Cisco Systems Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Software Engineer II Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems in April 2012.
Interview Details One round of phone screening
3-4hrs of second round technical (on-site)
3-4 sessions, each sessions -> 40-60min
2-3 interviewers each session, multiple technical questions, but only fundamental questions
40% C programming
20% TCP/IP network questions
10% behavior/previous experience
The interview was long, so most of the important knowledge points will be covered.
There is no weird questions, most questions are straightforward. Be careful on the details. Interviewer would judge based on your thinking process and your ability to deal with the details..
Interview Question – Write code to implement a Binary search. Then construct a Binary search tree. Talk about AVL tree. Describe the difference between binary semaphore and mutex. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – HR will call you
Associate Systems Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and interviewed at Cisco Systems.
Interview Details (1) Interview on WebEx. They asked about your work history and how you handled different types of situations. Why do you want to work with Cisco? Why are you interested in sales.
Interview Question – No difficult question really. Answer Question
Sales Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems.
Interview Details straightforward. this is my first time interacting with Cisco people, found very professional and acting swiftly
Software Engineer I Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at Cisco Systems in February 2014.
Interview Details I was brought in for an interview through my school's campus recruiting. The recruiter asked several questions of me (about 10) including two programming questions about singly-linked lists. The programming questions were fairly straight-forward (e.g. remove an element from the list). There were a couple technical theory questions as well; for example, "What are the differences between processes and threads?" or "Why do we use threads?" The remaining questions were related to my work history, what kind of person I am, et cetera.
Interview Question – There really weren't any big surprises here. If you're applying for this job, you probably have a CS degree of some sort under your belt, and unless you've been practically sleeping through your classes throughout your degree it shouldn't be difficult to answer most/all of these questions fully and intelligently. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Wasn't prepared to move to Ottawa.
Very Easy Interview
Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Very Easy Interview)
Interviewed at Cisco Systems
Interview Details There was no technical question. The interview was very simple. There was only one interview. It was a phone interview. I was asked for reference, I provided 2 references and after 2 hours I got the offer. It took more time till get the paper work and sign the offer.
Program Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Cisco Systems in May 2013.
Interview Details My interview consisted of 3 rounds of interviews. The first 2 rounds were with 4 consecutive interviews each visit and the last one was with a panel of 4. The questions were geared towards rating the candidates on various behavioural traits, skill and analytical ability.
Interview Question – What would you do to learn about and keep up with the industry trends? Answer Question
Software Engineer I Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Cisco Systems.
Interview Details There were two interviews. The first interview was at the school campus. There were two interviewers, spent 30 mins with each. First asked questions about Linux command lines. The second asked about programming. The questions were meant to assess understanding, not be brain-teasers like some interviews.
The second interview was at the Cisco building. Not as many questions asked the second time around. It was more about meeting the team, seeing the building, and having another team member confirm competency.
Interview Question – How to instantiate a class, use a method once, then have the class cleaned up. View Answers (2)
Reason for Declining – Require very high dedication to work. This could be ok if compensation is high enough but I got a higher offer from a company that was much more relaxed.
CSAP - Associate Systems Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems in December 2013.
Interview Details There are 3 steps to the process:
1. Video Interview - Had a video interview with the Field Sales Manager.This interview was pretty much getting to know you
2. Making a 2 minute video - Had to make a 2 minute video on How Cisco can drive innovation in the workplace. Really don't have much to give here. The website still says that it is in review. I highly doubt that they looked at it.
3. Assessment Center - This requires a lot of preparation. This assessment took place at the Cisco office in Toronto. You will be here with other candidates for this position (for me it was around 30 candidates) and will basically live in a room for the whole day (about 8am-5pm). The expectation is that you socialize with other candidates and also employees who are currently in the CSAP program. HR is present in the room the whole time (except when they escort you to your rooms), so I'm not sure if they notice anything (you are provided name tags, so maybe?). From what I was told there were 4 positions for January and probably another 3 or 4 for July (depends on headcount provided to them).
There were 4 parts for this day (already known from the email sent around 2 weeks before the interview). Basically, the candidates are put into groups. For example: There are 32 candidates. 4 groups of 8 each take turns in the below parts and go to 8 different rooms at a time. So basically, HR escorts you to your room every time it's your turn. Feedback is given for the sales role play and the presentation. Also, some interviewers will be present via video conference. There were about 2 or 3 interviewers for every part.
The 1st part was a 15 minute assessment. By far, the easiest assessment ever. They provided me with a 40 minute video which had all the info. Everyone finished it within 5 minutes. It had about 8 questions multiple choice.
The 2nd part was another interview like the video interview. Depending on your resume, they will ask you technical questions. Didn't seem to be that bad really. Other candidates also said that it went well for them.
The 3rd part which is a sales roleplay requires preparation. The link in the email contained the info needed. They provided some material for the case study. My case was a retailer who wanted to drive costs lower and improve customer collaborations. The key here is to ask questions. Also, you have to gain the trust of the customer. My approach was to uncover solutions as they provided their pain points. My mistake was that I didn't ask enough questions although my solutions were accepted. Don't answer questions that you do not know. They may push you in that direction. Study Cisco's product and services on their website for your research.In this step, I heard a lot of people saying that the interviewers told them that Cisco has a very high cost and what's stopping them from going to the competition. Key here is to drive enterprise value. Again the key here is to uncover all the customers needs, so ASK QUESTIONS. The next step is to show how Cisco can provide great value. How you get to the solution is more important although the solutions have to make sense.Also at the end of the role play, solidify the next steps (should be to schedule another meeting). As soon as the role play was over, I was asked what would I do differently. This can be tricky since you plan on doing what you think is right. It was a little easier for me since I did not ask enough questions, so that's what i said. Also to add, I had one customer in the room whom i was presenting to and there was another interviewer taking notes via video conference.
The last part was a 10 minute presentation on The Internet of Everything (IoE), What cisco can do to drive IoE and what technology is needed. One point I did not know is that they can ask you questions at any point and you have to still use a max of 10 minutes. So I would prepare a presentation of around 7 minutes just to be safe. Mine was close to 10 minutes and I had to cut a lot because of the questions asked. This can vary. Feedback given to me was that i had to engage them more which basically means get them involved (get their opinions, ask them questions). Questions asked were what is cisco curently doing to drive IoE, is byod driving IoE
HR said that offers for January will be sent next week and everyone else should here within a month. I was declined the next week. My guess is that the sales role play brought me really down and performing well in this step is very important as it will be an everyday thing with this position. I heard that all the interviewers sat back after the day was over to discuss their findings. I was not fully disappointed just because sales was not something i really wanted to go to. This job was more sales than hands on although the technical knowledge is required. FYI: there were a number of people with no technical background in networking
Interview Question – 1st round: How would you leverage Cisco products over other products inspite of cost? How would you research into a company before pitching the services you can offer them?
3rd round interview: Convincing team members to go with your point of view, why cisco, why hire you and not another candidate. Answer Question
Software Engineer II Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cisco Systems.
Interview Details Submit my resume at job fair, then get an email for campus interview. Around 45 mins, ask questions about memory, multiple threading, bit manipulation and write code around 10 min for three questions. But the interviewer is quite nice.
Interview Question – linux memory management Answer Question
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