Get ready for a technical job interview (for IT, cybersecurity, and technology roles) with these practice questions from our expert veterans in tech.
If you’re a veteran, reservist, or service-leaver, you’ve already had at least one successful job interview. You landed a role in His Majesty’s Armed Forces! A civilian job interview should be easy by comparison, but many among us go into them not knowing what to expect.
Interviews for cyber security and technology jobs have the added difficulty of ‘technical’ questions- ones designed to make you prove your IT expertise on the spot.
Concerned about performing well in a technical interview? TechVets can help you put your best foot forward. Along with CV help and a supportive online community of veterans in tech, articles like this can give you career-boosting insights that make a real difference. Put simply: you’re in the right place.
Proceed with confidence and consider the following when preparing for your next interview.
Questions About Your IT Training
According to Forbes, the majority of technical job interviews will begin with the employer/recruiter/technical hiring manager asking background questions about your training. Some examples include:
- Can you tell us about your technical certifications?
- How do you think your education has prepared you for this role?
- What’s your training background?
- How do you keep your technology skills current?
These questions are straightforward, requiring you to simply list off and explain what courses or certifications you’ve pursued in the cyber/tech field. Getting certified is the first step toward launching your IT career after military service. Not certified yet? TechVets offers a wide range of specialised, industry-leading certification options for any veteran, service leaver, or reservist, plus their partners.
RELATED: TechVets Training Partnerships
Tip: Don’t forget to mention your military experience when asked about your background! Employers value those who served, and the training you received while serving certainly gave you skills that are worth mentioning, like discipline, timeliness, and effective teamwork.
Technical Knowledge Questions
Some technical interview questions are designed to assess your grasp on general knowledge related to the job at hand. If you’re after a job in cyber security- as an offensive security specialist for example- your technical interview questions are likely to include:
- What are some of the most common cyber attacks? (Phishing, Malware, DDoS, etc)
- What is cryptography?
- What is the difference between VA (vulnerability assessment) and PT (penetration testing)?
- Can you explain the CIA triad?
- What is the difference between IDS and IPS?
- What is 2FA and how can it be implemented on websites?
- What are some potential causes of data leakage?
- How often should you perform patch management?
- What is an Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) and how does it work?
- How would you define a risk, vulnerability and threat in a network? (Give examples.)
RELATED: Retrain as a SOC Analyst with TechVets
This subject matter is the bread and butter of many tech courses, and you’ll likely be comfortable talking about it all with the right training under your belt. If you’re a veteran preparing for cyber security job interviews and find the above questions to be unclear, reach out to TechVets for practical support here.
Technical Proficiency Questions
Some technical interviews are hands-on, requiring you to put your skills into action within a certain amount of time (often anywhere from one hour to 24 hours depending on the interview format). Cyber security roles might require you to complete some of the following proficiency tasks:
- What are the steps to set up a firewall? List them/complete them!
- What steps will you take to secure a server? (SSL- Secure Sockets Layer Encryption).
- How would you respond in this scenario…(For example: You’re experiencing a Spyware attack that the interviewer describes for you- identify the threat and create a fix.)
Tip: Always ask for clarification when you need it, and be honest about what you know and what you don’t. An ‘I don’t know the answer to that, but I’m interested in looking into it’ can speak volumes about your growth mindset, research skills, and personal accountability.
Scenario questions are quite common in technical interviews, and will vary depending on the cyber role you choose to pursue. For more info from professionals with firsthand experience getting hired into cyber after military service, join our community– or keep reading at the link below.