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Network Engineer Telephone Screening Questions

Posted on 2003-11-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
This is a very subjective question...  I want ten phone screening questions for a network engineer with say four years experience.  I'm feeling lazy and uncreative today. So figured I'd turn to my EE brothers (and sisters) to deliver 10 questions that will deliver us someone worthy of further interviews.  Questions could involve network design or trouble shooting and focues around Cisco routers, switches, firewalls and VPN devices.  Anything around IP v4 is fair game.  

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Question by:mmedwid
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SteveJ earned 125 total points
ID: 9783400
1. What's the "base" in 100BaseT refer to?
2. When is a duplicate ACK not really a duplicate ACK?
3. What are the states that a switch port can go through in Spanning Tree?
4. What does Cisco mean by address overloading?
5. How many DS1's in a DS3?
6. What do 2-wire and 4-wire refer to with respect to 1.544mbits/sec?
7. What are the configurable paramters with IPSEC?
8. How does HSRP work?
9. On a Cisco router, why does it take the same amount of time to ping a local serial interface as it does to ping the remote end serial interface?
10. What's the significance of the address 255.255.255.255?

Pay me in cash.

Steve
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by:The--Captain
ID: 9783597
The answer to #1 can be found on google in seconds, and has little use outside the classroom.

#4 is too easy.
#7 is unanswerable unless you are more specific reagarding which IPSEC implementation, and even then most network engineers I know would still reach for the docs in order to provide a comprehensive list of parameters.  I guess this is a good question to ask if you want to see who will BS and who will ask for the appropriate docs.
#9 indicates I know more about ciscos than the person asking the question - that's the point in the interview in which I start wondering if I should just leave, since I'll wind up having to work under someone who knows less than I do about what I'm supposed to be doing.  (Hint: you're assuming something that is not necessarily true)
#10 Should be more simply "What's a netmask?".  This would actually be my #1, since you can usually weed out 95% of all prospectives with this one right off the top, and it is really so simple that everyone should know it.
Personally, I'd dump #5 and replace it with "Exactly how do ping and traceroute work"?

Cheers,
-Jon
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by:mmedwid
ID: 9783969
Thanks man - that gives me a good starter set.  What's the answer to #2?  Maybe I'll have to resign now for now knowing the answer!  Reminds me to the Bridge of Death scene in Holy Grail...

Bridgekeeper: Hee hee heh. Stop! What... is your name?
Arthur: It is 'Arthur', King of the Britons.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
Arthur: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Arthur: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?
Bridgekeeper: Huh? I-- I don't know that! Auuuuuuuugh!
Bedevere: How do know so much about swallows?
Arthur: Well, you have to know these things when you're a king, you know.
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by:SteveJ
ID: 9789909
A window size adjustment packet.

#4, you're probably right
#7, that's pretty much what I had in mind or "show me the specs and I'll configure it."
#9, An "is anybody home" question . . . anybody with console time on a cisco router troubleshooting a PPP circuit must be preoccupied not to notice something a little goofy when pinging PPP local and remote interfaces from a router console. And what's worse is someone who, noticing something goofy, doesn't take the time to figure out why.
#10, I just want to see if they mention remote access.
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