Cisco Systems Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Cisco Systems Interview Questions

Updated Nov 13, 2018
3,312 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (10)  

    Community Relations Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Jose, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA) in March 2017.

    Interview

    First round consisted of very standard interview questions, and meeting, via WebEx, with two members of the Community Relations team.

    I would like to high-light that I felt like the interviewers didn't take the process seriously (or just didn't take me seriously as a candidate)--and I say this, because one of the interviewers had her boyfriend laying in the background during the WebEx interview. It was a bit strange, uncomfortable and, personally, I think it high-lighted a lack of professionalism. Ultimately, I didn't get the job--but after the interview experience, I knew this wasn't a team I would be interested in joining.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you feel your skill-sets align with the position? Have you worked on projects where you had to coordinate with multiple departments?

      The questions were easy and standard...nothing surprising.   1 Answer

  2. Helpful (5)  

    Consulting Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Cisco Systems in January 2015.

    Interview

    in my case this was extremely fast. i've interviewed in the past and the process was very slow. you have to go through at least 6-7 interviews. in previous interviews there is a panel. This position was on hold for 6 months. I applied and 2 months later i got an email from the CSE whom i've known for a long time asking me if i was still interested. i got a call from the MSE later that day. 48 hrs later i completed 7 interviews.

    Interview Questions

    • Trying to understand the position and what it entails. CSE isn't like a typical SE position at Cisco. You have to be able to articulate your answers. There wasn't too many technical questions probably because of my 15 years experience and being a CCIE already.   1 Answer
    • what does SDN mean to you?   Answer Question
    • what does big data mean to you?   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    several offers on the table from various companies.

  3.  

    Consulting Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6+ months. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA) in January 2012.

    Interview

    Several telephone technical interviews followed by several deep and intense technical and business level interviews. I was thoroughly questioned on the technologies that I was expected to be a subject matter expert for. I was also thoroughly questioned on the state of the markets and what were the most important areas of technology that I thought were going to impact organizations world wide.

    Interview Questions

    • What technologies do you see as being the primary focus of the industry in both the near (couple of years) and long (five years+) terms.   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (1)  

    Consulting Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (Houston, TX) in March 2013.

    Interview

    Multiple rounds of interviews, some people talk to 8-10 people before reaching a decision. You will talk with to-be peers, management, people in other job functions. You will also talk with the management organization you will be supporting. Interesting questions but you don't talk to the sales people you will be supporting.

    Interview Questions

    • Standard questions, things like major successes, how did you handle certain situations, technical skills. Nothing out of the ordinary.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (1)  

    Consulting Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA) in July 2008.

    Interview

    Internal transfer, and was offered the job without any real interview

    Interview Questions

    • How would you like to join sales?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    none


  6. Helpful (19)  

    Associate Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 8 weeks. I interviewed at Cisco Systems.

    Interview

    First stage of an interview was a phone screening. I was contacted via email to set a telephone interview. Since this position was outside USA, I was contacted by some recruiting agency located in UK. Immediately, there was a little problem. Person who was responsible to set up phone call did not considered the time difference or probably was not paying attention on my address. It was easily fixed, but for me left a not professional impression. When you're dealing with such a great and large company as Cisco, you simply not expecting this. Forgot to mention that person was 15 minutes late to start conference call.
    Phone interview was very typical. Person confirmed all job requirements and if I can meet them. After that, I was asked several technical questions. Here is the list:
    1. Explain cloud technology
    2. Explain principal of cell phone operation
    3. Explain computer networking.
    I think for me most unexpected questions were to explain cloud technology and cell phone operation. I have a 2 years experience in completely different field and I was expecting a questions about my skills, experience, current job and reasons to change a career and relocate to another country. Surprisingly, none of those question were asked.
    I had a many interviews in past, but this one felt very long. The reason for this is my interviewer was taking a notes as usual, but it was very very slow. After my answers there was a couple minutes pause. It seems a bit odd to me since I never experienced that. Usually it's on going conversation between two people.
    Another thing that I didn't like. Since I was not interviewed by Cisco HR person, I was not able to get an answers for the question I had. Position was not very descriptive and my interviewer had no idea about the hiring process, overall position expectations, relocation expenses, benefits and etc.
    A week after this interview I received an email with instructions for next step in the interview process. I was asked to submit a two minutes video response for topic provided. It was a very technical question that was beyond my knowledge. It was such a great experience for me. You only have 2 minutes to provide an answer and you have to be very specific, detailed and clear. Also, I am not that type of person who can easy speak on camera.
    Overall, I was very satisfied with the second stage of the interview.
    The final, third stage of the process, was an interview on site at Cisco Assessment Center. There were four stages of the interview:
    - 15 minutes technical assessment.
    - 30 minute individual interview with the assessors consisting of managers from the Field Sales Organization
    - a 20 minute role play conducted with my assessors
    - 10 minutes presentation to my assessors on specified topic. In this case, no laptop was allowed. I was allowed to give a handouts and use a blackboard.
    All information and actions required were given in advance. I had 10 days to prepare for the final interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Explain principal of cell phone operation
      Explain cloud technology   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (3)  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Cisco Systems.

    Interview

    good process, full day of interviews including whiteboarding ,sales pitch, presentation. The interviewers were nice and friendly and helped guide you in the right direction for the most part. They spent a lot of time on the cases and pre-work for the interview

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (13)  

    Associate Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 5+ weeks. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (Raleigh, NC) in November 2015.

    Interview

    This is a very competitive program. Over 98% of applicants will be vetted by the final onsite interview. Expect to have a lot of competition, but meet some amazing people along the way. It helps immensely to have contacts within Cisco to run questions and ideas by. If you don't originally know anyone within Cisco, reach out to HR and ask if you can have a current ASE's contact information. It's extremely helpful.

    There are 3 steps to get through: 30 minute behavioral interview, 2 minute video submission, onsite interview.

    1) 30 min behavioral interview: This is simply a current systems engineer talking to you for 30 minutes about the job description, your resume, and your career goals. They may ask you to explain a technical aspect or two on something related to your previous experiences. Remember - this is a job that revolves around communication skills. Explain things clearly.

    2) 2 minute video submission: Once again, this is where they see how you handle a technical topic. It's all about communication. Each ASE class will have a different prompt. The previous two have been: "Explain cloud computing" and "What are the technologies involved in enabling a Smart City?" There are many different approaches and there is no correct way to do it. Some people will sit in front of a board and just talk about the topic for 2 minutes, being sure to touch every aspect and having graphics interlaced in. Others will whiteboard for the 2 minutes. Some do creative shots with interesting intros and multiple locations. If you're creative in nature, show that off. If you're better at standard presentations, let that shine.

    3) Full day onsite interview: Several components to this...
    * Technical exam: Very easy, especially if you have any networking experience at all. They provide a video with simple topics that covers everything on the exam. Should not be hard.
    * 30 minute interview: Will be with 2 or 3 current systems engineers. They'll ask you both behavioral and technical questions. Treat it like a conversation. Talk with them about your experiences and explain things clearly. If you don't know an answer to a technical question, don't BS it. Tell them you don't know and you'll get back to them. Use the whiteboard if possible - they love the whiteboard.
    * 10 minute presentation: You will be talking for 10 minutes on a certain topic that they give you. Be sure to research general concepts and examples along with where Cisco technologies can come into play. This is very important to tie Cisco in somehow. Practice. Practice. Practice. Run through it with your friends, family, professors, etc. Don't make it a word for word script but definitely know what you're going to say and make sure you have your timing down. Use the whiteboard if possible. Tell a story as an intro. Make a connection with your audience. This is all about communication.
    * 20 minute sales roleplay: This is the most interesting aspect of them all. I personally had no experience in doing sales. Having connections with current ASE's is a big help for this section. They will give you a fake company looking for several different improvements to their business line. You will meet with the "company's CTO" and learn about their problems and propose a solution. They will give some initial links to help the research get started but definitely do independent research on Cisco solutions. I made an agenda handout and a solutions handout, which they both liked. Be sure not to overload your handouts with info though, you don't want it to be busy. Graphics are key. Spend the first 2-3 minutes just talking and building rapport. Then begin asking questions for the next 10 minutes. Uncover their problems. The last 5 minutes should be spent talking about your high level solutions and answering their questions. Finally, get a firm date to meet again so you can put together a full solution for them.

    It's a lot of stuff. But breathe, relax, you've got this. If you make it to the final round, there's a reason. Everyone I met that day seemed very qualified and had great communication skills. Stay confident. Final tip: get business cards/emails of all of your interviewers and email them a thank you after the fact.

    Good luck!!!

    Interview Questions

    • Name a time you were a leader and had to handle a tough situation? Explain what a household router does? Several questions related directly to my resume..   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    No negotiation but it's not needed. Very fair package and this program gives major accelerated monetary growth (look at virtual systems engineer or simply systems engineer on glassdoor).


  9. Helpful (12)  

    Associate Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (Raleigh, NC).

    Interview

    I was contacted about 2 weeks after I applied. We had a brief conversation about the job description. They then told me if I qualified then they would get back to me. About a week later I was contacted for an interview which consisted of a 10 minute presentation through their video conference platform on a selected topic. Mine was on the "Internet of Things". After I interviewed with some leads. This was all through video on the same day. Not much negotiation but sky is the limit because it is CISCO so I wouldn't worry too much.

    Interview Questions

    • 1) What does honesty mean to you ? 2) Describe a time that you failed at something on the job 3) What are your strengths and how can they be weaknesses also.   Answer Question

  10. Helpful (6)  

    Associate Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I interviewed at Cisco Systems (New York, NY) in November 2016.

    Interview

    I applied through their website to the Dubai office. The interview was through WebEx and it was around an hour long. The questions asked included brief information about myself, my knowledge on on their products and how they work, some technical questions and then general personality questions.
    The interviewer was not based in the Dubai office but from the office in Amsterdam. I did pass that interview and am still in process although I did not receive and email confirmation of the next step in the application process.

    Interview Questions

    • What is the key to a successful collaboration?
      Name a time you and a colleague faced a disagreement and how did you put it aside to continue a project.   Answer Question

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