What was the reason you considered applying to the Europe Bing team, why Microsoft- Search ?
I was looking for an R&D position in Europe that allowed me to use my Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) skill sets and Bing seemed like a good fit. I also felt that it was a good time to get into web search since I believe a period of intense innovation is forthcoming. This is being brought about by increased competition in the field and by the desire to tap into new sources of information such as social media and real time feeds like Twitter. I was also attracted by the start-up mentality at Bing, the small team sizes and the fact that the European offices are located in city centres rather than suburban business parks.
Any tips to job seekers around the world interested in relocating to London and working at Bing?
London is a great city to live in and the Bing office is bang in the middle of it. There are lots of cool restaurant, shops, parks and bars a stone throw away from the office which adds to the vibrancy of the work place. You cannot get bored around here. As for moving to London, Microsoft provides a very competitive relocation package which includes assistance in finding accommodation which makes the settling in process remarkably smooth.
Candidate Interview experience (life cycle of the process?)
I found the interviewing experience very professional. I was first contacted by a recruiter who explained me very clearly and in great detail all the different types of positions available in the organization. Once I expressed my interest in the SDE position, the hiring process was put in motion. In a first attempt to assess my programming skills, I was given a coding homework which I found more a realistic interviewing technique than being asked to code answers over the phone. Instead, the phone interview was used for a high-level discussion of design and architecture.
Subsequently, I was flown in to the London office for an all-day interview. This interview consisted of several hour-long one-on-one chats with people from the development, testing and product management teams. I enjoyed them all but I especially liked interacting with the members of the development team. Most of these chats were focused on testing my grasp on algorithms and data structures. I was presented with problems for which I had to come up with efficient solutions and then had to code the solutions on paper. I found these technical interviews challenging but ultimately a fun and rewarding experience. By the end of the day, after close to 7 hours of interviewing, I was quite tired but it was all worth it when in the last meeting of the day, I was told that Bing would be making me a job offer.