My Microsoft Software Design Engineer Internship Interview:
I drove from the Redmond Inn to building 19 (recruiting building) I reached
there about 10:40 AM and checked in with the receptionist and they gave me a
name tag (so that I was labeled as a recruit all day) and an application to
11AM – 12PM: Met with my Recruiter, she took care of some administrative stuff
and asked me some general questions like:
What is your educational background?
What is a problem that you found challenging and how did you overcome it?
What is something that you like or dislike about a Microsoft product and Why?
She gave me an overview of how my day would go. She then told me that the two
groups I would be interviewing with were Outlook and Authoring (i.e. Word,
Publisher, etc.). All of my interviews were chained together and I didn’t know
who my next interviewer was until the end of the previous interview. They all
took me to the atrium of the building where my next interviewer was and had me
sit there till the interviewer came. I waited there for a few minutes before
someone came out and recognized me by my “nice recruiting name tag” and
introduced themselves and took me back to their office.
12PM – 1:30PM: Interview #1 with Outlook Group (Lunch Interview) - I had to
write some code that would traverse and rearrange nodes in a special tree,
given the definition of the tree node.
1:30PM – 2:30PM: Interview #2 with Outlook Group - I had to implement a
function to validate a binary search tree.
2:30PM – 3:30PM: Interview #3 with Authoring Group - I had to implement a
function that would return the pointer to the previous character in a character
array that took into consideration two different types of characters a single
and a double byte character.
3:30PM – 4:30PM: Interview #4 with Authoring Group - I had to implement a
function that would return the best poker hand that a given set of cards could
Overall I thought the whole experience was good. I liked answering the coding
questions, they were kind of fun. It is also true what you hear about the free
drinks; I saw coolers with free drinks all over campus! One other thing I liked
is that I didn’t see any cubicles; it seems that every Microsoft employee has
there own office and they can decorate it how they want. In general I liked the
whole campus atmosphere. They had ping-pong tables, pool tables, video games
and other things scattered throughout the buildings.
A little advise to anyone interviewing (primarily about writing code on the
- Ask questions so that you fully understand the problem
- Talk through your solution as you write it, so the interviewer can see your
- Try to relax and just have fun, because if you don’t have fun writing code
then you are probably interviewing for the wrong job anyways.
the information is coming from my own memory of my interview day. Microsoft is
not involved with this posting in any way. Note that the times are approximate
and I purposefully did not disclose the interviewer’s names so don’t ask for
them. I also purposefully didn’t give specifics about the coding questions. I
primarily wrote this post for the people who have been emailing me or
commenting on previous postings wanting to know more information about my