How to Stand Out in Your Cybersecurity Job Interview, as Told by ReliaQuest Lead Recruiter Brittany McKie
Job interviews can be a significant source of stress, whether you’re just starting your career in the cybersecurity industry, or you’re a seasoned expert looking for a new opportunity. For many job seekers, the pandemic has created an additional layer of uncertainty in how to approach the process. But with some preparation and an understanding of what your prospective security employer is really looking for, your job interviews don’t have to be too stressful, even during an unusual time.
Take it from ReliaQuest Lead Recruiter Brittany McKie. Celebrating her 4-year work anniversary this month, Brittany has recently hired her 100th employee onto the ReliaQuest team. To put this into perspective, Brittany is responsible for having hired 22% of the company as we stand today. Needless to say, she knows a thing or two about what interviewers are really looking for. In an industry like cybersecurity, what traits – beyond technical expertise – are needed to really stand out in the crowd?
At ReliaQuest, ensuring the candidate is a cultural match for the team is just as important as vetting technical expertise. When a candidate is aligned technically and culturally, it’s a win for both the new hire and ReliaQuest – these are the people we see excel in their roles and grow into leadership positions. Brittany’s favorite part of her position is seeing her hires move up through promotions, as well as the act of extending the offers. “I love hearing the excitement in their voices as I offer them their dream job,” Brittany says. Ready for your dream job in security? Follow these tips from Brittany to make a lasting impression in your interview, whether in-person or virtual.
Emphasize positivity and transparency
Exhibiting a positive attitude and outlook throughout the interview process while also being transparent with the interviewers is a trait Brittany says is crucial to a successful outcome. “If you’re having a hard time finding a job or were laid off, be honest and show that you’re putting in the effort to move forward,” Brittany offered, keeping in mind that it is possible to find positives in the negatives. “It’s like a two-way interview,” Brittany added, “they’re interviewing us almost as much as we’re interviewing them.”
From the top down, ReliaQuest is transparent with their goals and plans for betterment. This is something that Brittany found to be specifically motivating, as she “really believes in the company, the mission, and the leadership.” A shared mindset and set of values goes a long way at ReliaQuest: not only does this ensure employee success and satisfaction, but it also helps drive development of our GreyMatter platform, relationships with our customers and partners, and further the ReliaQuest promise of security confidence across our customers and our own teams.
Showcase your potential
Something unique that ReliaQuest sets out to do is hire for potential, not explicitly experience and education. This is an active way that the recruiting team at ReliaQuest is closing the skills gap within cybersecurity and focusing on staffing a diverse array of employees. By exhibiting a positive attitude, high energy, and persistent effort, you’re showing you have what it takes to make for a successful career at ReliaQuest.
“I think this is a big reason why people I have hired have been successful within the company and continue to stay,” said Brittany, “because they want to be with the company long-term and truly make an impact.” When deciding what candidates have the potential for success, Brittany makes sure to not only look for indicators that the candidate will be a good team fit, but also whether or not ReliaQuest is the right fit for them.
“Amp up the preparation”
“Knowing about the company and their values beforehand is key,” Brittany said, referencing the research that should be done before the interview. Being knowledgeable about the job position, as well as the company as a whole shows that you care about this interview, and that you are serious about working for ReliaQuest. Showing passion for the line of work and telling the recruiter about what measures you are taking outside of your day-to-day job to enrich yourself in the field is sure to make you stand out to the interviewers. Spending time reading up on the foremost ideas and technology in your field or studying for and completing a certification can go a long way.
Through 4 years, 4 awards, and 100 hires, Brittany McKie has been an amazing example of loving what you do and doing what you love – and her efforts have truly paid off. She has had a direct impact in propelling ReliaQuest into one of the fastest growing companies in technology, while helping create opportunities for individuals to excel and grow in their roles. Follow Brittany’s advice, and you may just land yourself your dream job in the cybersecurity industry.
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