General Engineer Interview Questions
General Knowledge Questions
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Describe the OSI model.
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What is the difference between a repeater, bridge, router?
relate this to the OSI model
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Describe an Ethernet switch and where it fits into the OSI model.
What is a VLAN?
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Relate WDM/ATM/SONET to the OSI model.
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Explain how to configure a host network interface (e.g. IP address, netmask,broadcast address)?
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Describe Ethernet packet contents: min./max. size, header.
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Describe TCP/IP and its protocols.
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Describe ATM and what are its current advantages and disadvantages.
Describe SONET
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What are the maximum distances for CAT5 cabling?
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Which contacts of an RJ-45 connector are used for 10BaseT? 100BaseT?1000BaseT?
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Describe UDP and TCP and the differences between the two.
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What is your current IP address?
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Describe what a broadcast storm is.
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Describe what a runt, a giant, and a late collision are and what causes each of them.
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How do you distinguish a DNS problem from a network problem?
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Describe the Bandwidth Delay problem.
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What is CDP?
Network Troubleshooting
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Explain how traceroute, ping, and tcpdump work and what they are used for?
Describe a case where you have used these tools to troubleshoot.
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What is the last major networking problem you troubleshot and solved onyour own in the last year?
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What LAN analyzer tools are you familiar with and describe how you usethem to troubleshoot and on what media and network types.
Routing
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Explain the contents of a routing table (default route, next hop, etc.)
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What routing protocols have you configured?
describe the commands to set up a route
what routing problems have you troubleshot
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How do you display a routing table on a Cisco? on a host?
How do you use a routing table and for what?
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What is a route flap?
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What is a metric?
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When do you use BGP, IGRP, OSPF, Static Routes?
 
 
Network Security
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What do you see as current networking security issues (e.g. NFS mounting,spoofing, one time passwords, etc.)?
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Describe a routing filter and what it does.
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Describe an access list and what it does.
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What are some examples of protocols used for VPN connections?
Network Management
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What is a network management system?
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Describe how SNMP works.
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What is a MIB?
Previous Work 
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Describe the working environment you are currently in, e.g. frequentinterruptions, frequent priority shifting, team or individual.
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What do you use to write documentation? Editor? Mail reader?
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What platform (s) do you currently work on at your desk?
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How do you manage multiple concurrent high-level projects?
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Describe a recent short-term stressful situation and how you managed it.
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How do you manage a long term demanding stressful work environment?
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Have you worked in an assignment-based environment, e.g. work request/ trouble-ticket system, and if so, describe that environment.
Programming
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What applications have you written in C, JAVA, PERL, or other languages.
Network Statistics and Measurement
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Describe what network statistics or measurement tools you are familiar withand how you have used them.
Wireless
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Describe how 802.11b works and the advantages and disadvantages of usingit.
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Describe how WEP works and its strengths and weaknesses
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Describe what a VPN is and how it works.
VoIP
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Describe how VoIP works.
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Describe methods of QoS.
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Describe the difference between the Integrated Services and the DifferentiatedServices QoS models.
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How does the ToS bit work?
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What is a voice codec?
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What is a dial plan and what does it do?
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What is a Mean Opinion Score (MoS)?
 
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Describe the basic boot up sequence for an IP phone."
Optical
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Describe what WDM is and how it works.
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What's the difference between DWDM and CWDM? Why would each beused?
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What is an EDFA? What does it do? How does it work?
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How many dB's of attenuation results in 50% of a signal is getting thru? 10%?
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What's a typical attenuation for SM fiber at 1310 nM? 1550nM?
RAS
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What is a RAS and how does it work?
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Describe the current modem standard and how it works.
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Describe what a PRI is and how it works.
Project Management
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Describe a long term, large scale project you managed.
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What is your experience with scheduling and project management?
What computer packages have you used?
What tools have you used?
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How many staff have you directly managed?
Training/Presentations
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How would you train other engineers/technicians on network troubleshooting?
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What is the last formal training you have had including seminars,tutorials, classes, etc.?
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What conferences have you attended in the last two years?
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What periodicals do you read on a regular basis?
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What professional organizations do you belong to and participate in?
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