Interview Experience at Microsoft India Development Centre

Nearly 300 MSPs took a written test for the post of Intern/Full time Employment ( FTE ) at Microsoft in Goa during the Microsoft Student Partner Bootcamp 2011 which was conducted on Sep 5 .
There were 2 tests , one for Microsoft IT and another one for Microsoft India Dev center ( IDC ) . Just after an hour on reaching goa , i was made to write both the tests which were 1.5 hours each and weighed 50 marks each. Well , Frankly , i was in no mood to write both the tests in GOA .
The first test was for MS-IDC which was fully based on programming . Here are a few questions :

1. Given 2 sorted arrays , write an algorithm to find the median . ( 10 marks )
2. A College has 2 hostels , 1 boys and another girls , and a common Print Server . Write down all the possible cases when the system will work and the cases when the system will fail and give appropriate suggestions . (10 marks)
3. ( Forgot the exact question) You are supposed to create a software program for a grocery store , each item is labelled with a bar code which contains the necessary details about the items. Some products are categorized as “offered” products, which when purchased above Rs.500 will be given 10% discount ( and a lot of other conditions which i don’t remember ) , write an algorithm to calculate the bill and the data structures that can be used . (10 marks )

The second test was for Microsoft IT , which was both programming and logical , i actually did the test well but didn’t get selected . Here are a few questions from MSIT :

1. The given input is – char *a = “123” , convert this into integer 123 without using any built-in functions
2. Find the Maximum element in a binary search tree .
3. You are producing a basic mobile phone , write down all the test cases that you will perform before launching it
4. After the failure of Titanic , the engineers are building Titanic 2 with enhanced facilities . They also have a rescue engineering team inside the ship that will reach the spot of failure in 30 minutes . After learning the mistakes that were made in titanic 1 , suggest appropriate measures to avoid accidents in titanic 2 . ( I havent watched titanic movie even once 😦   )
5. A output question based on call by value and call by reference
and other 5 questions which i dont remember.

Around 20 people were selected for each MS-IDC and MSIT from the results of the test .
Finally , i was called to attend a face to face interview for Intern @ MS-IDC on 5th January 2012.

MS-IDC was situated in the outskirts of Hydrabad and travel was real pain as i din’t know both telugu ( the local language ) and hindi .

Microsoft India development Centre

At around 9:30 am , i was called for the intervie.
The first question , was –  Write a code to convert integer “n” , say “123” to a linked list , 1->2->3 . I wrote the code and showed him the paper , He said , “Very nice , now using the above program add 2 numbers , m and n ” . After i finished writing the code , he asked me to write down all possible test cases when the program will go wrong . I was confident that my program was fully correct but just in time it struck me that i totally forgot to analyze the carry over conditions. With the permission , i modified the code and gave thim the full program , which took 2 A4 sheets for me to write , he was satisfied with my logic and code.
Suddenly something caught his eye on the first page where i wrote the code for converting the integer into a linked list . He pointed me to the block where i created nodes for each digit and asked , “Do you find any mistake here ?” , it took a while for me to realize that i din’t allocate memory for the linked list at all.

My second question was to find the maximum element in an unsorted binary tree.
I wrote a crappy code , as i was a bit weak in datastructures 😦

The second interview (the last round i.e) was bad for me. The question was to code a function – bool isLucky ( int n ) to find if the given number is lucky or not.
The explaination given for the lucky number was :

Consider the series of natural nos :
In the first iteration will be like
1,3,5,7,9,11,13………… ( i.e removing the numbers after 1 place , i.e 2,4,6,8….. are removed )
The second iteration will be :
1,3,7,9,13……….. ( i.e removing the numbers after 2 places , i.e 5, 11….. are removed )
The Third iteration will be :
1,3,7,13,……… ( i.e removing the numbers after 3 places , i.e 9 … are removed )

Now we are sure that 1 , 3 and 7 will not be removed in the later iterations ,So , these are termed lucky .

I was totally blank after seeing the problem and it took nearly 40 mins for me to come to a conclusion . I wrote a program which will find the lucky number but it had the maximum time complexity for O(N^2) but the interviewer wanted a code with the least time complexity .

Interns at MS-IDC get a pay for 25,000 Rs per month and the hounour of working at Microsoft’s projects for 3 months.


7 thoughts on “Interview Experience at Microsoft India Development Centre

  1. Hi there, I had interview at the Microsoft at Hyderabad in India. The interviewer was the worst piece of crap I had ever met. He had no skills whatsoever and could not even express himself properly while asking the questions. I was shocked as to how he even got selected and was able to work for a company like Microsoft.
    During the interview I had to repeat several times each question and get it clear about what he intended to ask me rather than focusing on the reply to his questions.
    The most shocking thing was that he even managed to talk on phone in his native language during the interview. At the end of interview he said with pride that I will not be going into the next round of interview process, i.e. not selected. With such an unprofessional attitude and people like that, Microsoft cannot and will not come up as a great company making great products, never ever.
    I had an experience working for various MNCs overseas for more than 6 years and this is how Microsoft interviewer treated me.

  2. Hey,

    I have had the similar type of interviewing experience recently with Microsoft IDC Hyderabad. Previously also I have had similar experience at MS but it was when they came to Delhi for interviewing.

    In my recent interview the interviewer given me a problem. I had solved similar type of problem during my preparation. I provided him the solution and tried to explain the logic of solution, but seems like that the interviewer had some particular solution in his might and he was not open to understand even a bit of the logic of the solution I provided. When you get an interview invitation from Microsoft then the recruiter will give you suggestion on how to prepare and what should be the approach. As per them the thinking process is more important then the solution, but during interview I found it just the opposite. The interviewer was focused on some particular solution which he had in his mind and was not focused on the thinking process.

    I feel that there might be some attitude problem with the interviewers in Microsoft taking technical interviews of people. While some of the interviewers seems to be professional and give clues in solving programming problems, on the other hand in the next round you might meet an arrogant interviewer.

    What I feel that the first round matters the most. In the first round the interviewer will try to help you, give you clues and even if you are not performing well he will not make any negative remarks, but they might be doing this only so that you start thinking and you mind start working. But in the next round the output depends upon how much the interviewer has helped you during problem solving. Although you were able to solve the programming puzzles asked in the first round, but the design approach and time taken to solve puzzles and the number of clues required matters in the first interview. The second interviewer takes these inputs from the first interviewer and sets his mood to judge the candidate positively or negatively based on how was his first round. The second interviewer will tighten the selection criteria and also he might seems to be unprofessional in that he can say that you are not good at this and that and you need to improve right on your face. I think Microsoft recruiters/HR should pay attention on this behavior of technical interviewers because the interviewers arrogant behavior demoralizes the interviewee and hurts their self respect.

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