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Cisco Systems Software Engineer IV Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Feb 1, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

68%
16%
7%

Interview Experience  

81%
18%
0%

Interview Difficulty  

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

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV

Interviewed at Cisco Systems

Interview Details – Initial phone interview followed by onsite. The onsite interview is split among four different individuals and the interviews are coordinated such that you are not asked the same questions multiple times. Cisco uses behavioral interviewing -- meaning that they are looking for practical experience from your past to demonstrate your answers, not just theoretical "what would I do if...." type answers.

Interview Question – No question really stands out.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV

Interviewed at Cisco Systems

Interview Details – First, I talked to hiring manager and two people from the team over the phone. Then I traveled to job location for half day interview with 6-7 team members and managers. Then hiring manager called and made an offer. The culture is excellent at cisco. They manage to keep the startup culture and treat you as human.

Interview Question – I don't remember any.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I had negotiated in salary and they accepted. cisco tends to offer less base salary in exchange for stock options, but this was valid before 2001 bubble burst.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Cisco Systems in September 2012.

Interview Details – I applied for this job through Cisco's external website. As a former Cisco employee I found it easy to get phone screens, interviews, and job offers with multiple groups. When I showed up at the interview it was almost as if they had already decided to hire me. I met the hiring manager, who talked about the position at length. We spent most of the time discussing my background and interests and also went for a lab tour. I also met a tech lead and another manager but it was more of a conversation than an interview. Also met the director (see below).

Interview Question – Since I was a former Cisco employee there were no difficult questions. The director did try to play some sort of personality quiz with me by asking me to describe 3 adjectives that would describe me (typical psychological mumbo-jumbo).   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I wasn't able to negotiate anything. That being said the offer was very competitive.


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems in July 2010.

Interview Details – very formal interview process and you get to well prepared

Interview Question – What is the most challenging of your past project and what you have contributed to this project.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – the salary is not very interesting.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV

I applied through college or university and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems.

Interview Details – Through internship, by phone (I was oversea)
In person in my counry

Interview Question – C code general questions
what is the "static" keyword for in C
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – It was for an internship, no much negotiation


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV
San Jose, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Cisco Systems in March 2009.

Interview Details – The overall interview duration was about 3 months . I first got a call for a phone screen , after this i heard back after 1 month for a second phone screen . then after 1 more month I was called for on site interview , twice .

Interview Question – Most of the questions were on java programming language , some on algorithms like write a function to print out fibonacci series   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – after the second inperson , i had other offers so i told them I will not be doing any more interviews as i need to make a decision soon, they gave me offer next day


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV
San Jose, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems in March 2010.

Interview Details – The hiring in Cisco is pretty smooth, took about 2 weeks from the interview to offer letter. The HR and the Engineering Manager where very proactive in following up and making sure the candidate can start as quickly as possible. The interview process was quite good and lasted for 3:30 hours talking to 5 people and grueling technical interview.

Interview Question – Technically there were some difficult questions but it was food for thought. I gave my best shot.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Initial offer was negotiated and the HR came back with a most reasonable offer which I had to accept.


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV
San Jose, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Cisco Systems in October 2010.

Interview Details – Hiring manager called and did Phone interview and went for 5 rounds of 1-1 interview.

Interview Question – Hash Table implementation   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV
Milpitas, CA

The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Cisco Systems in March 2010.

Interview Details – After initial screening from HR, it took almost 1 week to get the phone interview from Hiring Manager. And after 5 days they asked for the in-person interview. Mine interview schedule was as below,
1. HR Screening (20 mins)
2. Hiring Manager Phone Interview Technical (1 hr)
3. First Round in person interview Technical, met with 3 Senior Engineers, 1 Technical Lead, 1 hirining manager (4:30 Hrs)
4. Second Round in person Interview technical, met with 4 Senior Engineers, 1 hiring manager, 1 other manager, 1 hiring manager's manager (6 hrs) [though this was planned to be a 5 hrs interview, my hiring manager kept throwing problems at me as he was the last interviewer, it took 1 hour to solve and discuss the last problem what he gave to me. He himself took 1:30 hrs of interview :) meanwhile he kept asking if I am ok for another 15 minutes :) ]
5. Origin Country Background check since my passport was not US passport (asked for documents)
6. Background check in US (asked for documents)
7. Employment Verification and employment background check (hiring manager contacted 4-5 references by phone)
8. Negotiation (took 3-4 days in negotiation itself)
9. Acceptance of offer
10. H-1B Visa transfer

Interview Questions

  • most of them where data structure and OS questions   View Answer
  • problem solving skills and general technical problem solving approaches   View Answer

Negotiation Details – You can always negotiate once the hiring manager has an offer for you. They always try to come up with the smallest possible number first for you but they always go higher so try your best for negotiation.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Software Engineer IV Interview

Software Engineer IV
Richardson, TX

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Cisco Systems in March 2008.

Interview Details – On the Phone interview, I was aksed questions mostly from my resume and background. I was asked quesions on

1. Descrtibe RADIUS protocol in brief
2. Describe the differences between TCP and UDP
3. Describe the end-to-end callflow for one system you worked
4. Threads vs Processes
5. Task scheduling in vxWorks
 and some more questions based on my resume

In the main interview, I had 1:1 with four people spread over the day

1. Describe Pre-emption
2. priorirt Inversion and how to overcome it
3. Interrupts and ISRs
4. How do timers work in vxWorks
5. Semaphores
5. Linked list vs array
7. Trees, BSTs and when to use

And other questions were mostly to explain on white board what all I did in my last 10 years..and design details of that and why it was designed that way etc

Then some questions on the debugging tools I used like GDB

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – It was farily strainght forward. I asked a figure, they quoted something. After 2 rounds to going back and forth, they agreed to what I was asking.

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