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Consulting Engineer

Cisco
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6 rounds | 6 Coding problems

Interview preparation journey

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Preparation
Duration: 10 months
Topics: Data Structures, OOPS, SQL, DBMS, Networking Basics, Network Operating Systems, Routing & Switching Essentials, Python, Java, Competitive Programming
Tip
Tip

Tip 1 : Prepare DSA and Networking Basics properly.
Tip 2 : Be well versed with Routing Protocols and working of SSL, TSL, DNS, etc. 
Tip 3 : Ideation process is pretty long, don't get anxious.
Tip 4 : Communication skills are very important, spend enough time improvising them! 
Tip 5 : Any networking course certificate/internship would be helpful.

Application process
Where: Email Approach
Eligibility: PCAP certification
Resume Tip
Resume tip

Tip 1 : Include networking projects/internships/trainings (if any) 
Tip 2 : If going for consulting engineer role, mention any role you've played where you had the opportunity to interact with any customer.
Tip 3 : Combination of networking + Python is killer! So if you're having either or both of them, don't miss a chance to mention it.

Interview rounds

01
Round
Easy
Online Coding Interview
Duration60 minutes
Interview date16 Jul 2021
Coding problem1

It was an online MCQ quiz with questions based on DSA, DBMS, Computer programming logic, Networking, apti and english. It was on a basic level.

1. First Unique Character in a String

Easy
15m average time
85% success
0/40
Asked in companies
CiscoMicrosoftIBM

Given a string ‘STR’ consisting of lower case English letters, the task is to find the first non-repeating character in the string and return it. If it doesn’t exist, return ‘#’.

For example:

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Problem approach

I used Python to solve this problem as the interviewer asked me to do so. To solve this problem, I simply used a dictionary to take note of elements that are occurring mapped to the number of times they have occurred. In the dictionary that was populated, I checked the characters that occurred once and printed them.
I did not code the other approach but without the recruiter asking me about ...

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02
Round
Easy
Assignment
Duration20 minutes
Interview date5 Oct 2021
Coding problem1

1. Assignment

How AI and ML can help in improving UX?

Problem approach

Tip 1 : Read articles 
Tip 2 : Think about real practical scenarios.
Tip 3 : Talk to people on LinkedIn in the industry to discover about it.

03
Round
Hard
Online Coding Test
Duration90 minutes
Interview date15 Oct 2021
Coding problem1

About 60 questions. Intermediate level programming logic, networking, electronics, DSA and a coding question

1. Permutations of a String

Moderate
15m average time
85% success
0/80
Asked in companies
GoogleMakeMyTripDisney + Hotstar

You are given a string 'STR' consisting of lowercase English letters. Your task is to return all permutations of the given string in lexicographically increasing order.

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Problem approach

I used Recursion to solve the problem, it's one of the basic questions of backtracking, recursion and DP.

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04
Round
Easy
Video Call
Duration20 minutes
Interview date5 Nov 2021
Coding problem1

It was Technical Round, asked questions about projects, how DNS works, OSI layers, TCP and UDP, difference between router and switch, what's MAC address. The recruiter was really nice and supportive. He also asked a coding question at the end. I knew both Python and Java, he asked to code in Python, apparently it was the same string question asked in the quiz rounds. And I explained clearly..

1. Networking Questions

  • How DNS works?
  • What are OSI layers, TCP and UDP?
  • What are the difference between router and switch?
  • What is MAC address, IP Address?
Problem approach

Tip 1 : Know networking basics very clearly.
Tip 2 : Know the coding language properly.
 

05
Round
Hard
Video Call
Duration15 minutes
Interview date8 Nov 2021
Coding problem1

It was Managerial Round, I was asked questions about my project, some HR type questions, then I was also asked Technical Questions. They were advanced

1. Technical Questions

  • What was your greatest challenge during group project? How did you solve them?
  • If you solution didn't work what would you do?
  • Explain OSI model layers
  • Explain IP address classes, and use of each of them.
  • What is meant by Network ID in IP Address?
  • What is subnet mask? Why is it needed?
  • What happens if a router is not configured?
Problem approach

Tip 1 : Be confident, most of the questions test your patience and confidence. 
Tip 2 : Revise CCNA topics thoroughly.
Tip 3 : Be precise in answering and speaking out your thoughts.

06
Round
Hard
HR Round
Duration15 minutes
Interview date8 Nov 2021
Coding problem1

HR Round was late in the evening for me, and surprisingly I was the last candidate to be interviewed. I was really anxious, but seeing the recruiter on camera relieved me. He was really nice and sweet..

1.

  1. Tell something about yourself.
  2. What do you know about Cisco?
  3. Any products of cisco you know?
  4. What are the competitors of Cisco?
  5. Any plans for higher studies?
  6. What other offers you hold, or have applied for? If yes, why cisco?
  7. What is your location preference and shift preferences?
Problem approach

Tip 1 : Be brutally honest, for eg when I was asked if I hold any other offers, I honestly answered that I'm a fresher out of college and in a need of jobs, and then I answered why I was interested in working in Cisco - for that you need to find an answer within your head... 
Tip 2 : Be confident. and know about the company you're interviewing for.

Here's your problem of the day

Solving this problem will increase your chance to get selected in this company

What is the return type of a method that doesn't return any value?

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