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Cisco Interview Experience for Consulting Engineer

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Hello fellow geeks! I will be sharing all that you should know about Cisco’s Ideathon which is a national-level contest that Cisco organizes to provide internship and full-time opportunities to final-year students.

Before coming to the contest rounds, let us know about the Registration. You can register at Cisco’s Ideathon through your college.


  • Your college must be registered as a Cisco Networking Academy
  • Students must have completed either of the following courses:
    • Networking Essentials OR CCNA Module 1
    • Introduction to Cyber security+ Cyber security Essentials OR Cyber ops
    • Python OR DevNet
  • CGPA Cut-o: 7 and above (highest degree)
  • Preferred Degree: BE/B. TECH
  • Preferred Specialisation: Open to all branches.
  • No current backlogs/arrears at the time of participation.

I had completed the Cyber security and Dev net courses. The registration for the contest happened in July 2022. While registration we were asked to choose in between advanced networking or advanced programming, from which the questions of the advanced section of the written round (round 1) would come.

Round 1: Technical Written Round: It was a technical written round conducted online which possessed aptitude, networking, and programming questions. I had opted for advanced programming so my advanced section consisted of a coding question, those who had chosen advanced networking had got 20 medium-hard level networking MCQs. Rest three sections of aptitude, basic networking, and basic coding were compulsory without any choice.


  • Aptitude MCQs (easy to medium level) – 10
  • Basic Networking MCQs (medium level) – 15
  • Basic Coding Question – 1 (It was from dynamic programming – medium level)
  • Advanced Coding Question – 1 (Medium level)

The results of this round were released within 3-4 days. After that, the shortlisted students proceeded to the next round.

Round 2: Idea Submission Round: We were given two problem statements for which we needed to find a solution and prepare a presentation. Later in the interview round, the interviewer is supposed to ask questions based on our presentation.

Problem Statements: (Pick anyone)

  • 1. Every household has a box of general medicines/ specific medicines that are present for our consumption. While the medicine is purchased, we make it a point to check the date of expiry, however over a period of time we ignore to validate if the medicines available in our house are still under the period of expiry. Question: Leverage technology to ensure that we have an easy mechanism to identify which of the medicines are still okay for consumption
  • 2. How many times has it happened that you are on a social media platform, and it suddenly stops working and you start with opening Google and end up restarting your home Wi-Fi router only to realize that the app was indeed down and not your network?

What if there was an app that told you exactly where your network was broken and if the problem was at your end, or the network service provider, or the application itself? This is the world of FSO or Full Stack Observability. You could read more about Cisco Thousand Eyes / AppDynamics and how we are solving similar problems for the world. In this context, what areas of your day-to-day life will significantly improve when you leverage FSO? At work, play or school. Think about the problems you face today they currently have complex multiple touch points and how FSO can help you improve the overall experience.

Round 3: Technical Interview: This was my first job interview. The interviewer was friendly and made sure I felt comfortable. It was conducted on Cisco’s WebEx platform. The interview lasted for a little more than an hour. Questions were asked on Networking concepts, Data Structures, Python, OS, and OOPs concepts. He also asked me questions about the things I mentioned in my resume.

From the networking syllabus, I was asked questions on these topics:

  • OSI layers
  • Devices (switch, hub, bridge, router) and protocols associated with each layer
  • Three-way handshaking
  • TCP vs UDP
  • Port numbers
  • Working of DNS
  • Multicasting and Broadcasting
  • IPv4 and IPv6 header
  • Subnet masking
  • IP address and Mac Address
  • Classful IP addressing
  • HTTP vs HTTPs

For Data Structures, basic questions about Stacks, pointers, and LinkedList were asked. Searching and sorting algorithms were also asked. I was assigned to write the binary search program and explain it. From python, basics were asked.

After the technical questions, the interviewer asked me to give a presentation of the idea that I had submitted in the previous round. It was about 15 minutes. He asked me questions based on my presentation and gave feedback.

Round 4: Managerial + Technical Interview: In this round, a few technical questions were asked along with managerial situation-based questions. The interviewer wanted to know more about me apart from my technical skills. He asked me about my hobbies and extra-curricular activities. A few task-handling questions were also asked. The main highlight of the interview was that the interviewer enacted scenes and asked me for my responses to those situations. In my opinion, mainly your confidence and situation-dealing abilities were tested in this round.

Round 5: HR interview: In the HR interview round, the interviewer asked me what I know about Cisco, why I want to join the company, who are Cisco’s rivals and other related questions. He also asked me about my understanding of the role that was offered to me. After that, I was asked to briefly explain my projects and skills. Lastly, he asked about my preferred job locations and all other formalities.

After waiting for more than a week, finally, the results were declared. And I got selected! I am so glad that I made it through.


  • Try to be honest in your interview and if you are unable to answer any questions, politely say it.
  • Know about the company that you are applying to as it shows your interest in the job

Make that one-hour interview the best time of your lifetime, try to enjoy the process and that is the only way you can give your best. All the best.

My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Last Updated : 19 Sep, 2022
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