Pre-interview Checklist for Cyber Security Professionals

Preparing for a job interview takes time and focus. Via Resource has provided you with the best ways to prepare for an interview and provide tips to increase your chances of getting hired.

Within the checklist, you'll find steps designed to prepare you mentally for interview questions and physically to ensure you feel your best. Above all, interview checklists address any concerns you may have about the interview, increasing your overall confidence.

1. Research

Once your recruiter sends you a role to apply for, you will likely do a little research, however when you make it to the first stage interview of the process this is when more research is required.

Now is the time to take an in-depth look to learn about the market the organisation is in, find out some specifics about the cyber security role, and even look up more about your interviewer or the CISO in LinkedIn. The more you know, the more impressive you will be.

2. Study the job description

Before your interview make sure you read the job description to understand the required skills and experience needed. Assess the experience you have that contributes to the role and jot down your strengths during the interview and even your weaknesses, as employers often ask about your challenges. If you have any questions on the job description reach out to your recruiter for clarity.

3. Review your CV

Unless you have a photographic memory, you probably don't remember everything on your CV. You don't want to be caught out, so make sure that you review your CV ahead of time and keep a copy with you when in the interview. You want to be ready for anything the interviewer asks about the details you've provided.

4. Practice the most common questions

While all interviews are different, there are some common questions that you can count on coming your way. For example, many interviewers will ask whether candidates are team players or why they are interested in the role. Other questions can include “Where do you see yourself in five years” and examples of how you overcome challenges in a workplace.

5. Prepare your questions

One of the keys to success at any interview treating it like a two-way conversation. An employer doesn’t just want to see how you can stand up to their interrogation but demonstrate how much you want the role. A few good questions can include “what would my day-to-day responsibilities be”, “what are the company’s plans for the future” and “how would you describe your ideal candidate”.

6. Dress professionally

Appearances and how you conduct yourself during the interview are important. If possible, research the company's dress code to get a feel for the culture. Business casual with a neutral colour palette is normally the best suggestion. Once you've chosen your outfit, inspect it for any holes, stains, or pet hair before you leave for the interview.

7. Avoid using notes

If your interview is online do not use notes, you may think because interviewers can’t see your notes that they don’t know you’re using any. Your eyes and speaking will give it away, where it can make you seem unprepared and less believable. Keep your notes far from your reach, just like you would during an in-person interview.

8. Environment

If conducting an online interview choosing the right location is vital. Make sure it’s private and as soundproof as possible (if able try to keep children distracted during your interview so they do not interrupt), as any external noise can be a distraction for both you and the interviewer. Ensure that your backdrop is suitable (removing any distractions), and the lighting is appropriate. During the virtual interview be sure to constantly maintain a good posture and keep your body language professional, try not to touch your face or swing your chair.

9. Increase voice and facial expressions

You can use your voice and facial expressions to be more interesting especially when conducting a virtual interview, your camera should focus on the top third of your body. This means you’ll lose the ability to leverage many aspects of body language. Don’t speak in a monotone with few facial expressions beyond blinking. Also, make sure you’re looking into the camera, not at the screen.

10. Thank Your Interviewer

Before you leave the interview, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time, and for considering you for the position.

11. Relax

Finally, try your best to relax and enjoy the experience. We know it’s often easier said than done, but the more confident you come across, the more likely you are to put your interviewer at ease. Plus, with the preparation taken care of, there should be nothing left to worry about.

Below are two checklists for you to download to help you on your virtual or in-person interview

Download Virtual Interview Checklist.pdf

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Download In-person Interview Checklist.pdf