STATUS: Final Year , B.E. Computer Science and Engineering, Tier-3
POSITION: University Graduate, FTE
LOCATION: Hyderabad, India
DATE: April 10, 2021
Note: I have done a two months remote internship at a startup and am I working as a web developer with a cybersecurity community since July 2020.
Timeline [Application -> Interview]
- Applied via, Microsoft Careers Portal. (No referral, all credit to ATS-friendly resume design and talent acquisition department).
- Received online test link on April 2, 2021
- Received Interview Invitation on April 6, 2021.
- Interview Communication mentioned 2 technical rounds and 1 AA discussion. Each round is an elimination round and AA discussion happens only if the first two go well.
- Completed First round at noon (April 8, 2021). Received an update the same afternoon that they will be jumping to the final round (AA discussion).
- AA discussion, initially scheduled for April 9, got rescheduled to April 10 due to the unavailability of the interviewer.
- Waiting to hear back!
- 90 mins test with 3 questions. 2 easy, 1 medium-hard (got stuck with this one).
- First two related to strings and pattern matching (solved).
- 3rd related to puzzle solving. [hint: Goat, Grass, Lion] (tried but TLE)
- The interviewer had some trouble with his system. He informed me humbly. Started after 20 mins.
- He introduced himself. Asked me about myself and my work (as it was mentioned in my resume)
- Asked to mention any challenges I faced while working on my project.
- Shared Link to codility and shared the first question.
- Question 1 – Again related to string, anagrams. Discussed optimizing and adding conditions to test the code.
- Question 2 – Related to arrays, I used an approach similar to the priority queue approach in this question to solve it.
- Was asked to code both the solutions.
- Talked a bit more about my work, and then he asked if I had paid any attention to the security part of the website or actually implemented any. I explained what parts I had focused on and implemented on my website.
- He repeated them and asked me to explain a specific term.
- He asked if I have ever implemented authentication and does my website needs it. I said I had implemented it but only using built-in Django Auth Models.
- After all that talk, he asked if I had any questions for him.
- I asked, he explained. END
- Received an Update later during noon that the team has decided to jump to the final round.
- The interviewer introduced himself and asked me to tell a bit about myself.
- Asked me to dwell more into information about my internship.
- I hadn’t given him any details about the product we were building and started explaining my role. After I finished, he asked me to explain first what kind of problem I was solving there. So (I mocked myself first for not starting by explaining the product) and then explained in detail.
- He then asked me “how can you make your website more troubleshootable?” This is the question I struggled most with. Somehow I was not getting what the interviewer meant by that question. I gave him a couple of answers, but they were not accurate.
- I admitted that I was not able to understand what he was looking for, and he said, ‘we can move on from this.
- After 20 mins of me struggling over the word troubleshooting He shared the codility link.
- He shared the question verbally. It was related to Binary Search Tree. Pretty Simple.
- I discussed a few approaches, and he asked me to go ahead with the coding.
- I coded the whole solution. Modular and Structured.
- He asked me to run it. I got 3-4 errors. Silly mistakes like forgetting to pass variables in method calls. He didn’t seem to care as I got hold of them in a second.
- He seemed satisfied and asked if I had any questions for him. I did.
- He asked me about how I got into this interview loop i.e, the process I followed until this AA round.
- Then he asked me about my university and how did I compare as a student to other students at my university.
Feedback from Interviewer
- After all this, he gave me some feedback and mentioned I had very good coding skills. He appreciated that the code was structured and modular.
- He pointed out that he asked me an ambiguous question (about troubleshooting) just to see how I handle it and I got a little agitated at the point when I was unable to answer it.
- He suggested that I should be more calm and open in situations like this.
- I agreed and said something in acknowledgment. He continued and said that the company looks for candidates who can handle ambiguous situations but at the same time they also look for people who don’t give up easily which he said was reflected by later part of our conversation, (conversation about my university projects).
- We summed up.
Heard back after a long (really long) wait of 18 days!
Got an offer though (????)
Some Points To Remember
- Don’t stress yourself if your interviews get rescheduled or your interviewers join late for the meeting. These interviewers are generally seniors whose schedules remain rather busy.
- My round 1 interviewer has been with Microsoft for over 10 years and the interviewer for the AA discussion has been with Microsoft since before I was BORN! (21 years!!!)
Hope this helps. All the best!
Attention reader! Don’t stop learning now. Get hold of all the important DSA concepts with the DSA Self Paced Course at a student-friendly price and become industry ready. To complete your preparation from learning a language to DS Algo and many more, please refer Complete Interview Preparation Course. In case you are prepared, test your skills using TCS, Wipro, Amazon and Microsoft Test Serieses.