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5 Failsafe Techniques For Interviewing Security Candidates
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dwilds
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dwilds,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/1/2016 | 8:11:21 AM
Nice
Nice
PCComf
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PCComf,
User Rank: Strategist
7/26/2016 | 5:09:41 PM
Re: All good until
"The harder trick is finding the golden security engineer ..."

I would not look for the perfect candidate, it does not exists. What is important is somebody who has the skill and will to do the job on hand. I prefer to create a perfect worker rather than trying to hire one.

 

Right - good point. By "golden security engineer" meaning the right person for your position.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2016 | 3:15:02 PM
Call them on their claims
This is something I use a lot. It is important to demonstrate skill the candidate says he/she has. That is the main reason they were called for an interview.

 
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2016 | 3:14:13 PM
Re: All good until
"The harder trick is finding the golden security engineer ..."

I would not look for the perfect candidate, it does not exists. What is important is somebody who has the skill and will to do the job on hand. I prefer to create a perfect worker rather than trying to hire one.
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2016 | 3:10:39 PM
Re: No...
"... and the tool knowledge but deliberating ..."

I take #5 as a skill that was not mentioned in the reume and the candidate is being asked what does he know about it? I do that all the times.
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2016 | 3:07:27 PM
Re: All good until
 

"I can go with most of this until #5.     "

For me #5 is ok too. The candidate should be able to know their skills, they can easily let you know that they do not know the subject you are asking about and everybody goes to next question.
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2016 | 3:04:17 PM
Ask open-ended questions
 

I enjoyed reading it, all makes sense but for me, none of the techniques gives us the right skill. Especially this open ended question does not take anybody anywhere. There is a real trap in there, people who can elaborate on a question can easily come to the trop and we know that may not be the right skill you are looking for. Especially in IT world, most would not elaborate on any topics well but they are quite smart and get the job done.

 
PCComf
100%
0%
PCComf,
User Rank: Strategist
7/25/2016 | 11:07:26 AM
Re: All good until


I totally agree. #5 would turn away your best candidates unless you are a really good social manipulator yourself and can get it by them: "Sorry, must have been thinking about another candidate's resume" while being sincere.

Even so, are you looking for someone who thinks fast in a social environment (like an interview) or while in front of a terminal? Those two skill sets are not as connected as you might think. Pop culture tends to portray the security wizard as someone with godlike skills in everything from social engineering to defense to offense. Personally, I look for the engineer who can confidently say, "I'll get back to you on that" or "I would google for what others have done in that same situation" Because in defense there is no sense wasting time reinventing the wheel in security technique. In fact, rolling your own might be great for obscurity but usually also leaves gaping holes.

Speaking of the defensive role, the hiring trend I've seen lately is one that requires a candidate to have spent 3 years in a "pure security role" with the same products that the company currently uses. That's crazy. I want the person who is good at and knows a little about everything including system administration, because that is what needs to be protected. A higher level security person can move their specific security product knowledge from product to product with minor effort. Requiring someone to have done the same thing for the past 3 years is just asking for somoene who has not been challenged to change processes and technique enough. Also, it means you are looking for someone who has no desire to change. Otherwise why would they be applying for a job exactly like their last one.

In other words, the hiring process for defensive security people is broken at a more fundamental level than the interview. I've never found it hard to identify someone who is faking it. The harder trick is finding the golden security engineer who otherwise might blow away with the chaff because something on their resume was not exatly what you were looking for. 
Fausty0
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Fausty0,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/22/2016 | 2:50:51 PM
No...
Sure, I understand testing the skill level, and the tool knowledge but deliberting creating havoc or just outright fibbing about their own resume is a bit crazy...

There are surefire ways to interview and get a good and competant candidate. #5 is surly not one of them. 
rstoney
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0%
rstoney,
User Rank: Strategist
7/22/2016 | 1:26:35 PM
All good until
I can go with most of this until #5.    

  There are plenty of valid, useful ideas for getting to know a candidate than to play that sort of game.  And remember, you are being (or should be) evaluated by the candidate as well.  Is that how you wish to be?

  You wish to demostrate that you will play games, or do not know the person you are talking to?  Demostrating you are unprepared?  

 

   Two of the ideas, in pushing beyond comfort zone and seeing how they react in a distracting enviroment are perfectly valid.  Because if you are progressing in a security career you WILL have to go beyond comfort limits and you WILL have to work in sometimes distracting enviroments.

  Interviews are courtships.  Remember that.  How would you like to be courted by someone who thinks manipulation and playing childish games to be perfectly valid and acceptable?  Make them prove the claims on the resume.  Ask them open-ended questions.  Dig into experience to find the details.   You can even do this in a cafeteria or work center enviroment.

 

Leave the high-school level games in high-school.

 


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