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January 2002

Hiring security pros: Tips for interviewers and interviewees

Everyone has heard horror stories about trying to hire qualified IT security professionals. In a slumping economy, you'd think the challenge would get easier, but that's not necessarily true. Think about it: During a recession, there are even more unqualified people applying for increasingly scarce jobs. This makes the hiring manager's job more important than ever. Recently, I interviewed candidates for our internal security consulting team. Several were prescreened through HR, and the first thing I did was ask each one a series of five basic questions: What encryption algorithms have you worked with? What's the difference between TCP and UDP? What's the difference between a filtering router, a proxy firewall and a stateful firewall? What resources do you use to keep up to date with technology and security issues? Why are you interested in working in infosec? Some of the interviewees (including the guy I ended up hiring) provided good answers to these questions. They had worked with multiple algorithms, demonstrated solid ...

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