35 Questions to Ask an Ethical Hacker in an Interview (With Sample Answers)
Many businesses hire hackers who don’t break the law to look for security holes in their systems. During an interview for one of these jobs, you might be asked a few questions about cybersecurity and how hard you work. If you know what questions the interviewer is likely to ask, you can come up with great answers that will help you get the job. This article has a list of 35 questions to ask an ethical hacker during an interview, as well as a few sample answers to help you out.
Consider going over these general questions to see if your personality and career goals match up with the company’s mission:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why do you think this job would be good for you?
- What do you know about our company?
- How do you talk to other people?
- Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?
- Explain why research is such an important part of hacking in a good way.
- What would you do differently about a career choice you’ve made, and why?
- Do you think of yourself as a patient person?
- What three words would your old boss use to describe you?
- In five years, where do you want to be in your job?
Questions about your past and present
At an interview to become an ethical hacker, you might be asked the following questions about your background and past work:
- What did you study in college, and why did you choose that field?
- Talk about any ethical hacking credentials or training you have.
- Will you return to school or get a certificate?
- Tell me about the big tech companies where you’ve worked before.
- What have you done in the past that has helped you get ready for this job?
- Tell me about your old boss and how you got along with him or her.
- Tell me two good things you did at your last job that were really important.
- What did you enjoy least about your last job?
- How have you improved your skills since your last job?
- Can you tell me more about this project listed on your resume?
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a hard decision and how it turned out.
Ethical hacking is a job that requires a lot of knowledge about security and is very technical. Here are some detailed questions to help you figure out if you can do the job.
- What is the difference between spoofing and phishing?
- Explain the different types of hackers who aren’t bad.
- Tell me about a time you broke into a complicated system.
- Explain what it means to leave a footprint.
- How do you know you’ve tried everything to get into a system?
- Have you ever been unable to find a problem with how a company does business? What gives?
- Tell me what you do to perform an external penetration test.
- What ethical hacking tools do you feel most comfortable using?
- How do you like to break a password the most?
- How do you avoid getting sick from ARP?
Questions and answers for a job interview with an ethical hacker
Consider using these sample answers to these ethical hacker interview questions to help you come up with your own:
Why did you type something here?
In your answer, you can talk about the parts of your job that make you happy. Telling the interviewer why you want the job can show that you’re interested in it and want to do a good job. You could also talk about how much you care about keeping private information safe. You can talk about how dangerous hackers are and how much you want to help businesses and their customers.
Example: “As I worked toward my bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, I learned more about how to hack in a good way. I was interested in the job at first because it was hard and had a good future. As I learned more about this field, I realised how important ethical hacking was. Companies hire these people to make sure that companies that make software and security products are held responsible for what they make. I’m very lucky to have a job that lets me protect sensitive company information and make sure customers still trust their products.”
What are some bad things about hacking that aren’t against the law?
The company you’re interviewing with obviously thinks that the pros of ethical hacking are more important than the cons, but it’s still important to know what the cons are. Your answer to this question can show how well you know the industry and how much you care about keeping the company’s data safe. In your answer, you might want to talk about the bad things and explain why ethical hackers are still good for a company in the long run.
Example: “One of the most obvious cons of ethical hacking is the cost. Even though it can be very expensive to hire good hackers and give them the tools they need, it is often worth it. Because of their work, the company is able to fix security problems before they lead to costly data breaches. Another reason a company might not want to use the practise is that it could give ethical hackers access to sensitive information. So, it’s important for human resources departments to hire people who not only know about cybersecurity but also want to follow the code of ethics for the field.”
3. Tell me how you write a report about a weakness for a client.
Ethical hackers spend a lot of time in front of a computer, but they also talk to businesses. Writing vulnerability reports for clients so they can understand what you’ve found is an important part of your job. Try to explain what you put in the report and how you make it easy for people to understand.
Example: “Over the course of my career, I have written a lot of vulnerability reports. Usually, I think about who I’m writing for first. For example, if a client doesn’t know much about technology, I use simple language to make sure they understand the cybersecurity threat.
If I know that high-level executives will read the report, I include the business impact to try to get the money I need to fix the weakness. In every vulnerability report I write, I usually explain in detail what the problem is, how I found it, and why it poses a risk to the organisation. I also offer solutions that take the client’s budget into account.”
How do you find out what’s going on?
People who know what’s going on in the world of “ethical hacking” are often liked by interviewers. You could talk about how doing regular research helps you do your job well in your answer. You can also say where you get your news, making sure to list different places and stressing how reliable they are.
Example: “When I got my first job as an ethical hacker, the only new information I got was from the training sessions the company made me go to. I quickly realised that I had to do my own research to make sure I knew about the latest techniques and trends. One of my coworkers added me to some channels on a professional messaging app that I still use today. Reading updates from experts in my field and talking about what I’ve learned is helpful to me. I also check tech news sites and social media pages to find out about the latest hacking attempts.”
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