Are you looking to start a career in networking? Or are you looking to switch to another organisation as a network engineer? No matter what you want, this article covers  some of the commonly-asked Network Engineer interview questions during a job interview for the position of a network engineer.

Network engineers are associated with the responsibility of creating a computer network systems for a company using information technology so that its employees can use it. These networks can include local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets and extranets. The work of a typical network engineer varies with the size and function of an organisation. To become an expert network engineer, you need to have all the requisite skills, which you can acquire with the help of professional certification courses.

Here are some of the prominent certification courses for network engineers:

  • Cisco Certifications – CCNA and CCNP are two common Cisco certifications.
  • JNCIE-ENT – Juniper Networks Certified Enterprise Routing and Switching Expert.
  • CompTIA Network+
  • WCNA – Wireshark Certified Network Analyst.

Prepare the following network engineer interview questions and answers to gain a competitive edge in your next interview:

Q1. What is a ‘link’?

Ans. A link refers to the connectivity between two devices. It includes the type of cables and protocols used in order for one device to be able to communicate with the other.

Q2. What are the types of LAN cables used?

Ans. There are two types of LAN cables used – ‘Cat 5’ and ‘Cat 6.’ Cat 5 can support 100Mbps of speed while Cat 6 can support 1Gbps of speed

Q3. What is a ‘cross table’?

Ans. This is a type of connection between same types of devices without using a hub/switch so that they can communicate.

Q4. What is DNS? Why is it used?

Ans. DNS (Domain Name System) is a central part of the Internet, providing a way to match names (a website you’re seeking) to numbers (the address for the website).

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Q5. A gateway works in which layer of the OSI model?

Ans. Transport layer.

Q6. How many layers are there in the OSI reference model? Name them

Ans. There are 7 layers: physical layer, data link layer, network layer, transport layer, session layer, presentation layer, and application layer.

Q7. Differentiate between ‘forward lookup’ and ‘reverse lookup’ in DNS?

Ans. Converting names to IP addresses is called forward lookup.

Resolving IP addresses to names is called reverse lookup.

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Q8. What is a ‘backbone network’?

Ans. A backbone network is a centralised infrastructure that is designed to distribute different routes and data to various networks. It also handles management of bandwidth and various channels.

Q9. What is a LAN?

Ans. A LAN (Local Area Network) and refers to the connection between computers and other network devices that are located within a small physical location.

Q10. What is a WAN?

A wide area network (WAN) is a telecommunications network or computer network that extends over a large geographical distance.

Q11. What is a router? What are its basic roles?

Ans. A router is a layer 3 network device used to establish communication between different networks. The roles of a router are –

  • inter-network communication
  • Best path selection
  • Packet forwarding
  • Packet filtering

Q12. What are the criteria for the best path selection of a router?

Ans. The following parameters define the path selection:

  • Longest prefix match
  • Minimum AD (administrative distance)
  • Lowest metric value

Q13. Define ‘anonymous FTP’.

Ans. Anonymous FTP is a way of granting a user access to files in public servers.

Q14. What is the difference between ‘standard’ and ‘extended’ ACL (access control list)?

Ans. Standard ACLs are source-based, whereas extended ACLs are source- and destination-based.

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Q15. What is RAS?

Ans. RAS (Remote Access Services) refers to any combination of hardware and software to enable remote access to tools or information that typically reside on a network of IT devices.

Q16. What is ‘network topology’?

Ans. Network topology refers to the layout of a computer network. It shows how devices and cables are physically laid out, as well as how they connect to one another.

Q17. What is NIC?

Ans. NIC (Network Interface Card) is a peripheral card that is attached to a PC in order to connect to a network. Every NIC has its own MAC address that identifies the PC on the network.

Q18. How many layers are there under TCP/IP?

Ans. There are four layers: the Network Layer, Internet Layer, Transport Layer and Application Layer.

Q19. What is RIP?

Ans. RIP (Routing Information Protocol) is used by routers to send data from one network to another.

Q20. What are ‘firewalls’?

Ans. Firewalls serve to protect an internal network from external attacks.

As you now have an idea of the type of questions that could be asked in a network engineer interview, you can be well prepared. In addition, you need to be prepared to answer other type of questions related to competency, behavioural and opinion based. Also, improve your communication skills to boost your confidence.

If you are looking to be successful in the IT industry, enrol yourself for a network engineer certification course to understand the techniques and skills required to be an expert.