How did I prepare to join Microsoft — Path to a Software Engineer Internship

During summer 2021, I will join Microsoft as a Software Engineer intern, to work in the Microsoft Teams team.

How did I prepare to join Microsoft? Below, I will introduce you to the tools, resources, and rules that I have used during my internship preparation.

Before discussing my approach to coding preparation, it is essential to understand the mindset, habits, and tricks that will help you to train every day for several weeks.

To train for several weeks, you have to avoid any kind of burnout, setting realistic and achievable goals. Below, I am going to share my personal rules:

  • From 4 to 20 exercises every day (according to difficulty).
  • Max 20 minutes on each problem.
  • Keep track of the problem I have not been able to solve and try to solve it again the next day.
  • Use multiple platforms at the same time. Personally, I have used: interviewbit, leetcode, geeksforgeeks, CodeChef , hackerrank, HackerEarth, codingblocks, Codeforce.

But, what if someday, you are so tired that you will not be able to solve any problem? My trick has been to solve again problems that have been already solved. This habit helped me to review some topics, maintain daily training and build again confidence after each success banner.

Microsoft careers hints

The best advice and resources, in terms of the structure of the Interview, duration, and advice about dress code, can be found on the Microsoft Careers website.

Use of Microsoft learn and products knowledge

Microsoft offers an e-learning environment that provides free study materials and tutorials about Microsoft tools, technologies, products, and certifications.

In parallel to coding preparation, I have used Microsoft Learn, to learn about the best practices used in GitHub and the fundamentals of Azure.

Even if direct questions about some of the Microsoft Products has not been asked during the interview, it has been important to show my knowledge about the fastest growing Microsoft Assets, like:

  • Azure
  • Microsoft teams, that during the 2020 pandemic, was gaining millions of new daily active users every day, with the almost monthly release of new features, so, probably also one of the most growing software engineer teams within Microsoft.

The truth behind Behavioral questions

‘What would you do if this situation would happen….’, this is a kind of behavioral question.

Now, in less than 30 seconds is quite hard to invent something that will impress the recruiter. This is why you do not have to invent anything at all. Instead, you have to do practical experience teamwork, building experience in team conflict management, and team brainstorming.

Anyway, I have found it extremely useful to respond to behavioral questions using the star structure.

Your GitHub Profile

Even if you have not been lucky enough to find an internship, do not worry. You can always show and share your passion while still learning.

This is why, I have collected my algorithms and data-structures notes, and projects, and shared them on GitHub, working on them on daily basis and contributing to external projects and Organizations.

So, have a seat, relax and enjoy your journey.

Good luck,

Davide

CS Student — Incomign SWE @Microsoft