90 Firewall Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 6 November 2022

Published 12 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When interviewing for cyber security roles, most employers look for candidates who have knowledge of network security systems, like firewalls. Possessing an in-depth knowledge of firewalls may help you secure a job as a firewall engineer. If you are planning to apply for a job that requires expertise in firewall devices, you can benefit from knowing about the common types of interview questions hiring managers ask and how to answer them. In this article, we examine a list of firewall interview questions and share a few example answers to help you draft your own answers.

Related: What Is A Firewall? (With Benefits, Types And FAQ)

Common Types Of Firewall Interview Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked firewall interview questions that your potential employers may ask you:

General questions

Listed below are some basic questions often asked in an interview:

  1. What is more important—work experience or a degree in the relevant field?

  2. What makes you a suitable candidate for this role?

  3. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

  4. What are your greatest strengths?

  5. What are your greatest weaknesses?

  6. Describe a personal achievement that makes you proud.

  7. Where do you see yourself in five years?

  8. This position might require you to travel frequently. Are you comfortable with that?

  9. Are you willing to relocate to a new city for this job?

  10. What are your impressions about our company?

  11. Are you willing to work extra hours and weekends if required?

  12. Why do you want to work for our company?

  13. What do you bring to this role?

  14. How do you define success?

  15. Which aspects of this profession do you like the most?

  16. How do your friends describe you?

  17. How do you think you can succeed as a professional in this position?

  18. Describe yourself in three words.

  19. How do your colleagues describe you?

  20. Why did you quit your previous company?

  21. What is the most effective way to address a disagreement between yourself and a client?

  22. How do you intend to achieve your professional objectives?

  23. How are you planning to meet your personal goals?

  24. What are your hobbies and interests?

  25. Who is your role model and why?

  26. What is the name of the last book you read?

  27. If given the choice, what do you want to change about yourself?

  28. If you can time travel but not change anything, which period do you visit and why?

  29. Why do you want this job?

  30. What advantage do you think you might have over the other candidates?

  31. What are the areas in which you believe you require improving and how might you manage that?

  32. How do you manage your time when there is a heavy workload?

  33. How did you learn about this opening?

  34. What was your favourite subject at school?

  35. What is a quality you admire in other people?

  36. What do you value more—efficiency or hard work?

  37. What is the soft skill that you most frequently use in your career?

  38. Do you work better on a team or independently?

Related: Video Interview Guide: Tips For A Successful Interview

Questions about salary, work history and certifications

Here are a few questions about your experience, salary and education that interviews might ask:

  1. Are you comfortable discussing your previous salary?

  2. What are your salary expectations?

  3. Are you willing to discuss your work history?

  4. How do you think the experience gained in your last job can help you in this new role?

  5. Did you receive any formal training or earn any certificates to work in this field? What are they and how do they relate to this position?

  6. Your work history and educational qualifications show you are overqualified for this job. Do you agree with this assessment?

  7. What is your biggest achievement in your professional career?

  8. Describe a challenging situation you faced in your workplace. How did you handle it?

  9. Can you tell me about your most notable career accomplishments?

  10. What were the day-to-day responsibilities in your last job?

  11. Where did you go to college?

  12. What made you choose a profession in the technology sector?

  13. How do you feel about sitting in front of a computer for long periods?

  14. What did you study at the university level?

  15. How do you stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in technology?

  16. What is your experience in firewall engineering?

  17. What is your experience in network security?

Related: Technical Interview Questions And Example Answers

Questions related to firewalls to check your knowledge and skills

Listed below are some questions about firewalls:

  1. What is a firewall?

  2. How does a firewall protect the IT infrastructure of a company?

  3. Which is better, IPSEC or firewall?

  4. What is log processing?

  5. What are digital signatures?

  6. What do you mean by access control lists?

  7. Name the different types of firewalls.

  8. How do you install a firewall?

  9. What is the function of a virtual private network (VPN)?

  10. What are the types of VPN?

  11. What is IP spoofing?

  12. How can you avoid or prevent IP spoofing?

  13. What do you mean by IP hijacking?

  14. What do you mean by unified threat management (UTM)?

  15. What is a proxy server?

  16. What is defence in depth in network security?

  17. What is the role of public-key encryption in cyber security?

  18. How is data encryption useful?

  19. What do you mean by authentication?

  20. What is an authentication token?

  21. Can a firewall block specific web pages while browsing?

  22. Can a firewall block emails?

  23. What is a stateful firewall?

  24. What is a stateless firewall?

  25. How do you block a web security threat?

  26. What is a circuit-level gateway?

  27. What is a DDOS attack?

  28. What is a transparent firewall, and when can you use it?

  29. What is a stateful inspection in networking?

  30. What is a next-generation firewall?

  31. What is a stateless failover and a stateful failover?

  32. What is the difference between failover and fallback?

  33. How does perimeter-based security work?

  34. What is a zero-trust model?

  35. What is your current network size?

Related: Top 50 Network Interview Questions And Answers

Sample Firewall Interview Questions With Answers

Here are a few sample questions and answers:

What is network security?

The interviewer might ask you this question at the start of the interview to see if you know the basic concept of network security. You can provide a general definition in your answer.

Example answer: "Network security is the process of preventing unauthorised access, abuse, malfunction, reconfiguration, damage or data breaches of IT infrastructure. This may involve using firewalls, routers, gateways, servers and other IT infrastructure tools that we usually use to host software applications. Simply put, the term network security applies to all operations that secure a company's software and hardware resources and protect their data privacy, reliability and accessibility."

Related: Cyber Security Interview Questions and Answers

How does a firewall work?

You can show the interviewer that you understand the principles by briefly describing what a firewall is and how it protects the system. It is unnecessary to go into technical detail to answer this question.

Example answer: "Any network's first layer of protection is a firewall. A firewall's key function is to prevent unwanted or hostile elements from accessing your network. Firewalls are software or hardware that act as a filter for anything that tries to access your computer or network. They look for malware or attack methods that we have already identified as threats and risks in packets. The firewall stops data packets from connecting to the network or accessing your computer if you classify them as a security risk."

Which firewall is more suitable for business—stateless or stateful?

The interviewer might ask you this question to test your understanding and knowledge of practical applications and the differences between these two types of firewalls.

Example answer: "Stateful firewalls typically provide security features more suitable for large enterprises as they are scalable and can detect and combat most threats. This firewall system can become progressively smarter, thanks to its advanced memory capacities. Regular traffic monitoring adds a layer of security that complements other security measures. Whereas a stateless firewall's capacity to manage heavy loads, speed and cost-effectiveness make it a viable option for small businesses. Though businesses might prefer next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) which are more secure, NGFWs incorporate many security technologies, like intrusion prevention, application monitoring and internet security, on a single platform."

Related: Incident Management Interview Questions With Sample Answers

What are the benefits of using a zero-trust architecture?

Interviewers might ask you this question to check if you are knowledgeable about the latest security methods. Answer concisely, but show that you have a good understanding of the topic.

Example answer: "Zero trust is both an approach and a basis for a cybersecurity infrastructure. It offers improved security and other beneficial features, such as the ability to adjust to a remote workplace setting. The zero-trust architecture can easily adapt to a cloud-based environment and help optimise a firm's cybersecurity strategy."

Name the common ports that one may use regularly

Explain what ports are and mention some common ports to show that you possess in-depth technical knowledge.

Example answer: "A virtual point where network connections originate and end is a port. We use a 16-bit unsigned value called the port number to identify a port for each transport protocol and address combination. Some examples of commonly used network ports include 20 and 21 FTP, 23 TelNet, 22 SSH, 25 SMTP, 80 HTTP and 443 HTTPS."

Related: What Is An IT Risk Assessment? (Components And Benefits)

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Explore more articles