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Carlos Aguinaldo
Beginner

Interview question: EIGRP and Grandmother

Hi all.

 

A question was asked to me a couple of months ago during an interview. I'm quite curious as to how others would respond to it. Here it is.

 

"If I was your grandmother, how would you make me understand EIGRP?"

 

I know that when the interviewer says "make me understand", it doesn't mean you should go deep into the details of the IGP. Maybe just a bird's eyeview. But still, makes you think.

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William Benson
Beginner

I guess I'd have to relate it to something my grandmother would understand.  I know she would be lost as soon as I said IP.

 

I would probably relate to driving in her car to get to the grocery store.  Imagine if it every corner there was a traffic guard directing traffic, and every traffic guard had a map with the fastest way to get to her destination in his hand.  When she gets to that intersection the traffic guard tells her which way to go.  As long as all the roads are working the path she takes to the store pretty much remains the same.  Now imagine that all of these guards have walkie-talkies in their hands, and if there is an accident on a road, and that road is closed that guard announces to all the other traffic guards that that road is closed and and the traffic guards are quickly able to give you an alternate route before you get stuck in traffic.  The good thing about EIGRP is that these updates to traffic patterns are only sent periodically instead of all the time, this greatly reduces the amount of communication over the walkie-talkies, making it much easier for other communication to pass over them as well, while keeping everyone updated on what the best path to take to the store is.

 

I like trying to use analogies in my explanations to my end users.  It puts the context of your discussion into terms that they can relate to and understand the general concept of.  An interviewer might be asking you to do this to show, that you not only can regurgitate the answer that they're looking for, but understand it well enough to break it down into simpler terms that can be communicated to someone without technical knowledge that can still be understood.

I report to the VP of Finance/CFO here at my organization.  I find myself constantly having break down complicated terms into something that he can understand in order to get budget approval for projects.  I'm guessing your interviewer wanted to be sure you had the skills to be able to communicate complex IT concepts with someone who may not understand the "dictionary" explanation?

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7 REPLIES 7
William Benson
Beginner

I guess I'd have to relate it to something my grandmother would understand.  I know she would be lost as soon as I said IP.

 

I would probably relate to driving in her car to get to the grocery store.  Imagine if it every corner there was a traffic guard directing traffic, and every traffic guard had a map with the fastest way to get to her destination in his hand.  When she gets to that intersection the traffic guard tells her which way to go.  As long as all the roads are working the path she takes to the store pretty much remains the same.  Now imagine that all of these guards have walkie-talkies in their hands, and if there is an accident on a road, and that road is closed that guard announces to all the other traffic guards that that road is closed and and the traffic guards are quickly able to give you an alternate route before you get stuck in traffic.  The good thing about EIGRP is that these updates to traffic patterns are only sent periodically instead of all the time, this greatly reduces the amount of communication over the walkie-talkies, making it much easier for other communication to pass over them as well, while keeping everyone updated on what the best path to take to the store is.

 

I like trying to use analogies in my explanations to my end users.  It puts the context of your discussion into terms that they can relate to and understand the general concept of.  An interviewer might be asking you to do this to show, that you not only can regurgitate the answer that they're looking for, but understand it well enough to break it down into simpler terms that can be communicated to someone without technical knowledge that can still be understood.

I report to the VP of Finance/CFO here at my organization.  I find myself constantly having break down complicated terms into something that he can understand in order to get budget approval for projects.  I'm guessing your interviewer wanted to be sure you had the skills to be able to communicate complex IT concepts with someone who may not understand the "dictionary" explanation?

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(Y)

Jon Marshall
VIP Community Legend

William has given a great reply.

Personally I would cheat. I would say that my grandmother was actually a CCIE and just go from there :-)

Jon

LOL JON!!!!!

I don't think you'll get away with that one in an interview!

Well that's an easy way out. LOL.

 

Duly rated. :-)

paul driver
VIP Mentor

hello William,

 

Very good analogy!

although I must admit Jons answer was very amusing!

 

res

Paul



kind regards
Paul

Please rate and mark posts accordingly if you have found any of the information provided useful.
It will hopefully assist others with similar issues in the future
Carlos Aguinaldo
Beginner

Superb. Thanks william.