17 Network Automation Engineer Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a network automation engineer, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

As a network automation engineer, you will be responsible for developing and maintaining the network infrastructure for a company. This includes ensuring that the network is secure, efficient, and reliable. You will also be responsible for troubleshooting any issues that arise.

To be successful in this role, you will need to have strong technical skills and be able to work well under pressure. You will also need to be able to effectively communicate with other members of the IT team.

If you are interested in this role, then you will need to be prepared to answer some tough interview questions. In this guide, we will provide you with some sample questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

Are you familiar with the Open Network Environment (ONE) framework?

This question is a great way to gauge your knowledge of the latest networking trends. The Open Network Environment framework was developed by Cisco in 2010 and has since been adopted by other major network providers, including Microsoft and Juniper Networks. Your answer should demonstrate that you are aware of this important development in networking technology.

Example: “I am familiar with the Open Network Environment (ONE) framework as it’s one of the most recent developments in networking technology. It allows for interoperability between different vendors’ equipment, which makes it easier for organizations to switch out their current systems without having to replace all of their networking equipment. I have used ONE extensively in my previous role.”

What are the primary components of a network automation system?

This question allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of the network automation process. You can answer this question by naming each component and briefly describing its function in a network automation system.

Example: “The primary components of a network automation system are the controller, which is responsible for managing all devices on the network; the agent, which is installed on every device that needs to be managed; the management console, which provides an interface for users to control the entire network; and the database, which stores information about the network.”

How would you troubleshoot a problem with a network automation system you built?

Troubleshooting is an important skill for network automation engineers to have. Employers ask this question to see if you can use your problem-solving skills to fix issues with the systems you build. In your answer, explain how you would troubleshoot a problem and what steps you would take to resolve it.

Example: “I would first try to figure out what caused the issue by looking at the logs of the system. If I couldn’t find anything in the logs, then I would check the configuration files to make sure everything was set up correctly. If that didn’t work, I would restart the entire system to see if that resolved the issue. If none of those things worked, then I would contact my supervisor or another engineer for help.”

What is the difference between a top-down and a bottom-up approach to network automation?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of network automation and how it works. You can use this question as an opportunity to explain the differences between these two approaches, what they are used for and when you would choose one over the other.

Example: “A top-down approach to network automation starts with the highest level of abstraction and then moves down through each layer until it reaches the physical layer. A bottom-up approach does the opposite, starting at the lowest level of abstraction and moving up through each layer until it reaches the application layer. I prefer using a top-down approach because it allows me to see the big picture before getting into the details.”

Provide an example of a time you used a bottom-up approach to solve a problem.

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and how you apply them in the workplace. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a situation where you used a bottom-up approach to solve a networking issue or challenge.

Example: “In my last role as a network automation engineer, I was tasked with creating a new system that would allow our company’s IT department to monitor all of our servers remotely. To do so, I started by identifying each server individually and then created a program that allowed us to track their performance and overall health. This process helped me create a more efficient monitoring system for our servers.”

If you were tasked with automating a network that already exists, what would your approach be?

This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to work with existing systems. Your answer should include how you would approach the task, what steps you would take and any challenges you might face.

Example: “If I were tasked with automating an existing network, my first step would be to create a plan for the entire process. I would start by identifying all of the components that need to be automated and then break them down into smaller tasks. Next, I would develop a timeline for each task and determine which ones can be completed simultaneously. Finally, I would implement the automation system.”

What would you do if you discovered a bug in your code that was causing the network to malfunction?

Bugs are a common occurrence in coding, and the interviewer wants to know how you would respond if this happened during your employment. Your answer should show that you have good problem-solving skills and can work through issues with minimal supervision.

Example: “If I discovered a bug in my code, I would first try to replicate it on another network so I could see exactly what was causing the malfunction. Then, I would analyze the code line by line to find out where the error occurred. Once I found the bug, I would fix it and test the network again to make sure there were no other errors.”

How well do you understand the concept of flow control?

Flow control is a key concept in network automation. The interviewer may ask this question to assess your understanding of flow control and how you apply it to your work as an engineer. In your answer, try to explain the importance of flow control and provide examples of when you used flow control in past projects.

Example: “Flow control is one of the most important concepts in network automation because it allows engineers to manage traffic on networks effectively. I understand that flow control involves managing data packets by setting up rules for them to follow. For example, I once worked with a client who needed help creating a new rule for their firewall. They wanted to create a rule that would allow certain IP addresses access to specific ports on the firewall.”

Do you have experience working with data center management systems?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with network automation and how you apply that knowledge to data center management systems. Use examples from your past experience to highlight your ability to work with these systems and integrate them into your network automation processes.

Example: “In my last role, I worked directly with a data center management system to monitor and manage our company’s servers and networking equipment. The system provided me with real-time information about the status of all of our equipment, which allowed me to identify issues before they became major problems. This helped me develop strategies for integrating the system into my network automation process so I could use it as a tool for monitoring and managing our entire network.”

When is it appropriate to use a cluster to automate a network?

This question allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of the different types of automation and how they apply to networking. You can answer this question by explaining what a cluster is, when it’s used in network automation and why it’s beneficial for networking.

Example: “Clusters are an effective way to automate networks because they allow multiple nodes to be managed as one unit. This means that if any node within the cluster fails, the entire group will fail together. This makes clusters ideal for large-scale projects where failure could cause major issues. Additionally, clusters make it easier to manage resources since all nodes are connected to each other.”

We want to make sure our network automation engineers are constantly learning about new technologies. What is your approach to staying up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you are committed to learning and growing as a network automation engineer. You can answer this question by describing how you stay up-to-date on industry trends, including what resources you use to learn about new technologies.

Example: “I am constantly reading articles and blogs about the latest developments in networking technology. I also subscribe to several newsletters that provide me with updates on the latest news in the field. Another way I keep up-to-date on the latest trends is by attending conferences and seminars where experts share their knowledge of the latest advancements.”

Describe your experience with Python.

Python is a programming language that’s commonly used for network automation. Your interviewer may ask this question to gauge your experience with Python and determine whether you’re familiar enough with the language to use it in their organization. In your answer, try to describe your experience level with Python by mentioning any certifications or training you’ve had.

Example: “I have been using Python for about five years now. I started learning Python when I was taking an online course through Udemy on networking automation. The course required me to learn Python, so I enrolled in another Udemy course that taught Python fundamentals. After completing both courses, I decided to pursue my Python certification from the Python Software Foundation.”

What makes you a good fit for this role?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel about the job. Before your interview, make a list of reasons why you are qualified for this role. Consider mentioning any relevant experience or skills that match what they’re looking for in an applicant.

Example: “I am a good fit for this role because I have several years of networking automation experience. In my last position, I worked with many different types of networks, including cloud-based systems. I also have extensive knowledge of scripting languages like Python and Ruby. These skills will help me get up to speed quickly on this project.”

Which programming languages do you feel most comfortable using?

This question can help the interviewer gain insight into your technical skills and experience. Your answer should include a list of programming languages you have used in the past, along with any that you are currently proficient in.

Example: “In my previous role as a network automation engineer, I primarily used Python for scripting purposes. However, I also feel comfortable using Perl, Ruby and JavaScript to automate processes within networks. In addition, I am familiar with C++, Java and PHP.”

What do you think is the most challenging part of being a network automation engineer?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and understand what your thoughts are on this career. It can also show them how you might handle challenges in the future if they arise at their company. When answering, try to be honest about what you find challenging while still showing that you’re willing to overcome these obstacles.

Example: “The most challenging part of being a network automation engineer is having to work with so many different types of software and hardware. I enjoy learning new things, but sometimes it’s hard to remember all of the different commands and functions for each type of software or device. However, I’ve found that practicing regularly helps me retain information better.”

How often do you update your code?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you apply your coding skills to network automation. Use examples from past projects where you applied new code or updated existing code to improve functionality and performance.

Example: “I update my code at least once a week, usually more often than that. I find that updating my code regularly helps me identify any issues with the network’s configuration sooner rather than later. This allows me to fix problems before they become major issues for users. In one project, I noticed an issue with our firewall rules after updating my code twice in one week. After examining the firewall rules, I realized we had forgotten to include some important ports. I fixed this problem quickly so it didn’t affect our entire network.”

There is a bug in your code that is causing the network to malfunction. What is your process for troubleshooting and fixing the problem?

This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to troubleshoot. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe the steps you would take to identify the bug in your code and how you would fix it.

Example: “When I am working on a project that involves coding, I always make sure to write down every step of my process so that if there are any bugs or malfunctions, I can go back through my notes and find where the error occurred. Once I have identified the specific part of the code that has the bug, I will then rewrite the code to ensure that the bug doesn’t occur again.”


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