Common Questions: 5 Questions You May Be Asked in a Cyber Security Job Interview

If you’re looking to work in the cyber security industry, you’re probably aware that getting hired is a challenging process. You need advanced knowledge in all things tech, and employers only look for the highest caliber candidates. 

Not only do you need to know what you’re doing, but you also need to interview well and showcase your knowledge in a relatively short time frametime frame. To help you in this endeavor, we’ve compiled a list of common questions you will likely encounter in a cyber security job interview.

What Is the Most Important Thing to Consider When Handling Data?

Potential employers will likely want to know is what you consider the most critical aspect of handling data. While you may be tempted to say security, they know you already know this, or you wouldn’t be going for the position. 

So, after stating the obvious, consider highlighting the importance of having a backup and disaster recovery program protecting the sensitive information the company handles. This answer shows that you can dig beyond the surface level, proving that you’re the right candidate for the role.

What Is a VPN?

Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN is a secure connection to an external server. Many companies use VPNs to allow remote workers to connect to their internal systems. At the same time, tech-savvy individuals tend to make use of this type of service to ensure they have privacy and security when completing online banking, trading stocks, or performing other actions online that could be considered high risk.

You’ll probably be asked this question fairly early in your interview, as most people are familiar with VPNs. Keep in mind that the company is asking this so they can judge your expected performance on the depth of your knowledge. 

What’s the Difference Between a Risk, a Vulnerability, and a Threat?

Risks, threats, and vulnerabilities are three very different things. While they can all have negative impacts on a business, identifying the variations is vital in a cybersecurity role, so your potential employer will want to know how you define the difference. Unless they ask for an in-depth answer, it’s fine to keep it simple and just identify each issue with a quick example to show you understand. 

What Is a Cyberattack?

While the answer to this one is pretty obvious, employers will look to see how detailed your response is. So don’t go on an hour-long deep dive, but don’t keep things to the surface level either. A good way to go about this is to touch on different types of cyberattacks, adding a quick sentence on how you’d recommend protecting the business against them.

What Is SSL Encryption?

For most people, all they ever really want or need to know about secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption is that it’s the process that makes the little green lock appear next to the URL they’re visiting. However, if you’re looking to work in cyber security, your knowledge will need to go deeper. An SSL certificate is independent, third-party verification that a website is what it claims to be, which is very important in cyber security.

Cybersecurity is a high-stakes profession, so there’s intense competition for roles. By being prepared to answer these questions effectively, you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd, both with these responses and others. Your preparation will allow you more mental processing capacity for any curve balls thrown at you. Good luck.