CISCO Interview Experience | Summer Internship (Feb 2019)

Sorry in advance if the answer is a bit long, I really wanted to share this.

So after a couple of interviews ( Morgan Stanley ) and being rejected in them, I went on..

Qualification Round : Around 200-300 students competed in this online test round. It basically consisted aptitude questions only, around 50 as I remember. Later, 27 students (I was among them) advanced to the next round (Interview round), to be held on the next day.



Round 1: In this round, the interviewer asked me a few coding questions –

1) Detect a loop in a linked list. (He inquired : “Have you solved this problem before?”. I replied : “Yes sir, I have solved a number of problems and this was one of them”, he seemed to be happy with my honest answer.)

2) Given a running list of integers, how will you output the 3 largest elements when the query is made? . I answered this using heap, and display the elements as queried (He was very much convinced).

A few puzzles like : 1) How many times does the minute and hour hand of a watch cross each other?

Questions on the projects that I did. I walked him through the projects using diagrams on the sheets.

Later he asked me if I had any questions : I asked 1) How do you ensure that you are the most secure company?.  2) How in the company the protocols (TCP and UDP) are used?

He was very happy with the questions I asked and also the answers I gave.

Round 2: This round was the coolest round that I have ever been to, in an interview so far. The interviewer : “I didn’t know it is so cold in here.” (Because of the AC). Me : “Sir, you should have got a coat like mine xD”. Then we started laughing over it.

He, going through my resume, said “Okay, so share something with me”. I was surprised as I didn’t expect this. I thought ” what should I share??”.

I started off with introducing myself (a bit), then about my college (a bit), and finally about a club(Samarpana), of my college, that I loved. So for around 10-20 minutes, I shared my experience being a part of the club, how it helped me get over my fear of public speaking, speaking to strangers, (the fears of an introvert) . He genuinely liked what I shared about the club.


Later he asked me technical questions, based on Operating Systems, Computer Networks, DBMS. Once, when I was stuck a bit, He suggested : “Focus on the basics and you can solve anything”.

Then I expressed how amazing it is what CISCO has done over the years, and we had a talk about the switches and other products.

Round 3: HR Round. A couple of questions were asked, like : “How would your parent describe you ?, your friends ? and you yourself?, in one word “. If I had plans for masters, how were the previous rounds and the interviewers.

Also I remember, the interviewer asked me “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?”. To be honest, even by this time I didn’t know much about the hierarchy in a company, so I answered : “Ma’am, I don’t know much about the hierarchy, but wherever I will be, I will give my best to the company, and do my job honestly.”

Then after discussing the stipend and about the job this round was over.

I was selected for the internship, the mistakes (lessons) from the previous interviews helped me a lot.

Takeaways :

1) Everything from this. (My Morgan Stanley interview)..(3rd point in the link : before the qualification round, I went through CISCO’s website and read about the switches and other products. Which later was useful in Round 2)

2) Keep on improving and don’t think that you have done a lot already.

3) Just believe in yourself and put your heart upon the process. ( Helped me later get placed in ThoughtSpot )

It was an amazing experience working at CISCO..

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