Cisco Systems India
Cisco Systems India Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Senior Software Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Cisco Systems India.
Interview Details – I was approached by HCL HR to interview for a project as a contractor at Cisco. The first round of discussion was a telephone interview with a HCL Manager.
On clearing that I had a round of telephone interview with a Cisco manager. It was followed by two rounds of technical interview face-to-face at Cisco office.
Interview Question – This is the list of some of the questions that I was asked during the interview process.
Telephone interview questions
1. Volatile – explain with the scenario where volatile keyword would be used. And other scope variables.
2. Constructor, copy-constructor
3. Multiple constructor and destructor
4. Difference between copy-constructor and overloaded assignment operator
5. Write a program to reverse a string without using in-built functions
6. Assigning value to constant pointer
7. Difference between char pointer and char array
8. Will the size of char pointer and char array the same
9. Allocating memory for 2 dimensional array using malloc
10. More emphasis on pointers
11. OOPS concepts, for example, Inheritance (multiple vs multi-level inheritance)
12. Difference between copy-constructor and overloaded assignment operator
13. What is STL.
14. Exception and error handling
15. Runtime polymorphism with example
16. Problems with multi-threaded programming, how to overcome those
17. Given a scenario, how would come up with class design.
18. Explain any of the design pattern that you are aware of with examples (other than singleton pattern)
19. Difference between thread and process
20. How inter process communication can happen
21. How to debug the program. How to debug a crash
Face to face discussion
1. Static and dynamic libraries
Difference between them
Why do we need static and not use just dynamic?
Is there a change in the binary size(.exe file) depending on the type of library used?
Will the libraries still be required even after the binary is generated?
2. Why any program compiled on Windows system(exe) do not run on Linux/Mac?
3. Explain the steps that happen when we enter a URL in a browser till the webpage is displayed
4. What is VPN? What purpose does it serve?
5. Why do we need to use a proxy server? Uses?
6. Program to find the maximum occurrences of a number in an input sequence.
eg: If input sequence is 1,2,2,3,4,4,3,4, then answer is 3 (4 is repeated 3 times)
Same program, the input sequence can be very large and the each of the numbers can also range from 1-million, then how to calculate.
7. Questions about process and threads, IPC.
1. Consider two sorted arrays A and B. A has 30 elements arranged in the first 30 spaces and B is filled fully with 20 elements. Now merge the elements of B with A in a sorted order in O(n) time complexity.
2. Consider two sorted arrays A and B. Both arrays are filled with elements. Now find the middle most element (220/2 = 110th element) if both arrays were merged in a sorted order without actually creating a new array and merging the two arrays.
3. Can realloc be used to free memory?
4. What is "this" operator? What happens when "delete this" is called in the destructor of a class.
5. In a knockout tournament with 64 teams with two teams competing at a time, how many matches will the winner have to play?
6. In a IPL match with 8 teams, how many matches will the winner have to play? Answer Question
Architect Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
Interviewed at Cisco Systems India
Interview Details – I had 6 rounds of interview.
First round was a written test
Second round was a technical interview
Third was another technical interview with an architect
Fourth was a managerial interview
Fifth was another senior technical level interview
Finally, the HR interview
Interview Question – About Chemistry, which was unexpected View Answer
Software Engineer I Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Cisco Systems India in April 2012.
Interview Details – This was a pool campus placement which included a total of 4 colleges apprx 350+ students. The job profile was software and a part of the job profile mailed to us mentioned: Solid understanding of distributed
systems and networking principles, plus working knowledge of related disciplines,
e.g., computer security, algorithms, database, and operating systems.
Round 1: Aptitude test
It was a 1 hr long test and it consisted a total of 50 questions (Multiple choices).
20 questions were on quant. As they were time consuming, I would recommend you to start with the next set of 30 technical questions. The technical questions were based on electronics –Microprocessors (importance of all pins, interrupts, basics of peripheral ICs), Operating Systems (Scheduling Approaches, Memory Management, and processes), Flip Flops, All sorts of additions and subtraction (2’s complement, half binary etc), C programming (Find the error/output problems), Networking (TCP/IP, DNS etc)
Approximately 70 students were shortlisted for the 1st round of interviews.
Round 2: 1st technical Interview
It will be a one on one interview which generally lasts for 45 mins. Firstly they will go through your resume very closely. Don’t add unnecessary details in your resume and keep it short as possible. They firstly ask your comfort zone(could be either programming or testing based). I said programming and networking. I was then asked the following questions:
● What type of errors do you face while programming? What happens when your program goes to an infinite loop? How do you solve such errors?
● What happens when you don’t write the base case (return statement) of a recursive function? (Ans: Goes into an infinite loop and stack overflows and hence an exception will be called)
● Write a program to reverse a linked list. Then I was asked to use recursion in this program.
● Problems/errors in c++. Problems faced in JAVA.
● What is modulation? Different types of modulation. What is Phase modulation? Where is Frequency modulation used?
● What is the circuit diagram of an oscillator?
● In which layer does a router work? Explain the functioning of a router.
● Puzzle: consider an 3X3 array of dots. How can u join all the points without lifting your pen in 4 lines.
● In which sector would you like to see a growth? How will you contribute towards it?
Round 3: 2nd technical interview(they call it a managerial interview)
Again a one on one interview. It was much shorter than the 1st. Here they ask u only a few technical questions and a real life situation. I was asked the following function:
● Write a program to swap two integer nos. If u replace the two integer variable with char* pointers. How will the code change? Will it work?
● How to free a memory of a node (i.e. delete a node) in a linked list?
● The interviewer went through the extra curricular activities of my resume.
When he found cricket as my favorite pastime, he asked me to design a machine that will do the bowling. What all parameters will I feed in the system (eg. Variation in pace, line, length etc) and how can I improve it on different pitches? ( I mentioned about neural networks)
● Example of application layer protocols that use TCP/IP. Explain DNS. What exactly happens when you put google.com in the address bar of your browser?
Round 4: HR Interview
You should be totally relaxed here and be high on confidence. Be very genuine and straightforward. Apart from typical H.R questions, also prepare for such questions:
● What part of engineering has helped you the most? How?
● What other job offers do you have? Why do you want Cisco over that company?
● What do you know about Cisco?
● Make one or two languages very stong. You should be able to write the pseudo code for any program which u may be asked.
● Do networking thoroughly. Working of all protocols, OSI layers etc. (Book: Data Communications and Networking by Forouzan)
● Do basics of operating systems. I was asked only in the aptitude test.( Operating systems by William Stallings)
● Data structures: Go through Linked lists very well. Practice the pseudo codes on the operations that can be performed on linked lists. Do basics of sorting,searching,hashing. (I did this majorly from internet. No
particular sites as such. But difficult problems on Linked lists would be quite simple to find)
● Electronics: Go through some of the microprocessor concepts like interrupts, pipelining etc. Do basics of important electronic components like OPAmp, Oscillators, Counters etc.
● Solve aptitude tests for programming languages and objective questions for O.S
Negotiation Details – It was fixed. No negotiation
IT Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Cisco Systems India in July 2012.
Interview Details – I had gone through a written exam first. It is a bit tough but i am able to crack it. Followed by that i had 2 technical interviews where they asked conceptual questions and also tested my coding skills. Finally 1 HR interview had took place. Overall its a very good interview process.
Interview Question – Difficult questions are few of the coding questions. Answer Question
Software Engineer II Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university - interviewed at Cisco Systems India in October 2011.
Interview Details – Many rounds of interview. Min. 4-5 rounds + HR round. Questions include OSI layer, functions of various layers, struct and union, macros, bit shifting, padding, bit wise operations, routing protocols, dhcp, nat, ipv4, ipv6.
Interview Question – Puzzles Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Very slow
Software Engineer III Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied in-person - interviewed at Cisco Systems India in January 2010.
Interview Details – 2 Telephonic round followed by 3 face to face interviews.
Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Cisco Systems India.
Interview Details – First, there was a written aptitude + technical screening test. It had 50 questions- 20 aptitude + logical reasoning questions and 30 technical questions mainly from topics- Computer Networking, Analog and digital communication, Digital Electronics, Data Structures, OS.
Then, there were 2 technical interview rounds followed by HR round. In technical round, they asked about project/internships and gave coding questions to solve.
TSE Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3+ weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems India in May 2012.
Interview Details – 5 to 7 rounds of interview
Interview Question – Typically time,team management questions View Answer
Negotiation Details – One on one with hiring manager, they are flexible
Software Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Cisco Systems India.
Interview Details – 3 Rounds
1st - Technical,MCQ
Contained questions form Microprocessors, Aptitude, Operatng Systems, Networks, C/C++,Algorithms.
2nd - Technical Interview
3rd - HR Interview
Interview Question – 17 nodes from a node, how will you make a tree. Answer Question
Senior QC Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I interviewed at Cisco Systems India in May 2013.
Interview Details – We were acquired into cisco when it purchased our company, so cant say about its hiring process and interviews.
Interview Question – Not applicable in my case. Answer Question
Interviews for Top Jobs at Cisco Systems India