Microsoft interview experience Real time questions & tips from candidates to crack your interview
Software Engineer
Microsoft
3 rounds | 5 Coding problems
Interview preparation journey
Journey
I was working as a Consultant and started interview preparation 3-4 months before applying for the Software Engineering job openings. I prepared by following YouTube videos and practicing coding questions. By the time I got interview calls, I was well-versed with solving DSA based problems and System Design concepts.
Application story
I searched for the job position on the company's Careers Portal and asked my friend to refer me for the job. After one week I got a call back from the recruiter and the first round of interview was scheduled. Every interview round was an elimination round and after giving a total of 3 interviews, I received the offer letter. The whole process from applying till getting the offer letter took around 45-50 days.
Why selected/rejected for the role?
I was selected because I demonstrating good problem solving as well as communication skills while giving the interviews. I was vocal about my thinking process and made sure to explain though process to the interviewer in the coding rounds.
Preparation
Duration: 4 months
Topics: Linked Lists, Priority Queues, Two Pointers, Trees, Dynamic Programming, Disjoint Sets, Depth First Search
Tip

Tip 1 : Practice medium level questions related to linked lists and priority queues
Tip 2 : Practice coding on notepad instead of using any IDE
Tip 3 : Do mock interviews to get proficient with System Design interviews

Application process
Where: Referral
Eligibility: No criteria
Resume tip

Tip 1 : Keep resume short and only include details relevant to the job being applied to
Tip 2 : Mention any community engagements or open source projects on the resume

Interview rounds
01
Round
Medium
Video Call
Duration50 minutes
Interview date2 Dec 2022
Problems2

It took place during the day time. The interviewer clearly explained the problem and encouraged me to ask any clarifying questions.

1. K Most Frequent Elements

#### Your task is to find the ‘K’ most frequent elements in ‘ARR’. Return the elements in any order.

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Problem approach

I solved the question using binary heap and used a Priority Queue to solve it using C# language.

2. Valid String

#### A Valid String is defined as follows:

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02
Round
Medium
Video Call
Duration50 minutes
Interview date8 Dec 2022
Problems2

Interview took place during the evening. The interviewer was a senior person but very supportive during the interview process.

1. Find Number Of Islands

#### You are given a 2-dimensional array/list having N rows and M columns, which is filled with ones(1) and zeroes(0). 1 signifies land, and 0 signifies water.

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Problem approach

I used the Depth First Search methodology to solve this problem using recursion. For every '1' encountered, I called a helper method that would convert all the '1's to '0's recursively. I incremented the result counter only before calling the helper method from the main method. That way all the '1's connected to the initial '1' were converted to '0' and I only got the number of islands in the r...

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2. Insertion Sort in Linked List

#### You are given an arbitrary linked list consisting of 'N' nodes having integer values. You need to perform insertion sort on the linked list and print the final list in sorted order.

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03
Round
Medium
Video Call
Duration45 minutes
Interview date15 Dec 2022
Problems1

Interview took place during day time and the interviewer was the hiring manager.

1. System Design

The problem was to design an application similar to DropBox or OneDrive that can be used to upload and access documents from multiple client devices.

Problem approach

Tip 1 : Follow System Design videos on YouTube to grasp the basic concepts around different components involved in designing scalable and reliable solutions
Tip 2 : Do mock interviews for practice
Tip 3 : Practice designing apps that are being used in daily life using a pen and paper

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