Microsoft Interviews (in Egypt)

December 13, 2006 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Egypt, Microsoft | 19 Comments

I know that Microsoft will be interviewing in the next couple of days in Egypt. I believe it will start on Dec 15th.

I want to make my blog more interactive (I love getting comments). So basically, I am requesting comments from anyone who will be a part of it. Post a comment, introduce yourself…tell us how you prepared…ask questions…tell us what you are expecting…

And when you actually have the interview, tell us how it went. Note: This is not a place to discuss interview questions, so please don’t post that kind of information. If you get an offer, also feel free to tell us and tell us what team/position you will be joining.

Hope to hear from you soon.

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19 Comments

  1. Waiting for the results…

  2. Good to hear 🙂 But I was hoping for more feedback…How do you think you did? Were the questions hard? Are you excited?

    I know that there are probably a lot of people who don’t want others to know they are interviewing at MS, so feel free to remain anonymous, but also give us some background on what you do in Egypt, etc.?

    By the way, I can tell that the interviews have begun as I am now getting a large amount of hits to my interview ‘preperation’ posts 🙂 Tsk Tsk, seems like some people are preparing in the last second(s)…

  3. Ali, you are doing a good job here. What’s the best way to learn the algorithms for someone who came from vb background into C#. I’ve been developing for few years now. I find my weak area in MS interview is solving algorithms in the interview on spot. How to practice for this? )other than memorizing the solutions)

  4. Hello Ali,
    Actually the interviwes end on December the 15th. I have gone to the interviews last Tuesday. The first interview I did was fine the guy helped me but I reached the algorithm in the end, the second interview was great and I did all what was required. Third one was with a testing manager who asked me some really difficult questions, I failed to answer most of them. I thought by then they were going to tell me go home, but to my delight they asked me to stay for a 4th technical interview where the guy asked me to optimize a search algorithm and asked me to code a string manipulation problem and its test cases, which I did fine. By that time there was only me and one guy remaining, the guy had already done an HR interview so he was taken to his 5th interview (which was techincal). I had done 4 consecutive technical interviews, I waited alone for some time for my HR interview, and at last came the HR interviewer but instead she introduced herself and asked me if I had any questions and let me go. I asked her if I am going to have an HR interview and she told me that and HR interview was already done during the phone interview stage. I left a little depressed, is the fact that I didn’t complete the 5 interviews going to decrease my chances of getting acceptted, but at least I am happy that I completed interviews with all technical guys. Inshaa ALLAH kheir, id3ooly…:) Results are supposed to be out next Tuesday…:)

  5. Anonymous – I think one of the things that you may wish to look into is learning C/C++. I think it is a very important thing that people look for at Microsoft, and it just gives an impression that you know and understand pointers. Plus – most important MS products (Windows, Office, Exchange, and Visual Studio) are in C/C++. This is not to say you won’t get in with C# alone, but C++ will make you stand above the rest. Another suggestion is to read a lot of books and practice. Practice solving problems. Another great book I found out about is called ‘Programming Interviews Exposed’

  6. Ahmed – I think you did fine…It is not necessary for you to do an “HR” interview as you said/expected. The most important interviews are the technical ones. As well the amount of interviews doesn’t matter. In my interviews I did four interviews. I felt I performed poorly on my last interview (I was sent home after it), but I got a job offer in the end 🙂 I didn’t know this until after I got my offer, but my friend Hany had done 6 interviews apparently and he got accepted.

    Well, good luck, and keep us updated on the results. Inshalla you did fine.

  7. Ali, First of all, i would like to thank you for your blog.

    I’m the Anonymous who sent the first message (the first message only! “waiting for the results”)

    I have got the result and i have been accepted and offered to join the Dev Div Team !!!

    More details on the road, so WATCH OUT !! 🙂

  8. Congratulations…hope to be seeing you soon (but then again, I won’t know you since you are anonymous :P)

    See you in October…

  9. Actually I didn’t make it,
    I am a bit depressed , but actually I had felt I could have done a bit better. I think it was the sorting part that didn’t really work out for me. Inshaa ALLAH I will try to better prepare for next year……

  10. It’s a shame you didn’t make it…But don’t let it get you down…take the opportunity to learn, and be persistent…Try again, next year.

    If you give up, then you’ll never make it.

  11. Hi Ali, I am in the first year of cs college, and I really want to join Microsoft ,so I would like to learn more, what do you advice me ?

  12. Well, it’s still very early for you 🙂 My advice is to go beyond what you take/do University. Do some projects on your own initiative. From my personal experience for example, during University I worked on Linux on the GNOME Desktop Environment (which taught me a lot about real world programming).

    Focus a lot on your studies, and get good grades. Focus on programming and algorithms. Learn as much as you can.

    Also if possible, during the summer take Internships. It will put some experience on your CV for when you graduate.

    The most important thing as well is have fun doing it. Enjoy it. If you are not enjoying it – then something is wrong.

    All my other advise in this post (and other posts) still apply too, although its more oriented towards people applying to MS.

  13. I’m very depressed. I didn’t get accepted. I thought I did ok in the four interviews I did. The first was with HR, that went fine…I believe. The second was with a program manager, I got the optimal solution to a problem he presented me with and then I answered the second question with a bit of misunderstanding and difficulty. The third was with a test manager. He gave me some code and I found some. There turned out to be many more in there. He then asked me to solve a certain problem. I did it and then we went onto another problem. He told me to find the most optimal solution to this problem. I told him a couple of ideas but none of them turned out to be the best. I left the room, head low and annoyed at my performance. In the meeting room I was called again for my fourth. I thought this went very well. It was with a QA manager and he asked me to choose from two questions in a certain language. I sat for two minutes unsure which problem to do, even though the two were the opposite of each other. One function implementation was literally the inverse of the other. Despite this I couldn’t make up my mind and he chose one for me. I implemented it. he gave me a test case that my code didn’t handle. I fixed the code and then asked if I could find other test cases. He told me that was his next question. I did many more test cases and the expected output and then that was it.

    At the end of the day, I thought I did alright…but obviously not. Anywayz, thanx for this blog, it really got the stress out of me.

    ps: I work at IBM and I know you…but dont really know you…if you know what I mean. Alf mabrook to you for getting accepted and I really hope (inshAllah, Ya Rab) I see you there next year…

  14. That is interesting 🙂 Have no clue who you are…

    The fact that you got a fourth interview is good. Not many people get that chance. It means you were close in my opinion.

    Now here are a couple of things where I think you may have gone wrong. First of all, you were indecisive about picking an implementation. In life, you will often be presented with problems that have multiple solutions, each one with pros and cons (e.g. speed vs. space) Sometimes as a programmer, you need to make a call on which approach to take.

    Secondly, after you develop your implementation you should test it yourself. You should not give the inteviewer a chance to find bugs in your code. Your choice of test cases is very important to help you find bugs in your code. He is not just testing your implementation, he is seeing how you find your own bugs and develop your own test cases (as the interview is not only for SDE but SDET too). Also, I like to come up with my test cases first before programming. It’s called test-driven development.

    And by the way, hes not really a QA Manager I believe – maybe a Testing Manager. To me Testing and Quality Assurance are two different things – QA is more about metrics and measurements (e.g. IBM and CMMI 5 stuff), and Testing is more about automation, and breaking things.

    Anyway – don’t be discouraged and I would definately try your luck again! I’m glad my blog has helped you out.

  15. Yes, I agree with all you said above. I believe I was close, but something put them off.
    True, I was indecisive about picking the problem to solve. I shouldn’t have done that. I did it because I was put in the same situation in a previous interview for another company and I chose the harder of the two. So I didn’t want to make the same mistake.

    Another mistake I made was show a lack of confidence. When I was doing the interview with the program manager I opened my mouth to blabber out a solution and then I didn’t. I kept it in. I rejected an idea I had thought of. He told me to tell him the idea, how ever stupid it was. I told him and it turned out I was on the right track. I built up on that solution until I reached the optimal solution to the problem.

    Anywayz…its history, all I can do now is hope for the best and work as hard as I can for next year, InshAllah.

    Thanx a million for the tips on testing. This was my major fault in the interviews. Although I presume next year they will be a lot tougher on me , I will do my best bezn-Allah…

  16. Ali, How is life :D???
    I would like to give an advice to those who didnt make it….DONT GIVE UP…NEVER
    TRUST ME…it deserves more effort…Never give up guys…rabena m3aako
    I’m the anonymous who was waiting for the results :d…and then got accepted…
    It’s a great pleasure for me ali to leave a link to my blog here…hoping my experience will be of help to some people…give me the green light to post the url 😉

  17. Congratulations 🙂 Yes feel free to leave a link to your blog here. And if you wish feel free to introduce yourself…

    As well, I recommend (while the information is still fresh in your head) that you write on your own blog your experience so you can help others during the March round (I will probably write a new blog entry linking to the different articles/experiences out there).

  18. Thanks man 😉 … here is my blog
    I promise to write everything as soon as i have time to do so 😀
    BTW..Hany knows me well 😉
    c u soon isA 🙂

  19. Great to know you Moe and see your blog too!

    It’s nice to see that if you hover over the link to your blog there is a preview to your blog! (Powered by Snap) – Not sure if you did that yourself, or if its on by default in WordPress – but I like it 🙂


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