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Cisco Interview experience for Network Consulting Engineer

Akanksha Singh
Published: September 30, 2022

About Cisco :
Cisco’s purpose is to power an inclusive future for all. We believe in the power of technology and what it makes possible for our communities, businesses, and governments around the world. Cisco Systems, a technology company based in America, which operates internationally, is best known for being the top networking company. It is one of the largest corporations in the world. Cisco was founded in 1984 and has its headquarters in San Jose, California. 
Cisco is also known for its amazing work culture, it has been named #1 on the world’s best workplaces list by Great Places to Work and Fortune Magazine for the second time.

About Ideathon :

The Cisco Ideathon is an opportunity for students with potential and creativity to be a part of Cisco’s technological innovations. It presents a competitive model to showcase original thinking and problem-solving aptitude using technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things, networking infrastructure, and collaboration to address global issues related to education, healthcare, water conservation, the environment, and sustainability. The program enables qualifiers of Ideathon to get an internship with full-time placement opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria For Ideathon 2022

  • The student must be from a Cisco Networking Academy
  • Students must have completed either of the following courses:
    • Networking Essentials OR CCNA Module 1
    • Introduction to Cybersecurity+ Cybersecurity Essentials OR Cyber ops
    • Python OR DevNet
  • CGPA Cut-o: 7 and above (highest degree)
  • Preferred Degree: BE/B. TECH, ME/M. TECH, Integrated Dual Degree, MCA, MSc.
  • Preferred Specialisation: Open to all branches
  • Internship Availability: Final year students who are available for 6 months internship from Jan 2023 to June 2023
    • No current backlogs/arrears at the time of participation.

Cisco Ideathon Journey :

Registrations: I received mail to register on platform for Cisco Ideathon – Advanced Software 2022. After you register for the Ideathon, if you are shortlisted based on the eligibility criteria, you’ll receive links on your registered email ID for further rounds according to the timeline.

Round 1: Preliminary Online Quiz: First Assessment was having 3 sections.

  • Aptitude and reasoning 
  • Networking-based questions
  • Advance Software  

Aptitude: This section included 10 questions and they were easy to medium and the time limit was 20 mins.

Networking:  For This section, We must well with the basics of networking. They were more scenario-based questions like two situations were given and we have to select the proper option for it.  From this section sectional time was removed and a timer of 1 hour 10 mins started. This was my favorite section 🙂

Foundational Programming: This section had one coding question.

Advanced Software: This section consists of medium-level coding questions.

Round 2: Presentation submission Round: After that qualified candidates got a mail regarding the problem statement, there were two problem statements on which we had to provide a solution. we had to choose one, research thoroughly, and create a presentation on presenting our ideas to solve the given problem and upload that on platform. 2-3 days were given to us for this thing.

Problem statements given were :

  • Every household has a box of general medicines/ specific medicines that are present for our consumption. While the medicine is purchased, we make it a point to check the date of expiry, however over a period of time we ignore to validate if the medicines available in our house are still under the period of expiry. Question: Leverage technology to ensure that we have an easy mechanism to identify which of the medicines are still okay for consumption.
  • How many times has it happened that you are on a social media platform, and it suddenly stops working and you start with opening Google and end up restarting your home Wi-Fi router only to realize that the app was indeed down and not your network?
    What if there was an app that told you exactly where your network was broken and if the problem was at your end, or the network service provider, or the application itself? This is the world of FSO or Full Stack Observability. You could read more about Cisco Thousand Eyes / AppDynamics and how we are solving similar problems for the world. In this context, what areas of your day-to-day life will significantly improve when you leverage FSO? At work, play or school. Think about the problems you face today they currently have complex multiple touch points and how FSO can help you improve the overall experience.

After PPT submissions were shortlisted students got mail for interviews and they ask you to fill your preference for a few job roles. In Ideathon 2022, there were Software Engineer – Internal Applications, Consulting Engineer – CX, Business Analyst, Technical Systems Engineer, and Site Reliability Engineer roles. Based on the performance in this test, we were given roles.

I choose the first problem Statement.

Interview Rounds: The people who passed the  PPT submissions round were shortlisted for Interview Rounds.
Shortlisted students were sent invites to join the Webex space, based on the job role assigned to you, for further communication. I was shortlisted for the role of Consulting Engineer/CX intern.
The interview consisted of three rounds (All three were elimination rounds)

  •  Technical round
  •  Managerial round
     ETR/HR round

Technical Interview: There was 1 interviewer with 25 years of experience. It started with asking to introduce yourself, first, they will comfort you.

Part 1 :

  • Explain PPT which was submitted in a round.
  • Have uh thought of any changes in idea or any implementation since the time span between PPT submission and interview?
  • Why do you prefer this tech stack and some questions about that tech stack i.e. android and flutter. 
  • From where did the idea come into your mind
  • He asked about some limitations of my idea and then he discuss how we can overcome that limitation
  • What will you do if a non-technical user uses your tool
  • Practical scenario-based questions on my idea

PPT discussion lasted around 10-15 mins. So be prepared with every aspect of your idea. The interviewer was quite impressed with my solution 🙂

 Part 2: Project discussion (10 mins) I have mentioned 5 projects in my resume they grilled me on all of them. After that he asked about my favorite subject, I mentioned that all computer fundamental subjects. so he asked me some questions about each of them.

  • What is Deadlock and how we can prevent a Deadlock?
  • Difference between RAM and ROM what do you think is more efficient
  • Why do we need Virtual Memory. is it ok to have large Virtual memory
  • What is Demand Paging
  • What is Computer Network and how will you explain a Computer network to a person who doesn’t have any idea about a network?
  • Functionalities of the different layers in the OSI model.
  • What is VLAN? 

Managerial Interview:  1 interviewer was there she introduced me to her work experience in cisco and then asked me to introduce myself. It was more or less a mix of technical and managerial questions. She ask me questions one computer fundamentals basically everything that I mentioned in my resume.

  • Tell me about yourself and your internship experience that I have mentioned in my resume she asked me everything about it like how work is done in that firm, What was my role
  • What happened when we enter the URL in the browser?
  • Do you have any information about the role that you have applied for? 
  • Cisco’s protocols and product information I have read this from their website about the latest cisco products they working on so I was able to answer that.
  • Why we should hire you.
  • Scenario-based questions on networking
  • Concept of VLAN and its real-world applications of it.
  • Project-based question.
  • How router works. What is routing protocol? The data structure used by router i.e. routing table she wanted me to be specific about words I was answering her that it’s router memory.
  • Why do you want to work for cisco? Why cisco why not other companies.
  • Any questions for me (Interviewer)?

After 4-5 hours I was shortlisted for the HR round. At Cisco, they call it the ETR (Emerging Talent Recruitment) connect round.

HR/ETR round:  It started with an introduction. He told me that there is a chance of rejection from this round as well. 

1. Any further studies plan
2. Projects that you have done and which are used in real-world not my college projects
3. Are you available for relocation? If so, Bangalore or Pune?
4. Explained to me my role and responsibilities as consulting engineer
5. Any questions for me (interviewer)?

Note: Be Confident while interviewing. Study all Computer fundamental subjects thoroughly. All the best !!!!

Result:  Selected