Microsoft Program Manager

DifficultyhardRounds2-3

The role of a Microsoft Program Manager

Program managers typically handle a set of projects (and in some situations, a team of project managers) that are related by a common aspect, such as a single company aim. They are also responsible for strategy, making certain that everything is moving in the right direction and on time.

An effective program manager will aid in the formation of a more cohesive and successful team. Therefore, when organizations seek candidates to manage various projects and teams, they go through a thorough screening process to ensure that the candidate has a good impact on individuals as well as the company.

This guide will walk you through the Microsoft Program Manager interview process, including useful tips and tricks to help you ace the interview.

Interview Guide

The process is lengthy and can take anything from 4 to 8 weeks. Here are the steps you’ll typically go through:

  • Online Application 
  • Phone screen with a recruiter
  • Phone screen with a hiring manager and program managers
  • On-site interviews

Application

The first step is to get an interview at Microsoft. You will need a solid resume and cover letter that are appropriate for program management positions.

Once you have all of your papers in order, you can submit your application. It might also be beneficial to ask an existing employee or contact to refer you to the internal recruitment team. Get references from tech companies and polish your resume to show your worth.

If you are accepted, a recruiter will contact you within 2-3 business days.

Round 1

Overview

The Microsoft interview process begins with a phone call from an HR recruiter. Following the acceptance of your application, you will begin your interview process with Microsoft by interacting with a recruiter over the phone. They want to know how well you'll fit into the role and Microsoft, so be prepared to talk about your background and why you're a perfect match. Typical behavioral and resume-related questions can be expected. The interview will last approximately 30 minutes. Some questions on basic product thinking can also be expected to pop up in this interview.

What the interviewer will assess

  • Your experience with program management.
  • Your flexibility to fit in the profile.
  • Your role-related knowledge and experience.
  • Cultural fit.

Tips

  • You cannot become a program manager at Microsoft unless you are knowledgeable about the company's products and organizational structure. Therefore, you'll need to perform extensive research before your interviews.
  • It's worthwhile to spend some time renewing your memory on fundamental program management concepts like delegation and problem-solving.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself and how you’re a good fit for this company?
  • Can you tell me about a product or feature you launched in any of your previous roles?
  • How would you define an ideal workplace?
  • Which Microsoft product is your favorite, and how would you improve it?
  • What do you consider to be the most important skills for a program manager?

Round 2

Overview

Following the initial phone screen with the recruiter, the next stage is a video interview with a hiring manager and one or two program managers. The interview will last approximately 45 minutes and will consist of a variety of Product Design and Behavioral questions. 

This interview will be followed by a 10-minute debriefing session during which you will be able to clarify any questions you have about the position.

What the interviewer will assess

  • How clear your fundamentals are. 
  • Your potential to come up with ideas in a short period of time.
  • How you evaluate a program’s performance.
  • Your strategy and risk management skills.
  • Your knowledge and research about Microsoft.

Tips

  • Microsoft interviewers will ask you questions mainly from the following categories: design, strategy, estimates, behavioral, technical, and data analysis. By approaching each question with a predetermined technique, you will be able to develop solid interview habits. This will help to make a good impression.
  • Make a list of your solutions and prioritize them. Some questions may have more than one answer. In such cases, rather than offering a single optimum solution, present all of your options. This allows the interviewer to gauge the breadth of your expertise.
  • It is also recommended to have a strong internet connection as you can be asked to share your screen and work on some real-time coding during the interview.

Interview Questions

  • Why do you want this job, and what can you bring to the table that we don't already have?
  • How do you persuade others to agree with your point?
  • Consider a product you've just begun using a lot. How you can improve the user experience by creating a new UI/UX.
  • How will you explain to a child about Cloud?
  • Suppose that you work as a program manager at a startup that uses big data. How do you best use it?
  • How does the internet function?
  • How would you persuade consumers to use your app every day for a month?
  • How would you track app user engagement, and what KPIs would you use to optimize it?
  • Using SQL, print only the odd rows of a table.
  • How would you estimate the number of fuel stations in the United States?

Round 3

Overview

If you pass the video interview, the recruiter will set up on-site interviews for you. You'll usually spend a whole day at one of Microsoft's offices, taking part in four to five interviews. Each interview will take 45 to 60 minutes and will be conducted one-on-one with a number of other executives from the PM team.

 In most situations, you will be interviewed by your future PM colleagues, a senior PM, and a senior executive who is most likely the hiring manager in charge of your recruitment. There will be a lot of behavioral questions, but there will also be a lot of technical, design, strategy, estimates, analytical, and puzzle questions.

What the interviewer will assess

  • Your core PM competencies (product ideation, brainstorming, prioritization, MVP thinking, execution, metrics and iteration skills), as well as your experience in the field.
  • If you can express your ideas and opinions well.
  • How innovative your ideas are.

Tips

  • When the interviewers are discussing your job and the role in question, express your opinions, ask questions, and don't be hesitant to work through the situation with them.
  • Pause for a minute if necessary before expressing your solution. Make sure your concept is clear and well-thought-out before presenting it to the interviewers.
  • Microsoft is a company that focuses on finding solutions. As a Microsoft Program Manager, it is critical for you to be able to recognize challenges that organizations and individuals all around the world are having and to come up with unique solutions to those challenges.
  • Ensure that you are familiar with the fundamentals of Agile project management. Make sure to brush up on your skills the day before so you're prepped.

Interview Questions

  • How will you develop a web service that allows other developers to build online chat applications?
  • How will you create a mobile version of MS Word that allows for real-time collaboration within the app?
  • Create a time management or universal calendar app.
  • How can you tell what your customers are looking for?
  • Create the most appealing user interface for a music app you can think of.
  • Create a three-button remote control for a television.
  • Explain how bit.ly works.
  • You're WhatsApp's Program Manager, and you've invested $1 billion. What would you do in this situation?
  • What are your thoughts on Microsoft potentially acquiring TikTok US?
  • What should the product plan for Microsoft Teams be over the next three years?
  • How would you persuade the team to rally behind your idea?
  • Create a tool that allows job seekers to easily and quickly create resumes and identify the best-matched positions.
  • How would you develop a photo-sharing app for the entire family? What if someone in the family had a visual problem?
  • What's the distinction between C++ and Java?
  • Create an internet news service that provides handpicked news information that the general public can rely on.
  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a team member or a supervisor.
  • What measures would you use to assess Microsoft Teams' success?
  • Tell me about a time you have had to adapt to a work culture.
  • You are the ruler of an island. You wish to change the side of the road that everyone is driving on. How are you going to go about doing it?
  • How will you estimate America’s food consumption in metric tons?

Increase your chance of getting hired!

Get a real-world practice of an hour long mock-interview with our Experts and boost your chances of getting hired!

Book Your Mock Interview Now!

The Decision and Hiring Process

You will be invited for an additional interview at the end of the day if you have completed all of the on-site interviews and have received enough positive recommendations from the interviewers. This is referred to as an ‘as appropriate' interview by Microsoft because it is only scheduled if you receive enough affirmative votes. This interview is largely an opportunity for you to express your enthusiasm for working at Microsoft, as well as to ask insightful questions about the firm.

If you obtain a positive recommendation at this final interview, the hiring committee will analyze your information, determine your level and income, and you're set! You will be offered to join within a week!