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Cisco Tech Interview Questions

by Interview Kickstart Team in Interview Questions
October 14, 2022

Cisco Tech Interview Questions

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Founder, Interview Kickstart
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How FAANG hiring process works
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Every year, hundreds of candidates face Cisco’s interview questions. In order to ace Cisco’s interview questions, you should have good knowledge of networking concepts, computer intelligence as well as strong analytical skills.

Cisco, a global technology giant, is well known for its networking products. It is in the business of selling a variety of networking hardware, software, telecommunications equipment, and high-technology services. It also ranks 63 on the Fortune 100 list and earns a revenue of $49 billion, as well houses approximately 80,000 employees. Needless to say, working at Cisco is a cherished dream for many software engineers and developers.

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready!

Having trained over 10,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest tech interviews. Our alums consistently land offers from FAANG+ companies. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

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In this article, we will look at the sample questions that you could expect during your Cisco interview. Here’s what we will cover in this guide:

  • Cisco interview questions for freshers
  • Cisco interview questions for experienced developers
  • Cisco interview questions software engineers
  • Cisco data engineer interview questions
  • Cisco DevOps interview questions
  • FAQs about Cisco’s interview questions

Cisco Interview Questions for Freshers

Take a look at some of Cisco’s interview questions you could be asked as a fresher: 

  1. Explain the conditions for deadlock.
  2. Define a firewall.
  3. What is a Gateway?
  4. What is routing?
  5. Define OSI layers and tell us their functions.
  6. Explain the differences between Switch, Routers, and Hub.
  7. Explain the differences between half-duplex and full-duplex.
  8. What will happen if you compile a C program? 
  9. What are the different routing protocols, and how do they work?
  10. What is an IP address?

Cisco Interview Questions for Experienced Developers

We’ve listed the 10 Cisco interview questions below that experienced professionals can expect:

  1. Explain how you can use a linked list to simulate 3 TCP/IP packets.
  2. Define a firewall. Explain what is the security level in an ASA firewall?
  3. Static member in C++ -- what do you understand by this?
  4. Define a transparent firewall.
  5. If we declare union in C, how is the size of union allocated in the memory?
  6. Define real-time OS and explain how it's different from other OS?
  7. Define signal and interrupt handling.
  8. What is Input and Output in a component?
  9. What is the boundary problem in the allocation of the size of structures?
  10. What is the difference between user and kernel space?

Cisco Interview Questions for Software Engineers

Here are some Cisco interview questions for software engineers: 

  1. What is connection-oriented and connectionless transmission in the transport layer?
  2. Explain OSI layers and their responsibility.
  3. What is a multidimensional array, and what is a linked list? Explain the scenarios where you can use linked lists and arrays.
  4. What are the differences between Static and Dynamic routing protocols?
  5. What is ARP(Address Resolution Protocol), and how does it work?
  6. How is a stack different from a queue?
  7. Explain the difference between TCP and UDP with examples.
  8. Given a string containing braces '{', '[', '(', ')', '}', ']'. Check if the string is balanced. If yes, return how many braces there are and if not return -1;
  9. Given the position of 2 queens on a chessboard, determine if they can attack each other.
  10. What do you understand about the sliding window protocol?

Read the 2-month Cisco Tech Interview Preparation Plan to prepare thoroughly for your tech interview.

Cisco Data Engineer Interview Questions

Here are some data engineer interview questions you can be asked at Cisco:

  1. Talk about the XML configuration files in Hadoop.
  2. What are the various steps to employ a big data solution?
  3. Explain replication factors in HDFS.
  4. Have you ever built data systems using the Hadoop framework? 
  5. What is Hadoop?
  6. What are the differences between structured and unstructured data?
  7. What are the differences between NVL and NVL2?
  8. What is data partitioning and when should you use it?
  9. Explain Snowflake in brief. How does it vary from Star Schema?
  10. What is the meaning of FSCK?

Cisco DevOps Interview Questions

Below, we’ve listed 10 Cisco DevOps interview questions:

  1. Why is configuration management important in DevOps?
  2. How do open-source tools boost DevOps?
  3. Describe the advantages of Forking Workflow over other Git workflows?
  4. What are continuous testing and automation testing?
  5. What is the difference between DevOps and Agile?
  6. Explain some of the key performance indicators that can help measure the success of your DevOps efforts.
  7. What are the various tools used in DevOps?
  8. How is DevOps different from NetOps?
  9. How will you create a backup and copy files in Jenkins?
  10.  How will you launch a browser using WebDriver?

FAQs on Cisco Interview Questions

1. What is the average salary at Cisco?
Based on our research, the average salary of a software engineer at Cisco is $136k per year, which includes an average base salary of $117k and an average bonus of $19k.

2. What are the minimum qualification requirements to work as a full-stack software engineer at Cisco?

  • Bachelor's degree (or above) in engineering/computer science with an overall work experience of 7 to 10 years. 
  • Strong JS development experience in building web applications using React, Angular, or other client-side application frameworks.
  • Proven skills in application/backend engineering, developing REST APIs and microservices, DB (SQL/NoSQL) persistence.
  • Expert skills in NodeJS, ES6, Babel, Webpack, React/Angular, Postgres/MongoDB, HTML, CSS, Jasmine/Mocha/Jest, CodeceptJS.

3. How to answer the “Why Cisco” interview question?

The diverse array of work that Cisco does is truly one of the key reasons why anyone wants to work there. From network equipment and server hardware to security solutions, telephone, and video conferencing for global collaboration, and analytics software -- Cisco does it all. Moreover, it boasts an impressive corporate social responsibility record and puts fostering a healthy company culture within the organization right upfront. 

4. How do I prepare for a Cisco interview?

You should give yourself at least 2 months to prepare for a Cisco tech interview. In this time, you must brush up on your basics, including data structures and algorithms and system design. You prepare yourself for behavioral inteview questions. 

5. What are the questions asked in Cisco interview?

For a software engineer interview, you can expect questions on data structures and algorithms, system design, and behavioral interview questions.

How to Crack Your Next Cisco Interview 

Since its inception in 2014, Interview Kickstart has helped thousands of experienced engineers realize their true calling. We aim to help engineers get better acquainted with the intricacies of their chosen field and provide them with all the guidance they need to clear interviews with tech giants. 

Knowing very well that clearing an interview requires much more than sound technical knowledge, we train you in a manner that helps you develop a winner's stride. IK is your golden ticket to land the job you deserve.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our FREE webinar on How to Nail Your Next Tech Interview.

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Hosted By
Ryan Valles
Founder, Interview Kickstart
Our tried & tested strategy for cracking interviews
How FAANG hiring process works
The 4 areas you must prepare for
How you can accelerate your learnings
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