Program management is a unique and evolving job role in Microsoft that combines the responsibility of product management, project management, and user interface design. You can compare program management with product management at other companies as the main products of Microsoft are basically programs or software. At Microsoft, the program manager owns the product specification and ensures the product meets the customer’s requirements.
What is a Program Manager?
At Microsoft, the role of a program manager is the same as that of a product manager of other tech companies. The role of a product manager at Microsoft depends on quite a few things. Some product managers have traditional responsibilities while others have to do a lot more things than just managing! Usually, a program manager at Microsoft coordinates various projects and gives detailed attention to program strategy, project delegation, and program implementation. Another key duty of a program manager at Microsoft is to ensure that all the team members are coordinating their efforts so that the project stays on schedule, on budget, and reaches the goal.
The Job Responsibility of a Program Manager at Microsoft
Program managers at Microsoft implement various methods to ensure the new programs stick with the organization’s business strategy and goals. So, most of the job responsibilities of a program manager require a high level of coordination, delegation, and more. Usually, a business uses various programs to complete business-related tasks like –
- Sales Process
- Product launch
- Facility or store opening
- Marketing Plan
- Customer or employee training, etc.
And a program manager has to analyze these programs with a broad, high-level view. Moreover, they have to ensure that all the team members are managing the project efficiently and meeting the deadline comfortably. So, the day-to-day activities of a program manager at Microsoft are –
- Planning and monitoring program execution
- Project coordination and managing project interdependencies
- Creating and managing a budget
- Cross-project resource management
- Identifying and addressing problems and risks
- Program documentation
- Stakeholder communications, negotiations, and problem-solving
- Aligning or realigning deliverables with program outcomes
Degrees that are Best for a Program Manager
|Name of the Degree||Time||Tuition Fees||Other Career Options for this Degree|
|Business Management – B.S. Business Administration||48 Months||$3,720 per 6-month term||Account executive business analyst program ManagerDirector or senior directorVice president|
|Master of Business Administration||12 months||$4,675 per 6-month term||President and CEOVice president executive directorChief strategic officer|
|Marketing – B.S. Business Administration||48 Months||$3,720 per 6-month term||Marketing and PR manager director of marketing and communications director of publications customer intelligence manager marketing sales manager|
|Management and Leadership – M.S.||12 months||$4,675 per 6-month term.||PresidentVice president-director of operations executive director|
How to Get a Job as a Program Manager at Microsoft?
Getting a job as a program manager at Microsoft is not that difficult but you will need various soft skills with proper educational qualifications. You will need various types of skills like –
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Understanding of domain
- Understanding of technology, etc.
Moreover, if you have technical background then you will have an advantage over other candidates. Like the software engineering jobs at Microsoft, program manager jobs also have high competition. If you want to apply for program manager at Microsoft then you have to wait for a job opening. If there is a job opening then you should contact directly to a recruiter on LinkedIn or a PM in your network. When you apply for the job, you will get a call from the recruiter. The recruiter will ask you some basic questions like why you want to join Microsoft as well as your educational qualification. Moreover, they might ask you about your past job experience. If you pass this step then you will go through a few other phone screenings where the program manager will ask you some technical and design questions. If you pass all the phone screenings then the next step is on-site. Here, you will go through back-to-back interviews with four to five different Microsoft employees. Then you have to demonstrate your own ideas and improvements! Next, you have to go through an HR interview. Here HR will evaluate if you are culturally a good fit for Microsoft or not. If you pass this step then HR will contact you with an offer.
Interview Questions for the Role of a Program Manager at Microsoft
Most-Asked Program Manager Interview Questions
- How would you improve Microsoft Outlook?
- How can Microsoft integrate LinkedIn with its core products?
- Design a mobile app for Microsoft Teams.
- How will you explain collaborative filtering to a five-year-old?
- Design an elevator system.
- Design a door for the visually impaired.
- Should Company X create product Y for children?
General/End-to-End Microsoft TPM Interview Questions
- Describe a time when you had to manage an end-to-end technical program.
- Describe how you would manage a hypothetical project XYZ.
- What makes a successful technical program manager, according to you?
- Elaborate on the difference between program management and technical program management.
- What is your methodology for approaching projects and programs?
Microsoft TPM Interview Questions on Prioritization
- Describe a typical day at work.
- How would you manage a hectic work inbox?
- Which tech tools do you find most useful?
- Describe an instance when you delegated a task successfully.
- What would you do in case you missed a deadline?
- What is your response to unexpected project changes?
Kick-off/Sunset Microsoft TPM Interview Questions
- How will you kick off a program?
- How will you sunset a program?
- How will you respond to a project with no timeline or kick-off?
Microsoft TPM Interview Questions on Planning
- How will you create a strategic roadmap for your program?
- How will you handle additional requirements that may come up unannounced in the middle of a project?
- How will you build a forecasting tool?
Microsoft TPM Interview Questions on Risk
- What is your take on handling risks in a project?
- Describe an instance when you had to manage a major risk in a program.
Microsoft TPM Interview Questions on Agile Methodologies
- How will you draft an Agile project?
- How will you compare agile and waterfall methodology?
- What will you do if you find a bug in your program just before it is time to release it?
- Tell us about some of the agile methodologies you are familiar with.
- What core components of Scrum are the most and least valuable according to you?
- In a planning meeting, which sizing methodology will you use?
- How will you prepare for a sprint planning meeting? How will you decide the sprint length?
Microsoft TPM Interview Questions on Technical Systems Design
- How would you design a search engine?
- How would you design a shared drive?
- How would you design Twitter?
- How would you design a messaging system?
- How would you design a vaccine rollout system?
- Design a URL shortening service like bit.ly.
- Design your own traffic control system.
- Design a limit order book for trading systems.
- Design a platform like Instagram.
- Design a universal file-sharing app like Dropbox.
- Design a secure ATM.
- Redesign Facebook’s feature Newsfeed.
- Design a platform like Airbnb.
- Design a parking lot.
- Design an autocomplete feature for a search engine.
- Design a vending machine in Java.
- Design an API rate limiter.
- Design a video streaming service like Netflix.
- Design a ticketing management system for the zoo.
Microsoft TPM Interview Questions on Explaining Tech Concepts
- How does Agile work?
- How do satellites work?
- How does the Internet work?
- How does a TV’s remote control work?
- How does an AC’s condenser work?
- How does the clutch system of an automobile work?
- How do Instagram filters work?
- How does a web crawler work?
Microsoft TPM Coding Interview Questions
- Find the missing number in a given integer array of 1 to 100.
- Find the largest and smallest number in an unsorted integer array.
- Find the duplicate number in a given integer array.
- How will you remove duplicate nodes in an unsorted linked list?
- Find the middle element of a singly linked list in one pass. (Solution)
- How will you print duplicate characters from a string?
- How will you print the first non-repeated character from a string?
- How will you check if two strings are anagrams of each other?
- How is a string reversed using recursion?
- How will you perform preorder traversal in a binary tree?
- How can you implement a binary search tree?
- How will you traverse a binary tree in preorder without recursion?
Microsoft TPM Interview Questions on Leadership
- How are your responsibilities different from those of your project manager?
- Which tools do you rely on to successfully perform your duties?
- What are your top metric choices for measuring success?
- What can you tell us about program charters?
- How will you define and control program goals?
- What is your strategy for keeping up with the latest tech trends?
- Tell us about your most recent program.
- Describe a role where you had to deal with budgeting and resource allocation.
- Have you ever fallen behind schedule on a project?
Various Job Openings for Program Management at Microsoft
- Technical Program Management II
- Senior Technical Program Manager
- Senior PM Manager
- EMEA Regional Land & Property Manager
- Construction Execution Specialist
- Construction Strategy Execution Program Director
- Construction Scheduler
- Program Manager – Electrical Telemetry
- Senior Regional Master Planner – Data Center
- Technical Program Manager – Cloud Solutions
- Group Program Manager – Intelligent Transformation Finance
- Senior Data Analyst
- Technical Program Manager
- Assurance Program Manager
- Principal Technical Program Manager
- Principal Program Manager – Software Telemetry
- Customer Experience Program Manager
- Platform Operations Support Lead
- Principal Technical Program Manager
- Principal Product Manager
- Principal Privacy Program Manager
- Principal Technical Program Management Manager
- Construction Strategy Execution Program Manager
- Senior Director, Partnerships for Chemistry and Materials
- Environmental Permitting Program Manager
- Sr. PM, Data Portfolio Management
- Permitting Program Manager
- Government Cloud Director
- Senior Reverse Supply Chain Manager
- Security Response Lead
- US Regional Easements Manager
- Environmental Project Manager
- Commerce Risk Senior Program Manager
- Senior Regional Master Planner
- NPI PM 2- HW Devices
- Director, Spares & Warranty Supply Chain
- Partner PM Manager
Last Updated on September 3, 2022 by Ana S. Sutterfield