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Most Common Cisco Interview Questions & Answers For Freshers & Experienced in 2023

Established in 1984, Cisco has quickly emerged as a global leader in the networking sector, enabling connectivity and communication for businesses and individuals worldwide. It is a renowned multinational technology company offering diverse products and solutions, including cloud services, security devices, collaboration tools and more. 

With an average employee getting $123,536/ per annum, getting a job at Cisco is a dream come true for many. However, only a few manage to crack it. 

On that note, here is a detailed guide to some of the most commonly asked Cisco interview questions both for freshers as well as experienced. From CCNA interview questions and answers to ACI-specific questions, this blog will help you prepare for diverse Cisco job roles while helping you upskill with leading programs like upGrad’s Professional Certificate in Global Management.

Cisco Interview Process

Before delving into the intricate details of the Cisco interview questions and answers, let’s first understand what goes on in the recruitment process of this organisation.

The Cisco interview process can be categorised into four main rounds. They are, namely,

  • Written Exam
  • Technical Interview
  • Managerial interview and
  • HR Interview.

Written Exam

The Cisco interview round begins with a written online assessment test consisting of two sections, an Aptitude test and a technical test. These sections cover crucial topics such as profit and loss, probability, computer networking, data electronics, and algorithms. You will be given 70 minutes to complete all the questions without any negative marking for wrong choices. 

Technical Interview

Once candidates have successfully cleared the written exam round, they will be called in for a technical interview. This is specifically designed to evaluate an individual’s expertise in networking technologies and Cisco products. You might be asked questions about troubleshooting scenarios, real-world networking challenges, and configurations. Therefore, it is always recommended to prepare for all these questions beforehand. 

For instance, Cisco ACI interview questions might require you to strengthen your technical skills to outshine your competitors at this stage. 

Managerial Interview

The managerial interview round aims to understand the candidate’s leadership potential, team collaboration capabilities and project management abilities. You might be asked to share your past work experiences to understand your decision-making abilities. Preparing with Cisco ISE interview questions may help you tackle this round with ease. 

HR Interview

Lastly comes the HR interview round, which focuses on assessing an individual’s alignment with the company’s culture and goals. Most of the questions asked in this round will be behavioural or scenario based. Therefore ensure to familiarise yourself with Cisco’s objectives and carefully understand all the requirements for the job position you will be applying for. 

Some of the most commonly asked Cisco HR interview questions might include,

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why do you want to work at Cisco?
  • How well are you able to handle working in a team?
  • What motivates you in your career?

Academic Criteria 

The academic criteria may differ based on the position you are applying for. However, the minimum education qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree, along with a few years of work experience, especially if you are applying for a more senior-level role. 

Cisco Technical Interview Questions

Below are a few examples of Cisco interview questions for freshers and experienced. 

Q1. What do we mean by a diskless workstation?

Ans: A diskless workstation, also known as a diskless client, refers to a computer system that stores the operating system and client data without using a local hard disk drive. It primarily relies on network-based storage to access the required resources to boot and run applications. 

Q2: Can you state the definition of a firewall?

Ans: A firewall can be defined as a network security device that is responsible for monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. It operates as a barrier between the internal and external networks to prevent unauthorised access and safeguard sensitive data.

Q3: What is routing?

Ans: Routing refers to the process of selecting the best path for data packets to travel from the source to a particular destination in the computer network. 

Q4: Can you name any three types of memories in a Cisco router?

Ans: In a Cisco router, varied types of memories serve different purposes. A few examples of the same include,

  • NVRAM stores the startup configuration file.
  • Flash Memory serves as the primary storage for the router’s operating system.
  • DRAM stores the router’s executed configuration files.

Q5: What do we mean by recovery testing?

Ans: Recovery testing is a software testing technique that accurately generates how well a system can recover from various failure scenarios, such as software crashes or network failures. The primary objective of this technique is to ensure that the software can restore its functionality and data integrity even after facing unexpected disruptions.

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Cisco Coding Interview Questions and Answers

Here are a few examples of commonly asked Cisco coding interview questions and answers for freshers and experienced. 

Q1: Write a function to remove duplicates from a sorted array in place.

Ans: 

def remove_duplicates(arr):
    if not arr:
        return 0
    write_idx = 1
    for i in range(1, len(arr)):
        if arr[i] != arr[i – 1]:
            arr[write_idx] = arr[i]
            write_idx += 1
    return write_idx

Q2: Can you write a program to input a 32-bit number? Following this, reverse its binary form and print the final result in decimal form. 

Ans: 

def reverse_binary(num):
    # Convert the number to binary and remove the ‘0b’ prefix
    binary_string = bin(num)[2:]
    # Add leading zeros to make it 32 bits
    binary_string = binary_string.zfill(32)
    # Reverse the binary string
    reversed_binary = binary_string[::-1]
    # Convert the reversed binary string back to decimal
    reversed_decimal = int(reversed_binary, 2)
    return reversed_decimal
if __name__ == “__main__”:
    try:
        num = int(input(“Enter a 32-bit number: “))
        if num < 0 or num >= 2**32:
            print(“Invalid input. The number should be between 0 and 2^32-1.”)
        else:
            reversed_decimal = reverse_binary(num)
            print(f“Reversed decimal: {reversed_decimal}”)
    except ValueError:
        print(“Invalid input. Please enter a valid 32-bit number.”)

Q3: Write a program to locate the kth smallest number in an unsorted array. 

Ans: 

def partition(arr, low, high):
    pivot = arr[high]
    i = low – 1
    for j in range(low, high):
        if arr[j] <= pivot:
            i += 1
            arr[i], arr[j] = arr[j], arr[i]
    arr[i+1], arr[high] = arr[high], arr[i+1]
    return i+1
def quick_select(arr, low, high, k):
    if low <= high:
        pivot_index = partition(arr, low, high)
        if pivot_index == k1:
            return arr[pivot_index]
        elif pivot_index > k1:
            return quick_select(arr, low, pivot_index – 1, k)
        else:
            return quick_select(arr, pivot_index + 1, high, k)
if __name__ == “__main__”:
    try:
        arr = list(map(int, input(“Enter the unsorted array elements separated by space: “).split()))
        k = int(input(“Enter the value of k (1 <= k <= len(arr)): “))
        if k <= 0 or k > len(arr):
            print(“Invalid value of k. Please enter a valid value.”)
        else:
            kth_smallest = quick_select(arr, 0, len(arr) – 1, k)
            print(f“The kth smallest number is: {kth_smallest}”)
    except ValueError:
        print(“Invalid input. Please enter a valid unsorted array and a valid value of k.”)

Q4: Provided a sorted array of integers, find the target element using binary search. 

Ans: 

def binary_search(arr, target):
    left, right = 0, len(arr) – 1
    while left <= right:
        mid = (left + right) // 2
        if arr[mid] == target:
            return mid
        elif arr[mid] < target:
            left = mid + 1
        else:
            right = mid1
    return -1

Q5: Implement a function to find the maximum sum of a subarray in an array.

Ans: 

def max_subarray_sum(arr):
    max_sum = float(‘-inf‘)
    current_sum = 0
    for num in arr:
        current_sum = max(num, current_sum + num)
        max_sum = max(max_sum, current_sum)
    return max_sum

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Cisco Interview Preparation Tips

Mentioned below are a few additional pointers that you should definitely keep in mind before going for your Cisco interview round.

  • Conduct in-depth research on Cisco as a company, its products, services, mission and values. This will help you demonstrate your genuine interest when applying for a position at this organisation.
  • Familiarise yourself with all computer science fundamentals, such as programming languages, algorithms, data structures, and operating systems.
  • If you are going in for a technical role, practice coding in languages commonly used at Cisco, such as Python or C/C++.
  • Keep your resume up-to-date with all the latest information, and be prepared to answer questions related to the various projects that you have worked on.
  • Expect behavioural questions assessing your problem-solving ability, decision-making skills and capacity to handle challenges. 

Conclusion

Securing a job at such a reputed company as Cisco is undoubtedly quite difficult- but certainly not unachievable. Hopefully, this above-mentioned list of Cisco interview questions has helped you in some way to enhance your Cisco interview experience

Besides these tips and preparatory questions, you can refer to multiple online courses related to business analytics to further strengthen your knowledge. 

One such among them includes upGrad’s MS In Business Analytics Program by Golden Gate University. It is a comprehensive course that encompasses a wide range of crucial topics relevant to in-demand fields, such as Big Data Ecosystems, Natural Language Processing, and Business Intelligence, among others. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prepare for the Cisco interview?

In order to prepare for your Cisco interview, it is important that you brush up on all your technical skills and knowledge. This includes reviewing networking concepts such as routing and subnetting and practising coding in programming languages.

What are the rounds in Cisco for experienced?

If you are applying for a senior position at Cisco, you will have to go through three rounds- online assessment, technical interview round and HR round. The online assessment comprises a written test, the technical interview round assesses your subject-based expertise, and the final HR interview round is to evaluate your personality and behaviour.

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