As it always Does, Cisco systems was the first company visiting our college for “VIRTUAL” Placement drive 2021. (Virtual Due to COVID-19 Pandemic)
The Process was for two days spanned over 10 days.
Round 1 Aptitude Test (Start of the Sprint):
- It was an online test hosted on HackerRank which included 25 MCQs and 1 coding question (Snake and Ladder) and the duration was for an hour.
- The MCQs were based on Aptitude (Permutations and Combinations, Basic Arithmetic, Calendar Question), logical reasoning, and technical aptitude (Finding Output from Code Snippet, Networking, OS, 1-2 Machine Learning Questions Based on Decision Tree, Outliers, etc.).The difficulty was between easy to moderate.
Tip: Do what your Confident of solving first, If You feel you can do Coding easily go for it, otherwise just finish Aptitude and Get Back to coding Later. And Most importantly be calm while doing the Aptitude.
Round 2 Technical (Boost you soul):
- My panel consisted of 2 people (they were Super Friendly). I was very nervous since it was the first interview of my life. Interviewers read my nervousness and started with the most popular Question “Tell Me About Yourself”.
- By now, they made me super comfortable by asking me my interests like what do I play, what are my hobbies, etc. They picked my interest (Cybersecurity) and asked me questions about the same.
- The interview rolled through many cybersecurity questions, my projects (which was again related to cybersecurity), Fundamental Networking Questions, questions related to networking tools (ping, tracert, etc…,). Hacking tools (Nmap, Wireshark, etc..,) some Fun Questions, and the interview concluded with the famous question “What happens in Background (Explain in super detail) when you type www.google.co.in?.
- I never felt like I was in an interview, instead, I felt I was sitting in a friendly conversation for about 1 hour 25 minutes for a software Engineer- Network/Embedded/Application Developer role
- Get comfortable as soon as you can so you can completely involve yourself.
- Ask Questions related to your interests, your research on the company (I asked questions based on Cybersecurity (My interests), Current ongoing at Cisco (regarding news 1-2 days before interview), Cisco products, etc.,}
- Mention your interests clearly, this might help you fetch some questions you are comfortable with.
- Stay Strong, Stay Excited, stay comfortable, and Keep smiling. That helps a lot.
- Don’t mention anything in your resume if you are not comfortable with it. Mention only those things which you can rate yourself 4/5 or higher. Keep your resume clear and Concise.
- Don’t Panic or Lie if you don’t know any answer, just tell that “You don’t know it” politely (with some reasoning and try to get near the answer if you can).
- “Never lose your tongue”, Don’t mention any “WORD” while answering which you don’t know. One word mistakenly is spoken can get you offshore. Think about the next probable question every time you speak a word.
Round 3 Managerial + Technical (This was a True Miracle):
- A senior manager was assigned to me, and he directly fired programming-related questions at me. Questions were related to C/C++ and Python. Basic to intermediate – syntax, and conceptual questions on the programming languages were asked along with Some more Cybersecurity questions.
- Two Coding Questions – Fibonacci series and insertion of a node in the linked list (Reversing the linked list might also be asked, But it was not asked me).
- So, here’s a Twist, by this time there was a heavy downpour at my place, so I lost connectivity. I could only answer the first coding question. Immediately, HR called me and asked me “What Happened? Are you okay?”. I just felt that Affection and love that Cisco shows to their employees (Undoubtedly, it’s the reason why Cisco is #GreatPlaceToWork). I explained my network issues, and they arranged a telephonic round for further process.
- Now I was asked some situational questions, it asked to check how we would analyze, react, and respond to the situation accordingly.
- I was asked to tell the negative points about the Cisco placement process until this round, about college (about hostel), and about friends. (If asked tell the negative points without any hesitation and then tell how can you flip them to view them as a positive bubble.)
- Puzzles and presence of mind kind questions were asked, that evaluated your problem-solving ability, quick reactions and how can you make situations look simple.
- The interview (Telephonic amid network issues) rolled for 1 hour 35 Minutes
- I heartily thank the Cisco university recruiting team for being polite and thoughtful about their candidates for timely addressing network issues, Platform issues, etc.., that never let our morale go down throughout the day.
Tip: Just answer with an open mind and justify whatever you speak. Think loud. Tackle the situations and puzzles carefully.
Round 4 HR (The Final Lap): It was kind of a formality and it consisted of very basic questions like Why Cisco, its Competitors, regarding pre-placement talk that was conducted by the company. It was a casual round that lasted for about 10 minutes.
With all the roller-coaster of emotions, thought process, and nervousness finally the interview concluded in the evening. It was exhaustive yet exciting. It was a Dream interview in a Dream company for a Dream role one would always wish to experience.