job screening question

William Herrin bill at
Thu Jul 5 17:02:08 UTC 2012

Hi folks,

I gave my HR folks a screening question to ask candidates for an IP
expert position. I've gotten some "unexpected" answers, so I want to
do a sanity check and make sure I'm not asking something unreasonable.
And by "unexpected" I don't mean naively incorrect answers, I mean
oh-my-God-how-did-you-get-that-cisco-certification answers.

The question was:

You implement a firewall on which you block all ICMP packets. What
part of the TCP protocol (not IP in general, TCP specifically)
malfunctions as a result?

My questions for you are:

1. As an expert who follows NANOG, do you know the answer? Or is this
question too hard?

2. Is the question too vague? Is there a clearer way to word it?

3. Is there a better screening question I could pass to HR to ask and
check the candidate's response against the supplied answer?

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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