VTP, Portfast, Spanning Tree and all the other switch related stuff.
Dan Seans suggestion is a very good one (+5) because it will give you an idea of just how much experience and understanding they had at their previous company. I have interviewed CCNPs before and they can vary greatly in ability so you do need to drill down into their experience eg. one CCNP i interviewed told me he was responsible for the whole MPLS network. After some questions about MPLS it became clear that in actual fact all he did was phone up the ISP to ask for a new circuit every now and then. By using Seans example you should get an understanding of how much they actually know. Other than that, use your own knowledge to set the questions ie. don go off scouring through books to find an obscure example because that won really tell you anything about them. So for example with BGP you could simply present a configuration of 2 EBGP peers peering on their loopback addresses but without the ebgp-multihop command and ask why they are not peering successfully. VPN, you could show a config for 2 peers that isn working and make the crypto map acls mismatch for either side etc.. Jon
Jon,Thanks for the kind words and the rating. Dan,The other advantage of this interview technique is that it puts the candidate off balance from the start and gets them out of their comfort zone. This allows you to judge how they react to new situations.Most candidates would be expecting a traditional interview where you discuss their CV and then they are asked a few set piece questions from a Cisco Press book. The disadvantage of this technique is deciding upon a fair and equitable rating for each candidate after the interview since it can be so wide ranging. A few years ago I was told about a person applying for a position claiming to be a network engineer. However after using some of the techniques discussed above it was found that all he did was assign IP addresses to servers and PCs from a spreadsheet. ThanksSean
Dan, An alternative approach is to ask the candidate to draw on a whiteboard a network that they have supported or designed.You can then ask a wide range of questions to test various areas of their knowledge. You can also to choose to focus on any weaknesses in their knowledge that their presentation may reveal. For example:- What security measures did you implement?- What tools do you use to support the network?- How does redundancy work in your network?- What happens if device X or Y fails?- Where are the bandwidth bottlenecks?- How would you introduce a new routing protocol into the network?- What is your QoS policy? It also is also a good test of the candidates "soft" skills:- Presentation skills- Ability to sell the merits of a design to a technical audience.- Tests their ability to think on their feet.- Tests the candidates ability to perform under pressure. Cisco will donate $1 to the Red Cross Haiti fund for every rated post! https://supportforums.cisco.com/docs/DOC-8727