This article is for anyone looking to get hired at CIO as a network engineer. We’re going to cover some basic information about CIO and then delve into a list of nine common CIO interview questions to get you ready for your interview. Each CIO interview question is followed by an answer suggestion that you can use as a base for your own answer. After the questions, you’ll find some miscellaneous, helpful tips to get you ready for your first important meeting at CIO.

About CIO

CIO is a cloud computing and IT management solutions company based out of Santa Barbara, California. CIO employees say that they’re given opportunities for growth within the company and the ability to earn additional certifications during their employment there. A CIO employee can expect a compensation package to include a 401k plan, a wellness program, health insurance options, paid time off, an FSA, and more.

CIO Job Interview Questions & Answers

These are nine CIO interview questions that you’re highly likely to encounter during your interview. CIO primarily hires for network engineering roles. In other words, that’s the only position we’re providing questions for when it comes to this company. Practicing these CIO interview questions verbally will help increase your chances of winning a position at the company. The more you practice, the more confident your answers will sound on your interview day. Most CIO interview questions involve your networking experience but expect a few non-technical, behavioral-based questions sprinkled in.

Network Engineer Interview Questions & Answers

Q1: “What size networks do you have experience with?”
A1: “Most of my clients were small businesses, and their workforces ranged from five to 200 employees. Each network generally supported one location. I used a mixture of on-site solutions and cloud-based applications.”

Q2: “How do you handle an irate client who is experiencing issues with their network?”
A2: “Being empathetic to the client’s frustration usually goes a long way in these circumstances. After letting the client vent and listening to their complaints, I’ll assure them that I’m on their side and that I’ll get to the root of the issue quickly. “

Q3: “What do you think is the most important element of a productive work environment?”
A3: “In my experience, strong communication skills are more important than anything else, especially in a team-based environment. When everyone communicates clearly, things run more efficiently, and projects tend to be more successful. The best managers I’ve ever had all made sure to communicate deadlines and expectations so that there was no confusion. Ideally, each member of a team should make an effort to communicate issues, failures, questions, successes, or goals with the rest of the team when appropriate and in a timely manner.”

Q4: “Draw me a network topography that you’ve used before and explain why you chose that design.”
A4: This is one of the most common CIO interview questions – particularly for someone interviewing for a network engineering position. Your interviewer wants to see how well you’re able to explain the decision-making process behind a network design. Be sure to articulate what the benefits of the design are and why you chose it over other possible configurations.

“I created this network topography for a web agency that was mid-size. Security was the primary concern and availability was a close second – this is why I chose this particular design.”

Q5: “Give me an example of a time you had to scale a network to suit a company’s growing needs.”
A5: “Last year, I worked with a tech startup that grew from 0 to 20,000 users within their first year of operation. We started out with a small-scale network to get them off the ground that was entirely on-premises. As more users were onboard, I began integrating the on-premises resources with a large web services company so that they could deal with the bigger traffic spikes they started getting.”

Q6: “What experience do you have working with stakeholders, like development teams, when deploying network resources?”
A6: “I’ve worked in a DevOps team for over three years and I have always worked primarily with tech companies. Communicating clearly with developers has always been part of my job. That’s because it’s crucial that they have access to a network that supports the needs of their team and applications.”

Q7: “How do you stay on top of industry trends and innovation?”
A7: “I read Network World and several popular networking blogs. I also attend a monthly network engineer meetup that takes place downtown.”

Q8: “A client isn’t getting the expected performance out of their network configuration. What is your troubleshooting process.”
A8: “I’ll start by looking for easy fixes: hardware failures, outages, and high network activity. If those areas check out, I’ll use network monitoring to gather data about what’s causing the issue. If I run into any issues, I’ll contact the network administrators or technicians.”

Q9: “What kind of safeguards would you put in place during a network design to limit the amount of data lost?”
A9: “Focusing on high availability, I would make sure disaster recovery resources were built into the plan. Using distributed network storage locations and making sure backups are scheduled regularly will ensure that data is protected.”

CIO Job Interview Tips

Do your research on CIO
As with any company, you’ll want to perform ample research before attending an interview. Try reading through CIO’s blog to get an idea of the company’s interests and direction. Take a look at the press releases that have been put out by CIO to learn about recent news and where CIO is headed. Being able to reference some of this information during your interview could easily set you ahead of another applicant.

Be able to verbalize technical concepts
Your ability to show that you understand core networking concepts will aid you in securing a position at CIO. Be able to explain what a VLAN is, make sure you understand subnetting, and be able to communicate what a root bridge is, for example. The list goes on, but you should practice explaining networking concepts to people who are unfamiliar with networking but familiar with the technical jargon. This way, you’ll know for sure whether or not you’re clearly communicating how each idea works.

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Final Words

We hope you found this CIO interview guide helpful! If you’ve already interviewed with CIO, we’d love to hear what the most difficult CIO interview questions you encountered were! Feel free to reach out with any questions you have about the CIO interview process in the comments. To view the current job openings at CIO, visit the CIO “Careers” page on their website. You can also visit the CIO Glassdoor profile to read testimonials from current and past CIO employees.