 hours for interviews. The questions were related to Graph theory and dynamic programming in data structures area. The design question was related to building scalable notification system. Interviewers asked for recent experiences and challenges and also the reason for looking for change. The questions were closely related to the problems the teams are working on.

    Interview Questions

    • The technical questions are:1. How do you find if a directed graph is a tree and code for it?
      2. Dynamic programming - 5 Painters to paint homes at the least cost - given different cost for painting with different colors(3 choice colors). Conditon: No adjacent homes in the 5 houses that are in a row can't have same color.
      3. Design a scalable notification system.   1 Answer

  2.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA (US)) in May 2015.

    Interview

    A recruiter called me to schedule a phone screen technical interview with a developer team lead. The technical interview was supposed to be an hour but lasted an hour and a half; the team lead was very interested in my project work, and the overall impression was very positive, even though no coding was tested during the phone screen. Before I stepped into the office, I got the e-mail request for me to fly to Seattle and meet the team the following week. Scheduling was very easy to work with and I had no issues getting to Seattle; a rental car was even booked for me, and meals and parking can be expensed. The first interview was with the recruiter, who was very friendly and provided some insightful information on how the interviews work and a schedule with the people I would meet. She also mentioned that there were multiple teams monitoring these interviews and that if I did well in the interviews there would be additional interviews that were not on the schedule. While there was a lunch interview that was a bit more casual (no whiteboard = no coding), I didn't let my guard down; all other interviews were highly technical and required coding or analyzing code. I eventually met double the number of people I was scheduled for and the interviews lasted 7 hours. It was a gruelling day, and one interviewer asked me questions outside of my knowledge zone, but it was extremely insightful as to the difficulty level of a first-tier software tech company interview, and I learned a lot of what was being expected at Microsoft.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Microsoft in March 2015.

    Interview

    Unlike other comparable companies, Microsoft seems to do extra work for finding out the right interviewer who can correctly evaluate and investigate your capability. Although I couldn't make it, the interview with Microsoft was one of the most pleasant interviews. The interviewer showed a lot of interest in and asked about my past works.

    Interview Questions

    • The interviewer asked all the work that I described in my resume.   Answer Question

  4. Helpful (13)  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA (US)
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA (US)) in June 2015.

    Interview

    Had an initial interview with a recruiter. Then had a tech screen (phone interview), followed by an on-site interview with 3 engineering leads followed by an interview by the manager. Happened on Friday, got the offer on following Monday.
    Incredibly professional, engaging and challenging. Learnt quite a bit about myself in the process. Got to give it to Microsoft!
    From the arrangements (Flight/Hotel etc.) to the actual interviews, it was a genuine pleasure. Highly recommend the experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Questions on design patterns. Design system for a hypothetical e-commerce store...entities...design it to be distributed.   1 Answer
    • Print a matrix in spiral fashion...so
      Matrix input example (Arrows indicate how the spiral happens...start at first arrow go in circle and move to next arrow...etc.)
      ->1 1 1 1 1
         1 -> 2 2 2 1
         1 2 2 2 1
         1 1 1 1 1

      Output: 11111111111111222222   1 Answer
    • Clone a linked list that has a cycle (do not fix the cycle). Is there a way to uniquely identify a node without relying on a hash code?   1 Answer
    • a) Develop a XML parser (rules: Node closures and single root node..i.e. root node cannot be duplicated in structure).
      b) Count occurrences of words in a string (with string too large to be processed in memory).   1 Answer
    • a) Develop LRU cache
      b) Design distribute file storage system with load balancing and fail-safes (machine taken offline or new machine/node added)   1 Answer

  5.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA (US)).

    Interview

    Usually there are six rounds of interviews. First round is kind of technical screening and next two rounds of technical problem solving questions. Two more rounds for design questions and finally a discussion with the manager or skip level.

    Interview Questions


  6.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA (US)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA (US)) in December 2014.

    Interview

    Normal phone screening first and then the full interview loop. Completed three rounds which comprises of all algorithms on linked list and binary search tree in the first two interviews and then in the third interview about the design question.

    Interview Questions

    • Question on linked list and binary search tree.   1 Answer

  7.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. I interviewed at Microsoft.

    Interview

    It was really interesting interview process. There were 5 conversations in 1x1 format plus 1 extra, so 6 total. Mostly we talked about my experience and around it. Each interviewer asked certain area of my experience in deep details. So you have to refresh you memory.

    Interview Questions

    • Reverse string.
      Implement ntoa.
      Get number of ones in a M bit variable.
      Design and implement message passing for multiprocessor system (were given some specific hardware restrictions)
      Design and implement malloc/free for some specific requirements.
      Design embedded RTOS and implement scheduler, task switching and interrupt handler.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    It was brutal; 10 hours of detailed programming questions, alternating with going to the whiteboard. Lots of C++ code chock full of errors, some obvious; others subtle

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    no need to negotiate; offer was very competitive


  9. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Seattle, WA (US)).

    Interview

    I had an interview with 6 different people for 2 different position after 2 phone interviews.

    Interview Questions

    • What's the test process that ensures that your code is good to go?   Answer Question

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