I’m certainly not the first guy to write about interviewing with Microsoft but I will share some of the things I’ve used to prepare for my interview sequence. Microsoft recruiters will conduct a phone interview first and if you make the cut they’ll invite you up to do an in-person interview. For Software Development Engineer (SDE), Software Development Engineer in Test (SDE/T — pronounced “ess-det”), and Program Manager (PM) positions the interviews are very technical. Microsoft has gotten kind of legendary for their interviewing processes and techniques. Wikipedia has a pretty good article on Microsoft’s interviewing processes and techniques.
Below I’ve just listed the resources I’ve used to prepare for my phone interview.
- The Microsoft Interview by Jason Looney. Has a pretty good rundown of logic questions that look legit — could certainly see these appearing in the future.
- Interview Questions on Wikipedia’s article. These are more technical questions. For instance, “How would you test a pen?”
- Microsoft’s JobsBlog has a TON of info on specific components of the interview. It’s maintained by their recruiters and HR folks — the same people that will be interviewing you — so you know the info on there is legit!
- Just a list of interview questions… Seems like some more legit info that you should know.
I also found it useful to read other people’s experiences with phone interviews. Some are successful, some are not.
- Microsoft Phone Interview
- Something from the JoS message board?
- Pretty good list of questions that one interviewee was asked.
- Something on the JobsBlog. It’s more of an interview witht he interviewer than it is an interviewee’s experience.
- An interesting account — with code samples!
- Ada Chen’s Search Marketing Specialist interview. This isn’t technical interview like what I’m preparing for but it does give some insight in to what’s going through the interviewer’s head, etc.
The important tips/points I’ve learned so far are listed below. I’ve kind of scraped these from other pages.
- Try to walk around during your phone call. It will keep you alert.
- Prepare ahead of time. Make a list of common questions and your answers. Look at the links about for common questions.
- Sound like you’re really in to it! I mean come on, it’s Microsoft. Passion about technology is #1!
- Prepare some questions for the end. I hear that they ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview. It would be a good idea to have some prepared! Come on, I’m sure you’ve got some…it’s just a matter of harvesting them.
- Answer questions honestly. They’re not interested in buying a personality they’re interested in buying your skills.
- Be concise.