Summary This was my first year applying to a job and the first job that I had applied to was Microsoft. I applied to Microsoft through their career site at the end of September and was hoping to hear back from them in the next couple of months.
First round I was super happy when they called me for the first round and it was a short 30 minute interview through codility. The interviewer was amazing and really friendly and she asked me questions about my leadership qualities( I am currently the Google DSC and ACM lead at UAlberta) as well as my interests. She then asked me just one technical question and she was pretty satisfied with my answer. I did ask clarifying questions as well as tested on some edge cases.
Question : https://leetcode.com/problems/reverse-words-in-a-string/
Overall First Round Experience I was really satisfied and enjoyed the experience and I was quite confident in fact that I would be selected for the next round but imposter syndrome kicked in and so was pretty doubtful, but I just hoped for the best.
Final round After 3 weeks or such I got invited to the final round and I was literally in seventh cloud. I then knew I had to actually start practicing and be prepared as the final round would be no joke and the best candidates would be competiting against me. So I chose November 10th as my date for the final round and I had literally only a week left to practice. I watched a lot of Youtube videos and prepared mostly for the technical part as I have not yet taken an algorithm course at my University ( Will be taking it next semester). Regarding the behaviroul part I just prepared answers for some important question like why Microsoft and such. I also had participated in the Microsofts Virtual Asia Program to learn more about Microsofts culture , work ethics and so on and ever since I was a kid in hs I have embraced the Growth Mindset.
First Round I joined the call as soon as possible and there were like 24 other students like me and then the MSFT team came in and introduced themselves and they were all so funny and optimistic. They kept on emphasising the fact that we defeated a 1000:1 ratio and that we were there for the final round means that we did our best and now its time to show our trueself as well as show them who we are as a person. I think this is personally an amazing thing at Micrsosoft because authenticity is what matters as well as being open and having a like minded conversation not only shows ones ability to express their thoughts but also builds trust. I had the first slot and I entered the call through a link and my first Interviewer was pretty amazing. He worked in the Cloud Team and he asked me to introduce myself , he asked me my interests I did say I was particularly interested in Cloud, AI, ML and deep learning apart from being a Math major. He then asked me what I knew about Cloud and then I told him my experience with it (Part of being a DSC lead is to know how to use GCP platform as well as train others on how to use it) . He was pretty happy with my answers and then we switched to Codlity and he asked me just one technical question. He also asked me about what I know about the Growth mindset and the company values .
Question https://programminghistorian.org/en/lessons/counting-frequencies as well as sort this by the number of occurances. He just wanted me to solve his particular input (No other testcases) and I did that as well as optimized the solution , discussed Time and Space Complexity. I had some slight mistakes but quickly showed him my debugging skills and also explained to him the various ways if I had more time I would debug. Overall he was pretty happy with my answer and then he asked me if I had any questions. I did ask him questions on what it is like being part of msft as well as the cloud team and such.
Second Round I had a quick 15 minutes break and then I entered the second call. The second interview was by far the most difficult one for me as well as the most challenging yet thrilling experience. He asked me to introduce myself, he asked me my dislikes and likes in CS (he said whatever I mention as my dislikes he wouldn’t ask me any question based on that so he was pretty chill ) as well as then went straight for a technical problem.
Question https://leetcode.com/problems/populating-next-right-pointers-in-each-node/ First he asked me questions on heap and stack memory and then the interview question which was a pretty hard question for me as I did not take an algo course yet so I did not know how to use BFS or such. He gave me some hints , clarified the question again for me as well as asked me a simple question what datastructure could you use ,without using recurssion or such and I just thought of maybe using a queue in each level . He was really happy then and asked if I could atleast explain to him the pseudocode which I did and was satisfied.
Finally he asked me another question : Suppose you are building an application where you can transfer files across devices. What all problems would you consider when building such an application. I explained my answers and he told me I covered all the cases and included some more and he was happy with my answer.
Finally it was the end and I asked him about himself and what he does and he told me he was a senior principal enginner lead at Microsoft India and that was so cool . I told him about my passion of pursuing a phd and trying to get into research at msft in computational Mathematics and he was excited to know that. He gave me a lot of tips and overall I had such a fun time.
Offer They told me that I would have to wait for 5 days - 2 weeks to hear back from them but to my surprise I got the offer in 2 days and I was beyond thrilled. I am excited to meet my team and work with them in Seattle next summer.
Thank you once again to leetcode for being a platform where everyone can share their experiences as well as learn from each other and improve our skills.
P.S. This is my first post so sorry if this is super lenghty but I just wanted to give back to this community as I have learnt so much from this site over the past month.