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SDE - Intern
Microsoft
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5 rounds | 10 Coding problems
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Interview preparation journey
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Preparation
Duration: 2 months
Topics: Data Structures, Algorithms, OOPS, Dynamic Programming, Graphs, Trees, Linked List
Tip
Tip

Tip 1 : Improve your problem-solving skills from the start only and do competitive coding.
Tip 2 : Try to expertise DS Algo for Product based companies.
Tip 3 : Work on small projects to explore the real scenario of product development.
Tip 4 : Learn how to make an effective resume and prepare according to your resume.

Application process
Where: Campus
Eligibility: All students of CS, IT, ETC, Electrical having 70% till 4th semester with no current backlogs were eligible for the profile.
Resume Tip
Resume tip

Tip 1 : Make 1 Page Resume mentioning your achievements in a quantitative manner.
Tip 2 : Participate in the renowned contest e.g. Google Kickstart, Google Hashcode, Google Codejam, Facebook Hackercup and mention their ranks.
Tip 3 : Do small projects and mention them. Prepare their application, future score and challenges faced.

Interview rounds
01
Round
Medium
Online Coding Interview
Duration90 minutes
Interview date7 Aug 2019
Problems3

The First Round comprised of 3 Programming Problems (90 minutes) mainly based on Competitive Coding. It was on Mettl Platform.
There were different sets of problems.
I solved all 3 problems completely in approx 45 minutes. 130 students were registered for this round and 122 attempted and 70 qualified for next round. The qualified list was quite strange few students who solved 1, 2 problems completely were not qualified and few solving all 3 problems partially qualified for next round.

Program to find the Roots of Quadratic equation

You have been given 3 integers 'A', 'B', 'C' which are the coefficients of the quadratic equation (AX^2 + BX + C = 0). Your task is to find the real ro...

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Problem approach

I used the formula (-B +- root(B^2-4*AC))/2*A
to get roots then now for rounding up to 3 decimal places.
Let say roots are
double r1 and double r2
Now for rounding up to 3 decimal places
r1 = round(1000*r1)/1000
similarly for r2
As round function in CPP only round to nearest
integral
then finally return r1 and r2

Try solving now
Minimum operation needed to convert to the given string

You are given two strings 'str1' and 'str2'. Find the minimum operations required to convert str1 into str2.

An Operation is defined as:
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Try solving now
Merging Intervals

This problem was also revolved around some story but soul idea was there were several intervals given in form l to r. We need to merge the intersecting intervals and tell the number of intervals left after merging. Eg. (1, 5), (9, 15), (2, 6), (7, 8) answer will be 3 as we will have (1, 6), (7, 8), (9, 15).

Problem approach

I first sorted the intervals in ascending order of 'R' then I traversed the intervals from left to right keeping the endpoint of the last interval and checking if it's intersecting with new interval or not and updating answer accordingly.

02
Round
Hard
Coding Test - Pen and paper
Duration45 minutes
Interview date7 Aug 2019
Problems0

This was the group fly round and there was a problem-related to algorithm design to manage an Airport considering all the constraints of the Airport given by them. There were 3 sections of the problem Algorithm, Data Structures Used, Test case scenarios.

26 students qualified for next round out of 70.

03
Round
Medium
Face to Face
Duration45-60 minutes
Interview date7 Aug 2019
Problems1

This was the first Technical Round.
It revolved around Resume, Projects, Problems Solving and OOPS.

First He asked me to tell me about yourself. I told him that I love to do CP and I was having good achievements in my CV related to CP. But he hasn’t asked anything related to CP.
He told me to pick any one of your projects and explain it to me. I explained to him thoroughly and he asked a few doubts and I cleared them and it went good. Then he asked me to pick one more project and explain it to me. This also went the same as earlier. I was having a total of 5 small projects.
 

Then he asked me that do you know OOPs. I said I will be having this subject in my current semester but I studied by myself. So he asked me to explain inheritance. I explained with an example. He told me to write code in any language. He then asked me that can we inherit a protected or private member of a base class as a public member in child class. He asked me the meaning of inheriting with different classifiers like public, protected, private and asked about the reason behind that. I was not so sound on OOPs so I gave my answers with disclaimer that I am not so sound in OOPs.

Diagonal Traversal of binary tree

You have been given a binary tree of integers. You have to return all the diagonal paths of the binary tree. A diagonal path is one in which all the nodes pass through -1 slope line.

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Try solving now
04
Round
Medium
Face to Face
Duration45-60 minutes
Interview date7 Aug 2019
Problems5

This was the second technical Round.
This time I got a female interviewer and she was more friendly, she was already impressed by my achievements of competitive coding. She said you have so many achievements So, you will have difficult problems. I said I will try my best.

Total Number of BSTs using array elements as root node

You are given a sequence array 'ARR' of ‘N’ integers. For each ARR[i] where 0 <= ‘i’ < 'N' , your task is to find the number of Binary search trees(BST) possib...

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Problem approach

I tried solving the problem using recursion ignoring the constraint of even numbers. So I was able to figure out the DP relation of Catalan number. Then I observed that we can only keep the numbers greater than greatest even number on root and rest we can use our Catalan number observation to get the final answer. She didn't ask me to code, she was fine with approach only.

Try solving now
Swap Number Without Temporary Variable

Given two variables ‘X’ and ‘Y’. Your task is to swap the number without using a temporary variable or third variable.

Sw...

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Problem approach

I answered all the possible ways. She also asked me to determine which number is greater among 2 numbers using Bitwise Operators. I was thinking about that problem and I was not able to find anyway and she interrupted and said it’s okay I also forgot small things.

Try solving now
Project Discussion

Next, she jumped to my very small project of Line Following Bot and we discussed it’s working.

Minimum steps to reach target by a Knight

You have been given a square chessboard of size ‘N x N’. The position coordinates of the Knight and the position coordinates of the target are also given.

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Problem approach

I explained the solution but she asked me is it possible to do it with DFS? and Why BFS? why not DFS? I explained her the approach from both perspective and proved BFS is better.

Try solving now
System Design and Technical Discussion

She said I think it’s already been 40 minutes, So I should leave you and she asked me to ask questions to her. I asked her that we learn these DS and Algo. How we are going to use these in real-life projects. She said now you have raised problems for yourself, I will ask you 2 more questions. The whole conversion was very light and friendly. She asked problems related to developing products.

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05
Round
Easy
HR Round
Duration10-15 minutes
Interview date7 Aug 2019
Problems1

We were having this round over video conferencing with HR over Microsoft Connect over laptops.
He first explained that your technical skills will not be assessed in this round.

Problem approach

Tip 1: Be sound with your internship work, Project work.
Tip 2: Prepare common questions beforehand like challenges faced and future scopes.

Tip 3: Try to recollect the stories of your life where you showed team spirit, encouraging nature and your other skills.
Tip 4: Be clear with your goals and your past life.

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