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Inside Scoop
  • They are a large organization, but maintain a good company culture
  • Employees report a good work-life balance and good benefits
  • There have been some re-orgs and layoffs that make employees feel disconnected to upper management
  • Salaries for software engineers is around average compared to similar companies
Interview Process

The interview process for a software engineer at Cisco takes 2-3 weeks on average. Depending on the manner of application, the process differs a little bit.
Candidates who apply online/through a recruiter:

Stage 1: Phone screen with recruiter
Stage 2: Onsite interview
The onsite interview comprises of 4 or 5 one-on-one interviews to test coding skills, ccna type skills and debugging skills. 3-4 of the interviews are technical questions, coding/design and the other interview is with the hiring manager and includes more behavioral questions.

Candidates who apply through college/university:

Stage 1: On-campus interview
Half of it this interview is resume review and behavioral questions, the other half is technical question.
Stage 2: Coding assignment (might be skipped)
Stage 3: Onsite interview
The onsite includes 1 technical and 1 behavioral interview.

The interview process for a data scientist at Cisco can take one week or more.

Stage 1: Phone screen with recruiter
Stage 2-4 Video interviews with senior managers and senior quality engineers
The questions are mostly regarding data science (machine learning, time series analysis, statistics etc) and about the candidate's previous experience.

The interview process for a product/experience/ux ui designer at Cisco takes 2-3 weeks on average.

Stage 1: Phone interview with hiring manager
Stage 2: Phone interview with lead designer on the team
Stage 3: Onsite interview
The onsite consists of several interview sessions: First is a 1 hour portfolio review with a panel of 5 people. The candidate is asked to prepare 2-3 projects to present. After that, there is a 1 hour design challenge. The candidate is given a prompt with instructions to design something in 45 min and 15 min to present. At the end there are three 30-minute 1:1 interviews with peer designers, front end developers, and product managers.

The interview process for a product manager at Cisco takes 2-4 weeks on average.

Stage 1: Phone screen with recruiter
Stage 2: Video interview with product/hiring manager (can be on campus if applying through university)
The interview is focused on PM core skill sets and cultural fit.
Stage 3: Onsite interview
There are 3-4 interview sessions, mostly with with PMs, to discuss the candidate's product management experience. All interviews include tech mini-cases + market sizing.

Interview Questions
  • What is the difference between static in C and static in C++?
  • What is big endian vs little endian?
  • Tree traversal
  • What is a router?
  • What is a seg-fault? How is a seg-fault caused?
  • Given a paragraph (string with space delimited words) and a word (string), return whether the word appears in the paragraph.
  • How would you implement a cache?
  • Given a string, find and return the first non-duplicate character (i.e. abcdabde would return c)
  • Write a function to calculate x^a with x and a as parameters. Write it recursively
  • Insert a node into a linked list.
  • Write a program (in language of your choice) that searches for a specific file in your filesystem given a string name.
  • What is an IP address?
  • Describe packet flow from a DNS server
  • Talk about VPN
  • OOP design
  • Implementation of stack and minstack
  • Binary Search
  • How do you design a social media platform like Facebook?
  • Explain R or Python to someone who doesn't have background in using those tools.
  • Merge two sorted linked list
  • Talk about machine learning, time series analysis, statistics
  • Clone a graph
  • Questions related to NLP, matrix, vector, NN, coding (basic- list and dictionary and complexity of the function)
  • How does your past research experience relate to what our team is currently doing?
  • Talk about an app that you like and why you like it
  • What did you learn from this project in your portfolio?
  • A designer is successful with one project but not another, what went wrong?
  • Design a table that can show 1,000 parent devices. Each parent device could have up to 1,000 children devices. Design the table so you can sort and edit each row and find information for both parent and child devices. Spend 45 minutes designing and 15 minutes presenting your work.
  • What is a time you negotiated your way to the ideal UX solution?
  • What do you think of networking?
  • Why do you like UX?
  • Overall technology understanding, product knowledge and sales process
  • How would you create a minivan?
  • How could you make Cisco better?
  • How do you prioritize your backlog?
  • Which industries and use cases should we focus on?
  • How do you work with engineering?
  • What's your favorite product? Why is that your favorite and how can you improve it?
  • What do you know about networking?
  • Explain a process within your role that you learned or developed at your previous job which you feel is valuable enough to take with you to future position.
  • Can you explain market transitions and technology transitions?
  • Present a market research project
About Cisco


Shape the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners.


Changing the Way We Work, Live, Play, and Learn.

  • Change the World
  • We're committed to technology innovation that connects us all. Our pride in community inspires us to give our time, knowledge, and solutions to create positive experiences that make the world a better place.
  • Focus Intensely on Customers
  • We make customers' challenges our own. We listen to where they want to go and help transform their business. We value in-depth customer relationships and deliver superior quality solutions.
  • Make Innovation Happen
  • We anticipate market transitions and chart a path of innovation leadership. We create relevant, meaningful solutions. We have the courage to take informed risks, simplify the complex, and pursue excellence.
  • Win Together
  • We work smart and collaborate effectively across teams to do extraordinary things. We're passionate about ensuring customers' and partners' success and generating profitable growth for shareholders.
  • Respect and Care for Each Other
  • We work, grow, learn, and have fun together. We support and trust one another through change. We inspire each other, celebrate diversity of thought, encourage openness, and reward for team results.
  • Always Do the Right Thing
  • We're honest and straightforward in all our actions. We earn the trust and confidence of others. We say what needs to be said and hold ourselves accountable.
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