How to prepare for an ethical hacking interview

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After you have completed your ethical hacking course and earned your prestigious CEH certification, you will find yourself looking for a job in the booming market of cyber security. While the demand for ethical hackers is quite a record-breaking number, organisations look for competent and excellent ethical hackers who know what they are doing, why they are doing and how they can do it best. It’s only natural for you to feel nervous during an interview. Here is some advice that can help you ace your ethical hacking interview.

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1. Know your tools inside out

An ethical hacker must know his or her tools like that back of their hand. If you have enough practice on your side, then you will have no problem answering questions related to your tools. In any case, make sure you have studied about all the tools used by black hat hackers and white hat hackers. From password attacks to enumeration tools, you should be ready with plenty of options for the most general question “What are some tools used for an XYZ attack”.

2. Be prepared for general questions

Speaking of general questions, your interviewer will definitely ask you some standard questions about ethical hacking, like what are the different types of hackers, what is network sniffing, what is a brute force attack, and so on. If you ace these questions, then you have already won 50% of the battle. These questions can be easily found on the internet with a quick search. Ensure that you have prepared for all such possible questions by doing your homework through the internet.

3. Keep your training notes handy

Whatever you learnt in your ethical hacking training will come in handy this time. Hopefully, you had made notes during your lecture and jotted down your learnings while you practiced your craft. If you don’t have your notes ready at this time for revision, then ask someone for help or invest some time in creating quick notes (if you have a week or so left for the interview). Sometimes, you get an interview call at a very short notice, and referring to notes can help you revise those crucial topics quickly in such emergency situations.

4. Don’t be overprepared

It’s one thing to be prepared, but it’s another to be overprepared. Don’t study for the interview like it’s an exam. It is a meeting with a human where you are the product, not just your knowledge. So, don’t prepare yourself to death. You shouldn’t look like a robot or a textbook at your interview. Leave some headspace so that you can be ‘you’ in that big meeting.

5. Stay up to date 

An ethical hacker needs to be up to date with the industry events and trends. You can subscribe to news publications that post hacker news on an hourly basis. It’s better to receive notifications on your phone about such things than to search for news on your own. Being up to date with the latest developments and threats in the hacking world will show that you are really passionate about your work.

6. Keep to the point

In an interview, we want to be the best version of ourselves, which can sometimes translate to ‘over explaining’ things. When you are asked about something, whether a technical question or a personal one, stick to the point and avoid blabbering or using fillers like ‘umm’, ‘err’, or ‘uh’. Practice your communication skills with someone beforehand, sharpen your vocabulary and stay crisp in your words.

Lastly, don’t forget to dress sharply even if you are giving your interview over a video call.

All the best!