10 Dos and Don'ts for Security Job Interviews
The tight job market makes the interview more high stakes than ever when applying for security positions. We asked some seasoned security recruiters for tips on how to stand out from the pack
By Joan Goodchild , Senior Editor
April 28, 2009 — CSO —
The pickings are slim in the security job market and the time line of interviewing and then hiring new people is slow. But there are positions available in the security field, according to three veteran security recruiters that we spoke with recently. If you're looking for a change in your career, or are simply looking to get back to work, there is simply no room for anything less than the best impression these days.
Hiring managers have plenty of candidates to choose from in the current economic climate. If you get a call that you've got a shot at a job interview, every move counts. How can you have an edge over other candidates angling for the same position? Our experts weigh in on important steps to excel when you get your chance to wow a possible new employer (See also: How to Prepare if you Score an Interview).
Before the meeting:
Do make sure your resume is perfect
"I see a lot of resumes from people who are really bright, but their resume is very vanilla," said Tracy Lenzner, CEO of the LenznerGroup, an executive recruitment company in New York. "Other resumes have too much content and are too long to read."
Lenzner recommends polishing your resume before you even begin your next job search. A recruiter can assist with finding the appropriate length, as well as which accomplishments and experience to highlight. In this competitive job market, it may even be necessary to tailor your resume for each job application.
"You can't underestimate the criticalness of a resume," she said. "Without a stand out resume or a good contact to get you an interview, you really never get to square one."
Do research the company
"The more prep work you can do, the better," said Peter Metzger, a vice chairman of CTPartners, an executive search firm in New York. "It should include not only open sources research but third party referencing. Always assume you don't have enough information going in."
Metzger recommends doing a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) for any potential new business you may hope to become involved in as an employee. Additionally, having a firm grasp of the company and its history will probably impress your interviewer.
Don't forget to prepare
As a job applicant, you have to engage in a bit of social engineering, said Lee J. Kushner, founder and CEO of L. J. Kushner and Associates in New Jersey. "Find out what the pain points have been in an organization so you can go into an interview and show that you understand their problems. That level of preparation will make a lasting impression on other side of the desk."