Cisco recruitment

Everything You Need to Know About the Cisco Recruitment Process for Technical Roles

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Are you thinking about applying to Cisco for a technical role? Well, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we explain the Cisco recruitment process in detail, from where to find job postings to their work culture.

Cisco is one of the biggest names in the communications and information technology industry. Ranked at 62nd in the Fortune 500, they are the worldwide leader in networking.

And from a workplace perspective, Cisco was ranked 3rd on Fortune’s 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back and 6th on CNBC’s Top 10 Tech Companies to Work for in India. Simply put, Cisco is a great company to work for, and it is definitely worth applying to.

If you are interested in joining Cisco, then read on to get a complete roundup of their hiring process: how to apply, what kind of questions to expect, hiring principles, and more.

What does Cisco look for in a candidate for engineering roles?

Cisco’s company culture is built around values such as innovation, empathy, respect, and teamwork. Besides your technical skills, Cisco will evaluate:

  • how presentable you are,
  • whether you can communicate well,
  • if you can understand customer’s problems,
  • and your attitude towards work.

Being a global company, they want to ensure you are someone who can fit into their multicultural and diverse environment.

The Cisco recruitment process

Cisco mostly hires through two avenues:

  • Off-campus hiring
  • Campus placement drives

Off-campus hiring

Unlike other organisations, Cisco doesn’t rely heavily on external job portals to invite applications. Instead, they share all the vacancies on their website first.

Besides that, they have an internal hiring program called Talent Connection. This program gives their employees a chance to switch teams, departments, and so on.

The recruitment team will move on to other platforms (Naukri and LinkedIn) only if they fail to fill the vacancy. So, be sure to create an account on Cisco Careers. This way you will get notifications as soon as a job opening is posted.

Here are the steps involved in the hiring process:

Application screening: Your application will be evaluated to see if you fulfil the basic criteria. Be sure to highlight any relevant certifications (CCNI, CCNP, and so on) or experience that you have.

Written test: If your application is shortlisted, you’ll be asked to take an online test. The questions will test your aptitude and technical knowledge. 

The aptitude questions will be mostly on topics such as Venn diagram, percentages, clock position, number series, time and work, probability, and so on. 

As for technical questions, expect them to be from topics such as data structure, networking, algorithms, logic gates, transistors, diodes, and so on.

Resource: Practice tests for Cisco.

Technical Interviews: Typically there will be 2-3 rounds of technical interviews. The first round will be handled by a mid-level manager(s) and senior managers will manage the following rounds.

They will evaluate your technical skills, whether you are capable enough for the role, if you fit the team requirements, and so on.

The rounds typically begin with questions around your experience or the projects you have done — the challenges you faced, the kind of processes you dealt with, how you managed the people around you, and so on.

After that, they will move on to technical questions. You might be asked to write code for a few questions too.

Frequently asked questions

Traverse a binary tree

Reverse a string using stack

Find a substring in a string

Data structures and algorithm

Layers of networking

Network protocols

Routing and switching

Interprocess communication

HR round: The interview process will end with an HR round where you will be tested for the fitment aspect. Expect questions that evaluate your awareness of Cisco as a company, your intentions for joining Cisco, your personality, whether you will be able to deliver, and your career goals and aspirations.

Resource: Most common HR interview questions.

What skills should you focus on?

Networking fundamentals and protocols. Data Structures. C coding skills. Python. HTML. Javascript. CSS. Java. SQL. Algorithms. Written and oral interpersonal skills.

On-campus recruitment process

Cisco has two categories for which they hire freshers — research and development, and support. For R and D roles, they mostly hire from elite institutions such as IITs and NITs. While for support operations, they recruit from tier 2 or tier 3 colleges.

How critical is your academic performance?

Your academic performance is just one of the data points that Cisco uses to evaluate candidates. Cisco looks for smart, innovative, and confident candidates. If you can demonstrate that, you don’t have to worry too much about your grades.

Some dos and don’ts

  • Cisco has a flat hierarchy, so keep that in mind when asked about ambitions and aspirations.
  • Don’t be nervous while communicating.
  • Your resume should be crisp and clear.
  • Be presentable. Ensure you carry yourself professionally.
  • Do read up about the company, their core values, what do they do, their company culture, and so on.

Job interview dos and don'tsSource

Joining Cisco

Cisco typically takes a week or so to review your performance and release the offer letter. They will do a background check simultaneously. In case they find some discrepancies, they will withdraw the offer letter.

Working at Cisco

Cisco is widely considered as one of the best tech companies to work for. It is down to reasons like:

  • The employee-employer relationship is built on values such as flexibility, trust, and empowerment.
  • Flat hierarchy.
  • Multicultural and diverse workforce.
  • Employee feedback is taken very seriously.
  • Flexible work policies.
  • Great maternity benefits.
  • Talent development opportunities.
  • Overseas opportunities.

Cover image source.

This article is part of our Recruitment Process series where we offer insights into how some of the top companies go about their hiring process — from expected questions to an overview of their work culture.

2 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About the Cisco Recruitment Process for Technical Roles”

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