It is important to prepare for any interview so that you can provide answers that will help the hiring manager better understand you as a candidate and potential new hire. The interview process is your time to showcase your experience, education and knowledge of the position you’re applying for, so consider practicing interview questions as part of your preparation. You can ask a trusted friend to help you and show more confidence later when interviewing with an employer.
In this article, we share 36 interview questions you may receive when applying for a network engineer role, with sample answers to five of them.
General Interview Questions
Depending on the stage of the interview process you are in, your interviewer, who may be a Chief Information Officer (CIO) or an HR specialist, asks general questions to learn more about you. They may ask certain questions to better understand how you would get along with the team or what you think your greatest qualities are. Even if these are not technical questions, it is still important to provide an answer that is genuine and insightful. Here are some general questions you may be asked during the interview:
- Tell us about yourself.
- Why should we hire you for this role?
- What made you apply for a position at this company?
- Why did you decide to enter the network engineering field?
- What abilities make you an exclusive applicant for this place?
- Do you prefer to work alone or with a team of people?
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
- Describe your main strengths and weaknesses.
- What is your ultimate career goal?
- Tell us about a time you made a mistake at work? How did you manage?
Interview Questions about Experience and Background
Hiring managers want to know more about your experience and how qualified you are for the position. They’ll likely ask questions to help them assess whether your experience level is what they’re looking for, or whether you have enough knowledge to support the additional training you’ll receive once you’re hired. Read this list of questions to get an idea of the types of questions an employer might ask about your background:
- Explain the importance of network plans.
- What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a network engineer? How did you manage?
- What do you do when you understand you’ve made a mistake?
- What network protocols have you worked with in your previous roles?
- When would you mention a company to make a private IP address?
- What do you think are the most common software problems?
- Which tools did you use in your previous positions?
- What is the largest network you have been responsible for?
- Tell us about a time you’ve worked with software-defined networking (SDN).
- Give a brief overview of the different types of networks.
- Describe the moment you changed “no” to “yes”.
- Tell us about your main goal you achieve from your past experience.
In-Depth Interview Questions
Employers ask detailed questions to test your knowledge and confirm that you are a good fit for the role. They may query about your office routines or suppose you to share patterns when they ask situational questions. Here are some detailed questions your interviewer might ask:
- What is your communication style?
- Tell us about a time you had to work closely with another team to complete a project.
- How do you approach securing the system against loss and security issues?
- Describe how a frame relay works.
- What is your process for reassessing networks when the organization has changing needs?
- Describe what proxy servers are and their meaning.
- In what ways can two computers be connected?
- What are the steps to secure a computer network?
- How would you troubleshoot a network configuration that is not working as it should?
- Define the change among standard ACLs and extended ACLs.
Interview Questions with Model Answers
Review these common interview questions with answers to prepare for a successful network engineer interview:
Discuss static versus dynamic IP addressing.
This is a basic technical question that network engineers, even those with entry-level experience, should have enough knowledge to answer. An employer might ask this question to make sure you’re confident with the basics of networking before going into deeper questions about your experience and knowledge.
Example: “The variance among a static and a dynamic IP address is the flexibility of structure. In a static IP address, a device always uses the same IP address when accessing the Internet. In contrast, a dynamic IP address can change regularly and more frequently for home devices compared to businesses.”
Have you ever had to give a technical presentation to an audience with no technical experience? Tell us who the audience was and how you presented the materials?
As a network engineer, you may be required to give presentations to network users, other engineers, or members of the executive team. While some individuals, especially those who work in information technology or are fellow engineers, are likely to understand the industry jargon and details you provide in your presentation, not all employees will. It is important to be able to effectively present information to everyone, regardless of their networking knowledge.
Example: “I used to give presentations to non-technical audience members. I had to communicate everything from network updates to system upgrades and how it might affect traffic. I also discussed what employees can do to support the company network and the benefits of knowing networking best practices no matter what your job entails.
What is your experience working with a development team?
It is increasingly common for network and development teams to work together to support each other in a common goal. The interviewer may ask you this question to gain insight into how you interacted with other key teams in your previous roles and to understand more about your thoughts on cross-team collaboration. Before answering, pause, plan your answer, and consider adding an example.
Example: “In my last spot, I functioned closely with the DevOps teams to make sure that the starter of diverse software did not adversely impact our network optimization. We communicated everything during software development, so my team knew what to expect and what network resources, which the team would need to effectively launch the software to all users.”
How do you want to stay up to date with new trends and new technologies in network engineering?
The hiring manager will ask you this question to see how dedicated you are to the field, so it’s important to answer honestly and show how interested you are in further expanding your knowledge of network engineering.
Example: “I know how important it is to stay up to date with news and trends in our industry because it is constantly changing, so I have several ways to stay informed. I subscribe to and read industry news publications and blogs and regularly listen to relevant podcasts. I am also part of a network engineer association. We share industry news and I attend conferences, webinars and training that the association provides to members.”
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