Top Network Engineer Interview Questions with Example Answers [2022]

Prepare for your Network Engineer interview by going through these most asked Network Engineer interview questions. Additionally, get access to sample answers and interviewer's expectations.

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  • Question: How will you connect the socket and session?
  • Question Overview: This question is designed to see if the applicant has a basic understanding of how a socket and session are connected. The answer should be detailed and include the specific protocols that are used.

    Sample Answer: I will use TCP to establish a connection between the client and server. Once the connection is established, I will use HTTP to send data between the two.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Detailed answer
    • - Protocols used
    • - Understanding of session and socket

  • Question: What is BGP?
  • Question Overview: BGP is a routing protocol that is used to exchange routing information between networks. The applicant should be able to explain the basics of BGP and how it works.

    Sample Answer: BGP is a routing protocol that allows networks to exchange routing information. It's used in large networks where there are multiple connections between different organizations.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Basic understanding
    • - Ability to explain
    • - Experience with BGP

  • Question: What is an access list?
  • Question Overview: An access list is a security measure that allows or denies network traffic based on the source or destination IP address. The applicant should be able to explain how they would use an access list to protect your network from unauthorized access.

    Sample Answer: An access list is a security measure that allows or denies network traffic based on the source or destination IP address. I would use an access list to restrict traffic from a specific IP address or range of IP addresses.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Understanding of access lists
    • - Use case
    • - Experience with this technology

  • Question: What is the OSI model?
  • Question Overview: The OSI model is a network design model that is used to help network engineers understand how different layers of the network interact with each other. The applicant should be able to explain the model and how it is used in their work.

    Sample Answer: The OSI model is a layered network design model that helps network engineers understand how different layers of the network interact with each other. It's used to help with troubleshooting and designing new networks.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Understanding of the OSI model
    • - How it is used
    • - How it can be applied

  • Question: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
  • Question Overview: The applicant should be able to provide a clear answer to this question. You want to make sure that they have a plan for their career and that they're not just looking for a job.

    Sample Answer: I'd like to be a senior network engineer at a large organization. I'm looking for a company that will allow me to grow my skills and take on more responsibility.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Career path
    • - Goals
    • - Ambition

  • Question: How will you describe the network model?
  • Question Overview: The network engineer should be able to describe the network model in a way that makes sense to you. They should be able to explain their design decisions and why they made them.

    Sample Answer: The network model I created for this company is a hybrid cloud solution. It uses a mix of on-premises and cloud-based resources to support their needs. I chose this model because it allows them to scale up or down as needed without having to invest in additional hardware.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Clear explanation
    • - Good understanding of design
    • - Good understanding of technology

  • Question: How will you differentiate between a hub and a switch?
  • Question Overview: The applicant should be able to differentiate between a hub and a switch and explain why they are different. This question is designed to gauge their technical knowledge and understanding of the network.

    Sample Answer: A hub is a device that connects multiple devices together in a network. A switch is a device that connects multiple devices together in a network and can filter the data that is sent between them.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Technical knowledge
    • - Understanding of network devices
    • - Ability to explain

  • Question: What was your best job and why?
  • Question Overview: The applicant should provide a detailed answer that highlights their most positive work experience. They should also be able to explain why they enjoyed it so much.

    Sample Answer: My best job was at a small business where I was the only network engineer. I was able to work closely with the CEO and COO to create a network that met their needs and was cost-effective.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Detailed explanation
    • - Positive experience
    • - Enjoyable job

  • Question: What are some of your past projects?
  • Question Overview: The applicant should be able to provide a list of projects they have worked on and the type of work they did. Look for projects that are relevant to your organization and that highlight their skills.

    Sample Answer: I've worked on several network projects, including the implementation of a new network topology, the replacement of a core router and the creation of a disaster recovery plan.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Relevant projects
    • - Skills highlighted
    • - Experience with the technology

  • Question: Why do you want to work with us?
  • Question Overview: This is a simple question that gives you a chance to gauge the applicant's enthusiasm for your organization. They should be able to give you a few reasons why they want to work for you specifically.

    Sample Answer: I've been following your company for a while now and have been impressed with the way you've grown. I'm excited to be part of a team that is helping to shape the future of the industry.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Specific reasons
    • - Enthusiasm
    • - Experience with your company

  • Question: How does the mobile phone get connected to the network of the operator?
  • Question Overview: The applicant should be able to explain the process of connecting a mobile phone to a cellular network. This is a basic question that will give you a sense of their technical knowledge and ability to communicate.

    Sample Answer: The mobile phone connects to the network via radio waves. The phone sends out a signal that is picked up by a nearby cell tower and then relayed to the carrier's network.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Thorough explanation
    • - Easy to understand
    • - Good communication skills

  • Question: How important is customer satisfaction in a support job?
  • Question Overview: The network engineer will be responsible for handling customer issues and concerns. The applicant should be able to explain how they would handle these situations and how they would prioritize the needs of the customer.

    Sample Answer: Customer satisfaction is a top priority for me. I always make sure to communicate with my customers in a timely manner and provide them with the information they need to resolve their issues.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Customer satisfaction
    • - Prioritization of customer needs
    • - Communication skills

  • Question: What do you know about network engineering?
  • Question Overview: The applicant should be able to provide an answer that shows they have a solid understanding of the role of a network engineer. They should be able to provide details on the various components of the job and how they work together.

    Sample Answer: Network engineers are responsible for designing and implementing the network infrastructure for an organization. They are responsible for everything from the physical network hardware to the security and availability of data.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Understanding of the role
    • - Details on the job
    • - Details on the components

  • Question: Give an example of a difficult problem you have solved.
  • Question Overview: The applicant should provide an example of a problem they have solved that required them to think outside the box. You're looking for a problem that was difficult to solve, but they were able to find a creative solution.

    Sample Answer: I was tasked with creating a network topology that would support a new software application. The application was extremely resource intensive and required a high level of security. I created a network topology that allowed for the application to run smoothly and securely.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Problem
    • - Solution
    • - Impact

  • Question: How do you calculate the speed of light?
  • Question Overview: The speed of light is a constant that is used in many networking calculations. The applicant should be able to provide you with an accurate calculation of the speed of light, as well as the formula they used to get that answer.

    Sample Answer: The speed of light is approximately 186,282 miles per second. I use the following formula to calculate the speed of light:

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Accurate calculation
    • - Knowledge of formula
    • - Understanding of speed of light

  • Question: How will you describe the call flow through CCM?
  • Question Overview: CCM is a Cisco Unified Communications Manager. The applicant should be able to describe how calls are handled through this system and what the different components are.

    Sample Answer: The call flow starts with the user dialing a number. This triggers a call script that is stored in the CCM. The script is executed and the call is routed to the appropriate extension. The CCM then connects the call to the extension's phone.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Understanding of CCM
    • - Description of call flow
    • - Details on components

  • Question: How many floors were on the elevator when you came up?
  • Question Overview: This is a classic brainteaser question that you can use to gauge how quickly the applicant thinks on their feet. The applicant should be able to quickly calculate the answer and provide it to you.

    Sample Answer: I came up in an elevator with six floors.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Quick thinking
    • - Ability to solve problems
    • - Problem-solving skills

  • Question: How do you make your weaknesses into strengths?
  • Question Overview: This question is designed to see how the applicant responds to challenges. They should be able to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one. This is a great opportunity to see how they handle failure and what they do to improve themselves.

    Sample Answer: I have a tendency to work too hard and burn myself out. I've learned that it's important to take breaks and recharge my batteries. I schedule time for myself each week where I can do something fun and relaxing.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Positive attitude
    • - Ability to learn from mistakes
    • - Improvement plan

  • Question: What were the challenges you faced in your final year project?
  • Question Overview: The final year project is a common requirement for many computer science and engineering programs. The applicant should be able to discuss the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.

    Sample Answer: The biggest challenge I faced was the time constraint. I had to design and implement the network in a short amount of time, which meant I had to work quickly. I used a virtual lab to test my designs before deploying them into the production network.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Challenges
    • - Solutions
    • - Results

  • Question: What is your biggest strength?
  • Question Overview: The applicant should provide a positive answer that highlights their strengths and how they can be applied to your organization. They should also provide a specific example of how they have used that strength in the past.

    Sample Answer: I have a strong work ethic and am always willing to go above and beyond for my clients. I have a knack for getting the most out of my team, and I'm always looking for ways to improve our processes.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Positive attitude
    • - Specific example
    • - How it applies to the job