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Microsoft Interview in Manager Round
If candidates successfully complete the first-round interview, the third phase is the second-round interview, which is held in Microsoft's headquarters located in Redmond, Washington or at one of its other sites in the world.
The maximum length of the candidate's interview trip can be up to three days and two nights, which includes one day to interview and one day to sight-see.
Candidates interviewing for the program manager position can be expected to answer detailed design questions that test the candidate's creative ability and focus on customers. The candidate is expected to provide reasons for features added to products designed and include explanations as to why a customer might want or need a particular feature.
Candidates interviewing for the SDE and SDET positions can be expected to answer detailed coding and algorithm questions.
Many questions asked are purposely ambiguous and/or abstract. It is expected that the candidate ask thought-provoking questions of the interviewer in order to better answer the question. The candidate is normally given a marker, eraser, and a whiteboard to record his/her solutions and ideas to questions. The interviewer observes how the candidate attempts to solve a problem and follows the candidate's thought processes.
The interview day usually comprises meeting with about three to five different employees within Microsoft. A typical schedule might include two interviews in the morning, one lunch interview, and two interviews in the afternoon. The lunch interview can take place in one of Microsoft's various in-house cafeterias or in a restaurant off-campus. In most cases the candidate will interview with two different product teams within a single product group or two entirely different product groups (Microsoft site FAQ 2006). It depends on the current business needs of Microsoft at the time of the interview and which needs best fit the candidate's skill set and interests. The candidate is generally notified on the day of the interview as to which position he/she will be interviewing for if the candidate is interviewing for software development engineer, software development engineer in Test, or Program Manager Positions.
Following each interview with the candidate, the interviewer will email the complete set of interviewers with their feedback on the candidate. This email generally begins with a summary “Hire” or “No hire” assessment. The last interviewer to see the candidate is special, and referred to as the “As Appropriate” or “As Ap”. This person, generally the most senior person among the set of interviewers, will only see the candidate if the email feedback on that candidate thus far has been generally positive, or at least split between “Hire” and “No Hire” assessments. The “As Appropriate” interviewer often makes the final call as to whether the candidate will receive an offer.
Because the last interviewer is more influential and also additional people may be involved into final decision, this decision may be negative also when more than a half of the engineers vote "Hire"
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