Round 1: Aptitude Round
It consisted of 4 sections namely General Aptitude (20 minutes, 20 questions), Technical Aptitude (20 minutes, 20 questions), Coding (1 hour, 2 questions), and Written English Test (20 minutes, 1 essay of 150-180 words). Since there was no negative marking, it was advisable to attempt all the questions. In the General and Technical aptitudes taken together, I was able to solve 37 and guessed 3. The questions were easy but lengthy so I had to manage the time accordingly. Before every section, the rubric must be read thoroughly.
General aptitude was a melange of questions from logical reasoning, relations, patterns, and sequences. Technical Aptitude consisted of questions on OS, DBMS, Data Structures, Algorithms, and OOP Concepts using C++. The Coding round required the candidate to solve 2 questions, allotted randomly from a set of questions, based on simple algorithmic concepts. Finally, the Written English Test (WET) required the candidate to write an essay on the given topic (again allotted randomly). Care was to be taken that the number of words in the essay strictly lay in the given range. A few topics for WET that I remember were “Impact and influence of media on the modern society” and “Is CGPA the most important criterion in today’s schools?”
Round 2: Technical Round (1 hour)
The round started with a brief introduction about myself and then the interviewer started with questions from my CV. I had 2 internships, 2 academic projects, and 2 Web Development Projects. First, he asked me to describe what I had learned in my last internship. Then he randomly picked a WebD project and asked for a brief explanation after which he asked me draw its ER Diagram. After I finished explaining the ER Diagram in detail, he asked me to write a SQL Query based on my ER Diagram. It was a simple join query, which I solved using a nested query and explained how it can also be written using JOIN.
Next was a question on the practical application of OOP Concepts – “Suppose a grocery store has a discount offer on a certain product but the customers are segregated into different groups based on some criteria such that every person gets a different discount. How will you design a system for this scenario? Assume that a customer may revisit the store and he/she will not re-enter all the customer details after the first visit.” Simple – Connect your object oriented system to a database and use method overloading for the different groups.
After these questions came the puzzles. The first one was the “Three Ants and Triangle Problem“. I was able to solve it in about 2 minutes, after which the panel started making arbitrary puzzles like “A family has 3 sisters. 1 is playing a piano, 1 is playing chess, and 1 is cooking food. Assuming that all the 3 sisters can do all the three tasks, what is the probability of 2 winners in each case?” After I gave a thought on the question for some time, I asked for some additional information to which they said – “Think of the number of participants in each task and you can assume each task to be a competition”. Using this hint, I was able to crack the question. Piano can be played by only 1 person at a time, so probability of 2 winners is 0. Chess is played by 2 players at a time and either 1 player wins or the game is drawn, hence the probability of getting 2 winners is again 0. In the task of cooking, all 3 can participate together. Hence the probability of 2 winners in cooking is 2/3. Finally, they asked me questions on File Indexing and the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of indexing and then I was cleared for the next round.
Round 3: Managerial Round (25 – 30 minutes)
This round started with the interviewer asking me to describe myself apart from the things mentioned in my CV. Then she threw some scenarios and situations and wanted to assess my approach to those problems, and not the solution in particular. Some of the situations were – “You are given a project that uses some technology that the entire company is unaware of. You have to finish the project in a day. What will you do to succeed in this task and if you fail how and when will you approach your team leader?”, “You have a dearth of time and resources and you need to make a quick and critical decision. How will you handle this situation?”, and “You have a client who is the owner of a big franchise. He decides to give loyalty points to his customers and once a customer’s loyalty points crosses 1000 points, he gets a free ice-cream immediately. Assuming that the customer himself does not go to an ice-cream shop but necessarily has to get an ice-cream, propose a solution for this scenario.” Then she asked me to give examples of how I had worked in teams before, whether I had any leadership experience and how did I handle disputes, if any, in a team that I had led.
Round 4: HR Round (1 hour)
This round began with the basic questions – “Why do you feel that Microsoft should hire you?” and “Why do you want to join Microsoft?” Then he asked me develop an Object Oriented Model of the Indian Judicial System and gave me 5-10 minutes for it. Upon reviewing it, he pointed out some flaws in the model and asked me the solutions to these problems, sometimes giving his views and opinions on the problems as well. Next he asked me what I had done in my most recent internship. I started explaining the Chatbot which I had worked on and then answered a few questions on chatbots. Then he asked me how I kept myself updated with technology and asked me to explain some of the recent developments in technology. I started with Virtual Reality, answering questions like “How is it better than TVs and Smartphones?”, “Why is it a ‘reality’?”, etc. and then proceeded to some recent products by Microsoft like Azure and Microsoft Dynamics.
With this round, my interview was over and in the evening I was among the 5 selected candidates out of 71. A piece of advice to all the students: build a strong vocabulary and keep your cool during the interview.
This article is contributed by AAYUSH KUMAR VERMA (Batch of 2018, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur).
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- Microsoft IDC Interview Experience | Set 83 (On-Campus)
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