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Cisco Systems Interview Questions

Interviews at Cisco Systems

3,557 Interview Reviews

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Experience
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
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  1. Helpful (34)  

    Community Relations Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA (US)) 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.   3 Answers

    Cisco Systems Response

    19 Feb 2019 – Social Media Manager

    We appreciate the honest review - we can't get better if we don't know what candidates are saying. We can't blame you for not wanting to join a team where an interviewer made you uncomfortable. We... More


  2. Helpful (1)  

    Consulting Systems Engineer Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

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

    Interview Questions

    • How would you like to join sales?   2 Answers

    Negotiation

    none

  3. Helpful (8)  

    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.   2 Answers
    • what does SDN mean to you?   1 Answer
    • what does big data mean to you?   1 Answer

    Reasons for Declining

    several offers on the table from various companies.


  4. Helpful (2)  

    Consulting Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA (US)
    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 (US)) 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.   2 Answers

  5.  

    Contract Negotiator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA (US)).

    Interview

    Had a 7 person panel interview, followed by an interview by HR at 9:30 p.m. HR offered an excessively low salary (less than half of my previous salary), and when I informed HR of that, their response was "Well, maybe this isn't where you want to work, then."

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    Cisco was very arrogant in their HR/negotiation process, and came in with very low salaries, confident that their stock options were a huge draw; wheras the stock price dropped immediately after being hired, and never recovered (for 12 years!), which made compensation extremely low, and Cisco never tried to correct that.


  6. Helpful (20)  

    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   1 Answer

  7. Helpful (7)  

    Associate Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 days. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (Research Triangle Park, NC (US)).

    Interview

    Interview process was very simple. I completed a phone screen with HR which was followed by a day-long interview onsite with a panel of managers. Many of the questions were not technical in nature but were sales situational in nature.

    Interview Questions

    • "I hate mini-vans but I want you to sell me one anyway."   2 Answers

    Negotiation

    No negotiation. The salary was more than fair and the benefits package was above normal for my region and field of expertise.

  8. Helpful (4)  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at Cisco Systems.

    Interview

    Initially had an on campus interview for screening and then I had an all-day interview with a series of meetings with many people. I had a few behavioral meetings, a role play with a case study, and a presentation with other interviewees where we had to build something. There were a lot of other interviewees at the time and we were all placed in the same prep rooms. I had to wait a few months before I got my offer. The ASE program was great - Cisco provided me a lot of training (both sales and technical). Make sure to explain why you think Cisco is great or a great place to work - that will be helpful.

    Interview Questions

    • Role play based on case study - make sure to spend time understanding any case study. Make sure to ask questions instead of jumping into "tell" mode.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    This program did not leave room for negotiation when I was hired.


  9. Helpful (17)  

    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Cisco Systems in November 2013.

    Interview

    The process is just like what everyone has described here.

    Round 1: WebEx (Interview)
    Hardest part is the question they ask where you have to explain a complex topic to either an old person or a child. For my case, I was asked to explain what an FPGA is to a 5 year-old.The rest of the questions are your typical (tell me about yourself ) questions.

    Round 2: Video Response
    2-minute video response to a given topic. I did not do any video editing and focused only on the the content of the video. It worked for me and got me to the final round.

    Round 3:
    The big day, filled with all the activities mentioned in other reviews here. What I didnt like about this day was having 2/2.5 hour gap between the activities. If they fly you there however, you will have the activities almost back to back, depending on when your flight leaves. I was local, so I got to be there all day, from 8am to 4:30pm. Breakfast and luch are provided. They start the day with a simple technical test on the give material, followed by an interview. My interview was pretty technical and when I asked the other candidates, I was told that their's was not technical at all, so it all depends on who interviews you. Every room has two assessor in it.
    You will do the sale meeting roll play after the interview which is the most important activity throughout the day. MAKE SURE YOU PREPARE for it or I guarantee you will not do well. Dig as much as you can from the customer and keep track of the time.
    Last activity is your presentation which you need to prepare in advance.Therefore, practice for this part goes without say saying. BUT, don't sound like a recording, make sure you interact with your audience.

    I owe it to this site to do a review since the reviews here helped me tremendously.

    Interview Questions

    • Sell a project you have done at school.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    No negotiation.


  10. Helpful (8)  

    Associate Systems Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA (US)).

    Interview

    You can apply at any time for an Associate Systems Engineer position in the US, but they typically only do two interview days each year, sometimes only one. They typically occur around October-November and April-May. Applicants for the Sales Associates Program must be less than 2 years out of college as well, so if you're beyond that, talk to a recruiter about other opportunities available.

    Leading up to the interview day, there are typically two steps to trim down the applicant pool: a short 2-minute video submission on a given topic, and a virtual video interview with someone. These may be reversed depending on when/where you apply. The video interview is typically with someone who has gone through the training program before, and it's fairly informal.

    About 20-30 applicants are invited to the interview days on-site at either North Carolina or San Jose if you're applying for a US position, and typically last from about 9am to 4-5pm. A couple activities to expect are a written technical skills test, a behavioral interview with 1-3 interviewers, a role-playing sales interview, and a presentation on a topic they give you in advance. If you make it through all of this and are extended an offer, you should hear back in a week or two.

    Overall I felt the interview was a good test of skills needed for the job/training program. If you enjoy the interview process, you will probably enjoy the program. If you felt the interviews or questions were silly, this probably isn't a good job for you.

    Interview Questions

    • The most unexpected part for me was during the presentation. Don't be surprised if someone intentionally stops paying attention (i.e. starts checking their e-mail on their phone). They want to see how you handle it.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    There's not much salary negotiation to be had in this program. Each year the training group's salary is set, and it's the same for everyone. Your re-location package might be up for debate, but I felt mine was generous and didn't argue it.


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