I appeared for an Online Interview of the Microsoft E+D team around October 2020. There were three rounds, two of them were DS Algo rounds and the third was a design round. All the rounds happened on the same day.
Round 1: It was conducted on an MS Teams video call and codility link to share the screen as well. The interviewer was 10 mins late but was quite calm and helpful. It was a binary tree question to be coded entirely from scratch like create the tree/node class and everything else. This was the question: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/longest-consecutive-sequence-binary-tree/.
Once I was done in approximately 15-20 minutes, he tried few straightforward test cases. Then he moved on to the corner cases for which I had to modify my code a bit. One hour after the interview ended, I got a call from the recruiter that they will be going ahead for round two.
Round 2: The interviewer asked me few questions about my CV. Later on, he moved on to a similar question like this: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/minimum-number-platforms-required-railwaybus-station/. I had not prepared much till then for interviews, so, I gave him a solution with space complexity O(t) where t – maximum value of departure time. Since it was not optimal he guided me towards the optimal greedy solution. However, later on, when I couldn’t get it, he asked me to code my approach which I did, and it worked for the test cases he gave.
Round 3: The interviewer was an old VP or director-level person who was quite rude and irritated. Also, I was taking the interviews in Teams using the browser as my spare laptop wasn’t available to me. I was using the teams to share video and codility to share screen. He asked me why I was using Teams in the browser instead of Teams app. I explained the reason. He got quite fussy and even called HR to which HR replied that it’s okay and told him to go ahead with the same. He wasted 15 mins in all this drama instead of conducting the interview. He asked me this design question: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/design-snake-game/. I explained the approach and then started creating the basic method signatures and classes. He didn’t explain the question clearly. I guess he expected me to have already practiced it or something. In addition, he was not very welcoming on questions. This went on for half an hour when we discussed the approach with different data structures. After this, we moved on to the multiprogramming aspect of the game like which resource would be shared by the threads and so on.
I got a call after two hours that I wasn’t selected. It all panned out for the best as I got a better opportunity after few more months of rigorous practice and many more interviews. For Microsoft, it’s like a ritual that they will be asking linked list/Tree question in the first round and greedy/implementation or some other topic in the second, but this is from my personal experience and my friends. The interviewers are quite helpful, apart from few conventional oldies. Even if you don’t have the optimal approach they will be guiding you towards the same.
Best of luck!!
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