# Just got interviewed by microsoft

1. Jan 17, 2008

### mr_coffee

I thought I'd post this here to other computer science majors.

Well after looking over my resume they thought I deserved a phone interview. So I get all prepared skipped spanish 2 because they gave me a 1 day notice they were calling me. So I had to really focus.

Instead of focusing I actually took a nap (1:00pm to 4:00pm) when I should have been at Spanish (interview was at 7:15pm), I think it actually helped me though.

I wasn't really nervous because I already have a job at IBM but this is how the interview went.

He calls me, and first thing, I can't understand a word he is staying. He has such a strong Asian accent. I was like, SOB!

I usually am a smooth talker when it comes to interviews but this guy wasn't listening to a word I would say. It sounded so automated he was just reading it off a piece of paper.

He first said, HOW ARE U.
I said, Great thanks, how are you doing?
GOOD TO MEET YOU.

SO WHY DO U WANT THIS JOB?

WHAT IS YOUR INTEREST IN PROGRAMMING?

WHAT WAS MOST CHALLENGING PROGRAMMING?

HOW DO U SOLVE THE PROBLEM TECHNICALLY?

I say, sure, one moment.

Note: Live chat is a program that is basically like a chat room, he can see you type and I can see what he types.

He gets kicked out of the program a few times before he gets in there, then he pastes this to the screen:

Suppose you want to randomize an array of 52 values, from 0 to 51 with no repeats, such as you might want for a deck of cards. Make sure the shuffle is as thorough as possible.

I did it.

He then try's to ask me the complexity of my algorithm, I had to guess about 10 times before I figured out what he was even asking. He made it sounds like he wanted test cases or something. Finally I guessed, did you mean you want to to find the complexity of my algorithm?

He was like yes yes.

So I told him and he then goes good.

He then tells me in 2 weeks I'll know if I need to come down for a 2nd interview (the 2nd interview is the hard one, its where you either get hired or not).

All in all I was very disappointed in the interview, he couldn't even speak English, I could tell he was just trying to rush through it without even getting what I was saying even though I thought I had good answers to all this questions. He would only write down a few words.

It really seems like the whole interview is based on that 1 programming question, if you get it, you get the 2nd interview, if you don't, you don't. Because he didn't get personal at all like my other interviews where I really felt like I connected with the interviewer and the interviewer cared about my responses.

If I do get a 2nd interview and I do good I'm not even sure if I'll accept it because its only for a summer.

I already know I have a job at IBM. If I reject my manager at IBM (he wants me back in the summer but no official letter so thats why I applied to Microsoft), he may keep that grudge and not want to hire me full time after I graduate in spring 2009.

Or I can take a change with Microsoft after its 3 month internship and I'll have to go through the whole interview process again (so there is no garutnee like there will be with IBM).

I might work with IBM then while I have a full time job, try to get with Microsoft it seems safer than screwing both company's and end up jobless when I graduate.

Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
2. Jan 17, 2008

Oh boy.... Let me tell you, your wasting your time to work for micro$oft. 3. Jan 17, 2008 ### Corneo Eh? I heard MS pays its employees very well. 4. Jan 17, 2008 ### ghost02 Its not about the pay. The work environment, ect. All the things that make you happy, I hear, are not good at all. 5. Jan 17, 2008 ### rocomath Better get used to it. 6. Jan 17, 2008 ### mathwonk did you speak to darth vader or jabba the hut? 7. Jan 17, 2008 ### user101 Sucks man - I had a person from a company call and I couldn't understand a word she was saying! I pretty much was thinking the same as you - SOB! It sounded as if she was having a party at the recruiting center... I couldn't hear most of her questions, so I was like, ok - time to fudge this. At times, she would ask me a question where I would have to give a long answer. I would then answer "sure" because I didn't hear question... I was banking on the chance that she was asking me a yes/no question, and the answer would be "yes"... This is after the 4-5 times I had her repeat the question, and I didn't want to keep doing that because she probably would think that I don't speak any English... plus, my name being foreign wouldn't help the situation. It's tough man - you win some you lose some. I have a friend at MS who is pretty high up in the software area (director level). I can probably give a word for you if you'd like. Let me know. 8. Jan 17, 2008 ### Mororvia Strange, I heard it is a great place to work. That is, it all depends on who you ask. I also interviewed with MS a while ago. I know someone who works there so he submitted my resume and all that. I was hoping to get in their apprentice program so I would be taught all of programming by them. As a physics grad, I have done some coding (C++, C#) but obviously no where near the level a CS grad would have. I got accepted for a phone interview a few weeks later but they thought I was applying for a regular position! I told them about this and they said I could still go through with the regular interview anyway, so I did. He had me write some code to computer n factorial, which I did though I second guessed myself a couple of times. He then asked about some database stuff which I couldn't answer. He asked if I had any questions and that was about it. I still haven't heard anything about what I originally applied for. Overall it might be for the better since I'm not really passionate about software anyway. Good luck to you! 9. Jan 18, 2008 ### Poop-Loops I have a few friends who are comp sci guys and they say M$ is a good place to work at, overall, not just money-wise.

10. Jan 18, 2008

### mr_coffee

IBM actually has alliances because they are so terrible I hear. I like my department, everyone is friendly but there a lot of disgruntled workers or x-workers that went through IBM.

They either left IBM to work for CISCO or a smaller company. That kind of scares me.

Microsoft on the other hand I haven't seen any alliances online saying how terrible it is, so they are looking better to me, I also hear they pay more than IBM.

IBM offered my friend 59,000, cisco also offered him 62,500 then IBM countered with 63,500, But he took CISCO over IBM because of the reasons I said above.

So I'm alittle worried, I might just stay with IBM for awhile then move onto Microsoft.
I really like the location of IBM though, research triangle park is great and i'm by people I know compared to moving to a different state and not knowing anyone (I also don't like the west).

11. Jan 18, 2008

### makethings

It's ironic how you comp sci guys are trying so hard to get a job with microsoft while the guy who doesn't speak proper english already beat you to it.

12. Jan 18, 2008

### Locrian

I don't see any irony in that at all.

13. Jan 18, 2008

### mgb_phys

Like going for a physics job and getting beaten by some German accented guy called Albert?

14. Jan 18, 2008

### Poop-Loops

Who happened to be working at a patent office before applying for the physics job.

15. Jan 18, 2008

### HungryChemist

Hahaha....that is very funny.

16. Jan 18, 2008

### mr_coffee

I don't get it?

Microsoft/Google/IBM/whoever are always going to have non-english people, they are a global company, not just USA. No one is anymore.

I just thought it was stupid to have an interviewer not be able to speak clear English. But I guess the phone interview is more generic of an interview so its basically does this kid know anything, the face to face interview is what will be more important to really make a connection.

17. Jan 18, 2008

### HungryChemist

Or perhaps, they were testing how you react to people who doesn't speak English properly. ^^

18. Jan 18, 2008

### mr_coffee

I doubt that. But I handled it quite well either way.

Last edited: Jan 18, 2008
19. Jan 19, 2008

### Corneo

For companies that hold offices around the world, its not uncommon for employees to deal with fellow colleagues that speak with an accent. I do it everyday. You get use to it after a while.

20. Jan 19, 2008

### mr_coffee

I dealt with that as well and its no issue when its person to person. When I worked at IBM i had some Indian and Japaneses co-workers, it wasn't hard to understand them.

It just through me off a little to have a recruiter who couldn't speak good English. I've had several phone interviews with other big company's and they could be non-english but spoke it very well. This was very choppy English like he was just learning how to speak English and thats what I thought was odd.

A phone interview is all about getting vital information from whoever your talking too, and if he can't understand you or you can't understand him it kind of makes it pointless. It could have been a chat room and probably have been more clear.