The Microsoft interview for software engineers is one of the toughest technical interviews to crack. That’s mainly because of the stiff competition, an arduous interview process, and an acceptance rate of less than 2%. The Microsoft interview process aims to test one’s ability to solve complex problems in coding and scalable systems design. Many times, even engineers with several years of experience fail to get past the grueling interview rounds, owing to Microsoft’s supremely high standards while making hiring decisions.
To ace the Microsoft interview and land that coveted offer, it takes more than just knowing how to solve coding problems. Recruiters and hiring managers look at a bunch of aspects before making a hiring decision. That is exactly what we’ll discuss in this article. We'll look at what you should include in your Microsoft interview prep plan if you want to ace the interview.
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Let’s go ahead and look at what the ideal Microsoft interview preparation plan looks like. We’ll also take a look at the Microsoft interview process, some sample Microsoft interview questions, and cogent tips to ace your interview.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
The Microsoft interview process for software engineers is among the toughest technical interviews. The interview evaluates your programming and design skills while also evaluating you in areas such as behavioral psychology and leadership.
The Microsoft interview process consists of three main stages -
In this round, a recruiter from Microsoft's human resources will get in touch with you after you’ve evinced interest in the position. In this round, recruiters aim to understand your professional skills, experience, and other relevant personal details. The main idea is to figure out if your profile is the right match for the role in question.
This is a remote interview round that aims to filter in the right candidates for the On-site interview. The Technical Phone Screen fundamentally tests your ability to solve coding problems in core data structures and algorithms. You’re given 1-2 coding problems in core data structures in this round. A hiring manager who conducts this round will ask you to brute-force the problem solution and write error-free code (either on a shared document or a remote interviewing tool). The Technical Phone Screen lasts about 30 minutes.
If your performance in the round is satisfactory, you’re invited to the Microsoft On-site interview.
The On-site interview is the most important part of the Microsoft interview process and comprises 3-4 rounds. These rounds include coding, systems design, and behavioral interviews, each spanning about 30 minutes. There is more focus on systems design and behavioral interviews for senior developer and managerial positions. For junior positions, coding interviews have a higher weightage in the On-site round.
Having a sound prep strategy in place is extremely important if you wish to crack the Microsoft interview. Here, we’ll look at a strategic 2-month Microsoft interview prep plan that will get you through the grueling rounds of Microsoft interviews with ease.
Questions asked at the Microsoft interview can be split into three categories:
Let’s look at some sample Microsoft interview questions in each category.
Coding is a key evaluation area in the Technical Phone Screen and On-site interview rounds. Following are the essential coding topics to prepare for the Microsoft interview.
Let’s go ahead and look at some sample Microsoft coding interview questions:
Want access to more coding problems to practice for the Microsoft interview? Check out these Microsoft Interview Questions for Software Engineers.
Systems design interview questions are asked during the design round of the Microsoft On-site interview.
Before we look at some sample interview questions on distributed systems design, let’s look at the essential topics to prepare for the systems design interview.
Below are some sample Microsoft systems design interview questions:
Behavioral interviews are supremely important and significantly influence the hiring decisions of recruiters.
Microsoft behavioral interview questions are typically around the following areas:
Below are some sample Microsoft behavioral interview questions:
These superb tips will help you ace your Microsoft interview:
Q1. How many interview rounds are there in the Microsoft interview for software engineers?
The Microsoft interview typically takes place over three stages - the initial recruiter screen, the technical phone screen, and the on-site interview.
Q2. What are the coding concepts to prepare for the Microsoft interview?
To answer Microsoft interview questions on coding, you should prepare the following concepts in core data structures and algorithms - Arrays, Strings, Linked Lists, Recursion, Sorting Algorithms, Hash Tables, Graphs, Trees, and Dynamic Programming.
Q3. How much time should you spend preparing for the Microsoft coding interview?
To cover all the important coding concepts around core data structures and algorithms, you should aim to solve 1-2 coding problems every day for at least 2 months before your Microsoft interview.
Q4. How many Microsoft interview questions are asked in the technical phone screen interview?
In the Microsoft Technical Phone Screen, you’re generally asked one or two problems in core data structures and algorithms. The Technical Phone Screen is a remote interview typically conducted via a remote interviewing tool.
Q5. What is the salary range of software engineers at Microsoft?
Salaries offered to Microsoft software engineers range between $154k and $504k per annum.
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