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Cisco Systems Software Engineer I Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated May 4, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

88%
11%

Interview Experience  

84%
0%
15%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
14 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I
Austin, TX

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems in April 2014.

Interview Details – My resume was forwarded from someone I know to a manager accepting applications. He then called me for a 20 minute phone interview to ask basic questions to determine what kind of person I am and if the job would interest me. Following that, another interview was scheduled two days later with two of their higher level software engineers. I had the option to do it over the phone or in person, and I chose the latter. It lasted about two and a half hours, where the first 40 minutes or so were quizzing me on my general Java (it was a Java-specific position) and programming knowledge, and after a short break the rest of the time was spent on six programming puzzles that I had to solve on a whiteboard. Half of them were fairly straightforward, and the other half more challenging. All of the interviewers were very kind and casual. When I asked what to wear to the interview I was told blue jeans and a nice shirt, and I was still dressed up a little more than some of the employees there. The office's environment seemed laid back and welcoming, and overall the interview experience was very satisfying.

I received a call later the following week from the manager I did the phone interview with, who was the manager I'd be working under, saying that he had put my name in to HR for an offer. The week after that, I received the official offer from HR and was given two weeks to accept or decline. I talked with HR about the specifics of the many benefits the company has available to its employees, and accepted the offer a few days later.

Interview Question – Given a string, find all of the palindromes within it that are not subsets of each other.   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cisco Systems in September 2013.

Interview Details – Received on campus interview several days after talking to representative at career fair. The career fair was crowded so only had a few minutes to talk about my resume. Interview was 30 minutes long. The interviewer was very nice and I enjoyed talking to her. She also answered some of my questions about Cisco.

Interview Question – Mostly questions about my interest in Cisco and Computer Science, as well as projects I put on resume.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cisco Systems.

Interview Details – Went to a job fair and talked with the guy designated to handle potential Software Engineer I applicants. This was a screen to make sure you weren't a complete dummy. Passed that at the career fair and was set up right then and there for an interview at my college career center. That interview was about an hour and 15 minutes long, and I was interviewed by two people. They asked lots of questions about my academic projects, team experience, and questioned me on Java vs. C. One interviewer was calm and friendly, the other interviewer was more severe and judgmental towards my answers. While he probably meant to be intimidating, his attitude was more off-putting rather than scary.

The questions ranged from how do I handle team issues to being a leader, etc. to comparing Java and C, how they're compiled, interpreted, etc.

Interview Question – It was a behavioral question and surprised me the most out of everything. If you were given only a week to do a project and you knew there was no way you were going to finish it in the time allotted, what do you do? Basically, you knew you weren't going to finish it in time, but your manager essentially doesn't understand that (not explicit).   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I
San Jose, CA

The process took 2 months - interviewed at Cisco Systems in November 2010.

Interview Details – I started with the company from a Job Fair at my university. The turn around time between meeting with a PR and getting an e-mail took about two weeks. They let me know about on-campus interviews and I signed up for one.

At the interview, I was paired with a young gentlemen who asked mainly technical questions based around data structures and algorithms.

Afterwards, I was contacted two weeks after for an on-site interview. I had the interview in their Texas location. It consisted of 3 45-minute interviews. Compared to other friends who had their interviews at the same time, mine was fairly personality based. I was asked only one technical question, but my other friends were technically grilled. I think it matters for the random group you were placed in.

I had a fairly positive perception of the company afterwards. There were two or three presentations as well as a tour which highlighted the work environment and life. It seems very group-based, and those there seemed to be engaging and good listeners.

Interview Question – Test this pen   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I
San Jose, CA

The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems in November 2010.

Interview Details – Went to my schools career fair. Had a short interview on the spot. I was offered an on-campus interview the next day. After a week, they asked me to fly up to San Jose for more interviews. On the day of the interviews, we were all (30 applying for the Cisco Choice Program) interviewing in the same room. Each of us had to interview 1 on 1 with a Cisco employee for 45min. After a 5 min break, we rotated to another interviewer. And again. So there were 3 interviews in a row. After their was a tour of the campus. A week later I received a congratulatory email and a week after I received an official offer.

Interview Question – How to reverse a linked list? (in 2 different ways)   View Answer


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I
San Jose, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Cisco Systems in October 2008.

Interview Details – I got an interview on campus. Basic questions about myself and the company: "Tell me about yourself", "How do I know if you are the right person for my company?"...No technical

Then 1 month later I got an invitation including hotel and flight ticket to San Jose for 2 days.
It started with a dinner with Cisco employees.
The next days, we are divided into 3-person groups. Each group will be interview individually by 3 other engineers. They basically asked about my group projects. Gave some technical questions about Java like "What is inheritance?". The last guy will ask harder questions in C programming skill "Write a code to reverse the words in a string?" "Optimize it"

Interview Question – Why would you fit into the company?   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I
Ottawa, ON (Canada)

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.


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I

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.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I
Bangalore (India)

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Cisco Systems in January 2012.

Interview Details – The initial round is a written round and the most crucial round as a lot of people are filtered here.They were 20 aptitude and 30 Technical questions.
The aptitude mainly consisted of probability and other logical reasoning problems.
Technical covered logic design,C, Operarting Systems, Data Structures,Algorithms and Networks.


No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer I Interview

Software Engineer I
Ottawa, ON (Canada)

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems in February 2012.

Interview Details – Was asked technical c programming and data structures questions, and some questions on handling team situations

Interview Question – C and data structure quizzes.   Answer Question

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