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Cisco Systems Software Engineer III Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 25, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

43%
34%
13%

Interview Experience  

61%
30%
7%

Interview Difficulty  

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

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III
Richardson, TX

I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems in January 2011.

Interview Details – I submitted an application to the Cisco Choice program at a career fair at my university. I had previously been an intern at Cisco and listed my old manager as a reference. I got a call and was invited to attend an interview session data at the Richardson campus. I was interviewed by 3 people, each with their own set of technical and behavioral questions. After that, we toured the campus and then went home.

Interview Question – I was asked a boolean logic riddle:

You are walking and arrive at a dead end with 2 doors. You must get past this, but you are told that only one door is correct, leading you on your path and the other door is not correct and leads to something perilous. In front of each door is a guard. One guard always tells the truth and the other always lies. You may ask one of the guards one question, and then you must pick your door and go through it. What question do you ask, which door do you pick based on the answer, and why?

This is actually not that hard once you realize that it's a boolean algebra problem, but I was surprised that I was asked that question.
  View Answer

Negotiation Details – There wasn't much to negotiate since I did not have to relocate.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III
San Jose, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cisco Systems in April 2009.

Interview Details – Phone interview was done first. Then I was called for an onsite interview. All the team members interviewed for half a day. Each spent 45 minutes. Mostly questions were all asked from what I did. My interview was maily for installation experience and java needs. Questions from Installshield were asked.

Interview Question – All questions were asked from what I did.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Do not give a range for your salary expectation. Give exactly how much do you want in the application.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Cisco Systems.

Interview Details – Phone screening by 2 people from the same team where job requirement is posted.
All the questions were related to the actual work. No nonsense like puzzles pulled from internet.
Took almost 2 weeks to finalize the onsite interview. Interview was for full day(10am to 4pm)
4 people interviewed. All the interview questions were related to job, technology and programming. Full professionalism is displayed.
Took almost 1.5 months to declare the offer. I did followup 2 times by emails. I did interview well so was expecting call, which I finally did.

Interview Question – Binary tree traversals - answered.
Sorting algorithms - didn't expect but answered.
  View Answer

Negotiation Details – Didn't negotiate as the offered salary was market value at that time.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III
San Jose, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cisco Systems in March 2010.

Interview Details – - 6 rounds including an interview by director.
- Interview styles changed with individuals
- Interview included both conceptual questions and coding. First phone interview needed coding on a shared screen

Interview Question – In depth question on interrupt handling by linux kernel   View Answer

Negotiation Details – Company was not very "negotiation-friendly"


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III
San Jose, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Cisco Systems in February 2008.

Interview Details – Recruiter called to check basics. Had one phone screen for 30 mins followed by onsite interview by 6 team members. No hard questions compared. Only one engineer asked a question on linked list. They only check if you know what you mentioned in your resume.

Interview Question – none. Cisco technical interviews are not that hard.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Cisco was very slow in responding back with an offer.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III
San Jose, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 6 days - interviewed at Cisco Systems in January 2010.

Interview Details – It was very similar to any other big company

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – I din't negotiate well


1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cisco Systems in August 2008.

Interview Details – interviewed at Cisco post-layoff at another big company where I worked for 3+ years. All the interviewing went well. I was interviewed multiple times over phone as team was geographically distributed, at least 13-14 interviews. I did "exceptionally" well in all interviews. .later recruiter left me 2/3 Vms and he started talking to me as if he is giving me bad feedback. he called me 2/3 times. I returned call, and apparently he wanted to extend me an offer. but he was talking as if he is not hiring but firing me. I declined the offer and still he would insist me fill the emplyment application and complete background check. which was insane. He wasn't extending me the right offer , just 2-3K above my salary back then and wanted me to go through emplyment background check,

next morning,
my so called prospective manager called me and was telling me he would get me hooked with other linux engineers in their company and clealry telling me that 6 months down the road I would need to look for another job as their BU would go restructuring and new reqs will get RIFed. and after hearing this, he would go on insisting fill the emplyment application?
Also, one of the engineers during interview said -"I am your ATM machine" and I felt like am with unrespectful background. at this statement. He further emails me In this economy "I should accept any job".
I declined the offer and stayed home until March 2010. than to be apart of such unrespectful maniacs.

I am young kernel engineer for last 10 years in silicon valley and being woman in hi-tech, always outnumbered by men.
Problem was they did not want me to extend offer but my interviewing went really well and I had told them laughingly, I record my interviews, they were not able "TO NOT EXTEND" me an offer.

couple of recruiter initiated conversations exactly matched word-to-word to my ex-manager's conversation with me at previous job the resemblance was striking as I used record all the conversations with my ex-manager during my performance reviews. I had also recorded my converstaion with this recruiter.
I knew the VP at previous job is the same VP of the group at Cisco, I was interviewing with.
Later I checked the vp and hiring manager both were fired, may be due to their own incompetencies.

most of the hi0tech companies now-adays do behind the scenes informal talks by traversing linkedin trees and finding your co-workers and manager's name. In bureaucratic companies this can potentially give opportunity to your ex-manager to take a revenge upon you. This back-door checks are Legally not allowed i.e. your prospective employers is allowed to check references with only those whose name you have listed on employment application. my advice is- remove Linkedin profile, This is for recruiters/HR and not you.
People/friends who want to give you a job are just 1/2 and they must be in your trusted close contact.

Interview Questions

Reason for Declining – bad offer and bad communication


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III
San Jose, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 days - interviewed at Cisco Systems in January 2008.

Interview Details – I was referred by an Employee and got a call from the recruiter immediately to discuss my interest. The hiring manager called and had a brief discussion about my background and qualifications. After that, I was called for on-site interview - the interview lasted from 11 AM - 6 PM interviewed by around 7 people and talked about C-programming, data structures, algorithms, networking skills etc. After that I had a written test in C. Got a call from the manager next day that I was hired. That's it.

Interview Question – Question about linux internals - shared memory concepts.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems.

Interview Details – interview was good among other interview I have attended. sometime felt same old repetitive questions 4 levels took around 4 hrs of time. 4 managers , 1 site lead interviewed. floating point, h264, omap and much more

Interview Question – about transcoding in video   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I didn't do negotiation


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer III Interview

Software Engineer III

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Cisco Systems in February 2012.

Interview Details – Direct Hire with referral. Average experience. Asked some linked list questions and networking basic questions on network protocols. There were 2 interviewers. One of them was a tech-lead and asked me algorithm questions. The other was senior software engineer who asked pointer questions/ double pointer questions. And ended with questions like "how ping works?"

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