If you suddenly got a call from an information security company where you sent the resume a few days ago and invited you for an interview, congratulations. The beginning is good.
However, now a new task arises: how to make the interview perfect, and you will be the best candidate with the right combination of technical skills and personal qualities.
Of course, the situation is a little nervous, but you should not panic.
Interviewing is the first step in getting your dream job. Interviews can be stressful, but at the same time, they are a great opportunity to learn more about what you will do and get to know people who, after some time, can become your colleagues.
Further, some tips will be given on how to stand out at a job seeker interview in the field of cybersecurity.
Get ready strategically
It is well known that it is better to prepare for an interview rather than improvise. Usually, preparation can be time-consuming, and, as a rule, candidates work out huge volumes of information before a fateful event. Accordingly, a high probability of emotional burnout ahead of time. To avoid this kind of trouble, it is important to focus on key things:
Work through the most common questions asked during information security interviews. Pay particular attention to questions related to job descriptions. Think about real-life situations where you can apply the appropriate skills, technologies, or solutions. Most interviewers will talk about hypothetical examples, but in fact, everyone wants to hear real situations in which you participated.
If the interview will be held in the office of the company, think over the route in advance and consider the time of day (in case of possible traffic jams). In case of telephone or internet interviews, check the hardware and software in advance. Make sure that the communication channel will work without any problems when the time comes.
In the case of a busy schedule, it is likely that you will have more than one interview. Take the time and refresh the job description and learn about the company. There is nothing worse than making a mistake during an interview and talking about the wrong company.
Do not retell resume
An interview is when you really can show yourself in all its glory and the opportunity to go beyond the scope of a resume. It’s okay if you mention some details, but a full retelling of the resume is not worth it. Remember, when you cross the threshold of the meeting room, your interviewer will already examine the resume and is expecting new information from you to make sure that you match the vacancy.
When you are asked questions about work experience, there is a great opportunity to tell in more detail what is not indicated in the resume. Do not forget to highlight all the nuances and moments of the current job, where you excel, and mention all the main achievements.
If this is your first work in the field of cybersecurity, tell us how your current experience will help in the work you are applying for.
Demonstrate the value you bring
The interviewer will definitely want to know what specific benefits the company will receive after it takes you to work. Instead of template answers, talk more about details, examples, results, and achievements.
Before the interview, do a little research and learn about the goals and mission of the company, and during the interview try to tell how your experience will help to achieve these goals. Remember that the purpose of the interview is to show the interviewer that you will bring in the greatest amount of values as an employee.
Also, try to give answers as detailed as possible. Avoid short yes / no phrases as well as short and blurry cues. It is much better to dive into the details immediately and demonstrate that you are knowledgeable on the subject. Tell us about real situations when you used specific software or introduced a new scheme into the workflow.
Tell us about your certificates.
Mentioning certificates in a resume is a good way to get the attention of an HR manager. Certificates immediately distinguish you in the eyes of a potential employer, especially compared to applicants who have not passed certification in the field of information technology. Certificates also show that you keep up to date and are familiar with modern realities, as information technology is constantly evolving.
The most valuable IT certificates for the return on investment parameter are shown below (according to the 2019 Robert Half Technology Salary Guide):
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- CompTIA A +
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Project Management Professional (PMP®️)
In summary, certificates are best indicated in a separate section. Below are the key points that the HR manager will want to know immediately:
- The name of the Certificate.
- Name of Certification Agency.
- Date of Receipt of the Certificate.
Many IT certificates have an expiration date. If any of your certificates have an expiration date, you must indicate in the summary. Also, certificates that have expired must not be indicated. If you are upgrading or obtaining a new certificate, you can indicate the estimated completion date for this procedure.
Ask thoughtful questions.
Do not be afraid to ask questions during the interview. There is a widespread belief that an interview is a pre-designed scenario where only the interviewer asks questions. However, in fact, an interview is a great opportunity to find out more information about the company and the team in which you will work.
Your curiosity tells the interviewer about your interest and desire for new knowledge. In addition, you can better understand the corporate culture of the company. Ask the interviewer what you like most about the company and what you would like to change.
Also, prepare a couple of questions after the interview. After answering the last question, the interviewer will ask: “Do you have any questions?” Good candidates always have between three and five correct questions.
People are usually asked about corporate culture, job training, mentoring, and what resources and technologies will be available. The only thing you should not ask about salary, benefits and vacation. These questions should be asked when discussing a job offer.
Thank by email
A thank you note is one of the most underrated methods when looking for a job. A recent survey by CareerBuilder found that 91 percent of employers like to receive thanks after an interview. In addition, 22 percent of employers believe that if a thank you note is not sent, the chances of receiving a job offer are reduced.
Accordingly, sending an email after an interview is a good step to increase the chances of success. In addition, writing letters of this kind will not take you much time. Just thank the interviewer for your time and say again how interested you are in the job.
It will also be useful to mention the common ground that arose during the interview. Did you attend the same college as the interviewer? Or maybe in the past, they worked in the same company? These little things will set you apart from the rest.
Interview – Two-Way Road
Most likely you will answer questions at the interview, but never forget that the interview is a two-way street. In other words, you also interview the company and are interested in your role to the same extent that the interviewer interviews you. An interview is your chance to learn about everyday activities in an appropriate role and the opportunity to find out about the future boss and colleagues. So to speak, try out the taste of corporate culture.
Pay particular attention to these factors, since it is these aspects that determine how satisfied you will be with your future work.
Interviewing is the first step to getting your dream job in cybersecurity.
If you take into account the tips given above, then you will make the right impression on the interviewer.
Recall again: before the interview, spend time studying the most common questions. Reread the job description for the skills, software, and technologies that you will be asked about. However, you should not overload yourself with excessive training, especially the day before the interview. Go to bed on time and get enough sleep to be in a good mood and full of strength.
At the end of the interview, do not forget to send a thank-you note that will have a positive impression on the interviewer and increase your chances of receiving a job offer. In today’s highly competitive labor market, it is important to seize every opportunity to stand out from other candidates.
- The Importance of a Thank You Note After the Job Interview, Paralyzed Veterans of America
- Best Sample Thank You Emails After an Interview (3 Examples), Career Sidekick
- 25 Cybersecurity Job Interview Questions, Springboard Blog
- Which IT Certifications Are Most Valuable? , Robert Half