Cyber security is the protection of networks and computer systems from the disclosure of information. You will need a degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or a related field. Managerial positions may require a master’s in Information Technology or Business Administration. Cyber Security is in high demand in the IT field. High demand means you also have to be on top of your game. Having cybersecurity skills is half the job, the other half is to ace the interview.
Below is a list of the top 20 questions that will help you crack the interview.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
Outline reasons why you are interested in a career in this field. Express your interest and enthusiasm for the role.
“This role interests me as I feel it is in line with my career aspirations. My experience and qualifications closely match the role. I like the challenge that the role offers in trying to solve different puzzles in my workday. I also like that the position offers great opportunities for growth. I enjoy learning new things every day. I also feel like the role gives me a chance to have a real impact on my work. In addition, I like the culture of the organization and its aspiration as the leading IT solutions provider. I would like to be part of the team that realizes the mission and vision of the organization.”
2. What Are The Roles Of A Cyber Security Professional?
Roles may vary across different organizations slightly. Use the job description as a guide to what you will be expected to handle.
“Cyber security professionals handle access management systems. They set and manage passwords for staff members. They do regular audits to check for any irregular activity. They also choose applications that need updates and ensure they are run. They also educate the employees on how to prevent and identify malicious attacks. They work with other departments to ensure business continuity. These are tasks I have handled in my work and I would therefore make a great addition to your team.”
3. What Are The Qualities That A Cyber Security Professional Need To Be Successful?
What makes professionals in this field stand out? The interviewer is interested in whether you can relate the person’s specifications with the qualities that will make one successful in this field. Share the features that ensure you give out your best work.
“You will need great communication skills as the role involves collaboration with various departments. You will also need great strategy skills as you will need to strategize and implement a variety of systems for the protection of the organization. Aside from technical competence, you will also need to be committed to lifelong learning. Cyber Security is evolving every day and you will need to be committed to updating your skills daily.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Didyou Manage Them?
Our ability to manage challenges ensures that we continue learning and become better professionals. The interviewer wants to assess your problem-solving skills. Share a challenge and how you managed it.
“In a previous role, I dealt with an organization with outdated hardware. They had heavily invested in software and did not understand why they were not working as expected. Turns out the outdated hardware was preventing the software programs to work optimally. The hardware did not support the updates expected. I explained the issue to management and they approved a budget to upgrade the hardware. The systems started working optimally and performance improved.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Cyber Security Professional?
Share what activities you expect to be involved in your workday. Give an account of how you will structure your day.
“Every single day is unique depending on the issues that arise. No two days will be alike. I like to start my workday early at around 7:10 AM, the extra minutes help me prepare for the day. I follow up on security incidents that arise in the day. I ensure to identify the source and fix it. I respond to client queries and sort out access issues that are raised. I schedule short meetings in the afternoon. My workday ends at around 6 PM.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
Share with the interviewer the experience that you have in this field. Explain how that experience blends in the role applied.
“I have five years of experience in Cyber Security I saw this as a key requirement for this position. Over the years I have handled both hardware and software systems and therefore will be great at this role. I have transferrable skills that will come in handy in his role. I have also developed soft skills such as communication and interpersonal that will contribute to the excellence of my work.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
The interviewer is interested in whether you know the mindset and strategies that you need for this role. Share this while explaining how they will help make work easy.
“A cyber security professional needs to be a strategic thinker. You need to think like an attacker to identify vulnerabilities of the system. You will also need to have a long-term view in terms of how system security should be structured. Keep staff informed that their wrong use of the system may give access to attackers. They should adhere to the company security protocols. You will also need to know the attacks may come from inside the organization and therefore have a plan on what will happen if it happens.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
Ensure you do your research on the organization you are interviewing with to determine any challenges that you may encounter. Share this and how you plan to mitigate the challenge.
“The biggest challenge I foresee in this role is the interaction with artificial intelligence. The organization has highly invested in artificial intelligence which is a fast-growing field. This presents its own set of challenges and I will work to ensure the organization derives maximum benefit from it.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
Motivation is the key to ensuring you are productive despite any challenges you encounter. The interviewer is interested in what keeps you going in your work.
“I like to stay on top of my diary. I like writing things down such that I do not miss anything. I like to set mini goals every day that I work hard at realizing. The goals keep me motivated to keep going. I also like to take on challenges that help me learn and grow. I am excited when I learn new things every day which is why I was drawn to this career field. I also like close interactions with coworkers as it is also a great avenue for learning and networking.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
Failure may happen from time to time. Your ability to rise above it and learn vital lessons for growth is what counts. Give an example of a failure and the lessons you learned in the process.
“When I started my career in the Information Technology field, I once logged into a staff machine as the administrator to assist in solving their issues. Unknown to me he crammed my password and ended up changing his user access rights. While doing the system audit, I noticed that he had more privileges than assigned. I realized that my password may have been compromised. I immediately changed that. I learned the lesson to always change my passwords frequently even when I do not suspect any compromise. I also learned not to trust staff members, especially when using their assigned machines to help solve their challenges.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Arethe Most Suited For This Role?
Explain to the interviewer what makes you stand out from the competition. Give an account of your strengths and how they fit in well in the role.
“The combination of my knowledge, skills, and experience closely match what you are looking for. I, therefore, believe I am the best fit for this role. In addition, I have done other courses in cloud computing, forensics, and artificial intelligence that were listed as an added advantage in the role description. Over the years I have also developed my people skills and therefore will be able to interact well with both clients and coworkers. I am also self-motivated and work better in environments without much supervision. I will also be perfect for this role as I am a self-starter and saw that as one of the requirements for this role.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
Share events in either your career or personal life that you are most proud of. Keep it relevant to the role at hand. You will need to demonstrate that you are committed to producing results.
“My greatest achievement has to do with the implementation of the 5C’S in my previous employer. I was able to implement change, compliance, cost coverage, and continuity for the organization. The organization used this as a parameter for its security essentials. The system worked effectively and it also gave management insights on what they should focus on when considering new systems. Given a chance to work here, I believe I will be a great addition to the team.”
13. What Is A Firewall And Have You Ever Implemented Them In Your Work?
This tests your technical knowledge. Explain to the interviewer what these are and how do they work.
“This is a security system designed for networks. It sets boundaries and helps control traffic to certain sites. It also prevents remote access and helps in filtering content. It protects the network from viruses, malware and worms. Over the years I have implemented different firewall systems for organizations. Some have involved blocking social media access to ensure staff stays productive in their work. In some cases, we block over a certain time and grant access at say lunchtime so that staff can use the sites for a few minutes.”
14. Explain How You Will Set Up The Firewall.
This also tests your technical skills. Give the steps you will follow when setting up a firewall.
“You first do the firewall password. You then disable features for remote administration. Configure the appropriate port forwarding to enable certain applications to work. Install the firewall in the network that will cause conflict unless the firewall is disabled. Troubleshoot the issues that may arise with the firewall. You then enable logging and ensure you understand how to view the logs. Ensure the policies in place are solid and the firewall is well configured to enforce the policies. This is the process of setting up the firewall.”
15. What Do You Understand By SSL?
This will test your technical knowledge. Explain in simple terms and try to relate with the organization.
“SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. This creates secure connections between web servers and web browsers. They maintain data privacy in online transactions and digital payment systems. This I believe is critical for these organizations as it does a lot of online trading. It is important that data privacy is maintained for both the customers and the company.”
16. Please List The Most Common Cyber Attacks
The interviewer is interested in your technical knowledge. This is a simple question since it does not require you to explain them. Go ahead and list the common cyber attacks.
“The most common cyber attacks are password attacks, phishing, malware, rogue software, mall advertising, and drive-by downloads. With improvements in technology, people also develop their cyber-attack skills, and therefore it is important to enforce preventative measures.”
17. How Do You Prevent Identity Theft?
Identity theft is common and as a professional, in Information Technology you should be able to articulate how it should be presented. Explain how to prevent identity theft with the interviewer.
“To prevent identity theft you should ensure you put strong passwords that someone cannot easily guess. Do not share any confidential information with anyone, especially over social media. You should always use the latest browsers and update your systems and software. Also, ensure that you have the updated version of antivirus software. When you suspect an attack, change your passwords immediately.”
18. What Is Your Greatest Strength?
The interviewer wants to know if you are self-aware and able to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Share the strengths that will be instrumental in your performance in this role.
“My strengths lie in my ability to assess risks in the system. I am very keen on details and therefore able to identify threats before they become problems to handle. I like to take a preventative stand as it saves the organization a lot of resources. I also focus all my energy on the projects I handle to ensure I deliver only excellence. This commitment has ensured that I deliver exceptional results.”
19. How Well Do You Handle Pressure In Your Work?
This role involves working to ensure the systems are not attacked. The only system that is not prone to attack is a dead one. Share a strategy of keeping momentum at work despite having to deal with pressure.
“I handle pressure pretty well. My brain works optimally when faced with pressure such as a client’s approaching deadline. I believe that this is positive pressure. At this time ideas just flow and I do not struggle to determine what I should do based on the situation. This has assisted me in the past when faced with attacks on the software. My brain is alert and I am able to identify the problem faster and come up with possible solutions.”
20. Are You Comfortable Working Long Hours?
The interviewer is interested to know how flexible you can be once you take up this role. Give an honest answer on your availability.
“I understand the demands of the role and I am flexible with my work hours. If an attack happens at midnight there is no way we will wait to solve it the next day when the system should be fixed immediately. I am flexible and can adjust my time effectively. I can also work long hours to come up with much-needed solutions. I understand that this role may require that I be on call some days of the week.”
Information Technology is a fast-growing industry and therefore there could be several candidates for the job across different towns and cities. Cyber Security roles may vary to stand out of the competition, research your answers to the above questions and practice them. We wish you all the best in your upcoming interview.