3 Characteristics To Look For In Anyone Interviewing For A Computer Security Job

When you run a business that has a lot of data being passed around, or the data that it does have is sensitive, you need to make sure that it is protected. Your customers are going to be very upset with you and your company if you are not able to protect their data. And this is an ever going battle. Some people who own companies think that once they have their security solution that is all they are ever going to need. That is far from the truth. Having a security solution is only the first step in making sure that the data that you are storing is safe.


If you are a mid size or large company then you have a couple of decisions to make when it comes to hiring. You are going to have to make sure that you look into hiring someone whose job it is to make sure that your data is safe. When you get to the point that you are dealing with thousands of customers then it becomes a full time job just to have to handle data alone. And securing that data is another full time job. So eventually as you grow you are going to be on the hunt for someone who can perform that job. So that is what I am going to talk about in this article. Most people who own businesses do not know quite what to look for when they are hiring computer security people. So I will give you a quick check list that might help guide your decision. So let’s take a look now.

Proficiency in the job

The first thing that you need to check is to make sure that they know how to do the job. There are a lot of people out there who will just take a class and they will then think that they know everything. You need to make sure that the person you choose has an active knowledge base in the field. If the person that you are interviewing took a class 5 years ago then there knowledge base is probably already outdated. The security flaws that were out there then have been expanded by 10x fold. Too many people think that because they went to school that their learning should stop. That is not the case, especially in the computer security field. You will have to continue your education for as long as you are in the field.

So when a person comes in looking for a job make sure that you give them some kind of test. That way you will be able to see what their modern day skill knowledge is. If they were in school a long time ago and they are able to answer your questions correctly then you know that they are someone who keeps in touch with modern day innovations in the field and they have experience. That is a great combination to have.

A clean record

Just like someone who works in the bank, a person who works computer security has a lot of chances to step on the wrong side of the line. It is even more so because in the world of computer security because most of the people who are interested in it are people who probably grew up hacking. And a lot of that hacking probably did not happen on the right side of the law. While I am not talking about serious hacking crimes, there are probably times when the person peeked at a section of another web site when they probably shouldn’t. Small things such as that is not anything that should knock the person out of contention from the job. This is especially true if they have good references from someone else.

But if the person does not have good references or has a recent criminal record then I would not trust them with your data. While they may have changed their ways your customers should not have to find out with their data.

A healthy knowledge of computer systems

As I said earlier in the article there are several different parts of computer security that businesses have to worry about and the people that you interview are likely to be specialists. But it is nice to have a person who has a general knowledge when it comes to computer systems. While they do not have to be an expert in every part of the system they should know at least a bit about it all. You might not think that this is important but when you have to track down a problem you do not want the hunt to stop because the person is in unfamiliar territory.

And here are a few tips from J4vv4d on what NOT to do if you are the interviewee:

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When you have data that you need to protect you have to make sure that you hire the right person. A good interview process will help you do this.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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