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I'm going tomorrow to the US Embassy for a walk-in interview, with all my documents ready, including the cashier's order (for which I made a special trip today and ended up staying in a bank branch 30 minutes past closing).

*runs through checklists*

I'll be trying to sleep relatively early and well (I didn't have an afternoon nap today for once even though there was the temptation to), so I may not be around.
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I got an email today that made me very happy. :)

And it's raining heavily too for the first time in a long time! :D
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I woke up around 7:00 am after a relatively quiet and restful sleep, although I found it hard to sleep at first because there was a light on in my room and I didn't find out where it was or how to turn it off until after I woke up. :P

I changed and went down to the hotel kitchen for a buffet breakfast that featured cereal with cold milk, fried bacon and other things that I wouldn't normally have for breakfast. After all, it was free (or rather, I didn't have to pay for it myself). :P

After that, since there was some time and I didn't feel like cooping myself up in the room the whole morning reading books, I decided to take a walk and see a bit more of Hong Kong than just Kimberley Road. Before that, I first took some pictures of the skyline from my window.

Photography and sight-seeing )

After that, I spent some time reading some of the textbooks I'd packed in my suitcase and preparing for the interview. I even had time to take a silly picture of myself. :P

Looking silly here

I ate a quick lunch and dashed down to the hotel where the interviews were to take place. I think it's credit to my walking speed and sense of direction that I got there without getting late or being lost. ^_^;; The interviews were each about 45 minutes to an hour long, and I had 5 of them, with some breaks in between for refreshments and restroom breaks.

To answer [livejournal.com profile] testing4l's comment, trees were not mentioned at all during any of the interviews. :P Most of the time, the constraints on the problems were set at O(n) in terms of space or time, and since adding n nodes to a tree is O(n log2 n) in the worst case, they weren't really suitable data structures. That also means the reading and refreshers I did about 2-3 trees, 2-3-4 trees, red-black trees and AVL trees was largely irrelevant. It was still good to have read about them though, so that at least I could show I knew what I was talking about. By and large, most of the problems posed related to arrays and pointers in C, and I found myself using hashtables frequently to tackle the problems.

The first two interviews were probably not my best, since I was still warming up and getting used to the environment, and these were more focused on hard-core low-level programming (for example, implementing a string-reversal function without using the C runtime). My third interview was a non-technical interview with my HR recruiter, and it was a welcome break from the coding. I believe this interview set the tone for the final two interviews, both of which took place and involved more high-level code writing, including a pseudo-code function for the last interview.

I finished around 7 pm together with another candidate, and both of us decided to walk to the harbour to take a look at the night skyline of Hong Kong before we left. The first picture didn't come out very well (perhaps because the camera's exposure was set wrongly or because it was just mis-behaving), but it was a picture of the lights across the harbour.

Coloured streaks of light~

The second picture was one the other interview candidate took of me. I probably looked really tired in this one, but after 5 hours of interviews, what else would you expect? :P

Tired nyanko~

The results of the interview will be made known to me via e-mail on the 4th of November (a Saturday). I hope, and I'm quietly confident, that I'll get an offer. In case I don't, though, I'm going to work locally for some time during my one-year waiting period and then apply again.

The night ended pretty uneventfully. I went back to the hotel for dinner, and after that fell asleep like a log. :P

There isn't as much to write about the third day, so that post will (rest assured) be a lot shorter than this one.
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While still packing, I remembered I said I would post this, and so I am. ^_^

I'm interviewing with the Windows Serviceability Engineering (WinSE) group. This group is essentially responsible for releasing the updates that appear on Windows Update, Automatic Updates, WSUS and so on. Basically, I'd be writing code and/or test tools within this group if I get hired. Thus, I've been forewarned to expect quite a few questions on data structures, algorithms, and logic puzzles. :P

The exact language for coding is still something I'm not too sure of yet though. The requirements state that C/C++ is one of them, but a friend of mine working there is coding in Perl. (I want to code in Perl too.) I'm currently learning STL (C++ templates) but it's a slow process.

I think I would enjoy working there, because I'm interested in security and also because this is a good way for me to continue/apply the research I had done for my HYP.

And now, I leave you with some randomness:

See, even nyanko can do a bunny-ears impression! )
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It seems like the days passed by so quickly since I received the e-mail informing me about the interview date. ^_^;

In about 19 hours' time, I'll be in Hong Kong and preparing for the interview. Obviously I haven't packed yet. :P But since I'll only be there for 3 days and I was asked to dress casually, I think I should be able to finish packing within an hour or two hours at most.

I'm getting sleepy now though (and still recovering), so I'll probably post a bit more before I leave tomorrow about the interview. I don't think I will be able to update while I'm there, though. :P
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Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] relsqui for these lyrics:

Lyrics to Take Five - which I didn't know existed )

In other news, I received my itinerary this morning via e-mail. I'll be leaving Singapore for Hong Kong on the 22nd of October (a Sunday) at 4:05 pm and landing there at 7:55 pm (without any change in time zone), and leaving Hong Kong for Singapore on the 24th of October (a Tuesday) at 10:40 am and landing in Singapore at 2:20 pm.

That doesn't give me much time to do anything, but it certainly is better than what I originally thought would happen, where I would fly in just in time for the interview and leave immediately after. While I'm in Hong Kong, I might visit the famous Peak and do some shopping. I may even take some pictures to share, though that depends on whether my camera wants to cooperate. :P

I'm still waiting to hear just which group I will be interviewing for, though. But I'm hopeful that things will go well. :)
nyankoframe: (Default)

Hello [livejournal.com profile] nyankoframe,

I would like to thank you for your interest in opportunities at Microsoft and for taking the time to speak with us recently. We were impressed with your skills and background. I am happy to share with you that the results from your phone interview were successful and you will soon be formally invited to our interviews in Hong Kong the week of October 23rd. We are currently working on the travel arrangements, and will contact you with more details as soon as we have the arrangements confirmed. Thank you for your patience.

It will be interesting for me to travel to Hong Kong. I don't think I've ever been there before. :P

I'm not going to be over-confident and say that I'll definitely get through this round of in-person interviews. I need to prepare a lot more than I did for the phone interview, and prepare myself mentally too for the stress of having so many rounds of interviews and facing a lot of challenging questions. In a way, it's like Worlds or AUDC though, at least in terms of maintaining energy level. ^_^;

*buries self in laptop*
nyankoframe: (Default)
I'm a little bit nervous, but not overly so. :P Right now I'm just mentally revising the common programming concepts such as sorting, trees, hash tables and other things to make sure I remember what they are.

I'll most likely go through my resume too so that in case I get asked any questions about it, I can answer them.

Oh, and I probably will be going to sleep soon (even though I already slept for about 3 hours). So no late nights for today. ^_^;;;


Sep. 13th, 2006 07:06 pm
nyankoframe: (Default)
My interview is at 4 pm PST on the 20th of Wednesday, not the 13th. ^_^;;;

That's good because I have more time to prepare for it, and also because I'll be on leave by then. :P But I'll have to tell everyone again that my interview was "postponed". >_>
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Hi [livejournal.com profile] nyankoframe, I have an phone interview time available for Wednesday at 4:00 PM PST, that should be 7:00 AM on Thursday in Singapore, would you be available at that time?

Yes, I can finally mention it now that I've got an interview time that I can make it for. :P I applied to Microsoft in Redmond, WA for a development position, and I passed the first round of e-mail interviews a few weeks ago. ^_^ If all goes well, I'll be having an in-person interview sometime in October. :D
nyankoframe: (Default)
I just saw a post in RSS Bandit regarding "Microsoft Job Opportunities in the USA". While I'm not sure if I want to apply, it might be something that other people are interested in, so I posted it here.

From the post:
Who can apply:
Students or recent graduates of Computer Science, Computer Engineering or related disciplines.  Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral students are welcome to apply.  Must finish your degree by September 2005.  Recent graduates (May 2003 or later) are also welcome.

PLEASE APPLY BY MARCH 15th – We will be interviewing in Singapore in early April.

More information can be found at this link.
nyankoframe: (Default)

Jason Olson writes about interviewing for a SDET position with Microsoft.

This is one of the positions I've been considering working as after I graduate, and it's always interesting to find out how companies in the tech industry conduct their interviews. (I have read "How Would You Move Mount Fuji?" and I don't entirely agree with what is expressed there.)

nyankoframe: (Default)
I just received an e-mail with the results of the interview... and...

I made it! Yeah ^_^ *feels happy and relieved*
nyankoframe: (Default)
I suspect I didn't get in...

*shrugs* Oh well. Maybe they found a lot of people who were better qualified than me.
nyankoframe: (Default)
*loves the song*

In other news, no news yet about the interview results. Anyway there's still tomorrow ^^;
nyankoframe: (Default)
It wasn't nearly half as difficult as I thought it would be. ^^;;;

The results should be out by Tuesday at the latest, according to the interviewer. ^_^
nyankoframe: (Default)
The interviewer hasn't come yet, yet I'm trying not to be nervous. So far it seems to be working ^_^;
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It's going to rain, and there's the sound of thunder in the background. ^^;;;;

But hopefully I won't get wet. =)
nyankoframe: (Default)
It's on Thursday and Friday (i.e. tomorrow and the day after) at their offices. Here's part of the e-mail they sent to shortlisted candidates.

What they said )

I'm just worried that I'm going to screw up again, and I don't even really know what to prepare for. They have this (famous/infamous?) habit of asking candidates to code on the spot during interviews...

I also still have the oral presentation to prepare for. At least we're not presenting tomorrow but next Thursday ^^;;

And oh, did I mention that there's a practical exam this Saturday?


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