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Microsoft Senior Software Development Engineer Interview Questions

Updated 5 Mar 2019
61 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (14)  

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

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Midlothian, VA (US)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Microsoft (Midlothian, VA (US)) in April 2013.

    Interview

    I applied online for a job out of state. I was offered an interview, but they would not fly me out to their offices. I would have had to front that all myself.

    Interview Questions


  2. Helpful (5)  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hyderabad
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Hyderabad) in February 2012.

    Interview

    I had a one-on-one interview last week. The interview started on time and a very senior engineer spoke with me. We started with my experience and then he asked me to code this problem:
         Find the probability of legal moves made by a knight in a NxN matrix in m steps.

    I had heard this problem for the first time and I decided to give my best shot at it. I started thinking aloud and was exploring if I can use combinatorial maths to solve the problem. Later on I tried to find a pattern but that didnt succeed either. Then I moved on to applying dynamic programming technique by which time interviewer interrupted and told me to use something simpler and start from a specific point in matrix (btw, I have figured out a generic algo using dynamic programming now). Then I took a step back and modeled the problem using a tree (and coordinate geometry) where each node specifies a position in matrix . Also, each node would know if its a "legal" node or not based on its coordinates. Using DFS, we can calculate the number of legal moves and divide by the total number of legal moves. The complexity of this algo was exponential but it worked :-)

    After figuring out the algo, I was asked to write a working code and I was already running out of time. I quickly wrote the classes and the main method. For brevity of time, I cut out the input validations and just wrote the meat of the logic. Interviewer asked me if I can think of any optimizations. I had many ideas floating in my head but they were very fluid. After all, it wasn't an easy problem and as far as I am concerned, it could be a Master's thesis problem as I was hearing this problem for the first time :-)

    Interviewer was very polite and I enjoyed speaking with him. But I got a decline from Microsoft :-( I am not sure what the reason could be but I am just wondering that are there no marks for original thinking on the feet, even if the solution wasn't the most optimal? I can bet that if someone even in microsoft is asked to work on complex problems, it might take a few hours, if not days. And even if he is given the most optimal solution on a paper, implementing that in code within an hour would be a challenge. Maybe its sour grapes, but I think there is something lacking in interview process -shouldn't original thinking be given more weightage than getting the right solution? And how can one guage in interview that a person has R&D mindset or not? For the last 2 days I have been thinking about the problem and yesterday I discovered a technique using dynamic programming which is more generic and very optimal. Can the interview process which runs for a few hours capture this? If Microsoft expects people (who are hearing about a problem the first time) to do R&D, design and code in one hour, without any bugs, then all the professors in MIT should be churning out research papers at the rate of one paper per hour :-)

    Thanks for going through my rant....

    Interview Questions

    • Probability of a knight making a valid move on NxN matrix in m steps.   4 Answers
  3. Helpful (3)  

    Senior Engineer - Software Development Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hyderabad
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Hyderabad) in August 2017.

    Interview

    The interview was nicely planned and HR guys will be in touch with you until interview date. The interview will nearly start at the time given to you.
    Comprised of 3 - 4 technical rounds based on your feedback. This may include design round. In my case, they were all algorithmic rounds.
    Difficulty level increases with the rounds: Last round for me was very difficult.
    Topics they covered: -

    Interview Questions

    • (Third Round) shortest-path-to-transform-one-word-into-another   1 Answer
    • Second Round:- 3 DS & Algo problems
              1). merging multiple linked list so that they could be flattened.
               2). Searching a number in sorted and rotated list.
              3). Implementation of phone book & discussion.   Answer Question
    • First Round: -
             1). About myself, 2). The architecture of my current project 3). Removing Duplicate elements string
       problem   1 Answer

  4.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Microsoft in June 2017.

    Interview

    I have applied online. after 3 weeks HR guy called me and setup phone interview time. On that day a technical guy were asking many questions related to Data Structure and Algorithm. at the end he said my interview result is positive and they are happy to see me at headquarter for face to face interview.

    Interview Questions


  5.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hyderabad
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at Microsoft (Hyderabad) in April 2016.

    Interview

    Very structured and have higher standards for the hiring process. Went through each project in detail, during which they asked many technical questions related to each topic. They thoroughly check your basics in each of the project while you explain. The interviewer explains the expectations they have for the person filling the position too.

    Interview Questions

    • Asked questions on searching for a specific word in huge amount of data.   Answer Question

  6.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hyderabad
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Hyderabad) in April 2017.

    Interview

    5-6 rounds of interview. You need to do coding and be ready to code on paper as well. It's not so easy to get into, but if you are good at it, you will get it.

    Interview Questions


  7.  

    Senior Software Development Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA (US)).

    Interview

    Applied through Microsoft Careers. A couple of weeks later was contacted by Hiring Manager via e-mail who suggested to have a phone conversation. During phone talk we discussed my past experience, my approaches to solve problems and I was asked to solve one algorithmic problem. Soon after that I was contacted by HR team who invited me for on-site interview in Redmond. Trip to on-site was perfectly organized and I really enjoyed it. I had whole day on-site interview. I was pleasantly surprised that besides algorithmic and design problems interviewers also discussed my past experience, asked for the examples how I solve problems at work and overall they definitely read my resume :-) A couple of weeks after my on-site interview I was contacted by recruiter who told me that I've got the offer.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    No negotiation. Offer was very good.

  8.  

    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


  9.  

    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

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