- June 30, 2020

Ridiculously Helpful Tip - Changing the Interview 

When you are brand new and you want to jump into a cyber security career, the first thing you are probably looking at is the knowledge you need and what the average pay is for a starting position, so how do you change the interview? Once you are exhausted from researching all of the information out there to make sure you make the right choice starting out, you probably move into the process of learning all of the fundamental knowledge to get the technical aptitude you need and to learn all of the basics.

The process for changing the interview might look a little something like:

  1. Conduct research on the cyber security industry (What it is, what jobs are out there, what the pay looks like, how most people start out etc.)
  2. Find an entry level position that interests you
  3. Build a training/education plan related to that starting position
  4. Start learning and preparing to test for certifications
  5. Adjust the Resume and add certs/education relevant to cyber security
  6. Building your professional network and applying for jobs
  7. Preparing and conducting interviews with employers

If your process is like this one, you may be selling yourself short. One thing that does not always come to mind as a first step is preparing for interviews and researching others experience interviewing for various positions in cyber security. It is quite abnormal to look at preparing for interviews if you are brand new and have zero to minimum knowledge on a certain career field.

Reshaping and Changing the Interview

Here is how I would reshape the process in order to increase efficiency and reduce the amount of time it would take to make your start:

  1. Conduct research on the cyber security industry, but choose a cut off day/time for research so you can come to a decision and move to the next step
  2. Find an initial career (doesn’t always have to be entry level) that peaks your interest and realize you can adjust it as you go
  3. Research examples and draft an initial plan on preparing for interviews in that career field
  4. Begin building your professional network
  5. Build your training/education plan
  6. Adjust the Resume as you go
  7. Apply for positions even before you think you are ready (This will give you an outside perspective and allow you to adjust your plan if you receive feedback)
  8. Be ready for an interview at any time

Why changing the interview is essential for cyber security.

The thing about it is, cyber security is an abnormal industry and is becoming more complex every day. As new findings come out, organizations shift their structure and strategy around as a way of trying to match the pace of change. In a University of Maryland study, computers that they set up for their research were attacked, on average, 2,244 times a day. Keep in mind that the study/article I just referenced was published on February 9, 2007.

So why should you build a strategy for interviews even before you start studying/training? Easy, it allows you to build your study habits and practical ability around the needs of the employer. The interview itself tends to take away the chance for you to showcase your talent and practical aptitude, so it is important to find a way to combat the deficiencies that the interview process has. Some helpful techniques might be: set up my own cyber lab at home, record each of my attempts at practical exercises, build personal flowcharts/visual representations of various concepts, or any other techniques.

How does this combat the deficiencies related to the interview process? If an employer has a decent interview strategy, they may dive into questions around your technical knowledge, but for a kinesthetic learner like myself, I am usually better at presenting my knowledge in a hands-on way. I will gladly answer questions with verbal responses in an interview, I would recommend you all do that as well, but I will also attempt to get them visual representations so that I can represent my true self. 

Pre-interview I am going to ensure that I know my own strengths and weaknesses, have a solid knowledge of how my home lab is set up and upload, any relevant information to a flash drive or portable device (e.g. Personally built flow charts, some short videos of practical work I have done, WYWM Career Matching Assessment Results, Resume). During the interview I am going to make sure I key in on points where I can reference my learning/teaching style to get them interested in possibly seeing the visual representations. If I hear nothing after the interview, I would attempt to reach out myself in order to get feedback that will assist in adjusting and improving.


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