It is advisable to prepare adequately before entering an interview room. Demand for network engineers has been on the rise, with several companies and organizations prioritizing their network systems. In this article, we look at some of the most common interview questions for network engineers.
1. Why Are You Interested in This Role?
I have acquired vast experience in my ten years of practice, which I believe will come in handy in this job. I have also been following your company for quite some time given your exceptional performance, and therefore, it will be an honour to be part of your team.
2. What Are the Roles of a Network Engineer?
A network engineer is responsible for the network systems of an organization. He/ she sets up, develops and maintains all the computer networks within an organization and between organizations. The network engineer also offers support to users who can either be staff, clients, customers and suppliers. Other roles include troubleshooting any problem that arises with the network systems and maintaining their day-to-day operations.
3. What Are the Qualities That a Network Engineer Should Have to Be Effective?
A network engineer should have excellent communication skills, attention to detail and proper learning skills. He/ she should also be a great problem solver, owing to the complexity of network systems. Other qualities include adaptability, planning and organizational skills and the ability to work in a team.
4. What Major Challenge Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage It?
During my last role, I was elected to head a team of junior network engineers. However, I soon realized that two of them were constantly arguing and could not agree on several things, which affected their productivity. I conducted separate meetings with them to understand the problem before having a general session with both. I later discovered that their rivalry had been going on long before I joined the organization. I had to redelegate duties to the team members to reduce interactions among the two, ensuring that their issues did not entrench into the job.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine as a Network Engineer
Throughout the years, my daily routine has varied depending on how the technology department of the companies are organized. I arrive early and log into my computer before following up on emails about the technical requirements of the current projects. I then investigate overnight alerts before clearing them as positive or negative before checking the server room to ensure that everything is running smoothly. The rest of the day is meeting the project manager and clients, updating technical documentation, receiving reports from colleagues and following up on projects. I also compile reports and run tests of the network design while also investigating alerts.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
I have been in this field for over ten years now. I have learnt a lot about analyzing network structures, and modelling suggested changes since my internship at Jack and Jones. I have vast knowledge of both hardware and software characteristics for network maintenance, which saw me win the best IT employee of the year five times in my former workplace. I also have several security certifications, which I have included in my CV.
7. What Kind of Strategies and Mindset Is Required for This Role?
Given the amount of work and accuracy required in this career, delegating work is one of the best strategies. I have witnessed the advantages of teamwork, which has proven to be a compelling work strategy. As for the mindset, maintaining an open perspective when going about different projects is critical. It allows you to accommodate different opinions and suggestions for project success. A positive attitude also works, especially in challenging projects.
8. What Is the Biggest Challenge That You Foresee in This Job?
I want to commend your IT department for the excellent work that they have done over time. They have bridged most of the challenges that I faced in my last workplaces. I cannot, therefore, identify a given challenge at the moment. However, I believe that we can handle any problem that comes up in the course of operation with your able team. I also have vast experience, which will come in handy in solving some of the problems that may come our way.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated at Work?
I am a firm believer in meeting deadlines. Apart from those set by the company, I create my own, which I strive to meet. I also understand the complexity of network systems and how they can lead to burnout. Therefore, whenever I get exhausted, I take some time off and rejuvenate before approaching a task with enough clarity and strength. Lastly, I have been meditating for quite some time now, which has helped me improve my focus on every task presented before me.
10. Describe a Time You Failed in This Role and The Lesson You Learnt?
I once came to work and got too engrossed in the activities of the day that I forgot to check on overnight alerts, classify them as positive or negative and attend to them. I later realised a negative warning later in the day that almost shut down the networks system. I managed to correct it but had I not recognized it sooner; I would have cost my company a great deal of data. I have leant to break down work and not skip my daily routine, however dismal some activities may seem.
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11. How Do You Bridge Data Loss in a Network Design? What Are Some of The Safeguards That You Put in Place to Limit Data Loss?
I fully understand that data loss can cause system failure, which affects productivity. Therefore, I usually ensure that disaster recovery resources are built into the given network plan. I then use the different available ways of safeguarding company data, such as regular schedule backups and diverse network storage locations.
12. Tell Us About the Largest Size Network You Have Ever Built?
During my early years as a network engineer, I was a freelancer creating and implementing networks for small and middle-scale businesses. Some ranged from two-person operations and others as large as 500 people. These networks were to be used on single locations and combined both on-premises solutions and cloud-based applications. I managed to do that for over 500 clients.
13. What Are Some of The Resources That Have Helped You Stay on Top of Your Game?
I am part of a local engineer meetup group, where we organize meetings to discuss innovations, tips, and tools that can be used to improve our craft. I have subscribed to several monthly network journals that keep me abreast with changes and valuable recommendations and engage an RSS reader to compile multiple news sources that write about network innovations. During my free time, I read Network World.
14. Do You Have Any Experience Working with Development Teams and Other Stakeholders to Deploy Network Resources?
I am a great believer in teamwork, as most of my projects demand that. I have worked with several DevOps Teams in my ten years of experience, engaging different developers in building network systems that support their applications performances. Some of the DevOps Teams members also suggest valuable insights that I have relied on at some points of my career.
15. Have You Ever Failed to Get the Expected Performance Out of a Given Network Configuration? Please, Walk Us Through the Troubleshooting Process.
I start by solving the smallest of problems, those that can be easily accessed. I check for any network outage, hardware failure, high network activity and any other small reason that may cause poor performance. If all those are okay, I engage network monitoring and analytics tools to get a deeper understanding of the problem. If I run into more problems, I will bring in other network administrators to speed up the diagnosing process.
16. How Do You Deal with An Organization’s Changing Needs in Terms of Networks?
I usually scale networks to accommodate an organization’s changing needs. I once worked with a company with a market of 10,000 customers in the first year. In the beginning, I created a small-scale on-premises network to support and drive basic operations. As its reach expanded, I had to integrate on-premises resources complete with ACME web services to accommodate traffic spikes from the different campaigns.
17. Please Explain the Design of a Network Topography That You Have Worked on Before
(Give an example of a network topography) I once implemented this network topography at a mid-sized equity organization. I prioritized security and availability, which explains why I employed this particular configuration.
18. Can You Tell Us a General Challenge That Network Engineers Face?
I believe that the biggest challenge facing network engineers in today’s world is the increasing importance of network security. Most organizations are interested in more than just the performance of a system. System administrators and network engineers must develop systems that can perform to high standards and are highly secure.
19. What Is the Easiest Way of Handling a Situation Whereby a Network Is Still Not Operational When You Have Tried Everything?
I have to admit that I have found myself in such a situation many times. I usually use the different available resources to come up with ideas of what I need to explore. I always google the problem first and look for any helpful online resource that may help solve the issue. I then look at the different product manuals and look at the primary command sequences to try different approaches. If nothing works, I will go to the supervisor and explain the problem.
20. Can You Work with a Team After a Series of Independent Projects?
Being a network engineer means working independently as well as in a team setup. I do not, therefore, have a problem with working in teams. I have learnt several problem-solving techniques and can consolidate different ideas. I believe that bringing together different ideas is excellent and can help in solving various problems.
21. How Can You Explain Network Issues to Clients with Zero understanding of Computer Technology?
I always strive to break down problems to the lowest level possible and use layman’s terms and language when explaining technical things. Drawing diagrams and using analogies also come in handy during the process. I avoid jargons as much as possible. Most people I have interacted with are always satisfied with how I explain things by bringing them down to their level of understanding.
22. Why Did You Decide to Pursue Network Engineering?
One of the traits that I have inculcated from my childhood is problem-solving, which happens to be the most significant aspect of this job. Network engineering allows me to come up with creative solutions for the different challenges that it poses. I also love technology, which network engineering allows me to have vast access to.
23. What Is a Network Topology?
In simple terms, a network topology is the physical description of the computer network of a given organization. It shows where all the individual systems are, the connections of the cables and several communication and hardware features.
24. How Do You Determine the Best Path Selection for a Router?
There are several methods for determining the path selection for a router. Depending on the job, I may choose to match the longest prefix, select the minimum administrative distance or determining the lowest metric value. The proper criteria depend on the best performance and the least amount of interference.
25. What Is a DNS and How Is It Used on The Internet?
DNS stands for domain name system. It is a critical part of the internet that matches the name on the website search with the website internet protocol. This makes it easy to locate different resources on the internet.
These are some of the most familiar network engineering questions you will come across in your interview. Take some time and think through your answers to increased your chances of landing a job.