Are you thinking about getting a job as a Network Engineer? Are you considering leaving your present position and getting a new job at a new company? Has it been a while since you’ve interviewed? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then this is the post for you! We’ve compiled a list of things you need to do to be prepared for on your next interview. We’ve also compiled a list of some tips for making sure you ace that interview as well as a list of 20 Network Engineer Interview Questions.
Can you pass the test?
Check also our new eBook Get That Network Engineer Job!
Tips for preparing for the Interview
- Study – Before you go to your interview, open the books up and give yourself a general review of networking.
- Update your Resume – Read your resume and update it. The last thing you need when you are putting your best face forward is to have a resume that is full of grammatical errors.
- Watch out for Social Networks – Many employers are getting very smart and will search on your name. Be sure if they find your facebook or myspace page there isn’t anything there that you wouldn’t want them to see.
- Google yourself – Search for yourself on Google and see what you find. You would be amazed an what might pop up. Make sure nothing derogatory shows up.
- Get Certified – One of the best things to do to prove you know what your talking about is a certification. This gives a new employer an easy way to understand your knowledge level.
Preparing for Network Engineer Interview Questions
Make sure you prepare well on those technical subjects. Don’t think that you know them already, actually spend time refreshing your knowledge to be and look more confident:
- IP Addressing- Make sure you know subnetting (without a subnet calculator!). Know the value of every bit in each each Octet. Know subnet masks and what their slashed notation is and CIDR. Get familiar with wild card masks.
- Memorize administrative distances of all routing protocols.
- Review the simple stuff, like 3way handshakes in tcp, setting up hrsp, ip helpers.
- Review Spanning Tree – Know what a root bridge is, know what VTP does, be sure you can explain the differences with RSTP.
- Review VLANs and be able to explain what a vlan is.
Employers know you can look things up in a pinch but what do you know off the top of your head that you can hit the ground running and fix a problem if it arises.
Tip: never answer “I can check it on Google”. This is a turn off for interviewers!
Trick: if you don’t know the answer, just say “I’ll look that up and I’ll get back to you with an answer” – you are not supposed to know everything but a good and proactive actitude always leaves a good impression.
Put yourself in their shoes, what will they need from you? Review the job description and target those things specific to the job your interviewing for.
The non technical part
The goal of an interview is to evaluate not only the technical knowledge of the candidate, but also the soft skills, the personality and the behavior. At the end you’ll be working on a team of people and be a good fit for the team is often more important than the technical skills.
Get ready for the non-technical questions and try to be honest and genuine, but also keep it professional. Check the company website to understand what they do and in which market they operate. Read few times the job description to understand what they need and how can you satisfy that need.
Some non technical questions that are often asked are along those lines:
- Why did you choose a career as network engineer?
- Why you think you can be an asset for our company?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Describe a difficult situation you had in your past jobs, how did you deal with it?
- Have you ever had conflicts with your colleagues or manager? Why?
- Describe a project or work that you’re particularly proud. Why was it a success?
- Where do you see yourself in five years? (yes, this is the most hated one!)
Tip: prepare for those questions, it just take few minutes to think about the answers but will make a big difference when answering them with an assertive and confident tone.
Sample Interview Questions for Network Engineers
We get to the technical side now… here is our list of 20 Network Engineer Interview Questions:
- What is the subnet mask 10.2.1.3/22?
- What is the administrative distance of EIGRP, eBGP, iBGP?
- What is your favorite routing Protocol?
- In EIGRP, what is a Stuck in Active route?
- In OSPF, what is a totaly stubby area? What does Area Zero do?
- Which internal routing protocol would use if you needed to route between Cisco and non-Cisco equipment?
- Explain what a 3-way handshake is in TCP?
- What is a VLAN trunking protocol?
- What is the different between 802.1q and ISL?
- Explain what is an Ether-Channel?
- What do you need to do to setup a VTP domain?
- What is Spanning Tree used for?
- What is a root bridge and why do you need one?
- What is needed on a router interface to allow DHCP to function on a subnet?
- Describe what a stateful firewall is?
- What is HSRP? Is this an open standard?
- In a PIX/ASA, what are security levels used for?
- What two things are needed in a PIX/ASA firewall to allow traffic to pass from a higher security level to a lower security level?
- In IPSec VPNs, what is diffie hellman? What is it used for?
- In an IPSec tunnel, what is main mode?
Do you know the answers to these questions? Have any more questions you would like to add? Leave a comment below and let us know the answers or more questions?
For more preparation questions check our new eBook Get That Network Engineer Job!
What you’ll learn:
- The Interview Process explained
- The Types of interviews and how they differ
- Pre-Interview Work you have to do
- Soft skills questions to prepare
- Technical Questions (with answers)
- What to do After the Interview
- Preparation checklist: Interview DO’s and DON’Ts