Cisco Systems Interview Questions in Research Triangle Park, NC

Updated Apr 12, 2015
46 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)  

    Associate Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC) in November 2010.

    Interview

    I talked to Cisco reps at a career fair at my University. Then I had an interview on campus the next day. The campus interview was very easy- why do you want to work here? tell me about yourself?- type questions. I was referred for the Associate Systems Engineer position. For this position, I first had a phone interview. The phone interview was very easy - similar type questions to the campus interview. He also asked me to describe something technical to him. About 1-2 weeks later I received an email saying I had been selected to move on to the next round. The final round was an all-day interview at Cisco's RTP office. It consisted of giving a technical presentation on one of their three product categories, doing a sales simulation for which we were given some preparation materials to study, and a technical assessment (for which we were given about 60 pages of technical material to learn).

    There were approximately 80 people that interviewed for about 20 slots over a span of two days. On the day I interviewed there were about 50 other people interviewing for the same position. There were about 25-30 Cisco employees performing the interviews, and interviewees were randomly assigned to the different interview stations. The employee to which you were assigned had a large effect on your performance. For example, during my technical presentation, my interviewer interrupted me after about 2 minutes and asked me very difficult technical questions that had nothing to do with my presentation (e.g. How would you explain the internet to your grandma? What's the difference between Linux and Windows? What's the difference between and IP phone and a regular phone?). I never got the chance to finish my actual presentation. Other people said their presentations were very easy and they weren't asked any questions.

    The sales simulation was pretty easy, but that was probably because I had nice interviewers. I took notes, and they said that was a good thing. The technical assessment was very difficult. Although I had spent a lot of time learning the material, and I had a good idea of the question they were going to ask (since I was last and I had heard other people discussing it), I was ill-prepared. Again, however, I think this depended a lot on the interviewer. When I talked to people afterward, they said I was asked much more difficult questions than they had had. The interviewers kept saying throughout the day that you didn't need to be a technical expert and that it didn't matter if you knew everything, but that is not the impression I got at all. Instead of a general understanding and some major key points, my interviewer expected me to have memorized every single word of the technical material. For example, the guy asked me what year Ethernet was invented. I was also asked questions that weren't covered in the technical literature they gave us (like what typical wired internet speeds are and in what instances you should use fiber optic cable).

    The rest of the day was spent taking tours of the office, learning about the different rotations you could have as part of that position, and listening to presentations about how great Cisco is. I was there from about 7am until about 6pm. I spent probably around 15-20 hours preparing for the interview. All the feedback I received throughout the day from my interviewers was very positive. About two weeks later I received a rejection email. All in all, it left a bad taste in my mouth about Cisco.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Customer Support Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC) in January 2007.

    Interview

    Extremely difficult phone interview over an hour. 5-6 engineers on the phone asking technical questions across all subjects - Unix, Routing/Switching, Voice, Oracle, etc. In-depth discussions about protocols, RFC/IETF specifications, signaling flows. No trick questions but they quiz you on everything on your resume.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe the call flow when using XYZ protocol including supplementary service delivery.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Easy.

  3. Helpful (6)  

    Associate Network Consulting Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took a dayinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC) in April 2011.

    Interview

    Was contacted through email about a phone interview for the position in about February. Has the phone interview a few weeks later. The phone interview went great. VERY BASIC technical questions. Spent most of the time on the phone talking about the company and the position. The guy interviewing me had already gone through the program so I just probed him for 30 mins.

    Got an email back about a month later saying I had been invited to NC for the Assessment Center interview. A very important thing to note is that after my phone interview it was over a month before I heard back from them. I sent my recruiter an email asking about my status and that may have been the key to me being invited to NC....i dk.

    The NC interview consisted of a GROUP presentation in which you have 15mins to study some new material and present. They look for group dynamics and how well you work together. There were 2 technical interviews on networking. They gave me a big packet to study after I was invited to NC. Everything in the packet was fair game. The key here is that "I dont know" is an acceptable answer. They just wanna see how much you do know and your capacity to learn and understand concepts. Over lunch they gave us another packet of abstract info to study for a solo presentation after lunch. The material was REALLY hard. They just want the see how much you picked up during the short time.

    Throughout the day we had breaks such as a tour of the facility, a "day in the life" presentation, and a benefits presentation. I felt really confident about my performance because I prepared for weeks. I gave it my best shot but unfortunately the next day I was informed that I was not selected to move on. I have no bad blood or regrets about the process. I did the best I could.

    The culture from my observations is that they hire A LOT of nerdy white guys. Out of the 75 or so employees I met during the process. Younger nerdy white males made up about 94%. I met like 3 women, a few people of indian descent and like 2 black people. I'm black so......i dk. The people I was interviewing against had big technical degrees from GA Tech, Penn State, RIT, Ohio State etc. I went to an HBCU so I felt that I was already at a disadvantage. The biggest thing I can say is prepare.....study, study, study. Cisco only wants the best....they kept saying that all day. They want people that fit the culture. All the people there are the same.....mostly nerdy young white guys. In my group there were 17 of us interviewing. We were the third and last group they were interviewing for positions. There were 2 other groups before us of about 20 people a piece and they were offering 24 positions. So thats about 8 positions a group. Overall it was a positive experience and i'm glad I got that far.

    Interview Questions

    • Explain OSPF (Open Shortest Path First)   1 Answer
    • Explain the difference between TCP and UDP   2 Answers
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  5.  

    Financial Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC) in December 2011.

    Interview

    Received an email from a Cisco recruiter to set a phone interview. I had my phone interview with the recruiter the next day. The recruiter was very friendly and the phone interview was easy and basic. Received another email a week later to set up for a one on one interview with the Hiring Manager. I had the interview a week later. The one on one interview was very difficult and intimidating. I knew I was not getting the job, because I couldn't answer most of the questions. The interviewer was not friendly and the interview was one hour long. I was ready to walk out from the moment we started the interview. After the one on one interview I was given a skills test. My advice is to thourougly revise your GAAP and IFRS knowledge before a Financial Analyst job interview.

    Interview Questions

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Sales Representative Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 7+ weeksinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC) in November 2011.

    Interview

    Great people and work environment outside of the interview room. Was not sure what to expect during the interview process and spent too much time reading the technical manual. Also during the mock meeting and presentation, be prepared to deal with difficult personalities. The person conducting the information session acting as a client would not give me any information and set up a one in a thousand kind of situation where the client did not want to work with me. Very frustrating and made it near impossible to come up with an idea to present in the next round. Not sure what advice to give because the feedback they gave me revolved around not getting enough information from the mock client--which was definitely not my fault. Other than that, had a great next 2 rounds with really friendly people. I believe the first round hurt me and since they were only taking 10/40 people it made a huge difference, unfortunately.

    Interview Questions

    • You don't have a people-oriented background, why sales?   1 Answer
  7.  

    Customer Support Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC).

    Interview

    Team members conduct phone interview and then some of the team members will meet and interview the candidate on site. Team members have more say than the management in hiring a candidate.

    Negotiation

    No negotiation when I got hired.

  8.  

    VPAM Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a dayinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC) in April 2014.

    Interview

    This might have been, what seemed like, the most unorganized interview I have ever been on. It started by dumping everyone in a room and telling us that this was our chance to interview them while they interview us. Well that is not at all the case. No one from Cisco ever keeps quite long enough to really ask any worthwhile questions.
    Then you are taken one by one to do a role play which again seems every unorganized. One person watches you make a phone call while the other person doesn't listen to what you say on the other line.
    Then you are thrown back in the room to listen to more Cisco propaganda while you wait for your 15 minute one on ones.
    As you start you one on ones the Cisco employee will ask you very basic interview questions. Again they really don't let you answer. You will meet with 3-4 people for a total of 45 minutes then you are sent on your way.
    All the employees seem very uninterested in the process and want to get it over with right away.

    Interview Questions

    Reasons for Declining

    Seemed a very high pressure workplace where people will throw you under the bus to get ahead.

  9.  

    Data Center Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC) in January 2011.

    Interview

    The interview process was pretty strenuous by meeting with 12 different people from various positions on the team. The process started with the typical phone screen from a recruiter gauging your interest and skill set to the position. From there, it was a call with various Managers, Directors, and a VP. They wanted to know your background, situational and behavioral based interview questions as well as an opportunity for you to get to know the team. I would highly suggest learning more about Cisco's Data Center products, Cisco's market share, and additional opportunities as well. It took roughly about 6 weeks to get an offer.

    Interview Questions

    • Give me a time when you had to deal with a difficult client?   Answer Question
    • What are your areas of improvement and how did you address them?   Answer Question
    • How do you solve highly complex analytical problems?   Answer Question
    • Where do you see yourself in 3 to 5 years?   Answer Question
    • Are you comfortable working independently? Working in a group? Working virtually?   Answer Question
  10.  

    IT Services Development Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC) in March 2013.

    Interview

    The process started with a request to walk the interviewer through a detailed analysis of routing from the perspective of a CCNA certification test (they didn't say that, but that is what it was). If you plan to interview, I'd recommend starting there.

    Interview Questions

    • I believe there were questions on their load balancing equipment.   Answer Question
  11.  

    Solutions Architect Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC) in June 2012.

    Interview

    The character and soft skills seemed to go very well, but the technical content was surprisingly tough. As one might expect, I theorize there is a minimum level of networking skill for anything beyond an entry position. Overall, I think the process was very good, but the areas where more focus would be helpful to my application are pretty clear to me.

    Interview Questions

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