The question was asked in an interview for internship.
The origin of the question is Administrator Specific Commands and Privileges topic in chapter Essential Shell Programming of Unix
Easy explanation: The cpio command copies files to and from a backup device. It uses the standard input for taking the list of filenames and then copies them with their content and header to standard output which can also be redirected to a file or a device. Hence, cpio can be used with redirection and piping.