Project Manage

PM at Microsoft - Steven Sinofsky

Program Managers help drive product development through designing specifications and product goals, vision, and features. They are technically proficient and have a clear understanding of the algorithmic ideas behind code. PMs have very strong communication skills and project management skills. Coding is not necessarily part of a PM's daily responsibilities, but we do look for people with experience coding in C, C++,C#, and/or Java, and your coding skills will likely be evaluated during the interview. JobsBlog posts that mention PMs can be found here, and a video PM job description is available on View<myWorld>

4 levels:
Group Program Manager, Sr. Program Manager, Program Manger Management, Program Manager.

software development process

Interview of Program/Market Manager position

Program Manager (PM) Interview tips

sample Program Manager interview

Interviewing at Microsoft

I arrived early to the Microsoft interviewing building, filled out my forms, and sat and watched all the other nervous candidates trickle in for their 8:30 appointments. A number of other students were called up before me, but then it was my chance. The day started with HR.

This is by no means a comprehensive list but it highlights some of the bigger questions. I got a lot of repeats of the usual questions like:

* Where do you want to be in 2-5+ years?
* Why Microsoft?
* Why PM?
* Talk about past experiences, what would you do differently?

The day started at 8:30.

* HR

* Introduction to how the day will work
* General HR type questions

  1. PM - Windows Media Player

* How would we design Windows Media Player to run on a TV
* Talk about putting a 1.5 mile runway on a 1 mile by 1 mile plot of land
* What are the differences between C and C++
* Explain Object Oriented programming to your grandmother
* You have 6 months to do a 9 month project. What do you do?

  1. PM - Windows Media Player

* Why don’t you use Windows Media Player?
* What are 4 improvements you would make to Windows Media Player 9?

* Prioritize them
* You do not have enough time to do them all, now what?

  1. I now cut all those improvements and ask you to do something you do not want to do, how do you react?
  2. Talk about Windows Media Guide, how do we make it more relevant?
  3. Talked about a lesson learned from a past experience, how do you apply that lesson today?
  4. PM (lunch) - eHome

* Design a 1m x 1m bathroom
* Teach me how to sail
* What was your most difficult project?
* How have you demonstrated leadership at a previous company?

  1. PM - eHome

* Demo’d the technology of one of the teams I was interviewing with
* Talked about a problem with a Microsoft product and brainstormed ways of resolving it
* We talked about the future of the technology and some of the problems they currently have

  1. Head PM - Windows Media Player

* What haven’t you been asked?
* Asked a brainteaser about tribes and people being marked and having to jump to their deaths. It’s a logic puzzle. I might have only been asked this because I answered that I had not been asked any brain teasers for the above question.
* How do you motivate developers?
* Urged me to ask *any* questions about Microsoft (salary,…)

  1. ‘As appropriate’ - Executive for Outlook

* We are a car company and want to make our key fobs our competitive advantage / the reason why people buy our cars. Talk about a framework for evaluating ideas and then generate some.
* Where do you want to be in five years?
* If you were an absentee landlord how would you take care of your house?
* How do you handle renting to friends?
* What advances are we going to see ten years from now? What are the impacts?
* Talked a lot about my goals and future. Lots of drilling deep down into them.

  1. HR

* Recap of how the day went
* What would lead me to choose Amazon over Microsoft? Microsoft over Amazon?
* Talked about what happens next

  1. Dinner w/Microsoft employee of my choice (Robert Scoble)

* Dinner person was not in on the ‘interview loop’

question to interview a manager

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License