What are some common interview questions for cyber security?
I'm a recent grad interviewing for a rotational program in cyber security. I'm completing a certificate in cyber security & digital forensics but so far that's the only exposure I have to cyber security.
As of now I have very basic knowledge about the following topics: sensitive data exposure, the different types of cross site scripting attacks, and session management from the classes I've taken for my certificate.
My question is based off of what I know so far, what else should I know when interviewing for the position? What are some common cyber security questions that may be asked for anyone currently in the cyber field? (position is for recent grads with 1-3 years experience with Bachelors in IST/Computer Science which I have)
#cybersecurity #information-technology #computer-science #technology
I am a recruiter and have supported a number of cybersecurity roles and most of the interviews tend to be different. As a recruiter I've been able to answer this question for the people interviewing, so my first recommendation would be to ask the recruiter to give you some information about what the interviewers might ask or what they are looking for. I can say that most managers are always looking for someone who will try to solve the problem and be honest if they are unsure, never act as if you know more than you do. Most managers are looking for someone who is eager, open to learning new things and doesn't give up quickly. So if they ask you about your experience with Linux, and if you have none, you might say you were exposed in college or that you always wanted an opportunity to learn more and you'd be happy to take a UDEMY class in the meantime if that skill is important to the job. If they ask you to solve a technical problem, which some manger do, they may be asking because they want to hear how you would work thru the issue, even if you get the answer wrong.
I know this doesn't exactly answer your question but I think it gives you some info about how you can get what you are looking for.
As mentioned previously, ask the recruiter for information on interview format, who you'll be interviewing with, etc. Recruiters are more than happy to help you because they want you to be successful in the interview process! While they won't be able to give you the interview questions specifically, they will be able to tell you if you're interviewing with a panel, just the hiring manager, the question format, etc. That is hugely useful information.
I have interviewed candidates for various roles, though not specifically for Cyber Security. Something that you need to master is how you answer the questions. You need to familiarize yourself with the BAR method (previously called the SAR or STAR method), which formats your responses into three sections: Background, Actions, Results. So when an interviewer asks you, "Tell me about a time when....", you can respond with a complete answer that gives the interviewer what they need to evaluate you against the core competencies for the job. I'll walk you through a few common mistakes I see from candidates and how to make sure you don't do them.
First one is candidates sometimes assume the interviewers know what they're talking about in their response. For example, I interviewed a candidate who was using a situation from his military career to answer a question pertaining to his ability to lead change in an organization. The level of detail that he provided around what he did was very minimal and vague, but his result was that he was able to change the SOP for a boot sequence on a piece of equipment that saved time and reduced errors. Without my prior knowledge of the military, it really wasn't clear exactly what had happened, how much work he did to implement the change, or why it was necessary to change the SOP. This error is also extraordinarily common if you are interviewing for an internal position or with people you know outside of the interview. Do not assume that your interviewer knows what you're describing. Be as detailed as possible and give adequate background so that a layperson could have a working knowledge of your situation.
Second common mistake I've seen is candidates who do not take credit for their accomplishments. In the interview, this sounds like "we were able to..." or "we improved the [metric] by [bps]." This can be very challenging as so much project work is really a team effort, and you want to demonstrate that you are a team player. You need to clearly state which actions you took as part of the project. When preparing your situations that you will take to the interview, make sure you can say, "I was able to..." or "I did [task] for [project]." If you are using "we", you need to rethink your answer to "I". The interviewers want to know what you are capable of because they're evaluating hiring you, not your team.
Third common mistake I see is candidates who don't answer my question completely. Mostly this shows up in just not answering the results of the situation. You can give me great background and detail your actions, but if I don't know the results of those actions, it's hard to measure. Again, whilst preparing your situations for the interview, make sure you know what happened as a result. Did this results in cost savings? Cool, how much? Did this result in an increase in revenue? Great, tell me.
Now, also be sure to come prepared to any interview with a couple of questions for your interviewers. When they ask you if you have any questions, your answer cannot be "no". Asking about next steps is okay, salary can be tricky (the panel may not have that information), but a great question to ask would be something like "how is success measured for this role?" or "what is a typical week like in this role?" You can also ask the interviewers questions about their careers with the company such as "what advice would you give yourself if you could when you started with [company]?" or "what keeps you at [company]?"
Best of luck!
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