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WhiteHat Security Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner
Published January 13th, 2020 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Job Interviews     Companies     Technology     Software And Technology    

Question 1 of 27

Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?

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Interview Questions

1.

Do you have experience working with different CASE tools? If so, what do you have experience with?

The world of software engineering has greatly benefited from advancements in computer aided software engineering tools. Because WhiteHat Security is at the forefront of the industry, your interviewer will be looking to hear which tools you have experience with. Make sure not to concern yourself with providing a correct answer here, but rather focus on your flexibility to learn new aides when needed while explaining what you have experience with.

Ryan's Answer #1

"In my current role, I regularly utilize both diagramming and web development tools. The diagram tools assist our software projects by outlining the system data and components in a graphical form for us and this saves us a great amount of time while also being very reliable. The web development tools greatly help me visualize site changes that I am making because I don't have a deep background in web development. If hired for this position, I'd look forward to learning other CASE tools for prototyping, quality assurance and maintenance."

Ryan's Answer #2

"During my career and in my experience with CASE tools, most of my experience is in the lower CASE elements that focus on coding and testing the software after initial development. CASE tools have certainly made life as a software engineer more efficient and effective and I'd look forward to learn any new CASE tools if hired for this position here at WhiteHat Security."

2.

If hired for this position here at WhiteHat Security, would you be comfortable handling overall project manager responsibilities for new software development?

As a skilled software engineer, you have all of the necessary tools in your bag to be a successful engineer at WhiteHat Security. This question is allowing your interviewer to get a better sense of your project management skills and people skills if you were to join the team at WhiteHat Security. In your answer, talk about your ability to estimate the time and cost of a project, the staffing needed and the overall scope of planning for a particular project. If you have direct experience in being the lead on a large development project, be sure to discuss that experience with your interviewer.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Looking to join the team here at WhiteHat Security directly out of college, I feel very confident in my abilities to manage the entire scope of a new development project. I have leadership experience as my campus' president of the software engineering club. In that role, I developed skills that would help me utilize staff and resources in the best way possible. During my internship, I was exposed to the planning stages of new projects and I have a very good feel of estimating the budget and length of time needed to have a fully functional system."

Ryan's Answer #2

"I would absolutely be comfortable if tasked with project manager duties here at WhiteHat Security. In my last two roles, I have led successful projects that started with great planning and budgeting process and went through to completion with great people and processes in place under my leadership. While it's not a regular duty for me in my current role, I always welcome leadership duties."

3.

Do you consider yourself stronger in C++, C#, Java, or Python?

Before your interview, do some research to understand what tech stack WhiteHat Security uses so you can best prepare and highlight your expertise. If you aren't as strong in one of the skills you feel is necessary, be sure to explain how you've used it and how you are growing your knowledge to become better. Be sure to be honest in your answer, as the company will likely test your strengths.

Ryan's Answer #1

"In my last company, we had a bit of an outdated tech stack and used C# and .NET. I found myself fully immersed in those technologies, but had a strong desire to learn more and become more familiar with modern technologies and how I can apply that in my career. That's what has me so interested in this role. Over the last year, I've taken courses in Java and C++, which I noticed you prefer. I've become proficient in the skills and in side projects, applied my increasingly strong knowledge. I'm probably strongest professionally in C# as that has been where my experience lies, but my passion and dedication is on the Java and C++ side, as I feel that's the more modern alternative. I'm excited about the possibility of applying that knowledge in a role at WhiteHat Security."

Ryan's Answer #2

"I am motivated and excited about this new opportunity because it will challenge me to grow in my (X) skills. I love soccer and enjoy spending time with my teammates. I am interested in continuing my education by studying (Y) to further my career."

4.

In your mind, when is monkey testing the most effective in testing new software?

By utilizing random inputs to check the behavior of a program, monkey testing has its time and place in the software testing process. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have an understanding of the theory behind monkey testing and how you would look to put it to work at WhiteHat Security to test their products.

Ryan's Answer #1

"In my experience, monkey testing has been very effective in load testing and stress testing new software as standard testing methods couldn't do this without a lot of extra work. Because of the adhoc approach to the testing, load and stress on the software was most highly gauged through monkey testing."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Because monkey testing is able to find unique bugs that standard testing won't find, I've found it to be very effective for testing new pilot software programs that are reaching new bounds. At my current job, I helped design a brilliant monkey testing process that utilized user behavior to look for certain probabilities of bugs within our systems that we were designing."

5.

How do you stay organized and on track when working on multiple projects or duties at the same time?

In this role with WhiteHat Security, you will likely be expected to manage multiple projects at the same time. Your ability to plan, manage deadlines and handle high needs items that come up on a regular basis will be essential to your success in this role and your interviewer is looking to hear how you plan for success. Whether you utilize an electronic tool or a written list, there are no right or wrong answers as long as you can prove in your answer that this method works out great for you.

Ryan's Answer #1

"With any project that I am working on, I make sure to set benchmarks to meet deadlines ahead of time and set early personal deadlines to allow for some wiggle room. To do this, I am a proponent of using the Microsoft Outlook calendar and tasks functions to help keep me organized. I find that this method helps me stay on track with multiple projects while also leaving me wiggle room each day to fight the high needs fires that do come up in this job."

Ryan's Answer #2

"For me to stay on track, I make sure to take ten minutes at the end of each day to recap what was accomplished, what new came up on my task list and re-prioritizing my work for the next day. Then, upon arriving the next day and working through emails from the previous evening, I can adjust my task list for the day if needed. I tend to set aside two hours per day to work on long-term project needs while focusing a majority of my time on the short-term needs."

6.

WhiteHat Security embraces an Agile environment. Explain your experience in Agile methodologies and why you think it is important.

The interviewer would like to understand the depth of your knowledge in Agile. The interviewer would also like to know if you work well with team collaboration, are responsive to stakeholder needs, and can work well with team defined milestones. Give a specific example of your experience.

Ryan's Answer #1

"The majority of my experience has been in an Agile environment. For ten years I have been personally responsible for leading agile teams, and I have helped define team goals and milestones. This approach is important to me as I see how Agile methodology helps employees deliver better products in less time. In my current role, team productivity increased by 34% once we introduced an Agile environment, and our on-time project rate skyrocketed another 18%."

Ryan's Answer #2

"I especially want to work for WhiteHat Security because I have friends who have worked here before with really positive feedback on their experiences. I am looking for a positive work environment where I can stay for a long time to come."

7.

How do you feel cloud computing has positively impacted the software industry?

While the reasons are plentiful as to how cloud computing has had a direct impact on developing and refining software for organizations, your interviewer is looking to hear which reasons you are willing to speak most passionately about. However you answer this question, try to either focus on the ease and accessibility for end users or cost savings for organizations in your answer.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Being in the software industry for over 20 years, I feel like the biggest impact that the cloud has had reflects directly to our customers in the software industry. In days of yore, we spent years working through software updates and releases. And now, I look to how we are continuously rolling out small scale, yet impactful, updates through the cloud and end users are able to see that impact the next day!"

Ryan's Answer #2

"One commonly overlooked area where I feel cloud based systems have brought a major improvement is in analytics. Ten years ago, it took a lot of time and resources to pull relevant data to build analytics and visualization tools. Today, information can be automatically built to pull in the snap of a finger and that is something that I never take for granted in my work."

8.

If you were asked to review a colleague's code that they had written, what key things would you look for?

For this question, your interviewer will obviously be looking to hear that you have adequate knowledge when it comes to coding processes. But most importantly, your interviewer will be looking to gauge your ability to be a team player and focus on the bigger picture when working on a project. In your answer, focus on your attention to detail and your ability to help others when needed.

Ryan's Answer #1

"As an experienced software engineer, I fully expect my colleagues to reach out to me for my insight and I never hesitate to provide open and honest feedback. When asked to do this, my main focus is ensuring that the code is readable and functional. If there are lines of code that need to be removed, I don't hesitate to let my colleague know that while also giving them feedback on why I feel it is unnecessary."

Ryan's Answer #2

"When I'm asked to do this in my current position, my main focus is on regulatory requirements that were put in place for the project and security issues. I work with a team of great engineers that are very efficient coders and these two areas are most often overlooked."

9.

Talk about a time when things didn't go as planned on the job. What was the situation and what allowed your to persevere in that situation?

As a professional in the tech industry, you have likely had a project that failed, a promotion that passed you over or a meltdown occur at some point in time. Realizing that your interviewer fully understands and expects that failure happens, talk openly and honestly about a situation where you experienced failure or failed plans. Most importantly in your answer, focus on how you overcame the particular situation and discuss lessons that you learned moving forward that you can bring to this role at WhiteHat Security.

Ryan's Answer #1

"A couple of years ago in my first role as a UI designer out of college, my team was tasked with coming up with a very short notice proposal for a potential high end customer. With a week turnaround time, I set right to spending my time gathering information on the company to build a mock design. When the proposal was submitted, I found out that the potential customer scoffed at my idea and the customer went with another organization's proposal for their use. The biggest piece of feedback that I got was that the UI design just wasn't conducive to the type of customers they were expecting. From that point forward, whether it has been with short notice or long-term products, I take the time to communicate with key decision makers from clients to gather information for making my design as user friendly as possible."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Last year, I was working on a large scale project that put me face to face with a key customer. After traveling onsite with the customer to spend time with them, I exchanged contact information with two of the key decision makers. In the weeks following, I was sending them follow up emails with our business proposals and was getting frustrated at the lack of response from the clients. After my manager had questioned the viability of the potential customer, I picked up the phone and called them directly. It turns out that their responses back to me were being sent to a junk email folder that I neglected to consider. I apologized for the mistake, took action quickly and we came to a great agreement on future business together. After having a laugh about it with my boss, I now incorporate diligent communication follow ups both by phone and email with customers while also regularly checking all email inboxes."

10.

Talk about a successful training program that you had the opportunity to design and implement. What do you feel were the keys to success for the program?

If hired for this role at WhiteHat Security, you will be looked upon to design new and innovative training programs for end users of the companies products. To gain insight on how you would do this moving forward, your interviewer is giving you the opportunity to talk about a past program that you created that ended up being a success. As you talk about that program, make sure to hit on what you feel was a key to success for the program. Some things to potentially keep in the forefront when answering would be considering expectations of the customer, thinking about the work style of the end user and thinking about how to motivate others during the training.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Two years ago in my current role, my organization was putting a new educational tool out to elementary school teachers to help organize their lesson plans and I was tasked with creating both an online training module and an in-person training for new customers. Looking back, I'd say that the biggest key to success for this training program was the consideration of the work style of the teachers that would be using the program and then creating a program around those work styles. To do this, I conducted significant research on school teachers and it was determined that online training modules were the preferred method for training. I also would be tasked by some districts to do in person training. This provided a very unique opportunity for me to develop two unique, yet similarly focused, programs."

Ryan's Answer #2

"With my current organization that is a large healthcare employer, I created a training series that focused on patient safety for our staff that were directly in patient care areas. For it to be a success, the biggest key was to make the program fun and interactive for our staff. If you know the healthcare industry, safety has been drilled into the heads of staff throughout their whole career and if this new training wasn't fun and interactive, it would've been just another training in the eyes of staff. Upon rolling out the training six months ago, me and my staff received rave reviews from our staff and their leaders and we look forward to continuing this training with all new staff that is hired."

11.

What would you consider your technical specialty?

Do you have any particular areas of interest or ability? Talk to the interviewer about your strengths and be sure to highlight any specific skills that you excel in. It's a great idea, if you can, to highlight particular skills that may be listed on the company's job posting/job description. If there is a related area of interest where you'd like to expand your skills, you can mention those as well.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Computing and Network Communications has always been a solid area for me. I have a big interest in how network communication improves our daily lives and our overall business efficiency. I see that you are looking for team members who are experts in network communications which is what caught my eye when I first saw your job posting."

Ryan's Answer #2

"I have been focusing my career on becoming a cloud integration specialist although I do have cross-platform app development expertise as well."

12.

Do you have experience working with data in a cloud computing environment?

Over recent years, more and more companies are converting to cloud based computing services because the conversion allows them to save money and have better auditing trails. As a prospective data engineer with WhiteHat Security, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are at least familiar with the concepts of working with cloud based data. Talk in details about the experiences you have while keeping your mind open to working with more in the future if hired with WhiteHat Security.

Ryan's Answer

"My current organization has been using Apprenda, a PaaS, that allows us to develop, test and maintain our software projects. I also have experience mining and converting data off of public, community and private cloud networks. If hired here at WhiteHat Security, I think I would bring a wealth of cloud based experience to the data engineering team."

13.

How would you handle a classroom based user training session where users were at all different ends of the learning and knowledge spectrum of the program?

Used as a question to help gauge how would handle a particular classroom based training type of situation, this is an all too real situation that could occur if hired for this position at WhiteHat Security. When rolling out new or updated software to customers, end users can be very experienced and need little training or they can be very new to a system and need extensive training. When paired in a room together, it is best to stick to a set training plan to ensure that everyone receives the same curriculum. Give some ideas of how you think this situation is best handled.

Ryan's Answer #1

"If confronted with this situation, I think the best way to handle it would be to have an open conversation about everyone's comfortability with the system after a quick introduction. From there, I would look to pair the novice users with the experienced users during the training. This would allow the novice users to learn from me as the trainer and from the more experienced user in watching them work through training modules."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Having been in this situation before a few times when training large groups, I stick with my focused training plan but also give extra time for question and answer periods during the training. When beginners ask questions, I encourage their more experienced peers to help answer questions to build trust among the group once my time as the trainer has come to an end and I am no longer onsite. Many have commended me for this approach within their business."

14.

Here at WhiteHat Security, we ask our test engineers to follow specific QA protocols. What role do you feel QA plays in software development and testing?

As an experience software testing engineer, quality assurance should be ingrained in your brain and your interviewer is looking to get a sense of your personal feelings towards it in your work with this question. In your answer, be sure to highlight QA's importance in reducing errors, maintaining specifications, testing failure parameters and preventing defects from occurring. In the end, make sure that quality is your mantra in the eyes of your interviewer by giving an example or two of how you put QA in the forefront of your work.

Ryan's Answer #1

"As a test engineer, I take great pride in my role of ensuring that systems go out to consumers as error free as possible. In my current role, I take the time to learn all of the system specifications that are laid out by our design engineers and customize my testing to follow those specifications."

Ryan's Answer #2

"In my work throughout my career, quality assurance in my testing was an every minute of every day job on my part. While creating effective testing processes on new software is extremely important in following QA protocols, the recording of defects, issuing of reports and assisting the designers on fixing issues are equally important parts of the process that I'd love to let shine here at WhiteHat Security."

15.

In Java, why shouldn't you use strings to store a password?

While this may seem like a rudimentary question regarding your knowledge of Java, your interviewer is looking to ideally hear that you understand the principle differences between string and character arrays. Asking about the storage of passwords within a system gives you the opportunity here to point out the differences between the two. In the end, while explaining the differences, be sure to tie it back to the original question on why strings shouldn't be used to store passwords.

Ryan's Answer #1

"To store a password, character array is the obvious best choice because character arrays are mutable. If a string was utilized to store passwords, a definite security risk would be present to anyone that would have access to the memory dump from the system."

Ryan's Answer #2

"This question simply boils down to a string being immutable. Because strings are a sequence of characters represented as a single data type, the system requires garbage creation to fully get rid of it out of memory. In my time designing software, I have used Char array and its mutable features to store passwords for the security of our end users "

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